Nuggets: Bad Girl by The Zakary Thaks

Before he became Patti Smith’s bass player, Lenny Kaye compiled the 2 album set, Nuggets: Original Artyfacts from the First Psychedelic Era. Released in 1972, the two-LP set covered American garage rock and psychedelia from the years from 1965-1968, and was a major influence on punk rock. Rhino Records reissued an expanded version of the set in 1998, with 118 tracks in total. I’m profiling and rating each of these 118 tracks, working backwards.

Track 115: Bad Girl by The Zakary Thaks
Release Date: 1966
From: Corpus Christi, Texas
Aphoristical Rating: 8/10

From the coastal Texas city of Corpus Christi, The Zakary Thaks released a handful of singles in the mid 1960s. Lead singer Chris Gerniottis took their name from the letters section of a teen magazine, on the basis that it sounded British. Gerniottis was only 15 years old when the group recorded ‘Bad Girl’. It was a regional hit in Texas, and it’s notable as one of the most abrasive songs on Nuggets. The group take the raw sound of the early Kinks and speed it up, resulting in something that resembles punk, a little like The Ramones or very early Joy Division.

And indeed it was. “Bad Girl” by The Zakary Thaks is a high-speed, chord-driven doop-chick doop-chick hardcore punk song from 1966. Guitar distortion wasn’t quite worth its weight in snuff at that point in time, but you play that song today with today’s modern distortion pedal and see how many old people let you into their party! (Four — all former members of the Zakary Thaks).

Mark Prindle,

The Zakary Thaks’ recording career never developed beyond a few singles and regional hits. They opened for several notable acts including Jefferson Airplane, who had to borrow The Zakary Thaks’ equipment after theirs was stolen at San Antonio airport. They also supported The Yardbirds in their last ever gig with Jimmy Page and Jeff Beck both in the band. It’s unlikely but plausible that they may have also inspired a popular New Zealand children’s book.

Read More


    • Thanks for listening – Max pointed out that I forgot the video. Most of the bands from Nuggets are relative obscure regional acts – just a few relatively famous ones like The Kingsmen and Paul Revere & the Raiders.

      • They were a few more bands besides Kingsmen and Paul Revere on Nuggets that got relatively famously, mostly because they had national hits. I’ll tell you which ones on nuggets were Top 40 hits cuz I know this. Some were actually HUGE hits.
        Electric Prunes – Too Much to Dream Last Nite
        Syndicate of Sound – Little Girl
        Music Explosion- Little Bit of Soul
        Beau Brummels – Laugh Laugh
        Swinging Medallion- Double Shot
        Sir Douglas Quintet – Shes About a Mover
        Sam the Sham – Wooly Bully
        Music Machine- Talk Talk
        Human Beinz – Nobody But Me
        Blues Magoos – Tobacco Road
        Knickerbockers – Lies
        Outsiders – Time Won’t Let Me
        Strangeloves – I want Candy
        Count Five – Psychotic Reaction
        Amboy Dukes – Journey to Center of your Mind
        Paul Revere – Just Like Me
        All FANTASTIC.

  1. Graham am I just missing it or do you not have the song on here to listen to? No big deal but I’m wondering if I just missed it? No big deal I looked it up and I also found a live video of them…really cool straight ahead rock and roll.
    I can hear the Ramones mixed in with the song “Shout”…that groove. I like it a lot. I don’t think I’m going to dislike any of these…and it’s not like these songs are identical to each other…different styles but raw rock/punk and some surfer type in a few.

    • Oops – I just added the video in now. It’s been a busy week and I got distracted. I think this will shake out as one of my favourites, at least from the fourth disc. I like stuff that draws from early Kinks.

      • It’s fine…I thought I was missing it…so that really makes me feel better. When I saw the live video…it’s hard to believe they were that young.
        So far it’s more variety than I thought it would be. Yes some were edging toward punk like this one but they are different.

          • I guess it was the style back then…the longer hair…he didn’t look that young. Very good voice for that style regardless of age…but 15 makes it more interesting.

  2. This is one of the few garage rock songs that really has that actual punk rock beat that everyone used during the punk rock and hardcore era later on. The guitars are all different though. This is a pretty good one. I forgot how many good tracks are toward the end of the album. I always think of it as having all the best ones on the first half of the album. Probably because I’m more used to the shorter 2 disc version. Idk.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: