Yo, I’m all jazzed up here and I gotta share: I just read the coolest article in the raddest online zine ever. I’m talking about “14 Year Old Girls: The Original Nintendo Punks” in VGA Zine. The writer behind all this, Jake Spencer, did an outstanding job resurrecting one of the most explosively energetic cult L.A. bands of this century—14 Year Old Girls.
If you are like, wait wait, I know that name! Well duh that’s because you probably thrashed your face off to this iconic band way back in 2007 at Pehrspace when 14YOG (yeah we’re gonna abbreviate) marched at the front of the insanity parade that was the Friends In Other Dimensions movie production.
These are memorable individuals: 14YOG bassist Andrew “El Charro Blanco” Montejo, guitarists Bill “Smelly” Gray and Jon “Lord Frownly Pants” Gray, co-singers Sean “El Halfy” Velasco and Kim “Kimbot” Markel, and drummer Mike “Wheels” Hartman. I mean, you couldn’t miss ’em back in the day—they were bouncing off the ceiling with uncontainable energy. And, oh yeah, Bill and Jon were in another iconic band you may remember The Mae Shi—and that band’s subsequent morph/offshoot, Signals—among many more like Holi Buffaglow etc. etc. Andrew was in a bunch of bands too like The Munchers and Team Andrew. All these fine players are dedicated underground music makers from the classic L.A. D.I.Y. early Oughts era. All of them star in Friends In Other Dimensions, coming later this year.
Now, thanks to the incredible oral history/video game detective story from Mr. Spencer and VGA Zine, 14 Year Old Girls are back! And there’s an exclusive movie preview too (keep reading)…
That’s because, Friends In Other Dimensions is on its way to screen near you, get this, fourteen years after it was filmed. Hmmm you don’t have to be a numerologist to be noticing something special there.
I learned a lot from Jake Spencer’s piece—and I thought I knew everything about this band after filming a movie with them. Check it out:
Fourteen incredible facts about the 14 year Old Girls thanks to VGA Zine:
- 14 Year Old Girls’ members are mainly from Santa Clarita, California; “You know Edward Scissorhands, in the beginning, those cookie-cutter houses? It was like that. A Stepford Wives kind of suburb,” says singer Sean.
- The band’s other singer, Kim, met Sean one summer while they were both working at Six Flags Magic Mountain.
- The group started to play a friend’s backyard birthday party; average age—16!
- 14YOG initially covered Blink-182 and Cure jams.
- Showing an early flare for self-promotion, the band had t-shirts before they had original songs.
- Members Sean and Andrew were huge fans of punk/ska band, The Aquabats, even going as far as joining their official fan club, the “Aquacadets”—”I still remember my Aquacadet number was 280,” says Andrew.
- Bill and Jon Gray are cousins, and both were homeschooled.
- Gaming industry insiders invented a new genre for 14 Year Old Girls— “Nintendo Punk”
- The nascent band got their big break when they were featured alongside the latest gaming accessories in GamePro magazine’s 2003 holiday gift guide (see above).
- Besides repping their favorite old school video games, 14YOG were early participants on the Homocore scene as well.
- Maximum Rocknroll reviewer George Tabb (from the band Furious George) called 14YOG “the worst thing he had ever heard in his life”!
- In 2004, 14YOG was broadcast worldwide on gaming cable channel G4’s Xplay, jamming live from a studio in San Diego—and their website blew up as new fans modemed in to see what they were all about!
- That wasn’t the 14 Year Old Girls final TV appearance—they were also interviewed on TechTV’s The Screen Savers.
- Singer Sean went on to become a legit big time video game developer, but I won’t spoil it all there’s lots more to read—but you gotta see this first:
From the YouTube credits:
After fourteen years, the 14 Year Old Girls emerge from their time warp to jam with the best bands in the universe via a mysterious star gate called Pehrspace in the upcoming movie FRIENDS IN OTHER DIMENSIONS—materializing Fall 2021!
This epic feature-length science fiction / musical adventure mashes the D.I.Y. sounds of the vibrant Los Angeles underground circa 2007 with a handmade aesthetic reminiscent of Michel Gondry in his prime.
Featuring stars of the L.A. scene: 14 Year Old Girls, Abe Vigoda, Bon Voyage, Ema & The Ghosts, Foot Village, HEALTH, I.E., Juiceboxxx, Kyle Mabson, The Mae Shi, Robin Williams On Fire, Ty Segall, Tik//tik, John Thill, Weekend Warrior, Widow Babies & more…