Since the beginning of garage rock, the northwest sound, grunge, or whatever anyone calls it, the Sonics set the precedence and the pace, and the sound that gave to every musician and band that followed the inalienable right to take rock to the edge of the universe, to explore the possibilities, to get out of the rut, experiment, and to scream your guts out, that you have arrived, and to continue that thought.
The Sonics have remained the most recognized sounds ever listened to by aspiring musicians and multitudes of fans around the world.
The band in its early stages, began in Larry and Andy Parypas living room with a couple of Sears bought guitars and an early unidentifiable bass. Their mom played some guitar and would encourage the boys to get it together. She loved rock, and was an early inspiration.
But it was in early 1963 where the band came together, with skin basher Bob Bennett on drums making them sound like cannons with each beat, and later on, the addition of gut wrenching screamer songwriter piano player singer Jerry Roslie and fellow musician friend, sax player Rob Lind, forming the original Sonics.
Originally from Tacoma, Washington USA, the SONICS are claimed worldwide to be the first punk band, or garage, or hard rock, or alternative, setting the stage for all that would follow. The Sonics are still based in the Northwest USA.
The Sonics songs and precedent music creations began in 1964, with a visit from Etiquette Records co-owner Buck Ormsby, following a friend of the band plea that he check out the group. The meeting took place at a rehearsal in Bob Bennetts garage. Not too impressed with the performance of cover songs, asked if they had any originals. A killer riff was played, but the lyrics didnt work. Two visits later and a change in lyrics, the song The Witch was born. The Sonics first 45 single was released on Etiquette Records in 1964.
Because of the power unleashed by the Sonics recording and unprecedented sound for the times, many stations were hesitant to play the record. Etiquette had an in with several A stations and also what were called B stations. The B stations were a bit easier and open to new sounds and especially local and regional groups recordings. They began the assault on the public’s brain with the first plays of The Witch which took off like a bullet sending it screaming up their charts. This became the launch that helped force the A stations to give it a shot. Overnight, after six months of promoting the Sonics first single, they became the band to see, the new sensations, the bad boys of rock.
The new enlightenment, and the bands acceptance by music fans and DJs, demanded the bands first LP. Here Are the Sonics was recorded in Seattle, Washington late 1964 and released early 1965 to raves. This established the Sonics as one of the most progressive and popular rock bands in the Northwest. Originally released as a replacement for the original B side of The Witch the Sonics original Psycho became another brutal musical attack on the establishment and had to be played on all radio, again reinforcing the fact the Sonics were not going away. The bad boys of rock were raising hell with their new found glory, while hordes of fans would pack ballrooms and dancehalls waiting to see their new heroes. Etiquette Records planned for the next album, commandeering a small grocery store front studio in Tacoma Washington to record various Etiquette artists including the Wailers Out Of Our Tree single and LP.
The classic The Sonics Boom LP recorded in late 1965 and released in 1966 was the final Sonics album recordings on the Etiquette label. Both albums feature the most daring and dynamic rock music ever put to 2 track tape. The Sonics Boom simple black and white album cover is one of the most recognizable work of LP art in the world. The original photo was taken by Northwest premier photographer Jini Dellaccio and used in the jacket designed by Zane Baker. The Sonics 60s recordings have remained the most recognized sounds ever listened to by aspiring musicians and multitudes of fans around the world.
The Sonics left Etiquette Records in 1966 to join with Seattle label Jerden Records. Soon after recording their first LP with the label, the original band decided to retire from the scene. Going their separate ways they individually kept performing in various music endeavors but the flame was dampened.
Following their early retirement from being the SONICS they left a legacy and decades of fans who continued to spread the word and the music. Still revered, in late 2007 the Sonics regrouped and reignited on the scene in Brooklyn, New York headlining two sold out shows at the Warsaw.
The Sonics return has sparked international promoters, journalists, reviewers, festival organizers and hordes of dedicated and new fans to embrace the group who’s music has thrilled and inspired so many for so many years.
Following in 2008 the Sonics performed theatres and festivals:in London, Barcelona and Bilboa Spain, Belgium, Sweden, Norway, and Vitoria, Spain. They returned to Seattle to headline their sold out concert at Seattle’s Paramount Theatre where they performed their last ’60′s concert in1973. The Sonics headlined the Ink & Iron Festival in Long Beach, CA June 6 ’09.
The Sonics accepted an invitation to perform at South By Southwest (SXSW) 2009 in Austin, Texas in March,2009 at Emo’s. SXSW is Attended by music industry, including over 1000 music groups and artists from all over the world performing nightly during the event. Aclaimed as one of the most memorable concerts since SXSW began, they were invited to headline at NXNE in Toronto June ’09, performing on the main outdoor stage in Yonge-Dundas Square.
