MONDAY, MARCH 9, 2015
WEEK 10: GARAGE PUNK
The one thing the American rock’n’roll of the fifties taught the next generation was how they could define their own idea of culture and cool through music. And in 1963 America, the next generation and teen culture were everything; clothes, jeans, hot rods, surfing, dance crazes, motorbikes, and most of all records. The first version of ‘Louie Louie’, the very bedrock of everything here, had even started to hit the airwaves of The Kingsmen’s local radio station in Portland, Oregon.
Of course, the other thing that happened in 1963 was The Beatles. But what really impressed teenage, wannabe, rock’n’rollers the most in Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Dallas, Houston, Cleveland, Chicago and a multitude of other places, was the sound of their own undiscovered roots in the R&B of youthful Brit’s The Stones, The Animals, The Yardbirds, The Pretty Things and Van Morrison’s Them. They all managed to surpass The Beatles, perhaps not in sales or their ability to make young girls scream like banshees, but in offering American kids their first exposure to the authentic blues of their homeland, R&B’s strutting sexuality and sheer menace giving them a vital outlet for all their raging rebelliousness.
Laying down a template that would be copied inadvertently 13 years later in punky, provincial Britain, every suburban teenage boy grabbed a guitar, grew his hair and began to bang out trashy, primal, rock’n’roll tunes that made up for in pure snotty arrogance and aggression what they lacked in finesse and originality. Made by groups of hormonal white boy’s lusting after and finding out about sex, drugs and rock’n’roll, their songs may have been built on an imitation of British beat groups copying R&B, but they continued the notion that teenage music can only ever belong to the young and all you really need to make it is an attitude, the most rudimentary musical skill and the desire.
There were loads of them; in every suburb, every hick town and every state. A handful even managed to find some well-deserved recognition; their regional hits turning into conventional, if short lived, recording careers. But with little or no access to the regular music biz, most had to make do with local hero status and one, maybe two, singles.
Created in obscurity, that’s where they stayed until 1972 when Lenny Kaye’s infamous Nuggets album sparked an interest in the past that had never previously existed. Codifying the idea of a move back to basics that had been knocking around since the turn of the seventies, Kaye’s compilation inspired an exhaustive reissue program of rare, almost mythical, garage punk singles that continues to this day.
01 THE KINGSMEN ‘Louie Louie’ (A Side September 1963)
02 THE TRASHMEN ‘Bird Dance Beat’ (A Side January 1964)
03 FLOYD DAKEL COMBO ‘Dance Franny Dance’ (A Side February 1964)
04 THE NOVAS ‘The Crusher’ (A Side June 1964)
05 THE READY MEN ‘Shortnin’ Bread’ (A Side August 1964)
06 SAM THE SHAM & THE PHAROAHS ‘Wooly Bully’ (A Side November 1964)
07 COUNT FIVE ‘Psychotic Reaction’ (A Side February 1965)
08 ROCKY & THE RIDDLERS ‘Flash And Crash’ (A Side March 1965)
09 THE STRANGELOVES ‘I Want Candy’ (A Side May 1965)
10 FALLEN ANGELS ‘Bad Woman’ (A Side June 1965)
11 THE BARBARIANS ‘Are You A Boy Or Are You A Girl’ (A Side July 1965)
12 THE GRODES ‘Let’s Talk About Girls’ (A Side September 1965)
13 THE WILDE KNIGHTS ‘Beaver Patrol’ (A Side September 1965)
14 BOBBY FULLER FOUR ‘I Fought The Law’ (A Side November 1965)
15 THE STANDELLS ‘Dirty Water’ (A Side November 1965)
16 THE SONICS ‘Strychnine’ (Here Are The Sonics LP November 1965)
17 THE BROGUES ‘I Ain’t No Miracle Worker’ (A Side November 1965)
18 THE LYRICS ‘So What!’ (A Side November 1965)
19 THE SEEDS ‘Pushin’ Too Hard’ (A Side November 1965)
20 THE STOICS ‘Hate’ (A Side December 1965)
21 13TH FLOOR ELEVATORS ‘You’re Gonna Miss Me’ (A Side January 1966)
22 QUESTION MARK & THE MYSTERIANS ’96 Tears’ (A Side January 1966)
23 SHADOWS OF KNIGHT ‘Gloria’ (A Side January 1966)
24 THE GROUPIES ‘Primitive’ (A Side January 1966)
25 SYNDICATE OF SOUND ‘Little Girl’ (A Side February 1966)
26 PAUL REVERE & THE RAIDERS ‘I’m Not Your Stepping Stone’ (Midnight Ride LP March 1966)
27 LOVE ‘My Little Red Book’ (A Side March 1966)
28 THE MONKS ‘Complication’ (A Side March 1966)
29 THE LEAVES ‘Hey Joe’ (A Side April 1966)
30 THE OTHER HALF ‘Mr Pharmacist’ (A Side September 1966)