'Twas Brillig

Biography by

The complicated discographical history of 'Twas Brillig is confusing and, in hindsight, sadly unnecessary. 'Twas Brillig were actually the Electras, a very respectable Minnesota garage band that sounded…
Read Full Biography

Artist Biography by

The complicated discographical history of 'Twas Brillig is confusing and, in hindsight, sadly unnecessary. 'Twas Brillig were actually the Electras, a very respectable Minnesota garage band that sounded somewhat like a rawer version of Paul Revere & the Raiders, with influences from the Yardbirds and Zombies as well. They had already released four singles, including the Minneapolis hit "Dirty Ol' Man," when it was decided, for obscure reasons (referred to as "legal reasons" by producer Warren Kendrick in the liner notes to The Scotty Story), that their name needed to be changed to the infinitely inferior 'Twas Brillig. Three 'Twas Brillig singles were issued in 1966 on two different labels, all of which had "Dirty Ol' Man" on one side, accompanied by three different flipsides. Furthermore, three of the four songs on these 'Twas Brillig singles had already been issued on previous singles billed the Electras. And as icing on the cake, the one time any Electras single was licensed to a major label (the CBS subsidiary Date), it was not issued under the Electras name, but under the 'Twas Brillig name. It was all an unholy mess, probably serving to confuse whatever supporters the band had.

The Electras dropped the 'Twas Brillig handle and reverted to billing themselves as the Electras on their final two singles in 1967. However, confusion continued to be propagated when the liner notes to a compilation called Rare Tracks, ostensibly comprised of rarities by fellow Minnesota '60s garage band the Litter, included a few Electras cuts, with liner notes claiming that Warren Kendrick "used the Litter musicians to record also some obscure singles under the name of 'Twas Brilling [sic]." That isn't so. 'Twas a dark and stormy night indeed when the band's name was inappropriately and needlessly changed, not only impairing their chances for success, but causing intense garage collectors to bang their heads against the wall in frustration for years trying to figure out who was who.