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? & the Mysterians

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? & the Mysterians were an American garage rock band from the mid 1960s, best known for their #1 hit "96 Tears". The leader of the group was Question Mark, who later legally changed his name to ?.

?'s eccentric behavior helped establish the group in the national consciousness for a period. He claimed to be a Martian who lived with dinosaurs in a past life, and never appeared in public without his sunglasses. He also claimed that voices told him he would still be performing "96 Tears" in AD 10000. Musically, the group was notable for its innovative use of organs, as well as being one of the first major Latino rock groups.

Robert Balderrama[?] (guitar) and Robert Martinez[?] (drums) formed the band in 1962, soon adding Frank Rodriguez[?] (organ) and ? (vocals), who was probably Robert's brother, Rudy. The Mexican musicians were born in Texas but grew up in Michigan and began playing in 1964. Borjas and Martinez were soon drafted, and Frank Lugo[?] (bass) and Eddie Serrato[?] (drums) replaced them. ? soon wrote "96 Tears" (originally, "Too Many Teardrops", then "69 Tears"). After the song became a regional hit in the Flint and Detroit area, ? signed to Cameo-Parkway[?] because their label was his favorite color, orange. The song was quickly a huge hit, as was their debut album, 96 Tears[?]. Action, the group's follow-up, was not as successful and the band signed with Capitol Records, followed by Tangerine Records[?] and Super K[?], all to little avail.

In the early 1970s, ? & the Mysterians reformed but once again was unable to attract much attention. ? became a dog breeder until the band reconvened in 1978, playing a reunion concert in Dallas, Texas. Still unable to attract much attention, the group disbanded again until the voices from the future told ? to reform the band in 1997. Unable to secure the rights to their own recordings, the Mysterians re-recorded their original album and released it again. Do You Feel It Baby?[?], a live album, was released in 1998 with moderate success.



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