What was the first Punk Rock-type song? "Louie, Louie"? "96 Tears"? "Talk Talk"?

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Steve Hoffman, May 19, 2005.

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  1. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your Host Your Host Thread Starter

    Anyone ever figure it out?

    I can think of a few like the Music Machine's "Talk Talk" and the Gentrys' "Keep On Dancing" plus of course "Louie, Louie", ?'s "96 Tears" and a few others.

    Anyone ever think about this?
  2. Wufnpoof

    Wufnpoof Well-Known Member

    Boston, MA
    Steve, I don't mean to be any more annoying than I usually am :D but can you define what you mean by "Punk Rock-type" song?

    Usually I hear the term "Garage Band Rock" or summat like that in reference to "Louie Louie" and "96 Tears" - and rene smallridge is probably the expert on that genre 'round these parts. I love that music when I hear it on the radio (there are some college radio stations that feature it regularly).

    The first albums I remember hearing that I would call "Punk Rock" were Patti Smith's "Horses" and the Sex Pistols. But I suppose bands like MC5, the Fugs, The New York Dolls, and The Velvet Underground all presaged that kind of approach.

    I'm no expert on the chronology of rock music before 1970, but I thought I'd post a friendly reply for what it's worth anyhoo. :wave:
  3. Grant

    Grant A Musical Free-Spirit

    I always thought of stuff like "Summertime Blues" by Blue Cheer, but there are things by the Yardbirds, Jimi Hendrix, and others that predate it. "Louie Louie" came out in 1963, and is very raw sounding for that time period. I'm still amazed that it was a hit back then. Then, there's the Dave Clark Five, but they didn't use any rhythm or lead guitars until later.

    After hearing the Cameo-Parkway box, I cannot call "96 Tears" anything close to punk.
  4. Grant

    Grant A Musical Free-Spirit

    "Kick Out The Jams"-MC5? Again, it's a bit later than the other stuff mentioned.
  5. innercircle

    innercircle Forum Resident

    Monterrey, Mexico
    It wasn't "New Rose" by the Damned? actually they reclamed them selves like Punk-Rock inventors.......
  6. Ed Bishop

    Ed Bishop Incredibly, I'm still here

    Not recently, until you just brought it up? :D

    Tough call...what is 'punk,' after all? All I know is, the Yardbirds' "I Ain't Got You" from 1964 could tie in directly to the Ramones, strange as that may seem.

    One could make a fair argument, for sheer ferocity, with Love's "7 & 7 *Is," which is pretty wild. Ultimately, though, from a sonic standpoint, "Wipe Out" seems the most obvious template for a lot of future three-chord wonders.

  7. Joe Koz

    Joe Koz Prodigal Bone Brotherâ„¢ In Memoriam

    I think there's a fine line between Punk Rock and Garage Band music. To me Punk Rock is Garage band music with an attitude. Like Heavy Metal, I don't know how to describe it, I just know it when I hear it.

    The first two bands that came to my mind was, the Sonics and Chocolate Watch Band.
    I think the Chocolate Watch Band's "Sweet Young Thing" could fit the bill!
  8. Wufnpoof

    Wufnpoof Well-Known Member

    Boston, MA
    Hmm... now I'm thinking Beethoven's "Rage Over The Lost Penny" would have made a pretty good punk rock song (of the West-Coast Circle Jerks variety). :D
  9. MikeM

    MikeM Forum Resident

    Youngstown, Ohio
    As always, YDMV (your definition may vary) as to what 60s punk is. Broadly speaking, it was US local bands' response to being influenced by The Stones, The Yardbirds, early Kinks, Them, the Pretty Things, etc. -- probably mixed in with some lingering frat rock with a dash of Byrds.

    It's defined both by the sound of the records and by the more elusive quality of attitude -- aggressive, a bit sneering, etc.

    While "Louie Louie" set the table and is an undeniable classic, it's still closer to frat rock than punk. But The Kingsmen's fellow Northwesterners The Sonics were surely among the first to ramp up the distortion on the guitars, pound the drums into oblivion, and put in a heavy dose of bad attitude. I would definitely put them in the running for the "first" medal. If I'm not mistaken, they were already doing this by 1964.
  10. Doug Sclar

    Doug Sclar Forum Legend

    The OC
    Well we recently had a thread about the Kinks and their early songs like 'You Really Got Me', and were pretty much power chord songs. In a way that may have been a precursor to punk.
  11. jpbarn

    jpbarn Forum Resident

    Northern NJ
    For me it's the 1st Ramones single. Whatever you choose before that will be closer to other genres than what's commonly considered punk, even if it might be a major influence on punk. You could say "Personality Crisis" by the Dolls, anything from the 1st 2 Stooges albums, the Sonics, even Link Wray, but if you're gonna do that you might as well go back to Little Richard.

