Sean Bonniwell, iconoclastic lead singer/songwriter of Los Angeles’ proto-punk garage band the Music Machine, has died of lung cancer in Visalia, Calif. He was 71.
Though much of the great rock ‘n’ roll of the late 50s and early 60s were made by garage bands, early punks or lone renegades (think Buddy Holly, the great Doo-Wop groups, the rockabilly movement, Love, the San Francisco sound, even the early Elvis), rock had pretty much been tamed by the end of the 50s by the major record labels. It was up to rebels like Bonniwell and his Music Machine, to insert a hint of insurrection, danger and sex into the music — and they did it with their one-hit wonder “Talk Talk,” a proto-punk single that broke into the Top 20 in 1966.
We’ve always loved “Talk Talk” (and a similar one-hit wonder, “Psychotic Reaction,” by the Count Five) and the adrenalin still gets flowing we hear it.
Tip o’ the hat to ya, Sean.