The Shangri-Las stood out from their contemporaries. The melodrama and desperation in their voices — not to mention their tight leather pants and leather boots, a drastic departure from the formal gowns favored by groups like the Supremes and the Chiffons — defied the girl-group category in which they’re often thrown “for lack of imagination,” as the music writer Greil Marcus put it.Whenever the song "I Can Never Go Home Anymore" comes on the 60s channel, I get caught up in the words, and even though I know it's utterly cheesy and manipulative, it makes me cry (while driving!). Here, check it out, someone made a YouTube video that just shows the single playing on a record player. That's really sweet.
“This was storytelling, this was creating characters,” Mr. Marcus said from his home in Berkeley, Calif. “There was a cinematic sense to the songs where you could visualize them as you listened to them. Their records left wounds in their listeners.”
Here's Mary Weiss's MySpace page. Here's a nice interview thing. Here's a cute tribute video with lots of pictures. Here's an album (click on it and buy it):
Look at the way Mary looked then! Good Lord, she was only 15! She had the perfect tough girl image. Hers was a look that in those days -- where I was anyway, in northern New Jersey -- we called "hoody." It was the alternative to the mod look, which I personally favored. I knew one girl, a friend of my sister's, who had the Mary Weiss look. It was sort of the dark side to the candy-colored mod/psychedelic style that I believed would conquer all. But this other thing! It came from the wrong side of town. My sister's friend scared me a little. She didn't live with her parents. She was from over in Boonton. She wore Tabu perfume. Really, I would never wear Tabu perfume. It's unbelievably sweet and strong. But I'd love to have some to dump into a handkerchief to inhale while listening to old Shangri-Las records.
"Oh, let me think, let me think, what can I do? Oh, no. Oh, no. Oh, no no no no no."
Weeps uncontrollably into Tabu-soaked hankerchief.