Skip to comments.TGIF Rock-n-Roll Oldies: ? & the Mysterians
Posted on 09/17/2010 12:26:27 PM PDT by Reaganite Republican
Question Mark and the Mysterians were an American rock and roll band formed in Bay City, Michigan in 1962... best known for the monster-hit 96 Tears, a true garage-rock classic recorded in 1966 that went to #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and sold over 1M copies....
? and the Mysterians (as rendered on the label) was perhaps the first band to be described as "punk rock"- while also the first Latino rock group to have a general audience hit in the US. The name came from a 1957 Japanese science fiction film The Mysterians, in which aliens from the destroyed planet Mysteroid arrive to conquer Earth.
And the band's eccentricities don't end there: frontman and primary songwriter "Question Mark" -going simply as "?"- has long claimed to be a Martian who lived with dinosaurs in a past life... and like ZZ Top, never appears in public without sunglasses.
? often speaks of traveling into the future and visiting other planets, asserting that he has done so. No witnesses are known to have corroborated Mr Mark's dubious claims...
But he did write the song that became the band's first and biggest hit -96 Tears- with essential riffs and styling being contributed by The Mysterians. It began as a poem that bore the working title Too Many Teardrops- written in 1958, four years before the band was even formed.
With its plaintive chorus and catchy Vox organ riff, 96 Tears was originally recorded on March 13, 1966 in Bay City, Michigan as a single for local Pa-Go-Go Records, owned by the group's manager, Lillian Gonzales. The song was recorded on the porch of a private home, but it quickly became a regional hit in the Flint and Detroit areas.
It was originally intended that the song Midnight Hour would be the group's single... with 96 Tears just as the B-side. But at the insistence of ?, 96 Tears was made the A-side. He then personally went to radio stations to promote the song and get his single played, and 96 Tears quickly became a local hit. Subsequently, with the Cameo-Parkway Records release the song became a national #1 hit... lifelong favorite of mine, too
? Mark and the Mysterians: 96 Tears- 1966
“The Best of”??? You gotta love it! (But I did think it was a great song. It was an encouragement to my buddies who were also playing some pretty rudimentary stuff.)
Catchy song. Kind of like it. So whatever happened to these people? Where is Mr. Question Mark? Are his children exclamation points! Or asterisks?
And I have secretly, sometimes openly, wondered: "way 96 tears? Why not, say, 95 or 37..?"
But I don't really want to know, as that would take all the mystery out of it, and that would be a sacrilege or blasphemy or some such.
To sort of continue that theme...
Telstar by The Tornados
But this arrangement was catchy too...
THE VENTURES - TELESTAR -
Absolutely love 96 Tears! Thanks for posting.
Right on, thx
Yeah, that is funny
It’s a compilation of two LPs, condensed down into one basically. I don’t think they had another charting single
I read that in between voyages to other planets and trips into the future, Rudy Martinez, aka Question Mark, worked as a skiing instructor.
You’re gonna cry 96 tears....all night long....cry cry cry.....on November 2 if you are a leftist.
Always liked that song along with “Hey Little Girl” by the Syndicate of Sound and “Psychotic Reaction” by the Count Five.
The Telstar satellite represented but one of many important steps to the realization of today’s global personal communications systems.
I believe the system that you and I now communicate upon represents true freedom and that will it re-order the world’s political systems for the better. Concentrated, centralized political power is no longer tenable.
“96 Tears” - the finest piece of teen trance music extant!
I remember that move as a kid. One of the better ones.
they’d better get ready to hear that one a lot!
Barf. I always thought that was one of the most boring, most talentless songs I’ve ever heard, esp. compared to the great music coming out at about that time from the Beatles, Beach Boys, Stones, Doors, and many others.
The very essence of rock and roll.
We always thought it was a little bit nasty talking about one being on top and one being “down there”. In the 1960’s we teens were always trying to find something sexy in a song.
? Mark played an outdoor concert at Lincoln Center this year. He even was joined onstage by Ronnie Spector.
Hear a 30 minute interview with ? and the show...
He claims that his song “Girl You Fascinate Me” was really about masturbation.
He’s kind of like Prince’s crazy uncle from Mars.
Mr. Mark has no kids that I know of. It’s not his way.
His house burned down some years back, he supposedly had one of Pink Floyd’s early keyboards.
I think it’s most of the same band he still plays with these days.
Listen to the radio link I gave from this year...
Not bad at all. Much better than this cover.
96 Tears - The Music Machine
I’d like to know.
I remember the song well.
Agreed. There ought to be a law...
Ok. Legend is the song was originally supposed to be titled “69 Tears”. But fearing the song would get limited airplay due to the “connotations” the title was changed to “96 Tears”.
L O L ! bttt
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.