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Bill Radke
The Sonics, a popular Tacoma band from the 1960's is getting some serious attention once again. (Image courtesy ReverbNation - The Sonics)

Tacoma 60's band The Sonics experiencing revival

A popular Tacoma band from the 1960's is getting some prime-time attention once again.

Northwest band, The Sonics, played in garages before the term "garage band" was even coined, but even after all these years, their music hasn't stopped making an impact.

Nirvana singer Kurt Cobain is said to have been a fan of the band, and The White Stripes have reportedly called the band the epitome of 60's punk.

Unfortunately the band broke up after their 60's run. That's why Sonics lead singer Gerry Roslie was surprised when he heard one of their songs recently on a TV commercial.

"We're just watching football and all of a sudden that comes on and the jaws drop," says Roslie.

The ad for BMW features The Sonics song "Have Love, Will Travel."

Roslie was in the dark, he thought maybe someone at BMW was one of their European fans back in the 60s, or maybe it was someone who spotted them at a festival they played in 2007.

A New York promoter begged them to reunite for the show. At first, the guys said 'don't be ridiculous,' but the deal kept getting sweeter. They agreed to play and were shocked to see most of the audience was kids and they were singing along.

"We thought how can this be? Here we are 40 years later and they're all treated us like we're teenagers. They were stage diving and mosh pitting."

Roslie says it blows his mind to see young audiences enjoying their music.

"I still can't believe it," says Roslie. "It's just amazing how it even happened, you know, guys from Tacoma playing in garage."

Roslie says they thought they were done playing years ago.

"We had no clue this was ever going to happen. We were done playing."

But they're not now. Next month, The Sonics are opening on a European tour.

Bill Radke, KIRO Radio Anchor
Bill Radke is host of Seattle's Morning News on KIRO Radio (weekdays 5-9) and has been known to sing hits from sensitive singer-songwriters of the 1970s in the newsroom.
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About Bill Radke
Bill is co-host of Seattle's Morning news, 5-9, on 97.3 KIRO FM. Bill is well known in the Northwest as a journalist, author, comedian, and talk show host. Radke started his career at KIRO as an intern in 1983. He recently returned home from Los Angeles.

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