Sometimes referred to as The Count Five, whether with a 'the', or no 'the', these high school age garage rockers from San Jose CA reached the U.S. Top Ten singles chart in 1966 with Psychotic Reaction, the title track of their only album, released on indie Double Shot Records. Despite wearing Dracula style capes, and touring with other high profile rock acts of the time including The Doors, Beach Boys, The Hollies, Byrds, Dave Clark Five, Sony and Cher, Them and others, their album failed to rank higher than 122 on the charts.
Despite wearing Dracula style capes, and touring with other high profile rock acts of the time including The Doors, Beach Boys, The Hollies, Byrds, Dave Clark Five, Sony and Cher, Them and others, their album failed to rank higher than 122 on the charts. The teenage band members decided to pursue college degrees, and would have likely faded largely into dustbins of history had interest not been rekindled by fervent and influential fans.
Respect for this band came mostly posthumously, as their material began showing up on later compilations most infamously including Lenny Kaye's Nuggets Vol. 1, set as well as numerous others, and reissues on retro labels like Rhino and Edsel.
Another twist of fate came when rock writer Lester Bangs solidified the groups reputation through an essay entitled "Psychotic Reactions and Carburetor Dung" that later became the title of a book. In the piece, the wildly effusive Bangs credited the band for having released several acclaimed imaginary albums ? "Carburetor Dung", "Cartesian Jetstream", "Ancient Lace and Wrought-Iron Railings", and "Snowflakes Falling On the International Dateline" all supposedly produced with an increasing sense of artistry and refinement. Despite Bangs' glowing prose, none of these albums actually existed, but the public's imagination was somewhat piqued.
In 1987, the group reformed for a brief reunion in San Jose that later was released as a live album "Psychotic Reaction Live". Original vocalist John "Sean" Byrne and drummer Craig Atkinson have since died, but bassist Roy Chaney still performs and releases music occasionally with a band known as The Count. Other founding members include guitarist John "Mouse" Michalski and original bassist Kenn Ellner