Original members of the Sonics included Bob Bennett, Drums; Larry Parypa, Guitar; Jerry Roslie, keys and lead vocals; Rob Lind, sax, harp and vocals; Andy Parypa, bass;
The Sonics today includes: Rob Lind, sax, harp and vocals; Freddie Dennis bass and vocals; Dusty Watson drums; Jake Lords keys bkg vocals, and Evan Foster guitar.
Drummer Dusty Watson, the drummer of the Sonics. Dusty has toured and recorded with 60’s surf music legends Dick Dale, The Surfaris, Davie Allan and the Arrows, as well as Agent Orange, Lita Ford and Seattle’s own Supersuckers and Boss Martians. His big bass drum and machine gun snare rolls give the Sonics that bombastic sound reminiscent of Bob Bennett’s attack, which helped launch the band in the very beginning. Dusty’s approach to drumming is exactly what the Sonics are all about, pure rock and roll energy.
Flat Duo Jets are a legendary American Psychobilly band from Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and Athens, Georgia. Their first album, Flat Duo Jets, was recorded direct to two tracks in a garage in the late 1980s but not released until early 1990, the same year in which the band opened for The Cramps on a national tour of the US.
Dex Romweber is the frontman for the world famous psycho-surf-rockabilly-garage-punk combo Flat Duo Jets. Dexter released his first of seventeen albums in 1990 to rave reviews worldwide. The band starred alongside R.E.M. and The B-52s in the 1987 cult classic film Athens, Ga. Inside Out. His first national tour in 1990 was as opening act for The Cramps. He was showcased on MTV's The Cutting Edge and 120 Minutes, appeared with the Flat Duo Jets in videos such as "Wild Wild Lover" and "Radioactive Man", made a stunning performance on Late Night with David Letterman, and has shared the stage with dozens of rock's underground kings including Iggy Pop, the White Stripes, Link Wray, Reverend Horton Heat and many, many others.
Jack White from the White Stripes has called Dex and the Flat Duo Jets major influence when starting out.. White declared that seeing the Jets for the first time "opened up a whole new inspiration for me about the guitar." And he was downright effusive in the 2006 cult-classic Romweber documentary Two Headed Cow, calling Romweber "a huge influence on my music… one of the best-kept secrets of the rock & roll underground." In 2009 White recorded a seven-inch with Romweber, and in 2011 he reissued the Jets' long-out-of-print 1991 album Go Go Harlem Baby on his Third Man Records imprint.
Forty years ago in Queens, New York, KEITH STRENG and his buddy Marek Pakulski discovered some guitars in a basement of a house they were renting. They didn’t know how to tune strings or finger a chord, but they dug Rock & Roll and R&B, which was hard to find in the mid-1970s pabulum on Top 40 and FM radio. They picked up those guitars, found some cheap amps, and started banging out noise. By ’77, local drummer Lenny Calderon was on board as the steady drummer.
One day PETER ZAREMBA, an art student friend with long bangs, a harmonica, and a manic vision, dropped by the house, grabbed a mic, and named the band THE FLESHTONES. They rehearsed by throwing locally legendary parties in the basement of that house, dosed with fuzz guitar and trash cans full of their signature cocktail, the Blue Whale, inaugurating a bacchanal that just won’t end. Manically covering obscure songs and offering their own nervy originals, they debuted at CBGB in May of 1976.
Zaremba remembers, “We were very wound up and blasted out our handful of songs at a ridiculously fast tempo. Still, people liked us and some even danced along, an unusual event at super-cool CBGB’s. We were invited back for another audition. Finally, we were a real band.” Laughs Streng, “We were horrible at CBGB’s! But we still passed. Hilly Kristal said to us, ‘You guys aren’t really that good. But there’s something there’.”
Indeed there was. In addition to gigs at that fabled club and at Max’s Kansas City, the Fleshtones found a home at the rock/performance-art home at Club 57 on St. Mark’s Place, and in 1978 signed with Marty Thau’s Red Star Records and recorded a full-length album. The next year they released their debut single, the classic “American Beat,” and with filmmaker M. Henry Jones created an innovative and influential performance-animation video composed of hand-painted cutouts. They signed with I.R.S. Records in 1980, adding BILL MILHIZER on drums and releasing the genre-defining garage rock classics Roman Gods and Hexbreaker, with Gordon Spaeth (RIP) playing sax, harmonica, organ, and the Juvenile Delinquent with a Heart of Gold.
In the mid- and late-1980s, Zaremba kept busy hosting MTV’s Cutting Edge. Throughout that decade and the 1990s, the Fleshtones released plenty of albums and singles, toured the U.S. and Europe regularly in front of packed clubs and large festivals, and anointed nonbelievers worldwide in bar-treading, conga-line-snaking Super Rock—a greasy ball of sonic and cultural influences ranging in feel from R&B, Disco, and Lost In Space to Garage, Frat Rock, and Mexican horror flicks.
