Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Your All-Time Favorite Garage Bands

We haven't mentioned our Favorite Garage Bands Poll for a little while ... but we are still tabulating your votes (which are, at this point, just trickling in ... probably because we haven't mentioned our Favorite Garage Bands Poll for a little while!!!  See how that works?!?!?)
Anyway, here are a few of your recent comments and suggestions ... and we'll run a few more later this week.  Meanwhile, be sure to vote for YOUR favorites.  We'll announce The Top 20 Favorites sometime after June 1st ... so cast your votes now!

Hey Kent,
I noticed that The Shadows of Knight is receiving many votes for your Best of the Garage Bands. Here's a story I'd like to share.
In the Summer of 1967, I was drumming in a local band called The Barons. We were fortunate to play in a battle of the bands weekend festival at the Civic Auditorium, downtown. The Shadows of Night was the headlining band on Saturday. They showed up with only their guitars, and the drummer was circulating around, scoping out drum sets from all the other bands. I was playing a fairly new set, made by the same company he endorsed. As our band was in the middle of our rockin' set, a festival worker got on stage, and came up behind me, right in the middle of a song. When he started yelling in my ear, it scared me, at first. "GUESS WHAT? The Shadows of Knight want to use YOUR drums!!" WOW! How could I turn THAT down? Having some bad experiences of loaning out my equipment in the past, and not liking the way I was smugly yelled at, while I was trying to play, I turned and, without missing a beat,  said to him, "I don't think so". The look on his face was classic, as if I had just turned down Ringo Starr! When I watched the "Shadows" finally play, the drummer had to settle on a cheapy drum set, that was not his brand!
Anyway, a while back,  I wrote about an unheralded band, called, FIVE BY FIVE, that had a great Jimi Hendrix cover hit of "Fire". I'd like to throw their hat into the ring for Best Garage Band.
-- John LaPuzza
Good story!  The Shadows of Knight have opened up a formidable lead in the voting ... but it's still early yet ... we're going to continue tabulating votes until June 1st ... so PLENTY of time to get your votes in.  And, for the record, Five By Five have already earned themselves a few votes in our latest FH Poll,too.  Thanks, John!  (kk)

OK, Top Garage Bands:
Major Label style:  Bobby Fuller 4, Love, Trashmen, Remains, Gants, Standells, Chocolate Watch Band, 5 Americans, Seeds, Blues Magoos, McCoys, Robbs, Choir, Electric Prunes  
Smaller label style:  Dovers, Grodes / Tongues Of Truth, Shadows Of Knight, Sonics, Fantastic Dee-Jays / Swamp Rats, We The People, Bad Seeds, Rivieras, Mouse & Traps, Zakary Thaks, Leaves, Guilloteens  
These groups had to have at least 3 records.  
Lots of folks have been nominating bands ...
Other folks are nominating specific songs.
We don't care ... we just want your votes!!!
And, once we compile The Top 20 Favorite Garage Bands, we'll probably feature a track or two from each of them!
So get your votes in now!  Polls close June 1st!  (kk)

I compiled this while dining on my lonely TV dinner in the break room today.  There are some Wisconsin acts  that get requested on my show.  The Robin and the 3 Hoods record was on a lot of juke boxes in Wisconsin and lots of local bands played it.  It sounds like it was truly recorded in a garage!  Once I got started with my list I couldn't stop until I hit 25. 
Phil Nee - WRCO
1.  Hey Joe - The Leaves
2.  I Wanna Do It - Robin and the 3 Hoods
3.  Roadrunner - The Gants
4.  Live - Merry Go Round
5.  Love's Made A Fool Of You - Bobby Fuller Four
6.  Midnight Hour - The Messengers
7.  Open My Eyes - Nazz
8.  Sometimes Good Guys - Standells
9.  At the Rivers Edge - New Colony Six
10. Oh Yeah - Shadows of Night
11. Little Girl - Count Five
12. 96 Tears - Question Mark
13. Question of Temperature - Balloon Farm
14. I Had Too Much To Dream - Electric Prunes
15. One Track Mind - Knickerbockers
16. Are You A Boy Or Are You A Girl - Barbarians
17. Liar Liar - Castaways
18. Birthday - Underground Sunshine
19. Jolly Green Giant - Kingsmen
20. Words - Monkees
21. Roller Coaster - Ides Of March
22. Mr. Unreliable - Cryan'Shames
23. Come On Lets Go - McCoys
24. Bittersweet - The Robbs
25. Talk Talk - Music Machine
Some GREAT choices, Phil! (Who knows ... Phil Nee just may be counting down The Top 20 Favorite Garage Bands once the votes have been tallied!  So stay tuned for more info on that, too!)  kk

I've got a few garage bands for you. 
1. ? & the Mysterians - 96 Tears
2. The Spirit - I Got a Line on You (Nobody's mentioned them!)
3. The Sunrays - I Live for the Sun (They're also being overlooked.)
4. Blues Magoos - (You Ain't Got) Nothin' Yet
5. Electric Prunes - I Had Too Much to Dream (Last Night)
6. Standells - Why Pick on Me
7. The Seeds - Pushin' Too Hard
8. John's Children - Smashed! Blocked! (maybe the best example of British garage rock, if there is such a thing)
Dann Isbell

A few good nominees on the list today ...

Let's feature a couple of tracks to get your juices flowing! 

For starters, everybody keeps mentioning The Shadows Of Knight and their killer hit "Gloria" ... but you guys all know that one.
How about their follow-up hit "Oh Yeah", a #39 record in 1966 that went all the way to #13 here in their hometown of Chicago.

Next, "Fire" by Five By Five ... the hit version of the Jimi Hendrix album classic ... a #38 Hit in 1968 that made it to #5 here in Chi-Town.

And, finally, how about "Surfin' Bird" by The Trashmen, described by one FH Reader as "the DEFINITIVE Garage Band" ... and he may be right.  Did ANYTHING else EVER sound THIS much "out of the garage" as THIS one?!?!?  (On the other hand, many folks will argue that by pure nature of its title alone "Surfin' Bird" is the definitive SURF anthem ... and is not a garage band song at all!  In all fairness, "Papa-Oom-Mow-Mow" entered surf lingo ... and pop culture ... as a direct result of this song ... and others like it by The Rivingtons and The Trashmen's follow up hit "Bird Dance Beat" ... so YOU decide!)  Meanwhile, Cowabunga, Dude!  (kk)

Email your votes in now!!!  (kk)