The Frogs? Who are they?
RIP Dennis Femion: June 6, 1955 – July 7, 2012
Picture from Fox6Now
They're no more, now that Dennis Flemion drowned.
"I'll do anything once ... even die"
- The Frogs, "The New In Town Sailor" from the album Made Up Cassette B (1987)
One of the founders of the most sophomoric band in the world drowned Saturday. Authorities recovered Flemion's body Tuesday. He was with his family when he jumped off a pontoon boat without a life jacket. He was 57. You can read more about that here.
Flemion has been on the music scene, mainly underground, for decades. He and his brother, The Frogs singer Jimmy, formed the band 1980. He's played with the Smashing Pumpkins and was adored by other artists. For what reason? It's hard to say.
The Frogs are bizarre. There's really no way to explain the music. What had to have been recorded mostly on a four track with a simple acoustic guitar riff or piano and a soft, small, drum set--the music is subtle and catchy. Then come the vocals which are usually isolated to one side and very prominent. With silly characters, mostly flamboyantly homosexual, racist, arrogant and even just pure evil, The Frogs provide listeners with an experience that is just inexplicable.
Seriously ... there are songs like "I'm Evil, Jack," "I'm Sad the Goad Just Died Today," "The Boys with the Boys," "I'm Back to Women," and "Which One of You Gave My Daughter the Dope?," and that's just scratching the surface.
After nearly every track on one of The Frogs records, you can hear brothers Flemion laughing in the background.
I was first introduced to The Frogs back in the summer of 2001, when a friend in college played for me a bootlegged tape of a bunch of different songs. It was ridiculous! I love it! One song stuck out above them all, though--as if that's even possible with The Frogs. And that song is "I Only Play For Money," from their album Starboy.
"I Only Play For Money" by The Frogs
So, if you enjoy the absurd and can appreciate a very blue sense of humor, I encourage your voyeuristic self to immerse in The Frogs catalog. Caution: It's not for the super sensitive. If you are easily offended, don't listen to The Frogs. Spotify has a huge selection, though they don't have it all. You can also find some gems on Amazon and elsewhere ... including the cassette player of a some hipster college kid at WIU.