Gonn - The Loudest Band in Town 12"
Always listen to your mother. After coming together as The Pagans in Keokuk, Iowa, lead guitarist Rex Garrett’s mother objected to the band's name. To placate Mrs. Garrett, the band conferred and came up with a new name, GONN. The band liked the name for at least two reasons: it was a trippy variation on “gone” and with its all-caps, double end letter structure, it was similar to the name of a band they greatly admired, MADD, from nearby Ottumwa. Name sorted, the band woodshedded earnestly, honing a stiletto-sharp, fuzz-laden instrumental assault topped with bandleader Craig Moore’s larynx-shredding vocals. They duly covered “Gloria,,” the Kinks’ “I Need You,” Love’s “Signed, D.C.” and other select songs of the day. Along the way, they picked up a reputation as “the loudest band in town,” because, well, they were.
Signed to Burlington, Iowa label Emir Records in 1966, GONN’s debut single was the intense and mystifying “Blackout of Gretely.” The song, written by Garrett and Moore, was inspired by the 1942 mystery novel by J.B. Priestly, The Blackout at Gretely. With healthy bits of musical DNA from the Count Five, the Standells and the Rolling Stones, the single, of which only 600 copies were initially pressed, has been recognized as one of the “top ten garage-psych singles of all time” by MOJO Magazine. Reportedly, its long 4:29 running time kept it off of Lenny Kaye’s seminal Nuggets collection in 1972, but its fame has subsequently spread worldwide. The group recorded an equally voracious follow-up single, “Doin’ Me In,” but it remained unreleased for over two decades. The group carried on with various lineups before disbanding in 1969.
Though they never released an album during their heyday, BeatRocket has collected 14 of their most ferocious tracks for The Loudest Band in Town. Sourced from the original analog mono master tapes, it’s a dynamic collection of outrageous originals and crunchy covers. Speaking of covers, their version of “Hey Joe” just may be the wildest on wax! Put this album on at your next party and watch the dance floor get real, real GONN!