The Sonics

Not in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

Eligible since: 1990 (The 1991 Induction Ceremony)

Previously Considered? No  what's this?

Essential Albums (?)WikipediaAmazon MP3Amazon CD
Here Are The Sonics (1965)

Essential Songs (?)WikipediaAmazon MP3YouTube
Have Love, Will Travel (1965)
Strychnine (1965)

The Sonics @ Wikipedia

The Sonics Videos

Will The Sonics be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame?
"Musical excellence is the essential qualification for induction."


15 comments so far (post your own)

It's a crime that the Sonics are not in the HOF. The Sonics have had an incalculable influence on Punk and Garage.

Posted by Earl Lee Marshall on Wednesday, 01.7.09 @ 19:59pm

The Lack of the inclusion of the Sonics is a crime against nature....

Posted by Johnny John John on Thursday, 07.9.09 @ 15:55pm

The Sonics, The Kingsmen and Paul Revere & The Raiders were the principal groups to emerge from the Pacific Nothwest during the 1960's. Interestingly enough, none of them are in

Posted by Keebord on Thursday, 07.9.09 @ 16:03pm

I feel that the Sonics are entirely deserving of induction into the rock and roll hall of fame.

Often thought to be the very "first" punk rock band, the Sonics were also apart of the movement credited with founding the Seattle music scene. Their brash, rough style and their techniques on over-driving and distorting electric guitars have played a huge influence on many bands since then.

Big bands such as Nirvana, the White Stripes, the Cramps, the Fall, and the Fuzztones have cited them as a main influence, as have many smaller bands.

Posted by Steve Z on Saturday, 11.7.09 @ 14:36pm

These guys were harder than any other punk band, and did if 10 years before Sex Pistols, The Clash, The Ramones...ect.

All you gotta do is listen to a few songs and get how violent and raw they were back in the mid 60's. Their cover of "Louie Louie" took the clean sound of The Wailers' version, mixed it with the dirtiness of The Kingmen's version and added their own brand of violent in shredding guitar lines and screaming vocals.

Just listen to "He's Waiting" and tell me that wouldn't have been a hardcore song in the 70's punk scene and the guitar sounded beyond anything produced at the time.

Only Link Wray was more ahead of his time than these guys. Get them in the hall!

Posted by Ben on Tuesday, 02.16.10 @ 00:38am

The Sonics are in that group of bands from their era not in the Hall who had that "proto-punk / garage rock" feel to them, along with the Troggs, the Kingsmen, and Paul Revere and the Raiders.

Are any of them Hall of Fame worthy?

The Kingsmen are usually considered a one-trick pony with "Louie, Louie" so how does this compare to other such "one-hit" acts in the Hall? Percy Sledge and the Sex Pistols are the two most obvious that come to mind. However, the Kingsmen neither have friends in high places as Percy Sledge did nor did "Louie, Louie" come anywhere near as being as significant as Never Mind the Bollocks was to punk. Therefore, the Kingsmen practically have no chance of getting in the Hall.

Paul Revere and the Raiders are an interesting case. Commercially successful with a few good and memorable hits. Unfortunately, most critics find them utterly cheesy and would rather forget about them. Since they lack any sort of notable direct influence, it is unlikely that they'll get in one day. Nevertheless, they were a fairly well-known part of an era, so there's always a possibility.

The Ramones among others have cited the Troggs as an influence so they have that going for them. Despite this though, they aren't that well remembered nowadays except for "Wild Thing" and "Love is All Around," the latter of which hardly strikes anyone as "proto-punk." Also, let's not forget that more important 60's British Invasion acts like the Zombies, the Spencer Davis Group and the Moody Blues (depending on how you classify them) aren't in yet either, so don't hold your breathe.

So how about the Sonics? They've been called such prestigious titles as "the first punk band" and even "the first grunge band." They're the most critically respected of the group and they also have the most acts who directly cite them as an influence. (The Fall, Nirvana, Screaming Trees, the Cramps, the Flaming Lips and the White Stripes are a few). They've never sold all that much, yet Here Are the Sonics and Boom remain near flawless albums. With all this into consideration I'd certainly say the Sonics wouldn't be out of place in a Hall of Fame.

There were a few other bands in similar categories that could be discussed at any length as well, most notably: the (Fabulous) Wailers, the Trashmen, the Rivieras, the Seeds, the Leaves, Love, and even ? and the Mysterians. The Fab Wailers are way too obscure, the Rivieras too frat rock, the Trashmen too surf rock, ? and the Mysterians too much of a one-hit wonder, Love too diverse to classify as just proto-punk and the Seeds and the Leaves are just not prolific enough. Out of these, Love is the only one who has any sort of a Hall of Fame worthy case going for them.

Then there's always MC5 who should be discussed separately at the risk of making this post too long.

Posted by Tahvo Parvianen on Sunday, 11.6.11 @ 12:46pm

Two more acts I forgot to mention are the Remains and the Knickerbockers. Both have no chance of being inducted into the Hall of Fame.

The Knickerbockers are best remembered today for their hit "Lies." The Remains on the other hand are probably best remembered for having their drummer, N. D. Smart briefly play with Leslie West and the late Felix Pappalardi in a great group called Mountain (before he was replaced with Corky Laing).

Posted by Tahvo Parvianen on Sunday, 11.6.11 @ 12:56pm

The Sonics are in that group of bands from their era not in the Hall who had that "proto-punk / garage rock" feel to them, along with the Troggs, the Kingsmen, and Paul Revere and the Raiders.

