The Lost Music Videos of Jan Terri

Friday, September 29th, 2006 @ 2:02 am | Music

One consequence of the Internet is that embarrassing moments – even those created 15 years ago and circulated on nth-generation VHS cassettes – can be rediscovered and preserved for posterity.

Such is the case with Jan Terri, a Chicago-area musician who will be remembered for a trove of low-budget music videos, circa 1991-94, that rank among the best (or worst) moments in outsider pop culture.

Online music magazine Jammed has written what is, for now, the definitive profile of Jan’s brief career. The short version is that she peddled a VHS collection of her videos while working as a limo driver. Copies of the videos began circulating and Jan Terri became an underground sensation.

In 1998, Marilyn Manson invited her to play his birthday party and open for his band on tour (documented on Manson’s God is in the TV DVD). Yo La Tengo began covering her song “Rock ‘N Roll Santa” in 2000, and she was featured on Comedy Central’s The Daily Show that year.

Now that her videos have made their way onto YouTube, more people are discovering and even appreciating Jan’s musical talents. “Losing You” is her most popular video, which features Jan badly lip-syncing to her own song.

A MySpace profile exists, although it’s dubious whether it actually belongs to her. (Nevertheless, you can hear “Journey to Mars” and “Rock ‘n Roll Santa”). Jan’s website, now defunct, is mirrored at the Wayback Machine.

If “Losing You” has whet your appetite, here are the remainder of Jan Terri’s videos on YouTube:

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