The Garage Band Era of the Sixties
The link for the Garage Band Jukebox is located at the end of the
Garage rock was a great period of time during the 60s. Many
top acts emerged from hits roots and other rock bands became regional stars.
Garage rock was a raw form of rock and roll that was first
popular in the United States and Canada from about 1963 to 1967. During the 1960s, it was not recognized as a
separate music genre and had no specific name. In the 1970s, some critics referred to the style as "punk rock", the
first form of music to bear this description; although it is sometimes called garage punk, protopunk, or 60s punk,
the style has predominantly been referred to as garage rock.
The term "garage rock" comes from the perception that many such
performers were young and amateurish, and often rehearsed in a family garage. Some bands were made up of middle-class teenagers from the suburbs, but some were from
rural or urban areas, while others were composed of professional musicians in their twenties.
The performances were often amateurish or naïve, with typical
themes revolving around the traumas of high school life and songs about "lying girls" being particularly
common. The lyrics and delivery were notably more aggressive than was
common at the time, often with growled or shouted vocals that dissolved into incoherent
screaming. Instrumentation was often characterised by the use of guitars
distorted through a fuzzbox. Nevertheless, garage rock acts were diverse
in both musical ability and in style, ranging from crude one-chord music (like the Seeds and the Keggs) to
near-studio musician quality (including the Knickerbockers, the Remains, and the Fifth Estate). There were also
regional variations in many parts of America with flourishing scenes particularly in California and
Texas. The Pacific Northwest states of Washington and Oregon had perhaps
the most defined regional sound.
The style had been evolving from regional scenes as early as 1958.
"Tall Cool One" (1959) by The Wailers and "Louie Louie" by The Kingsmen (1963) are mainstream examples of the genre
in its formative stages. By 1963, garage band singles were creeping into
the national charts in greater numbers, including Paul Revere and the Raiders (Boise), the Trashmen (Minneapolis) and the Rivieras
(South Bend, Indiana). Other influential garage bands, such as the Sonics
(Tacoma, Washington), never reached the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart. In this early period many bands were heavily influenced by surf rock and there was a
cross-pollination between garage rock and energetic and upbeat party frat rock, though the latter is sometimes
viewed as merely a sub-genre of garage rock.
The "British Invasion" of 1964 greatly influenced garage bands, providing them with a national audience and leading many (often
surf or hot rod groups) to adopt a British Invasion lilt. The Invasion
also inspired new, and often very raw, bands to form. Garage rock bands were generally influenced by those British
"beat groups" with a harder, blues-based attack, such as The Kinks, The Who, The Animals, The Yardbirds, The Small
Faces, The Pretty Things, Them, and The Rolling Stones. A handful of
British garage bands were formed, the most successful being the Troggs. Another influence was the folk-rock of the Byrds and Bob Dylan, especially on bands such as
Thousands of garage bands were extant in the USA and Canada during
the era and hundreds produced regional hits. Usually thought to be the
first to enjoy national success were The Beau Brummels with "Laugh, Laugh" and "Just a Little", which both reached
the top 10 in 1964. Other examples include: "Fortune Teller" by Des
Moines's The Image (1967), "The Witch" by Tacoma's The Sonics (1965), "Where You Gonna Go" by Detroit's Unrelated
Segments (1967), "It's Cold Outside" by Cleveland's The Choir, "Girl I Got News for You" by Miami's Birdwatchers
(1966) and "1-2-5" by Montreal's The Haunted. Boston's Remains, though only able to make it onto Billboard's
Bubbling Under charts, had enough of a following and reputation to open for the Beatles during their 1966 U.S.
tour. Michigan's Shondells released a minor regional hit in 1964 before
disbanding; when it was unearthed by a Pittsburgh DJ in 1965, the resulting success of "Hanky Panky" revived the
moribund career of Tommy James, who formed a new group of Shondells and went on to chart twelve more Top 40
There have quite a few groups that went on to international fame
and were first classified as garage bands. You can enjoy the music of some of these garage bands which include some
very hard to find songs.
Click here to go to the 60s Garage Band Jukebox.