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.
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