Thursday, 13 September 2012

Jalopy Rock

Gibson has this list of 10 Great Garage Rock Bands.

The intro talks about garage rock as both primitive and singles-oriented (not self-contradicting?) while Wikipedia describes garage rock as raw and amateurish - and punkish.

To me, rock and roll is punkish by definition. Three chords and a message (even if it's only complaining about the cheerleader who doesn't notice you) - that's the essence of rock and roll. Everything else is just window dressing - or pretense.

Anyway, here's the list:
The Count Five
Flamin' Groovies
13th Floor Elevators
The Seeds
The Troggs
The Electric Prunes
The Kingsmen
The Stooges
The Velvet Underground

Note to Gibson: not sure I buy that Jimi Hendrix loved The Troggs. I always felt his whole Wild Thing thing at Monterey was a put on.

The point of Gibson's list is who were the pioneers, so it is a pretty good list. Otherwise I might have said: where's Camper van Beethoven, The Northern Pikes, The Smithereens, or even George Thorogood? Not that any of these sounded amateurish.

It's not that I admire poor production of sloppy musicianship, but to me it's the feel of the music, not the degree to which it sounds professional. It's about raw rock and roll. So, my list would also include Creedence, The Kinks, The Status Quo, even The Stones and Neil Young.

We're talking genres, right? And a genre is about style and attitude, not commercial success, and certainly not ability. I mean, if Keef isn't punk then I don't know who is!

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