Flamin' Groovies

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Flamin' Groovies
Also known as The Flamin' Groovies
Origin San Francisco, California, United States
Years active 1965–1992, 2004, 2008, 2013–present
Labels Epic, Kama Sutra, Sire
Associated acts The Barracudas
Website Chris Wilson site
Cyril Jordan site
Members Cyril Jordan
Chris Wilson
George Alexander
Victor Penalosa
Past members Mike Wilhelm
Roy Loney
Tim Lynch
Ron Greco
Danny Mihm
James Ferrell
Dave Wright
Autumn Eyles
Paul Zahl
Jack Johnson
Mark Dunwoody
Terry Rae
Michael Stone
Larry Lea
Brad Bufkin
Brad Bryant
Brittley Black

Flamin' Groovies is an American rock music band whose peak was in the 1960s and 1970s. They began in San Francisco in 1965, founded by Cyril Jordan and Roy Loney.[4] The group have been called one of the forerunners of punk rock,[5] and they also had a major influence on the power pop genre.[6]


Their first EP, 1968's Sneakers, was self-released and featured Jordan (guitar, vocals), Loney (guitar, vocals), George Alexander (bass, harmonica, vocals), Tim Lynch (guitar, harmonica, vocals) and Danny Mihm (drums).[7] As a result of its success, they were signed to a contract by Epic Records and released 1969's Supersnazz.[7] It contained both re-creations of 1950s rock and roll and more melodic songs that anticipated the power pop movement of the 1970s—a genre to which the Flamin' Groovies would eventually contribute significant work. However, the album's low sales led to their release by Epic.[7] They then signed to Kama Sutra Records for their next two albums, 1970's Flamingo and 1971's Teenage Head.[7] Teenage Head is listed in the 2006 book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

In 1971, Loney left the band and was replaced by singer and guitarist Chris Wilson, who, along with Jordan, began to move the group in a more overtly power pop direction. Tim Lynch left the band along with Loney and was replaced by James Farrell. In 1972, the band teamed up with British producer Dave Edmunds and reached a deal to sign with United Artists Records, but the deal was never expanded beyond two single releases, which effectively left the band in limbo for two years.[7] Little was heard of the group during this period except for the two 1972 United Artists singles: the 1972 anti-drug song "Slow Death" (co-written by Loney and Jordan before Loney's departure) and a cover version of Freddie Cannon's "Tallahassee Lassie". During this lull, drummer Danny Mihm also left the band, to be replaced by David Wright. Finally in 1975, the Flamin' Groovies signed to the new (but poorly distributed) label Sire Records, and recorded and released (in 1976) Shake Some Action, produced by Edmunds, which received rave critical reviews.

The Groovies were supported by the Ramones in London on July 4, 1976 (which was coincidentally the US's bicentennial) in the latter band's first ever appearance in the UK. This concert has been widely noted as a seminal moment in the development of punk rock.[8]

Sire's distribution was taken over by Warner Bros. Records in 1977, and so the Groovies returned to a major label; however, James Farrell then left the band, to be replaced by Mike Wilhelm. The band then recorded two more albums for Sire/Warners, 1978's Flamin' Groovies Now, also produced by Dave Edmunds, and 1979's Jumpin' in the Night, produced by Jordan and Roger Bechirian.[7]

The commercial failure of Jumping' in the Night led Chris Wilson to quit the Flamin' Groovies in 1980. After a 1987 live re-recordings of older material entitled One Night Stand, featuring only Jordan and Alexander from the original band,[7] and a 1989 greatest hits album focused on the Jordan-Wilson recordings entitled Groovies' Greatest Grooves, the Flamin' Groovies disbanded in 1992.[9]

Post-breakup and reunions[edit]

In 1979, Roy Loney formed the Phantom Movers featuring original Groovies drummer Danny Mihm, former Groovie James Ferrell (guitar), as well as Larry Lea (guitar) and Maurice Tani (bass). The band released a number of well-received albums[citation needed] as well as a greatest hits CD ("A Hundred Miles an Hour 1978-1989" on the Raven label out of Australia). The Phantom Movers (Roy, Larry, and Maurice) continue to play, with the addition of John Moremen on drums; Roy and Larry have been working on new material.

The Flamin' Groovies headlined the Azkena rock festival in Mendizabala, Spain, on September 11, 2004.[10] In 2005, Jordan founded a new band, Magic Christian.

In 2008, Loney and Jordan reunited and embarked on a brief tour, backed by members of the A-Bones and Yo La Tengo.

Another larger-scale reunion appears on the recent Chris Wilson album Love Over Money (2010). Roy Loney, George Alexander, James Ferrell and Mike Wilhelm all appear on the CD, as does Procol Harum’s keyboard legend Matthew Fisher and Barracudas guitarist Robin Wills. The album is available on the French Rock Paradise label.

In 2013, the Jordan/Wilson/Alexander line-up played live for the first time since 1981 in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, and Perth as part of the Hoodoo Gurus' invitational Dig It Up.[11] They also played a series of sold-out shows in Japan. Their show in San Francisco, at The Elbo Room on May 4, sold out in less than 24 hours. They are currently touring, with the addition of Victor Penalosa on drums.

Keyboardist Mark Dunwoody died of a heart attack on June 12, 2013.




