The Wayback Machine’s “Mission” as it last appeared on the old website while the show was still on the air (with updated links):
The Wayback Machine radio show first invaded the airwaves on KDHX-FM 88.1 on November 18, 1995 and can be heard locally every Monday night from 8-10pm (Central Time). Each and every week the program showcases a truly unruly spectrum of trash that is best described as rock’n'roll in its purest, wildest, most primal form, born from garages and basements all over the world and played with a passion and frenzy often not found in other forms of “rock” music. The styles range from obscure underground rock’n'roll of all eras, including ’60s garage/psychedelic, ’70s proto-punk, power pop, swamp rock, pub rock, instrumental surf/hot rod, greasy R&B, mod, freakbeat, beer-soaked frat rock, broken blues, frantic rockabilly, and even some sleazy lounge, exotica, and demented country when I’m in the mood. But whatever labels you want to slap on it, there will be one constant theme in the music that you will hear on The Wayback Machine, and that is the direct connection with its roots; raw, primitive, and untamed, ingredients which are sorely missing from much of today’s mainstream corporate rock dominating the commercial airwaves. Because I feature such a wide array of music I think it’d be safe to say that not all of it is for everybody, but I think if you tune in and give it a chance that you’ll be sure to hear something that’ll get you to tap your toes, shake your ass, or make your backbone slip… even if you’re unfamiliar with many of the artists featured. It’s the spirit of the music that counts, and that is the spirit of REAL rock’n'roll. So if you live in the St. Louis area, tune your radio to 88.1 FM, or if you’re outside of the area, try the live netcast. Either way, by all means let me know what you think of the program! If you’re interested in learning more about the styles of music featured on our show (along with the bands, musicians, record labels, fanzines, music fests, message boards, gossip, etc.), I recommend subscribing to the Bomp (garage/punk), Cowabunga (surf/instro), and Rockabilly (self-explanatory!) mailing lists on the Internet, as well as visiting the garage punk usenet newsgroup, alt.music.banana-truffle and my own GaragePunk Hideout social network. You’ll find some pretty lively topics of conversation, as well as an incredible amount of information and historical data, from like-minded freaks, some of whom have been into this music for decades! And if you live in the St. Louis area and would like to get involved with this area’s growing underground garage/rock’n'roll scene, join the Trouble In River City (TIRC) mailing list for local show announcements and other juicy info. Oh, and don’t forget to become a fan on Facebook, too.
Garage rock is generally a term applied to “primitive” rock’n'roll where the studio polish of mainstream groups is replaced by the raw energy of the music. The name comes from the location where the groups usually practiced and the minimalist conditions of recording faced by most of them. They often literally practiced and even sometimes recorded in their parents’ garages or basements. The recordings were usually produced by tiny regional labels and had very limited local distribution (sometimes just a few dozen copies), if any at all. This “cruder” type of music exploded in America (the heartland of garage rock) when young white rock’n'rollers became energized by the groups of the British Invasion such as the Beatles, Kinks, and Rolling Stones. The main phenomenon lasted from about 1965 to 1967, with 1966 being the peak year. Generally speaking, the music is characterized by loud electric guitars with plenty of fuzz and other distortion, Farfisa or Vox organ riffs, blaring harmonicas, primal “big beat” drumming, and ferocious, boisterous, and often snotty vocals.
In many ways, the ’60s garage bands were the first wave of do-it-yourself punk rockers. Hundreds of garage bands popped up throughout North America and in other parts of the world (mainly Europe, Latin America, and Australia) and a handful of them (such as The Shadows of Knight, The Count Five, The Seeds, and The Standells) had hits, but most were destined for obscurity. In fact, nearly all of the bands were forgotten by the early 1970s, but the Nuggets compilation brought them back to the spotlight.
