Friday, September 9, 2011

Psychedelic Rock at its most insane: "psychotic Reaction"

If you want to know who to thank or blame for the explosion of punk rock 1970, start with five count. While "psychotic Reaction" score five has been derided as an imitation of the Yardbirds, the Rolling Stones and other groups, has been praised as a classic example of psychedelic rock and a forerunner of punk rock and garage. What is undeniable is fresh, exciting sound of 1966 hit for the band's debut San Jose, California.

Count five (leave out the "a") were five teenagers, some still in school, formed in 1964. The band was rejected by seven labels before that newly formed label Double Shot signed them. Vocalist John "Sean" Byrne played guitar and wrote "psychotic Reaction", Although the rest of the band shared writing credit: guitarist John "Mouse" Michalski, harmonica player Kenn Ellner, Roy Chaney on bass and Craig "Butch" Atkinson on drums. "Psychotic reaction" was performed without lyrics for six months until the father of Ellner Sun, the band's Manager suggested that Byrne put words to music.

The title of the song was idealized during a lecture on psychosis and neurosis in the San Jose City College when a friend of Byrne whispered, "you know what would be a great name for a song? Psychotic reaction "!

"I had this song my head," recalled Byrne. "The lyrics, melody, everything-but that was the missing punch line!"

The fuzz tone growling by guitarist Michalski has been criticized as a theft of the iconic sound of the Rolling Stones ' "satisfaction", but is most memorable guitar break that follows. When Byrne sings (or cries), midway "and who feels that!" across the runway, Michalski takes the signs to demonstrate on guitar would sound like a psychotic episode.

What follows is a cacophony of guitar effects that extended the capabilities of the amplifiers of the day while defining psychedelic rock. Fans of Yardbirds may recognize similarities to the rave-up from the British group of 1965 "I'm a man", but Byrne maintained very Yardbirds weren't an influence.

"Psychotic reaction" peaked at # 5 on Billboard in 1966. The band toured with the Beach Boys, the Byrds and Dave Clark Five, but was never able to repeat his success on the charts; Five count was honored by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a One Hit Wonder. The band's career was short-circuited when some of its members refused a million dollars in reserves to return to school to expand its education and recalled Michalski, stay out of the project.

Lee Jensen, author of Rockaeology, discover the secrets behind the writing, recording and production of the great successes of rock, soul, Doo-Wop, the British invasion and Rhythm & Blues. Get the stories behind the songs on


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