The Standells:wiki stuff
The original Standells band was formed in 1962 by lead vocalist and keyboard player Larry Tamblyn (born Lawrence A. Tamblyn, February 5, 1943, in Los Angeles), with guitarist Tony Valentino (born May 24, 1941, aka Emilio Bellissimo), bass guitarist Jody Rich, and drummer Benny King (aka Hernandez). Tamblyn had previously been a solo performer, recording several 45 singles in the late 1950s and early 1960s including “Dearest”, “Patty Ann”, “This Is The Night”, “My Bride To Be” and “Destiny” for Faro and Linda Records. He is the brother of actor Russ Tamblyn and the uncle of actor Amber Tamblyn.
The Standells band name was created by Larry Tamblyn, derived from standing around booking agents’ offices trying to get work. In early 1962, drummer Benny King (aka Hernandez) joined the group, and as “the Standels”, their first major performance was in Honolulu at the Oasis Club. After several months, Rich and King departed. Tamblyn then assumed leadership of the group. He and Valentino re-formed the Standels, adding bass guitarist Gary Lane and drummer Gary Leeds, later known as Gary Walker of The Walker Brothers. Later that year, the band lengthened its name to “Larry Tamblyn & the Standels”. In 1963 an extra “L” was added, and as “Larry Tamblyn and the Standells” the group made its first recording “You’ll Be Mine Someday/Girl In My Heart” for Linda Records (released in 1964). In the latter part of the year, the band permanently shortened its name to “The Standells”. After the Standells signed with Liberty in 1964, Leeds left the group, and was replaced by lead vocalist and drummer Dick Dodd. Dodd was a former Mouseketeer who had been the original drummer for The Bel-Airs, known for the surf rock song “Mr. Moto”, and eventually became the singer who sang lead on all of the Standells hit songs.
In 1964, Liberty Records released three singles and an album, The Standells In Person At P.J.’s. The album was later re-issued as The Standells Live and Out of Sight. The band also appeared on The Munsters TV show, as themselves in the episode “Far Out Munster,” performing “Come On and Ringo” and a version of The Beatles’ “I Want to Hold Your Hand”. In late 1964, they signed with Vee Jay and released two singles in 1965. Later in the year they signed with MGM for one single.
The group appeared in several low-budget films of the 1960s, including Get Yourself a College Girl (1964) and cult classic Riot on Sunset Strip (1967). The Standells performed incidental music in the 1963 Connie Francis movie Follow the Boys, which coincidentally co-starred Larry Tamblyn’s brother, Russ Tamblyn. The Standells played the part of the fictional rock group the “Love Bugs” on the television sitcom Bing Crosby Show in the January 18, 1965 episode “Bugged by the Love Bugs”. In addition to appearing in the aforementioned The Munsters episode as themselves, they also appeared performing an instrumental in the background in the March 29, 1965 Ben Casey series episode, “Three ‘Lil Lambs.” The band also performed the title song for the 1965 children’s movie, Zebra in the Kitchen.
Some reports state that early versions of the band had a relatively clean image and performed only cover songs. However, early 1964 photos counter that notion, showing the Standells with long hair, making them one of the first American rock groups to adopt that style. In order to work in conservative nightclubs like PJ’s, the group members were forced to cut their shaggy locks. Like the Beatles, early rock groups did mostly cover songs in nightclubs.
In 1965 the group – Dodd, Tamblyn, Valentino and Lane – signed with Capitol Records’ label Tower, teaming up with producer Ed Cobb. Cobb wrote the group’s most popular song, “Dirty Water”, which the band recorded in late 1965. The song’s references to the city of Boston are owed to Cobb’s experiences with a mugger in Boston. The song also makes reference to the Boston Strangler and the dorm curfews for college women in those days.
In early 1966, after recording “Dirty Water”, Dodd briefly left the Standells, and was replaced by Dewey Martin, who became a member of Buffalo Springfield. Dodd returned to the group several months later, as the song began to climb the charts. “Dirty Water” reached No. 11 on the Billboard charts on June 11, 1966, No. 8 on the Cashbox charts on July 9, 1966 and No. 1 on the Record World charts. “Dirty Water” was on the WLS playlist for 17 total weeks, tied only by “California Dreamin'” for most weeks on that playlist during the 1960s. Though the song is credited solely to Cobb, band members Dodd, Valentino and Tamblyn have claimed substantial material-of-fact song composition copyright contributions to it as well as contributing to its arrangement. According to critic Richie Unterberger,
” ‘Dirty Water’ [was] an archetypal garage rock hit with its Stones-ish riff, lecherous vocal, and combination of raunchy guitar and organ. While they never again reached the Top 40, they cut a number of strong, similar tunes in the 1966–1967 era that have belatedly been recognized as 1960s punk classics. ‘Garage rock’ may not have been a really accurate term for them in the first place, as the production on their best material was full and polished, with some imaginative touches of period psychedelia and pop.”
“Dirty Water” is listed in the The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s “500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll.”
Other popular tracks included “Sometimes Good Guys Don’t Wear White” (later covered by Washington, D.C. hardcore band Minor Threat, New York City punk band The Cramps, and Swedish garage band The Nomads), “Why Pick on Me”, “Riot on Sunset Strip” and “Try It”, which was later covered by Ohio Express and Cobra Killer. Picked by Billboard magazine to be the Standells’ next hit, “Try It” was banned by Texas radio mogul Gordon McLendon, who deemed the record to have sexually suggestive lyrics. The Standells were asked by Art Linkletter to debate with McLendon on his House Party TV show in 1967. By most accounts, McLendon was handily defeated, but, by then, most radio stations had followed McLendon’s suggestion not to play the record.
Gary Lane left the group in 1966, and was replaced by bass guitarist Dave Burke. John Fleck (born John William Fleckenstein in Los Angeles, August 2, 1946), formerly of Love, replaced Burke in early 1967. In 1968, Dick Dodd left the band to pursue a solo career. The Standells continued to perform with a varying line-up thereafter, briefly including guitarist Lowell George who went on to play with Little Feat.