Garage rock

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"Garage band" redirects here. For other uses, see Garage band (disambiguation).
"Frat rock" redirects here. For the album with a similar name, see Frat Rock! The Greatest Rock 'n' Roll Party Tunes of All-Time.

Garage rock is a style of pop music, a raw and energetic variety of rock and roll that flourished in the mid-1960s most notably in the United States and Canada, but also elsewhere. At the time it had no specific name and was not recognized as a separate genre, but critical recognition in the early-1970s, and particularly the release of the 1972 compilation album, Nuggets, did much to define and memorialise the style. The term derives from the perception that many groups were young amateurs who rehearsed in the family garage, though many were professional.

The style, a precursor to psychedelic rock, is characterized by sometimes aggressive and unsophisticated lyrics and delivery, often using guitars distorted through a fuzzbox. Surf rock and subsequently the Beatles and the beat groups of the British Invasion motivated thousands to form bands in the USA and elsewhere from 1963 through early 1968. Hundreds produced regional hits, and a handful had national chart hits. After 1968 more sophisticated forms of rock music emerged, and such records largely disappeared from the national charts.

In the early-1970s, some critics began to refer to the style as "punk rock," the first form of music to bear this description; and it is sometimes called "garage punk," "protopunk" or "'60s punk" to distinguish it from the punk rock of the mid and late-1970s.

Characteristics[edit]

The D-Men (later the Fifth Estate) in 1964

The term garage rock comes from the perception that many such performers were young and amateurish, and often rehearsed in the family garage.[1] While some bands were made up of middle-class teenagers from the suburbs, others were from rural or urban areas or were composed of professional musicians in their twenties.[2] The earliest attested use of the term "garage band" dates from March 1971, in a review by John Mendelsohn in Rolling Stone;[3] later the same year, the term was also used by Lenny Kaye in the same magazine.[4]

Performances were often amateurish, naïve or intentionally raw, with typical themes revolving around the traumas of high school life and songs about "lying girls" being particularly common.[5] The lyrics and delivery were notably more aggressive than the more polished acts of the time, often with nasal, growled, or shouted vocals, sometimes punctuated by shrieks or screams at climactic moments of release.[1] Instrumentation was often characterized by the use of guitars distorted through a fuzzbox.[6] Occasionally, the tempo would be sped up in certain, usually instrumental, passages sometimes referred to as a "raveups."[7][8]

Nevertheless, garage rock acts were diverse in both musical ability and in style, ranging from crude two and three-chord music (like the Seeds and the Keggs) to near-studio musician quality (including the Knickerbockers, the Remains, and the Fifth Estate). There were also regional variations with flourishing scenes, particularly in California, the base of Strawberry Alarm Clock, the Electric Prunes, the Music Machine, the Standells, and Texas, offering bands such as Sir Douglas Quintet, the 13th Floor Elevators, Sam the Sam and the Pharaohs (whose "Wooly Bully" reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 and charted for almost four and a half months in 1965), and Fever Tree.[5] The north-western states of Idaho, Washington and Oregon had perhaps the most defined regional sound with bands such as the Bootmen, the Sonics and Paul Revere & the Raiders.[9] Florida had a significant number of near studio quality bands, such as the Impacts, the Tropics, the Tempests and the Outlaws.

History[edit]

Origins[edit]

Richard Berry, whose 1957 song "Louie Louie" inspired the Wailers, the Kingsmen, and in turn thousands of other garage bands

In the late 1950s, the initial impact of rock and roll on mainstream American culture waned as major record companies took a controlling influence and sought to market more conventionally acceptable recordings.[10] However, some young people were still inspired by those musicians whose recordings a few years earlier, of relatively unsophisticated and hard-driving songs, often self-written, proclaimed personal independence and freedom from parental controls and conservative norms - musicians such as Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Bo Diddley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Buddy Holly, and Eddie Cochran. The guitarist Link Wray, best known for his instrumental "Rumble," who used innovative guitar techniques such as power chords and distortion, is also often cited as an early influence.[11][12][13] Electric musical instruments (particularly guitars) and amplification were becoming more affordable, allowing young musicians to form small groups to perform in front of local audiences of their peers; and in some areas there was a breakdown, especially among radio audiences, of traditional black and white markets, with more white teenagers able to hear and purchase R&B records. By the end of the 1950s regional scenes were abundant around the country and would influence much of the music of the 1960s.[14]

According to Lester Bangs, "the origins of garage rock as a genre can be traced to California and the Pacific Northwest in the early Sixties".[15] There and elsewhere, groups of teenagers were inspired directly by touring R&B performers such as Johnny Otis and Richard Berry, and began to play cover versions of R&B songs.[10] At the same time they drew on the work of purely instrumental groups such as the Ventures, formed in 1958 in Tacoma, Washington. One of the first teenage bands to emerge that played R&B songs was the Wailers (often billed as the Fabulous Wailers), also from Tacoma, who had a national chart hit in 1959 with the instrumental "Tall Cool One", and two years later recorded (unsuccessfully but influentially) a cover version of Richard Berry's 1957 song "Louie Louie", a song which soon became an unofficial anthem for bands in the region.[10] They in turn inspired other bands notably the Kingsmen from Portland, Oregon, whose 1963 version of "Louie Louie" became a national and international hit after first becoming a regional success in Seattle, and the Sonics, who formed in Tacoma in 1960, and would later would record a rendition of Berry's "Have Love, Will Travel."[15][16][17] Paul Revere & the Raiders, who also recorded a version of "Louie Louie" around this time, were originally from Boise, Idaho, but re-located to Portland, Oregon in the early 1960s.[18][19]

