Who was Jeff Kelly and what did he contribute to music?

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Jeff Kelly is a song writer, guitarist and singer who fell in love with the Beatles when he was a schoolboy and decided after college that he wanted to be a musician and, as a result, has spent his life writing and recording--often on home-equipment--music, sometimes alone and sometime with fellow musicians, especially friend Joe Ross. Together in 1983 they began the band called Green Pajamas. What Kelly contributed to music is a little more difficult to say because he works within a very narrow genre and has a very limited (though enthusiastic) following. One might say that one contribution to music was the tangible inspiration for others that Kelly and Green Pajama provide by demonstrating that small scale efforts in the musical arts (or, presumably, other arts) counts and can build satisfaction and success.

Jeff Kelly is a native and president resident of Seattle, Washington, where he lived when his elder sister was immersing herself in the sounds of the rock and roll sensation from England, the Beatles. Jeff found his inspiration to play music in the Beatles' later album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band and in the song "When I'm 64," in which he could hear the stereophonic separation of sound on his sister's phonograph player when the singers' voices were directed through one speaker while the instrumentals were directed through the second speaker. Learning guitar from his father and writing his own compositions while still in grade school, Jeff's mature lyrics through his adult years have been characterized as describing both the commonplace and the sensational of life, covering topics from vampires to nuns to afternoon strolls. One of his most famous Green Pajama songs, which brought him some notice when covered (remade) by two other groups, is about "Kim the Waitress."

According to the description by Rolling Stone's David Fricke, the music genre Kelly performs in and writes for is acid pop, or psychedelic pop. Psychedelic pop of the 1980s, appearing originally in Los Angeles, California, is called the Paisley Underground because it relies on and is rooted in various elements of psychedelic sound traditions of the original 1960s "acid music." Other Paisley Underground bands that existed at the time of Green Pajamas' founding were:

  • Rain Parade
  • Dream Syndicate
  • Bangles
  • Long Ryders
  • Green on Red
  • Three O'Clock

Kelly, on guitar and vocals, and Joe Ross, on bass and vocals, and Karl Wilhelm whom Ross recruited, on drums, were the three founding members of Green Pajamas. Kelly had long made home recordings of his songs on recording equipment...

(The entire section contains 831 words.)

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