From Garage to Main Stage: Bands that Started from a Garage

Rock band music equipment in a cluttered suburban garage.

A garage makes an ideal place to practice instruments, its isolated enough that it doesn’t distract those inside the house, and it’s not too far away that you have to make an extra effort to practice. It also doesn’t require much work as long as there is enough space and plug sockets to set up electric instruments and amps. So if your son or daughter is nagging you to use the space for their band to practice or you’ve decided to pick up that dusty guitar and copy your guitar idol; make a bit of room, plug in your amp and crank it up!

And who knows, your son or daughter’s band could go on to become as big as these four who all started out practising in their garages…


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The band that brought grunge music to the mainstream, Nirvana first started in lead singer Kurt Cobain’s Seattle garage. Here, together with drummer Dave Grohl and bass guitarist Krist Novoselic, Cobain formed the band’s heavy guitar sound that was to become the soundtrack for a generation. Their mainstream success came in the early 90s with the release of their album Nevermind, considered by many to be one of the greatest rock albums of all time. The disc included perhaps their most famous song; ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit;’ a song whose success was helped by the rise of the music video.            

The Ramones

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Considered by many to be the first band to define the punk rock sound, The Ramones found that special sound in a New York garage. Their stripped back, short and speedy rock ‘n’ roll songs brought them a strong following. Band members adopted Ramone as their surname although none of them were related, and though members were replaced, they always kept their rock ‘n’ roll spirit alive, touring almost nonstop for 22 years. Today, the group’s influence can be seen on current bands like The Strokes, and Misfits.     

The Kinks

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The band formed by brothers Ray and Dave Davies in 1963, practiced their quintessentially English sound in a North London garage. The Kinks soon became one of the biggest bands in Britain as they captured the sound of swinging sixties London. Their short, catchy tunes like ‘You Really Got Me’ and ‘All Day and All of the Night’, brought them worldwide fame, while their songs about everyday life in Britain have gone on to influence bands like The Jam and Blur.

The Who

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Around the same time in a West London garage Pete Townshend, Roger Daltrey and John Entwistle formed The Detours, a band that would later become The Who, and include drummer Keith Moon. The band quickly gained a reputation for their wild live shows which often ended with broken instruments. The windmill guitar strum and using feedback noise also became signature elements to the bands live shows. Today, The Who are one of the biggest stadium rock bands and still play live with the same energy and tempo as they did when they first began over 50 years ago.      

Thinking that the loud noise of you practising your guitar might annoy those indoors? Then why not try soundproofing your garage? Our guide will show you how simple this is to do!  

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