Me First and The Gimme Gimmes - Ruin Jonny's Bar Mitzvah (Cover Artwork)

Me First and The Gimme Gimmes

Me First and The Gimme Gimmes: Ruin Jonny's Bar MitzvahRuin Jonny's Bar Mitzvah (2004)
Fat Wreck Chords

Reviewer Rating: 3.5
User Rating:

Contributed by: adamAdam
(others by this writer | submit your own)

This needs no introduction as you know the rules of the game by this point. Members of The Swingin' Utters, NOFX, Foo Fighters and Lagwagon don their finest attire, drink a little too much and crank out skate-punk covers of just about everything. It's fun and silly and doesn't have much replay value.
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This needs no introduction as you know the rules of the game by this point. Members of The Swingin' Utters, NOFX, Foo Fighters and Lagwagon don their finest attire, drink a little too much and crank out skate-punk covers of just about everything. It's fun and silly and doesn't have much replay value, but it's always weirdly charming to hear members of such closely followed bands just fucking around.

This time it's a little different in that Ruin Jonny's Bar Mitzvah is live, recorded at (you guessed it) little Jonny's passage into manhood. The live setting actually works in the record's favour, as the Gimme Gimmes' shtick is much more amusing on the fly with the banter and screw ups that can only come from a group of grown men in powder blue suits as they take the piss out of the classics. Nowhere is this more evident than in the sloppy, bungled opening of "Stairway To Heaven" or the point when they botch "Strawberry Fields Forever" and have to start over.

This is a weird set however, even for the Gimme Gimmes. There's no theme or central era of music in their sights for this run, which is quite evident as we jump from Zeppelin to Styx to "O Sole Mio" to Willie Nelson to "Auld Lang Syne." The general weirdness of the premise isn't lost on the band, as Spike, between REO Speedwagon, a rim shot joke, and the Carpenters, comments "I think I speak for everyone when I say that this is one of the most awkward moments of my career."

The Gimmes are at their best during their renditions of Billy Joel and Blondie. "The Longest Time" and "Heart Of Glass" translate seamlessly into fun little pop-punk songs, particularly the latter. A Deb Harry tune and "Hava Nagila" on one disc: All you ever needed. Speaking of the traditional Hebrew tune, it features a few choice placements of the main riff from The Offspring's "Come Out And Play." Seriously. It's hilarious because it's absurd. Indeed, so is the following "Christmas Arrangement" of "Hava Nagila" to the tune of "Feliz Navidad."

This is funnier than I usually find the Gimme Gimmes on record, mainly because there's situation involved and that context makes it all the more amusing. Eric Cartman may still hold the award for definitive performance of "Come Sail Away," but that's honestly a hard act to follow.

So mazel tov Jonny, I doubt you'll forget this any time soon.


People who liked this also liked:
Less Than Jake - AnthemOperation Ivy - Operation IvyThe Loved Ones - Keep Your HeartBouncing Souls - The Gold RecordAgainst Me! - As The Eternal CowboyTeenage Bottlerocket - TotalDescendents - Cool To Be YouRise Against - Revolutions Per MinuteLagwagon - HossNOFX - Punk In Drublic

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
domotime3 (January 29, 2014)

funniest fucking album

brookslikesmusics (June 19, 2012)

Good review... he's my thoughts.

This album really captures the awkwardness and ridiculousness of their performance at Jonny's bar mitzvah. As usual Mike is sarcastic and irreverent in his douche-clown routine that we all know/love from NOFX. Now he has a new band to banter with, and the guys seem to relish the hokeyness of the entire affair.

Easily my favorite release from Me First....

Anonymous (October 16, 2006)

on the lock up which was a punk radio show on radio 1 ages ago there was about half an hour of me first and the gimmie gimmies live and at the begingin of every song they introduced it saying this next ones a cover

blade-runner (September 21, 2005)

This is my favorite Me First Cd. I was surprised to hear the riff from "Kids of The Black Hole" in the song "Superstar".

Pleasantly surprised.

Fun, Fun, Fun.

Anonymous (August 13, 2005)

Sorry, this is the rating I meant to give!

Anonymous (August 13, 2005)

God I love this band! Great record, the Gimmes know how to put on a good show. The jokes and the guys shouting at each other only makes it more fun. Buy this record!

Anonymous (June 29, 2005)

i love this punk rock group...hey, tin i love you by ronald...hahahaha!

Anonymous (April 16, 2005)

o por dios .... soy mara ... de argentina .... me first and the gimme gimmes es lo mejor del punk .... vengan a mi casa ...queda en rosario (cordoba 3689) ...........................son lo mejor ... los amo ...

los amooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo fat

Anonymous (April 2, 2005)

Me first and the gimmie gimmies need to make a remake of kiss me by six pence non the richer

Anonymous (January 4, 2005)

Eurgh... what I wouldn't give to be rich, jewish, and not female... or just to be johnny...

