It’s December 1965 – You’re A Teenager – You Live In The Bay Area – You Have Plans . . . BIG Plans. Past Daily Pop Chronicles
December 19, 1965 – KEWB, Oakland – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –
You like music – you like it so much you want to play it. Well . . .maybe not in the school band, and maybe not tuba. But that was the only instrument you could get – everybody got there faster than you when it was time to sign up – you got stuck with it. It’s huge – it weighs a ton and you drive everybody in your house crazy when you practice. But you have plans, BIG plans. You’re going to drop the Tuba like a bad habit and learn to play bass and you’re going to start a Rock n’ Roll band and you’re going to make money and you’re going to get a recording contract – and if you’re lucky, you’ll be as big as The Kinks. Yeah, that’s the plan. You’ll be in the top-10. Ed Sullivan – Shindig – Dick Clark. A fan-club. You’re gonna grow your hair.
You’ve been practicing your moves in front of the mirror in your room – you just can’t do it with a Tuba; it doesn’t look right. You can’t be cool with it – can’t pick up girls with it. But you like music – no – you LOVE music and every cent of your allowance goes for records and clothes. You can feel it in your bloodstream. Some people know what they’re going to be for the rest of their lives – you’re gonna be in a rock n’roll band.
Especially in 1965, if you were heading into adolescent/teenage territory, you wanted to be in a rock band. Almost every neighborhood in every city in the country was awash with the pulsating, shrill, feedback drenched sounds of bands working on any one of a number of tunes behind closed garage doors – it was evenly split between Wipe-Out and Them’s Gloria as the “must-play songs”. Later it would be “Hey Joe” by The Leaves – there was no end to songs that just about any band could play – and depending on how long everyone was along in their lessons, could start getting into some snappy chord changes and maybe even writing their own songs. It was a time to be a stockholder in the Fender company – or Ludwig. It also didn’t hurt if you happened to work at a Printing company because the demand for business cards, advertising The Svengalis or The Crown Royals or the dizzying number of names for bands to play at parties suddenly became huge.
But with all that came the beacon of culture, the AM radio. Top-40 radio had its pulse on teenage America, if not the World. Songs that got introduced would often find themselves being crudely copied and performed by the Garage Culture, most weekends after the song first got played.
All that, and the 60s were not quite halfway through.
For proof, here’s a half hour of KEWB in Oakland (a sister station to the legendary KFWB in L.A.) one afternoon in December, 1965.