Garage rock (performed by garage bands, not to be confused
with UK Garage dance music) was a simple, raw form of rock and roll that
emerged in the mid-1960s, largely in the United States. The term
"garage rock" comes from the perception that many such performers
were young and amateurish, and often rehearsed in a family garage (this
stereotype also evokes a suburban, middle-class setting). Inspired by British
Invasion bands like The Beatles, The Kinks, The Who and The Rolling
Stones, these groups played a homespun variation on British Invasion rock.
"Garage rock" was often musically crude, but nevertheless conveyed
great passion and energy. Most of the bands used simple chord progressions,
pounding drums, and short, repetitive lyrics.
Hundreds of garage bands popped up around America in the mid-60s, and a
handful of them produced national hit records, including "Psychotic
Reaction" by The Count 5, "Pushin' Too Hard" by The Seeds,
"Gloria" by the Shadows of Knight, , "96 Tears" by
Question Mark and the Mysterians, "Talk Talk" by The Music
Machine, Louie, Louie by The Kingsmen, and "Dirty Water" by The
Standells. The vast majority of such bands remained obscure and folded after
a year or two.
The Nuggets anthology that was released in the early
1970sвЂ”assembled by guitarist and rock journalist Lenny KayeвЂ”brought many
of these mid-sixties bands to the attention of collectors for the first
time. As rock music journalistists and collectors began to reconsider the
garage bands of the sixties, they were labelled "punk
rock" (the term was coined by the critic Dave Marsh, and it caught
on among rock journalists). Since the "punk rock" of the later
1970s became widely known, these earlier groups are rarely called by that
name any longer, though their work was clearly an inspiration for many of
those later "punks."