The Standells  

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"The Cramps's sound was heavily influenced by Sun Records rockabilly and proto-rock'n'roll like Link Wray and Hasil Adkins, 1960s surf music acts such as The Ventures and Dick Dale, 1960s garage rock artists like The Standells, The Gants, The Trashmen, Green Fuz and The Sonics, as well as the post-glam/early punk scene from which they emerged. Production-wise they were influenced by Alex Chilton. Their influences and/or the songs they covered were compiled in the Born Bad series."--Sholem Stein

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The Standells were a 1960's garage rock band from Los Angeles, California.


The band was formed in 1962 by guitarist Tony Valentino and organist Larry Tamblyn. After the addition of vocalist & drummer Dick Dodd and bassist Gary Lane, The Standells' had their first hit single with "Dirty Water," which reached #11 on the Billboard charts on June 11, 1966.

Other popular tracks included "Sometimes Good Guys Don't Wear White" (later covered by Washington, D.C. hardcore band Minor Threat and Swedish garage band The Nomads), "Why Pick On Me," "Riot On Sunset Strip," and "Try It."

Earlier in the 60's, Dick Dodd was the original drummer for The Bel-Airs, known for the hit surf rock song "Mr. Moto". Dodd is also a former Mouseketeer. Larry Tamblyn is the brother of actor Russ Tamblyn and uncle of Amber Tamblyn, star of "Joan of Arcadia". Lowell George, who would go on to play with Little Feat, briefly played guitar in The Standells prior to their breakup in 1968. Gary Walker, later of The Walker Brothers, was also a member of the band.

Prior to their success on the Capitol Records label Tower, they were signed by Liberty and issued an album "The Standells In Person At P.J.'s" in 1964. After having no success with Liberty they recorded one single for Linda Records, then signed to Vee Jay in 1965 for two singles and to MGM for one single. When they signed to Capitol, their first single on Tower was "Dirty Water", which became a hit.

The group appeared in several low budget films of the 1960's, including Get Yourself a College Girl and Riot on Sunset Strip. The Standells also made an appearance on the television sitcom The Munsters in the episode "Far Out Munster," wherein the band performed "Come On and Ringo" and a version of The Beatles' "I Want to Hold Your Hand."

Despite the references to Boston and the Charles River in "Dirty Water," The Standells are not from Massachusetts. "Dirty Water" was actually written by record producer, Ed Cobb. Nevertheless, "Dirty Water" is still played after every home victory won by the Boston Red Sox, Boston Celtics, and Boston Bruins.

In 1999, the original band members got together for a live show at the Cavestomp festival, and their performance was subsequently released as an album called Ban This!

The band continues to play shows occasionally, having performed at the second game of the 2004 World Series as well as the first game of the 2007 American League Division Series at Fenway Park.


  • Dirty Water 1966
  • Why Pick On Me 1966
  • Sometimes Good Guys Don't Wear White 1966
  • Hot Ones 1967
  • Try It 1967
  • Riot on Sunset Strip 1967
  • Rarities 1984
  • Recorded live at PJ's San Francisco 1964, 1990
  • Ban This! (1999 live recordings) 2000
  • The Live Ones (1967 live recordings) 2001

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "The Standells" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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