The Standells are an influential garage rock/proto-punk band with ever-changing members that became famous during the late 1960s. Formed in Los Angeles in 1962, the classic lineup consisted of lead singer and drummer Dick Dodd (October 27, 1945 - November 29, 2013), Larry Tamblyn (keyboards), Tony Valentino (guitars), and bass guitarist Gary Lane (September 18, 1938 - November 5, 2014). Dodd was a former Mouseketeer and the original drummer for The Belairs (of "Mr. Moto" fame). Tamblyn had previously recorded several solo singles beginning in the late 1950s and is the brother of actor Russ Tamblyn. Widely considered to be a main forerunner of punk rock, The Standells are best known for the raw and hard-edged yet upbeat "Dirty Water," a longtime favorite at Boston area sporting events. The band is often cited as an inspiration of such late 1970s acts as the Sex Pistols and Ramones.
The Standells debuted on the Pop/Rock charts in 1965 with the Sony Bono written and produced "The Boy Next Door," (not to be confused with the same-named 1963 hit by The Secrets). The band's fame took off in early 1966 with "Dirty Water" which reached #11 on the Billboard Hot 100. This song was written by the band's producer, Ed Cobb, after a run-in he and his girlfriend had with a mugger in Boston. This garage rock classic, which is included in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame's "500 Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll, is played after every home victory won by the Boston Red Sox, Boston Celtics, and Boston Bruins, as well as the Northeastern Huskies college hockey team. Other hits by The Standells included "Sometimes Good Guys Don't Wear White" (1966), "Why Pick On Me" (1966), and "Can't Help But Love You" (1967). The Standells had their last chart entry in 1968 with "Animal Girl."
At the height of their commercial fame, The Standells made many TV appearances that included one memorable episode of "The Munsters" in which they performed The Beatles' "I Want To Hold Your Hand." The band also appeared in the 1963 Connie Francis comedy, "Follow The Boys," the 1967 cult classic, "Riot On Sunset Strip," and several other films. Since the 1960s, The Standells have reformed several times over the years with different members and have continued to record and perform actively. The current lineup consists of original member Larry Tamblyn (co-lead vocals, keyboards) with newer members Mark Adrian (co-lead vocals, guitars), Martin Blasick (guitars), and Greg Burnham (drums).
- Larry Tamblyn describes how he came up with The Standells' group name and discusses other topics in an interview with Gary James of classicbands.com (ca. 2013).
- The New York Times remembers Standells frontman Dick Dodd.
- Ultimate Classic Rock remembers Standells bassist Gary Lane.
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- Dirty Water 1966
(This song pays tribute to Boston and the (dirty) Charles River that runs through it. It later also became a hit for the Inmates (1980).)
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