Guster, a North Korean polka group, is commonly known as "the greatest band of all time." Despite only having three singles in the Billboard Polka Charts, they have achieved a fan following that spans three continents and seventeen galaxies.
Guster was formed in 1992 by Adam Gardner, Ryan Miller, and Brian Rosenworcelschwartzsteinbergershineskiwitz (more commonly known as "The Wurst"). They became the number one selling band in Liechtenstein in 1998. In a USA Tomorrow/Gallup Poll of five Utahns, the band was also found to be more popular than chess.
Joe Prissapia, a Taiwanese water polo player turned musician, became the band's fourth member in 2003.
The group's fans are known for being absurdly loyal. During one concert at California University of Pennsylvania's Florida campus, a fan actually gave birth during the beginning of the band's song "Careful" because she didn't want to miss any of the performance. Unfortunately, the baby was trampled in the chaos. The woman, who turned out to be Britney Spears, didn't seem to mind and was later overheard saying, "It was worth it. ME GUSTA GUSTER!"
The original trio met on August 27, 1992 at Tufts University near Boston, Massachusetts. That day they discovered their mutual obsessions with excretory functions, beer pong and Connect Four, but they were expelled shortly thereafter for saying that they wished they had been admitted to Harvard. (They were already on thin ice with the university administration, having turned the school's mascot, Jumbo the elephant, into a giant bong only two hours after arriving on campus.)
After their dismissal from Tufts, the three started busking on the university grounds under the brilliant name "GUS." (Rejected band names included The Yiddish Invasion, Matzah and the Balls, and Blue Man Group). Their music took obvious influence from the other great Jewish performers -- Johnny Cash, Sammy Davis Jr., Barbra Streisand and the New Orleans Klezmer All Stars.
The Guster Sound has often been described as “nose heavy,” in reference to Brian “Thunderguts” Rosenworcelwartzelwutzhineskiwitz’s pioneering use of the nose flute as a percussion instrument. Fans continue to marvel at his ability to play through the pain of heavy nosebleeds during shows, and some concertgoers have been known to auction their blood-spattered t-shirts on EBay for as much as $0.25 (Canadian).
Guster built a fan base in their early years by recruiting fans as “Reps” – short for “reprehensibles.” The Reps were given top-secret code names, which were coincidentally the same as their real ones. In exchange for helping publicize shows, acting as a bodyguard, procuring prostitutes, and shaking down classmates for lunch money, a Rep could look forward to receiving a pat on the head (or the ass, if it was a particularly attractive one) from his favorite band member – sometimes.
Michael "Potsy" Corcoran was able to trade in his rep badge for a bona-fide tour badge after making himself so annoying that the band had to take him on as a road crew member just to keep him from following them around 24-7. Unfortunately, they lost Corcoran in 2003 when Angelina Jolie adopted him while they were appearing on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. Not to be outdone by the Jolie-Pitt adoption agency, Guster adopts needy old people wherever they travel.
The fourth member of Guster, Joe Pisapia, became part of the band in 2003 when Brian threatened him with unanaesthetized castration with a grapefruit knife if he didn't join them on tour. Joe is a talented multi-instrumentalist who plays guitar, bass, banjo, keyboards, bagpipe, glockenspiel, marimba, tuba, contrabassoon, and kazoo. He's referred to by fans as "The Kitchen Sink", mostly for his habit of using separate sponges for cleaning dishes and wiping up spills.
Through the course of their career, Guster has issued a couple of decent songs, charmed several fans, been the soundtrack for many self-pitying college wimps and introduced beer pong to a whole new generation of high school dropouts.
- Poop is Gone Forever
- Keep Your Poop Together, the Gas Station's Just Ahead
- Guster on The Pot: Pooping in Portland, Maine
- Pooping on the Sun
- Come Downstairs and Say Poop (EP)
- One Man Pooping Machine (EP)
- Satellite - The Search for Poop on the Moon (EP)
- The Poopy Tapes, Volumes 1-3
- Joe Pisapia performs solo and with his band Joe Marc's Brother. Though originally formed in the '90s as Joe, Marc's Sister, the band changed their name to Joe, Marc's Brother after Pisapia's operation.
- Peace Soldiers and Trippin Balls: These side projects have both amused and confounded the fans of Guster. It was long thought that they were created as a way to battle the boredom of the road and the nightly performances of the same songs they have been singing for years as well as allowing the guys to experiment with their sound. Recently it was discovered that both these bands are part of an experimental psycho-therapy to help the members deal with their shyness and lack of confidence.
