The Bands Who Birthed Punk Rock Music

In the mid 1960’s the seeds of punk rock are planted when British Invasion groups like the Beatles, Rolling Stones, and the Kinks influence Midwestern kids, a few West Coast kids, and some Australian kids to form garage bands. These groups wind up producing some of the best garage rock of all time.

13th Floor Elevators
Davie Allan and The Arrows – king of guitar fuzz
The Amboy Dukes
The Atlantics
The Balloon Farm
The Barbarians
The Beacon Street Union
The Beau Brummels
The Bees
Blues Magoos – psychedelic rock from New York
Blues Project
The Bohemian Vendetta
The Bootmen
The Bourbons
The Brigade
The Brigands
The Brogues
The Calico Wall
The Castaways
The Charlatans
The Children of the Mushroom
Chocolate Watchband
The Choir
Clefs of Lavender Hill
The Count 5
Cosmic Rock Show
Cotton Mouth
The Crome Syrcus
The Cryan Shames
The Daily Flash
The Del-Vetts
The Dovers
The E-Types
Earth Opera
The Elastik Band
Electric Prunes
Fenwyck
The Five Americans
The Floating Bridge
Kim Fowley
Freeborne
Frijid Pink – “House of the Rising Sun”
The Frost
The Gants
The Gestures
The Golliwogs
Gonn
The Groupies
Harbinger Complex
The Hombres
The Human Beinz
The Human Expression
The Humane Society
Kenny and The Kasuals
Kinks
The Kingsmen
The Knaves
The Knickerbockers
Larry and the Bluenotes
The Leaves
The Lemon Drops
The Litter
The Live Five
The Lollipop Shoppe
Love
Lyme and Cybelle
The Lyrics
The Magic Mushrooms
The Magicians
Max Frost and the Troopers
MC5
The Merry-Go-Round
Michael and the Messengers
The Mind’s Eye
The Mojo Men
The Monks
Mouse and the Traps
The Moving Sidewalks
Mr. Lucky and the Gamblers
The Music Explosion
The Music Machine
The Mystery Trend
Nazz
New Colony Six
The New Tweedy Brothers
The Nightcrawlers
The Night Walkers
The Nuggets
The Outcasts
The Outsiders
The Other Half
The Palace Guard
Phluph
The Premiers
Pretty Things
Psychedelic Stooges
Question Mark and the Mysterians
The Rare Breed
The Rationals
The Rats Two Line
The Remaining Few
The Remains
Richard and the Young Lions
The Rovin’ Kind
The Rumors
S.J. and The Crossroads
Sagitarius
Sam the Sham & the Pharaohs
Saturday’s Children
The Seeds
Shadows of Knight
Sir Douglas Quintet
The Sonics
The Sparkles
SRC
The Squires
The Standells
Stereo Shoestring
The Stooges
The Strangeloves
Strawberry Alarm Clock
The Swingin’ Medallions
Syndicate Of Sound
Teddy and The Pandas
Teegarden
The Third Bardo
Third Power
The Third Rail
The Tidal Waves
Thursday’s Children
The Troggs
The Turtles
The Ugly Ducklings
Ultimate Spinach
The Underdogs
The Uniques
Unrelated Segments
The Vagrants
Van Winkle
Wailers
We The People
The Wilde Knights
The William Penn V
The Woolies
The Yorkshires
The Zakary Thaks

In 1966 in Detroit, Michigan, MC5 becomes the first punk rock prototype. Their first album, “Kick Out the Jam” was recorded live in 1968. Controversial for using the word, “motherfucker” over and over, a Detroit department store refused to stock the album due to the profanity and MC5 promptly place a newspaper ad with the following words: “Fuck Hudson’s!”. Hudson’s promptly pulled all Elektra albums off it’s shelves and the head of Elektra promptly fired MC5. Their second album Back In The USA virtually provided a prototype for punk rock with its short, fast, hard-edged angry guitar rock. Their third album High Time would prove influential on 1970s hard rock bands like Aerosmith and Kiss. The band broke up amidst drug-related problems in 1972. Most of the original members are dead now.