  • Sneakers (1968)
  • Grease (1973)
  • More Grease (1974)
  • The Gold Star Tapes (1984)
  • Rockfield Sessions (1989)
  • I'll Have a... Bucket of Brains (1995)


  • "Rockin' Pneumonia and the Boogie Woogie Flu" b/w "The First One's Free" (Jul 1969)
  • "Somethin' Else" b/w "Laurie Did It" (1970)
  • "Have You Seen My Baby?" b/w "Yesterday's Numbers" (1971)
  • "Teenage Head" b/w "Evil Hearted Ada" (non-USA) (Aug 1971)
  • "Slow Death" b/w "Tallahassee Lassie" (Jun 1972)
  • "Married Woman" b/w "Get a Shot of Rhythm and Blues" (Dec 1972)
  • "You Tore Me Down" b/w "Him or Me" (1974)
  • "I Can't Hide" b/w "Teenage Confidential" (1976)
  • "Shake Some Action" b/w "Teenage Confidential" (non-USA) (1976)
  • "Teenage Head" (rerelease) b/w "Headin' for the Texas Border" (Jun 1976)
  • "Don’t You Lie To Me" b/w "She Said Yeah"; "Shake Some Action" (30 cm, UK) (1976)
  • "I Can't Explain" b/w "Little Queenie" (1977)
  • "Move It" b/w "When I Heard Your Name" (UK, Aug 1978)
  • "Absolutely Sweet Marie" b/w "Werewolves Of London"; "Next One Crying" (UK, Jun 1979)
  • "Sealed with a Kiss"
  • "Baby Please Don't Go" (live) b/w "Milk Cow Blues" (live) (1987)
  • "Scratch My Back" b/w "Carol" (2010; both recorded 1971)

Live albums[edit]

  • Slow Death, Live!
  • Bucketful of Brains
  • Flamin' Groovies '68
  • Flamin' Groovies '70
  • 68/70
  • Rockin' at the Roundhouse (1993) (Live recordings from 1976 and 1978)
  • Step Up (AIM, 1991)
  • The Flamin' Groovies In Person (1971 live recording) (2006)

Compilation albums[edit]

  • Still Shakin' (Buddah Records BDS 5683, 1976)
  • Super Grease (1984)
  • Groove In
  • Groovies' Greatest Grooves (July 1989)
  • California Born and Bred (1995)
  • Supersneakers (1996)
  • Yesterday's Numbers (1998)
  • Grease: The Complete Skydog Singles Collection (1998)
  • Slow Death (2002)
  • Bust Out at Full Speed: The Sire Years (2006)
  • At Full Speed... The Complete Sire Recordings (2006)
  • This Band Is Red Hot (2008)


  • Sneakers was a 17:10 long 10" EP.
  • Flamingo was released in Germany as This Is the Flamin' Groovies.
  • Half of Still Shakin' consisted of tracks from Flamingo and Teenage Head; the rest were outtakes.

Book references[edit]

  • Buckley, Peter (2003). The Rough Guide to Rock. London: Rough Guides. ISBN 1-85828-201-2. 
  • Jon Storey; John Bottomley (1988). Bucketfull of Groovies: The Flamin’ Groovies Story. London: Bucketfull of Brains. 

The Flamin' Groovies, along with the band Frumious Bandersnatch, are mentioned in Roger Hall's 1970 novel, "19," which refers to them both as one band, "Frumious Bandersnatch and the Flamin' Groovies." (First edition, page 110).


  1. ^ a b Ari Abramowitz (30 October 2004). Pockit Rockit Music Finder. Music Guru Incorporated. p. 63. ISBN 978-0-9759787-0-2. 
  2. ^ Nick Talevski (7 April 2010). Rock Obituaries - Knocking On Heaven's Door. Omnibus Press. p. 587. ISBN 978-0-85712-117-2. 
  3. ^ Nadine Käthe Monem (2007). Riot Grrrl: Revolution Girl Style Now!. Black Dog Pub. p. 52. ISBN 978-1-906155-01-8. 
  4. ^ Strong, Martin C. (2000). The Great Rock Discography (5th ed.). Edinburgh: Mojo Books. pp. 345–346. ISBN 1-84195-017-3. 
  5. ^ Buckley 2003, p. 322, "The Flamin' Groovies really had more in common with the MC5, who deployed the same twin-guitar assault on white rock. Both would become regarded as forerunners of the punk rock movement,"
  6. ^ Power Pop: The ’70s, The Birth Of Uncool. Magnetmagazine.com (2002-09-07). Retrieved on 2013-09-01.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g Deming, Mark. "Flamin' Groovies - Artist Biography". Allmusic. Retrieved 2016-10-15. 
  8. ^ http://www.bbc.co.uk/music/sevenages/events/punk/the-ramones-play-the-roundhouse/
  9. ^ Cyril Jordan.com. Cyril Jordan.com. Retrieved on 2013-09-01.
  10. ^ [1] Archived January 29, 2012, at the Wayback Machine.
  11. ^ Eadie, Stu. (2013-01-29) Flamin’ Groovies. Dig It Up. Retrieved on 2013-09-01.
  12. ^ Shake Some Action - Flamin' Groovies | Awards. AllMusic. Retrieved on 2013-09-01.

External links[edit]