Tuesday, March 20, 2012


Have you voted for YOUR Favorite Garage Bands yet?
The polls are now officially open.
In fact, we've already received a few responses to the suggestion that we poll our readers for their All-Time Favorite Garage Bands ...
So if you guys are up for it, I'm up for it ...
Just send in your votes and nominations and we'll start to tally 'em up.
And, just to keep things interesting, everyone who places a vote will automatically be registered to win a copy of a brand new, sealed Garage Band CD courtesy of our FH Buddy Mike Dugo of 60sgaragebands.com
(Be sure to visit Mike's website, too, for more great suggestions.) 
In order to qualify, the artist had to place at least ONE record on the pop singles chart ... but, to keep things interesting, we're going to expand that criteria to include the "Bubbling Under" charts, where many of these more obscure tracks lingered for a week or two.
And, just to get you started, you'll find some solid suggestions below!
The Polls are now OFFICIALLY open ... we'll tabulate your votes thru June 1st ... and announce The Top 20 Favorite Garage Bands shortly after that.  And if any of our oldies radio partners can help us to get the word out, I'd really appreciate it.  Let's poll The Oldies Nation and determine Your All-Time Favorites!
Regarding Favorite Garage Bands ... Funny you should ask ...
I have already made up a CD featuring the Garage Bands of the 60's.
If you'd like a copy, let me know.
 (click photos to enlarge)
THE place to go for '60's Garage Bands is a site called (quite appropriately) 60sgaragebands.com!!!    Click here: 1960s Garage Bands
Our buddy Mike Dugo runs the site and was quite impressed with your list ... then added a few more of his own ...
Wow, Kent - That's a fantastic selection.  Looks like the only one he didn't include that I listed is The Shadows Of Knight.  There are some debatable acts (Cyrkle, John Fred) but we knew that there were be since the true definition of "garage band" has become blurred over time.  The Seeds headlined the Hollywood Bowl, appeared on American Bandstand, appeared on a sitcom, and appeared in a movie.  If that isn't a national big time rock band, nothing is - yet they are considered one of the quintessential garage bands.
This poll sounds like an interesting and very cool idea. I assure you getting sound files won't be a problem. If the song is by a U.S garage band in the '60s, I'd be shocked if I didn't have it. If it's from the '70s ... I probably won't. I have a very narrow focus for my musical tastes ... but I'm guessing the name of my website gave that away already. ;)
I'm also guessing doing a paragraph bio on each group won't be a problem either. It all sounds like a really fun idea to me ... and judging by the amount of comments you routinely get, I'm sure it will be a very lively poll.  I guess the next steps will be to compile the Top 20 ... and I assume the songs should have charted if we expect people to be able to honestly vote.
And, just to keep things interesting, I'll be more than happy to provide brand new / sealed CDs of two garage bands - The Chains and Those Guys - that I've released on my 60sgaragebands.com label as "prizes".  These are 100% top-notch releases, with full band bios, rare photos, unreleased songs and jam-packed liner notes.  I'll gladly send you one of each as well if you'd like to listen to some classy garage rock.
Here are some of the groups I imagine we'd include:
Seeds - Pushin' Too Hard
? & Mysterians - 96 Tears
Music Machine - Talk Talk
Standells - Dirty Water
McCoys - Hang On Sloopy
Knickerbockers - Lies
Eletric Prunes - (I Had) Too Much To Dream
Shadows Of Knight - Gloria
Kingsmen - Louie Louie
Outsiders - Time Won't Let Me
Hombres - Let It out (Let It All Hang Out)
Fifth Estate - Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead (Have to ... for Furv)
Every Mother's Son - Come On Down To My Boat Baby
As we've discussed, some of these push the boundaries of "garage band" ... but if we limited this to TRUE garage bands, I'm afraid nobody will know the groups or songs!
The reason that the Shadows Of Knight (Mount Prospect, Prospect High School KNIGHTS where Jimmy Sohns and I went to high school in the late '60s) is not on the CD is that they are included in my Chicago Bands of the "60s compilation CD which I think you have. There are several groups on this CD which could be considered a Garage Band.
