A few weeks ago, we posted some cover versions of Gloria. So we got to thinking. There are some songs that were recorded by nearly everyone in the 60's, mainly because they're easy to play and most groups didn't have much of a repertoire. Some were blues standards, others mainstream pop, and others still that were garage from the getgo. Here's the first in a series of Garage Rock Classics.
Hey Joe, like Gloria, is one of the quintessential songs that any self-respecting garage band knew. It tells a simple story: boy finds out girl is cheatin', boy shoots girl, boy flees to Mexico. It sounds like an old blues number, but in reality it was written by a West Coast singer-songwriter named Billy Roberts. The Leaves were the first band to record it (although some say it was the Surfaris). Others quickly followed, and it became a staple for bands worldwide.
Hey Joe is so big, in fact, that an entire website is devoted to it. According to heyjoe.org. there are over 1,000 recorded versions. Surf on over there and find out more than you ever thought possible about one song.
Here are a half dozen versions, including the better known ones from The Leaves and Jimi Hendrix, a long, trippy outing from Fever tree, two live recordings from Outcasts and The Kreeg, and an extremely eccentric French version from Johnny Hallyday.
The Leaves - Hey Joe Jimi Hendrix - Hey Joe Johnny Hallyday - Hey Joe Outcasts - Hey Joe (Live) Fever Tree - Hey Joe The Kreeg - Hey Joe (Live)
Here's a shout out to Cidadelic Records for releasing several excellent comps of regional band scenes of the '60s.
Thanks for the tunes. Had to dig into the index and change mpg to mp3 to download.
By 5:38 AM, at
Oops. Sorry about that. It's fixed.
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