Today, Wednesday, October 22, KEXP 90.3 presents a special program in The Roadhouse: “Psycho! 1960s Northwest Garage Rock” is specially devoted to the history-quaking, moneymaker-shaking distorted sounds that came out of Pacific NW garages, basements, greasy clubs, and teen dances of the 1960s.
The entire three hour program will delve deeply into regional one-hit wonder and subterranean rock history with long blasts of local music, cool and mind-expanding sound bites, rare vintage audio — and an exclusive interview with Tacoma’s punk pioneers, The Sonics! Listeners will also hear from Seattle’s musical archeologist Peter C. Blecha and the man who engineered “The Seattle Sound,” Kearney Barton (known for snarling on The Frantics’ “Werewolf,” among many other more technical studio recording credits).
Formed in Tacoma in 1963, The Sonics named themselves after the loud pops they heard near the McChord Air Force base where they grew up. Inspired by local pop luminaries the Wailers and recording for their fellow band’s independent Etiquette label, they can be considered the area’s first full on rock band. Torquing the traditional guitar, bass, drums, and sax line-up, they pushed the feedback to the top and kicked the rhythms harder than audiences here had heard before. The Sonics were led by Gerry Rosalie, who sang torso-punching anthems like “Strychnine” and “The Witch” with Screamin’ Jay Hawkins or Jerry Lee Lewis-style manic aggression. Drummer Bob Bennett scared parents with the underground rhythms the establishment feared, while Parypa siblings Andy and Larry made the loud roars and rumbles on respective guitar and bass that inspired local music from psychedelia to grunge and beyond — from Seattle to the Soviet Union. HERE ARE THE SONICS!!! was one of real rock’s first full Long-Players and is still considered a true classic, and along with a mere few other sides, is the driven document of music claimed as an inspiration for many generations of the Big Beat.
Other music included in The Roadhouse this Wednesday night:
- Don & The Goodtimes, featuring Viceroys’ guitarist Jim Valley, who wrote their regional smash “Little Sally Tease,” which was later covered more famously by immortal international garage band The Standells.
- Instrumental gods The Ventures, who dominate rock history with their #2 hit in 1960, “Walk Don’t Run,” as well as the theme from “Hawaii 5-0″ later in that decade. The Ventures were known for adding jazz-inspired intricate guitar riffs to gritty rock and roll, and the guttural crunch of their roiling sound contributed to the origins of what people would later think of as our area’s hard rock aesthetics.
- Boise’s Paul Revere & The Raiders, featuring Mark Lindsey on vocals though the band was named after its guitar player, that thrived in the original garage rock era of the early 60s, and was resurrected for tracks like “Indian Reservation” further on in the 60s.
- The Monks, who began as a group of hard-partying American G.I.’s stationed in Germany — including late and beloved guitarist/electrified banjo player Dave Day who was born in Renton, and passed away recently after months of hanging out at shows featuring such new regional bands as The Saturday Knights and The Cops. The Monks originally started as beat group The 5 Torquays and ended up eventually changing the world with their ranting anti-pop in shave heads and monks’ robes.
- The Kingsmen, known best for “Louie Louie,” which catapulted the Portland band to national prominence, solidified the Latin influence on mainstream rock and roll, and got played black radio stations across the country.
- Also featuring The Raymarks, The Artesians, and many more!
Listen closely for your chance to win a pair of tickets for The Sonics’ Halloween show at the Paramount on Oct 31. This will be the band’s first local appearance since 1972.
Join Greg Vandy for this seminal raunch-rock radio special, early Wednesday evening from 6-9 PM — or later on on KEXP’s Streaming Archive!