The Seeds' "Pushin' Too Hard"

THE SEEDS  “Pushin’ Too Hard”  b/w  THE STANDELLS  “Dirty Water”  (Collectibles Records #3028, early-’80’s reissue)

Though yet another questionably licenced oldies-bin cheapie, this two-fer practically reads like page one of Garage Rock 101:  Lesson One.  Woe to Ye Puny Mortal Punkf who’ve ne’er Deigned Immerfe Thyfelvef unto Yon Hard-Drivin’, Pot-Fmokin’ Clafficf.  I Pity the Soolf.

Originally released on Crescendo in late ’66, A-side “Pushin’ Too Hard,” a “gassy” barnstormer by L.A.-based rockers The Seeds (led by the still-sometimes-active-yet-very-reclusive Richard “Sky Saxon” Marsh), crept to #36 by early ’67.  And at a time when the charts were dominated by acts like The Association and The Supremes, mind you.  But teens had sent proto-punk classics like “Wild Thing” and “96 Tears” to the top of the pops in months previous, so the doors (and The Doors) were wide open, and the ’60’s were in full-swing.

Watch The Seeds lip-sync \”Pushin\’ Too Hard\” on Casey Kasem\’s SHEBANG! (1967)

While you’re YouTubin’ it, stop by here for a low-res kinescope of Saxon & Co.’s ’66 appearance on the Kaye Ballard/Eve Arden vehicle, The Mothers-In-Law.  A true brain-burner if there ever was one.  Our next guests were once prominently featured on The Munsters, but we’ll save that for another time.

The Standells' "Dirty Water"

Now, try not to let the Massachucentric subject matter fool you;  this band did not hail from Beantown.  Side B backtracks to the Summer of ’66 with “Dirty Water” by Sunset Strip mainstays The Standells.  Originally pressed on the Tower Records label (a Capitol subsidiary, no relation to the failed retail chain), “Water” spent 9 weeks on Billboard, peaking at #11.

 (The little video linker suddenly crashed, but you can see The Standells roll their eyes, pick their noses, and lazily mime “Dirty Water” on TV circa 1966 by going here:

When I was a kid, I (along with many others, I’m sure) mistook this for a Stones track.  Years later, my junior-high pals & I were rocking again to “Dirty Water” as redone by British new-wavers (read:  neo-garage-rockers) The Inmates.  Since then, it’s become the flagship theme song for MA’s legendary Tewksbury Comets Action Paintball Team.  Great rock never dies.  (And don’t even pretend to be a rock guitarist if you don’t know that killer opening riff, pal.)

As for the song’s subject matter, I’ll let Money Mike fill you in on how much he loves that dirty water.

NEXT WEEK:  I get a bullet in the head.