The Fleshtones, America’s Garage Rock Band

The amazing thing about the Fleshtones is that every night for the last thirty years they have consistently been the best live band on earth. Year in, year out — high, low and in between — the Fleshtones have embodied the very essence of rock and roll. And in my own defense, that fire that Keith and I started in France was really a very small fire. Not worth mentioning at all. Please.”Peter Buck, R.E.M.

They were birthed at CBGB along with the Talking Heads, The Ramones, Blondie and Television…

Their first video is in the permanent collection at MoMA.

They shared a practice space with the Cramps in the ‘70’s, tours and a label with R.E.M. in the ‘80s, stages with everyone from James Brown to the Police…

They’ve made albums and toured the world for thirty years…

…and they’re still under the radar.

The story of the Fleshtones is the story of America’s greatest garage band. The progenitors of the still-thriving garage revival, the Fleshtones have persevered through this musical fad and that, all the while collaborating with music’s elite but remaining below the surface of mainstream musical success. While their peers exited the Lower East Side scene of the late seventies covered in cool, The Fleshtones exited covered only in sweat. But the Fleshtones just don’t care. They do what they do—write perfect three minute party anthems, give legendary live shows and tour tirelessly.

The Fleshtones embody the self-unaware spirit of abandon that populated rock n’ roll in its nascency but the thing is, no one told the Fleshtones that stopped being cool. No one told them they needed to be distant to be hip. No one told them to stop having fun. No one told them that not having a Top 40 hit or a gold record was a reason to quit.

But now it seems that their years of dogged perseverance might finally pay off. 2007 saw the release of Joe Bonomo’s biography, Sweat: The Story of the Fleshtones, America’s Garage Band. 2008 will bring the release of tribute album Vindicated! and the film documentary, Pardon Us For Living, But the Graveyard Is Full. And most importantly, the band will release their new album, Take a Good Look, on January 22nd. Produced by session vet Ivan Julian (The Clash, Richard Hell, Elton John), the album is pure Fleshtones, all fuzzy guitars and dance beats. Hipsters and shoe-gazers be damned, rock n’ roll is a party and The Fleshtones just tapped the keg.