Garage rock (sometimes called '60s punk or garage punk) is a raw and
energetic style of rock and roll that flourished in the mid-1960s,
most notably in the
United States and Canada. The style is
characterized by basic chord structures played on electric guitars and
other instruments, sometimes distorted through a fuzzbox, as well as
often unsophisticated and occasionally aggressive lyrics and delivery.
The term "garage rock" derives from the perception that groups were
often made up of young amateurs who rehearsed in the family garage,
although many were professional.
In the US and Canada, surf rock—and later the Beatles and other beat
groups of the British Invasion—motivated thousands of young people
to form bands between 1963 and 1968. Hundreds of acts produced
regional hits, and some had national hits. With the advent of
psychedelia, a number of garage bands incorporated exotic elements
into the genre's primitive stylistic framework, but after 1968, as
more sophisticated forms of rock music overtook the marketplace,
garage rock records largely disappeared from national and regional
charts, and the garage band movement faded. Though generally
associated with North America, other countries in the 1960s developed
similar grass-roots rock movements that have sometimes been
characterized as variants of garage rock.
During the 1960s garage rock was not recognized as a distinct genre
and had no specific name, but critical hindsight in the early
1970s—and particularly the release of the 1972 compilation album
Nuggets—did much to define and memorialize the style. Between 1971
and 1973 certain rock critics began to retroactively identify the
music as a genre and for several years used the term "punk rock" to
describe it, making it the first form of music to bear the
description, predating the more familiar use of the term appropriated
by the later punk rock movement of the mid- to late-1970s that it
influenced. The term "garage rock" came into use at the beginning of
the 1980s and eventually gained favor amongst devotees. The genre has
also been referred to as "'60s punk", "garage punk", or "proto-punk".
Garage rock has experienced various revivals. In the early to
mid-1980s, several revival scenes emerged featuring acts that
consciously attempted to replicate the look and sound of 1960s garage
bands. Later in the decade, a louder, more contemporary garage
subgenre developed that combined garage rock with modern punk rock and
other influences, sometimes using the garage punk label originally and
otherwise associated with 1960s garage bands. In the 2000s, a wave of
garage-influenced acts associated with the post-punk revival emerged,
and some achieved commercial success.
Garage rock continues to appeal
to musicians and audiences who prefer a "back to basics" or
"do-it-yourself" musical approach.
1 Social milieu and stylistic features
2 Recognition and classification
3.1 Regional rock & roll and emergence of garage 1958-1963
3.2 Frat rock and commercial success
4 1964–68: Peak years
4.1 Impact of the Beatles and the British Invasion
4.2 Success and airplay
4.3 Female garage bands
4.4 Regional scenes in the
United States and Canada
4.4.1 Pacific Northwest
4.4.2 New England and Mid-Atlantic
4.4.5 Other US Regions
4.4.6 Canada, islands, and territories
4.5 International scenes and counterparts
4.5.1 United Kingdom
4.5.2 Continental Europe
4.5.3 Latin America
Australia and New Zealand
4.6 Integration with psychedelia and counterculture
4.6.1 Historical and cultural associations
4.6.2 Garage-based psychedelic/acid rock
4.6.3 Primitivist avant-garde acts
5 Later developments
5.1 Garage-based proto-punk 1969–1974
5.2 Emergence of punk movement 1975–1978
5.3 Revivalist and hybrid movements 1980–present
7 List of bands
8 See also
9.5 Suggested reading
10 External links
Social milieu and stylistic features
The D-Men (later the Fifth Estate) in 1964
The term "garage rock", originally used in reference to 1960s acts,
stems from the perception that its performers were often young
amateurs who rehearsed in the family garage. While numerous bands
were made up of middle-class teenagers from the suburbs, others were
from rural or urban areas or were composed of professional musicians
in their twenties. The term "garage band" is often used to refer to
musical acts in this genre.
Though it is impossible to determine how many garage bands were active
in the 1960s, their numbers were extensive on an unprecedented
scale in what Mike Markesich has characterized as a "cyclonic
whirlwind of musical activity like none other..." According to Mark
Nobles, it is estimated that between 1964-1968 over 180,000 bands
formed in the United States, and according to Markesich, several
thousand US garage acts made records during the era.[a]
Garage bands performed in a variety of venues. Local and regional
groups typically played at parties, school dances, and teen clubs.
For acts of legal age (and in some cases younger), bars, nightclubs,
and college fraternity socials also provided regular engagements.
Occasionally, groups had the opportunity to open at shows for famous
touring acts. Some garage rock bands went on tour, particularly
those that were better-known, but lesser-known groups sometimes
received bookings or airplay beyond their immediate locales.
Groups often competed in "battles of the bands", which gave musicians
an opportunity to gain exposure and a chance to win a prize, such as
free equipment or recording time in a local studio. Contests were
held, locally, regionally and nationally, and three of the most
prestigious national events were held annually by the Tea Council of
the U.S.A., the Music Circus, and the
United States Junior
Performances often sounded amateurish, naïve, or intentionally raw,
with typical themes revolving around the traumas of high school life
and songs about "lying girls" being particularly common. The lyrics
and delivery were frequently more aggressive than the more polished
acts of the time, often with nasal, growled, or shouted vocals,
sometimes punctuated by shrieks or screams at climactic moments of
release. Instrumentation was characterized by basic chord
structures played on electric guitars or keyboards often distorted
through a fuzzbox, teamed with bass and drums. Guitarists
sometimes played using aggressive-sounding bar chords, sometimes
referred to as power chords. Organs such as the
commonly used and sometimes harmonicas or hand-held percussion such as
tambourines. Occasionally, the tempo was sped up in passages
sometimes referred to as "raveups".
Garage rock acts were diverse in both musical ability and in style,
ranging from crude and amateurish to near-studio level musicianship.
There were also regional variations in flourishing scenes, such as in
California and Texas. The north-western states of Idaho,
Oregon had a distinctly recognizable regional sound
with bands such as the Sonics and Paul Revere & the
Recognition and classification
Punk rock § Etymology and classification
The Music Machine, featuring Sean Bonniwell, in 1966
In the 1960s, garage rock had no name and was not thought of as a
genre, but primarily as just "rock and roll" in an era marked by
the widespread proliferation of groups. Though "garage rock" was
not the name initially prescribed, in the early 1970s certain rock
critics began to retroactively identify the music, speaking
nostalgically of mid-1960s garage bands (and subsequent artists then
perceived to be in their tradition) as a genre, and for several
years used the term "punk rock" to characterize it, making it the
first musical form to bear the description. Conjuring up the
Lester Bangs in 1971 wrote: "... then punk bands
started cropping up who were writing their own songs but taking the
Yardbirds' sound and reducing it to this kind of goony fuzztone
clatter ... oh, it was beautiful, it was pure folklore, Old
America, and sometimes I think those were the best days ever".
Though the coinage of the phrase "punk rock" is unknown, Dave
Marsh was the first music critic to use it in print, when in the May
1971 issue of
Creem he described ? and the Mysterians as a
"landmark exposition of punk rock". Much of the revival of
interest in 1960s garage rock can be traced to the release of the 1972
Nuggets compiled by rock journalist and future Patti Smith
guitarist Lenny Kaye. In the liner notes, Kaye used the
term "punk rock" to describe 1960s garage bands and also "garage-punk"
in reference to a song recorded in 1966 by the Shadows of Knight.
In the January 1973
Rolling Stone review of Nuggets, Greg Shaw
Punk rock is a fascinating genre...
Punk rock at its best
is the closest we came in the 1960s to the original rockabilly spirit
of rock & roll." In May 1973, Billy Altman launched the
short-lived punk magazine,[b] which pre-dated the better-known
1975 publication of the same name, but, unlike the later magazine, was
largely devoted to discussion of 1960s garage and psychedelic
Though the phrase "punk rock" was the favored generic term in the
early 1970s, "garage band" was also mentioned. In
Rolling Stone in
1971 John Mendelsohn alluded to "every last punk teenage garage band
having its Own Original Approach". The term "punk rock" was later
appropriated by the more familiar punk rock movement that emerged in
the mid-1970s and is now most commonly applied to groups
associated with that movement or who followed in its wake. For the
1960s style, the term "garage rock" came into favor in the early
1980s. According to Mike Markesich: "Initially launched into the
underground vernacular at the start of the '80s, the garage tag had
slowly sifted its way amid like-minded fans to finally be recognized
as a worthy descriptive replacement". The term "garage punk" has
also persisted, and style has been referred to as "'60s punk"
Regional rock & roll and emergence of garage 1958-1963
See also: Rock and roll, Rhythm and blues, Surf rock, and Instrumental
In the late 1950s, the initial impact of rock and roll on mainstream
American culture waned as major record companies took a controlling
influence and sought to market more conventionally acceptable
recordings. Electric musical instruments (particularly guitars)
and amplification were becoming more affordable, allowing young
musicians to form small groups to perform in front of local audiences
of their peers; and in some areas there was a breakdown, especially
among radio audiences, of traditional black and white markets, with
more white teenagers listening to and purchasing R&B records.
Link Wray, pictured in 1993, who helped pioneer the use of guitar
power chords and distortion as early as 1958 with the instrumental,
"Rumble", has been cited as an early influence on garage rock.
Numerous young people were inspired by musicians such as Chuck
Berry, Little Richard, Bo Diddley, Jerry Lee Lewis,
Buddy Holly, and Eddie Cochran, whose recordings of relatively
unsophisticated and hard-driving songs from a few years earlier
proclaimed personal independence and freedom from parental controls
and conservative norms. Ritchie Valens' 1958 hit "La Bamba" helped
Chicano rock scene in
Southern California and provided
a three-chord template for the songs of numerous 1960s garage
bands. By the end of the 1950s regional scenes were abundant
around the country and helped set the stage for garage rock the
Link Wray has been cited as an early influence on garage
rock and is known for his innovative use of guitar techniques and
effects such as power chords and distortion. He is best known for
his 1958 instrumental "Rumble", which featured the sound of distorted,
"clanging" guitar chords, which anticipated much of what was to
come. The combined influences of early-1960s instrumental rock and
surf rock also played significant roles in shaping the sound garage
Chris Montez — "Let's Dance" (1962)
The 1962 hit "Let's Dance" by Chris Montez, with its use of
Farfisa organ riffs and banging drums, featured
stylistic elements that anticipate the garage sound.
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According to Lester Bangs, "the origins of garage rock as a genre can
be traced to
California and the
Pacific Northwest in the early
Sixties". The Pacific Northwest, which encompasses Washington,
Oregon, and Idaho, played a critical role in the inception of garage
rock, hosting the first scene to produce a sizable number of acts, and
British Invasion by several years. The signature garage
sound that eventually emerged in the
Pacific Northwest is sometimes
referred to as "the Northwest Sound" and had its origins in the late
1950s, when a handful of R&B and rock & roll acts sprung up in
various cities and towns in an area stretching from Puget Sound to
Seattle and Tacoma, and beyond.
There and elsewhere, groups of teenagers were inspired directly by
touring R&B performers such as
Johnny Otis and Richard Berry, and
began to play cover versions of R&B songs. During the late
1950s and early 1960s other instrumental groups playing in the region,
such as the Ventures, formed in 1958 in Tacoma, Washington, who came
to specialize in a surf rock sound, and the Frantics from
Seattle. The Blue Notes from Tacoma, Washington, fronted by
"Rockin' Robin" Roberts, were one of the city's first teenage rock
& roll bands. The Wailers (often referred to as the Fabulous
Wailers) had national chart hit in 1959, the instrumental "Tall Cool
One". After the demise of Blue Notes, "Rockin' Robin" did a brief
stint with the Wailers, and with him on vocals in 1962, they recorded
a version of Richard Berry's 1957 song "Louie Louie"—their
arrangement became the much-replicated blueprint for practically every
band in the region, including Portland's the Kingsmen who went on
to a major hit with it the following year.
Other regional scenes of teenage bands playing R&B-oriented rock
were well-established in the early 1960s, several years before the
British Invasion, in places such as
Texas and the Midwest. At the
same time, in southern
California surf bands formed, playing raucous
guitar- and saxophone-driven instrumentals. Writer Neil Campbell
commented: "There were literally thousands of rough-and-ready groups
performing in local bars and dance halls throughout the US prior to
the arrival of the Beatles ... [T]he indigenous popular music
which functioned in this way ... was the protopunk more commonly
identified as garage rock".
Frat rock and commercial success
"Frat rock" redirects here. For other uses, see Frat rock
The Kingsmen – "Louie, Louie" (1963)
"Louie, Louie" was written by Richard Berry and provided a major hit
for the Kingsmen.
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As a result of cross-pollination between surf rock, hot rod music, and
other influences, an energetic and upbeat style sometimes referred to
as frat rock emerged, which can be viewed as an early subgenre of
garage rock. Though often associated with
Pacific Northwest acts
such as the Kingsmen, it also thrived elsewhere. The
Kingsmen's 1963 off-the-cuff version of "Louie Louie" became the de
facto "big bang" for three-chord rock, starting as a regional hit in
Seattle, then rising to No. 1 on the national charts and
eventually becoming a major success overseas. The group
unwittingly became the target of an
FBI investigation in response to
complaints about the song's alleged use of profanity in its nearly
undecipherable lyrics. That year singles by several regional bands
from other parts of the
United States began appearing on the national
charts, including "Surfin' Bird" by the Trashmen, from
California Sun" by the Rivieras, from South Bend,
Indiana followed, becoming a hit in early 1964.
1964–68: Peak years
Impact of the Beatles and the British Invasion
The Standells in 1965
Cultural impact of the Beatles
Cultural impact of the Beatles and British
During the mid-1960s garage rock entered its most fertile period,
prompted by the influence of the Beatles and the British Invasion.
On February 9, 1964, during their first visit to the United States,
the Beatles made a historic appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show watched
by a record-breaking viewing audience of a nation mourning the recent
death of President John F. Kennedy. For many, particularly the
young, the Beatles' visit re-ignited the sense of excitement and
possibility that had momentarily faded in the wake of the
assassination. Much of this new excitement was expressed in rock
music, sometimes much to the chagrin of parents and elders.
In the wake of the Beatles' first visit, a subsequent string of
successful British beat groups and acts achieved success in America
between 1964 and 1966, often referred to in the US as "the British
Invasion". Such acts had a profound impact, leading many (often surf
or hot rod groups) to respond by altering their style, and countless
new bands to form, as teenagers around the country picked up guitars
and started bands by the thousands. In many cases, garage bands
were particularly influenced by the increasingly bold sound of British
groups with a harder, blues-based attack, such as the Kinks, the Who,
the Animals, the Yardbirds, Small Faces, Pretty Things, Them, and
the Rolling Stones often resulting in a raw and primitive sound.
Numerous acts sometimes characterized as garage formed in countries
outside North America, such as England's the Troggs. Their 1966
worldwide hit "Wild Thing" became a staple in countess American garage
bands' repertoires. By 1965, the influence of the British Invasion
prompted folk musicians such as
Bob Dylan and members of the Byrds to
adopt the use of electric guitars and amplifiers, resulting in what
became termed folk rock. The resulting success of Dylan, the
Byrds, and other folk rock acts influenced the sound and approach of
numerous garage bands.
Success and airplay
The Count Five
The Count Five in 1966
In the wake of the
British Invasion garage rock experienced its most
widespread period of success, as part of the rock boom of the era.
