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Garage Bands: The Syndicate, Los Angeles 1965. Magazine Feature and Album Release 2013

Updated on April 19, 2013


When the five of us started The Syndicate back in 1964 our intention was mostly to create a fun way to use our musical abilities on the weekends as a diversion from school studies.

Naturally, we practiced in a garage, and after a while were able to build a solid repertoire of songs comprised mostly of those popularized by the English rock bands such as The Rolling Stones, The Yardbirds, and The Kinks.

Afterward, we performed in a number of venues that were eager to provide live entertainment from school campuses to night clubs on Sunset Boulevard.

Along the way, we were also fortunate enough to get recruited into a Hollywood recording studio to cut tracks on seven of our original songs. Four of which, by the way, were later released by Dore Records and Dot Records.

By late 1965, however, we pretty much concluded that we were ready to move on, so we broke up The Syndicate and never performed together again. We never forgot, though; each of us took a plethora of memories that over the years could be passed on to our children and grandchildren.

Of course, we had know way of knowing that a "garage band" following would emerge in the meantime and resurrect The Syndicate. But it has.

"Garage Band" Magazine

Several years ago publisher Mike Staxx contacted me asking if he could feature The Syndicate for an upcoming article in his "Ugly Things" magazine.

In turn, that prompted a number of subsequent conversations surrounding my recollections and whatever hard data such as photos that I could provide. To the extent I was able, naturally I did; Mike dug out the rest.

He located Bill Rash (our lead singer), located and interviewed Darwin Lamm (our former manager), rooted out numerous accounts I had long forgotten, and photos I never knew existed.

Thanks to Mike, and his tenacious efforts, The Syndicate legacy has been duly recorded, and a meaningful treasure given to our former members.

The Syndicate feature was published in 2012 and can be found in "Ugly Things", Summer/Spring 2012 issue #33, pages 79-84.

"Garage Band" Album

At the suggestion of Mike Staxx, Break-A-Way-Records owner Wolfgang Vogel contacted me about publishing a vinyl record album containing all seven songs recorded by The Syndicate.

In similar fashion to the magazine article, Wolfgang and me exchanged numerous calls and emails; namely to have me provide him with the "purest" track for each of the songs. After several attempts, I got it right and Wolfgang passed it on to his recording engineer.

Other issues concerned the resolution of images I was providing; as of this writing, we almost have that all worked out.

The Syndicate album is scheduled for release by "Break-A-Way Records" May 2013.

About the Author

James Kobzeff was one of the founding members of The Syndicate, the group leader, rhythm guitarist, and contributing song writer.


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