Jeff Lemlich's top five Orlando 45s 

1. (tie) We the People: "In the Past" and "The Day She Dies"

"The former for its unique octachord `a sort of 8-stringed electric mandolin` and great moody vibe. The latter for the amazing vocal bridge that outdoes any of the major harmony groups of the era."

`Available on the double-disc retrospective "The Mirror of Our Minds" (Sundazed)`

2. Nation Rocking Shadows: "Anesthesia"

"Surf music in the surgery room -- I think the 'scalpel, sponge, suture' part is very psychedelic for its time -- from the pen of the tormented Ronnie Skinner."

`In the mid-'60s, Skinner played lead guitar while fronting local boss hosses Nation Rocking Shadows; in the '80s, he was sentenced to life in prison for attempting to take out two Orange County Sheriff's deputies with a hand grenade.`

3. Wrong Numbers: "The Way I Feel"

"Mount Dora teens digging the West Coast sound, and bringing jangly guitars to the armory stages." `The Wrong Numbers' other garage punk classic, "I Gotta Go Now," is available on "Teenage Shutdown: The World Ain't Round, It's Square" (Crypt).`

4. Twelfth Night: "Grim Reaper"

"Just a cool overall sound, both lyrically and musically."

`Available on Gear Fab's "Psychedelic States: Florida in the '60s, Volume One" (Gear Fab)`

5. Rockin' Roadrunners: "Go Away"

"Sanford teens with a really haunting sound. 'Down' was a good one, too."

`Available on Psychedelic Crown Jewels, Volume 2 (Gear Fab)`

(Honorable mention) Hate Bombs: "Safe Harbour"

"The original band, with Mick Crowley, had a terrific mix of bombast and dynamics. 'Safe Harbour' tops my list of favorite 7-inch singles released in the '90s." `"Safe Harbour" was originally released in 1994 on Speed-o-Meter Records. The reigning kings of Orlando garage's modern incarnation are currently on "permanent hiatus," but don't despair: Their savage fury is captured in "The Last Days of the Hate Bombs," released earlier this year on DVD.`

Jeff Lemlich is the author of "Savage Lost: Florida Garage Bands in the '60s," which is available at He is well-known for his encyclopedic knowledge of Florida rock and R&B, as well as his mind-boggling record collection. He has contributed many of his rare 45s and acetates for Gear Fab projects.

More by J.M. Dobies


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