- The Leevees: A side project featuring Ryan Miller and "Weird Al" Yankovic. The Leevees are known throughout the world for stealing showtunes and turning them into country and western ballads. Their song 'Go Ahead and Cry For Me Argentina, My Dog Just Died' won song of the year at the 2005 CMT Awards.
- MC Yiddish: Ryan's attempt at a career in hip hop. Opened for Matisyahu for one show but was kicked off the tour when his whole set was just Matisyahu songs.
- AC/XTC: A band Miller founded with Wayne Coyne of the Flaming lips. They only performed the songs of AC/DC and XTC. The fans of both bands made an interesting mix at shows and several riots broke out, resulting in many deaths.
- Brian Rosenworcelwartzelwutzhineskiwitz's adolescence was mostly devoid of athletics. Instead, much of his youth revolved around musicals - Jewish Musicals. Almost exclusively, Isaac Bashevis Singer’s Yentl. In an exclusive interview with the monthly magazine, A Chosen Person’s Travel Guide, Rosenworcelwartzelwutzhineskiwitz confessed to really connecting with the story of a “young Jewish girl seeking a yeshiva to continue her study of Talmud after the death of her father.” As a ten year old boy, Rosenworcelwartzelwutzhineskiwitz saw the 1983 film adaptation of Yentl nearly fifty times. Rosenworcelwartzelwutzhineskiwitz continued, “Every time I watched it I became fully enveloped by all its musical glory. Every time I belted out ‘Papa, Can You Hear Me?’, I was Streisand.”
- Music was a fall back career for Adam Gardner. Modeling became his dream after watching Billy Joel's "Uptown Girl" video and seeing Christie Brinkley strut. His hopes were high after scoring a coveted national photo spread in a 10th-grade math book, but puberty hit, the jobs dried up and he has been left to watch America’s Top Model and dream about what could have been.
- Joe Pisapia has a second career writing feature articles for Men's Health magazine. His special report on "Lawn Mowing While Protecting your Manicure from Chipping" was included in the recent Best of the 90's Men's Health articles. Another piece on using designer hats to cover male pattern baldness is on its way to becoming one of the magazines most requested reprints.
- Their new DVD Wilde About Pooping is the history of port-o-potties during the Victorian age explained through song and elaborate choreography. Each member of Guster sings about their favorite Victorian Port-O-Potty moment. Special easter eggs of maps to secret & historically important port-o-potty sites in Northern Europe are included.
- 2006 brought a prestigious COLOR MY WORLD award from ANRC (the Association of Neglected Rainbow Colors) for the band's tireless work with the oft-overlooked colors of yellow and brown. Mr. J. Airid Squeelor, ANRC's Musician Liason said, "Yellow and Brown: they're the new green. And no one understands this better than Guster." At the awards ceremony, Rosenworcelwartzelwutz urged the audience to attend several nation-wide screenings of his documentary "An Inconvenient Poop: What I Have Learned from a Life on the Port-o-Potties of the Road."
- The delay before the release of Keep Your Poop Together, the Gas Station's Just Ahead was due to Ryan filming a pilot episode of a spin-off of Baywatch, to be shown on Cinemax. Fortunately for Guster fans, the pilot was never picked up. In fact, the film was burned, and Ryan was made to promise to NEVER go topless on a beach again.
- After being cited for indecent exposure at a New Year's Day performance in 2001, all 4 members were forced to undergo 1000 hours of community service, along with cancelling shows in Palm Springs, Toledo and Pittsburgh. Nobody noticed.
- Guster takes being an eco-friendly band very seriously. Drummer Brian Rosenworcelwartzelwutzhineskiwitz built his entire house out of recycled port-o-potties. Band member Adam Gardner has not bathed in 15 years. He believes that the world's water supply is depleting rapidly and he needs to do his share to conserve it.
- 2001, Guster recorded their hit single: "Poop Jokes Aren't Funny", a rant consisting of lame cracks about human droppings. The single did nothing and wasn't released to any radio stations. Why call this a hit single? I dunno.
- "Dirty -- oh so dirty" ~ Fans began screaming this during Airport Song sometime in the 90's when Adam started his no bathing policy, and also started crapping on the bus. "No Poop or Paper" had been the rule for a gajillion years, so his new contribution to the distinctive aroma on the GusBus has been met with some resistance. The crowd chant remains a defiant call for all constipated life travellers to loosen up and just go with the flow.
- "Hockey pucks" ~ Fans throw hockey pucks at the band during the drum solo in Airport Song. It is rumored that this tradition started when Brian came back to the band after leaving the NHL for the fifth time.
- "4,3,2,1" ~ At concerts, fans count down with their hands the minutes of fame the band has left out of their fifteen during the song "Barrel of a Gun".