True, true ... between The Shadows Of Knight and early material by The New Colony Six, The Cryan' Shames and even the pre-Columbia Records Buckinghams, ALL of these bands constituted the raw energy of the '60's Garage Band.  Add to this list the pre-horn Ides Of March ("You Wouldn't Listen") and The American Breed ... the pre-Art Rock Flock ... maybe even The Mauds ... and we could have had one hell of a "Garage Sale" right here in Chicago in the 1960's!!! (kk)
For the record, since first mentioning this idea the other day, we've received just over a hundred votes and nominations so far ... 106 to be exact!!!  So keep 'em coming, folks!
Early leaders include The Shadows Of Knight, ? and the Mysterians, The Seeds, The Standells and The Leaves.  (Man, I would have figured The Kingsmen would have run away with this thing!!!) 
Maybe some of our oldies radio partners can help to spread the word and direct their listeners over to The Forgotten Hits Website to cast their votes for THEIR all-time favorite Garage Bands of the '60's.  Meanwhile, Mike Dugo and I will partner-up and put together the final list of your Top 20 Favorites ... we'll run the results on both websites and Mike will come up with a short bio on each band selected.  Then we'll randomly give away a couple of those Garage Band CD's he mentioned earlier.
If you'd like to vote for YOUR favorites, just drop us an email and we'll add your votes to the list.
I'm not sure how long we'll keep the polls open yet ... let's see what kind of responses we get.
And, if Mike will donate a couple of CD's for a give-away, we'll be happy to award a couple of prizes, too ...
So stay tuned! (kk)
>>>Getting back to Question Mark and the Mysterians, their backgrounds must still be a mystery since the "master" doesn't know.  Just a thought, I think the two best Garage Band  Songs came out the same year 1966:  96 Tears and Gloria by the Shadows of Knight.  Would be interesting to see some of your readers favorite Garage Band Songs.  Keep up the Great Work!!!  (Carolyn)
>>>Well, we did our Psychedelic Poll a few years back ... I don't see why we couldn't put together a Garage Band Poll, too.  My fear is that many of these bands would be so obscure that we might not be able to find musical selections for all of them!  And the line between garage band and psychedelia seems to have blurred and blended into what we now refer to as "nuggets" these days ... quite honestly, it might be difficult to make a distinction between the two.  But hey, I'm up for anything.  (Maybe we can enlist our buddy Mike Dugo, who runs the 60's Garage Bands website, to assist us with this project ... what do you say, Mike???)  kk
Was there some question about the story behind "96 Tears" and Question Mark & the Mysterians?  I put the whole story in my book "The Top Ten."
Gary Theroux
I'm not sure WHAT the question (about Question Mark) is!!!  I don't recall seeing anything on this (nor is there anything specific mentioned in Carolyn's letter) ... so I'm really not sure.  But, if you'd like to run your piece here in Forgotten Hits, I'd be most happy to do so.
(I recently told the story about how The Drive / Rock And Roll Roots DJ Bob Stroud complimented Question Mark (real name Rudy Martinez) after a performance a few years back ... and was told (after Bob addressed him as "Rudy") that "It's QUESTION MARK!!!"  Hmm ... no question there, I guess!!! (lol)
Anyway, send us your piece and we'll gladly run it!  Thanks, Gary!  (kk)
Making Question Mark & the Mysterians appear to be enigmatic was a succesful marketing gimmick in 1966.  Over the years since, though, that's proved to be a bit of a problem for fans of the band, which disappeared (along with their label) almost as quickly as "96 Tears" flashed across the airwaves.  Who the heck were those guys and where did their proto-punk song come from?  The mysterious nature of the band and the story behind "96 Tears" were both kept pretty much hidden until I first worked the essence of the truth into "The History of Rock 'n' Roll" radio documentary in 1978.  In 1982 I went into greater detail on page 127 of my book "The Top Ten," which originated the now often copied idea of collecting in print the stories behind the biggest hits of each year.  "96 Tears" ranked #7 among the Top 10 hits of 1966.  (see attached)
Gary Theroux