Monday, April 16, 2012

More Garage Band Suggestions

Actually, Mike's garage band definition really did help me out a bit ... 
I mean the fog is beginning to lift.  I am glad to know that the term was not used in the 60's as I was worried I had experienced a major black-out and the saying, "If you remember the 60's, then you weren't really there." was now applying to me.  Sound, as a pretty consistent basis in all music, is what we are going for.  Gotcha ... pretty much ... or at least better than before.  Thank you.
Shelley J. Sweet-Tufano 

Got this from Clark Weber, Program Director of WLS Radio back in the '60's, that begs to differ with the term "garage band" being used in the '60's ... read on ...
Hi Kent; 
Enjoyed the comments Mike Dugo and others have made regarding the “Garage Bands” of the 60’s. However I would have to disagree with the statement that those groups were not called “Garage Bands” at the time.  As both a DJ and the Program Director of WLS in the 60’s I did refer to them as Garage Bands when I chose their songs for airplay. Those first songs recorded by those local groups were by and large primitive and that was part of their charm. Their music was featured on the “WLS Extra Playlist” not so much for their musical skills, though they did show promise, but rather for their loyal fans who found another reason to listen to WLS. Those kids were marketing tools to gain listeners and, as a result of their exposure and fame, many of them grew to be top notched groups. A classic example of a “one car garage band” was Tommy James and the Shondells and “Hanky Panky. The first time I heard their song was at a beach party "record hop” in Michigan. Musically they were awful but they did grow. The same held true for so many “Garage Bands.” Whether they learned their skills in a rec room or among cans of 10W30 motor oil, they did evolve and many of them certainly made great music regardless of their roots.  
Clark Weber 

First things I thought of while reading Tuesday's Comments. Saw the group Love mentioned (7 plus 7 is). The Trashmen's recording of SURFIN' BIRD made it to number one here in OKC. Always did like their followup BIRD DANCE BEAT.
I liked Phil Nee's selections (particularly numbers 3, 8, 15, 23,) in that the songs they did that were listed. Finally, the group 5 x 5 had two big hits here in OKC, the aforementioned FIRE in 1968 and APPLE CIDER in 1969, both on Paula records.
And WLSClark was right about LOUIE LOUIE ... here in OKC, it peaked at #3 for the week of January 2, 1964, and it peaked at #1 for the week of September 2, 1965.
Larry Neal
I remember doing a piece on "Apple Cider" about ten years ago ... apparently a big local hit in several different areas of the country, but never enough at one time to ever allow it to crack the Top 100. (kk)   

I enjoyed the garage band coverage today. You highlighted several Chicago bands including the Cryan' Shames. Thought you might get a kick out of this short story.
I was in a band from about 1967 - 1971. When we first tried to think of a name we happened to look at their Sugar & Spice album. On the back it read "Cover photo taken at 'The Sweet Tooth' in Pipers Alley, Old Town, Chicago." Thus our band's name was born ... Pipers Alley. Toad & the boys inspired us musically and also gave us our name. We were just a garage band that worked out of Eau Claire for a few years ... never really had any success other than a ton of area gigs. I have attached one of our old posters just for giggles. I blocked out the phone number and address so the current residents aren't bothered.

LOL ... you guys look like you're about eleven years old in this picture!!!  Cool that you've hung on to this for all these years.  SO much of my stuff has been lost or destroyed over the decades thanks to moves, floods, etc.  Betcha this one makes you smile every time you look at it.  Thanks, Steve!  (kk)

Hey Kent,
I've been racking my brain to come up with a band that truly had that "recorded in a garage" sound. The band I came up with was The Surfaris, and their hit "Wipe Out". The flipside, "Surfer Joe", REALLY had that garage sound, didn't it? Summer is coming!
- John LaPuzza

How about these two:
HOT PASTRAMI by the Dartells?
HIPPY HIPPY SHAKE Swinging Blue Jeans?
I forgot who did the original "Hippy ...", but it's still noting the "British / U.K. Invasion" period for giving us a few "garage band" classics from "across the pond".
Tal Hartsfeld

