"... Got giant holes in my shoe
My big toe, it sticks through
Ain’t had a hair-cut in four years
You can’t even see my ears
[No count, no count, you better move on] I won’t be around no more
[No count, no count, you better be gone] Yeah, I’ll be gone
[No count, no count, don't show your face] I’m a no count, I gotta leave this place ... "
(Writer: Ty Wagner
Published: Signature Music (BMI)
From: I’m a No Count (7″, US Chattahoochee CH 699; 11/1965)
While "Punk-rock" was a journalistic term (and probably a records collectors' one too ) first used in the early seventies to describe the kind of 60's US Garage-band 45 music compiled on Nuggets and written about in various magazines and fanzines like Creem and Bomp, there's been a lot of talk of "Garage-Punk" (Lenny Kaye first used the term "classic garage-punk," in reference to a song recorded in 1966 by The Shadows of Knight, in the liner notes to Nuggets... ) when in actual fact few Garage-rock records of the sixties were really "Punk" in attitude and music; more likely, these garage records covered a lot of ground, with styles varying from (and starting with! ) instrumental Surf-rock to Heavy-rock and Folk-Rock, R&B and Blue-eyed Soul, Psychedelic Acid-rock, Sunshine Baroque Pop... and everything else in between!
Some of the few authentic "Punk-rock" of the sixties included records by the Sonics, the Monks, Swamp Rats, Los Saicos, the Groupies, the Magic Plants (of "I'm a Nothing" fame), early Seeds, aforementionned Shadows of Knight... and Ty Wagner and the Scotchmen :
Hell! The first time I heard that song in the mid-1980's at Tim Warren's Paris newly-wed appartment, from volume two of "The Chosen Few" comp' series that was playing on his HiFi, I was moved to wanna name my first band project a couple years later to that song, so much I felt related to it's attitude and lyrics... (Of course, after sarcastic comments from friends that likened the name too much to the Count V, laughing at how Garage-clichéd it seemed, I had it changed to The Tribe; but later I still named an intermediary group I had : "The No-Counts" after that song which was cult to me )!
Later again, I heard another German band of misfits had had the same idea of going themselves by that name, even recording a cool single with picture sleeve : "Cold As Ice / On The Prowl", No-Fi Records, NO-FI 001, 1995.
And Tim Warren who had failed to contact Ty Wagner the first time round to include that mythical song on one of his legendary "Back From The Grave" series, finally went ahead to include "Slander", his killer second single from '66 on Volume 7. And that was it, end of the story!
... Until early this year 2013, when Ugly Things magazine announced the forthcoming release of two further unreleased '67 killers by Ty Wagner on single : "Misery Train b/w Soul Exercise" UT-S74, and a full update article based from recent interviews of the guy on the next Summer issue #35; I was shocked!
Ty was even scheduled to perform for Ugly Things' 30th Anniversary three-day event in San Diego, staged on Memorial Day Weekend (May 24-26 ), backed by the Rising Ramrods (a composite group made-up by ex.Nashville Ramblers, ex.Loons and other assorted contemporary Garage-rock bands )... But, more had to come :
One day around that time, out of the blue, Ty Wagner, the man himself requested me on Facebook! I couldn't believe it... Now that I finally secured a copy of the (scarce in France) new Ugly Things' by him, I just had to have some sort of interview :
1. How was your appearance at the Ugly Things 30th Anniversary concert which we can see clips on YT? Did you have some previous rehearsals with Mike Stax's backing band or you just showed up straight ahead on stage? How was the general reception backstage after the gig?
It was great getting on stage over 40+ years. I did have a short rehearsal about 15 minutes. I did jump up there pretty cold. The stage was very small I couldn't move around very much but it was a very tight band, they're are called the Nashville ramblers and the audience didn't wanna let me off the stage they wanted more more more. There was great excitement and fan fare. I slip off the back door it was too much for me to handle.
2) How did it all started with Tim Warren when he contacted you concerning
the legal inclusion of "Slander" on his "Back From The Grave" series
Prior to that, "I'm A No-Count" was bootlegged on the "Chosen Few" series, right? Had it been out elsewhere?
