Before he became Patti Smith’s lead guitarist, 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 96: One Track Mind by The Knickerbockers
Release Date: 1966
From: Bergenfield, New Jersey
Aphoristical Rating: 7/10
The Beatles were formative for a lot of bands on Nuggets, but it’s more explicit for The Knickerbockers than most. Beau and John Charles were brothers, originally with the last name Cecchino, who formed a band in 1962. Buddy Randell joined in 1964 – he’d previously played with the Royal Teens, famous for 1958’s ‘Short Shorts’. Randell’s uncanny vocal similarity to John Lennon meant that 1965’s ‘Lies’ was often used to fool people into believing it was a long-lost Beatles track.
‘One Track Mind’ is another Beatles soundalike track. It didn’t match the success of ‘Lies’, only charting at #46 rather than #20. It’s not quite as sharp as its predecessor, but it’s another worthy slice of Beatles imitation.
The Knickerbockers’ career faded as their chart placements fell, perhaps not interested in adapting to psychedelia. They made two albums in the 1960s but they barely boast any originals, padded out with covers from The Zombies and The Kinks. The Charles brothers later started a country-rock band named Lodi (wonder where they got that name from?), but split in 1972 after one album.