Any travel is full of the unexpected, I suppose. It comes with traversing unfamiliar terrain. But my recent jaunt to the Pacific Northwest brought an especially jarring moment, although certainly not an unpleasant one.
While walking past one of the many makeshift kiosks wallpapers with club fliers, a familiar band name jumped out at me. It wasn’t some flannel-clad band of scruffy misfits I associated with my college radio years — that certainly would have been understandable given I was in the geographic corner of the nation that came to dominate left of the dial playlists when I was helping run a broadcast outlet between bouts undergraduate coursework. Instead, it was a group of garage rock grandmasters I happily remembered from my time living in the dirty ol’ south.
It was a friend of mine who resided below the Mason-Dixon line who first told me about the Woggles, and it was my partner-in-all-things who saw them first, insisting that we take any opportunity to see them live that was afforded us. The more the venue could claim to be a dive bar the better. The Woggles were a band that dependably –to borrow a favorite phrase from David Letterman — blew the roof off the dump any time they plugged in their amps.
We didn’t see them nearly as much as I would have liked, in part because our time in the prime touring area corresponded with the untimely passing of George Montague Holton, III, their ferocious guitarist. Understandably, the sad turn of events slowed down the band for a bit.
I hadn’t thought of them in years. And then there they were, their name emblazoned across a weather-worn sheet of paper, promising that they were still fighting the rock ‘n’ roll good fight. The show promoted took place after I would embark on a plane for home — it’s tomorrow night, in fact — but the possibility of seeing the Woggles again burst forth to me, like a cloud suddenly unleashing a heavy torrent of rain. The band is playing in my neck of the great north woods before the end of the summer. I might need to make some plans.
Listen or download –> The Woggles, “Get Tough”
(Disclaimer: Not only are the Woggles still a going concern, but they have wisely taken charge of their own commerce, it seems. I believe Get Tough! is out of print as an item that can be easily procured from your favorite local, independently-owned record store, but it is available on the Woggles’ bandcamp page. Given that fact, today’s entry is meant as a mere sample and enticement to go and add some fantabulous garage rock to your personal collection. Even though I mean to encourage and not impede compensation for the band, I will gladly and promptly remove this file from my little corner of the digital world if asked to do so by any individual or entity with due authority to make such a request.)