Tuesday, June 06, 2023

Gonn: Frenzology: 1966 - 1967 - Punks Along The Mississippi 1996


Gonn, "loudest band in town", formed in 1966 and released two singles, "Blackout of Gretely" and "Come with Me (To the Stars)", before disbanding in 1969 after several lineup changes. The band idolized a group from Ottumwa, Iowa, called MADD, and in that spirit and with a bit of beatnick

influence Rex said "GONE" and Craig said "with 2 'N''s" (or maybe it was the other way around?), and thus became GONN, and as with MADD, no "The" thank you. As with all garge bands of the day, they played and practiced and hung out together and tried their best to be a bunch of controversial, smart ass punks on a mission to be the next big thing. The other local bands who had disdained The Pagans had a new problem to contend with, and some of the controversy actually survives TO THIS DAY! Teen centers, street dances, parties, all targets of GONN take-over attempts.

That summer (1966) Craig & Gerry approached the local Knights Of Columbus about playing in their

3rd floor hall, beginning a run of teen dances that carried on into the 70's. GONN could announce a K/C dance for Friday on that Wednesday and come Friday night there would be 500 kids in the place. The venue proved to be a major boon to all the bands in the area, including nemesis' The Gallows, and BRILLO & THE FIREBIRDS from Macomb, Illinois, good friends of GONN then and now.

Thus on a cold, wet, rainy December night GONN recorded "C'Mon Everybody" and "Kansas City" with Bill Egan singing, 2 recordings lost to history, and "Pain In My Heart" (borrowed from The Rolling Stones cover of Otis Redding), intended to be the B-side of their planned 1st single. The A-side

would be a Craig Moore/Rex Garrett original, inspired by a number of disparate influences - The Standells, The Count Five, The Yardbirds, the book "The Blackout At Gretley" (a World War II tale, being read by Gerry who brought the book to practice, thus lending the title to the song), the author O'Henry and his 'twists' at the end of his stories, and an off the cuff remark by Peter Tork on a Monkees episode.

Add all these up, shake them around a bit, play it back through a teen punk band with everything on '10', and you've got "BLACKOUT OF GRETELY", the A-side of the first GONN single and the song that has given them more notoriety decades later than they ever could have imagined. In early 1967 this

same line-up went back to Burlington and recorded an intended foolow-up, "DOIN' ME IN" b/w "I NEED YOU." This could possibly be more of a monster than "Blackout", with it's endless array of screams and out-of-control echo. These features are what got the record shelved, when fans in Keokuk all seemed perplexed by the raw sound of the recording. Unable to afford pressing a flop, GONN went back and re-recorded it with less screaming, but then THEY didn't like it and the whole thing was shelved until the 1984 VOXX "Rough Diamonds" LP.

"Blackout of Gretely" was discovered by garage rock collectors in the 1980s and was included on the Nuggets: Original Artyfacts From the First Psychedelic Era 1965-1968 box set in 1998. The members of Gonn played together on some occasions before properly reuniting in 1996 with six of

seven core members. Gonn has since released an album and toured. They disbanded in 1969. In 1990
GONN was ready for a reunion, which took place on the riverfront at Keokuk, it was truly "Punks Along The Mississippi" 23 years later. In 1996 GONN had their first official full-blown reunion, with 6 of the 7 recording members - all but drummer Brent Colvin. They recorded an all-new album called "GONN WITH THE WIND" (still available on CD & LP), released a CD of all of the 60's recordings ("FRENZOLOGY", out of print but due to be re-released this year), and played a few shows in the old home territory.

One of the most collectible singles from the 60s garage band era is "Blackout Of Gretely," a rare as hen's teeth fuzz raver of epic proportions by the best and loudest band that ever came out of Keokuk, Iowa, the fabulous Gonn. With the belated interest of the collecting community, the band

reissued the 45 and got back together for a reunion gig in 1990. Since that time, more tapes have surfaced, and the result is this exhaustive compilation. This rounds up all the tracks from the Bomp-Voxx vinyl collection, plus six more previously unissued things plus the live stuff (great version of "Oh Yeah"!!) plus two-count 'em-two booklets loaded with vintage photos and the complete history of the band. If true American bred fuzz garage band mayhem is your thing, you find much to love on this collection.

Gonn – Frenzology: 1966-1967 - Punks Along The Mississippi
Label: MCCM Records – MCCM9601
Format:    CD, Compilation
Country: US
Released: 1996
Style: Garage Rock, Rhythm & Blues, Beat, Punk



01. Don't Need Your Lovin'    3:52
02. Death Of An Angel    2:39
03. You Can't Judge A Book By The Cover    2:27
04. Signed D.C.    3:11
05. Doin' Me In    2:34
06. Sometimes Good Guys Don't Wear White    2:33
07. I Need You    2:35
08. Blackout Of Gretely    4:33
09. Pain In My Heart    3:02
10. In The Midnight Hour    2:37
11. You Really Got Me    2:20
12. Come With Me (To The Stars)    2:07
13. You're Lookin' Fine    3:42
14. Hey Joe    3:22
15. Doin' Me In (Orig. Vers.)    2:51


16. You Can't Judge A Book By The Cover    2:41
17. Don't Need Your Lovin'    4:18
18. Come With Me (To The Stars)    2:36
19. Doin' Me In    3:22
20. Oh Yeah    3:13
21. Blackout Of Gretely    4:34


22. I'll Feel A Whole Lot Better    2:28
23. It Ain't Me, Babe    3:44
24. I Need You (Previously Unreleased)    2:30

MP3 @ 320 Size: 174 MB
Flac  Size: 395 MB


  1. I am looking forward. Old i don't know. Great, thank you !!!

    Yesterday i got 2 cd from WILCO Sky Blue Sky and Cruel Land. Altcountry like i have by the hundreds. I don't know if you like this style of music? Altcountry has a long tradition beginning not to go any further back in the 60s with The Byrds and Flying Burritto Bros. Later great bands to name a few Ucle Tupelo, Sixteen Horsepower, Whiskeytown etc. etc....followed.
    These 2 Wilco cd beautiful melancholic songs about an America that no longer exists and are reflected in this tearful songs. Its' the sequelto Beeing There (96) and Hotel Foxtrot (2001).

  2. I have the lp. But not this beautiful expensive cd edition.

  3. seriously Kostas σας ευχαριστώ πολύ για τη διάδοση της κουλτούρας σας cheers

    1. Ευχαριστώ πολύ για το σχόλιο, αλλά νομίζω ότι ο πληθυντικός περιττεύει.

  4. Σε ευχαριστώ πολύ Κώστα. Τώρα έκανα τις συλλογές των Gonn τέσσερεις :)

  5. Thanks Kostas Always liked a band that was loud Great share