July 14, 2024

THE STANDELLS… American Garage Rock Band! INTERVIEW WITH LEGENDARY Larry Tamblyn

The Standells are an American garage rock band from Los Angeles/California, formed in the 1960s, who have been referred to as a “punk band of the 1960s”, and said to have inspired such groups as the Sex Pistols and Ramones.

“Best known for their hit Dirty Water, The Standells released a string of snotty, aggressive garage singles in the mid to late 1960s which are now rightly regarded as proto-punk classics.
Sometimes Good Guys Dont Wear White, Why Pick On Me, Riot On Sunset Strip the songs of The Standells have been covered by everyone from Bruce Springsteen, Aerosmith and U2 to Spacemen 3, Minor Threat and a million 77 punk bands as well as many subsequent scene bands. ”
Pat Long

The Standells are considered by many to be the godfathers of punk rock. The group was formed in 1962 by keyboardist and lead vocalist Larry Tamblyn and guitarist Tony Valentino.
Larry created the name from “Standing” around booking agencies trying to get work.
Originally the group was called the “Standels” (with one “l”), but was changed to the “Standells” spelling in 1963.
The name was also lengthened to Larry Tamblyn and the Standells, as noted in the Vernon Joynson book “Fuzz Acid & Flowers”

Their first recording, “You’ll be Mine Someday”/”Girl in My Heart”, was recorded in 1963 and released in 1964 on Faro Records. Later that year, the name was shortened to “Standells”.

Their first hit single on Tower Records “Dirty Water” reached #11 on the Billboard charts, #8 in Cashbox, and #1 in Record World. Other chart records include “Sometimes Good Guys Don’t Wear White”, “Why Pick On Me,” and “Riot On Sunset Strip.”, which is featured as the kick-off song in the new Rhino Records boxed CD set Where the Action Is.

Prior to their success on Tower Records, the group was signed by Liberty Records and issued an album “The Standells In Person At P.J.’s” in 1964 (later re-released as The Standells Live and out of Sight). After having no success with Liberty they signed with Vee Jay in 1965 for two singles, one of which was produced by Sonny Bono Sonny & Cher. Cher did backup vocals on one of the songs The Boy Next Door.

The group appeared in several movies, including Get Yourself a College Girl, performing their first Liberty recording The Shake and Riot on Sunset Strip, performing the films title song. The Standells also frequently appeared on television. The Standells guest starred as themselves in an episode of the The Munsters. They were also featured in an installment of The Bing Crosby Show, and as a nightclub band on an episode of Ben Casey. In addition to TV shows like Shindig, American Bandstand and Where the Action is, they were featured on Art Linkletter’s House Party, debating moral majority broadcasting mogal Gordon McLendon who banned their recording Try It. McLendon deemed the songs lyrics to be obscene. (By all accounts, the Standells defeated him pretty handily.)

Despite the references to Boston and the Charles River in “Dirty Water,” The Standells are not from Massachusetts. Nevertheless, “Dirty Water” is still played after every home victory won by the Boston Red Sox, Boston Celtics, and Boston Bruins as well as at Northeastern Huskies’ hockey games. One would be hard-put to find either a sports fan or rock music lover in Massachusetts who had never heard of the Standells.

The band still actively performs in concert. They appeared at Game 2 of the 2004 World Series as well as the first game of the 2007 American League Division Series at Fenway Park., where they sang the national anthem. Since the early 1990s Dirty Water has been the Red Sox unofficial anthem. More recently US performances include the Cannery Casino amphitheater in Las Vegas, the Hollywood landmark Amoeba Music, the EchoPlex, and the featured performers at the June Lake Loop Mountain Music Festival. Their 2010 six – nation European tour included knock-out performances in Madrid, Bordeaux, Rennes, Paris, London, Oslo, Berlin, Athens, and Frankfurt.

Dirty Water is listed in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame as one of the 500 songs that shaped Rock & Roll.. A biography titled Love that Dirty Water The Standells and the Improbable Red Sox Victory Anthem is currently available on Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, Target, and in other retail outlets.

Today, the Standells consist of original members Larry Tamblyn (lead singer & keyboardist), John Fleck (bassist), Mark Adrian (guitarist & co-lead vocalist), and veteran drummer Greg Burnham.

INTERVIEW WITH LEGENDARY Larry Tamblyn(The Standells)

Athenscalling.gr: At the beginning I would like to say how much of a pleasure it is to be speaking with YOU… Larry Tamblyn founding member of The Standells.Thank you for your coming at Athenscalling.gr webzine of culture!

LARRY TAMBLYN (The Standells band): My pleasure. The Standells toured Europe in 2010 and I was greatly impressed with the people and culture.

Athenscalling.gr:I think that The Standells stay alive until today… how do you feel about it?