Elsewhere, regional scenes of teenage bands playing R&B-oriented rock, and often competing against each other in "battle of the bands" contests, were particularly well established several years before the "British Invasion", in Texas and the Midwest.[20] In Milwaukee, the Nomads were formed in the late 1950s, influenced by rockabilly and blues recordings. A rival band were the Bonnevilles, a band led by guitarist Larry Lynne and based in a newly-built middle-class suburb. Lynne said that he was inspired to form a band by the R&B radio stations broadcasting from the South, together with the experience of seeing some of the original rock and roll acts, such as Gene Vincent, perform when he was younger.[21] By 1963 singles by Paul Revere and the Raiders[22] and several such bands were creeping into the national charts, including the Trashmen (Minneapolis)[23] and the Rivieras (South Bend, Indiana).[24] At the same time, in southern California, bands like the Nomads (not the Milwaukee band) formed, playing raucous guitar- and saxophone-driven instrumentals.[15] Many bands were heavily influenced by surf rock and hot rod music, and there was a cross-pollination between these influences resulting in an energetic and upbeat sound. This is sometimes referred to as frat rock, which can be viewed as an early subgenre of garage rock.[25][14][26] Writer Neil Campbell commented: "There were literally thousands of rough and ready groups performing in local bars and dance halls throughout the USA prior to the arrival of the Beatles..... [T]he indigenous popular music which functioned in this way... was the proto-punk more commonly identified as garage rock."[27]

Impact of the Beatles and the British Invasion[edit]

The Standells in 1965

As the mid-1960s approached, garage rock entered a new period reflecting a different set of influences and circumstances.[14] On February 9, 1964, during their first visit to the United States, the Beatles made a historic appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show watched by a record-breaking viewing audience of a nation mourning the recent death of President John F. Kennedy.[28][29] For many, particularly the young, the Beatles' visit re-ignited the sense of excitement and possibility that had been momentarily taken by his assassination.[30][31][29] Much of this new excitement would be expressed in music, sometimes much to the chagrin of parents and elders.[30][32][29] Following the Beatles' first visit, a subsequent string of successful, and increasingly bold, British Invasion acts emerged between 1964 and 1966. These had a profound impact, leading many (often surf or hot rod groups) to respond by altering their style, and countless new bands to form, as teenagers around the country picked up guitars and started bands by the thousands.[5][33][34] In many cases, garage bands were particularly influenced by the British "beat groups" with a harder, blues-based attack, such as the Kinks, the Who, the Animals, the Yardbirds, the Small Faces, the Pretty Things, Them,[35] and the Rolling Stones, often resulting in a raw and primitive sound. Numerous garage rock bands were formed in countries outside North America, such as England's the Troggs who enjoyed worldwide success with "Wild Thing."[36][37] Another influence was the folk-rock of the Byrds and Bob Dylan, especially on bands such as the Leaves.[38]

Peak of popularity[edit]

Thousands of garage bands were extant in the USA and Canada and hundreds produced regional hits, in an era where it was not uncommon for a band to participate in a battle of the bands or cut a record and have it receive airplay on the local AM radio station.[5][39] Some acts were lucky enough to gain exposure on the national charts just long enough to have one or a couple of hits.[5] The mid-'60s was an era rife with one-hit wonders.[40][41][5] Usually thought to be the first to enjoy national success were the Beau Brummels with "Laugh, Laugh" and "Just a Little", which both reached the top 15 in 1965.[42] Other examples include: "Fortune Teller" by Des Moines's the Image (1967), "The Witch" by Tacoma's the Sonics (1965), "Where You Gonna Go" by Detroit's Unrelated Segments (1967), "It's Cold Outside" by Cleveland's the Choir, "Girl I Got News for You" by Miami's Birdwatchers (1966), "Dirty Water" by Los Angeles-based the Standells (1966), "I Need Love" by Canton, Illinois', the Third Booth,[43][44] and "1-2-5" by Montreal's the Haunted.

The November 12, 1966 issue of Billboard stated that sales of the "96 Tears" single by Question Mark & the Mysterians, a band from Michigan, had attained sales of one million copies. Boston's Remains, though only able to make it onto Billboard's Bubbling Under charts, had enough of a following and reputation to open for the Beatles during their 1966 U.S. tour.[45] The Count Five scored a number five hit on the Billboard charts that year with "Psychotic Reaction,"[46][47] which in turn was featured on their album of the same name.[46] Michigan's Shondells released a minor regional hit in 1964 before disbanding. When it was unearthed by a Pittsburgh Disc Jockey in 1965, the resulting success of "Hanky Panky" revived the moribund career of Tommy James, who formed a new group of Shondells. Tommy James and the Shondells followed up with twelve more top 40 singles.[48] Tommy also had three top 40 singles as a soloist.

