"Have you heard of this record?" Ken Friedman, creator of the legendary Tobacco A Go Go series of 1960s NC Garage Rock, emailed me that question one Sunday morning, as I was finishing up work on the first edition of our book. To that point, I had largely struck out on information on bands from the Western NC area.
To my astonishment, searching out the record that Ken asked about led me to the motherlode that I had been looking for. The Satyrs were one of the most popular bands in Asheville during the 1960s. In the winter of 1965, the band spent an evening at a local department store, making a crude recording of two of their songs, "Don't Be Surprised" and "Blue Blue World".
Decades later, the bandmembers discovered that the single had not only reached people beyond Asheville, but that the single had been put on various compilations. When Miles Britton and Mountain Xpress Magazine began his seven-part series on Asheville bands of the 1960s, the Satyrs were part one, and deservedly so. These articles are remarkable for how much they document an amazing, albeit brief time in the musical history in Asheville. More cities and newspapers need to be doing things like this.
It has also come to light recently that the Satyrs recorded eight songs at Mark V Studios in Greenville, SC in 1966, and that the recordings had been found. In hearing these recordings, I can honestly tell you that these are some of the best recordings from that era that I've heard in some time, and I really hope that these songs find their way to the public soon.
For now, enjoy the original Satyrs 45, which sparkles with youthful energy and Rock & Roll glory. You can also find a link to the Mountain Xpress articles via this page. Will our second edition of the book feature more information on bands like the Satyrs? Don't be surprised.
March 6, 2014