Ultimately it was psychedelia that ended this period, but not before one of the most outrageous bands of any era appeared, The Sonics. Songs like “The Witch,” “Psycho,” and “Strychnine” are just unbelievable, still. If you like the raw power of Iggy and The Stooges’ Funhouse, you have got to hear The Sonics.
Legendary AM disc jockey Pat O’Day held something of a monopoly during this time, which the nascent hippies rebelled against. The music of The Ventures and The Wailers was considered passe by ‘67, and the old dances were phased out, replaced by Seattle’s attempt at a Fillmore type scene with Eagles Auditorium in the downtown area.
And so began the steady and disheartening decline of local music, which went on for the next 20 years or so. Sure there were a few bright spots, Heart became huge in the 1970’s, and in 1983 Queensryche appeared out of nowhere to take over the metal world. But overall, it looked like Seattle would never again become the vibrant music town it once was.
Well, we all know how that turned out. Most of the members of the Grunge bands were not even born yet when the original scene died out. But through the magic of reissues and the like, were able to discover what made bands like The Sonics so amazing.
Blecha does not spend a whole lot of time on the Grunge days, which is fine. There has been so much discussion of that period, it really is not necessary here. His research into the early Rock N' Roll days of Seattle is riveting, and not just for a local like myself. The scene in the Northwest in those years was unique, and makes great reading for any music fan.