With thousands of garage bands active in the US and Canada, hundreds
produced regional hits during this period, often receiving airplay
on local AM radio stations. Several acts gained wider exposure
just long enough to have one or occasionally more national hits in an
era rife with "one-hit wonders".  In 1965 the Beau Brummels broke
into the national charts with "Laugh, Laugh", followed by "Just a
Little". According to Richie Unterberger, they were perhaps the
first American group to pose a successful response to the British
Invasion. That year, Sam the Sham & the Pharaohs' "Wooly
Bully" went to No. 2, and they followed it up a year later with
another No. 2 hit, "Little Red Riding Hood". Also in 1965,
the Castaways almost reached Billboard's top ten with "Liar, Liar",
which was later included on the 1972
Nuggets compilation. It is
generally agreed that the garage rock boom peaked around 1966.
That April, the Outsiders from
Cleveland hit No. 5 with "Time
Won't Let Me", which was later covered by acts such as Iggy
Pop. In July, the Standells from
Los Angeles almost made it into
the US top ten with "Dirty Water", a song now often associated
with Boston. "Psychotic Reaction" by the Count Five went to
No. 5 on Billboard's Hot 100 and was later memorialized by Lester
Bangs in his 1971 piece "Psychotic Reactions and Carburetor Dung".
Question Mark and the Mysterians – "96 Tears" (1966)
Musicologist Pete Dale notes "96 Tears" as a typical example of 1960s
punk, containing a "basic beat, repetitive structure, and a
hypnotically simple keyboard part".
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"96 Tears" (1966) by Question Mark and the Mysterians, from Saginaw,
Michigan, became a No. 1 hit in the US. The song's organ
riffs and theme of teenage heartbreak have been mentioned as a
landmark recording of the garage rock era and recognized for
influencing the works of acts as diverse as the B-52's, the Cramps,
and Bruce Springsteen. Two months later, the Music Machine, who
reached the top 20 with fuzz guitar-driven "
Talk Talk", had a
sound and image that helped pave the way for later acts such as the
Ramones. The Syndicate of Sound's "Little Girl", which featured a
cocksure half-spoken lead vocal set over chiming 12-string guitar
chords, reached No. 8 on the Billboard charts and was later
covered by acts such as the Dead Boys, the Banned, and the
Chesterfield Kings. Discovered by a Pittsburgh disc jockey in
1965, the resulting success of "Hanky Panky" by a defunct group, the
Shondells, whose membership included Tommy James, revived James'
career, where he assembled a new group under the name
Tommy James and
the Shondells. They followed with twelve more top 40
singles. In 1967,
Strawberry Alarm Clock
Strawberry Alarm Clock emerged from the garage
outfit Thee Sixpence and had a No. 1 hit in 1967 with psychedelic
"Incense and Peppermints".
Female garage bands
The Pleasure Seekers (
Suzi Quatro far right) in 1966
Garage rock was not an exclusively male phenomenon—it fostered the
emergence of all-female bands whose members played their own
instruments. One of the first of such acts was New York's Goldie and
the Gingerbreads, who appeared at New York's Peppermint Lounge in 1964
and accompanied the Rolling Stones on their American tour the
following year. They had a hit in England with a version of
"Can't You Hear My Heartbeat". The
Continental Co-ets from Fulda,
Minnesota, were active from 1963-1967 and had hit in
Canada with "I
Don't Love You No More". The Pleasure Seekers (later known as
Cradle), from Detroit, featured
Suzi Quatro and her sisters.
Quatro went on to greater fame as a musical solo act and television
actress in the 1970s. The Luv'd Ones, also from Michigan, signed
Dunwich Records and cut records with an occasionally
somber sound, such as "Up Down Sue".
San Francisco's the Ace of Cups became a fixture in the Bay Area scene
in the late 1960s. Other notable 1960s female groups were the
Daughters of Eve from Chicago and She (previously known as the
Hairem) from Sacramento, California. All-female bands were not
exclusive to North America.
The Liverbirds were a beat group from the
Beatles' home city of Liverpool, England, but became best known in
Germany, often performing in Hamburg's Star-Club. All-female
groups of the 1960s anticipated later acts associated with the 1970s
punk movement, such as the Runaways and the Slits.
Regional scenes in the
United States and Canada
Paul Revere and the Raiders
Paul Revere and the Raiders in 1967
In 1964 and 1965 the impact of the Beatles and the British Invasion
shifted the musical landscape, presenting not only a challenge, but
also a new impetus, as previously established acts in the Pacific
Northwest adapted to the new climate, often reaching greater levels of
commercial and artistic success than before while scores of new bands
formed. After relocating to Portland, Paul Revere & the
Raiders in 1963 became the first rock-and-roll act to be signed to
Columbia Records, but did not achieve their commercial breakthrough
until 1965 with the song "Steppin Out", which was followed by string
of chart-topping hits such as "Just Like Me", originally recorded by
the Wilde Knights, and "Kicks".
The Sonics from Tacoma had a raunchy, hard-driving sound that
influenced later acts such as Nirvana and the White Stripes.
According to Peter Blecha, they "were the unholy practitioners of punk
rock long before anyone knew what to call it". Founded in 1960,
they eventually enlisted the services of vocalist Gerry Rosalie and
saxophonist Rob Lind and proceeded to cut their first single," The
Witch" in 1964. The song was re-issued again in 1965, this time
with the even more intense "Psycho" on the flip side. They
released several albums and are also known for other "high-octane"
rockers such as "Cinderella" and "He's Waitin'". Prompted by the
Sonics, the Wailers entered the mid-1960s with a harder-edged sound in
the fuzz-driven "Hang Up" and "Out of Our Tree".
New England and Mid-Atlantic
The Remains in 1966
The Barbarians from Cape Cod, wearing sandals and long hair, and
cultivating an image of "noble savages", recorded an album and several
singles, such as "Are You a Boy or Are You a Girl". In 1964 the
group appeared on the
T.A.M.I. Show on same bill as the Rolling
Stones, James Brown. In the film of the show, their drummer,
Victor "Moulty" Moulton, is seen holding one of his drumsticks with a
prosthetic clamp while playing, as the result of a previous accident
in which he lost his left hand. In 1966, Moulton recorded
"Moulty", a spoken monologue set to music, in which he recounted the
travails of his disfigurement, released under the Barbarians' name,
but backed by future members of the Band.
Boston's the Remains (sometimes called Barry and the Remains), led by
Barry Tashian, became one of the region's most popular bands and, in
addition to issuing five singles and a self-titled album, toured with
the Beatles in 1966. Also from Boston, the Rockin' Ramrods
released the distortion-driven "She Lied" in 1964, which Rob
Fitzpatrick called "a truly spectacular piece of proto-punk, the sort
of perfect blend of melody and aggression that the
Ramones would go on
to transform the planet with a dozen or more years later". The
Squires from Bristol, Connecticut, issued a song now regarded as a
garage rock classic, "All the Way".
Garage rock flourished up and
down the Atlantic coast, with acts such as the Vagrants, from Long
Richard and the Young Lions from Newark, New
Jersey, and the
Blues Magoos from the Bronx, who got their
start in New York's Greenwich Village scene and had a hit in 1966 with
"(We Ain't Got) Nothin' Yet", which appeared on their debut album,
Psychedelic Lollipop, along with a lengthy rendition of the Nashville
Teens' "Tobacco Road".
