Fatso Jetson is an American desert rock band from Palm Desert, California, formed in 1994 by Yawning Man and The Sort of Quartet members Mario Lalli and Larry Lalli, along with Tony Tornay, and Dino Von Lalli (son of Mario). Fatso Jetson have remained a active force in underground rock for almost 25 years. They are often credited as originators of the desert strain of stoner rock made most famous by their younger neighbors Kyuss and Queens of the Stone Age. While musically similar to some of their stoner brethren, Fatso Jetson incorporate a variety of musical influences that includes punk, art rock, blues and psychedelic hard rock.
The band formed in Palm Desert, California around 1994. Living in the desert, secluded away from the clubs and trends of the music scenes in Los Angeles, the only places for original music to be played were pool halls, restaurants (after hours) and the occasional struggling bar. On many occasions, the only place for a band to play has been in secluded desert canyons powered by a generator.
This bleak cultural landscape is what brought the band together as friends in 1994. Desert punk scene veterans, and cousins, Mario Lalli and Larry Lalli frustrated by the lack of venues for original artists lead the young entrepreneurs to open the desert’s first “rock club”. Rhythm & Brews became a mecca for local bands as well as touring alternative rock and punk bands.
Fatso Jetson formed at this club after Tony Tornay a regular at the club, Mario and Larry bonded over music, pool games and drinking beer. Tornay being a drummer and Mario & Larry guitar and bass players finding less and less time to play music with the new responsibilities of running a venue and bar, started jamming after hours at the club several night a week. Eventually songs started to form and they began playing opening sets at the club.
They played their first show in September 1994, opening for former Black Flag guitarist Greg Ginn. On the basis of this show, Greg decided he wanted to release an album with the band on his record label SST. The first record by the band “Stinky Little Gods” was recorded at the club in days off and then released on SST in 1995. The band then went on to play many shows including a US tour with fellow desert dwellers Kyuss.
In 1997, the band released their second full length, “Power Of Three”, again on SST. It was around this time that the band expanded to include old desert friend Brant Bjork (ex-Kyuss, ex Fu Manchu skinsman) who played guitar. Brant stayed in this capacity until touring with Fu Manchu forced him to leave the band, though he did appear on two 7″ releases. One of these was a split with Fu Manchu.
In late 1997 Fatso Jetson would record for Bongload Custom Records at Monkey Studios in Palm Springs CA, owned by Chris Goss. The third full length album “Toasted” was produced by Chris Goss (Masters of Reality, Queens of the Stone Age).
In 1998, Yawning Man guitarist Gary Arce joined the band for a tour up the coast with Queens of the Stone Age and continued in this role for a while playing and writing on the eclectic ‘Flames For All’ record released on the iconic Mans Ruin label run by artist Frank Kozik. Gary Arce stayed with the band for a European tour including a appearance at the Dynamo festival. In 2002, Fatso Jetson headed back in the studios to record their fifth album ‘Cruel & Delicious’ released on Josh Homme’s record label Rekords Rekords.
From 2002-2007 the band slowed down but never stopped, the Lalli cousins had once again opened a venue for music but this time in Sierra Madre California … near Los Angeles. 2007 would see the band more active and Fatso released a live album on Cobraside Records. The line up had expanded again at this time to include Vince Meghrouni on Saxophone and Harmonica.
The next full length album by the band would be ‘Archaic Volumes’ released in 2010 on Cobraside Records, this recording would include sax player Vince Megrouni (Bazooka, Mike Watt, Atomic Sherpas, El roupo Sexo).
The band toured Europe and the UK in support if this release.
In 2014 the band released ‘Live at Maximum Festival Italy’ on the Italian label Go Down Records, followed by ‘Idle Hands’ in 2016….this would be released on the Italian label Heavy Psych Sounds Records.
2016-2019 the band toured Europe as well as festival appearances at Psycho Las Vegas and Desertfest London.
In 2021 Fatso Jetson and drummer Tornay’s other project All Souls collaborated on a Live in the studio streaming performance during the lockdowns in Los Angeles. “Virtual Volumes” is a split EP featuring a performance by each band..the performance is also available to stream online. The EP will be released on Ripple Music.
In 2023 Fatso Jetson releases another split with old desert friends Dali’s Llama on the fresh Desert Records from New Mexico. Fellow desert legend Sean Wheeler collaborated with Mario Lalli on vocals and writing.