Female garage bands[edit]

The Pleasure Seekers (Suzi Quatro at far right) pictured in 1966

Garage rock was not an exclusively male phenomenon—it fostered the emergence of all-female bands whose members played their own instruments. One of the first such acts was New York's Goldie and the Gingerbreads, who accompanied Chubby Checker on his 1962 European tour,[49] and later toured with the Rolling Stones, the Animals, the Beatles, the Yardbirds, the Hollies and the Kinks, among others.[50] The Pleasure Seekers from Detroit, later known as Cradle, featured Suzi Quatro and her sisters. Quatro would subsequently go on to greater fame as a solo act in the early 1970s.[51] The Luv'd Ones, also from Michigan, signed with Chicago's Dunwich Records, and are best known for the song "Up Down Sue."[52] San Francisco's The Ace of Cups became a fixture in the Bay Area scene in the late 1960s.[53][54][55][56] The Liverbirds hailed from the Beatles' home city of Liverpool, England, but became best known in Germany, often performing in Hamburg's Star-Club.[57] Other notable female groups were the Daughters of Eve, from Chicago, the Feminine Complex, from Nashville, and the Heartbeats from Lubbock, Texas. In many ways, bands such as these anticipated later all-female acts, such as the Runaways and the Slits, that would be associated with the 1970s punk movement.

Regional scenes[edit]

The Remains in 1966

The Pacific Northwest had provided the initial flurry of garage rock bands, such as the Fabulous Wailers, the Sonics, and the Trashmen, and numerous others. Other parts of the United States and Canada were soon to follow, particularly after arrival of the Beatles and the British Invasion, which would result in a widespread grassroots rock explosion.

Boston and New England[edit]

One of the next regions to experience a proliferation of bands was Boston and New England. The Barbarians from Cape Cod, wearing sandals and long hair, and cultivating an image of "noble savages," recorded an album and several singles, such as the partly self-referential, "Are You a Boy or Are You a Girl."[58][59] Impossible to ignore was the sight of their drummer, Victor "Moulty" Moulton, who played the drums holding one of his sticks with a prosthetic clamp in place of his left hand, worn as the result of an earlier accident.[58][60] In 1964 the group appeared on the T.A.M.I. Show, on same bill as famous acts such as the Rolling Stones and James Brown, playing the joyfully primitive "Hey Little Bird.[60] In 1966, while the other members of the band were away, Moulton recorded "Moulty," a spoken monologue set to music, in which he recounted the travails of his disfigurement, released under the Barbarians' name, but backed by future members of The Band.[60] The Remains (sometimes called Barry and the Remains), from Boston, led by Barry Tashian, were also popular in the region, and in addition to touring with the Beatles in 1966, recorded a self-titled album for Epic that year just before breaking up.[61] During their years of activity they recorded several songs which have subsequently become highly regarded, such as "Don't Look Back" and "Why do I Cry."[62] Also from Boston, the Rockin' Ramrods recorded a number of songs, including the distortion-driven protopunk of "She Lied," in 1964.[63][64][65] The Shames from Ipswich, Massachusetts were popular in the New England and Upstate New York area and released the single, "My World is Upside Down" in 1966.[66][67][68] The Squires, from Bristol, Connecticut released the song, "All the Way." All three songs are now regarded as a garage classics.[64][66][68][69] In the New Haven area, there were numerous bands, several of whom, such as the Shags and the Bram Rigg Set, recorded at the Trod Nossel Studios, in Wallingford, owned by music entrepreneur, Thomas Cavaier.[70][71][72]

California and the Southwest[edit]

The Seeds in 1966

The garage craze came into full swing all around the country and California was no exception, where the preponderance of bands was the byproduct of several influences, such as surf rock, the British Invasion and folk rock.[73][74][75] During the 1960s Southern California was home to numerous garage bands, whether native to the area or re-located from elsewhere, often with hopes of becoming successful.[76][77][75] The Sunset Strip was the center of much of the live music and nightlife, providing bands with high-profile venues to attract a larger following and possibly draw the attention of record executives looking to sign an act.[78] Exploitation films of the period, such as Riot on Sunset Strip and Mondo Hollywood captured the musical and social milieu of life on the strip.[79][80] Several L.A. bands make appearances at the Pandora's Box in the club scenes in Riot on Sunset Strip, as the movie spotlights the protopunk musical underbelly of L.A. flower bohemia, with the Standells supplying the theme song and the Chocolate Watchband, fronted by the charismatic David Aguilar, singing "Don't Need Your Lovin.'"[81][82][83][84] The Seeds and the Leaves were favorites with the "in-crowd" and managed to score national hits with songs that have come to be regarded as garage classics: the Seeds with "Pushin' Too Hard" and the Leaves with "Hey Joe."[78][85]

