Thursday, 4 December 2008

The Gories

The emergence of the Gories heralded a new Golden Age of Detroit rock beginning in the late '80s; a renaissance of noise and rustbelt rock which lasts through to today. Formed in 1986 by three Detroit natives, none of whom previously knew how to play an instrument -- Mick Collins, Margaret Ann O'Neill (Peg), and Dan Kroha -- they took their name from a band of the same name which appeared in the "Gidget" series of the late '50s/early '60s. Comprised of two guitarists and a drummer (i.e. no bass), the Gories concocted a primal, raw yet soulful blend of garage punk, culling a wealth of inspiration and cover material from Bo Diddley, Howlin' Wolf, and John Lee Hooker. The three-piece also paid homage to the Keggs and Nick and the Jaguars, two other bass-less bands from Detroit. The Gories began their recorded career in 1987 with two tracks on the Wanghead With Lips compilation It Came From the Garage, Vol. II, the same compilation which featured Nine Pound Hammer (who would go on to become Nashville Pussy). Len Puch, the owner of Wanghead, recorded and released their first album, House Rockin', in 1989. According to legend, these first Gories recordings were executed in a tin shack. For their second album, Alex Chilton of Big Star joined them as producer, recording I Know You Fine, But How You Doin' for the French label New Rose. Throughout this entire period, the band continued to release various 7" singles, including a cover of Spinal Tap's "Give Me Some Money" for the Sub Pop Singles Club. In 1992, Crypt released Outta Here, their last album, and then re-released both House Rockin' and I Know You Fine in 1994. Since the demise of the Gories, Mick Collins has continued to perform in Blacktop, King Sound Quartet, the Screws, the Dirtbombs, and has contributed to Andre Williams' Silky and The Black Godfather and Speedball Baby's Uptight. Dan Kroha spent some time in Rocket 455, but is primarily known for being one third of another Detroit bass-free rock band, the Demolition Doll-rods. Peg O'Neill recorded a few tracks with '68 Comeback and is in the Darkest Hours from New Orleans.
~ Alex Zorn, All Music Guide

House Rockin' (1988)

1. Feral
2. I Think I've Had It

3. Charm Bag

4. Boogie Chillun

5. I'll Go

6. Hidden Charms

7. Sovereignity Flight

8. You'll Be Mine

9. You Done Got Wrong

10. Sister Ann

11. Give Me Love

12. Let Me Hear the Choir Song

format: mp3
bitrate: 192kbps

I Know You Fine, But How You Doin'? (1990)

1. Hey Hey We're the Gories
2. You Make It Move
3. Detroit Breakdown
4. Stranded
5. Goin' to the River
6. Early in the Morning
7. Thunderbird Esq
8. Nitroglycerine
9. Let Your Daddy Ride
10. Six Cold Feet
11. Smashed
12. Ghostrider
13. Chick-Inn
14. View from Here

format: mp3
bitrate: 192kbps

Outta Here (1992)

1. He's Doin' It
2. There But for the Grace of God Go I
3. Outta Here
4. Can't Catch Up With You
5. Crawdad
6. Omologato
7. I Got Eyes for You
8. Telepathic
9. Trick Bag
10. Drowning
11. Rat's Nest
12. 48 Hours
13. Great Big Idol with Golden Head
14. Ichiban

format: mp3
bitrate: 192kbps


Anonymous said...

Zorn's comments are generous, and I am a Gories fan, but the new renaissance of Detroit rock assertion is a bit preposterous. I saw the band live several times in MI in the latter 80s and early 90s, bought all the vinyl, etc., but the Gories never truly had an impact in MI, as far as a sustained following or similar followup bands. They were a party band of the highest order, but it wasn't as if they made a big splash in their hometown.

Anonymous said...

I have to agree with the previous comment. The Gories played some good shows in Detroit to 25 - 50 people during their heyday. In fact, most people I knew back then hated them. There was a small handful of folks that really "understood" them. They were much more popular in NYC and Memphis. Ten years after they broke up they became more popular in Detroit once word came back from other locales that they were an awesome band. Ironically, the local weekly rag did a story about them right AFTER they broke up. Nothing like local support! I have to say I was a fan the first time I saw them play in a garage on WSU's campus during the Dally In The Alley festival. Not to sound cliched, but it was a real life changing experience!

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