The Only Ones

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Longview, Texas garage combo the Only Ones was formed in mid-1965 by singer/bassist Jim Axberg, his brother drummer John, and guitarists Steve Thornton and Randy Clendenen. Previously dubbed "the Dimensions,"…
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Longview, Texas garage combo the Only Ones was formed in mid-1965 by singer/bassist Jim Axberg, his brother drummer John, and guitarists Steve Thornton and Randy Clendenen. Previously dubbed "the Dimensions," the group played only a handful of gigs before Clendenen exited to form the Heard, famed for their garage-psych cult classic "Exit 9." He was replaced by organist Brenda Seale, one of the lone women in the otherwise male-dominated garage scene. From their inception, the Only Ones composed their own original material, and in the summer of 1966 issued their debut single "Another Place" -- featuring the Axberg brothers on co-lead vocals; the protest anthem was backed by the snarling "Can't Trust a Woman," which featured Thornton on lead. Issued on the band's own Brumble label, the single was a regional smash, especially on local station KLUE, the first to play it. Academic conflicts and age restrictions limited the Only Ones' performing opportunities, however, and in time, both Thornton and Seale left the group, to be replaced by guitarist Joel Laws and keyboardist Ronnie Mason. As musical tastes changed, trumpeter Larry Quinn and tenor saxophonist Chuck Fenton were added to the lineup, but a disastrous tour of Oklahoma spelled the Only Ones' demise in the summer of 1968. The Axbergs later reunited in the power trio the Millard Fillmore Wild West Medicine Show; in 1977 recording a single credited to the Axberg Brothers. The Only Ones' lone single was reissued in 2003 by the Break-A-Way label as part of the ten" The Heard Meet the Only Ones: Lone Star State 60s Punk.