See also: Sunset Strip, Surf rock, and Chicano rock
The Seeds in 1966
The garage craze came into full swing in California, particularly in
Los Angeles. The
Sunset Strip was the center of L.A.
nightlife, providing bands with high-profile venues to attract a
larger following and possibly capture the attention of record labels
looking to sign a new act. Exploitation films such as Riot on
Sunset Strip, Mondo Hollywood, captured the musical and social milieu
of life on the strip. In Riot on Sunset Strip, several bands make
appearances at the Pandora's Box, with the Standells supplying the
theme song and later appearances by San Jose's the Chocolate Watchband
The Seeds and the Leaves were favorites with the
"in-crowd" and managed to achieve national hits with songs that have
come to be regarded as garage classics: the Seeds with "Pushin' Too
Hard" and the Leaves with a hit version of "Hey Joe", which
became a staple in countless bands' repertoires.
Love, a racially integrated band headed by
Arthur Lee, was one of the most popular bands in the scene. Their
propulsive 1966 protopunk anthem "7 and 7 Is" became a staple in
countless other bands' repertoires. The Music Machine, led by
Sean Bonniwell, employed innovative musical techniques, sometimes
building their own custom-made fuzzboxes. Their first album (Turn
The Music Machine
The Music Machine featured the hit "
Talk Talk". The Electric
Prunes were one of the more successful garage bands to incorporate
psychedelic influences into their sound, such as in the hit "I
Had Too Much to Dream (Last Night)", whose opening featured a buzzing
fuzz-toned guitar, and which appeared on their self titled debut
Garage rock was also present in the Latino community of East
L.A. The Premiers, who had a hit in 1964 with "Farmer John", and
Thee Midniters are considered prominent figures in Chicano
rock, as are the San Diego-based, Cannibal & the
Headhunters, who had a hit with Chris Kenner's "Land of a Thousand
San Jose and the South Bay area had a bustling scene featuring the
Chocolate Watchband, the Count Five, and the Syndicate of Sound.
The Chocolate Watchband
The Chocolate Watchband released several singles in 1967, including
"Are You Gonna Be There (at the Love In)", which was also featured on
their debut album No Way Out. The album's opening cut was a
rendition of "Let's
Talk About Girls", previously recorded by the
Tongues of Truth (aka the Grodes).
The Shadows of Knight
The Shadows of Knight in 1966
Chicago, known for electric blues, continued to have a strong
recording industry in the 1960s and was also a hotbed of activity for
Chicago blues as well as the Rolling Stones, the Pretty
Things, and the Yardbirds influenced the Shadows of Knight, who
Dunwich Records and were known for a tough, hard-driving
sound. In 1966 they had hits with versions of Them's Van
Morrison-penned "Gloria" and Bo Diddley's "Oh Yeah", and also released
the aggressive "I'm Gonna Make You Mine", which Mike Stax
remarked "was recorded live in the studio with the amps cranked beyond
distortion, this is 60s punk at its sexually charged, aggressive
best." Also recording for Dunwich were the Del-Vetts and the
Banshees, who released the cathartic "Project Blue". Other
Chicago acts were the Little Boy Blues and the New Colony
Michigan had one of the largest scenes in the country. In early 1966,
MC5 released a version of "I Can Only Give You Everything"
before they went on to greater success at the end of the decade.
The Unrelated Segments
The Unrelated Segments recorded a string of songs beginning with local
hit "You Can't Buy Love", followed by "Where You Gonna Go".
In 1966, the Litter from Minneapolis released the guitar-overdriven
"Action Woman—a song which Michael Hann described as "one of
garage's gnarliest, snarliest, most tight-trousered pieces of hormonal
Other US Regions
The Five Americans
The Five Americans in 1967
The 13th Floor Elevators from Austin, featured Roky Erickson
on guitar and vocals and are considered one of the prominent bands of
the era. They had a regional hit with "You're Gonna Miss Me" and
a string of albums, but the band was hampered by drug busts and
related legal problems that hastened their demise. Richie
Unterberger singled out The Zakary Thaks, from Corpus Christi, for
their songwriting skills, and they are best known for the frantic
and sped-up "Bad Girl." The Moving Sidewalks, from Houston,
Billy Gibbons on guitar, later of ZZ Top. The
Gentlemen from Dallas cut the fuzz-driven "It's a Cry'n Shame", which
in Mike Markesich's Teenbeat Mayhem is ranked as one of the top two
garage rock songs of all time, second only to "You're Gonna Miss
Me", by the 13th Floor Elevators. The Outcasts from San Antonio
cut two highly regarded songs, "I'm in Pittsburgh and It's Raining",
which became a local hit, and "1523 Blair", that Jason Ankeny
described as "
Texas psychedelia at its finest".
The Five Americans
The Five Americans were from Durant, Oklahoma, and released a string
of singles, such as "Western Union", which became a top 10 US hit in
1967. From Phoenix, Arizona, the Spiders featured Vincent
Furnier, later known as Alice Cooper. The group recorded two
singles, most notably "Don't Blow Your Mind", which became a local hit
in Phoenix. They ventured to
Los Angeles in 1967 in hopes of
achieving greater success, which the group found not there, but in
Detroit a few years later, re-christened as Alice Cooper.
From Florida, Orlando's We the People came about as the result of the
merger of two previous bands and featured songwriters Tommy Talton and
Wane Proctor. They went recorded a string of self-composed songs,
such as primitive rockers, "You Burn Me Upside Down" and "Mirror of my
Mind", as well as the esoteric "In the Past", later covered by the
Chocolate Watchband. Evil from Miami, had a hard, sometimes
thrashing sound and a reputation for musical mayhem, typified in songs
such as "From a Curbstone" and "I'm Movin' On".
Canada, islands, and territories
The Paupers in 1967
Like the United States,
Canada experienced a large and vigorous garage
rock movement. Vancouver's the Northwest Company, who recorded "Hard
to Cry", had a power chord-driven approach. The Painted Ship were
known for primal songs such as the angst-ridden "Frustration" and
"Little White Lies", which Stansted Montfichet called a "punk
The Guess Who
The Guess Who from Winnipeg, Manitoba, began in 1958
and entered the mid-1960s with a hit, Johnny Kidd & the
Pirates' "Shakin' All Over" and went to greater success in the late
1960s and early 1970s.
In 1966 the Ugly Ducklings from
Toronto had a hit with "Nothin'" and
toured with the Rolling Stones.
The Haunted from Montreal
specialized in a gritty blues-based sound influenced by the Rolling
Stones and released the single "1–2–5". Two other bands from
Toronto were the Paupers and the Mynah Birds.
The Paupers released
several singles and two albums.
The Mynah Birds featured the
Rick James on lead vocals and
Neil Young on guitar, who
both went on to fame as solo acts, as well as
Bruce Palmer who later
accompanied Young to
California to join
Buffalo Springfield in
1966. They signed a contract with
Motown Records and
recorded several songs including "It's My Time".
Outside of the mainland, garage rock became a fixture in the islands
and territories adjacent to the continent. The Savages from
Bermuda recorded the album Live 'n Wild, which features "The
World Ain't Round It's Square", an angry song of youthful
International scenes and counterparts
The garage phenomenon, though most often associated with North
America, was not exclusive to it. Other countries developed
grass-roots rock movements that closely mirrored what was happening in
the North America which have sometimes been characterized as variants
of garage rock or closely related forms.
British Invasion and Freakbeat
Van Morrison (center), in 1965
Although Britain did not develop a distinct and generalized garage
rock genre the same way as the United States, many British acts shared
characteristics with the American bands who often attempted to emulate
them, and some in particular have been mentioned in relation to
Beat music emerged in Britain in the early 1960s, as musicians who
originally come together to play rock and roll or skiffle assimilated
American rhythm and blues influences. The genre provided the model for
the format of many later rock groups. The
Liverpool area had a
particularly high concentration of acts and venues. The Beatles
emerged from this beat music boom, and their energetic approach served
as a template for the formation of countless groups. Some bands
developed a distinctively
British blues style. Nationally popular
beat and R&B groups included the Rolling Stones and the Yardbirds
from London, the Animals from Newcastle, and Them (featuring Van
Belfast in Northern Ireland. From about 1965, bands
such as the Who and the
Small Faces tailored their appeal to the mod
subculture centered in London.
