“The best garage band in America since the ’60s. Very primitive, they made people with Les Pauls and Marshall amps look like idiots.” – Jack White
The Gories began in the cultural vacuum of Detroit in 1986. With humble beginnings at a community concert series through a tumultuous end on their 1992 European tour, this is a band whose influence has far outstretched the ground they covered. Rooted in the primal, primitive underpinnings of 50’s rhythm and blues and unhinged 60s garage punk, the sound they came to was wholly their own. Over two years in the making, Third Man collectively feels like a bunch of teenage fanboys with the release of The Shaw Tapes: Live in Detroit 5/27/88. Recorded at a house party in a converted store front, the band captured here is at the height of its powers. Featuring covers of classics by the likes of John Lee Hooker, the Stooges and Willie Dixon, as well as a bevy of their oft-imitated originals, Live in Detroit 5/27/88 is the Gories’ first live album, their fourth full-length and their first widespread release since 1992. While band members Mick Collins and Dan Kroha would go on to wider recognition in the Dirtbombs and Demolition Dolls Rods respectively, the Gories should be viewed in the same influential context as the Velvet Underground and the Cramps. While they may have barely sold any records, the folks that saw and heard these bands were inspired to create. It’s high time the Gories get their due and there’s no better evidence than this explosive live recording. Available on black vinyl or CD.
A note about the title: The prefix of the Gories album (“The Shaw Tapes”) is both a nod to the Velvet Underground’s “Quine Tapes” and gives credit to the larger-than-life man behind the recording of the show, Jim Shaw. A long time supporter of underground art and music in Detroit, his influence, guidance and style were pivotal to over thirty years of creatives in metro Detroit. He was one of a handful of folks who immediately “got” what the Gories were doing and was among the dozen folks who’d attend their shows religiously. Additionally, it was his foresight to record this show (as well as countless others) that’s the inspiration for what we at Third Man hope to be an ongoing series. Jim Shaw sadly passed away on December 5, 2010 at the age of 54.