Email The Mods
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From 1963 to 1970, Terry and Larry Smith of Toledo fronted a band known as The Mods. The quartet was rounded out by Larry Music on rhythm guitar and Fred Jablonski on drums. The group played originals as well as covers by the Yardbirds, Beatles, Rolling Stones, Animals and one-hit wonders like 13th Floor Elevators and Count Five. In 1966 the group backed Chuck Berry at the Peppermint Lounge in Toledo and opened for the McCoys ("Hang On Sloopy") and the Knickerbockers ("Lies").
Winning a battle of the bands at the Toledo Sports Arena earned the group studio time to record a single for a local label, Peck Records. Two songs co-written by the Smith brothers were chosen for the groups first recording. "I Give You an Inch (and You Take a Mile)" / "You've Got Another Think Coming", were released in April of 1966 to local radio stations in Toledo, Ohio as a 45-RPM record. According to Larry Smith, the single later popped up on several compilations featuring garage bands from the sixties.
The Mods were included on "The Chosen Few" Vol. 1, on A-Go-Go Records, an '82 bootleg LP; a Crypt Records '96 CD titled,
"Back From The Grave" Vol. 2 and followed by "Teen-age Shutdown" Vol. 10, available on both LP and CD from Crypt Records in '98. The Mods first appearance on Crypt Records was on a '84 vinyl LP compilation titled, "Back From The Grave" Vol. 3. The group from Toledo is now considered a cult garage-band from the sixties around the world due to the various compilation releases that they have appeared on. Smith had to plunk down $50 to a collector to get a copy of his own stuff on "The Chosen Few" a '1982 bootleg compilation! Until January of 2003 the Mods fans around the world knew little about the group with the exception of the groups classic 1966 45-RPM recording. In January 2003 former bass guitarist, Larry Smith launched a tribute website for the band.
Find out more at: http://www.themods.us Visit The Mods on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/TheModsUSA
The late '60s through the '70s saw the coming of rock monsters like MC5, The Stooges and the New York Dolls. Tyner's exhortations to kick out the jams, Iggy writhing in shattered glass, and David Johannsen's lipstick and ripped-panty-hose posturing added heavy doses of mayhem to the melody. And with the arrival of the Ramones, garage shifted into high gear, belching forth a bastard son, punk. Bent on anarchy or at least catharsis through art, punk took the garage aesthetic even further, jettisoning melody in exchange for dissonance and attitude. Talent was not only unnecessary, but very nearly a handicap.
More recently, the media have focused on over-produced pop and "a-star-is-manufactured"; TV shows. Maybe this is why another barrage of garage is upon us. The music industry, famous for sucking a good thing dry, needs a reminder that risk-taking is good.
Heck, it's great, exciting … and sometimes even revolutionary! Forget the dancers, the lip-syncing, and the record companies insistence on the bottom line. Strip it down and throw it out with some semblance of sincerity! Hyped within an inch of their lives, the first chord on Veni Vidi Viscious proves the Hives deserve it all. Rock has always recycled itself, but the musical Everest is managing to make it fresh. The Hives revamp Beatles, Sex Pistols, the Who, Buzzcocks, and more into a hectic stew. They've also banished the morose navel-gazing practiced by many in today's rock scene and actually added humor! In "The Hives Introduce the Metric System in Time,"Howlin' Pelle Alqvist exults, "Why settle for 24 when I can have a hundred fractions? Who knew I'd be the one pulling off the perfect crime? So here's my new line, I'll change your mind and the metric system to time." In another nod to their elders, the bone-crunching single, "Hate to Say I Told You So," resurrects the REAL motor city madman, Iggy Pop. (The newest release, "My New Favourite Band"; is available on Poptones Records.) Singer Rachel Nagy and guitarist Maribel Restrepo are the driving force behind the Detroit Cobras. Their 2002 release, "Life, Love and Leaving"; and this year's, "Seven Easy Pieces"; (on Rough Trade) offer Rachel's husky take on tasty soul and retreads, redone to suit those who love the obscure. The Cobras take a shine to the B-side, and one listen to the scattered repertoire will leave you scratching your head. Listen for the Shirelles, the Go-Gos, Little Richard, Ronnie Spector, the blues, Joplin, Chrissie; you'll hear them all. If the originals were great, the Cobras do them one better.
Below is a reprint titled, "IT CAME FROM THE GARAGE" / Toledo City Paper April 24-30, 2003 issue of the Toledo City Paper
By Sue MacPhee Gray
The TCP feature article was about "Garage Band Music" and was titled appropriately, "IT CAME FROM THE GARAGE". This news story was well written by staff writer, Sue MacPhee Gray and focuses on the garage band scene from the 1960's in the Detroit, Michigan and the Toledo, Ohio areas and into the present day. The paper featured a picture of The Mods from 1966 on the cover of the newspaper and prominently mentioned the group from Toledo, Ohio at the start of the article.
The garage is the musty, dusty, aesthetically challenged structure hidden behind one's home. Serving as a catchall for Dad's old fishing gear and injured lawn equipment, it also protects the family car. The garage is sometimes used as a practice area for would-be musicians. Far enough from one's domicile to buffer sound, yet close enough to keep tabs on unruly teens, the garage has become so synonymous with music that an entire genre has been named for it. Garage isn't pretty and it isn't delicate. The raw noise evokes the screaming of the discarded mowers and blowers mentioned above. The songs linger in one's consciousness, hanging by their nails with pithy lyrics, overwrought vocals and melodies that beat their way through a simple three-chord prison.
