It’s A Nugget If You Dug It….

I’ve always loved the Music Machine’s Talk Talk, dig those get ups!

From the TAMI Show, the Barbarians featuring Moulty.

The Count Five’s Psychotic Reaction- When this came out we thought it was a new Yardbirds record….

The Preachers version of Who Do You Love, I heard this on the radio exactly once.

The 13th Floor Elevators’ You’re Gonna Miss Me, a huge hit where I grew up in S. Florida.

In 1972 Lenny Kaye compiled the Nuggets compilation for Elecktra Records, it was subtitled “Artifacts from the first psychedelic era”, but the music was soon dubbed punk rock, probably by Greg Shaw, although Dave Marsh seems to think it’s important for the world to know that he coined the term. Actually the first use of “punk” in music writing was by Nick Tosches who described Ed Sanders of the Fugs as having a “punk muse”. No matter, the sound of these one-hit, teenage American bands was soon changed from punk rock to garage rock to distinguish it from the safety pin through the face variety of 70’s punk. What I find so interesting is Lenny Kaye’s vision in excavating the past. The music was only six years old (using 1966 as the banner year for American garage), yet Kaye understood it’s importance at a time when most rock writers were busy analysing Bob Dylan’s lyrics (or digging through his trash), or heralding the coming revolution, which was to be led by the Jefferson Airplane or Abbie Hoffman or whom ever. Only two of the above tracks made it onto Nuggets (Talk Talk was short listed but was unavailable due to legal problems, the Barbarians were represented by the song Moulty, not their best record, but surely a first class “artifact”). The Preachers track appeared on the first Pebbles album (Greg Shaw’s bootleg continuation of the Nuggets concept). There was something in the air, for that same year, Mark Shipper released the first Sonics re-issue Explosive (Buckshot), sold through an ad in Who Put The Bomp fanzine. This was followed by the aforementioned Pebbles series which kicked off in 1976 and opened a floodgate. Soon every collector of garage 45’s had their own compilation album on the market. My favorites: Hipsville 29 B.C., three volumes (Kramden), What A Way To Die (Satan), Open Up Yer Door (Frog Death) Off The Wall, two volumes, (Wreckord Wracked) The Chosen Few, two volumes (A-Go Go) and of course Back From The Grave nine volumes (Crypt), which was legally done unlike the others which were bootlegs. All of these can be downloaded from various blogs, try looking via Chewbone or Captain’s Crawl (new URL). Soon there would be similar comps by every style, region, and/or label configuration possible, sometimes it seems like there were more comps than their were original 45’s. The Droogs issued their first 45– He’s Waitin’ b/w Light Bulb Blues (Plug’n’Socket), the first “new” group to revive the sound of ’66. By the mid-70’s more bands appeared like the Fleshtones, DMZ and the Chesterfield Kings to play much in the style of these (not very) old records. This caused much confusion as to what “punk” was or should be. I bring this up because the world seemed so much bigger and more mysterious back then, when everything hadn’t been re-issued. The fans themselves were able to grasp control of the music for the first time ever. It really did change history.
Garage rock is a genuine marketing term nowadays, and nothing seems very special at all. In fact garge rock had little to do with Lenny’s original concept for Nuggets, he wanted each new volume to cover a different musical style (ie–a girl group Nuggets, a surf Nuggets, etc.) but alas, Nuggets lasted only one volume (although Rhino revived the title for two box sets, one of US and one of UK era sides).
I don’t listen to this type of music much in my old age, but it’s fun to see these videos, and to pull out the records once and awhile. It’s a Nugget if you dug it.

29 thoughts on “It’s A Nugget If You Dug It….”

  1. Nuggets, like I guess for a lot of folks was my first introduction to garage & psych, and without it I probably woouldn't of travelled the musical journey through R'n'B, Soul, Girl Groups, Exotica, etc…while there may be comps with better tracks – one you mentioned 'What a way to die' almost every track is a killer – Nuggets will always be the starting point for me.Thanks to Lenny Kaye for his vision, and thanks to you Hound for keeping the flame of this music burning through your blog, and your radio show.

