One of the coolest things about my immersion into the world of garage/teenbeat/psychedelic music was that it taught me something that should have occurred to me, but hadn’t. I knew that after the Beatles did the Sullivan show, kids all over the U.S. formed their own combos in rec rooms and garages, trying to become their local Stones/Yardbirds/Kinks equivalents.
But what about the rest of the world? Well, it happened there, too. Rhino’s Nuggets II set is an introduction to that, but it’s still pretty Brit-centric. Nonetheless, it includes bands from South America, Germany, Holland, Scandinavia, the Antipodes, and even one from behind the Iron Curtain. But there’s only one track from Japan on the set (the fine “I’m Just a Mops” by the Mops.)
As it turns out, there was an entire scene in mid- to late-60s Japan, generally called “Group Sounds.” The Mops were a GS band, but there were others as well, including the Carnabeats. Check out this rather faithful cover of “When I Was Young” from 1969.
It’s probably politically incorrect of me, but I can’t help taking the line “My father was a soldier then” a little differently from the Carnabeats than I do from Eric Burdon.