LARRY TAMBLYN (The Standells band): It always amazes me.
As many know, the Standells were actively performing and recording during the 1960s.
In 1970, the group parted ways.
At that time, I honestly thought that would be the end of the Standells.
Then in the early 80s there was a sudden interest in the Standells Garage Punk sound.
Groups like the Stooges, Sex Pistols and the Ramones suddenly emerged, all admitting they were influenced by the Standells.
In addition, were female rock groups like the Pandoras and Go Go’s who were inspired by us. Heavy Metal groups like Aerosmith and Guns ‘N Roses were said to have also been inspired by us. For me, it was quite a re-awakening and led to the reformation of the group.

Athenscalling.gr: 58 years ago untill today… and the hit greate song “Dirty Water,” stay alive…Really please tell us there is something magical in this song?

LARRY TAMBLYN (The Standells band): To be honest, I can’t really put my finger on it.
The song took less than 2 days to record, after which we completely forgot it.
Magically, almost a year later a small radio station in Florida began playing it and we had to re-learn it. It slowly climbed the charts, reaching #11 on Billboard.
The song seems to have a magic of its own, appealing to those all ages.

Athenscalling.gr: And about writing credits of the song?

LARRY TAMBLYN (The Standells band): We actually wrote much of the song but were never given writer’s credits.

Athenscalling.gr: O.k!Let’s travel to the past for a while, do you remember the first record you bought?

LARRY TAMBLYN (The Standells band): Yes, it was Bill Haley’s “Rock Around the Clock”.
As a teenager, I loved that song. My cousin Karen and I danced to it on the teen show “Make Believe Ballroom”.

Athenscalling.gr: Αnd at what age did you start playing music?

LARRY TAMBLYN (The Standells band): From my book “From Squeaky Clean to Dirty Water”
When I was 14 years old “My life took a dramatic change during a school sock hop in the gymnasium. For entertainment, there was a small combo who had just taken a break.
I walked up on stage and picked up a guitar.
I didn’t know how to play it, but that didn’t stop me from doing an Elvis Presley impersonation.
I impressed the hell out of my friends, but the school staff wasn’t too thrilled about my impromptu gyrations, not to mention my fooling around with someone else’s property.
I was sent home from school and received a severe tongue-lashing from my parents.
After this incident, I became strongly interested in playing the guitar.
However, after receiving numerous guitar lessons, my instructor gave up on me.
He said I wasn’t learning anything from him.
He was right. I had begun to pick up guitar riffs from 45 records.
I quickly discovered that you could play almost any song with a combination of four chords.
I remember one of the first songs I learned to perform was Link Wray’s ‘Rumble.’

Athenscalling.gr: Your musical career starts from 1950 until today. What was your best moment that you wouldn’t want to forget?

LARRY TAMBLYN (The Standells band): There were several highlights in my life.
One of which was when we went from playing in nightclubs for adults to large concerts in front of screaming teenagers.
From my book, “We wrapped up the engagement at Club Esquire in Seattle almost at the same time we finished our album.
The club wanted us to renew our contract, Our manager put together a hastily arranged tour, beginning in early May in Orlando, Florida. Going from a nightclub act to overnight superstars was quite a culture shock for all of us.
As the plane taxied up to the Orlando terminal, I was stunned to see a huge crowd of screaming teenagers as well as news media.
Some were waving banners with slogans like “Standells 4ever.”
We were guided through wild teenage girls trying to pull our clothes off into a waiting limousine. We were given star treatment at concerts in Orlando, Fort Lauderdale, and Tampa. What an abrupt introduction into stardom.”

Athenscalling.gr:Today exactly where do you find your music activity?

LARRY TAMBLYN (The Standells band): It varies. I have scored classical orchestral music for several movies, but still dabble in Rock music.
Last November, I was inducted into the California Music Hall of Fame, where after accepting the induction, I performed “Dirty Water”.

Athenscalling.gr:Can ask you now …if you have something to say about my country …I mean about Greece?

LARRY TAMBLYN (The Standells band): I believe this was covered above. I love Greece, the people and culture there. What a thrill for me to visit the Acropolis and the national museum where we walked across a plexiglass floor while workers below were still uncovering artifacts from a village buried centuries before.

Athenscalling.gr: O.k!Now before the end of the interview is there anything else you would like to say….maybe a message or something else?

LARRY TAMBLYN (The Standells band): I would invite your readers to peruse my autobiography ”From Squeaky Clean to Dirty Water”,where the complete history of the Standells plus my life story is written about. It is available on most online stores like Amazon.com.
The book has received solid 5 star reviews from readers.

Athenscalling.gr:Thank you Larry.

LARRY TAMBLYN (The Standells band): You’re quite welcome.

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