Love, a racially integrated band headed by African-American musician, Arthur Lee, was one of the most popular bands in the scene.[86] Their propulsive 1966 protopunk anthem, "7 and 7 Is" achieved popularity in the charts, and became a staple in countless other bands' repertoires.[87] Lee along with bandmate Johnny Echols had previously been in the American Four, who cut a number of songs such as "Stay Away," unissued at the time.[88][89] The Music Machine, led by Sean Bonniwell, donned black outfits and each member wore a black leather glove on his right hand, and employed innovative musical techniques, sometimes building their own custom-made fuzzboxes.[90] Amongst their numerous recordings they are best known for their hit, "Talk Talk." The Sons of Adam, formerly known as the Fender IV, started out as an instrumental surf band in Maryland, but re-located to Southern California in 1963 in hopes of riding the crest of popular surf rock wave;[75] but, after the advent of the Beatles and the British Invasion, they switched their approach to include vocals over guitars.[75] They were able to gain a residency at the popular nightspot, Cisco's and recorded several hard-rocking songs which appeared on singles, such as "Feathered Fish," written by Arthur Lee, and "Saturday's Son," an anthem of alienation.[75] The band is notable for the presence of guitarist Randy Holden, who in 1966 left the band to join the San Francisco-based the Other Half and later Blue Cheer, and drummer Michael Stuart, who left to join Love and record on their highly acclaimed 1967 album, Forever Changes.[75]

The Great Society, featuring Grace Slick, in 1966

Garage rock was present in Latino communities in different parts of the country including in East L.A.[91][92] Rock critic Lester Bangs noted that many of the elements of garage rock were apparent years earlier, in Chicano singer Ritchie Valens' 1958 hit "La Bamba".[15] The Premiers, who had a hit in 1964 with "Farmer John," and Thee Midniters, both made up of predominantly Hispanic-American members, are considered notable figures in Chicano rock,[93][94][95][96] as are their San Diego counterparts, Cannibal & the Headhunters, who had a 1964 hit with Chris Kenner's "Land of a Thousand Dances".[15] Other bands active in the Los Angeles musical landscape were the Dovers, the Roosters, the Sloths, the Yellow Payges, Limey & the Yanks, and Ty Wagner and the Scotchmen, who recorded "I'm a No Count."[97][98][99][100] On the Liverpool label the Bees released their 1966 paranoiac anthem, "Voices Green and Purple," which climaxes with rants screamed over thrashing guitars, and came wrapped in a paper jacket festooned with the kind of scrawled lettering and defaced imagery suggestive of later "D.I.Y." punk fanzines.[101][102][103][104] The Spiders, from Phoenix, Arizona featuring Vincent Furnier, later known as Alice Cooper, recorded several songs such as "Don't Blow Your Mind," which became a local hit in Phoenix. They ventured to Los Angeles in 1967, in hopes of achieving greater success, though it would materialize not there, but subsequently in Detroit, re-christened as Alice Cooper and with a new "shock" image just in time for the success to arrive in the '70s.[105][106] The Grodes, from Tucson, Arizona recorded the original version of "Let's Talk About Girls," later covered by the Chocolate Watchband, and "Cry a Little Longer."[107][108] In 1967 the Chob, from Albuquerque, New Mexico released the frantic "We're Pretty Quick," now considered a garage classic.[109][110]

Though San Francisco Bay area, is better known for the more sophisticated jam-based acid rock that would develop as the '60s progressed, it was nevertheless home to such garage-based bands as the Great Society, featuring Grace Slick before she joined Jefferson Airplane.[111] The Brogues, some of whose members were later to play in Quicksilver Messenger Service, cut the single "Ain't No Miracle Worker" in late 1965.[112] In 1966 the Harbinger Complex released the single "I Think I'm Down" and the next year the fill-length album, A Pot of Flowers.[113] The Charlatans, who dressed in Old West outfits, covered Buffy Sainte-Marie's "Cod'ine" and released a belated album at the end of the '60s, but by then the "gold rush" had already passed them by.[114] The Warlocks recorded several songs in a garage vein, often with Ron "Pigpen" McKernan on vocals, before changing their name to the the Grateful Dead.[115][116] In 1967 the Humane Society recorded the menacing "Knock Knock," in which the tempo starts slowly but rises to near breakneck speed. The Flamin' Groovies, founded in 1965, would become a fixture in the Bay area scene, and their career would stretch well into the 1970s.[117]

Midwest[edit]

The Shadows of Knight in 1966

Chicago, known for electric blues, continued to have a strong recording industry well into the '60s and was also hotbed of activity for garage rock bands, providing hits for the American Breed, the Buckinghams, and the Cryin' Shames.[118][119][120] Chicago blues as well as the Rolling Stones influenced the Shadows of Knight, a band who favored a harder approach, featuring Jim Sohns on lead vocals.[121] According to Sohns: "...the Stones, Animals and Yardbirds took the Chicago blues and gave it an English interpretation. We've taken the English version of the blues and re-added a Chicago touch."[121] In 1966 the Shadows of Knight scored hits with their versions of Them's Van Morrison-penned "Gloria," and Bo Diddley's "Oh Yeah," as well as the less successful but more aggressive "I'm Gonna Make You Mine"--all released on Dunwich Records, which recorded numerous garage acts.[121][122] The Banshees recorded the cathartic "Project Blue" for Dunwich Records.[123][124][125][126] The Little Boy Blues, in addition to recording "The Great Train Robbery," also cut a version of the highly covered Van Morrison number, "I Can Only Give You Everything" in 1966.[127][128] The Del-Vetts (later changing their name to the Pride and Joy) recorded a number of songs, such as "Last Time Around" in 1966.[129] The New Colony Six, who like Paul Revere and the Raiders, wore Revolutionary war era suits, recorded several albums worth of material and had some modest chart success.[130]

