10 Things You Didn’t Know About Parker Jacobs and the Aquabats

Here’s a story I wrote about one of my favorite artists for KCET’s Artbound: Parker Jacobs:

From the beginning, Parker Jacobs’ life has been one roundabout path to fame after another. I like to think of him as the most influential Huntington Beach artist that you’ve never heard of. In fact, Jacobs has been quietly impacting the American skate-pop-punk aesthetic since 1993, when GOGO13, the ska band Jacobs formed in his garage so impressed his older brother Christian that he promptly went out and formed the Aquabats.

1. “I got into art because I had really poor vision as a kid — I still do,” he says. “But back then being visually stimulated was really important because of my bad eyesight, and drawing was my outlet and my way to express myself.”
2. As a child actor, Parker Jacobs was in five episodes of “The Wonder Years.” “I even had a catch phrase: ‘UNBELIEVABLE!'”
3. The Aquabats once sold live tarantulas as merch.
4. The Aquabats were dropped by their record label because the record label (AKA Goldenvoice) lost money on the first two Coachella Arts and Music Festivals. Reportedly (from a friend who once interviewed Paul Tollett, the founder of Goldenvoice), the Aquabats is the only band that still makes Tollett starstruck after all these years.
5. Aquabats lead singer Christian Jacobs told Parker that Yo Gabba Gabba would be “a way to get a company to fund a really good Aquabat monster costume, because we were never happy with our monster costumes. So we created this universe,”
6. Christian Jacobs is blind in one eye, so he kind of identified with this cyclops — who eventually became Muno, a cyclops Christian started drawing in the 1980s. Muno was the first Aquabats villain.
7. Yo Gabba Gabba is not influenced by drugs. WHAT, REALLY? Parker says, “I’ve never done anything — I’ve never even drunk coffee! But looking back when I watch it, I go, ‘That show is kinda weird.'”
8. Gogo13, Parker’s band, wrote our favorite YGG song.

9. Parker said, “I’m comfortable being compared to my older brother … maybe he’s not as comfortable being compared to anyone!”
10. Parker Jacobs is the second cousin of the guitarist of Maroon 5 … I found this out on Twitter. WHO WOULD’VE THOUGHT?!

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