The original garage bands (arguably) hailed from England in the early '60s. Think Beatles in the Cavern Club days, early Kinks, Rolling Stones or the Troggs. Think clanging, chiming guitar, a 4/4 beat, and a manic singer with imperfect pitch and perfect intensity.
"UGLY THINGS" is a monthly magazine devoted exclusively to garage. Editor Mike Stax says "garage is a word that a lot of people are throwing around right now." He relates that the sound was typified by 60s bands that were actually playing in their garages and making records locally. They were definitely not professional and usually teen-agers who were performing covers of The Kinks and TheTroggs especially because they were so basic and because of the way the songs were structured. Those were the bands you could reasonably imitate. When people saw those bands, they said, "Hey, I could do that."
In the U.S., LA boasted the Seeds ("Pushin' Too Hard"), the Electric Prunes ("I Had Too Much To Dream Last Night"), and the Standells ("Dirty Water"). But the Midwest has been integral to the birth and perpetuity of garage. A cruise over Detroit's Rouge River Bridge or through Toledo's east side informs how the industrial landscape, where stacks spout blue flame and unknown smells and noises run rampant, might be conducive to the clamorous sound.
The Mods - Toledo City Paper / "It Came From The Garage"
The four-piece Zimmerman Twins have two drummers in rotation, along with the mysterious DRB on guitar and LD on bass. Jub Jub sings and writes everything, the stable linchpin for "a revolving cast of alcoholic morons," he chuckles. Alluding to the edginess of the music they play, he says "you can look for four guys in love but it kind of suited me better if the four guys hated each other." OK.
Jub Jub expresses a thinking-man's righteousness when asked about the garage trend. "All of the music is here in the midwest, anything that ever happens ... always comes from the goddamn heartland. We do it. It takes five years to get to the coasts. Then another five years for them to market it, merchandise it, and sell it back to us here where it began!" The Zimmerman Twins like to think of their show as a good old-fashioned orgy of dance, drink and debauchery not unlike that practiced by the Romans before the fall. Jub Jub says, "It's a celebration of filth, but in a good way. We try and trap people in the moment; let's hang with you awhile and have some damn fun!"
Last month the Twins launched the "Annoy-The-Shit-Out-Of-Toledo Tour." Saturating drinking establishments, they performed seven shows in four weeks. They are recording in an 8-track analog studio, which is the "band's practice space, not a rehearsal space."
Jub Jub intones, "we don't wear costumes." The CD's working title is "Get Up and Face the Squalor."
Zimmerman Twins info is online at http://www.thezimmermantwins.com
There was so much great music to cover, this article barely got out of the blocks. Don't forget the Strokes, the Hentchmen, the Paybacks, the Dirtbombs, Go, Soundtrack of Our Lives, and the growing localgarage contingent, which includes the Satisfactions, the Sub-marines and the Uncertainties.
Depending on who's made it to the most practices, you can see complete or partial versions of the afore mentioned bands at the Local Band Tribute Show on Saturday, May 24, 2003 at Mickey Finn's in Toledo on Lagrange Street.
Sue MacPhee Gray is a Toledo-area freelance writer.
TCP readers voted Thee Static Rituals as best underrated band and Brett Jan the group's lead singer as the best underrated vocalist. Maybe it's difficult to keep a high profile when members are dropping out every few months. The only ritual with any static has been Jan, who handles the ongoing musical chairs with jaded humor. Recently, two permanent musicians have been added (Ben Langlois, bass and Gene Crawford, drums), mostly because Jan is "sick of teaching people my songs."
One of Jan's favorite bands is Denmark's Ravenettes. "They have three rules", he says. "No song can have more than three chords, [it must have] very simple drum beats, and no song can be over three minutes long" (the garage manifesto?).
A new "concept" CD is in the works and demo tracks have been recorded at Dub Narcotic Studio in Olympia, Wash. (also frequented by Beck and Modest Mouse). The upcoming CD titled "All Action, All Gone" will be done by summer and out by fall. Lyrical content is mostly about girls and alcohol, and the inevitable depression that follows the imbibing of either. Jan promises a blowout release party. "It'll be big. I'm actually going to make 'em do it at Headliners and get a bunch of my friends to play. I'm going to make it a huge event and pull a few strings with my hookups!"
"Purr Like a Kitten," a '97 compilation LP on Style Over Substance records, is pure garage, with SR, Rocket 88, Young Lords, and Psychotic Five, among others (it's available at Boogie Records and Allied Record Exchange). For more on SR, see http://email@example.com
The White Stripes stripped the sound down to two, but you'd never know listening to the fallout. Their material is quirkier than most, a mixed bag of blues, originals, and the occasional Dolly Parton cover. Brother/sister, divorced couple, take your pick, but don't let propaganda cloud the fact that Jack White is a genius (or very near it), and he and Meg are perfect together.
";White Blood Cells"; came out last year, with "Expecting"; and the Neil Young-like "Offend in Every Way." "Elephant"; entered the charts at No. 6 a couple of weeks ago. Most of it is Jack bleating about love and fame, but no one emotes in quite the same way. The new single, "Seven Nation Army"; marches to a "bass" line that thumps its way mercilessly into your cranium. Enjoy.