In early 1967, MC5 (short for the Motor City Five) from Detroit, Michigan, who would go on to greater success later in the decade, released their own version of "I Can Only Give You Everything."[131] The Unrelated Segments recorded a string of songs beginning with local protopunk hit "You Can't Buy Love," followed by songs such as "Where You Gonna Go."[132] Jim Osterberg, also from Detroit, later known as Iggy Pop, played drums with the Iguanas.[133] Bob Seger and the Last Heard were also a fixture in the Detroit scene.[133] Detroit, as well as the rest of Michigan, had of one of the largest concentrations of garage bands in America and included Terry Knight and the Pack from Flint, who would form the basis of what would later become Grand Funk Railroad.[134] The Rationals from Ann Arbor, who were fronted by Scott Morgan, achieved a certain level of regional success but failed to make a dent in the national charts.[135] The JuJus, from Grand Rapids, recorded a number of well-regarded songs, including "You Treated Me Bad."[136]

Minneapolis/St. Paul was the home of the Castaways, who had a major hit with "Liar, Liar" in 1965.[137] The Litter, also from Minneapolis, had a harder sound and released the distortion-laden "Action Woman" as a single in 1966.[138] Ohio also was a host to the talents of many bands, such as the Outsiders from Cleveland who scored a national hit with "Time Won't Let Me," and the Choir, two of whose members would later become members of 1970s power pop combo the Raspberries, had a regional hit with "It's Cold Outside."[139][140]

New York and Mid Atlantic[edit]

Garage bands flourished up and down the Atlantic coast. From the Bronx, New York came the Blues Magoos, who had a hit with the psychedelically-tinged garage classic, "You Ain't Seen Nuthin' Yet."[141] The Vagrants, from Long Island, cut a version of the Otis Redding-penned "Respect," made famous by Aretha Franklin, which was later included on the original 1972 edition of Nuggets.[142] The Bruthers from Pearl River, New York, who comprised the four Delia brothers, cut a handful of songs, including "Bad Way to Go," which is now considered a garage classic.[143] Richard and the Young Lions, from Newark, New Jersey had a hit in 1966 with "Open Up Your Door."[144] The Myddle Class, also from New Jersey, recorded "Don't Let Me Sleep Too Long," a variation of the Blues Project's "Wake Me Shake Me," and Goffin and King's "I Happen to Love You," which was later recorded by The Electric Prunes.[145] The Doughboys, from Plainfield, New Jersey, were a popular act in the upper mid-Atlantic region during these years.[146] From Oxon Hill, Maryland, came the Dagenites, who shared the same manager with Link Wray, and recorded "I Don't Wanna Try it Again" and "I'm Goin' Slide", both released as singles.[147] The Hangmen were from Rockville, Maryland and their membership included Tom Guernsey, previously from another band the Reekers.[148][149][150][151][152] They recorded a number of songs such as "Faces" and "What a Girl Can't Do."[148][149][150][151][152] The Mad Hatters, from Annapolis recorded several sides including "I'll Come Running."[153] From the Washington, DC area came the Fallen Angels, who recorded two albums for Roulette Records.[154]

Texas[edit]

The Lone Star State was home to one of the largest concentrations of bands, with much of the action happening in several regional centers, notably Dallas/Fort Worth, Houston, Corpus Christi, San Antonio, and Austin. Sam the Sam and the Pharaohs were from Dallas and were fronted by the charismatic Domingo "Sam" Samudio, who often wore a turban during performances.[155] In addition to recording three albums worth of material, they enjoyed two nationwide hits with "Wooly Bully" and "Little Miss Riding Hood."[155] Kenny And The Kasuals, also from Dallas cut the live album, Impact, and made several other recordings, including the song, "Journey to Tyme."[156] Mouse and the Traps from Tyler, recorded the Dylanesque "A Public Execution," and followed it up with the churning rocker "Made of Sugar Maid of Spice."[157] The Moving Sidewalks from Houston, featuring Billy Gibbons, later to go on to fame in ZZ Top, recorded numerous songs and recorded "99th Floor," which has long been prized by garage rock enthusiasts as a classic.[158] Neal Ford and the Fanatics, also from Houston recorded a number of songs, including "I Will if You Want," and "Gonna be My Girl," which were both regional hits.[159]

