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The Count Five


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San José, California, United States (1964 – 1969)

The Count Five were a garage rock outfit from San José, California, United States.

They started off in 1964, founded by John “Mouse” Michalski and Kenn Ellner, two high school friends who had previously played in several short-lived outfits. After going shortly under the name of The Squires and several line-up changes later, the Count Five were born, with Roy Chaney taking over vocal duties, Irish-born John “Sean” Byrne on rhythm guitar and Craig “Butch” Atkinson on drums.

Almost from the start, they had a trademark song with “Psychotic Reaction” which was to become their one and only top-10 hit ever. The song was initially devised by Byrne, with the group refining it over the next time and turning it into the highlight of their live sets. Regarded from today’s point of view, “Psychotic Reaction” is now a bonafide garage-rock classic, unashamedly borrowing on the style of contemporary bands and artists like The Standells and The Yardbirds.

Looking for a contract, the band found themselves rejected by several record companies before they finally got signed to the Los Angeles-based Double Shot Records. “Psychotic Reaction” was released as a single and found immediate popularity with the proto-punk movement that started in these days, peaking at #5 in the U.S. charts late 1966. The Count Five also gained some fair publicity for their habit of wearing Dracula-style capes when playing live. However, subsequent issues sold disappointingly. The band got along for about another year but dropped out of view altogether when their one and only hit had fallen from public memory.


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  • akuma634

    Their ultimate collection album is so good. Some awesome garage and psychedelic rock. It's too bad they didn't make it in the industry, their music is too good to go ignored.

    21 Jan 2014 Reply
  • GigiSyd

    14 Oct 2013 Reply
  • etiennesgram

    dated Sean Byrne in the 60's for a short while....wondering what ever happened to him

    6 Sep 2013 Reply
  • Fuddyman25

    @govnomes Good one...

    7 Jun 2013 Reply
  • jessicarc14

    Que mimo de banda.

    12 Feb 2013 Reply
  • icantwaittoh8u

    rediscovering this amazing album.. OMG

    24 May 2012 Reply
  • stevenblue

    Can you dig it man! Too much! Psychotic Reaction, A song that transcends time! Great Stuff!! What a trip!

    13 Mar 2012 Reply
  • Teffasus

    Can you dig it?

    22 Nov 2011 Reply
  • DoubleSize

    a music of vietnam's war time with a peace of psychonaut makes this very colourful...

    8 Jul 2010 Reply
  • waternoise

    great great band.

    19 May 2010 Reply
  • freelance-fiend

    A band's influence is usually determined in hindsight, and a lot of bands were huge big name artists during their time and they disappeared in the memory hole. I didn't live at the time but I'm sure without Ted Nugent's solo career, we wouldn't know or care about the Amboy Dukes.

    27 Apr 2010 Reply
  • PirateKingPol

    they are much more than psychotic reacion, the LP that contains all their material of estudio (PSYCHOTIC REVELATION) is one of the best albums i listened always in my top, this band was missplaced in the timeline the time they rock, greatest bands of all the time reached their highest spot...

    15 Apr 2010 Reply
  • freelance-fiend

    v The Yardbirds stole their "rave up" from both the Sonics ("The Witch" 1964) and more accurately from Paul Revere and the Raiders ("Steppin Out", early 65,) at least Count Five wrote SOME original songs, the only reason the Yardbirds are famous and respected is because of hindsight, Clapton and Page going on to become household names, in actuality they were bland and derivative, just being honest. Double Dekker Bus in contrast is frickin intense garage rock

    9 Apr 2010 Reply

    i hate to say it... these guys were a one hit wonder. Wow tho, great song... sure it sounds a bit like the yardbirds version of "i'm a man", but these guys were still in high school at the time... i think

    1 Apr 2010 Reply
  • nopuppet

    stupid haircuts galore rule! but still... what? hugh!

    20 Mar 2010 Reply
  • Lizzardkinglier

    stupid haircuts galore, but still great though

    4 Jul 2009 Reply
  • ripplemusic

    If you dig music like these guys, come check us out at the From the Garage Group, a new group dedicated to rocking music from the world's garages. We're new and growing.

    30 Jun 2009 Reply
  • nuclearrabbit33

    double-decker bus is certainly just as good as psychotic reaction

    21 Jun 2009 Reply
  • poprockmaniac

    Eran unos adelantados a su tiempo. Suenan tan atronadores que nunca dirias que el LP es del 66. Este disco (no tienen mas verdad?) me dejo sin habla. Creo que tuvieron que disolverse porque no vendieron casi nada

    17 May 2009 Reply

    Kenn Ellner is my uncle!

    15 May 2009 Reply
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