60's garage 1

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FROM THE BINS

Notes for the Vultures of Vinyl Culture


Part 1

IT CAME FROM THE MID-SIXTIES...

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THE MUSIC MACHINE

Dressed identically in sinister black, all with black hair and each wearing a black leather glove on his right hand, the members of Sean Bonniwell's MUSIC MACHINE stood out against all the striped t-shirts of mid-sixties garage rock. Their music was as dark as their clothes, heavily shaded with fuzzed guitars (bassist Keith Olsen actually invented the fuzzbox) and a horror movie organ that lent a sense of dreadful gravity to originals like "Masculine Intuition" and the band's lone hit, "Talk Talk." A good half of band's first album, TURN ON THE MUSIC MACHINE, is classic punk rock, but the record's impact is dulled considerably by the record company's insistance that the band record a number of fluffy top 40 covers ("Cherry Cherry, etc.") Still, the best of this album is essential and makes for some ominous listening.

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THE GRAVEYARD FIVE

Another group with an eerie, cavernous sound was Northern California's GRAVEYARD FIVE. Kelseyville teenagers who derived their name from a session with a ouija board and performed with a coffin onstage, the five recorded one single, the horror-tinged "The Marble Orchard b/w Graveyard Theme," before closing the vault behind them in 1969. That's not them to the right - it's just a representation of the image a lot of record collectors must have had for years of this mysterious, barely documented, thoroughly spooky sounding group.



For a long time, no one seemed to know anything at all about the band. Even the names of the band members were a mystery. Recently, however, bassist Steve Kuppinger has stepped forward to tell the Five's story. It turns out "The Marble Orchard" was written in 1968, in a car, parked in a graveyard during a thunderstorm. HOW SWEET IS THAT!?!

Click here for Steve Kuppinger interview