The Zakary Thaks – Passage To India (Cicadelic Records)

In the 1960s there were only a few American rock bands that were huge on a national level, like The Doors, Jefferson Airplane, The Byrds…etc. However, there were a ton of local stars – garage rock bands that got played on their local radio station, drew big crowds in their home city, yet had no national presence. You had The Remains in Boston, The Shadows Of Knight in Chicago, The Sonics in Tacoma, and so on. In Corpus Christi, Texas the local band of choice was a five-some with the oddball name The Zakary Thaks, whose 1966-1969 sides are compiled on Passage To India. They were a tough-sounding band, highly influenced by their idols The Yardbirds. Today The Zakary Thaks are best remembered for the punk-before-punk speed blitzkrieg of “Bad Girl”, which rightfully earned a spot on the first Nuggets box-set, but it’s not the only Thaks song worth remembering. The 1968 sides “Green Crystal Ties” and “My Door” are American heavy-psych at its best, propelled forward by fits of fuzz-guitar shredding that would have made Jeff Beck proud. “Can You Hear Your Daddy’s Footsteps” adds a little West Coast folk flavor to their sound without sacrificing any raw energy, whereas “Face To Face” and their cover of The Kinks’ “I Need You” are as quintessential examples of 1966 garage rock as any other songs from that year. The band falters on the raga-rock of the title track, and the lame attempt at hippie folk-rock “Everybody Wants To Be Somebody” from their final single shows that by 1969 their moment had already come and gone, even though some members were still teenagers! The set ends with previously unreleased live covers of the 13th Floor Elevators’ “I’ve Got Levitation” and the blues standard “I’m A Man” which are hard to get through due to poor sound quality. A few duff tracks aside, there’s enough gold here to keep a garage rocker happy, and the detailed liner notes and great remastering make this an excellent pick up.


1. Face To Face

2. Passage To India

3. Green Crystal Ties

4. My Door (mono)

5. Reality Is The Only Answer

6. Can You Hear Your Daddy’s Footsteps

7. Mirror Of Yesterday

8. Please

9. Bad Girl

10. I Need You

11. Won’t Come Back

12. Weekday Blues

13. Face To Face (alternate version)

14. Out Print

15. Everybody Wants To Be Somebody

16. I’ve Got Levitation

17. I’m A Man