December 05, 2012

The Standells - Sometimes Good Guys Don't Wear White (1966)

Coming from the ashes of a group known as the Starlighters, this band was formed in Los Angeles, California in 1962. Their name came about when they noticed often they had to “stand” around outside of booking agents’ offices while attempting to find work. In their earliest performances, they used an alternate spelling, The Standels, but adopted their finalized spelling in 1963. In 1964, the band performed “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” written by Lennon/McCartney on the popular television show The Munsters. Although the band had numerous songs which reached moderate levels of popularity, they only reached the Top 40 once, with their most well-known hit “Dirty Water.” That song, now associated with nearly all professional Boston sports teams in the United States, reached number eleven on June 11, 1966, after having been released in late 1965.

Released in 1966, this song was one of the group’s intended hits after the success of “Dirty Water.” It was released on an album featuring ten tracks, the most notable other than this one being “Why Pick On Me.” The song was later covered by the Washington D.C. punk band Minor Threat.

album art

The Standells - Sometimes Good Guys Don't Wear White (1966)

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I'm a poor boy born in the rubble
And some say my manners ain't the best
And some of my friends, yeah, they've been in real trouble
And some say I'm no better than the rest
But tell your mama and your papa
Sometimes good guys don't wear white

Every day, baby, I work hard
And, it's true, at night I spend a restless time
But those rich kids and all that lazy money
Can't hold a candle to mine
So tell your mama and your papa
Sometimes good guys don't wear white

Good guys, bad guys, which is which?
The white collar worker or the digger in the ditch?
Hey, and who's to say who's the better man
When I've always done the best I can?

How bad was his dirty mind?
All those messed up chicks of the changin' times
White pills and easy livin'
Can't replace the love I've given
So tell your mama and your papa
Sometimes good guys don't wear white

Ha, I mean to tell ya
You better tell your mama and your papa somethin'
I'll split off by myself with another chick, yeah
Ah, just a kick
You think those guys in the white collars are better than I am, baby?
Then flake off
You don't dig this long hair?
Get yourself a crew-cut, baby
I mean what I said…


  1. minor threat does a killer cover!

    1. Haha, I often have to pass up on some classic punk songs because they don't really fit in with the site. I still debate whether or not to put up The Ramones!