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Flamin’ Groovies. A great rock band you never heard of

Flamin Groovies then

The Flamin’ Groovies formed in 1965, recorded several excellent albums, are now viewed as a precursor of punk, influenced a bazillion bands, toured for most of the 1970s, then blew up after too much cocaine and too many years living out of suitcases. They barely spoke for 30 years, then said forget what happened, let’s try again. And now they’re touring, as good as ever, with a great new single, something I find positively inspirational,

I was a fanzine kid in the 1970s. We all knew about the Flamin’ Groovies and they’ve been a favorite band of mine since then. So, here’s bio info and videos for those who may not know about them.

Flamin Groovies now

Quoting from the Groovies Movie website:

The Groovies have also been called the “Godfathers of Punk Rock” and many bands such as The Dictators, Cracker, The Plimsouls and Yo La Tengo have done Groovies’ covers. According to Marianne Faithful, the Groovies’ album, Teenage Head, was Mick Jagger and Keith Richard’s favorite album at the time it came out in 1971.

In July of 1976, the Ramones opened for the Groovies in London at the Roundhouse. This show is considered a galvanizing event for the UK punk scene.

The Flamin’ Groovies story goes all the way back to 1965 when the band began in their hometown of San Francisco, California. They had their first brush with success in 1971 with the song and album entitled Teenage Head, which is listed in the 2006 book, 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die. In 1972, Chris Wilson joined the band as lead singer and they released the song Slow Death. The gritty sound of this recording was infectious and the band was invited to play television shows around the world.

The band went their separate ways and rarely spoke over the next 30 years. Bass player, George Alexander worked for the United States Postal Service for 25 years, guitarist Cyril Jordan started a band called Magic Christian and singer Chris Wilson joined The Barracudas and put out several solo albums. The clock was ticking and the years were passing when Cyril, Chris and George finally decided that it was time to let bygones be bygones and to continue exactly where they had left off that day in 1981 when The Flamin’ Groovies broke up.


Crazy Macy, just released. She was a bank robber in Chicago in the 1930’s who used a Thompson machine gun. It did not end well for her.


Slow Death, their song about white powders


Teenage Head


Shake Some Action, probably their best-known. Produced by Dave Edmunds. Power pop.

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