Friday Night Concert Series: Garage Tunes

Early rockers

Not me or any of my friends-but like we were

Didn’t get a Friday Night Concert Clip up last night, so here’s a belated variation.

When I was a teen, most everyone I knew either was in a band or wished that they were.  I sang in numerous bands from 8th grade on..always planning a band, starting a band, working up material (usually covers), occasionally playing out, breaking up, starting over, trying to buy and keep equipment, staying abreast with competition, hanging out at music shops…bands dominated my life.

Many bands started as partnerships of musicians, usually friends, that survived from lineup to lineup.  Later, when things got more “serious,” those relationships became subject to analysis.  Bands often were forged of unions between or among “multi-celled organisms,” or factions that small group dynamics placed in a crucible of friction that often led to a band’s undoing.

Outfits like ours became known as “garage bands” due to the time we spent rehearsing in the only space most adults would allow.  Practice was possible primarily on weekends, planned around school/activity schedules, paper routes and part-time jobs.

In the northeast and Midwest, where harsh winters made few garages comfortable or practical for this purpose, we moved inside–to basements.  Saturday practices drove adults from the premises to shop or run weekly errands.  A few actually stayed home and encouraged us.  I recall bands rehearsing in barns, too.

We all had day jobs.  We got older.  As we left home, practice moved to a member’s basement, where we could stay “set up” and rehearse more frequently.  There were “band houses,” shared by members, dreaded by neighbors.  Later, we rehearsed a couple of hours a day at closed clubs where we gigged at night.  The next tier up the food chain rented rehearsal space before touring.  I was never one of those.

Many of the guys I wanted to be like were famous but history would recall others as one-hit wonders.  A few bands survived the predictable landmines that typically derail them to amass catalogs. Others self-destructed.  In their wakes are a number of great tunes that most who lived through the period remember but sometimes don’t have an inkling of who created or originally recorded them.

The songs are great; the bands may not have been but the moments remain.  Often lip-synced, solos seen aren’t heard, some instruments aren’t plugged in…most of us didn’t notice.  We were too busy jumping around.  These same tactics prevailed for years, ultimately ushering in the MTV era and ubiquitous music video.

If you didn’t live through this time, you’ll still recognize some of the songs, because they’ve been covered and recovered. But these are a few songs and artists I feel should have seen greater success but for many reasons, did not.

While a some of these became household names and terrific careers in subsequent bands, others did not.  If any of you know what became of some of the more obscure artists here, I’d love to follow up with a “Where are they now?” kind of thing.

There are many songs I could post here but here are are some I’ve saved up over several months.  They’re all songs I’ve covered or wanted to cover in various bands through the years .

If you like these clips, you may like this site

This entry was posted in 60s and 70s Music, Belonging, Entertainment, Human Behavior, pop culture, Soup du jour, World and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Friday Night Concert Series: Garage Tunes

  1. Phil says:


    This is great stuff…thanks.

  2. Paul Sonderman says:

    Glad you enjoyed it. There’s so much out there if you dig for it.

  3. Jerry says:

    The best of 60’s garage/punk! Cool clips.

    Will be calling… Jerry

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