Particularly after the "British Invasion" of the US, musical
cross-fertilization developed between the two continents. In their
1964 transatlantic hits "You Really Got Me" and "All Day and All of
the Night", the Kinks took the influence of the Kingsmen's version of
"Louie Louie" and applied greater volume and distortion, which in
turn, influenced the approach of many American garage bands. The
Pretty Things and
The Downliners Sect
The Downliners Sect were both known for their raw
approach to blues-influenced rock. Northern Ireland's
Them recorded two songs that were widely covered by American garage
bands: "Gloria", which became a big hit for Chicago's the Shadows of
Knight, and "I Can Only Give You Everything" which was covered by
numerous American acts.
The Troggs in 1966
The Troggs have sometimes been mentioned in association with
garage. Extolling the virtues of their seemingly unrepentant
primitivism and sexually charged innuendo, the Troggs were the band,
albeit British, that in 1971
Lester Bangs memorialized as perhaps the
quintessential "punk" [i.e. garage] band of the 1960s. They had a
worldwide hit in 1966 with "Wild Thing", written by American Chip
Taylor. The Equals, a racially integrated band from North London
featuring guitarist Eddy Grant, specialized in an upbeat style of
rock; their 1966 recording "Baby Come Back" was a hit in Europe before
becoming a British number one in 1968. In keeping with the
popularity of blues-based rock and the onset of psychedelic music in
the mid-1960s, some of the harder-driving and more obscure bands
associated with the mod scene in the UK are sometimes retroactively
referred to as Freakbeat, which is sometimes viewed as a more stylish
British parallel to garage rock. Several bands often
Freakbeat are the Creation, the Action, the Move, the
Smoke, the Sorrows, and Wimple Winch.
Nederbeat and Beat-Club
Q65 in 1967
The beat boom swept through continental Europe, resulting in the
emergence of numerous bands who played in styles sometimes cited as
European variants of garage rock. The Netherlands had one of
the largest scenes, sometimes retroactively described as
Nederbeat. From Amsterdam, the Outsiders, who Richie
Unterberger singled out as one of the most important 1960s rock acts
from a non-English Speaking country, featured
Wally Tax on lead vocals
and specialized in an eclectic R&B and folk-based style.
Q65 from the Hague recorded extensively and lasted well into the
1970s, releasing the invective "I Despise You" in 1966. Also
from the Hague, the Golden Earrings, who later gained international
fame in the 1970s and 1980s as Golden Earring, had a top ten hit in
the Netherlands in 1965 with "Please Go", followed by "That Day",
which went to number two on the Dutch charts.
Having nurtured the Beatles' early development in Hamburg, Germany was
well-positioned to play a key role as the beat craze overtook the
continent. Bands from Britain and around Europe traveled there to gain
exposure, playing in clubs and appearing on popular German television
shows such as
Beat Club and Beat! Beat! Beat!. The Lords,
founded in Düsseldorf in 1959, pre-dated the
British Invasion by
several years, and adapted their sound and look to reflect the
influence of the British groups, even singing in English, but
providing a comic twist.
The Rattles from Hamburg also had a
lengthy history, but were more serious in their approach. There
were numerous bands active in Spain, such as Los Bravos, who had a
worldwide hit with "Black Is Black", as well as los Cheyenes and
See also: Uruguayan Invasion
Los Mockers, from
Uruguay in 1965
Latin America got swept up in the worldwide beat trend and developed
several of its own national scenes.
Mexico experienced its own
equivalent to North American garage. The nation's proximity to
United States was detectable in the raw sounds produced by a
number of groups while the country simultaneously embraced the British
Invasion. One of Mexico's most popular acts were Los Dug Dug's,
who recorded several albums and stayed active well into the
The beat boom flourished in
Uruguay during the mid-1960s in a period
sometimes referred to as the Uruguayan Invasion. Two of the best known
acts were Los Shakers and Los Mockers. In Peru, los Saicos
were one of the first bands to gain national prominence. Their
1965 song "¡Demolición!" with its humorously anarchistic lyrics was
a huge hit in Peru. About them Phil Freeman noted "These guys
were a punk rock band, even if nobody outside Lima knew it at the
Los Yorks became one of Peru's leading groups.
Colombia hosted bands such
Los Speakers from Bogata. Los Gatos
Salvajes, who came from Rosario, Argentina, were one of the country's
first beat groups, and two of their members went on to form Los
Gatos, a popular act in Argentina during the late 1960s.
See also: Group Sounds
The Spiders in 1966
The far East was not immune to the beat craze, and
Japan was no
exception, particularly after the Beatles' 1966 visit, when they
played five shows at Tokyo's Budokan arena. The popular 1960s
beat/garage movement in
Japan is often referred to as
Group Sounds (or
GS). The Spiders[c] were one of the better-known groups.
Other notable bands were the Golden Cups and the
Despite famine, economic hardship, and political instability, India
experienced its own proliferation of garage bands in the 1960s, even
persisting into the beginning of the next decade with the 1960s
musical style intact, after it had fallen out of favor practically
everywhere else.[d] Mumbai, with its hotels, clubs, and
nightlife, had a bustling music scene. The Jets, who were active from
1964 to 1966, were perhaps the first beat group to become popular
there. Also popular in Mumbai were the Trojans, featuring Biddu,
originally from Bangalore, who later moved to London and become a solo
act. Every year the annual Simla Beat Contest was held in Bombay
by the Imperial Tobacco Company. Groups from all over India, such
as the Fentones and Velvet Fogg, competed in the event.
Australia and New Zealand
See also: Australian rock
The Easybeats in 1966
New Zealand experienced a garage/beat explosion in the
mid-1960s. Before the
British Invasion hit, the region enjoyed a
sizable surf rock scene, with popular bands such as the Atlantics, who
had several instrumental hits, as well as the Aztecs and the
Sunsets. In late 1963 and early 1964 British Invasion
influence began to permeate the music scenes there. In June
1964 the Beatles visited
Australia as part of their world tour and
were greeted by a crowd of an estimated 300,000 in Adelaide. In
response, many prior Australian surf bands adapted by adding vocals
over guitars, and a host of new bands formed. The first wave of
British-inspired bands tended towards the pop-oriented sound of the
Merseybeat. With rise in popularity of bands such as the Rolling
Stones and the Animals, a second wave of Australian bands emerged that
favored a harder, blues-influenced approach.
Sydney was the host to numerous acts.
The Atlantics switched to a
vocal rock format and brought in veteran singer Johnny Rebb, formerly
Johnny Rebb and His Rebels. "Come On" was their best-known
song from this period. The Easybeats, featuring vocalist Stevie
Wright and guitarist George Young, the older brother of Angus Young
Malcolm Young later of AC/DC, became the most popular group in
Australia during the mid-1960s. One of Sydney's most notorious
acts was the Missing Links, who throughout 1965 went through a
complete and total lineup change between the release their first
single in March and on the subsequent releases later that year, such
as the primitivist anthems "Wild About You", as well as their
self-titled LP. Also in 1966, the Throb had a hit in
Australia with their version of "Fortune Teller", and later that year
released "Black", a brooding version of a traditional folk ballad
noted for its expressionistic use of guitar feedback. The Black
Diamonds "I Want, Need, Love You" featured an intense and hard-driving
guitar sound that Ian D. Marks described as "speaker
From Brisbane came the Pleazers and the Purple Hearts,
and from Melbourne the Pink Finks, the Loved Ones, Steve and the
Board, and the Moods. Like Sydney's the Missing Links, the
Creatures were another notorious group of the period, who Iain
McIntyre remarked "Thanks to their brightly coloured hair and bad-ass
attitude, the Creatures left in their wake a legacy of multiple
arrests, bloodied noses and legendary rave ups". The Masters
Apprentices' early sound was largely R&B-influenced garage and
psychedelic, and their career stretched into the 1970s.
