IT MIGHT BE one of garage rock’s keystones, but The Sonics – and the father of two members of the band – weren’t initially impressed with their recording of The Witch. The emergence of the pioneering Seattle band is examined in MOJO ’60s, our deluxe standalone magazine, out now. In a series of new interviews, the group reveal that although it went on to sell 20,000 copies within six months of its creation there were big reservations about the iconic single.
“Their father was very, very upset,” John ‘Buck’ Ormsby – whose Etiquette Records released the song – tells MOJO’s Lois Wilson. “Andy and Larry [Parypa, Sonics guitarist and bassist] had played him the record and he didn’t think this was the way to make his sons stars. I said, Give it some time, but he didn’t believe me. Neither did the band.”
Speaking in MOJO ’60s, Sonics saxophonist Rob Lind admits he was similarly un-enchanted by The Witch.
“We’d gone in wanting to be the nasty boys,” he remembers. “To rock’n’roll hard and make as much noise as possible. But we were so nervous, and when we heard the record we all thought we’d blown our chances… We hated it.”
However time proved Ormsby right and the track quickly gained cult status in the 1960s garage rock community.
“Then of course, we thought it might not be so bad after all,” chuckles Lind today.
Get MOJO ’60s for the full story of The Sonics’ emergence, The Witch’s genesis and the rise of garage rock.
Also in the issue: Bob Dylan, John Coltrane, The Beatles, Pink Floyd, Jimi Hendrix, The Beatles, Sam Cooke and more.
Now here’s The Witch.
PHOTO: Courtesy of The Sonics