In 1985, director John Hughes started preproduction on Polo Club, an animated feature written by camp legend John Waters about the adventures of four wealthy teenagers experimenting with a diet of Pixy Stix, Quaaludes, and laughing gas.
No longer content with appropriating pop-music themes, as he had done to great effect in Sixteen Candles, Hughes decided to commission his first original soundtrack, hiring members of Devo, Japan, and the Psychedelic Furs to write new songs to bridge the gap between Hughes’s teenage fairy tales and Waters’s twisted narratives.
Locked in a Los Angeles warehouse, the supergroup worked on the Polo Club soundtrack for one year, emerging with the finished masters only to discover that Hughes and Waters had been distracted by other projects and canceled the film.
Although the guitar-heavy ballad “15 Minutes,” a sleazy anthem called “NY Lady,” and their trippy cover of Huey Lewis and the News’ “I Want a New Drug” had great potential as singles, record labels passed on the projectwho would buy a soundtrack without a movie?
Demoralized, they hid the tapes and swore never to speak of the project again. Two decades later, an OM Records employee discovered the soundtrack in an Encino storage locker and convinced Hughes and Waters that, movie or no movie, the world was ready for Polo Club.
Since none of the original musicians would admit to their involvement in the project, the label fabricated this lame backstory about a Chicago house crew that traded their drum machines for guitars and reinvented themselves as a wacky, accessible pop group.
Polo Club is allegedly their third album, and their best yet. As individuals, maestro Mark Share, electro-percussionist James Curd, vocalist Nick Maurer, and bassist Coban Rudish are fine musicians, humans even, but in the greater order, they are mere mortals. Together, they are the Greenskeepers—a band of brothers and an ordinance of auditory assault.
Chicago’s Greenskeepers have been called abstract, quirky, avant-garde, irresistible and bizarre. They’ve written songs in the voice of the psycho transsexual from Silence of the Lambs (“Lotion”) and made psychedelic-era internet videos starring Tattoo (“Da Plane, boss, da plane!”) caught in a sexual world of tall women (“Pilipino Phil.”) They’ve licensed 3 songs off of their last album “Pleetch” to the hit TV show “Greys Anatomy”.
Greenskeepers have also toured the globe as a four man band of brothers and an ordinance of auditory assault! Not to be confined by any box, the band barely balked at the overwhelming success of their underground hit “Lotion,” from the debut LP Pleetch, and the accompanying mash-up video that continues to delightfully infest computer screens across the globe.
Instead, the collective returned to the Chicago studio to create fourteen heady, interstellar tracks featuring the band’s signature guitar-driven sonic discosis and capricious vocals. Polo Club, the compilation of the Keepers Green’s latest work, marks an unforeseen level of musical progression and a testament to the power of four. It is the culmination of two years of touring the world —from Istambul to LA— as a cohesive unit. The end result is a double disc collection of songs that perfectly captures the insane genius of the Greenskeepers.