I bought my 7 inch 45 of I'm a no count for a $1000 dollars from a cat
name Robert Rodriguez who has a company selling vinyls, he wanted $2600,
I said " hey man give me a break I'm Ty Wagner let me have it for a
$1000. " and he put on the Internet that he met the garage legend Ty
Wagner in person ..
And that was last year.
Tim warren contacted Robert Rodriguez by email and told him " tell Ty Wagner to contact me right away i have some money for him" and the rest is history.
As far as the "slander or I'm a no count " I just received a royalty check from Tim warren who's a man of integrity who come forward and pay me after all this time. I think I'm going to include him in my Ty Wagner movie.
3) Are you aware of the bootleg reissue on 45 of both your sixties singles in UK? How do you feel about it?
As far as the bootleggers go, I call them soul vampires. Tim Warner not included, lets just think about it for a minute, if you're starving and broke and on the street, u steal a piece of cheese on the market, though that might be a wrong thing to do, is not as bad as stealing the creativity from the artist, the poet or the musicians. I think the biggest criminal of them all is the garage greats, and if you know any of these assholes that produce the garage greats, tell them Ty Wagner is coming after them or if you know of other bands that was ripped off by the garage greats have them contact me, I have hired an attorney .
4) Were you also aware of the German neo-60's Garage-punk band bearing the name of your song : "The No-Counts" who put out an authentic sounding single in the early 1990's? Have you been contacted by then via Crypt records' connection regarding the use of that name? Do you like it being used, do you feel honored by the tribute or... ?
Thank you about the information about the "no count band" I take it as an honor. I would love to have a copy of their music, I'm not upset a bit about that, in fact it put a smile on my face.
5) How did the new Ugly Things single of unreleased sixties material come about? Any further released plans like a full-length Cd and Lp compiling all your suxties material? (You mentionned something about a documentary film in the planning stage about you... Care to elaborate? )
It was quiet an experienced getting on that stage after 45+ years. I looked around there was some cats from the Love, there was Mark Lindsey from Paul Revere and the Raiders and many other old time 60's musician.
I had a friend of mine in high school who kept of my recordings and he brought me of the masters to my unreleased material. So I sent 2 unreleased tracks to mike Stax and we cut a record deal and that's how it all started. We have enough tunes to do a vinyl Lp that's what I want to do next.
We had a meeting last week with a movie producer. I rather keep it under wraps right now but it seems very real. It's all going a little to fast for me but I've decided to ride the waves! By the way on my newly release misery train, that I did in the 60's is getting great reviews, we might name the movie " misery train" say hello Tim warren for me and give my regards to him, I hope to meet him one day.
6) In the Ugly Things article you mention people like Dick Dale, Dave Myers & The Surftones, The Wrecking Crew and places like the Rendez-Vous Ballroom, Hermosa Beach, Gold Star studios... Were you a surfer yourself?
I did perform with dick dale at harmony park, I actually lived near his house in Costa Mesa California. He was quite an animal freaks, he had monkeys, parrots and other exotic animals. Dave Meyers also performed at the harmony park. His band played on some of my tunes. Goldstar was the greatest recording studio ever and don ralke my producer was a very famous producer, he produced dick and deedee, jule aikens, Lauren green and he used the wrecking crew studio band for a lot if his sessions including some if mine. The rendez-vouz was dick dale beginning, it later burned down in the early 60's. Alexandre check it out, sometime in 1962 and 64 before the Beatles or the stones what was happening was surf music. They were all doing the surfer stomp, everybody was choosing sides u were either a surfer or a ho daddy, of course I was true to rockabilly which I love to this day. I wasn't gonna give up my pompadour and bleach my hair blonde for anybody, this cause me to get in manny fights after school. I did surf but with my pompadour and to this day I'm still a ho daddy.
7) Last question to round it up : What are you future plans now that you are "Back From The Grave"... Any European tours with dates in London, Germany and Spain in the works?
There's a gig coming up in Seattle, in October there's a ponderosa stomp in New Orleans, this morning at 10:00 ill be talking to someone in England that wants to book me there. We do have request from Spain, Italy and New York.
I hope that you are happy with my response. -Ty Wagner
Thank you Ty, it was an Honor!
Read full story on Ty Wagner in Ugly Things #35. Ty will be appearing next Ponderosa Stomp Festival, October 3-5th in New Orleans :