Seen recently on the Sonics Facebook page: “NEEDED: reliable, professional man-with-van for our August 15/16/17 dates in Los Angeles and San Diego for our upcoming shows. Must have a reliable, working, clean 15-passenger van and a clean driver’s license. This is a paid gig.” Yes, the Sonics, a 1960s-era band, are on the road again. Their place in rock history is distinct: some pop-music historians say there were no garage bands in America prior to 1964, but the Sonics prove that theory wrong. They started in 1960, in Tacoma, Washington, well ahead of the British Invasion, thus giving us a truer start date for the phenomenon now called garage rock.
But what the Sonics really did was invent punk music. How else to describe Jerry Roslie’s vocals screamed over fast three-chord songs like “Strychnine” and “Psycho”? The whole of Here Are the Sonics speeds by in 38 minutes. Listening back, it is hard to believe that founder Larry Parypa’s mom filled in on bass occasionally, but they swear she did.
- Saturday, August 16, 2014, 8 p.m.
3090 Polk Avenue,
$25 - $30
During high school, when the roots of the band that would lead to the Sonics began to form, they were an instrumental group, but they had spoilers like Link Wray and Ike Turner to listen to. In the day, they must have come off like a novelty act or a Caucasian version of Little Richard. They were finished by 1968, save for the many franchise “Sonics” that would tour with members during the years to follow. In 1972, the original lineup reunited; eight years later, a new album emerged. They reunited again in 2007. Covered by many and loved in print by Kurt Cobain and Jack White, the Sonics are most admired for the simplicity of their act: five guys, playing and singing as hard as they can. Potential tour drivers, by the way, are encouraged to apply direct to the Sonics on Facebook.