Garage Rock Essentials

Garage Rock Essentials

After the British Invasion hit America like a bomb in the early ’60s, guitar-strapping teens across the nation holed up in their parents’ garages to plot their own rock ‘n’ roll revolutions. Alas, few of these would-be Beatles and ersatz Stones had the skills or professional equipment to rival their heroes, but they had hormonal energy to spare, yielding a coast-to-coast groundswell of regional one-hit wonders. But if their chart presence was fleeting, unruly outfits like The Standells and Count Five injected rock ‘n’ roll with an anyone-can-do-it ethos that—through more anarchic late-’60s acts like The Stooges and MC5—would eventually snowball into punk. That emphasis on attitude over technique is what makes garage rock so endearing and enduring, and as the 21st-century racket of The White Stripes and The Hives has shown, the combination of amped-up riffs and surly spirit truly has no sell-by date.

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