The 13th Floor Elevators, from Austin featured Roky Erickson on guitar and vocals and are perhaps the best-remembered Texas band of the era.[160] In 1966 they received national airplay with the single "You're Gonna Miss Me," which Erickson had previously recorded with his earlier band, the Spades.[160] Later that year they released the groundbreaking LP, The Psychedelic Sounds of the 13th Floor Elevators, which became influential in the burgeoning psychedelic movement.[160] The Zakary Thaks from Corpus Christi, recorded numerous songs and are best known for the frantic sped-up Kinks-inspired riffs of "Bad Girl."[161] Also from Corpus Christi, the Bad Seeds recorded several songs, such as "More of the Same."[162] The Outcasts, from San Antonio, recorded a number of tracks, but are best known for two hard-driving songs considered classics in the genre: "I'm in Pittsburgh and It's Raining" and the psychedelic-influenced protopunk of "1523 Blair."[163] The Sparkles, from Levelland, in West Texas, had existed in several different configurations since 1959, but it is their lineup between 1963 and 1967 that produced such songs as "Ain't No Friend of Mine", that is best known.[164] The Gentlemen, from Dallas, cut a single featuring a song that has been recognized as one of the greatest garage rock records of all time, the fuzz-drenched anthem "It's a Cryin' Shame."[165][166][167] G45 Legends called it "One of the top 10 tracks to play to anyone you need to convert to 60s garageism."[167][166]

Florida and the South[edit]

The peninsula of Southern Florida was rife with activity, particularly in the areas around Orlando, Miami, and Tampa. We the People, a popular fixture in the Orlando area, came about as the result of a merger between two bands and featured songwriters Tommy Talton and Wane Proctor. They went to Nashville and recorded a number of self-composed songs for the Challenge and RCA labels--several of which are now highly regarded.[168] They are known for primitive rockers, such as "You Burn Me Upside Down," and "Mirror of my Mind," as well as more eclectic pieces such as "In the Past," later covered by the Chocolate Watchband, which combines surf influence with the use of eastern scales played on an octachord, a large eight-stringed mandolin.[168][169][170] The Birdwatchers, from West Palm Beach achieved some national airplay with "I'm Gonna Love you Anyway," and made an appearance on TV show, Where the Action Is.[171][172] The Nightcrawlers, from Daytona Beach, had a folk-rock influenced sound and released several singles, but are best known for "Little Black Egg," which became a minor hit on the national charts.[173] From Miami came The Montells and Evil, whose members knew each other well, and who both at different times used the services of drummer Jeff Allen, who made regular trips to England, and was able to keep both bands abreast on the latest happenings in the London scene.[174][175][176] Both bands recorded a number of songs.[174] The Montells recorded a couple of numbers previously done by the Who, "Daddy Rolling Stone" and "I Can't Explain" as well as songs such as "You Can't Make Me."[174][177] Evil specialized in a harder, sometimes thrashing sound, epitomized in such protopunk anthems as the posthumously-released outtakes, "I'm Movin' On" and "From a Curbstone."[178][179][180] They released a single featuring their rendition of the Small Faces' "Whatcha Gonna Do About It" b/w "Always Runnin' Around," which was re-released on Capitol a few months later.[181] The Gants, from Greenwood, in the heat of the Mississippi Delta, recorded a number of songs, such as blues-drenched rocker, "(You Can't Blow) Smoke Rings" and the Beatles-inspired ballad, "I Wonder."[182][183]

Canada[edit]

The Paupers in 1967

The garage craze spread all over North America, and Canada was host to numerous of bands. The Guess Who, from Winnipeg, Manitoba began in 1958 and entered the mid-1960s essentially as a garage rock unit.[184][185] In 1965 they had a hit in both the U.S. and Canada with a version of British band Johnny Kidd & the Pirates' 1960 UK hit "Shakin' All Over."[185][184] As the '60s progressed they would evolve to a more sophisticated approach, for which they became better known. The Ugly Ducklings from Toronto, Ontario had a hard-driving R&B sound, and toured with the Rolling Stones in 1966.[186] They recorded several songs that are highly regarded by enthusiasts of garage including "Nuthin'" and "Just in Case You're Wondering," from 1966 and "Gaslight" from 1967.[187][186] The Haunted from Montreal specialized in a gritty blues-based sound influenced by the Rolling Stones and released the single "1-2-5," which has been re-issued in the Pebbles compilation series.[188] Two other bands from Toronto were the Paupers and the Mynah Birds. The Paupers released two albums and numerous songs, such as "If I told You Baby" and "Think I Care."[189][190] The Mynah Birds featured the unique combination of Rick James on lead vocals and Neil Young, who would both go on to fame as solo acts, as well as Bruce Palmer who later accompanied Young to California to join Buffalo Springfield in 1966.[191][192] They landed a contract with Motown Records and recorded a number of songs such as "I've Got You In My Soul," "It's My Time" and "It's a Long Time Baby."[191][192]

Elsewhere in the Americas[edit]

