You might recognize the title here from a 1976 Jethro Tull album: Too Old to Rock 'n' Roll: Too Young to Die! Or you might not: this particular waxing, Tull's ninth, was the first not to go gold in the States since This Was, their first, way back in 1969, from which Reprise, their American label of the moment, didn't even bother to issue a single — though the lead track, "My Sunday Feeling," did find its way onto a Warner Bros. sampler album.

I suppose the remarkable aspect of all this is that I remember it happening, well over half a lifetime ago. By 1969, I had accumulated several dozen little plastic wafers for my dining and dancing pleasure, though I seldom actually played any records during dinner, and if anyone has any footage of sixteen-year-old me dancing, I will disavow any knowledge of the incident.

And by now, well into my sixties, while I'm allegedly running those damn kids off my lawn, the conventional stereotype holds that I should have switched my attentions to either Nashville or Mantovani. (Disclosure: I have twelve Mantovani albums, and God knows how much country, along with whether Taylor Swift counts toward that total. Best guess: yes, up through "Speak Now.") However, someone, probably Cynthia Heimel, once pointed out that if you grew up on rock and roll, you should never actually stop listening to it, and that doesn't mean you cycle through Beatles albums all the time: you must occasionally listen to bands that still exist. So I still play my early R&B and British Invasion stuff, but, as regular readers will note, I go off on some strange tangents at times. This may seem to be one of them:

The Sonics are an American garage rock band from Tacoma, Washington, originating in the early 1960s. Among the Sonics' contemporaries were the Kingsmen, the Wailers, the Dynamics, the Regents, and Paul Revere & the Raiders. Their aggressive, hard-edged sound has been a major influence on punk, garage, and hard rock music worldwide.

I bought this particular single of theirs:

The Sonics recorded two albums for the Etiquette label, home of the Wailers. (A third album, done for Jerden, whence came the Kingsmen and "Louie Louie," was later disowned by the band.) Eventually, they went their separate ways. But look at that Wiki paragraph again. The verb in that first sentence is "are," and that's what's important right now:

Here's a reunion album you probably weren't expecting in 2015: Tacoma, Washington garage rock legends the Sonics have announced their first new studio album since 1967. This Is the Sonics is out March 31 via their own imprint, Revox.

The album was produced by Jim Diamond (White Stripes, Dirtbombs) and features original members Gerry Roslie, Larry Parypa, and Rob Lind. They're joined by Freddie Dennis (the Kingsmen/Liverpool Five) and Dusty Watson (Dick Dale/Agent Orange).

Sensibly, there is a single, "Bad Betty":

At least as raucous as "Psycho," which Roslie had written half a century earlier.

I conclude that if these guys aren't too old to rock and roll, neither am I.

(With thanks to Steve Simels, who contributed more to my musical upbringing than he'd likely want to know. Two words: Stereo Review.)

The Vent

#904
  8 February 2015

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