Nuggets: Original Artyfacts from the First Psychedelic Era, the compilation of 1960s garage rock assembled by Jac Holzman, founder of Elektra Records, and Lenny Kaye (later of the Patti Smith Group), first released in 1972, is still a cause célèbre. If not for Nuggets, would people flock to hear Jonathan Toubin spin wild soul 45s at Brooklyn Bowl? If Mick Collins never heard the singles featured on the compilation by bands like The Seeds and Count Five, would he have even started The Gories, let alone agreed to play a reunion show with them a few hours before Toubin’s insane dance party (which Collins is guest DJing at), also at Brooklyn Bowl? If you didn’t have Nuggets, you might not have the Black Lips, King Khan, Ty Segall, and at least a quarter of all bands ever awarded “Best New Music” by Pitchfork. Punk rock might have never even happened if not for a handful of outcasts digging the Electric Prunes, thanks to the most important rock and roll compilation ever put out.
Even though Nuggets is perfect track for track, if you were to go back and listen to the full-lengths of some of the bands featured on the album, you might not be as impressed. Sure, 13th Floor Elevators did no wrong (except take too much LSD), and Ted Nugent’s pre-The Nudge band, The Amboy Dukes, were a great Detroit rock band (not as great as the MC5 or Stooges, but still really good), but a lot of the bands on Nuggets were one-hit wonders that didn’t offer much else.
Boston band The Remains, whose song “Don’t Look Back” is one of the standouts on an album full of near-perfect songs, might be best known as one of the opening bands for The Beatles’ last tour in 1966, but the self-titled LP they also released that year (that includes the song on Nuggets) is a garage rock masterpiece. This Friday at The Bell House, The Remains take the stage once again,with second-wave garage rock stalwarts the A-Bones opening things up. You will be hard-pressed to find a younger band capable of pulling off fuzzed-out rippers the way these garage rock icons can.