Another Midwestern band of the time was the 13th Floor Elevators who Janis Joplin considered joining but instead decided to move to San Francisco. The band’s signature instrument was a amplified electric jug. Their album, The Psychedelic Sounds of the 13th Floor Elevators , was reportedly the the first instance in which the word psychedelic was used to describe music. Their lead singer was Roky Erickson and in 1969, he was arrested for possession of six marijuana joints in Austin, Texas. Rather than serve a short prison term, Erickson pled insanity, which proved to be a mistake. He was sent to the Rusk State Hospital for the Criminally Insane in Austin, where he was subjected to electroconvulsive therapy and thorazine treatments and held until 1972.

Speaking of the insane, in 1968 The Amboy Dukes launched Ted Nugent with “Journey to the Center of the Mind”. This title was originally the name of a novel about gang members. The band broke up when Nugent left for a small vacation and never returned.

The New York Dolls while influenced by Marc Bolan, MC5, and The Rolling Stones are still considered one of the most unique bands of all time. They released two albums in 1971 which did not sell well at the time, and eventually came to be managed by Malcolm McLaren at the end of their run when their record label dropped them. Mostly due to the member’s various drug addictions, McLaren was unable to save them despite a few stunts like dressing them in red leather. However the New York Dolls was a major influence in punk rock bands like Hanoi Rocks, The Ramones, Mötley Crüe, Guns N’ Roses, The Damned, and Morrissey of the Smiths, who was once the head of a New York Dolls fan club, Blondie, Television, Talking Heads, and most of the Sex Pistols.

Electric Eels – formed in 1972 lasting just 3 years playing limited gigs. They wore anti establishment clothing with swatistkas and white power symbols in an effort to be offensive. They played only the noise part of the music. John Morton with peroxided white hair, was the leader and did the art work for the band. The only music available is self produced with a album released by Rough Trade in 1978. The drummer Nick Knox would later join the Cramps.

Richard Hell aka Richard Myers still lives as a poet/author/musician and was influenced by Dylan Thomas, Lautreamont, and Rod McKuen. Hell started a magazine at age 18 called Genesis : Grasp. He published Dot Books with stories by Patti Smith, Andrew Wylie, and Tom Verlaine who was his high school musician friend that he started Neon Boys with and eventually would have a falling out.

His bands include Neon Boys, Television(first “punk” band to play at CBGB(which opened in December 1973 in New York’s bowery mostly for country/bluegrass music) opened on Sunday nights…admission was $1), Hilly Kristal who founded CBGB…(see the history of CBGB) In 1975 he formed The Heartbreakers(with New York Doll members), and then in 1977 Richard Hell and The Voidoids producing one of the greatest punk albums, “Blank Generation”.

Hell states he spent just 10 years playing with bands. He moved to New York in the late 60’s…and was a poet before he was musician. When asked about it he stated: “The first thing I did seriously at that time was get drunk, the second was try to figure out how to support myself financially. Poetry was a distant fourth or fifth. Best quote: “I really like a good crunchy sentence.” He also likes Jim Carroll. Richard Hell is responsible for directly influencing Patti Smith and Malcolm McClaren(who would later form the Sex Pistols).

Johnny Thunders aka John Anthony Genzale, Jr born 1952 was influenced by Chuck Berry and Keith Richards. Thunders was an incredible guitarist and Godfather of the NY Punk Scene. He had a signature guitar lick which started almost every one of his songs. He was also a Heroin Addict. Thunders formed the New York Dolls in the Early 70’s, and the Heartbreakers(with Richard Hell). Thunders toured with the Sex Pistols on the Anarchy Tour and is also responsible for breaking them up.

Thunders started playing music in high school under the name Johnny Volume. His band includes Johnny and the Jaywalkers, Actress, New York Dolls, Hearbreakers(band which bridged the gap between the American and UK punks), Gang War(1979 – only demos and live performance bootlegs exist), many solo projects such as So Alone in 1978 – drug influenced production and considered Johnny Thunders masterpiece. It featured guests such as Phil Lynott, Steve Marriott, Glen Matlock, Steve Jones and members of The Only Ones. After its release, Thunders and Sex Pistols bassist Sid Vicious played in the Living Dead for a short time. Thunders died in New Orleans in 1991 of methadone and alcohol poisoning. Some of the bands Thunders influenced are Guns n Roses, White Stripes, and The Strokes. The Murder City Devils have a song written in tribute to Thunders on the Empty Bottles, Broken Hearts LP.

