March 27, 2009

Tommy James and the Shondells_e8955.jpg

(Tommy James And The Shondells - not so squeaky clean)

It's that time again - another trip backstage. This weekend it's Tommy James And The Shondells from August 16, 1968 (same date as The Young Rascals and The Seeds - more on them in later weeks). I could never really quite put my finger on them. They had a massive string of top-40 hits, but they had a certain garage band appeal and they really tried to hit the crossover/counterculture audience. I always thought they were capable of doing greater things. But in the case of so many bands of the 60's (case in point: Sopwith Camel) you tended to be pigeonholed. And unless you were massive, you couldn't escape the tiny box you got put into. Interesting sidelight here - when you listen midway through "Hanky Panky" you'll hear Tommy utter "I hate this song!" - no doubt with good reason. Like "Wild Thing" by The Troggs, "Hanky Panky" became something of an anthem for an entire generation. Like it or not, it's probably going to be on some archeological artifact a few thousand years from now.

Wonders will never cease.

(1. Hanky Panky 2. Mony-Mony 3. I Think We're Alone Now)

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