The Mourning Reign in the Garage

4 Jan

So many of our obscure classic rock posts have come from the garage thus far I think I should make a separate category profiling garage-rock bands of the mid 60s. Before the psychedelic revolution there was a large focus on the garage-rock sound (around 1963-1967). The British Invasion – specifically “beat” groups like the Rolling Stones, The Animals, and the Kinks had a large influence on these bands, as did folk-rock groups that were beginning to experiment in America. This mishmash of influences helped form famous garage-rock bands like the Kingsmen, The Count Five, The Syndicate of Sound, and the Leaves (and even the Troggs in Britain). This genre of music provided much inspiration to the future punk music movement and it also laid a foundation for the soon-to-be psychedelic movement which sparked in popularity during the years of around 1966-1970.

But – like with any popular genre – there were bands that fell through the cracks. Today we are going to take a look at the Mourning Reign, a San Jose band that formed in 1965 and broke up in 1969. This band combined the fuzz of garage rock with folk rock. They even played around with hints of psychedelic music.

The band was made up of:

Lead/Rhythm Guitarists: Johnnie Bell, Tom O’Bonsawin, Steve Canali

Rhythm Guitar/Vocals/keyboardist: Jay Garrett

 

Bass Guitarist Charlie Gardin

Drummer Craig Maggi — Mike Hossack (Doobie Brothers)

Lead Vocalist Beau Maggi

 

Let’s listen to some tracks.

The first few notes of “Satisfaction Guaranteed” scream garage rock. A fuzzy guitar and well-defined bass provide the rhythmic backing to the introduction. Everything about this song is typical garage sound – from the Jagger-like vocals (which I must say are very well done by Beau Maggi) to the choral harmony. When I first listened to this I thought that it sounded like some song – and then I quickly realized it sounds like 100-or-so songs I know and listen to. So where does it differ? The multiple-guitar solo is wonderful and atypical. This band had a surplus of guitarists and they used them to their advantage. That may be the best part of the song which otherwise is simply a solid, enjoyable garage track.

“Light Switch,” which appears on the same EP, immediately takes a 180 degree turn. It makes you perk up. The band takes from its folk-rock influences, but, more from early 60’s pop melody. The vocal harmonies are fantastic. They are tight and, wait, what was that. Is that a church bell and a plucked acoustic and an accordion. The song transforms into this odd progressive (even psychedelic) segment halfway through and this leads up to rising percussion and a Phil Spector-like wall-of-sound vocal moment briefly. This is an oddly prescient segment. The song ends on a guitars ominous twang. Absolutely the best song by The Mourning Reign and one that should be listened to by all.

Advertisements

27 Responses to “The Mourning Reign in the Garage”

  1. John Phillips January 4, 2012 at 9:19 pm #

    Couldn’t pull up Satisfaction guaranteed, cause the imbed isn’t there. Second one is definitely garage rock.

  2. Matthew Coleman January 4, 2012 at 9:47 pm #

    Oops! My bad. It’s up now. Thanks!

  3. John Phillips January 4, 2012 at 9:52 pm #

    Been there, done that haha.
    No kidding, 100 songs at least, Doors, Stones, Animals, you name it, its in there somewhere. Lots of the Animals, can see Eric singing this or even Mark Lindsay

  4. brian dehn January 12, 2012 at 10:38 pm #

    i love this band. i remember watching them at the continental ball room in Santa Clara. they had more singles they recorded, to be you can’t find all their music.

    • Monique March 26, 2013 at 10:30 am #

      Gosh that’s where I first met them at the Continental

      • frank-beau-maggi April 1, 2016 at 4:29 am #

        hi Monique…did I ever meet you…beau

  5. brian dehn January 12, 2012 at 10:41 pm #

    what ever happened to all the music of the mourning reign. they were a great band.

    • frank-beau-maggi April 1, 2016 at 4:25 am #

      still around brian….canali, Charlie and beau….still around and still playing and writing…radical amerilandic truthists…

      • Lana Garrett July 8, 2017 at 7:43 pm #

        Beau … hey stranger it’s me Lana Jay’s wife (now ex 🤣) still think of you often and when you called & told me you were getting married. A beautiful wedding I’ll never forget.