Anonymous (November 17, 2004)

When he said it was the most awkward moment of his life, wasn't he talking about the fact that he had just called Johnny Ronny?
I loved the whole thing at any rate. Hate if you want, call it a dead horse. It is still a great diversion from all the other crap out now-a-days.

Anonymous (October 29, 2004)

Of course it was awkward but i think that is the whole p0int of the cd i mean think about it why else would they do a live cd at a bar mitzvah with a bunch of old jews if not to make us laugh spike even says before he starts one of the song that it was one of the most awkward moments of his caeer. Before one of the songs when mike is screaming that is there problem not ours you can hear a guy in the crowd screaming let's go! so anyways yes it was awkward but that had to be on purpose good cd not their best but good and the funniest they've made hands down

IrishRed (October 29, 2004)

Not sure about this album. Love the band and the idea, but this recording is the MOST awkward live album ever. You can almost hear the crowd (Johnny‚??s grandparents) standing around with their arms crossed. Still, what else would you expect from this group.

Anonymous (October 28, 2004)

"hey guys wouldnt it be funny if we took a pop song, sped up the beat, and played it with power chords. "

"bro, that would be so funny and so punk rock. Fuck yeah, bro!"

"yeah, since its such a good idea we should beat a dead horse that wasnt even our original idea and put out 5 albums of this crap. "

Anonymous (October 27, 2004)

i have a hug ass problem. theres this really hot guy i asked to the dance he said "no, i cant i already have a gf"
it sucked so bad to hear that, and now the dance is tomorro and i heard he broke up w/his gf so now everyones all just ask him as friends. I don't know if i should or not. i mean he already said no, but he's so funny and so hot! and i really want to go w/him but if i ask again i'm gonna look desperate. what should i do? mike if ur reading this, please go to the dance w/me, i'm not as bad as that wierd girl sarah in drama! im 100% better than her! i was in english w/mike and he saved his face as the wallpaper it was so hilarious, but he got a half hour detention. i bet johnny got a date to his bar mitsva!

Anonymous (October 27, 2004)

Let's all beat the shit out of johnny, lucky bastard not only had me first play his damn birthday but they made a cd there and to top it all off the little fuck got to bang on the skins with them and get on the fucking cd.

Anonymous (October 27, 2004)

This cd is pure hilarity and you have to give them props because it's not the normal live record, it is all new stuff with exception of the hidden tracks which by the way the funniest thing on this whole damn thing was when the old frenchman sang seasons in the sun-good cd

Anonymous (October 26, 2004)

this is classic for me . you wannabe oi teenies wouldnt understand .

youre too busey trying to be oldschool and oi . your loss ....

soulbleed (October 26, 2004)

i couldn't stand this record at all, and i've loved everything this band has done up until now.

flummo (October 25, 2004)

Yeah, I thought this would be a much better DVD too, since that video's so funny.

CallingLondon (October 25, 2004)

"I was at this Bar Mitzvah. When I went in the bathroom to tinkle, that dude from the foo fighters was in the bathroom. His dick was huge. It was a killer show to say the least."


jacobe (October 25, 2004)

"Just want everyone to remember that there are thousands of people all over the world.."

best line. It just stops before getting anywhere you think it will go.

Anonymous (October 25, 2004)

this would've made a much better dvd

Anonymous (October 25, 2004)

I was at this Bar Mitzvah. When I went in the bathroom to tinkle, that dude from the foo fighters was in the bathroom. His dick was huge. It was a killer show to say the least.

Anonymous (October 24, 2004)

The enhanced video on the CD was shot by the same Kung Fu Records crew who release The Show Must Go Off!! DVD's. Quality counts!

TheFeesh (October 24, 2004)

I don't really like their latest full length "Take a Break" that much but this album kicks so much ass.

inagreendase (October 24, 2004)

The liner notes are awesome as well.

CallingLondon (October 23, 2004)

it's alright. not as clever as their regular albums, and that cover of sloop john b is terrible. their normal version of it is one of my favorites. it's definitely got funny parts and amused me quite well, but it's not their best output. i'd download it.

Anonymous (October 23, 2004)

I found it entertaining, but not somethnig I'll replay nor use for mix CDs. It had its moments of hillarity though.

Anonymous (October 23, 2004)

Even the jokes you mentioned are bad and forced, let alone the music and the whole situation. This album is so embarrassing.

KB (October 23, 2004)

Pure awesomeness. Great banter includes:

Fat Mike saying "Get ready for the worst time of your life" before they start playing.

The Gimmie Gimmies thanking themselves for getting up so early.

"Some people say we're the best band in the world. What do you think of that Mike?"

"What a coincidence because we have dozens of fans.."
"All over the world....dozens..."

Plus how can you go wrong with punk covers of Stairway to Heaven, Heart of Glass, Strawberry Fields Forever, and The Longest Time. People are saying this sucks cause they constantly fuck up, but I think it only makes it funnier. I gotta say when Mike started The Longest Time with the opening lines to Suspect Device I almost shat myself.

Notable mention: In the accompanying video, when it pans to some old hag covering her ears in disgust. Pure awesomeness...

sprainedsoul (October 23, 2004)

"When did punk rock become so safe, when did the scene become a joke / The kids who used to live for beer and speed now want their fries and coke"


Regardless, I dig this record. Gimmes are only about fun, and it's very evident they're having lots of it on this record. I never went to a Bar Mitzvah when I was a kid, but I guarantee Jonny Wexler is officially the coolest kid at school after this relase.

The 8 mins of video footage alone are worth the price of this CD. Priceless.

Anonymous (October 23, 2004)


Anonymous (October 23, 2004)

When did punk rock become so safe, when did the scene become a joke / The kids who used to live for beer and speed now want their fries and coke

Anonymous (October 23, 2004)

Why the hell won't Fat Wreck allow us to pre-order CDs? Do I have to wait until Nov. 2 to order Exile In Oblivion from their site? (I'm already aware that I can do so at's Strung Out site, it's just that I'm including some other records on my Fat order.)


Anonymous (October 23, 2004)

With no question, their worst CD. Just added it to my collection and cant say I like another album by them less. Too much meaningless dialogue that gets old fast. Of course, I'll still end up listening to it a bunch...

CrankWillDestroy (October 23, 2004)

(2 comments down)

Anonymous (October 23, 2004)

"I laughed when they used Adolescents "Kids Of The Black Hole" riff for the cover of "Superstar." It‚??s the most obvious lift but I didn‚??t see anyone mention it yet."

so what other little parts from old punk songs do they use on this cd?

CrankWillDestroy (October 22, 2004)

'Me First continues to be my parents' favorite band. Weird.'

Yea, I put on a MFATGG disc during a roadtrip and my mom like it, too.

Not-To-Regret (October 22, 2004)

This CD's great, but everyone knows what to expect from the gimme gimmes.

Big_Guy (October 22, 2004)

great review

Anonymous (October 22, 2004)

The CD comes with about 8 minutes of video footage on it of the last couple songs.

- Walter Sobchak

djx (October 22, 2004)

It was cool that Jonny played drums on the last hidden song. Not too bad.

gladimnotemo (October 22, 2004)

So, shoud I get the LP or the CD, which comes with...video footage? How much is on it? And does anything come with the LP?

swingline (October 22, 2004)

you know who i miss? jive jones.

Anonymous (October 22, 2004)

I got this for a present - it's alright - some parts are good, some are boring

Anonymous (October 22, 2004)

Truepunk.com has a new interview up with Spike Slawson talking about Me First and the Swingin' Utters:

Anonymous (October 22, 2004)

Nice review, Adam... first time in a while I've actually laughed while reading a review on the site.

greg0rb (October 22, 2004)

My mom loves these guys too... funny. My favorite part is Delta Dawn when they keep bumping the key up and up until Spike is in pain and cuts them off. "Would you guys mind telling me when we're gonna do key jumps?!" Cape- "I don't know what you're complaining about, that was only like 4 modulations." Pure hilarity.

Mr_Pink (October 22, 2004)

I wouldn't say that the tracklist is all that obscure, but this is definitely the weakest Me First release. At a show, the mistakes and goofy banter add to the "hey, we're having a party" atmosphere. It doesn't translate that well to cd. But I don't much like live albums anyway, so your results may vary.
The kid in the background yelling "PUNK ROCK!" was kinda funny though.

TheNightProwler (October 22, 2004)

It's a decent CD but I'd say its more in the 3 star range due to them fucking up so much & having a really obscure song selection put together. I like it when they stick to one music genera for a CD.

I laughed when they used Adolescents "Kids Of The Black Hole" riff for the cover of "Superstar." It‚??s the most obvious lift but I didn‚??t see anyone mention it yet.

CallingLondon (October 22, 2004)

wiat, so, some kid got me first to play his bar-mitzvah? can i go back in time and have them play mine too?

punkpirate (October 22, 2004)

Another cool thing is they start with Stiff Little Fingers' Suspect Device at the beging of The Longest Time.

poopypants (October 22, 2004)

My mom loves me first too!

TheMarc (October 22, 2004)

The video footage makes this cd! And with this release, Me First continues to be my parents' favorite band. Weird.

Anonymous (October 22, 2004)

This review is right on. The Enhacned Cd video of them playing the Bar Mitzvah is pretty solid as well.

- Walter Sobchak

Anonymous (October 22, 2004)

Funny cd. Seasons in the sun is the highlight.

poopypants (October 22, 2004)

i just said the same thing twice almost and forgot i already posted on here. i am dumb as shit


poopypants (October 22, 2004)

these guys remember when music was fun.

poopypants (October 22, 2004)

these guys know how to have fun. God bless the Caper.

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