Saluting 1960's Garage Rock

Posted by Billyjam, October 20, 2011 10:22am | Post a Comment

The Renegades UK "13 Women" (1966)

Upon hearing the news earlier this week of the recent passing in Finland of Kim Brown of the incredibly talented and way underrated Birmingham, England formed garage rock or "freakbeat punk" rock band The Renegades (as seen in video above doing their raw & inspired version of Bill Haley & The Comets' "Thirteen Women" - which has long been a favorite of my man Evan "Funk" Davies on WFMU) I've been going back and listening to that wonderful 1960's North American rock subegenre, that borrowed from the British blues rock bands who ironically in turn had borrowed from American blues artists, of garage rock which at the time wasn't even considered a separate form of rock. That happened after the fact in the seventies when it got dubbed "garage rock" or "60s garage" as well as such later tags as "beat," "psychedelic" or "psych," and "freakbeat" or "freakbeat punk" as in the above Renegades clip.

It was also in retrospect that I first came upon this wonderful music that many consider a precursor to punk because of its raw amateurish, albeit impassioned, adrenaline fueled basic rock energy/presentation with lots of distorted sounds and typically screamed, aggressive lyrics - just like punk rock. Like many other music fans, I first got introduced to garage rock courtesy of the wonderful Nuggets compilation (available at Amoeba) and the series it spawned (over a dozen Nuggets collections in all). Over the years there have been countless other garage compilations released such as the recent year release Who Needs Tomorrow? American 60s Garage Bands: 20 Rare Gems Compiled by The Bevis Frond which has a lot of unheard of under the radar gems from the 60's.  Like rap or soul or punk of bygone decades, garage rock was a prolific sub-genre that featured more talented bands that never made the charts than ones who did get some type of mainstream attention - if only fleetingly. Hence a lot of the music fell way under the radar (good because it never got watered down for mainstream acceptance) which is why there are not too many film/video clips available of most of this music.

Below I have assembled a few prime examples of this music including some very well known tracks such as The Electric Prunes "I Had Too Much To Dream Last Night" and The Seeds' "Pushin Too Hard" featuring lead singer / founding member Sky "Sunlight" Saxon who passed away a couple of years ago. Also below are Pennsylvania's The Magic Mushrooms ("It's A Happening"), LA's Merrell Fankhauser & H.M.S Bounty ("Lost In The City"), and California's The Fatimas ("Hoochy Coo") who were one of the few female groups in this male dominated genre.

The Seeds "Pushin Too Hard" (1967)

The Electric Prunes "I Had Too Much To Dream Last Night" (1966)

The Magic Mushrooms "It's a Happening" (1967)

The Fatimas "Hoochy Coo" (1967)

Merrell Fankhauser & H.M.S Bounty "Lost In The City" (1968)

Relevant Tags

Garage Rock (23), Psych (18), Wfmu (34), Evan "funk" Davies (1), Renegades (1), The Seeds (3), Sixties Rock (1)