Movin' Morfomen

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The Movin' Morfomen were a New Mexico-based garage band formed by five Espanola High School classmates, Dave Rarick (guitar, keyboards, vocals), Rudy Maestas (guitar, vocals), Anthony Martinez (bass),…
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The Movin' Morfomen were a New Mexico-based garage band formed by five Espanola High School classmates, Dave Rarick (guitar, keyboards, vocals), Rudy Maestas (guitar, vocals), Anthony Martinez (bass), Danny Gavurnick (trumpet, guitar, vocals), and Ed Valdez (drums), in the mid-1960's. Their influences ranged from the Beatles to garage bands like the Standells, although one can also feel the shaping hand of Buddy Holly and Bobby Fuller in some of their music. Their sound was alternately romantic and punk, depending on the song-Dave Rarick wrote a lot of their songs-and they were as good at singing the three-part harmonies as they were at playing the crunchy guitar parts.

The band's name, incidentally, came about through a roadie nicknamed "Morfo, " because he liked monster movies and enjoyed imitating their title creatures-signed to a gig and lacking a name, they hastily declared themselves the Movin' Morfomen. The name didn't stop them from cutting and releasing five singles, some of which did extremely well locally on radio and got them a regional following, bringing them gigs throughout New Mexico and the surrounding region. All of those records showed significant musical attributes and serious musical development, embracing even pychedelia with relative ease and success. Near the end of 1967, the band became less of a cohesive unit and ceased being a full-time activity, as several of the members began drifting into other activities. Ironically, the group held its sound together amazingly well across several changes in musical taste and style, only to see its membership dissolve. By July of 1969, it was over for the group, except as an occasional venture in the studio with a few of the core members, and after 1971 even that ceased. In the 1990's, however, Dave Rarick, Dan Gavurnik, and Ed Valdez continue to perform in New Mexico as the Flashbacks.