Garages are often associated with forgotten clutter and neglected belongings, but for some bands, they served as the birthplace of their musical careers. These iconic groups began their journeys in humble garages, where their music took shape and their dreams started to unfold.
Before the Ramones became punk rock pioneers, they were a group of New York City punks honing their skills in a Queens garage. Johnny Ramone (originally John Cummings) and Tommy Ramone (originally Thomas Erdelyi) started performing together in a garage band during their high school years. They later recruited Dee Dee Ramone (Douglas Colvin) and Joey Ramone (Jeff Hyman), solidifying the lineup of the Ramones. The band maintained their energetic and free-spirited style, which was rooted in their garage days.
Tommy James and the Shondells
While Tommy James and the Shondells had a more polished sound than the Ramones, their beginnings were equally humble. At the age of 12, frontman Tommy James assembled a band that would eventually evolve into the Shondells. Their music came to life in a garage in their hometown of Niles, Michigan. James fondly reminisced about those early days, describing how they rehearsed and performed in an actual garage.
Creedence Clearwater Revival
Before achieving fame as Creedence Clearwater Revival, the band experimented with different names such as the Blue Velvets and the Golliwogs. It wasn’t until they adopted the CCR name that they began to gain recognition. Their self-titled debut album in 1968 featured the hit track “Suzie Q,” which set them on their path to success. Band leader John Fogerty made a conscious decision to pursue music wholeheartedly and found a rehearsal space for the band in an industrial garage in Berkeley, California. It was within those walls that CCR became the musical powerhouse we know today.
For Weezer, a garage holds sentimental value, as referenced in the deep cut track “In the Garage” from their debut album. Lead singer Rivers Cuomo sings about finding solace and inspiration in the garage, where he belonged and could freely express himself through music. The garage became an important space for Weezer during their early days, fueling Cuomo’s creative genius.