Back in the late 60’s, when suddenly garage bands were booming and scoring hits, there was a bevy of groups who hit the Top 40.
The Leaves (Hey Joe), The Sonics (The Witch, among others, documented here even), The Count Five (Psychotic Reaction, made even more famous by the late Lester Bangs), and The Standells (Dirty Water, made even more famous by the Red Sox) are some of those collectives who scored radio play.
And in there was the double Rickenbacker sound (gets me like I think dual SG’s get Steve) and quasi Brit look the Syndicate of Sound carried on their flirt with fame.
See for yourself.
Hey, it’s The Oneders!
This song was on the first Dead Boys and always evoked, “What the hell is that doing there?” when listening to the album. And, believe it or not, for once I actually knew the original of this song before I knew the cover.
I saw this video on Where The Action Is when I was about 10. My first band played it, The Mother’s Image, in 6th Grade. They kicked me out because I wasn’t cute enough, yup, they brought in Johnny Er on lead guitar to placate the 6th Grade Girls. I was new to that school and man those girls were cruel. Cruelty made them hard to love but I did anyway. Men are such chumps.
The Dead Boys played it cuz it’s roots. All the New York bands covered one or more of the garage classics, it was like a side competition. The Dead Boys weren’t from New York but they came soon enough. Television did Fire Engine, the Ramones did California Sun, Blondie did Liar, Liar, David Johansen did It’s My Life, The Dictators did We Ain’t Got Nothin’ Yet, the Heartbreakers did I’m Not You’re Steppin’ Stone, mutilply by Mo, Larry and Curley and you get the picture. The Victims did a good version of this one, which I think I’ve posted before but it’s at the top of the list:
Whoa. I almost stuck the Music Machine in the list of garage bands cos I always loved this song. The drums–the machine gun rolls–at the finale are particularly hot.
Whoa indeed. Lots to say about this one:
1) Poor hyena. Pacing his tiny cage in the old-time zoo.
2) You could kill someone with those big honkin’ guitars.
3) Why five dancers and not six? Balance.
4) Dancers remind me of the Charlie Brown dancers at Christmas.
When the Dead Boys were covering Hey Little Girl, it had been maybe 20 years since the birth of rock ‘n’ roll. Oldies weren’t that old. All those bands covered the garage tunes and oldies because that showed respect for history, which was fresh enough to be alive.
We look back 20 years now and Kurt Cobain, the exemplar of rock ‘n’ roll’s fourth generation, is dead. And for the most part the guitar band sound is moribund.
Guitar band sound? What guitar band sound? Was at a party last night and a young girl doing the music asked if we wanted to hear some EDM. I was like, “EDM? WTF?”
Apparently EDM is Electronic Dance Music. You learn something bad every day.
Many art movements through the centuries regarded themselves as “back to basics,” and added a twist or two, usually driven by new technology. The original thrust of what came to be known as “punk” – it had no name at first – was “strip it down and soup it up.” It reminds me of the comment that Wayne Kramer made in the MC5 documentary, that cars and music were parts of the same thing.