“I’m just walking down the street minding my own business, construction worker says ‘Nice tits’...”
Chia Pet were the in-house rock group of Sassy magazine, but they weren’t all that prolific. The group was led by Sassy’s “rock and roll” editor Christina Kelly, Kelly’s then-husband Bobby Weeks, her then-sister-in-law (and fellow Sassy writer) Jessica Vitkus Weeks on bass and Mary Ann Marshall (another Sassy writer) on drums. Karen Catchpole was a second vocalist and Sassy’s editor in chief Jane Pratt contributed some wonderfully scratchy violin. They sounded a bit like The Raincoats, but if they were from Brooklyn and… sassier.
“Do I look like I’m asking for it?”
Chia Pet released “Hey Baby” in 1992, a 7” single (in both white and pink vinyl) and CD single via Koko Pop, producer Kramer‘s less difficult label (compared to his decidedly more eccentric Shimmy Disc imprint) and recorded in his Noise NJ studio. There were three original songs on that, but the only other thing they ever released was a wonderfully bored take on the Human League’s “Don’t You Want Me” that appeared on a CD compilation called Freedom of Choice: Yesterday’s New Wave Hits Played by Today’s Stars, a Planned Parenthood fundraiser where “today’s” groups like Sonic Youth, The Muffs, Redd Kross and Mudhoney covered really obvious New Wave ditties. For a while there was a dispute over the Chia Pet name with a group from Chicago, but since both groups had swiped the name from the “as seen on TV” novelty planter, neither could do much about it.
“I’m just trying to be a girl!”
“Sassiest Boy in America” Ian Svenonius, Jane Pratt and Christina Kelly
“Hey Baby” was “Single Of The Week” simultaneously in the NME and Melody Maker but has slipped through the cracks of musical history. This song should be way better known than it is... Unfairly obscure, “Hey Baby” should properly be considered an iconic pop culture treasure…
“Don’t You Want Me” from Freedom of Choice: Yesterday’s New Wave Hits Played by Today’s Stars