From New Zealand, the Bluestars cut the defiant "Social End Product",
that with its line "I don't stand for the queen" aimed at social
oppression and anticipated some of the anti-royalist sentiments of the
Sex Pistols and other 1970s punk rock acts. Chants R&B
were known for a raw R&B-influenced sound. The La De Das
recorded a version of the Changin' Times' "How is the Air Up There?",
which went to No. 4 on the nation's charts.
Integration with psychedelia and counterculture
Historical and cultural associations
Counterculture of the 1960s
Counterculture of the 1960s and Psychedelia
Increasingly throughout 1966, partly due to the growing influence of
drugs such as marijuana and LSD, numerous bands began to expand
their sound, sometimes employing eastern scales and various sonic
effects to achieve exotic and hypnotic soundscapes in their
music. The development was nonetheless the result of a longer
musical evolution growing out of folk rock and other forms, and
prefigured even in certain surf rock recordings.[e] As the
decade progressed, psychedelic influences became pervasive in much
Garage rock helped lay the groundwork for acid
By the mid-1960s numerous garage bands began to employ tone-altering
devices such as fuzzboxes on guitars often for the purpose of
enhancing the music's sonic palate and adding an aggressive edge,
using loudly amplified instruments to create a barrage of "clanging"
sounds, often expressing anger, defiance, and sexual frustration.
A sense of despondency and restlessness entered the psyche of the
youth in the
United States and elsewhere, with a growing rise of
tension and alienation creeping into the collective mindset—even in
the largely conservative suburban communities which produced so many
garage bands. The garage bands, though generally apolitical,
nonetheless reflected the tenor of the times. Nightly news
reports had a cumulative effect on the mass consciousness, including
musicians. Detectable in much of the music from this era is a
combination of disparate emotions, particularly in light of President
Kennedy's assassination and the ongoing escalation of troops sent to
Vietnam, yet displaying what some now view as a bygone
In 1965, the influence of artists such as Bob Dylan, who moved beyond
political protest by experimenting with abstract and surreal lyrical
imagery and then switched to electric guitar, became increasingly
pervasive across the musical landscape, affecting a number of genres,
including garage rock. The members of garage bands, like so many
musicians of the 1960s, were part of a generation that was largely
born into the paradigm and customs of an older time, but grew up
confronting a new set of issues facing a more advanced and
technological age. Postwar prosperity brought the advantages of
better education, was well as more spare time for recreation, which
along with the new technology, made it possible for an increasing
number of young people to play music. With the advent of
television, nuclear weapons, civil rights, the Cold War, and space
exploration, the new generation was more global in its mindset and
began to conceive of a higher order of human relations, attempting to
reach for a set of transcendent ideals, often expressed through rock
music. Though set to a backdrop of tragic events that ultimately
proved disillusioning, the various forms of personal and musical
experimentation held promise, at least for a time, in the minds of
many. While testing the frontiers of what the new world had to
offer, 1960s youth ultimately had to accept the limitations of the new
reality, yet often did so while experiencing the ecstasy of a moment
when the range of possibilities seemed boundless and within
Garage-based psychedelic/acid rock
The Electric Prunes
The Electric Prunes in 1966
Psychedelic rock and Acid rock
Tapping into the psychedelic zeitgeist, musicians sonically pushed
barriers and explored new horizons. Garage acts, while generally
lacking the budgetary means to produce musical extravaganzas on the
Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band or the instrumental
virtuosity of acts such as
Jimi Hendrix or Cream, nonetheless managed
to infuse esoteric elements into basic primitive rock. The 13th
Floor Elevators from Austin, Texas, are usually thought to be first
band to use the term "psychedelic"—in their promotional literature
in early 1966. They also used it in the title of their debut
album released in November, The Psychedelic Sounds of the 13th Floor
Elevators. In August 1966, the Deep traveled from New York to
Philadelphia to record a set of hallucinogenic songs for the album
Psychedelic Moods: A Mind-Expanding Phenomena, released in October
1966, one month before the 13th Floor Elevators' debut album, and
whose all-night sessions produced mind-expanding stream of
consciousness ramblings. Other notable bands that incorporated
psychedelia into garage rock were the Electric Prunes, the Music
Blues Magoos, and the Chocolate Watchband.
Primitivist avant-garde acts
See also: Experimental rock
Certain acts conveyed a world view markedly removed from the implicit
innocence of much psychedelia and suburban-style garage, often
infusing their work with subversive political or philosophical
messages, dabbling in musical forms and concepts considered at
the time to be extreme. Such artists shared certain
characteristics with the garage bands in their use of primitivistic
instrumentation and arrangements, while displaying psychedelic rock's
affinity for exploration—creating more urbanized, intellectual, and
avant garde types of primitivist rock, sometimes mentioned in relation
to garage rock.
New York City
New York City was the home to several such
groups. The Fugs, who formed in 1963, were one of rock's first
experimental bands and its core members were singer, poet, and social
activist Ed Sanders, along with
Tuli Kupferberg and Ken Weaver.
They specialized in a satirical mixture of amateurish garage rock,
jug, folk, and psychedelic laced with leftist political
commentary. In a 1970 interview,
Ed Sanders became the
first known musician to describe his music as "punk rock".
The Monks's music imbued garage rock with avant garde elements.
The Velvet Underground, whose roster included Lou Reed, are now
generally considered the foremost experimental rock group of the
period. At the time of recording their first album, they were
involved with Andy Warhol, who produced some its tracks, and his
assemblage of "scenesters" at the Factory, including
model-turned-singer Nico. She briefly accompanied them on the
The Velvet Underground
The Velvet Underground & Nico. The album's
lyrics, though generally apolitical, depict the world of hard drugs in
songs such as "I'm Waiting for the Man" and "Heroin", and other topics
considered taboo at the time.
Outside of New York were the Monks from Germany, whose members were
former US servicemen who chose to remain in Germany, where in 1965
they developed an experimental sound on their album Black Monk
Time. The group, who sometimes wore habits and
partially shaven tonsures, specialized in a style featuring chanting
and hypnotic percussion.
Even at the height of garage rock's popularity in the mid-1960s, the
success of most of its records, despite a handful of notable
exceptions, was relegated to local and regional markets. In the
wake of psychedelia, as rock music became increasingly sophisticated,
garage rock began to fade. After the release of Sgt. Pepper's
Lonely Hearts Club Band and other late-1960s big-production
spectaculars, rock albums became increasingly elaborate and were
expected to display maturity and complexity, while the 45-inch single
ceded to the long-play album as the preferred medium.
Album-oriented progressive FM stations eventually overtook AM radio in
popularity, and as the large major-label record companies became more
powerful and less willing to sign new acts, the once plentiful "mom
and pop" independent labels of the mid-1960s began to fold. 
Radio playlists became more regimented and disc jockeys began to have
less freedom, making it increasingly difficult for local and regional
bands to receive airplay. Teen clubs and dance venues which
previously served as reliable and steady engagements for young groups
started to close. The garage sound disappeared at both the
national and local level, as band members graduated, departing for
college, work, or the military. Musicians in bands frequently
faced the prospect of the
Vietnam War draft, and some were selected
for service, in some cases losing their lives in action.
With the tumultuous political events of 1968, the tense mood of the
country reached a breaking point, while increasing use of drugs and
other factors intermingled with shifting musical tastes. New
styles either evolved out of garage rock or replaced it, such as acid
rock, progressive rock, heavy metal, country rock, and
bubblegum. By 1969 the garage rock phenomenon was largely
Garage-based proto-punk 1969–1974
See also: Proto-punk
Iggy Pop was a member of the Stooges, who are considered one of the
preeminent proto-punk acts.
