Me First and the Gimme Gimmes (often shortened to just "Me First" or "The Gimmes") are a punk rock supergroup and cover band that formed in San Francisco in 1995. The Gimmes work exclusively as a cover band. The band is named after a children's book of ...
Me First and the Gimme Gimmes (often shortened to just "Me First" or "The Gimmes") are a punk rock supergroup and cover band that formed in San Francisco in 1995. The Gimmes work exclusively as a cover band. The band is named after a children's book of the same name by Gerald G. Jampolsky and Diane V. Cirincione.
The band's first release came with 1995's Denver, a 7" single released on band member Fat Mike's record label Fat Wreck Chords, featuring two John Denver covers. 1996 and 1997 saw the band release four more singles, each on a different label and named after the artist covered on that particular release, as well as some compilation appearances. Their first full-length album, Have a Ball, was released July 29, 1997.
Each album by the band has a different theme: Have a Ball focuses on classic 1960s, 1970s, and early 1980s songs by singer/songwriters like Elton John, Neil Diamond, and John Denver; Are a Drag consists entirely of show tunes; Blow in the Wind of 60s classics; Take a Break of contemporary R&B songs (by artists such as Boyz 2 Men, Lionel Richie, and Vanessa L. Williams). Their fifth album Ruin Jonny's Bar Mitzvah (recorded live at a bar mitzvah) consists of pop music from the 1960s through the 1980s by artists such as REO Speedwagon, Styx and The Beatles, as well as traditional songs like "Hava Nagila". The compilation album Have Another Ball! features 60's-80's classics.
The band entered the studio on April 3, 2006 to work on their sixth album, Love Their Country, which was released on October 17, 2006. The theme of this album is country and western, and includes covers of tracks by Dixie Chicks, Garth Brooks, Hank Williams, Sr. and Johnny Cash. Prior to the release of the album, Fat Wreck Chords released a digital label sampler, iFloyd which included "(Ghost) Riders in the Sky" by the band.
In late 2006, Fat Wreck Chords released another digital label sampler Christmas Bonus, containing a previously-unreleased cover of Steve Goodman's "City of New Orleans". In August 2006 Me First and the Gimme Gimmes were scheduled to play three dates at PNC Park after Pirates games, but after they got booed on the first night, the next two nights were cancelled. They were to play along with fireworks during the post-game "Skyblast" shows.
On December 5, 2007, Fat Wreck Chords released a flash MP3 holiday bonus sampler called Hanuk-Comp containing "The Boxer", originally released on the 1997 Garf single. There is also a downloadable podcast that features commentary from Fat Mike and Floyd during breaks between songs in which the next album is revealed. The compilation Have Another Ball! was released on July 8, 2008; it comprises all the B-side recordings from the Have a Ball singles, plus covers of "Sodomy" (from Hair) and Diana Ross's "Theme from Mahogany (Do You Know Where You're Going To)".
Fat Wreck Chords released Go Down Under on February 1, 2011, featuring covers of 5 songs by Australian artists. On September 13, 2011 (in anticipation of a tour of Japan) Fat Wreck Chords released a 5-song EP, Sing in Japanese.
In a Reddit AMA on January 28, 2014, Fat Mike revealed the next album theme would be "Divas". Featuring covers of Barbra Streisand, Christina Aguilera and Lady Gaga, Are We Not Men? We Are Diva! would be released on May 13, 2014 on Fat Wreck Chords.
Spike Slawson (of Swingin' Utters and Re-Volts) - lead vocals,
Fat Mike (of NOFX) - bass, backing vocals,
Chris Shiflett (of Foo Fighters) - lead guitar, backing vocals,
Joey Cape (of Lagwagon) - rhythm guitar, backing vocals,
Dave Raun (of Lagwagon) - drums,
"Fill-in" members for tours
Brian Baker (of Minor Threat and Bad Religion) filled in for Shiflett in 2006.,
Chris Shiflett's brother, Scott Shiflett (of Face to Face and Viva Death), has been filling in for him on the band's most recent tours.,
NOFX guitarist Eric Melvin filled in for Fat Mike on bass during the 2007 European tour and 2008 and 2013 Australian tours.,
Adam Stern from Youth Brigade and Royal Crown Revue filled in for Fat Mike on bass; Mark Mortenson from Screw 32 filled in for Dave Raun on drums; Grant McIntire also from Screw 32 filled in for Joey Cape on Guitar; and Barry d'live Ward from Rich Kids on LSD and Crosstops filled in for Chris Shiflett on guitar during the 1996 Tour.,
Warren Fitzgerald of The Vandals & Lindsay McDougall of Frenzal Rhomb filled in on guitars during the band's participation in the 2003 Livid Festival in Australia.,
Jay Bentley of Bad Religion filled in on bass for Fat Mike during the European Tour in early 2014 and will do so again 2015.,
The Gimmes have a gimmick of wearing quirky matching costumes during their live shows. Some of the themes match the albums, such as when they dress in cowboy outfits to accompany the album Love Their Country or in drag as various characters from musicals in Are a Drag. They have also worn pajamas, red suits, cheerleader outfits, shiny suits and fezzes, and, during one show in Camden, NJ on the Warped Tour, dressed as the band AFI (who in turn dressed as The Gimmes). Easily the most common and popular costume set are their matching Hawaiian shirts of varying styles and colors over the years.