Wednesday, February 02, 2011

35. Jellyfish - Bellybutton (1990)

45 years, 45 LPs, 45 days...
Bellybutton (1990)
If my memory is correct, 1990 was a pretty good year (cue Sinatra: "When I was was a very good year..."). I was a senior in college, which seemed like a miracle in itself (my college experience started out a bit rocky). In August, five friends and I moved into a super sweet house that was within walking distance from campus. Life felt good & there were times when I felt I was living the dream.

One day at work that same summer one of my managers handed me a promo LP by a new band named Jellyfish, saying it had my name all over it. Usually when people tell me they 'know I'll love something', I instinctively try not to love it (God knows why I do this - seems like a good question for my therapist), but my manager was right about this Jellyfish band.  For starters, the album cover couldn't have been any groovier (see pic above for proof). The music inside was an outasite mix of Badfinger, The Beach Boys, XTC, The Beatles - but it wasn't a retro tribute sort of thing. It was clear that this band was serious about what they were doing and confident in who they were.
My 2nd & final Jellyfish concert.

So I enjoyed the Jellyfish record, but it wasn't until I saw them in concert that my status was upgraded to "FAN". My friend Jim and I went to see World Party perform at First Avenue, and the opening act happened to be Jellyfish. The band had the stage all decked out like the set of a Disney cartoon, and the members themselves appeared as technicolor superheros, playing some of the tightest & catchiest harmony-laden power-pop I'd ever heard in a live setting. Jellyfish returned to First Avenue in 1993, and who should join them on stage but Badfinger's own Joey Molland (who now resides in Minnesota). Together they performed "No Matter What" as I thought to myself "Holy cow - This is history, and I have been blessed."
Sept 1990: Solo pic from band photo
shoot, shortly before my band disbanded

On a side note, I thought I'd add how much I've enjoyed digging through all of my old pics and boxes o'stuff as part of this "45 LPs" project. Music has always been a vital part of my life, so it's fun for me to find these visual reminders of who I was when these records were my daily soundtrack. In searching for a pic of myself from 1990 I discovered a contact sheet dated 9/90. It's from a photo shoot for a band I was playing with at the time (see pic above, left).  The band split up a few months after the shoot so the pics never got used.


jan said...

1990 was also the year that you and I became friends.


Fun & friends!

Jeff said...

Awwww! 21 years and we're still friends? Guess you're stuck with me!

Holy shit we're old people.

DigMeOut said...

Listen to a podcast review of Bellybutton by Jellyfish on Dig Me Out at, a weekly podcast dedicated to revisiting lost and forgotten rock of the 1990s.