The garage rock boom faded at the end of the 1960s, but a handful of
maverick acts carried its impetus into the next decade, seizing on the
style's rougher edges, but brandishing them with increased volume and
aggression. Such acts, often retroactively described as
"proto-punk", worked in a variety of rock genres and came from
disparate places, notably Michigan. Such bands specialized in an
energetic and hard-rocking style that was heavy, but more primitive
than most of the sophisticated hard rock sounds typical of the time,
which often relied on extended instrumental soloing and
In the late 1960s and early 1970s, several
Michigan bands rooted in
garage rock recorded a works that became highly
influential, particularly with the 1970s punk movement. In 1969,
MC5 issued their live debut LP, Kick Out the Jams, which featured a
set of highly energetic, politically-charged songs. The
Stooges, from Ann Arbor were fronted by lead singer Iggy Pop,
Describing their approach, Stephen Thomas Erlewine commented: "Taking
their cue from the over-amplified pounding of British blues, the
primal raunch of American garage rock, and the psychedelic rock (as
well as the audience-baiting) of the Doors, the Stooges were raw,
immediate, and vulgar." The group released three albums during this
period, beginning with the self-titled
The Stooges in 1969
and culminating with
Raw Power (now billed as Iggy and the Stooges) in
1973, which featured the cathartic opeing cut, "Search and
Alice Cooper band relocated to Detroit, where they
began to gain success with a new "shock rock" image, and recorded
1971's Love It to Death, which featured their breakout hit "I'm
Two bands who formed in the early 1970s in the waning days of the
Detroit scene were
The Punks and Death.
The Punks had a sometimes
thrashing sound that rock journalist
Lester Bangs described as
"intense" and their song "My Time's Comin'" was featured in a 2016
episode of HBO's Vinyl. In 1974, Death, whose membership was made
up of brothers David, Bobby, and Dannis Hackney, recorded tracks for
an album that remained unreleased for over 30 years, ...For the Whole
World to See, which, along with their other subsequently-issued
tracks, finally earned them a reputation as pioneers in punk
In Boston, the Modern Lovers, led by Velvet Underground devotee
Jonathan Richman, gained attention with their minimalistic
style. In 1974, an updated garage rock scene began to
coalesce around the Rathskeller club in Kenmore Square. The
Real Kids were founded by former Modern Lover John Felice.
Between 1969 and 1974, there were other movements further removed from
the American garage rock tradition, such as Glam and pub rock in Great
Britain, as well as
Krautrock in Germany, that nonetheless displayed
hallmarks of proto-punk and had an influence on 1970s punk.
Emergence of punk movement 1975–1978
Punk rock and Punk subculture
The Ramones (pictured in 1977), who were influenced by garage rock,
spearheaded the mid-1970s punk movement in New York.
Identification of garage rock by certain critics in the early 1970s
(and their use of the term "punk rock" to describe it), as well as the
Nuggets compilation exerted a marked degree of influence on the
subsequent punk movement of the mid-to-late 1970s. As a result of
the popularity of
Nuggets and critical attention paid to
primitive-sounding rock of the past and present, a self-conscious
musical aesthetic began to emerge around the term "punk" that,
with the eventual arrival of the New York and London punk scenes, grew
into a subculture, with its own look, iconography, identity, and
The mid- to late-1970s saw the arrival of the bands most often viewed
as the quintessential punk rock acts. One of the most prominent was
Ramones from New York, some of whose members had played in 1960s
garage bands, and who are usually considered the first punk band
as the term is now commonly understood. They were followed by the
Sex Pistols from London, who struck an even more defiant pose and
effectively heralded the arrival punk as a cause célèbre in the
larger public mind. Both bands spearheaded the popular punk
movement from their respective locations. Though garage rock
and protopunk influenced many of the bands from the New York and
London scenes of this period, punk rock now emerged as a distinct
movement with a subculture all of its own, and the garage band
era of the 1960s came to be viewed as a distant forerunner.
Revivalist and hybrid movements 1980–present
Garage rock revival" redirects here. For the late 1980s garage
rock/punk fusion genre, see Garage punk (fusion genre). For the 2000s
Garage rock has experienced various revivals in the ensuing years and
continues to influence numerous modern acts who prefer a "back to
basics" and "do it yourself" musical approach. The earliest group
to attempt to revive the sound of 1960s garage was the Droogs, from
Los Angeles, who formed in 1972 and pre-dated many of the revival acts
of the 1980s. In the early 1980s, revival scenes linked to the
underground music movements of the period sprang up in Los Angeles,
New York, Boston, and elsewhere, with acts such as the Chesterfield
Kings, the Fuzztones, the Pandoras, and the Lyres earnestly attempting
to replicate the sound and look of the 1960s garage bands. This
trend fed in into the alternative rock movement and future grunge
explosion, which embraced influenceces by 1960s garage bands such as
the Sonics and the Wailers.
The Black Keys
The Black Keys performing in 2011
Out of the garage revival, a more aggressive form of garage rock known
as garage punk emerged in the late 1980s. It differed from the "retro"
revival in that its acts did not attempt to replicate the exact look
and sound of 1960s groups, and their approach tended to be louder,
often infusing garage rock with elements of Stooges-era protopunk,
1970s punk rock, and other influences, creating a new
hybrid. Several notable garage punk bands were the Gories,
thee Mighty Caesars, the Mummies and thee Headcoats. Garage punk
and revival acts persisted into the 1990s and the new millennium,
with independent record labels releasing records by bands playing
fast-paced, lo-fi music. Some of the more prolific independent
labels include Estrus, Get Hip, Bomp!, and Sympathy for
the Record Industry.
In the early 2000s, a garage rock or post-punk revival achieved
the airplay and commercial success that had eluded garage rock bands
of the past. This was led by four bands: the Strokes of New York City,
the Hives of Fagersta, Sweden, the Vines of Sydney, and the White
Stripes from Detroit, Michigan. Other products of the Detroit
rock scene included the Von Bondies, Electric 6, the Dirtbombs, the
Detroit Cobras, and Rock 455. Elsewhere, acts such as Billy
Childish and the Buff Medways from Chatham, England, the
(International) Noise Conspiracy from Umeå, Sweden, and Jay
Reatard and the
Oblivians from Memphis, enjoyed moderate underground
success and appeal. Out of
Guitar Wolf from
Nagasaki and the 184.108.40.206's from Tokyo. A second wave of
bands that gained international recognition as a result of the
movement included the Black Keys, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club,
Death from Above 1979, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, the Killers, Interpol,
Cage the Elephant, and
Kings of Leon
Kings of Leon from the US, the Libertines,
Arctic Monkeys, Bloc Party, Editors, and Franz Ferdinand from the
UK, Jet from Australia, and the Datsuns and the D4 from New
The mid-2000s saw several underground bands achieve mainstream
prominence. Acts such as Ty Segall, Thee Oh Sees, Black Lips and
Jay Reatard, that initially released records on smaller garage
punk labels such as In the Red Records, began signing to larger,
better-known independent labels. Several bands followed them in
signing to larger labels such as Rough Trade and Drag City..
See also: List of garage rock compilation albums
According to Peter Aaron, there are over a thousand garage rock
compilations featuring work by various artists of the 1960s. The
first major garage rock compilation, Nuggets: Original Artyfacts from
the First Psychedelic Era, 1965–1968, was released by Elektra
Records in 1972.
Nuggets grew into a multi-volume series, when
Rhino Records in the 1980s released fifteen installments that
consisted of songs from the original album plus additional
tracks. In 1998, Rhino released a four-CD box set version of
Nuggets, containing the original album and three additional discs of
material, that included extensive liner notes by some of garage rock's
most influential writers.
