I learned to like garage rock all over again when my husband (pictured above) played in a band a couple of years back. The magnitude of the sound grabbed me and just didn’t let go.
So, (1) how did garage rock come about, and (2) what is it?
It was The Ed Sullivan show and the British Invasion that opened the flood gates to the style. Soon it popped up all over the world, especially in Los Angeles. A sound that teenagers could imitate so long as they learned three chords, then put a band together in the family’s garage.
And what the heck is garage rock? To quote a drummer friend, garage rock is “a mutated state of angst.”
Lenny Kaye, music historian says, “It is the story of a transition period in America … an era which dashed by so fast, nobody knew what to make of it … only noticeable in retrospect.”
He goes on to say, “The English Invasion had started the ball rolling, not only reacquinting musicians with roots (blues, early rock), but provoiding models for a new breed of band, suddenly liberated from the Venture-like instruments.”
And what does garage rock sound like? Primitive rock, loud, obnoxious, genius in its simplicity, in your face, rebelious, energetic, and … a lot fun.
The song “Gloria” … remember it?
And her name is G-L-O-R-I
I’m gonna shout it all night (GLORIA)
I’m gonna shout it everyday (GLORIA)
Garage rock in all its splendor, right there, by Them, a ’60s Northern Irish band, known for launching singer Van Morrison’s career.
How about “You’re Pushing Too Hard” by The Seeds?
“You’re pushin’ too hard about the things you say / You’re pushin’ too hard every night and day.”
In the L.A. scene, some garage rockers worthy of notice are: The Seeds, The Chocolate Watch Band, Music Machine — all from the ’60s.
The movement gave birth to a plethora of bands, many of them known only in various regions. Some made it big, others remained local or faded into the background, but a new generation of musicians gave us songs that will forever be around as garage-rock staples.
So, let’s rock …G-L-O-R-I-A (GLORIA) …
Share with me, if you will, the music you like … any style, from any era.