  12. indy mike

    indy mike Forum Pest

    You're on the right track - I'd go with The Sonics and their pounder The Witch - crunching chords, bad attitude in spades, vocals that sound like Gerry Roslie's vocal chords are gonna shred at any second - pretty much ground zero for the explosion of garage bands that followed...
  13. Wufnpoof

    Wufnpoof Well-Known Member

    Boston, MA
    Whoa - I should said, "indy mike and rene smallridge are the experts on that genre."

    my bad. (haven't seen you around in a while mike - I've missed your "one post an hour" threads...) :wave:
  14. dgsinner

    dgsinner New Member

    Far East
    I'll second the Sonics nominiation...a lot closer to punk than the Kingsmen. And with "The Witch" from '64, one of the bestest, most blisteringest reverbed 60s guitar solo ever, IMHO. Too bad all those Etiquette tracks were recorded so poorly...

    On a another thread I nominated The Sonics for also having some of the best sax solos ever, especially on the track "Boss Hoss", though I know sax isn't normally associated with punk/garage.

    But of some of the nominees listed above, The Sonics, The Pretty Things and The Kinks come closest, but I don't think The Kinks came as close to The Sonics and The Pretty Things on attitude. Check out the PTs "Rosalyn" and you'll know what I mean...so the question becomes who was first out the gate with a legitimate vinyl release...I think the Kinks came first, then the Sonics and the Pretty Things.

    Did we overlook Paul Revere and the Raiders release of Louie Louie, which predated the Kingsmen by a week or two? The attitude is there, though the sax forming the main hook (instead of the keyboard on the Kingsmen) makes it seem a bit retro...
  15. Grant

    Grant A Musical Free-Spirit

    Power pop?
  16. Geoman076

    Geoman076 Sealed vinyl is Fun!!

    "Surfin, Bird" by the Trashmen??

    Or else something off the first Stooges lp.
  17. 93curr

    93curr Senior Member

    I always thought it was Dave Clark Five's "Glad All Over."

    not sure why, so don't ask me to defend the choice.
  18. ChristianL

    ChristianL Forum Resident

    Berlin, Germany
    Two songs came in my mind:
    Helter Skelter - The Beatles
    I Fought The Law - The Bobby Fuller Four
  19. indy mike

    indy mike Forum Pest

    I'd go back even further and suggest The Wailer's take on Louie Louie with Rockin' Robin Roberts handling vocals - the true godfathers of the Northwest scene...
  20. Chris M

    Chris M Forum Resident

    Baton Rouge, LA
    I consider Louie Louie, 96 Tears, Talk Talk etc. to be garage rock. An influence on punk for sure but IMO not punk. IMO you can't get more punk than My Generation or Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere. After hearing those 2 songs back to back it makes one wonder what the big deal about the Sex Pistols was....
  21. indy mike

    indy mike Forum Pest

    The Greg Shaw penned liner notes in the Nuggets box do a nice job of tying punk rock back to the rockabilly yowlers of the 50's - true punks for their extremely against the grain look and sound of the time.
  22. Raunchnroll

    Raunchnroll Forum Resident

    Whatever it is - it has to have the 'attitude' and it has to have some shock value and cause concern or disgust amongst the elders and button-downs. Thats what makes it truly punk. It's more than merely the music or chords played, its the in-your-face, raised middle-finger drive as well. The attitude would have to be viewed from the perspective of the era. If the Sex Pistols tried in 1955 what they did in 1977 they probably wouldn't have got to the end of the first song before being chained in a paddy wagon. Thus Elvis should qualify, and certainly the Sonics as mentioned, and Blue Cheer....
  23. dgsinner

    dgsinner New Member

    Far East
    I can't believe I forgot one of the punkiest early/mid-60s tracks--Them's cover of Slim Harpo's "Don't Start Cryin' Now" released in 1964.

    Grittier than anything Them subsequently recorded, sped up 2X or 3X over Harpo's lilting, laid back 1962 original. Don't know how Van got the idea to punk it up so much on that one, but it's excellent. A real must have...
  24. MikeP5877

    MikeP5877 Forum Resident

  25. Jimbo

    Jimbo Forum Hall Of Fame

    Zero/Zero Island
    Good lord, that is exactly my choice! I still remember waiting for a show to start at CBGB's back in the 70s, and "Glad All Over" came on the jukebox, and the place erupted! Definitely connected with punk fans!

    I notice that Grant also mentioned the DC5! :righton: :agree:
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