Saturday, January 21, 2006

Garage Rock Classics: Dirty Water

You would think that Dirty Water was one of the more frequently recorded songs of the garage rock era, but we could find only three versions. This is surprising, because it's a great, upbeat song about debauchery. It was written by producer Ed Cobb for the Standells. It concerns the laments of a young man who hangs out at the Charles River waterfront with "muggers and lovers and thieves." Supposedly, it was inspired by a Boston College midnight curfew for women. The Standells hated it at first, and the song languished for six months before it shot to #11 in 1966. Ironically, the unofficial anthem of Boston was made famous by a band from Los Angeles.


The Apollos, from Falls Church, VA, recorded Dirty Water shortly after The Standells did for a battle of the bands against San Antonio's Outcasts and Long Island's Stingrays. Britain's Inmates remade the song in 1979, changing the location to London and the river to the Thames.


Has this song ever been recorded by a Boston band?


The Standells - Dirty Water

The Apollos - Dirty Water

The Inmates - Dirty Water


Are there any other versions?


4 Comments:

In the late 70s a Boston band called "The Lyres" did a cover of Dirty Water on their LP "Lyres on Fire".

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:56 AM  

I remember The Lyres. Great band. I'll look for it.

By Blogger MadCatJoey, at 9:11 AM  

Boston band Dropkick Murphys recorded it (on their Live on St Patrick's Day album). Plus, I have a cover by Belgian band De Kreuners, in Dutch, called Vuil Water. I've emailed that one to you.

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