Outside of the mainland, garage rock also became a fixture in the islands and territories adjacent to the continent.[193][194] The Savages, from Bermuda, recorded an album which is considered seminal in the genre, Live ‘n Wild, recorded live at a Bermuda nightclub, which includes the song "The World Ain't Round It's Square," which has been cited as a classic anthem of youthful defiance.[193][194][195] The 1965 song "¡Demolición!" by Peruvian act Los Saicos is considered a South American classic. Allmusic, writing about Los Saicos, noted "The guitars sound like nothing so much as fountains of sparks, the drums have a tribal post-surf throb, and the vocals are positively unhinged" and "These guys were a punk rock band, even if nobody outside Lima knew it at the time".[196]

Decline[edit]

Despite scores of garage bands being signed to major or large regional labels, most were commercial failures. For instance, "Going All the Way" by the Squires was issued on a national label under Atco and is now regarded as a genre classic, but was not a hit anywhere.[197] It is generally agreed that garage rock peaked both commercially and artistically around 1966.[5] By 1968 the style largely disappeared from the national charts, the minor hit "Question of Temperature" by the Balloon Farm being a notable exception. It was also disappearing at the local level as amateur musicians faced college, work or the draft.[5] New styles had either evolved out of garage rock or replaced it, such as psychedelic rock, progressive rock, heavy metal, country rock, and bubblegum.[5] However, in Detroit, garage rock's legacy remained alive well into the 1970s, with bands such as the MC5, the Stooges, the Up and Death, who employed a much more aggressive approach to the form.

Later developments[edit]

Critical recognition[edit]

Iggy Pop of the Stooges onstage in 1977

At the time of its original happening in the 1960s, garage rock was not thought of as a genre, but merely as typical rudimentary rock of the period, and had no name.[198] However, in the early-1970s, certain rock critics, such as Dave Marsh, Lester Bangs, Greg Shaw, and Lenny Kaye, began to speak of the mid-'60s garage bands (as well bands that they considered continuing in their line, such as MC5 and the Stooges) as an actual genre, which they referred to as "punk rock."[199][200][201] In 1971, conjuring up a more innocent time, Lester Bangs would remark nostalgically about the garage bands of mid-60s: "...then punk bands started cropping up who were writing their own songs but taking the Yardbirds' sound and reducing it to this kind of goony fuzztone clatter...oh, it was beautiful, it was pure folklore, Old America, and sometimes I think those were the best days ever."[202] However, since the advent of the New York and London scenes of 1975-78, the term "punk rock" has become most commonly applied to groups emerging after 1974. Sixties garage bands are now most often described as "garage rock," but sometimes as "garage punk," "'60s punk," or, especially in the case of successors, such as MC5 and the Stooges, "protopunk."[203][204][205]

Emergence of punk aesthetic and movement[edit]

Main articles: Punk Rock and Punk subculture

Along with critical recognition, much of the revival of garage rock, and to a certain extent the emergence of the punk movement in the mid-1970s, can be traced to the release of the 1972 two-disk album Nuggets compiled by future Patti Smith guitarist Lenny Kaye, which drew together both commercially successful and relatively obscure tracks from the mid-1960s and whose sleeve notes used the term punk rock to describe the phenomenon.[206][207][208] As a result of the popularity of Nuggets, and critical attention being paid to primitive-sounding rock of past and present, a self-conscious musical aesthetic began to emerge around the term, "punk,"[209][210] that eventually, with the arrival of the New York and London scenes, would grow into a subculture, having its own look, iconography, identity, and values.[211][212] Iggy and the Stooges, arguably the last garage band, carried garage rock and protopunk into the early-1970s.[6] But, the mid to late-1970s saw the arrival of the bands most often viewed as the quintessential punk rock acts, most notably the Ramones, from New York, some of whose members had played in '60s garage bands,[213][214] and who are usually considered the first punk band as the term is now commonly understood, as well as the Sex Pistols, from London.[215][216] Both bands would spearhead the popular '70s punk movement from their two respective locations.[215][216] Though garage rock and protopunk influenced many of the bands from the New York and London scenes of this period,[217][218][219] punk rock had now become a movement with a subculture all of its own, [211][220] and the garage band era of the '60s came to be viewed as a distant forerunner.

Revivals[edit]

Main articles: Garage punk and Post-punk revival

Garage rock has continued to be an influence in rock. In the 1980s, another garage rock revival saw a number of bands linked to the underground music scene earnestly trying to replicate the sound, style, and look of the 1960s garage bands, including the Chesterfield Kings, the Fuzztones, the Pandoras, and the Lyres.[221] This trend coincided with a similar surf rock revival, and both styles fed in into the alternative rock movement and future grunge explosion, which some say was partially inspired by garage rock from the Tacoma area like the Sonics and the Wailers, but was largely unknown by fans outside the immediate circles of the bands themselves.[citation needed]

This movement also evolved into an even more primitive form of garage rock that became known as garage punk by the late 1980s, thanks to bands such as the Gories, thee Mighty Caesars, the Mummies and thee Headcoats.[222] Bands playing garage punk differ from the garage rock revival bands in that they do not necessarily attempt to replicate the exact look and sound of 1960s garage bands and their overall approach tends to be even louder and rawer, often infusing elements of protopunk and 1970s punk rock. But, the garage rock revival and garage punk have coexisted throughout the 1990s and into the 2000s, with many independent record labels releasing thousands of records by bands playing various styles of primitive rock and roll all around the world. Some of the more prolific of these independent record labels included Estrus,[223] Get Hip,[224] Bomp!,[225] and Sympathy for the Record Industry.[226]

