Classic Singles #15: The Nomads – Thoughts of a Madman / From Zero Down (1966)

“Nothing in the whole world seems so fine, than to die and find peace of mind…”

Nomads_labelThe Nomads was another not uncommon band name in the 60s; this particular bunch came from Mount Airy, North Carolina. This was their second single and it is a raw garage offering, both sides of which are excellent.

‘Thoughts of a Madman’ starts with a great little guitar riff and organ backing, and has an almost understated chorus, before launching into full garage punk mode for the instrumental and outro sections.

The b-side is a raucous frat rocker that finds the band in party mood and doesn’t sound a million miles from something that Tacoma, Washington’s famous sons The Sonics might have dreamed up, with the recording levels in the red for the full duration of the song I wouldn’t be surprised.

Nomads_bandBy 1968 the band had changed name to Blu-Erebus and, in keeping with the times, put out a more psychedelic single ‘Willowgreen / Plastic Year’ on the King James label.

By the way, 80s Scottish garage revival band The Green Telescope (precursors to The Thanes) recorded a great version of ‘Thoughts of a Madman’ for the b-side of their debut single.

Value: $500+

Reissues: Track down the a-side on Vile Vinyl or The Chosen Few, and the b-side on Trip in Tyme Volume 4 or Teenage Shutdown Volume 10.


  •  How Many Times / Not for Me (Stark, 1966)
  • Thoughts of a Madman / From Zero Down (Tornado, 1966)

2 thoughts on “Classic Singles #15: The Nomads – Thoughts of a Madman / From Zero Down (1966)

  1. This is all very interesting. The lead singer and guitarist was my Dad. My mom still has original copies of these records.

  2. At the request of Double Shot/Whiz Records in L.A, California the group went into Reflection Sound Studios and re-did “Willowgreen” as a faster paced rock song and it was released nationally by Whiz Records with the band name being changed to “Willowgreen” and the song title being changed to “Fields Of Peppermint”. We never knew how many copies were actually sold because we were still located in Mt. Airy, N.C. and didn’t have much contact with the record company. The record did get favorable write-ups in both Cashbox and Billboard magazines and we did receive info about the radio airplay it was getting across the U.S.
    Larry Deatherage
    Beggars Lament Publishing Co.

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