Time for a second episode of Digging in the Garage, where I feature some of my favorite garage tunes, as heard on Nuggets or Little Steven’s Underground Garage. See here for the inaugural episode which has more background. Let’s get digging.
First up, (We Ain’t Got) Nothing Yet by the Blues Magoos.
The Magoos were a Bronx psychedelic rock band that was part of the NY scene in the mid 60’s, along with The Lovin’ Spoonful and The Youngbloods. According to Songfacts, the Magoos were a huge influence on Syd Barrett and Pink Floyd. Released in October 1966 on the album Psychedelic Lollipop, the song reached #5 on the US charts in February 1967. The boastfulness of the lyrics about being on their way to massive success was apparently matched in their live performances, where they wore electric blue suits with flashing lights. Ironically, it was their only hit.
Outside Chance – The Turtles
The Turtles are best know for their #1 single Happy Together, which famously knocked the Beatles Penny Lane out of the top spot in the American charts. The vocalists Howard Kaylan and Mark Volman later achieved fame as Flo & Eddie. Outside Chance was a single released in 1966 that amazingly failed to chart. Fun fact – the song was co-written by a young Warren Zevon. I love the contrariness of the lyrics – rather than pleading with the girl to love him, the singer flatly states: Stone walls surround me I’m surprised that you even found me, And you don’t stand an outside chance. Although perhaps there is hope, since the next line is: But you can try!
Double Shot (of My Baby’s Love) – The Swingin’ Medallions
This is one of my favorite songs of all time. A classic example of “frat rock,” so called because the record sounds like it was recorded during a frat party (with party voices in the background). The Swingin’ Medallions were from, of all places, Greenwood, South Carolina – which just goes to show you that great songs can come from anywhere. Their 1966 cover of Double Shot (originally recorded in 1964 by Dick Holler & the Holidays) went to #17 on the charts. It contains the all time time classic line It wasn’t wine that I had too much of, It was a double shot of my baby’s love. Hilariously, it was banned from some radio stations (perhaps in the South?) for its mention of drinking and sex. My how times have changed. Anyway, I first heard of it on a Springsteen bootleg where Bruce mentions it while introducing Sherry Darling (an homage to frat rock songs).
If you have any favorite garage songs you think I should feature, let me know in the comments.
Til next time…
Sources: Wikipedia, Genius Lyrics, SongFacts.