The Frogs, an American rock music band founded in 1980 by brothers Jimmy and Dennis Flemion, have built a prolific cult reputation in the years since they were active, thanks in no small part by Nirvana leader Kurt Cobain.
The brothers, who mainly wrote catchy pop-rock songs, were shrouded in controversy… and they absolutely loved it. Most notably, the uproar they caused emerged from their improvised home studio recordings which touched on issues such as race, religion, and sexuality—predominantly focusing on homoeroticism which royally pissed off the gay community. All of these home recordings were delivered in a comedic manner.
At one point, shortly after the band had records Bananimals and fury began to grow about the now unreleased Racially Yours in 2000, the two brothers were stopped at Canadian Customs as airport officials seized all of their tour merchandise and declared it “pornographic.”
However, despite record sales struggling and controversy ringing and, as Dangerous Minds points out, The Frogs managed to garner a cult following which included the likes of Beck, the Smashing Pumpkins, Sebastian Bach, Eddie Vedder and, of course, Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain.
After meeting Cobain in 1993, The Frogs wrote two songs about him… as you do. Not content with that, the two brothers also made him a videotape entitled ‘Toy Porno’ which featured a few live performances and stop-motion animation with painted toys. The porno bit? Yeah, that’s because the animated toys were used as sexually promiscuous characters in various short sketches.
According to urban myth, this tape became constant viewing material on Nirvana’s tour bus.
Here’s some of that footage:
As aforementioned, it is not just Cobain who took inspiration from The Frogs. In 1995, Beck used a sample of The Frogs’ song ‘I Don’t Care If U Disrespect Me (Just So You Love Me)’ on his song “Where It’s At”. On top of that, Beck included the sample on his 1996 release Odelay.
Billy Corgan, founder and lead singer of Smashing Pumpkins, was perhaps one of the leading cheerleaders of The Frogs. After joining them on stage at Lollapalooza in 1994, Corgan went on to support and promote The Frogs by producing a short film, Meet the Frogs, which he ended up using on other Smashing Pumpkins video compilations.
The band, who continued to play and record music right up to 2012, is now just made up of Jimmy Flemion after his brother and co-founder Dennis, tragically drowned in a lake that year.
Enjoy a few more chaotic clips: