G is for Garage Rock


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.

Source KCTunes

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.


21 responses to “G is for Garage Rock

  1. Loved the post!! I’m a more inclined toward techno that rock but I can deny that a lot of different breeds of music owe a debt to the British invasion. Great post!

  2. transformednonconformist

    My son got into the garage rock scene for a while. Now he is in a metal screamo band.

    Dropping by from A to Z. First year participating.

    Brett Minor
    Transformed Nonconformist

  3. I remember Gloria. Wow! You married a garager! Or garage follower. Music makes the world go round.

  4. I did, Francene. I married a music man, can you believe it? Glad you stopped by.

  5. Carolyn Paul Branch

    Stopping by from the A-Z challenge. You get a big star for originality! No one else has mentioned Garage Rock in their posts. Fun read!

  6. I love this idea of mutated angst! Oh if only I’d discovered this music in my adolescence ;)

  7. What an interesting post! We come from a music loving family but other than a stint in the high school orchestra I’m the only one who has ever played. I prefer the 60’s and 70’s music of my youth and teenage years.

  8. Gloria was a great song. Garage Rock produced some excellent music. I liken it to our Indie writers who do such a wonderful job on their own and set a high bar for all writers.

  9. Great analogy. Never thought of garage rock in that way, but you’re absolutely right.

  10. I love garage rock!

  11. Fun post, Silvia. I never realized garage rock had a name!

  12. I loved Garage Rock back in the day. Though actually it was Grunge that grabbed me!

  13. Fun to find your post on garage rock and it must have been exhilarating to have that music right there at home.

  14. I remember a local garage band when I was growing up. My best friend had a crush on the drummer and I kind of liked one of the guitarist so we walked by their house constantly!

  15. I like garage rock. I also really like old-school heavy metal—especially Ozzy Osbourne. :)

  16. My fave music actually comes from an earlier era: the forties. Billie Holiday is my fave singer of all time with Ella Fitzgerald and Etta James hot on her tale. But I’m also absurdly fond of The Andrews Sisters, Glenn Miller Orchestra and the Dorsey brothers.

    That being said, every decade since has some notable acts that all hold a place of intense love in my heart. And no matter what your flavor, music is certainly a pathway to the soul.

I welcome your thoughts.

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