Dead Boys – Godfathers of US hardcore punk. Broke up in 1980 but really lived the punk lifestyle. Seek the song Sonic Reducer. These guys definitely influenced Marilyn Manson (he stole their 2nd item title We Have Cum for Your Children).

For further reading try, Legs McNeil’s, Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History of Punk

DEVO- Don’t forget DEVO…

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3 comments on “The Bands Who Birthed Punk Rock Music

  1. Dennis@COTM

    Nice article…

    I am the drummer for Children of the Mushroom. We all went to Thousand Oaks High School. It was a dream come true to have a small part in the Times…

    Regards

    Dennis Christensen Swanson

  2. bmftaxi

    Thank you for commenting on our post. I have updated the link to
    “Childred of the Mushroom” to your blog. I hope you come back here
    often to check us out.

  3. Pingback: MusicFilter ... Go Ahead Punk ... » Blog Archive » Thousand Oaks Rock Bands

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Birth of Punk

13th Floor Elevators
Davie Allan and The Arrows – king of guitar fuzz
The Amboy Dukes
The Atlantics
The Balloon Farm
The Barbarians
The Beacon Street Union
The Beau Brummels
The Bees
Blues Magoos – psychedelic rock from New York
Blues Project
The Bohemian Vendetta
The Bootmen
The Bourbons
The Brigade
The Brigands
The Brogues
The Calico Wall
The Castaways
The Charlatans
The Children of the Mushroom
Chocolate Watchband
The Choir
Clefs of Lavender Hill
The Count 5
Cosmic Rock Show
Cotton Mouth
The Crome Syrcus
The Cryan Shames
The Daily Flash
The Del-Vetts
The Dovers
The E-Types
Earth Opera
The Elastik Band
Electric Prunes
Fenwyck
The Five Americans
The Floating Bridge
Kim Fowley
Freeborne
Frijid Pink – “House of the Rising Sun”
The Frost
The Gants
The Gestures
The Golliwogs
Gonn
The Groupies
Harbinger Complex
The Hombres
The Human Beinz
The Human Expression
The Humane Society
Kenny and The Kasuals
Kinks
The Kingsmen
The Knaves
The Knickerbockers
Larry and the Bluenotes
The Leaves
The Lemon Drops
The Litter
The Live Five
The Lollipop Shoppe
Love
Lyme and Cybelle
The Lyrics
The Magic Mushrooms
The Magicians
Max Frost and the Troopers
MC5
The Merry-Go-Round
Michael and the Messengers
The Mind’s Eye
The Mojo Men
The Monks
Mouse and the Traps
The Moving Sidewalks
Mr. Lucky and the Gamblers
The Music Explosion
The Music Machine
The Mystery Trend
Nazz
New Colony Six
The New Tweedy Brothers
The Nightcrawlers
The Night Walkers
The Nuggets
The Outcasts
The Outsiders
The Other Half
The Palace Guard
Phluph
The Premiers
Pretty Things
Psychedelic Stooges
Question Mark and the Mysterians
The Rare Breed
The Rationals
The Rats Two Line
The Remaining Few
The Remains
Richard and the Young Lions
The Rovin’ Kind
The Rumors
S.J. and The Crossroads
Sagitarius
Sam the Sham & the Pharaohs
Saturday’s Children
The Seeds
Shadows of Knight
Sir Douglas Quintet
The Sonics
The Sparkles
SRC
The Squires
The Standells
Stereo Shoestring
The Stooges
The Strangeloves
Strawberry Alarm Clock
The Swingin’ Medallions
Syndicate Of Sound
Teddy and The Pandas
Teegarden
The Third Bardo
Third Power
The Third Rail
The Tidal Waves
Thursday’s Children
The Troggs
The Turtles
The Ugly Ducklings
Ultimate Spinach
The Underdogs
The Uniques
Unrelated Segments
The Vagrants
Van Winkle
Wailers
We The People
The Wilde Knights
The William Penn V
The Woolies
The Yorkshires
The Zakary Thaks

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