Garage rock pioneers the Sonics return on a wave of Total Trash
MUSIC It's entirely debatable what year this current wave of the garage rock revival broke out.
But for all intents and purposes, let's just say the genre came back into vogue yet again around 2009: the year Total Trash Productions came into existence. For the past five years, the booking company has served up dozens of garage rock shows and fests in the Bay Area.
And this year, on their fifth anniversary, the folks behind Total Trash are bringing a relic from the first wave: The seminal Washington-based 1960s garage rock band, the Sonics, will play a string of shows for the annual Total Trash Halloween Bash.
The Sonics were there in the very beginning. They got their start in a time when the British Invasion was in full swing. Rejecting sugary-sweet mop-topped bands, the Sonics idolized Jerry Lee Lewis and Little Richard.
"We thought, to heck with wearing suits and neckties," keyboardist-vocalist Gerry Roslie says. "Playing love songs felt wrong — we could only play music with power. We played loud and we played how we felt: like animals."
The band released a string of albums in the '60s, with a mixture of rock n' roll covers such as "Have Love Will Travel," "Louie, Louie," and "Roll Over Beethoven" and edgier, screaching original numbers like "Strychnine" and "Psycho."
Many credit the Sonics as a proto-punk band of sorts, but Roslie says he saw the band as an outlet to live out his rock 'n' roll fantasy until the grips of adulthood came.