Thursday, June 3, 2010

Mello Yello Commercial 1983

Mello Yello Commercial 1983

Back in 1983, when we were flying high, the Coca-Cola Company hired the Greg Kihn Band to do a series of Mello Yello TV commercials. One of them was inspired by Jeopardy- it had the same music with new lyrics which I still remember to this day- imagine these words sung to the melody of Jeopardy-
Mello Yello to the rescue, Mello Yello to the rescue, Mello Yello to the rescue, Drink Mello Yello and go!

Mello Yello was similar to Mountain Dew- a high caffeine 7-up style soda that was marketed to young adults. I thought it was vile.

They flew us to Atlanta to shoot an entire concert during which we would stop and do several versions of the Mello Yello commercial. The crowd took it all in stride, plus they were probably pumped up to be in a TV commercial.

Backstage we had to shoot a series of pick-up shots of the band chugging Mello Yello after a hard concert. We did take after take- and we had to drink a few gulps of Mello Yello each time.

After about 10 minutes, my partner in crime- Steve Wright (bass player and co-songwriter) says to me, "Screw this, I'm pouring this swill out and refilling this can with beer!" And he did! He poured it out and carefully replaced it with ice cold Budweiser, which we chugged happily take after take. After an hour we were completely tanked. The shots of us drinking were particularly effective, according to the director. "You guys look like you're really lovin' it!" We didn't have the heart to tell him.

That TV commercial ran on the east coast in the mid 80's and we actually saw it a few times on tour. Those satisfied smiles after we chugged the drink were truly genuine! Little did they know we were chugging beer!

If you can find a live video of the GKB doing Tear That City Down, it was recorded later that same night. It featured Greg Douglass on lead guitar.

Oh, and one other thing- they paid us a freakin' fortune to do it! Years later, the money is all gone, and the commercial is lost to the sands of time, but the memory lingers on- in the form of this blog. Ain't life strange?

Oh, and one other thing-
Robert Berry (bass player in the Greg Kihn Band) is playing an acoustic show tonight in Felton, CA. at Don Quixote's. Apart from being a member of the GKB, Robert is an accomplished musician in his own right. This is first acoustic gig and I know he'd love it if you could show up.


  1. Greg, I rememeber seeing that here in the Midwest and actually enjoying watching a commercial which is rare. Cool story!!! Thanks!!!

  2. Mello Youtube to the rescue ...