The Standells “Dirty Water”

I just returned from a weekend visit to Boston and while I was there, this song kept playing in my head. This song has had a rather unusual history. It’s the only hit by 1960s Los Angeles garage rock band the Standells and it’s about the city of Boston and its (at the time heavily polluted) river, the Charles.  It peaked at #11 on the Billboard charts in June of 1966. The Standells didn’t experience much success afterwords. However, in 2000 or so, many Boston area sports teams began to use “Dirty Water” as a victory anthem and the band started to recieve some renewed attention. In 2004 as the Red Sox marched to their first World Series title since 1918, the surviving members of the Standells were invited to perform on top of Fenway Park’s Green Monster prior to the start of game 2 of the World Series. In 2007, the Standells again performed at Fenway, this time to open the American League Division Series. The Red Sox would go on to win the World Series again in 2007.


About Michael Darling
Collector of the interesting and absurd.

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