We continue with our exploration of the many bands of the 1960s. As explained before, these groups typically were formed by a group of teenagers who usually began by practicing in their parent’s garage. This is where the term “Garage Bands” and “Garage Rock” comes from. It is not to be confused with what type of music genre they are known for. However, by popular demand, we will explore a few of the bands of the era that in fact did join the terms “Garage Band” with “Garage Punk” as far as music genre goes. In the 1972 compilation “Nuggets: Original Artyfacts from the First Psychedelic Era, 1965-1968” many groups were brought attention who otherwise may have drifted into obscurity. This compilation is considered vital in the history of “Garage Rock” and those bands who developed “Punk Rock”.
The Seeds formed in Los Angeles in 1965 are considered pioneers of punk rock and acid rock. The band found regular gigs at some local clubs and were known for their high energy live performances.
The bands first single “Can’t Seem to Make You Mine” was a hit in California in 1965, but did receive national attention until 1967. It reached number 41 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
Their next release in 1965 “Pushin’ Too Hard” received more attention and reached number 36 on the US Chart in 1966.
Later releases included “Mr. Farmer” in 1966 reaching number 86 and “A Thousand Shadows” reaching number 72 in 1967. The band released their final album in 1968 and dissolved shorty after despite some future attempts to reunite with different lineups.
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The Music Machine
The Music Machine from Los Angeles formed in 1966 are known for their untamed musical approach as well as their dark and rebellious image which consisted of the members of the band wearing all black.
Their first single “Talk Talk” was released later that year and reached number 15 on the Billboard Hot 100.
In 1967 “The People in Me” was released as the bands second single. However, the song did not have as much success, but reached number 66 on the US Chart.
Future singles fared worse with the third single “Double Yellow Line” in 1967 failing to break into the Hot 100 along with “Eagle Never Hunts the Fly” their fourth single. Although the original band was short lived breaking up in mid 1967 they are known for have a huge influence on groups that would follow.
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The 13th Floor Elevators
The 13th Floor Elevators formed in 1965 in Austin, Texas. Something that unique was their use of an electric jug player. Many refer to them as one of the first psychedelic bands.
“You’re Gonna Miss Me” was their debut single and reached number 55 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1966.
Their next single release “Reverberation” backed with “Fire Engine” is well known, but at the time did not crack the US Chart.
They had several other uncharted singles including “Slip Inside This House” in 1968 which was a local hit in Houston. Due to legal problems and drug overuse the band broke up in 1969.
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Them originated in Ireland before moving to England in 1964 due to a record deal with Decca Records. Van Morrison, the lead singer, launched his career with the band.
One of their most famous songs is “Gloria” originally released in 1964 as the “B” side of “Baby, Please Don’t Go”. At the time, the single did not reach the Billboard Hot 100, but was reissued in 1965 where it cracked the US Chart peaking at number 93.
“Here Comes The Night” released in 1965 was the band’s highest charting single reaching number 24 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Their next release “Mystic Eyes” peaked at number at 33. With the departure of Morrison, the band broke up in 1966.
As we have seen in other parts of this series, many bands of the 1960s were only successful for a short period of time; however, their influence has been felt through the decades. Many actually became more popular long after their original success. Several groups were ahead of their time and had a difficult time reaching the audiences of the era. It’s important to remember that the 1960s was a time when rock and roll music consisted of a lot of experimentation and growth. The style of music that was first considered a fad in the 1950s was truly still in its infancy during this time. Many listeners, as well as critics, did not understand it at the time; however, those bands and artists waiting in the wings definitely did take the many sounds into the future. We will explore more of these bands in the Nuggets compilation in our next section.
Sources and Further Information:
Nuggets: Original Artyfacts from the First Psychedelic Era is a groundbreaking compilation album of American psychedelic and garage rock singles released in the mid-to-late 1960s. It was assembled by Lenny Kaye, later lead guitarist for the Patti Smith Group, under the supervision of Jac Holzman, founder of Elektra Records.
The Seeds … pioneers of mid 60’s proto punk and garage rock. They remain one of the most iconic American rock bands.
Find The Seeds bio, music, credits, awards, & streaming links on AllMusic – L.A. garage band whose petulant attitude and…
Find The Music Machine bio, music, credits, awards, & streaming links on AllMusic – Best known for their 1960s classic “Talk…
In 1965, the band came together as a folk rock trio known as the Raggamuffins, before expanding to the quintet that was later rechristened the Music Machine. The group was known for their style of dress, clothing themselves in all-black attire.
We look at the history of the influential Texas psychedelic garage rock band.
Find The 13th Floor Elevators bio, music, credits, awards, & streaming links on AllMusic – Pioneers of psychedelia, these influential Texans…
The 13th Floor Elevators were an American rock band from Austin, Texas, formed by guitarist and vocalist Roky Erickson, electric jug player Tommy Hall, and guitarist Stacy Sutherland. The band existed from 1965 to 1969. During their career, the band released four LP records and seven 45s for the International Artists record label.
Find Them bio, music, credits, awards, & streaming links on AllMusic – Hard driving Irish R&B/garage band from the…
Them were a Northern Irish band formed in Belfast in April 1964, most prominently known for the garage rock standard ” Gloria” and launching singer Van Morrison’s musical career. The original five member band consisted of Morrison, Alan Henderson, Ronnie Milling, Billy Harrison and Eric Wrixon.