Ugly Kid Joe are a rock band that formed in Isla Vista California. They would rise to fame in the early 1990’s with a mix of rock, funk, and metal.
The band was originally named Overdrive. Then they got a gig opening for a known local glam band named Pretty Boy Floyd. So they decided to temporarily change their name to Ugly Kid Joe as a parody of Pretty Boy Floyd. Well, PBF got so mad they refused to play and the show was canceled. So the band decided the new name should stay.
The band started to gain national attention in 1991 with their debut EP Ugly As We Want To Be, which was a spoof on 2 Live Crew’s album Nasty As We Want To Be. The five song EP would produce a minor hit with the song Madman. Then a second single started to get attention. The song named I Hate Everything About You. This record would hold the distinction of being the first EP to go multi-platinum.
Ugly Kid Joe would re-record I Hate Everything About You for their debut album titled Americas Least Wanted, a spoof of the Ice Cube album AmeriKKKa’s Most Wanted. The song would peak at number 9 on the hot 100 chart
But that wasn’t the only song to chart from that album. They would rework a folk ballad named Cats In The Cradle originally by Harry Chapin.
Their version would hit number 6 on the charts. The album was helped out by the controversial cover art, which was the band’s mascot posing as the Statue Of Liberty with a raised middle finger and holding a porno magazine
Stores refused to carry the album and a second version was released showing the mascot bound and gagged, as a spoof of the censorship of the original cover.
They were also able to get assistance from Rob Halford of Judas Priest who provided guest vocals on the song Goddamn Devil
Between 1992-1996 the band would tour the world and secure an opening slot on Ozzy Osbourne’s No More Tears tour.
Their second album Menace To Sobriety was released in 1995. But it failed to produce any hits. The musical landscape was changing and goofy party music soon fell out of favor with the music buying public. Although they did a tour opening for Bon Jovi and Van Halen.
In 1996 they released their third album titled Motel California. This was met with lukewarm reception at best. The gig was finally up and Ugly Kid Joe broke up in 1997.
Band members would go on to other things. Their drummer Steven Larkin would join Godsmack and is still playing with them today.
Do you remember Ugly Kid Joe?
Are you ugly?
Is your name Joe?