Jason Cropper

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Jason Cropper
Cropper2019.jpg
Jason Cropper in 2019
Background information
Born June 27, 1971 (age 49)
Oakland, California, U.S.
Occupation(s) Guitarist, singer, songwriter
Years active Late 1980s–present
Instrument(s) Guitar, vocals
Associated acts
Weezer
Bush
60 Wrong Sausages
Chopper One
22 Jacks

Jason Cropper (born June 27, 1971 Oakland, California) was a founding member and the original rhythm guitarist for Weezer. He later went on to front the bands Chopper One and Fliptop, eventually pursuing his own solo career. Cropper first befriended his future Weezer bandmates through mutual acquaintance Pat Finn.

Biography

Early Years

Cropper claims to have picked up the guitar at age 16. His mother reports that he first "rocked" to a small 45-RPM record in his bedroom where he played "Let's Go To The Hop" by Danny and the Juniors at the age of two. He used to spend hours, as a very young child, listening to "Tommy" by The Who. He has never openly admitted what the first record he bought was, but claims his first "cool" album was Jimi Hendrix. He was a fan of various genres, like psychedelic, grunge, and punk. He was in various bands in his twenties before joining bands that contained the core members of what would become Weezer.

With Weezer

In early 1991, Cropper joined the NorCal funk jam band The Brotherhood Groove Grand Junction, but in spring 1991 he moved to Los Angeles with Pat Finn, who had befriended him during Finn's several month stay in Petaluma CA. In early 1991, Pat Finn's band Bush was missing guitarist Tom Gardocki (who, by that time, was a full-time member of Wax) and Cropper was invited to fill in. Upon arriving in Los Angeles, Cropper helped form what would become 60 Wrong Sausages, taking up the role of guitar.

Cropper soon got a job with Patrick Wilson selling luxury dog shampoo as a telemarketer in Westwood, a job that was basically inherited from Matt Sharp, who had just moved to Northern California. The company went out of business three paychecks later. A new company bought the facilities, and (according to Cropper) "...they said, 'Okay. You're all fired, but you can have your job back at minimum wage', which was like, $3.25 an hour. And I was like, 'Screw this.' So I went and got a job as a cook at an Italian Restaurant/deli [on Santa Monica Blvd in West L.A.], and we still weren't playing in a band with Rivers, but he was around and there was music going on." Jason then helped Rivers Cuomo get a job as a dishwasher at that restaruant, but neither of them lasted there very long.

Meanwhile, by June 1991, Cropper, Pat Finn and Pat Wilson were all spending lots of time with Rivers Cuomo and began to form 60 Wrong Sausages. They convinced Rivers to join them by late summer 1991.

When 60WS disbanded, Cropper joined what would become Weezer. Originally, Cropper's role was acoustic guitar and backing vocals, but as Weezer's sound shifted Cropper set down the acoustic guitar and picked up an electric to play rhythm. Cropper used his strong fingerpicking skills to solidify a rough idea by Pat Wilson and create the famous intro guitar part to My Name Is Jonas.

While Weezer was recording their first album, Cropper's girlfriend became pregnant, and he left the band. Although the exact details are clouded in legal documents, it is most likely that Cuomo and Sharp asked Cropper to leave because everyone felt anxiety about his girlfriend's pregnancy and Cropper's resultant increasingly erratic behavior at that time. Cropper left on fairly negative terms and had little to no contact with Cuomo for over a decade, though he and the rest of the Weezer members reconciled by the time of Rivers's wedding in 2006, and remain on good terms today.

Post-Weezer

After leaving Weezer, Cropper and his then wife, Amy Wellner Cropper, formed a short-lived band called Braxton Hicks [1] (named for womb contractions experienced during pregnancy). The two then formed Chopper One in the mid-1990s, and, after releasing an indie single in 1995, wrote and recorded a CD of original songs in 1997 called Now Playing on Restless Records. The album was re-released in 1998 as Chopper One with a different cover and including a new single, "A Punk Named Josh".

In January of 1994, their first of three children was born, a young girl they named Kiefer Rain Cropper. Their son, Jake Hudson Cropper, was born in 1999, and their third child, a daughter, Devon Jade Cropper, was born in 2001. The couple divorced circa 2004-2005, but live near one another as they co-parent their three children.

Following the dissolution of Chopper One, Cropper helped to form the short-lived band Fliptop in 2000 with Chopper One alum Dallan Baumgarten, in addition to bassist Scott Shiflett and drummer Josh Freese. The band produced one unreleased EP.

Cropper provided vocals for the theme song to the short-lived television series, "Andy Richter Controls The Universe", which premiered in 2002.

In 2004, while Rivers Cuomo was taking up meditation, he sought to make amends with everyone with whom he felt he had done wrong, including Cropper, and the two became friends again. Cropper attended Cuomo's wedding in 2006.

In early 2006, Cropper built a home studio and began recording himself and other locals, namely Buffalo Alice, whose second album "Mitchell" (2007) he produced. He also has writing credits on at least one song and is created as playing guitar and singing on several songs. He later produced the band's third album, Alexander Rosenhoff Testament: A Work of Fiction, released in 2009.

A song written and performed by Cropper, "She'd Be Good for Me", appeared on the compilation CD Guitar Center: Fresh Cuts Vol. 4 in 2009. Cropper was, at the time, employed under the title of "GC Pro Account Manager" at Guitar Center West LA. The Weezer demo "Everybody Go Away" was also featured on the compilation.

On March 25th, 2017, Cropper shared pictures of his previously unseen home studio, and June 30th & July 16th, Cropper shared photos of himself in the studio recording along side others. In April, producer Michael James shared Instagram video of himself with Cropper working on Cropper's forthcoming LP [2]. Cropper provided lead vocals to Michael James' song "Color of My Skin", released in July of 2020.

Cropper joined Cuomo on stage at a solo acoustic concert with Cuomo at Bottom of the Hill in San Francisco on May 9, 2018, performing guitar and backing vocals for "In the Garage" and "No One Else". Cropper joined Cuomo again at a show at August Hall in San Francisco on September 12 of that year, performing seven Blue Album-era Weezer songs, as well as a cover of "I Still Wanna Know" by RAC (a song Cuomo co-wrote). In an interview with AllDayVinyl on August 27, 2020, Cropper recalled that at the second show Cuomo whispered to him that he was "a really good musician" and that it was the impetus for him to start writing songs again.

On November 22nd, 2019, Jason Cropper played a birthday show as "Jason Cropper Band". He performed Weezer covers alongside new original material. Cropper stated that his upcoming album would be finished and released sometime in 2020. Also in late 2019, Cropper uploaded new songs to his SoundCloud account. Beginning in May of 2020, Cropper began hosting his own "Golden Hour" streams to his Facebook and Instagram followers, in which he performed acoustic songs, including covers as well as his own new material. Cropper confirmed that he was working on his own solo album. His first single, "Goodness Knows", was released on July 13. His second single, "Perfect Dream (Rivers Sing Your Song)", was released on August 26, and was written about his time working and writing with Rivers Cuomo and the rest of Weezer.

Discography

Main article: List of Jason Cropper songs

With Weezer

With Chopper One

With 22 Jacks

With Fliptop

As a producer

Other appearances

  • "Color of My Skin" (ft. Jason Cropper and Walter Heath) by Michael James and Morris LeGrande (2020) - vocals

As a solo artist

  • TBA