Question Mark & The Mysterians (a.k.a. ? & The Mysterians) are an influential Latino garage rock band with an ever-changing lineup that became famous during the late 1960s. Formed in 1962 in Michigan's Saginaw/Bay City area, the band began as a mostly-instrumental trio consisting of Larry Borjas (guitar), Robert Martinez (drums), and Bobby Balderrama (lead guitar). Soon after, the band added an organist, Frank Rodriguez, and a lead vocalist who goes by the name of Question Mark (or ?). An eccentric performer who claimed he was from Mars and had walked among the dinosaurs, Question Mark never appears in public without his trademark wraparound sunglasses, and his true identity remains shrouded in mystery to this day (although the general consensus is that he is most likely Rudy Martinez, Robert Martinez's brother). Prior to recording the hit version of their best known song, "96 Tears," Question Mark & The Mysterians had a number of other notable personnel changes. In early 1966, Larry Bojas and Robert Martinez both received draft notices and were forced to leave the band, and Eddie Serrato (December 5, 1945 - February 24, 2011) and Frank Lugo came on board soon after as replacements.
Question Mark & The Mysterians made their debut on the Pop/Rock charts later in 1966 with the chart-topping "96 Tears," an organ-driven garage band classic that many consider to be a forerunner to punk rock. This song, which was written by Question Mark (Rudy Martinez), became gold certified in late 1966 and is ranked at #213 in Rolling Stone's list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. The band then had several other hits that included "I Need Somebody" (1966), which became a Top 40 hit, plus "Can't Get Enough Of You, Baby" (1967) and "Girl (You Captivate Me)" (1967).
Question Mark & The Mysterians disbanded in 1969 but reunited shortly thereafter with a new lineup. The band continued to perform and record over the years, with some personnel changes along the way. The original band members reunite occasionally for reunion concerts, and Question Mark has continued to remain active in the music business.
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? (Question Mark) And The Mysterians
- 96 Tears 1966
(This garage band classic topped the charts and later also became a hit for Big Maybelle (1967) and Garland Jeffreys (1981).)
- I Need Somebody 1966
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