Nashville seemed to produce quite a number of garage bands who were never heard out of the local area. The PBR song is perhaps the weakest lyric ever cut into vinyl.  The Feminine Complex were neighbors and classmates of mine from Maplewood High, and they were more a carport band and a basement band than a garage band.
David Lewis
In virtually every city, the middle-'60's produced a (new) wave of garage bands, pounding out the beat.  For every one that made it, there were dozens of others who scored a record deal ... but never a hit record ... and literally hundreds and hundreds more who, although packing the clubs every weekend, never saw the inside of a recording studio.
It was raw, spontaneous music ... feel-good stuff that captivated our classmates at all of our high school hops.  If you could do a reasonably fair representation of the hot songs of the day, you could probably land a job playing this music before a live audience ... and, most of the time, even get away with sneaking in a few original compositions, too.
It was an exciting time ... but short-lived ... music changed SO quickly in the '60's, maturing literally overnight to a more sophisticated sound.  There was so much experimentation going on ... and the competition to make it was never fiercer.  Records only stayed on the charts for a month or two back then ... and groups were often releasing as many as four or five singles per year ... and, in some cases, two or three LP's, too!
But there was just something about pounding these tunes out live at your frantic best that kept many of us young, hopeful wanna-bes going.  (kk) 

Actually, the most listener-friendly tune you sent me is probably this one ... the Anglo Saxon version of "Ruby", a Top Ten Hit for Kenny Rogers and the First Edition back in 1969.  (kk)

By copy of this note, Kent, all the NC6 guys, current and past, whose e-mail addresses I have (plus a handful of other important / interested parties), will know of the garage band “competition”.  Please cast my vote for us, and you can base it upon a film project that has yet to become reality and may never happen, but ... before the market crash in 2008 a representative for a combination effort by a world-renowned compilation record label and a major film studio had contacted me about flying to L.A. for a filmed interview as they were doing a documentary covering the history of garage rock and were going to include profiles on six bands they considered to be founders of and / or major contributors to the beginning of the genre --- one of them being the New Colony Six! 
I rest my case, yeronner.
Thanks for staying in touch, Kent; I still make time to check in at the site, but not enough to send comments.  Happy spring weekend to you, Frannie, Paige, and, of course, all my band mates / dear friends!     
Ray Graffia, Jr.
I've received quite a few votes for The New Colony Six so far ... including one from Craig Kempinksi, former keyboardist for the group.  I don't know if any of you guys had the chance to catch me on Dave The Rave's "Relics And Rarities" Show Saturday Night or not, but we played "I Lie Awake" as MY Garage Band "Pick Hit" ... and I told him the "Rhapsody In Blue" story.  (Any folks on the list that are not familiar with that?  Give a listen to the opening melody once the lyrics start on "I Lie Awake" ... it's The New Colony Six's tribute to the Gershwin classic "Rhapsody In Blue"!)  In fact, Dave told me to make sure to mention to Ronnie Rice that he plays all of his early, pre-NC6 cuts on his program, too.  (Hence the name, Relics and Rarities!!!)  Please pass the info along (as I know Ronnie doesn't "do" emails!!!  lol)
Dave also cast his vote not only for you guys, but also for Cherry Slush and Richard and the Young Lions.  Richard and the Young Lions charted once (for a week!) in 1966 with "Open Up Your Door" ... it peaked at #99! (lol) ... and they've actually earned 17 votes so far in our Favorite Garage Bands Poll.  Cherry Slush "bubbled under" with their only Billboard chart appearance ... "I Cannot Stop You" reached #119 in 1968.  (I remember first hearing their stuff when they appeared on Dave The Rave's program a few years ago.)  kk

I have gotten back to transferring my vinyl to mp3's and ran into a garage band for you. The Leaves. An L.A. band that hit #31 with "Hey Joe" in 1966. They also qualify for one hit wonders. 
Steve Hotvedt  
The Leaves are already among our leaders right now ... one of half a dozen acts with over 50 votes thus far.  But we'll cast another one for you right now!  Thanks, Steve!  (kk)  

PLEASE NOTE:  EVERY group mentioned today is eligible for your votes ... SO VOTE!!!  Several groups have already jumped out to a significant lead ... in a couple of weeks, we'll narrow down the list and let you know which artists are still eligible for your votes.  Then, based on this new "ballot", we'll ask all of you to vote again in an effort to determine the ULTIMATE Top 20 Garage Bands.  Stay tuned!  (kk)