The First Years
The band is born in June, 1997, when four lads from Siena province in Tuscany decide to join in to play instrumental garage and surf tunes, revisited with an aggressive and modern attitude. They take inspiration from Link Wray, The Sonics, The Cramps and those obscure garage bands from anthologies such as Back from the Grave, Nuggets and Pebbles; their aesthetic and cultural imaginary, fed by 50s and 60s B-Movies, brings them to choose nicknames: Ray Daytona on guitar, Madison Wheeler on drums and vocals, Doctor D on rhythm guitar and vocals, Red Razor on bass. Go-go dancers and the “space” sound of the Theremin often accompany their first gigs. In less than one year, thanks to an intense live activity and to four singles published in vinyl by Italian and European labels, the band bursts into the underground musical scene and is recognized by the media. In 1999 they play for the first time at the Festival Beat and soon after they sign for Mad Driver Records from Torino to record their first album.
Published in January 2000, A Wild Shot of… with its title pays homage to Henry Mancini and his soundtracks, while musically is a compendium of the music of the Sixties, from surf to garage punk, and is dedicated to the memory of Screaming Lord Sutch, met by Ray Daytona and Googoobombos a few months before he died. During the recordings Rosie replaces Red Razor on bass guitar.
After a year of gigs around Italy the bands records Space Age Traffic Jam, a new garage-punk release, with a more direct sound, made more solid also by the sound engineer in studio, David Lenci. The cover is an artwork by the American artist Winston Smith, known for his works with Dead Kennedys, Green Day, No Means No and others, with whom the band starts a long cooperation and friendship. Meanwhile the band keeps on playing live, opening for such band as Radio Birdman and Nashville Pussy.
Fasten Seat Belt (2004) and the Ammonia Records periode
In 2003 they start the partnership with Ammonia records, that publishes at first Great Expectations, an anthology with songs from all the singles and some unissued songs from the first two albums. In 2004 comes out Fasten Seat Belt, third album recorded in studio, again with David Lenci on the controls. With this album the musical horizon of Ray Daytona and Googoobombos gets wider, songs becoming faster on one side and with an open, psychedelic structure, helped by electro-analogic effects. During the recordings the band is joined on Hammond by Paolo “Apollo” Negri, who will play also some live gigs with the band. Winston Smith is again the author of the artwork for the cover. The Manetti Bros direct the video of the single Slim, horny and tanned, and the band tours in Italy, France, Spain, Belgium and Switzerland. Meanwhile there are some changes in the line-up, around the two stable elements Ray Daytona and Rosie. Their live performances are enriched by the “Ray Daytona Rock and Royal Rumble”, featuring many superheroes challenging each other and the audience fighting in a wrestling style, inspired by comics and a trash imaginary. The Rumble involves the people from the audience and calls them to take part to the fight with their own home-made costumes. The promotional tour of Fasten Seat Belt goes on for two years, during which the band shares the stage with such bands as Phantom Surfers, Sonic Youth, Misfits, Robert Gordon, and plays a small tour with Winston Smith, while the artist shows his artworks.
Back to the Original Line-up and One Eyed Jack (2007)
In 2006 the band decides to take a break from live activity. Ray Daytona and Rosie, who meanwhile, apart from playing bass, has become the main vocalist, meet again with Doctor D and Madison Wheeler to work on new material. In the spring of 2007 the four settle in a shack in the countryside of Siena and record One Eyed Jack, all by themselves with no external help. Come out at the end of 2007 for the small italian label 66Sixties, this home-made recording catches a raw sound that embraces the whole musical background of around 10 years of band activity, with Ennio Morricone atmospheres, proto-punk reminiscences and surf. The cover is made by the Portuguese artist Mr. Esgar.
After the recording the band starts playing live again with new members on rhythm guitar and on drums and tours through Italy, Germany, France, Spain and Switzerland, opening for The Monsters, The Trashmen and The Hives. In 2008 they publish the single Lover and Liar from the recording sessions of One Eyed Jack, which features a B-side (Man with Balloons) written with Paolo “Apollo” Negri, honouring Marcello Mastroianni and the cinema of Marco Ferreri.
Caballero (2011) – Today
In 2010 Ray Daytona and Googoobombos record a new album, with the participation of Paolo “Apollo” Negri, Madison Wheeler and Doctor D, who reappears live on stage with the band, too. Caballero (2011), published by German label Soundflat Records, represents another step ahead in the musical development of the band: fourteen original songs in which they deconstruct the last fifty years of Rock’n’Roll. The artwork for the cover is made by Pablo Echaurren. The promotion of the record sees intense touring through Italy, Germany, France, Spain, while Fred Calamari joins on drums. In 2013 the band decides to take a breath and slow down the live activity to concentrate on side projects: in january they play a tribute gig to The Buzzcocks, playing songs only by the Manchester band; the other new-born project is the Ray Daytona Rock’n’Roll Circus , featuring the first historical drummer Madison Wheeler, and performing songs from the first years of the band history and rock and roll covers by Martha Reeves and the Vandellas, The Zombies, Link Wray and The Ventures.