The Pebbles series was begun by Greg Shaw and originally appeared on
his Bomp label in 1978 and has been issued in successive installments
on LP and CD. Back from the Grave is a series issued by Crypt
Records that focuses on hard-driving and primitive examples of the
genre. Big Beat Records' Uptight Tonight: The Ultimate 1960s
Garage Punk Primer also features harder material. There are
several notable anthologies devoted to female garage bands from the
1960s. Girls in the Garage was the first female garage rock
series, and Ace Records' issued the more recent Girls with
There are numerous collections featuring garage/beat music from
outside of North America. Rhino's
Nuggets II: Original Artyfacts from
the British Empire and Beyond, 1964–1969 4-CD box set includes music
from the United Kingdom and other countries in the British
commonwealth. It is of particular interest to fans of
freakbeat. Ugly Things was the first compilation series to
highlight Australian garage bands from the 1960s. Down Under
Nuggets: Original Australian Artyfacts 1965–1967 also covers
Australian acts. The Trans World Punk Rave-Up series focuses on
Nederbeat music from Continental Europe.
Los Nuggetz Volume Uno is devoted primarily to Latin American groups
and is available in a single-CD edition, as well as an expanded
4-CD box set. GS I Love You: Japanese Garage Bands of the
1960s and its companion piece
GS I Love You
GS I Love You Too: Japanese Garage
Bands of the 1960s Both sets feature GS acts from Japan. The
Simla Beat 70/71
Simla Beat 70/71 compilation consists of recordings by garage rock
India that competed in the 1970 and 1971 Simla Beat
contests. Though its tracks were recorded at the turn of 1970s,
most of them bear a striking resemblance to music made in the West
several years earlier.
List of bands
Main article: List of garage rock bands
Rock music portal
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Garage rock.
Library resources about
Resources in your library
Resources in other libraries
List of 1960s one-hit wonders in the United States
List of garage rock bands
Nederbeat and Nederpop
^ On p. 49, Markesich mentions that the book's core discography
(consisting exclusively of US acts) includes approximately 16,000
recordings made by over 4500 groups. Release dates for records range
from 1963-1972 (with the vast bulk released between 1964-1968).
^ Letters in title were not capitalized.
^ Not to be confused with Alice Cooper's American band of the same
^ On pages 10 and 51 the author indicates that the term often used for
many the Indian bands of the 1960s is "garage bands".
^ The title of the Gamblers' 1960 instrumental "LSD-25" mentions
LSD, and in "Miserlou" (1962),
Dick Dale used a Phrygian
scale. The first musical act to use the term "psychedelic was the
New York-based folk group the Holy Modal Rounders on their version of
Lead Belly's "Hesitation Blues" (there pronounced as "psycho-delic")
^ a b Shuker 2005, p. 140.
^ Abbey 2006, p. 74.
^ a b c Flanagan 2014.
^ Markesich; Nobles 2012, p. 21.
^ Markesich 2012, p. 9.
^ Nobles 2012, p. 21.
^ Markesich 2012, p. 49.
^ Markesich 2012, p. 16; Tupica 2013.
^ Markesich 2012, p. 16; Fensterstock 2013.
^ Nobles 2011, p. 75.
^ Nobles 2012, pp. 75, 83–88.
^ Markesich 3y1992, p. 20; Hicks 1999, p. 25; Lemlich,
pp. 17–18, 30.
^ Lemlich 1992, pp. 17–18, 30.
^ Lemlich 1992, pp. 17–18, 30; Tupica 2013; Markesich 2012,
^ Markesich 2012, p. 20.
^ Shuker 2005, p. 140; Tupica 2013; Bogdanov, Woodstra &
Erlewine 2002, p. 3.
^ Hicks 1999, pp. 18–22.
^ Hicks 1999, pp. 17–18.
^ Roller 1992, p. 119; Garage Rock Revival (AllMusic).
^ Hicks 1999, p. 31.
^ Hicks 1999, pp. 23–24, 53–54, 60–61, 67.
^ Blecha 2009, pp. x, 169–188; Campbell 2004,
^ Markesich 2012, pp. 5, 294.
^ Markesich 2012, pp. 5, 9.
^ a b c Markesich 2012, p. 295.
^ a b c Shaw 1973, p. 68.
^ Laing 2015, pp. 21–23; Bangs 2003, pp. 8, 56–57, 61,
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^ Laing 2015, pp. 22–23.
^ Bangs 2003, p. 8.
^ Laing 2015, p. 21.
^ a b Shapiro 2006, p. 492.
^ a b Unterberger 1998, p. 69.
^ Smith 2009, pp. 96-98.
^ Hicks 1999, pp. 106–107.
^ Kaye 1972.
^ a b Laing 2015, p. 23.
^ Markesich 2012, p. 295; Aaron 2013, p. 51.
^ Markesich 2012, pp. 294–296.
^ Markesich 2012, p. 295; Bangs 1981, pp. 261–264.
^ Aaron 2013, p. 52.
^ Markesich 2012, pp. 39–40.
^ a b c d Bangs 1981, pp. 261–264.
^ Morrison 2005, pp. 383–342.
^ a b c Roller 2013, p. 15.
^ a b Blecha 2007, p. 59.
^ Roller 2013, p. 115.
^ Markesich 2012, p. 10.
^ a b Gilmore 1990.
^ R&R Hall of Fame (Valens.
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^ Hicks 1999, pp. 17, 21.
^ Hicks 1999, p. 17.
^ Markesich 2012, pp. 10, 12.
^ Whiteside 2015.
^ Blecha 2009, pp. 6, 26, 159–160.
^ Blecha 2009, p. 1.
^ Blecha 2009, pp. 98–99.
^ Planer (Frantics).
^ Blecha 2009, pp. 28–33.
^ Blecha 2009, pp. 23, 26, 35–37, 64–65, 67–68.
^ Blecha 2009, pp. 78–85, 90, 109–116, 138–140, 189–190;
Morrison 2005, pp. 838–842.
^ Blecha 2009, pp. 119, 135–138.
^ Hicks 1999, p. 24; Roller 2013, pp. 22–29.
^ Campbell 2004, p. 213.
^ Pareles 1997.
^ Markesich 2012, pp. 10-12; Shaw 1998, pp. 18–19.
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^ Shepherd, p. 222.
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'60s Garage Bands – histories of local and regional bands of the
Beyond the Beat Generation – interviews with former members of 1960s
Everett True's Australian Garage Rock Primer – covers Australian
garage rock bands of the 1960s and later
G45 Central – website and blog which hosts discussions on various
topics related to garage rock
Garage Hangover – garage bands of the 1960s by state, province and
GS – covers the group sounds ("G.S.") garage/beat boom in Japan
It's Psychedelic Baby - articles, interviews, and reviews of 1960s
psychedelic and garage acts
Start – Website devoted to covering as many as 1400 Dutch Nederbeat
bands of the 1960s (in both Dutch and English)
Ugly Things – magazine that provides information on garage rock and
vintage music from the 1960s and other eras
decade of origin
Rock and roll
Pub rock (United Kingdom)
Pub rock (Australia)
Adult album alternative
Progressive rock (radio format)
Origins of rock and roll
Electronics in rock music
Rock Against Communism
Rock Against Racism
Rock Against Sexism
Rock music and the fall of communism
Rockism and poptimism
Women in rock
List of rock genres
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
Wall of Sound
Pub rock (United Kingdom)
New wave of British heavy metal
New wave of British heavy metal (NWOBHM)
Scottish Gaelic punk
United States (California)
People and groups
First wave punk musicians
Second wave punk musicians
List of punk bands
Women in punk rock
List of punk compilation albums
List of punk rock festivals
Punk visual art
Punk films (List of punk films)
Timeline of punk