The Bruthers — “Bad Way to Go”: Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — May 23, 2023


835) The Bruthers — “Bad Way to Go”

“We were just four brothers who learned some music, heard the Beatles and Stones and went ape.”  (Alf Delia

The A-side of the Bros’ only single, “Bad Way” is a “one-shot masterpiece” (Greg Shaw, liner notes to the CD comp Pebbles, Vol. 10: Original ’60s Punk & Psych Classics), “a slab of killer 60s garage . . . with a killer organ break and snarling vocals”. (Martin Samson, ( “Vocalising the sound made by playing an electric jug. Brilliant!” (Ken Kavanagh, “Quite literally one of the GREATEST garage tunes EVER.” (Jacquie Tellalian, (

The band was composed of four real brothers, the majority of whom “were still minors in high school, Joe Delia (killer organ parts, backing vocals) being the youngest at age 14. They had to tour during school breaks, playing Ivy League schools and venues that would look the other way”! (Freeform Portland,

Richie Unterberger says:

[“Bad Way” is] one of the rawest garage band tracks to gain release on a major label (RCA), its furiously fast, shifting rhythms, berserk circular guitar and organ riffs, and malicious put-down lyrics bringing to mind something like a garage band at a harem.

[T]ense, almost circus-like up-and-down riffs, archetypically snarling mid-’60s garage vocal, doom-clouded organ, and furious tempo changes make it one of the best ’60s garage records to have escaped inclusion on the Nuggets box set.,

Freeform Portland talks to Alf (Delia):

Alf Delia, age 19 at the time, joined with three of his twelve younger siblings and began crafting . . . one of the most angsty and sincere teen punkers of all time. . . . The Bruthers commenced practice in a chicken coop on their families property. Alf rightfully pointed out that this technically makes them chicken coop rock as opposed to garage rock. It became clear that if they were going to have any success at all, they would have to write some original material. Inspired by a break up with his then girIfriend Susie, emotion poured out of Alf’s guitar and onto paper and “Bad Way to Go” was born. . . . The Bruthers got paid $5,000 in the RCA deal, and like any 19 year old aspiring rock star, Alf spent his entire share ($1500) on a bright red Volkswagen Beetle. In addition to releasing the . . . single, the Bruthers wrote and recorded a song for Jim Henson’s Muppets world debut on the Ed Sullivan show in September of 1966 with a song called “Rock It To Me” . . . .

“We just went bananas with the whole rock and roll thing. We stayed upstairs from the bar…drinking, drugging, finding girls…you know, we were all way too young. Pop ended up coming up from Pearl River to bust up the gig after the brothers went a little too far with barroom hijinx.”


The Bruthers put on a raucous show that sometimes included sporting matching velvet jackets or running around in the crowd dressed in gorilla suits.

Here are the French garage rock revivalists, the Missing Souls:

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