The Black Keys performing in 2011

In the early 2000s, a garage rock or post-punk revival[227] achieved the airplay and commercial success that had eluded garage rock bands of the past. This was led by four bands: the Strokes of New York City, the Hives of Fagersta, Sweden, the Vines of Sydney, and the White Stripes from Detroit, Michigan, christened by the media as the The bands, or "The saviours of rock 'n' roll".[228] Other products of the Detroit rock scene included; the Von Bondies, Electric 6, the Dirtbombs and the Detroit Cobras[229] Elsewhere, other acts such as Billy Childish and the Buff Medways from Chatham, England,[230] the (International) Noise Conspiracy from Umeå, Sweden,[231] the 5.6.7.8's from Tokyo, Japan,[232] and Jay Reatard and the Oblivians from Memphis, USA[233] enjoyed moderate underground success and appeal. A second wave of bands that managed to gain international recognition as a result of the movement included the Black Keys,[234] Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, the Killers, Interpol, and Kings of Leon from the US,[235] the Libertines, the Arctic Monkeys, Bloc Party, the Editors, and Franz Ferdinand from the UK,[236] Jet from Australia,[237] and the Datsuns and the D4 from New Zealand.[238]

The mid-2000s saw several underground bands achieve some mainstream prominence. Bands such as Black Lips[239] and Jay Reatard,[240] who initially released their records on traditionally garage punk labels such as In the Red Records, began signing to larger, more well-known independent labels.[241] Several bands followed them in signing to larger labels such as Rough Trade[242] and Drag City.[243]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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  114. ^ Unterberger, Richie. "The Charlatans: Artist Biography". AllMusic. AllMusic, a division of All Media Network, LLC. Retrieved July 6, 2015. 
  115. ^ Montfichet, Stansted. "Warlocks:Artist Biography". AllMusic. AllMusic, a division of All Media Network, LLC. Retrieved July 6, 2015.  - AllMusic mentions term psychedic/garage in infobox. Grateful Dead's first album had pieces in similar vein with songs such as "Cream Puff War."
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  119. ^ Dahl, Bill. "The Buckinghams: Artist Biography". AllMusic. AllMusic, a division of All Media Network, LLC. Retrieved July 7, 2015. 
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Additional references[edit]

  • Buckley, Peter (2003). The Rough Guide to Rock: The Definitive Guide to More than 1200 Artists and Bands (3rd ed.). London: Rough Guides. ISBN 1843531054. 

Suggested reading[edit]

  • Bangs, Lester (ed. Greil Marcus) (1987, 2003) Psychotic Reactions and Carburetor Dung. Anchor Books (a division of Random House). New York. ISBN 0-679-72045-6 - a partial compendium of Bangs' articles discussing various musical topics, including some of the earliest writings about this genre
  • Bhatia, Sidharth (2014). India Psychedelic: The Story of a Rocking Generation. Harper Collins Publishers, India. ISBN 978-93-5029-837-4 - covers the garage and psychedelic beat boom in India during the '60s and early '70s
  • Hicks, Michael (2001) Sixties Rock: Garage, Psychedelic, and Other Satisfactions. University of Illinois Press. ISBN 0252069153 / ISBN 978-0252069154 - covers garage and psychedelic bands of the 60s
  • Lemlich, Jeffrey M. (2001) Savage Lost: Florida Garage Bands: The '60s and Beyond. Distinctive Publishing Corp. ISBN 978-0942963120 - covers '60s Florida garage rock scene
  • Markesich, Mike (2012) Teen Beat Mayhem. Priceless Info Press. ISBN 0985648252 / ISBN 978-0985648251 - includes information about more than 16,000 garage rock songs and recordings form the '60s
  • Marks, Ian D., Ian, and McIntyre, Iain. (2010) Wild About You: The Sixties Beat Explosion in Australia and New Zealand Verse Chorus Press. Portland, London, Melbourne. Foreword by Ian McFarlane. ISBN 978-1-891241-28-4 - covers '60s garage rock scene in Australia and New Zealand
  • Nobles, Mark (2012) Fort Worth's Rock and Roll Roots (Images of America series). Arcadia Publishing. ISBN 0738584991 / ISBN 978-0738584997 - covers '60s Fort Worth garage rock scene
  • Unterberger, Richie (1998) Unknown Legends of Rock 'n' Roll: Psychedelic Unknowns, Mad Geniuses, Punk Pioneers, Lo-Fi Mavericks & More. Backbeat Books. ISBN 0879305347 / ISBN 978-0879305345 - covers lesser known and overlooked rock artists from the 1960s, including garage and psychedelic
  • Unterberger, Richie (2000) Urban Spacemen and Wayfaring Strangers: Overlooked Innovators and Eccentric Visionaries of '60s Rock. Backbeat Books. ISBN 0879306165 / ISBN 978-0879306168 - covers more lesser known and overlooked rock artists from the 1960s, including garage and psychedelic

External links[edit]