Are any of them Hall of Fame worthy?

etc., etc., etc.,...

Posted by Tahvo Parvianen on Sunday, 11.6.11 @ 12:46pm
I'll give you the 13th Floor Elevators over the almost all of the groups you mentioned.

The Elevators sound is defiantly different from the Troggs, The Raiders, & all the others you mentioned. At the same time it certainly fits the description of "proto-punk". They've credibility as one of the 1st psychedelic bands. Roky Erickson has been the subject of several tributes, including an Elevators tribute album from 1990 called "Where The Pyramid Meets the Eye". Notable acts jumping onboard include REM, ZZ Top, & the Butthole Surfers.

The Elevators debut album is, if not the first, then one of the 1st "concept" albums ever, if the liner notes are anything you can use to make a judgement call. They've a true, legitimate claim to making the Hall.

Posted by Cheesecrop on Monday, 11.7.11 @ 19:14pm

Cheesecrop, it's interesting how you've mentioned the Elevators there. I've always seen them more in the psychedelic movement. However, now that you've mention it, they definitely have a "garage rock/proto-punk" feel to them, much more so than many of their psychedelic contemporaries. I actually think Television and ZZ Top have both cited them as an influence, which I find interesting.

And yeah, they're in a different ball-park than the Troggs, Raiders, etc which is probably why I failed to acknowledge them. Roky Erickson is a genius and the Psychedelic Sounds of the 13th Floor Elevators is one of the best albums of the 60's, IMO. Very underrated group.

Have you ever heard of a band called the Monks? Also very ahead of their time (listen to a song by them called "Drugs in My Pocket"). They also have that proto-punk feel to them and the Fall, Dead Kennedys, the White Stripes and even the Beastie Boys have all cited them as an influence, impressive!

Posted by Tahvo Parvianen on Tuesday, 11.8.11 @ 03:29am

Woops, sorry, I typed "Drugs in My Pocket" by mistake because I was thinking of the OTHER Monks (there were two bands called the Monks), my bad!!!

Posted by Tahvo Parvianen on Tuesday, 11.8.11 @ 03:32am

This was the Monks I was talking about (not the "Drugs in My Pocket" Monks, sorry for the confusion!) from 1965.

Posted by Tahvo Parvianen on Tuesday, 11.8.11 @ 03:41am

Not bad at all. Listened to "I Hate You" and "Shut Up" as well. They've got that classic mid-60's sound, all shrill organ & crazy vocals.

A lot of those bands stoked that sound up till 67, but were edged out when rock went on it's guitar gods & super-group trip in the late 60's & early 70's. It's one of the reasons why I find it interesting that young rock fans will get worked up over these acts as "proto-punk" but will turn their noses up at the Doors. For me, the Doors kept this sound alive during 68-71, when a lot of these acts disappeared. I know people say Morrison was pretentious, but if that's what it took to keep the garage rock sound going, then I can live w/it.

For me, it's the Elevators, the Raiders, the Kingsmen, the Monks, Chocolate Watch Band, the Bees, etc. from 65-65, the Doors crossing the gap from 68-71, & then Lenny Kaye picking the gap up w/the "Nuggets" album in 72, along w/Iggy & the N.Y. Dolls, right before the Ramones/Talking Heads, etc.

Posted by Cheesecrop on Tuesday, 11.8.11 @ 06:13am

They (the Monks) also did this one I like called "Pretty Suzanne," Let me know what you think.

I honestly don't get it with people bashing the Doors, same with the Eagles. It's almost as if people have it against these bands because they became popular. It's the sort of, "popularity at the expense of artistry" nonsense that gets thrown around a lot. As if somehow artists that were more obscure and didn't "sell out" (excuse the curse words) are "cooler" just because fewer people have heard of them. And that these bands sacrificed becoming famous because they genuinely thought "being artistic is more important than making money and giving John Q Public what they want to hear." This is all frankly BS in the highest degree as you CAN have both. (BTW, it's the kind of highbrow attitude that dismisses groups like Paul Revere and the Raiders) The Doors, for me, are the perfect example of this.

The Doors are capable of doing everything from more mainstream/well known tracks like "Light My Fire" or "Break on Through" whilst still maintain that essence you'll find on songs like "Soul Kitchen" or "L'America" or even "Roadhouse Blues." They can have songs like "the Alabama Song" and also do "Touch Me." They can have that brilliant "pseudo-jazz/psychedelic sound" to go along with Morrison's poetic ramblings on everything from "My Eyes Have Seen You" to songs about social alienation like "People Are Strange." They can do all this and pull it off effectively which is why I like them.

You mentioned the Chocolate Watchband, their album "the Inner Mystique" is one of the forgotten gems of the 60's IMO and particularly their song "I Ain't No Miracle Worker" off that album is one of the best they ever did, at least for me.

Posted by Tahvo Parvianen on Tuesday, 11.8.11 @ 06:46am

The Chocolate Watchband - I Ain't No Miracle Worker. Even without listening to the rest of the Inner Mystique, the song, even on its own delivers that powerful package.

Posted by Tahvo Parvianen on Tuesday, 11.8.11 @ 06:51am

Just remembered. Another band from that era with that sound is the Misunderstood.

Posted by Tahvo Parvianen on Wednesday, 11.9.11 @ 11:39am

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