This music was not known by the name “garage rock” during the 1960s, however. It was just generally referred to as teen music. Greg Shaw of Bomp! (fanzine and record label) gets credit for first dubbing the genre with the word “garage” sometime around 1976. Garage rock’n'roll is not to be confused with house/dance, or techno DJ music, which has also been termed “garage,” (or “UK Garage”) especially in Europe.
“GARAGE ROCK REVIVAL”
An indie-label movement that emerged in the early- to mid-1980s (thanks in large part to the reissuing of many obscure ’60s garage singles on such compilations as Pebbles and Back From the Grave), garage rock revival bands aimed to recapture the wild, rowdy, raucous spirit of ’60s garage rock. Of course, where the original (1960s) garage rockers were concerned with imitating their favorite British Invasion bands, the revivalists imitated the ’60s garage bands themselves, so their music was full of fuzz-tone guitar, combo organ riffs, and sneering vocals. Like the similarly timed rockabilly and surf revivals, garage rock revivalists also appropriated the original music’s sense of style, self-consciously playing up their personal favorite qualities (toughness, sleaziness, brashness, manic energy, rebellion, party-hearty spirit, etc.). Since it was self-conscious, it was sometimes done with a knowing wink and a bit of exaggeration (which gave it an almost cartoonish appeal), but regardless, many of the revival bands shared an underlying assumption that garage rock’s virtues embodied the true spirit of rock’n'roll. Garage rock revival never achieved a wide audience, but after the first wave of ’80s bands — including The Chesterfield Kings, The Mono Men, the Lyres, The Fleshtones, The Fuzztones, The Hoodoo Gurus, The Cynics, and several Billy Childish-led groups — it did maintain a devoted cult following into the ’90s, with numerous bands appearing on the Bomp, Crypt, Estrus, Get Hip, Dionysus, and Sympathy for the Record Industry labels, among others.
In the late 1980s and into the ’90s, a new breed of revivalist punk began to fester in the indie-rock underground that became known as “garage punk.” Garage punk is obviously closely related to garage rock revival, although most of these modern garage punk bands took their influences from some of the more hard-edged proto-punk bands of the garage rock genre, such as The Stooges and MC5 (think late ’60s/early ’70s) as well as raw, simplistic Killed By Death-era punk rock (which makes sense, seeing as how the first volume of KBD appeared around 1988), rather than by the British Invasion bands and their imitators. Some of the first garage punk bands to appear on the scene included The Gories, The Devil Dogs, Supercharger, The Mummies, The Supersuckers, the Rip Offs, The Makers, Teengenerate, the Oblivians, Poison 13, and Mudhoney (who were also closely connected to the grunge rock scene of the late 1980s, which shared some of the same influences and aesthetics). Attitude and noise were far more important to garage punk than catchy melodies and fancy ’60s-style clothes, and the attitude was reflected in the sound of the music: dirty, grimy, sleazy, angry, menacing, and just flat-out ugly. They weren’t as interested in copying the sounds and looks of the ’60s so much as just trying to bash out some unpretentious, wild and wooly three-chord punk/rock’n'roll. Some of these bands (like The Mummies and Phantom Surfers) also experimented with instrumental surf rock and a few of the earliest record labels to release records by garage punk bands (such as Estrus, Dionysus, and Sympathy for the Record Industry) also put out stuff by surf/instro bands. Therefore the two genres have been closely related ever since.
But for the purposes of this radio program and website, I like to think of “garage punk” as a combination of all of the above. Just as Dave Marsh first coined the term “punk” (relating to music) in his Question Mark & The Mysterians article in Creem (1969) and Greg Shaw‘s original use of the term “garage,” I like to think of garage punk as if you were take some of the best retrospective compilation LPs of the ’60s and ’70s, and ’80s (Nuggets, Pebbles, Back From the Grave, Killed By Death, Bloodstains, etc.) and throw them into a blender. The result being garage punk, thee most primitive and wyld form of REAL rock’n'roll. That works for me!
If this is the sort of music you like, then please join us on the GaragePunk Hideout network. Thanks!