  2. great!I found the first Pebbles in my college bookstore for $1.99. Then I found my girlfriend had vol. 2 and I traded her some modern crap for it.I was pretty sure Lenny Kaye once defined garage rock as “music made by teenage American punks.”I could be wrong.PJL

  3. I spent a good part of my college years searching for the Nuggets album like some holy grail. Never found it (strange, as Wazoo Records in Ann Arbor had everything). Do remember my older brother playing a lot of these 45s. They remind me of the kid across the street, racing his purple Barracuda down the street.

  4. Hound: I still find many uncomped “garage” songs,by simply reading a lot of blogs,and still collecting and trading… Then there was the Twilightzone blog that released roughly 170 garage era comps,last year before one of the bands had a fit,and pulled the plug on it.There were tons of uncomped songs,that hadn't hit my ears.And I'm talking some ears that had heard a lot of the same things you might have. There were typical a-sides and b-sides,which were interesting,and so there's another blog putting up some uncomped things that are still surprising. Lee's Garage Sector had a few songs,while not real wild fuzzy garage monsters,there were some cool things. Since these bands pressed 7 inch singles/records in such limited amounts,there's still some being uncovered,and found.But yeah,garage music is a word that being used to sell a lot of crap,too. Anyone listening to Little Steven's channel would be sadden to think that Doo Wop music,and Bruce Springsteen's songs are “garage”. Then you hear one real garage track per hour,and yes whatta crap out. Garage my ass. And then they play that one track and it's one Sonics song.There's a podcast on Live365 that has some lesser heard garage music,and then there's the site,but it seems a geekfest,of people,who can't discuss it without having a turd. Then there's a real nice site called and people write some fine articles about it. I know i'm forgetting someone here.So sorry. But there does seem some people who aren't ruining the word or the sounds.

  5. Rolling Stone mag let Shaw do the review for Nuggets (I have it somewhere in the archives) and he took it apart song-by-song essentially saying, “well I would have added this instead of that….”I guess Pebbles was Nuggets revenge (and yes I have at least 20 volumes)

  6. Your rundown of the best comps is spot on.One other thing that shouldn't go unmentioned, and it wasn't even a boot: The 1st Chesterfield Kings LP was like Greg Prevost's version of what his bootleg would have been and I did well to hunt down the originals of the tunes on it and the others they were playing in their set at the time. (For R&B it did me even better to hunt down the tunes Barrence Whitfield & the Savages were covering in those days too, though it took me over to 2 decades to do it)(Funny how Hipsville, What A Way To Die, Open Up Yer Door, and Back From The Grave were put out at the same time by people who would see each other almost every night at the same shows or parties)

  7. In my old age, I still listen to this type of music a fair amount. It remains one of my favorite genres.? & The Mysterians weren't a 'better' band than The Rolling Stones, but I love “96 Tears” more than any Stones song.Thank God for Lenny Kaye and Greg Shaw.

  8. Anonymous…boy that isn't the version of “Who do you love” I remember getting a lot airplay in Detroit. The version I'm thinking of had a much harder edge to it, especially the vocals.

  9. ” Hipsville, What A Way To Die, Open Up Yer Door, and Back From The Grave were put out at the same time by people who would see each other almost every night at the same shows or parties”Still do except for BP who did Open Yer Door who disappeared from the face of the earth.

  10. Apparently I'm thinking of the Woolies version of “Who Do You Love”. Hmmm…I would've bet serious cash that it was the Blues Magoos. The mind starts to fade…

  11. To call the Magoo's version stunningly awful doesn't describe it thoroughly. Thet'd have to go a ways just to reach stunningly awful! Chuck Berry loved the Woolies so much that he insisted on using them as his backup band whenever he played in the MidWest. I haven't heard a version of “Who Do You Love” that was better than the Woolies' version.