Following Pakulski’s departure in 1986, the band entertained a few bass players, including Robert Warren (RuPaul’s bassist in Wee Wee Pole), Andy Shernoff (The Dictators), and Fred Smith (Television). In 1990, KEN FOX, late from Jason and The Scorchers, joined the goofy mayhem for good, contributing pop songs, high leg kicks, and charm at the merch table, battening down the hatches on a muscular, road-strengthened, party-hopping outfit who play with the same energy, abandon, and spontaneity in front of ten people as they do in front of hundreds.
The Fleshtones are the only band to debut at CBGB in 1976 that hasn’t experienced an inactive year. They have, in one way or another, inspired countless other bands over the decades, including R.E.M., Hoodoo Gurus, and The Dream Syndicate, and their showmanship and musical influence is palpable in many current bands throughout North America, Europe, and Scandinavia. The Fleshtones have survived Punk Rock, New Wave, No Wave, Neo Garage, Post-Punk, Grunge, and more Neo Garage, never succumbing to trendiness, scornful laughter, liquidated record labels, or non-alcoholic beer. They were the first band to play at Irving Plaza and Danceteria in Manhattan as well as Maxwell's in Hoboken, New Jersey, and the first to be booked at the original 9:30 Club in Washington D.C.. They were one of the last bands to play Windows On The World on top of the World Trade Center. In between, they opened for James Brown and Chuck Berry, backed acclaimed English actor Ian McKellen as he recited a sonnet on Andy Warhol’s Fifteen Minutes, and anchored the infamous Pyramid Club in the East Village while helping inaugurate the legendary Wigstock drag queen festival.
Tick, tock there’s another day. What to do? What to say?
Tried and true American Living Legends, the Fleshtones return with their new album, The Band Drinks For Free. Hell, they’ve earned it! To celebrate their fortieth anniversary, the gravity-defying Fleshtones take stock of their remarkable career, singing about the past and the future, knocked-out at how far the decades have receded yet excited for tomorrow night’s show. Recorded at Florent Barbier’s CCP Sound Studio in Brooklyn, New York, The Band Drinks For Free is a testament to surviving with a great attitude at great odds. If there’s a theme that runs through the album it’s the bittersweet surprise of Time itself, how days and decades slip into oblivion, Kinks-ian church bells tolling away all of those hard-won hours.
The opener sets the tone, a groovy update of Ten Years After’s “Love Like A Man,” confident and swingin’, riff-driven and churning with eighth-note organ blasts and gang vocals, featuring the Bellrays’ remarkable singer Lisa Kekaula in an epic fadeout. Like that stupid ol’ sun, the Fleshtones are burning bright, shining down on everyone, and are planning to last for a long, long time. At this point there may be too many memories, melancholy daydreams, piles of bills, and unsaid goodbye’s, but the Fleshtones are glad to be living today, even if haunted by the loss of youth and by the club at closing time. They’ve learned plenty along the way, too, like how to respect love, hold on to a dream, and play the Hondells’ “The Gasser.” If it all gets too heavy and you need to get off the numbing suburban roulette, just slip on Rick Wakeman’s Cape and hit the town. Where it will lead? Well, you just don't know!
“Keith and Ken have the deep songs on the album, I tried to get very basic,” says Zaremba. “One thing about this record is that making it was fun. We had a lot of material, and it came easy. Seems like we knew what we were doing this time! It doesn't get old. This is what we really like doing. It’s a dream come true!”
The Fleshtones are back again, and they’re drinking for free. Care to join them?
Todd-O-Phonic Todd currently thrills listeners from 3 to 6 p.m. Saturdays on WFMU (91.1 FM in the New York metropolitan area or online at wfmu.org). He has also played records in such esteemed establishments as The Greek Theater in Berkeley, Central Park Summerstage, Celebrate Brooklyn, The Brooklyn Bowl, The Gold Coast Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, The Baltimore Lithuanian Hall, D.B.A in New Orleans, Home Sweet Home in NYC and many other public and private events. Extra security should always be considered due to the excitement generated when Todd-O-Phonic takes to the turntables. Soul, r'n'b, surf, garage, rockabilly and girl groups from the 1950's to the present are amongst his favorite sounds. You can't lose with the stuff he uses!
Aboard The Liberty Belle
This cruise is aboard THE LIBERTY BELLE and will depart from Pier 36 - 299 South Street.
We will be boarding and departing at the times listed on your ticket and are not able to allow refunds if you miss the boat. So don't be late - it sure ain't pretty to be standin on the dock, watching the party sailing away!
There are cash bars on board so make sure to swing by the ATM on your way to the boat. There will be food available for purchase. All cruises are 3 hours unless otherwise noted. If you have any questions about the show or your purchase, please contact Sancho Dominguez at firstname.lastname@example.org or check out our FAQ page on www.rocksoff.com
Please note that all shows are 21 and over and ID will be required upon boarding the boat
*RAIN OR SHINE!*