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, http://markprindle.com/zakarythaks.htm
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.