Pennywise began in 1988 in Hermosa Beach, California. Their name is derived from the monster It, from the Stephen King novel of the same name.
Former Pennywise frontman Jim Lindberg is a huge fan of surfing and regularly supports the Surfrider Foundation. He's appeared in several public service announcements for various ocean-related causes and helped to organize Pennywise's involvement in the M.O.M. (Music for our Mother Ocean) compilation.
Former Pennywise lead singer Jim Lindberg has been participating in the California Punk scene since the late '80s. In 1994, he contributed vocals to the Bad Religion track "Marked" and has contributed backing vocals to two albums by The Offspring: Americana and Splinter.
Since Pennywise guitarist Fletcher Dragge has such a large frame, guitar manufacturer Ibanez offered to create a custom axe just for him. Dragge is 6' 8" and about 350lbs, so Ibanez thought it would be appropriate to make him his own RG420 model guitar that is approximately 25% larger than the regular RG420 model.
In 1995, Pennywise guitarist Fletcher Dragge appeared on the radio call-in show Loveline. Dragge's spot on the program was one of the most memorable as he was inebriated and ended up throwing up in the studio where the show is taped. Allegedly, he chased host Dr. Drew around the studio and tried to vomit on him as well.
After battling alcoholism and depression for most of his life, Pennywise bassist Jason Thirsk committed suicide in 1996. He died of a self-inflicted gunshot at the age of 28. As a tribute to their fallen friend, the remaining members of the band decided to re-record "Bro Hymn," a Pennywise fan favorite that was written by Thirsk.
When frontman Jim Lindberg left Pennywise in 2009, the rest of the band members recruited Hungarian vocalist Zoli Téglás to take over singing duties. Téglás had previously toured with The Misfits and Motorhead. In 2012, the band released All or Nothing, their first album with Téglás on vocals.