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Los Angeles, California, United States | Established. Jan 01, 1966 | MAJOR

Los Angeles, California, United States | MAJOR
Established on Jan, 1966
Band Rock Punk





Ponderosa Stomp, New Orleans, Louisiana, October 2013

The Standells impressed me last night even more than they did when they first twisted my head off when I was in 7th grade. Is there anyone around my age who doesn't remember "Dirty Water" or, my favorite, "Sometimes Good Guys Don't Wear White.”

All too often when you hear old bands play their old songs from decades past, it's sad and cheesy. But these Standells aren't ready for the casino circuit, and hopefully they never will be. They play like they could start a real riot on Sunset Strip. - Steven W. Terrell (Music) Web Log


Legendary garage rockers The Standells, led by original singer-keyboardist Larry Tamblyn, headlined the Adams Avenue Street Fair in San Diego. The Godfathers of Punk Rock didn’t disappoint. They tore it up. - Pasadena Star News

"The Standells at the Adams Avenue Street Fair September 28"

The band was solid throughout the show. The hits were reproduced faithfully and with exuberance. The best sounding material was the new stuff as recorded by the current roster. It was nice to hear the hits but it was clear from this show that the Standells are not a band looking to just recreate past glories, they are a band looking to create new ones. - San Diego Reader

"The Standells - The Satellite"

Although it's easy to erroneously associate savage, stomping garage-rock innovators The Standells with Boston (thanks to their 1966 hit "Dirty Water"), make no mistake, these guys were puro Los Angeles, a shaggy gaggle of take-no-prisoners, rock & roll beasts who, via an engagement as house band at Sunset Boulevard club PJ's, established themselves as one of the town's earliest, key big-beat insurgents. Bearing a set list studded with eager, epochal, overstimulated classics -- the sublimely sneering realism of their much-covered "Good Guys Don't Wear White," the hopped-up war cry of "Riot on the Sunset Strip," the erotomaniacal allure of "Try It" -- The Standells always traded in a penetrating mix of biting proto-punk and a liberated, high-altitude approach that's relentlessly arresting. This rates as a homegrown rock & roll summit of mind-altering proportions. - LA Weekly

"GZO: SXSW Day Five"

The Standells, yes, those Standells, have a new record coming out and they did a few songs from it during their Buffalo Billiards set. But the fun came with the garage nuggets “Riot on Sunset Strip,’ “Good Guys Don’t Wear White” and the classic “Dirty Water.”?? - Lincoln Star Journal, March 18, 2012

"Clash @ SXSW 2012 – Day Five"

We then head back to one of our favourite hang outs, Buffalo Billiards for some grub and to see old punks The Standells. For saying they must all be in their sixties, they look good and they're clearly having a blast. -, March 19, 2012

"A Million Miles Away: Billy Altman's SXSW 2012 Diary Wrap-up?"

By nightfall, all roads inevitably led back to East Sixth Street, where over the course of the evening's endless club crawling I witnessed the following highlights: ‘60s garage rockers the Standells at Buffalo Billiards snarling their way through their banned-in-Boston classic “Dirty Water” and their banned-everywhere illegal substance-promoting ditty “Try It.”? - Sound Vision Magazine, March 19, 2012

"David Chase Hits Nostalgic Notes in Not Fade Away"

“When Doug finds his voice, it comes completely unexpected. He doesn’t have great pipes, but his nasal, gravelly tone is a perfect 1960s garage band voice, soulful but limited, as unpolished as any Stones wanna be of the time and kind of reminiscent of the Standells.” -, January 2013

"Ahh, but they're cool people"

"Unlike most of their peers in the '60s garage rock scene, the Standells continue to play blistering sets today." - Grand Junction Free Press, June 22, 2011

"Steve Smith: Van Halen manager: 'What Euro tour? Prince closes SXSW with six-encore gig"

Classic acts from the '50 s, '60 s and '70 s continue to perform. Here's what one of them is doing.
In the pantheon of garage rock bands, The Standells are in the holy of holies. Formed in Los Angeles in 1962 by lead singer-keyboardist Larry Tamblin, the band is best known for three 1966 singles, "Sometimes Good Guys Don't Wear White," "Why Pick On Me" and their biggie, "Dirty Water."
Even though "Sometimes Good Guys Don't Wear White," and "Why Pick On Me" didn't chart well, No.'s 43 and 54, respectively, the two records did receive substantial AM radio play, and remain beloved of garage rock fans.
Another 45, "Riot on the Sunset Strip," the title song to the 1967 American International drive-in flick, is considered a garage band cult classic. A 1967 single, "Try It" was banned by many radio stations because of its perceived sexually suggestive lyrics and that killed any chance it may have had of becoming a hit, but for a good week or two, "Try It" also received solid AM radio airplay.
"Dirty Water" became a major hit, reaching No. 11 on Billboard's Hot 100. The song was a tongue-in-cheek tribute to the city of Boston, and since then has been adopted by several Boston teams, including the Patriots, the Bruins, the Celtics and the Red Sox, who play it after home victories. It is listed in The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's "500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll."
Hollywood discovered The Standells early on. In 1964, they appeared in the 1964 teen film, "Get Yourself a College Girl," starring Mary Ann Mobley, Chad Everett and Nancy Sinatra that also featured The Animals, The Dave Clark Five and jazz saxman Stan Getz. That year, they also appeared on "The Munsters" in an episode that still airs. On the show, they didn't perform any of their own songs, but rather with Beatlemania in full swing, they did "I Want to Hold Your Hand" and, here it comes, "Come On and Ringo." In 1965, they performed the title song for the comedy, "Zebra in the Kitchen," starring Jay "Dennis the Menace" North, Martin Milner, Andy Devine and Jayne Meadows.
Through the decades, The Standells have performed rare gigs on and off.
Last year, among the group's handful of concerts was a well-received show at the SXSW festival in Austin. At various times its members included Little Feat leader Lowell George and drummer Gary Leeds, who left the band and became Gary Walker of The Walker Brothers.
Original and long-time members Tamblyn, drummer Dick Dodd and former Love bassist John Fleckenstein, are still with the group today. The Standells will appear at the 12 th annual Ponderosa Stomp in New Orleans, Oct. 4-5, according to the event's website and The Standells Facebook page.
- Pasadena Star News, March 21, 2013


