The Standells Biography

Tony Valentino (guitar/vocals) and Larry Tamblyn (organ) formed the Standells in 1962. The early line-up included drummer Gary Leeds (3 September 1944, Glendale, California, USA), who later found fame in the Walker Brothers, Gary Lane (bass) and former Mousketeer Dick Dodd (drums). The quartet became a leading teen-based attraction in plush Los Angeles nightspots. This conformist image was shattered on their association with producer Ed Cobb, who fashioned a series of angst-cum-protest punk anthems in ‘Sometimes Good Guys Don’t Wear White’, ‘Why Pick On Me’ and the exceptional ‘Dirty Water’, a US number 11 hit in 1966. The same year, Gary Lane left the band during a tour of Florida. He was succeeded by Dave Burke, who in turn was replaced the following year by John Fleck (né Fleckenstein). The latter, who co-wrote ‘Can’t Explain’ on Love’s debut album, went on to become a leading cinematographer. The Standells also appeared in 1967’s exploitation movie, Riot On Sunset Strip, but by this time their career was waning. Unfashionable in the face of San Francisco’s acid-rock, the band’s career was confined to the cabaret circuit as original members drifted away. Lowell George (b. Lowell Thomas George, 13 April 1945, Hollywood, California, USA, d. 29 June 1979, Arlington, Virginia, USA), later of Frank Zappa’s Mothers Of Invention and Little Feat, briefly joined their ranks, but by 1970 the Standells had become an oldies attraction. Several members re-formed in 1999 for a live show at the Cavestomp festival, later released as Ban This!

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

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