In February 1966, Tower records released Like a Dribbling Fram, a zany parody of Bob Dylan’s “Like a Rolling Stone” by someone going by the moniker Race Marbles, which sounds like a Hanna Barbera cartoon character. The song has a cartoon quality, too (maybe Hanna Barbera meets R. Crumb). Who the hell is Race Marbles? Is he a studio musician goofing off with some spare tape, or an institutionalized weirdo exploited for his “outsider art” like Daniel Johnston and Wild Man Fisher? I have no idea. I cannot imagine this single sold well originally, but you can find it on the garage rock anthology Pebbles Vol. 3: The Acid Gallery (Pebbles is the third best such anthology, after Nuggets and Back from the Grave).
Marbles begins his surreal ballad with perhaps the best opening line ever: “I used to have these argyle socks . . .” His girlfriend comes in to tell him that argyle socks are out of style, whereupon he begins to rant and free associate (after giving her a karate chop to the neck) rhymes involving Jerry Vale,Ginger ale, and a violent snail. He then asks his band if he can blow his harmonica, blows a few torturous notes, then a crash is heard. “I dropped my harmonica,” he notes, and yells at the bass player not to step on his harmonica. “You think you can kill harmonicas like that? More will come. Then there’ll be no more bass players, only harmonica players!” So at bottom, I guess, it’s a song about revolution.