|Date of Birth||25 September 1970, New Hope, Pennsylvania, USA|
|Birth Name||Mickey Melchiondo|
|Height||5' 11" (1.8 m)|
Mini Bio (1)
Mickey Melchiondo (Dean Ween) was born on September 25, 1970. He grew up listening to everything from the Beatles to Parliament/Funkadelic to Leonard Cohen to Prince to the Ramones to Laurie Andersen. He met Aaron Freeman in a junior high school typing class in their hometown of New Hope, Pennsylvania, and although the two did not get along at first, they soon found they were soul brothers and kindred spirits in their love for music. Upon realizing this, they formed a band right then and there in class, typing up the names of the yet-to-be-written songs they thought would comprise their first album. They also concocted a ridiculously perfect tale about a demon god named "Boognish" who appeared to them outside their classroom, offering them scepters of wealth and power in exchange for spreading the word of Him.
The two were soon spending all of their time in Melchiondo's bedroom, Melchiondo banging out songs on guitars tuned to open chords and Freeman wailing out the good word of the Boognish into a cheap microphone. Being big Ramones fans, they felt that they should share a common surname, and that is where the pseudonyms Dean (Melchiondo) and Gene (Freeman) Ween came from. Within a few years, the two found themselves opening for underground favorites like the Butthole Surfers and Henry Rollins.
Sometime in 1989, Ween opened for the band Skunk in a basement, which happened to be attended by a Twin/Tone Records scout, who offered Ween a record deal. The brothers in music immediately dropped out of community college and recorded their sprawling debut record, GodWeenSatan - The Oneness (1990) with Andrew Weiss (of Rollins Band). The record showcased Ween's broad musical range - gospel, reggae, punk, soul, funk, flamenco, psychedelic, folk, all warped in the way Ween would become notorious for. A tour of Holland followed, and soon Ween had enough buzz to make a fly jealous. A move to the label Shimmydisc produced the dark, lo-fi classic, The Pod, named after the apartment the two lived in while they recorded the material on their Tascam 4-track. The Pod was located on a horse farm. Through much of the time spent living and recording in The Pod, Melchiondo was immobile on the couch of the apartment with mononucleosis. The legend that the two inhaled several cans of Scotchguard during this time period (as the liner notes to The Pod say) is untrue. The band fabricated that as a joke and later regretted it when diehard fans began huffing Scotchguard.
Their rising underground status soon had Elektra Records knocking on the door of their little Pod, and by 1992, the duo had a major label record entitled Pure Guava, which was still all material from their time spent in The Pod, though the songs and mood on Guava were noticeably more lively and less dark than it's predecessor. They scored a cult hit song "Push Th' Little Daisies," which the two performed on MTV's Spring Break.
Up to this point, Ween's records had sounded quite lo-fi. The two felt it was time to move on up, and used the money from Pure Guava's success to build a proper studio (instead of buying expensive cars) and record 1994's very well-received Chocolate and Cheese, though both Melchiondo and Freeman did not really like the quality of the recording. Melchiondo had said that it sounded too much like "glass". The two were also disappointed that Elektra rejected their idea to have a "gay sailor" theme on the album cover and opted instead to have the torso of a shapely girl sporting a Boognish belt grace the cover; the undeniable eye-catcher that this cover was likely enhanced the CD's popularity, and to this day it remains the best-selling Ween album. Ween never even got to meet the girl, which bummed them out a bit.
Around the same time as the recording of Chocolate and Cheese, Adam Bernstein, who had directed Ween's Push Th' Little Daisies video, was directing the Saturday Night Live-based film It's Pat starring Julia Sweeney, and got Ween to play the band in the film. It was also around this time that Melchiondo started up a side project with his friend Guy Heller called the Moistboyz. In typical common surname fashion, Melchiondo dubbed himself Mickey Moist and Heller took the name Dickie Moist. The Moistboyz music was, for the most part, a hybrid of metal and punk while the lyrics focused on overtly offensive humor blended with a strange form of social commentary.
In late 1995, Melchiondo and Freeman found themselves in Nashville, recording an album of all the country tunes they had written over the years with the help of Charlie McCoy, Buddy Harmann, and many other big names in Nashville. Not far off in time from the Nashville sessions, Ween also rented a house on a beach and began recording oceanic songs in 3/4 time and drinking lots of beer. Resulting from these two drastically different conditions were 1996's 12 Golden Country Greats and 1997's The Mollusk.
It was also in 1996 that Melchiondo married longtime girlfriend Michelle Ellis (whom he met when she pulled up in her pickup truck at his job pumping gas at a Mobile Station back in New Hope in the early 90's). Ween's final release of the century was a double disc of live material called Paintin' the Town Brown. In mid-1999, and then in May of 2000 they released their most accessible batch of pop songs on White Pepper, very Beatlesque in the best way possible. By this point, the two were a cult phenomenon with more than their share of fans at both shows and online. The Fox network had the Ween bros. do all of the music for their show Grounded For Life and a web based station called Ween Radio allowed fans to make requests from a selection of over 1,500 recordings of Ween songs.
2003 saw the release of 'quebec', Ween's 8th studio album, and the strangest, most avant-garde cornucopia of bizarro since the days of The Pod and Pure Guava, only this time well-recorded and more mature, if only because quebec contains far less profanity than early Ween records.
The group has always resented being labeled as a novelty act and have stressed in many interviews that just because their music has humor does not mean it's a joke. The fact that people think they are a parody of different musical styles hurts them deeply.
Melchiondo still keeps in close touch with all the Ween fans online by commandeering the bands official website and posting on the newsgroups and visiting the Ween chatrooms. He and his wife were blessed with a baby boy in December of 2000. He is also a huge sports fan, and continues to collect sports cards, play whiffle ball, and golf on a regular basis, and also knows quite a bit about cars.
- IMDb Mini Biography By: p. cook
|Michelle Ellis||(1996 - present) (1 child)|
|Ellen Schmidt||(1996 - present)|