  6. Matthew Coleman January 13, 2012 at 10:05 am #

    That is awesome. I’m sure you have some great memories of seeing them and others! A compilation album of their stuff was released in 1998 –

    http://rateyourmusic.com/release/album/the_mourning_reign/the_mourning_reign/

    It has a good amount of their material and is definitely worth checking out.

  7. JBB March 19, 2012 at 12:08 pm #

    Thanks! I have great memories of them playing in Northern NJ with Mike Hossack on drums.

  8. Matthew Coleman March 19, 2012 at 2:58 pm #

    Good point. Was very sade to hear about Hossack’s passing. He was an excellent drummer. Thanks for sharing JBB.

  9. Monique September 10, 2012 at 1:25 am #

    You forgot to mention rhythm guitarist/keyboardist Jay Garrett who is on the vinyl sleeve lower left who also sang backup

  10. Beau September 15, 2012 at 12:55 am #

    I am so surprised this music still is being recycledour band came John Duckworth of The Syndicate of Sound…Dave Tolby of The Chocolate Watchband

    Beau

  11. frank October 2, 2012 at 2:49 am #

    Hi all…This is Beau Maggi of the Mourning Reign…Monique is right about Jay Garrett. He went to LA with me and came running back to his wife Lana to San Jose. Left me with $29…an I’m sorry but I want my Lana. So, Beau Maggi of the Mourining Reign began the best part of his musical carreer without any of the original members. They were too scared to leave San Jose but later moved to New Jersey of all places to become a Doors meets Jimi copy band,

    In LA I became Frankie J and the Shadow…then BOA,,,then Maggis Lords…the music really got good around that time…if you wish to know what happened to the original Reign or other bands of the time…well. I knew ’em all…just ask…oh our best song ? we never recorded our best

    • J Kevin Richter November 29, 2013 at 6:37 am #

      Beau! If you have a moment, I’d love to speak with you. Could you please contact me via email at muzik_guy2@yahoo.com? It’s about Boa & everything else you’ve done since 🙂

    • peeshee March 13, 2015 at 9:56 pm #

      Beau Maggi, holy cow! So cool to see you around. Leaving my email. Would love to catch up!

    • peeshee March 13, 2015 at 9:58 pm #

      Beau Maggi, I left a message but registration got the best of me! This is Donnette. I left an email address. We need to catch up.

  12. frank October 2, 2012 at 3:00 am #

    Oh Yeah….Hossack was a jerk…but a good drummer…we put a decent band together in San Fran we had fun but when I went to LA…well the rest is history…these times were the craziest…Matthew…you couldn’t imagine in your wildest dreams what we were up to…the Angels…the drugs…the war..the SDS…Panthers…the concerts…was worse than you can ever imagine but the duakity of it all prevailed,,,as bad as it got…it was just as good…as much love there was…well just as much hate…in the South Bay it was all about my band The Mourning Reign…The Chocolate Watchband was serious Rolling Stone wannabees…we called the lead singer Dave Jagular…the Count Five were nonexistant…the lucked into a hit…The E-Types…good but…we were the best=my brother started in The Syndicate of Sound…taught John Duckworth how to drum…they we a bit wimpy…it was The Reigh..The Doors..Country Joe…Big Brother..The Golliwogs…Buffalo Springfield…The Dead…all the British bands….on and on

    • Matthew Coleman October 2, 2012 at 6:40 am #

      Wow. So great to hear from you. Fascinating. I’d love to talk more about your recollections of West Coast music in the 60s. Thanks for the comment!

    • Monique March 26, 2013 at 10:27 am #

      Is this comment from the singer of the “Reign”

  13. Monique March 26, 2013 at 10:25 am #

    You did not include guitarist Jay Garrett who played on the actual recordings

  14. Monique March 26, 2013 at 7:33 pm #

    Sorry I see you did include Jay Garrett

  15. Monique January 6, 2014 at 11:19 am #

    I was able to locate the wife of Jay Garrett on Facebook but cannot locate anyone else associated with the band. Any help would be appreciated

    • peeshee March 14, 2015 at 12:34 pm #

      Hi Monique, I was one that ‘hung around’ with the band in a big old house they rented in San Jose. Have you been able to locate or communicate with any of the Mourning Reign members?

  16. Chang October 7, 2014 at 10:57 pm #

    Can you tell us more about this? I’d love to find out
    more details.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: