The Spike Drivers — “Strange Mysterious Sounds”: Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — July 24, 2022


530) The Spike Drivers — “Strange Mysterious Sounds”

As to the B-side of their second (or third) and last single, Superbillie1 aptly describes it as a little like a collision between doomstruck raga rock and Mamas & the Papas harmonies”. ( “Mysterious Sounds” is one the most revealing songs I have heard about mental illness from the perspective of one experiencing it, and also the only one accompanied by a killer guitar riff and a “sha la la la la la la” chorus — I assume that “Sha La La La Lee” by the Small Faces doesn’t count.

Jason Ankeny talks about the Spike Drivers:

Mid-sixties Detroit psych-popsters the Spikedrivers were fronted by Ted Lucas, previously known to local audiences as a leading light of the Motor City folk music scene. . . . [T]he Spikedrivers debuted in 1966 with the single “High Time;” originally recorded for the Om label, it was soon snapped up for national distribution by Warner/Reprise, but despite limited success on the East Coast and across the Midwest the record failed to chart. When their 1967 follow-up “Strange Mysterious Sounds” met the same grim fate the Spikedrivers disbanded . . . .

Chris Roughan explains that the band’s name “came from a song by Mississippi John Hurt called the Spikedriver Blues.” (

Lucas’ son talks of his father’s battles with mental illness:

Throughout his career Lucas struggled with mental illness and erratic behavior that weighed heaviest on his family until his death in 1992. . . . Lucas’ son, Tony, [talks] about his father’s legacy. “When people ask me about my dad, it’s weird, because when I was growing up most of my time was avoiding talking about my dad,” Tony says. “It always included some kind of insanity, right. Some kind of craziness, some kind of nuttiness. And when I talk about my dad now, I almost brag about him. You know, it’s such a different way of thinking about somebody.”

Lucas wrote the song. Ahh . . .

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Here is a “live” version on Detroit TV:

Here is an extended alternate version:

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