The band played what can only be described as a blinder of a set which included “Dirty Water”, “Sometimes Good Guys Don’t Wear White” , “Mr Nobody” and a great cover of “Hey Joe, Where You Gonna Go.”

As they finished their set, they left the stage to calls for more, and then Gary Leeds (the Standells original drummer, and later of Walker Brothers fame) came on stage to bring the guys back for an encore.

The audience completely loved it and we were just as thrilled to see their first ever UK show. The timelessness of this music was shown by the age range of the audience. From young students to the band’s peers, and everyone getting off on it.
- Minty and the Beeb go Gigging, June 19, 2010

"The Standells: From the Sunset Strip to Adams Avenue"

“A riveting (concert).” - San Diego Troupadour, September 1, 2013

"My love letter to Boston"

“Boston is the Standells singing "Dirty Water," now the city's all-purpose sports anthem. It celebrates the Charles River before it was cleaned with a little help from Tip O'Neill and Ted Kennedy. I most associate the song with Red Sox victories at Fenway and played it in my car the other night. I started to cry.”
- E.J. Dionne
- Washington Post April 21, 2013

"I love that dirty water ... and everything else about Boston"

“A lot of people associate the Neil Diamond song "Sweet Caroline" with the Boston Red Sox (at least those people unconnected to Pitt), and they think of it as a Boston theme song. I've never been a huge fan of that song, to be perfectly honest, and it doesn't really say anything about Boston itself.
To me, the truest anthem of Boston is The Standells' 1966 song "Dirty Water" (you may recall Boston Harbor hasn't always been the cleanest body of water, hence the song's title), which has the line: "I love that dirty water ... Boston, you're my home."
Despite its flaws, its faults, its inability to pronounce the 18th letter of the alphabet properly, I love that dirty water, that hard-edged friendliness, that devotion to the Red Sox, the open-armed welcome I always receive whenever I return. My heart aches for my hometown, but I know it's going to be OK. I'll be at next year's marathon, whatever it looks like, because now, I can't stay away.
I love that dirty water ... awww, Boston, you're my home.”
- Pittsburg Post-Gazette April 20, 2013


Still working on that hot first release.



The Standells are considered by many to be the godfathers of garage punk rock. The group was formed in the 1960s by keyboardist and lead vocalist Larry Tamblyn. Their first hit single Dirty Water was produced by Ed Cobb for Tower Records, "Dirty Water", reached  #11 on the Billboard charts, #8 in Cashbox, and #1 in Record World.  Other chart records include "Sometimes Good Guys Don't Wear White", "Why Pick On Me," and "Riot On Sunset Strip," which is featured as the kick-off song Grammy-nominated Where the Action Is, a Rhino Records boxed CD set. Dirty Water is listed in the Rock Hall of Fame as one of the 500 songs that shaped Rock & Roll.


Prior to their success on Tower Records, the group was signed by Liberty Records and issued an album "The Standells In Person At P.J.'s" in 1964 (later re-released as The Standells Live and Out of Sight). After having no success with Liberty, they signed with Vee Jay in 1965 for two singles, one of which was produced by Sonny Bono of Sonny & Cher. Cher did backup vocals on The Boy Next Door.


The group appeared in several movies, including Get Yourself a College Girl, performing their first Liberty recording The Shake, and  Riot on Sunset Strip, performing the films title song.  The Standells also frequently appeared on television. The Group guest starred as themselves in an episode of the The Munsters. They were also featured in an installment of The Bing Crosby Show, and as a nightclub band on an episode of Ben Casey. In addition to TV shows like Shindig, American Bandstand and  Where the Action is, they were featured on Art Linkletter's House Party, debating broadcasting mogul Gordon McLendon who banned their recording Try It.  McLendon deemed the songs lyrics to be obscene.  (By all accounts, the Standells defeated him pretty handily.)


"Dirty Water" is played after every home victory won by the Boston Red Sox, Boston Celtics, and Boston Bruins as well as at Northeastern Huskies' hockey games. One would be hard-put to find either a sports fan or rock music lover in Massachusetts who had never heard of the Standells. The Massachusetts General Court has adopted Dirty Water as the unofficial victory anthem of the Boston Red Sox The group has been regular guests of the Red Sox, including Game 2 of the 2004 World Series, 2007 ACLS championship, and most recently at Game 6 of the 2013 World Series.


The Standells have continued to actively perform throughout the world. Their recent concert performances have been receiving rave reviews . They have just released their first new album in over 45 years. Bump has been garnering  high praise from music critics. The group consists of original members Larry Tamblyn (lead singer & keyboard), John Fleck (bassist), plus Mark Adrian (co-lead singer & guitar) and drummer Greg Burnham.

Band Members