(l to r: Original Sonics Rob Lind, Larry Parypa and Jerry Roslie)
Throughout the first night of Cavestomp 2007, total strangers would approach us simply to express some variation of this sentiment: "I can't believe we're here to see The Sonics!"
There was a strong current of "pinch-me-I'm-dreaming" drifting through the ether. For the past 35 years, the band has resisted all overtures to reform... But tonight was the night.
And, holy shit, The Sonics delivered.
The band rehearsed anywhere from six to eight months (depending on what you read) for just these two shows, and the effort truly showed. We at Radio Zero hate hyperbole, but for those who worship at the altar of garage rock gods, this concert was nothing short of witnessing a second coming.
Original members Jerry Roslie, Larry Parypa and Rob Lind were ably augmented by two other Northwest garage rockers -- bassist Don Wilhelm (from The Daily Flash) and drummer Ricky Lynn Johnson (from The Wailers.) Wilhelm told us that original bassist Andy Parypa (Larry's brother), was actually sitting in at a Daily Flash gig back home that very evening, so Wilhelm could play with The Sonics. Oooh, the eerie synchronicity! And original drummer Bob Bennett flew in from Hawaii just so he could be in the audience, though he did not play.
Bennett was not the only one with serious jet lag -- people actually flew in from as far away as England and Japan to witness this event. For those unable to attend, there will be a DVD and live album (the band is recording overdubs tomorrow, in fact.)
And for those unable to wait that long, we shot some footage of the moment that 35-year sound barrier was broken. (As Cavestompers like to say: "It's primitive." But just you try holding a camera still when nearly four decades of pent-up ecstacy finally gets unleashed all around you.)
There are no plans for The Sonics to perform beyond these two Cavestomp shows, but Larry Parypa says future shows would be considered if, among other things, there is enough positive feedback from these performances.
Well, we can't imagine The Sonics aren't feelin' the love right about now.