Dennis Flemion of Milwaukee duo The Frogs drowned over the weekend in Racine, Wisconsin’s Wind Lake. He was 57.
Highly respected among fellow rockers like Kurt Cobain, Eddie Vedder and Billy Corgan, Flemion was an outrageous performer, singer, songwriter and artist. While never achieving the popularity of the bands he influenced and inspired, his work with his brother in The Frogs will long be remembered for its provocative humor, style and devilishly witty punk rock attitude.
Here’s a piece I wrote for Dangerous Minds two years ago on the fabulous Frogs:
Love them or loathe them, The Frogs, brothers Jimmy and Dennis Flemion, are undeniably one of the most outrageously tasteless bands in the annals of rock and roll. While no group will ever equal the exalted standard of rock depravity set by G.G. Allin, The Frogs have definitely earned a spot near the throne.
The Frogs are USDA grain fed rock and roll dadaists, improvising their songs and recording them on the fly in their home studio,utilizing genres as disparate as Appalachian ballads and glam rock to satirize pop culture and subvert sacred cows. They pissed off some of the humorless members of the Gay community (you know who you are) with their hilariously insincere celebration of homo love, It’s Only Right And Natural (1988), which featured campfire singalongs like “I Don’t Care If U Disrespect Me (Just So You Love Me),” ” Been A Month Since I Had A Man and “Hot Cock Annie.” And when The Frogs brought their record label, Homestead, the uber politically incorrect Racially Yours (2000), the label refused to release it even though the album had sure fire hits (in an alternate universe) like “Darkmeat 4 Sale” and “Two Blacks Don’t Make A White.” It seems record execs are just too fucking dumb to understand satire. The Frogs are The Fugs for a new generation - The Frugs. Nothing, and I mean nothing, is off limits for their deliriously weird and often very funny vamps, particularly sex (of all sorts), drugs and rock and roll, with The Frogs themselves often the butt of their own jokes.
The Frogs actually did release an album that was radio friendly, a sardonic piss-take on rock stars called Star Job, which contains two of the best rock songs of the past 15 years: “I Only Play 4 Money” and “Weird On The Avenue.”
Dennis, Kurt and Jimmy..
Unfortunately, most of The Frogs videos on the Internet are shitty quality and really don’t do the brothers justice. Having seen the band live, I know what they’re capable of. Yes, they could be sloppy, but they were often awe-inspiringly good. I’ve put together some of the best videos I could find, including clips from their never released long film Toy Porno.
And here’s a taste of the magic that is Starjob: The Frogs and Eddie Vedder performing I Only Play 4 Money at the Regal Theater in Chicago, Illinois on 03/13/1994.
With Sebastian Bach!
The opening track of “My Daughter The Broad,” a masterpiece of bad taste and hilarity.