The Sonics are the godfathers of Pacific NW rock & roll. The Tacoma band had a legendary influence on the creation of garage rock, punk and grunge. In the 1960s, the Sonics made few if any television appearances, yet their reputation and fame has grown worldwide as the band has toured Europe in more recent years.
In the Pacific Northwest, their biggest hits in the sixties were “The Witch,” “Psycho,” and “You Got Your Head On Backwards.” The Sonics singles were played on KJR, KOL, KJRB, KPUG and all of the Northwest’s dominant Top-40 AM stations. Nationally, Billboard listed “The Witch” as a Regional Breakout Single on Jan. 30, 1965. That honor was repeated with “You Got Your Head on Backwards” on Sept. 3, 1966. “Psycho,” the single featured in this post, peaked at number 4 on the KJR Fabulous 50 survey on March 5, 1965.
Finally, all these years later, there is archival video of this seminal northwest band. The Sonics performed at Easy Street Records in Seattle in April 2015. From that show came the album “Live at Easy Street.” This record was released on vinyl and is now sold out, but it is still available on eBay and in the second-hand marketplace.
Past and present members of the Sonics, who appeared at Easy Street Records, included Gerry Rosalie (vocals & keyboard), Larry Parypa (lead guitar), Rob Lind (sax), Freddie Dennis (bass & vocals) and Dusty Watson (drums). Andy Parypa, original founder of The Sonics, dropped by to play bass on this song — “Psycho.” Radio station KEXP in Seattle captured the show on video. Technically, on the audio track, I have eliminated unintentional feedback and also lip sync issues have been corrected. Click below to watch it at Vimeo.
Another QZVX article featuring the Sonics and highlighting their first hit “The Witch” is available HERE.