  12. ” I haven't heard a version of “Who Do You Love” that was better than the Woolies' version.”I'd have to say I think Bo Diddley's original version w/Jody Williams' guitar solo and Ronnie Hawkinsrendition on Roullette (w/Robbie Robertson on guitar)are in my opion the best version, the Woolies is stillpretty greath though….

  13. the last truly great year for R&R, look at the charts!Your right I think the switch from45's to LP's started there. Maybe starting with the Sgt Pepper crap andCream's unending one song LP sides.Kevan A

  14. I found Lenny's Nuggets in the record wall of our student radio station, KUCI, in 1978. I listened to “You're Gonna Miss Me” repeatedly on the demo turntable. I was hooked.

  15. Ah yeah…Top 40 Radio. Getting to listen to these songs (or any other Top 40 list) 20+ times a day. I know that's my idea of radio heaven! (*smirk*)

  16. I can relate to Jim's comment about not listening to this stuff so much in my old age. For about a decade I went nuts for Nuggets, Pebbles, Back From The Grave, etc. as well as old tracks by the Sonics, Elevators, ? & The Mysterians, etc. I even did a weekly garage-centered show on a community station in Indiana for 3 years. I kept buying/downloading the comps (including many from the Twilight Zone and Garage Hangover blogs), but at a certain point I got to a point of severely-diminishing returns. Cause you know what? There is a fucking TON of crap out there now. And I'm talking genuine '66 old records crap. So many uninspired, badly played, badly recorded lame covers of the usual Wilson Pickett and Yardbirds songs, etc. For every “Jezebel” by the Teddy Boys or “Blackout of Gretely” by Gonn, there are 18 million crappy covers or ripoffs of “Empty Heart.”I started to focus on the musicianship and I realized that except for the occasional truly inspired bit of accidental Crog-Magnon magic (like “Why” by the Dirty Wurdz), I'd MUCH rather listen to guys who worked in their craft all the time and honed their chops and musical ideas on the chitlin circuit, people who had to make a living getting tough audiences to dance or at least pay attention. Too many so-called “garage” records of the 60's were really just vanity projects by middle class kids. Nothing wrong with it. I did it myself in my day. But I don't expect anyone to be interested in listening to my band do incompetent covers of originally-cool records!The great garage records have earned their place in the R&R pantheon and its a very interesting mid 60's white middleclass phenomenon, but I can't get excited about it much myself anymore, especially now that it's been fully absorbed as another hollowed out retro style that anyone can grab off the rack.Despite all that the Sonics will alwasy rool!

  17. Yeah, I used to love listening to 60s Garage too, until this music became more easily accessible for enjoyment by commoners. Things were so much better back in the day. And by “back in the day”, I don’t mean back when this music was originally created. No, I mean back in “my day”, when we used to listen to these obscurities and think how much better things were back in the day.Sorry Jim. This bit of sarcasm wasn’t aimed at you. I really love your blog, and eat up everything you post (Always very informative. I didn't know Robbie Robertson played guitar on Ronnie Hawkins’ “Who Do You Love” – Thanks!). Anyway, some of the elitist comments this go-around are a bit annoying.

  18. Re: “Punk”NYC's Suicide actually had Village Voice ads in 1970 mentioning they are performing their Punk music.

  19. “B.P.” showed up for the Roky Erickson gig at Castle Clinton last year.Relocated to his ancestoral home in Queens.PJL

  20. This is now an old post to comment on, but I was looking for a download of the early Droogs stuff. Even before the Droogs 60s revival was the incredibly stupid Winos records featuring the guy that ran Rhino. They had 3 45s and an LP by 1973. The LP has their 3 cool 60s revival 45s, plus additional incredibly crappy music hall (an LA band?!?) and even a live Led Zep cover. The Beauty Queen 45 from '73 I think is the first bona fide revival 45. Some of their 45 tunes sound like King U, like their cover of Nose Job. The earliest tracks on the lp are from 1969. The lp came with like 20 or so fine print inserts! It's called The Savage Young Winos and they are all wearing leather jackets pre-Dictators.

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