Hey @whostolethebatmobile, it sounds like you may be hip to Greg Shaw. If not, he was the first Rock music critic to start (in the late-60’s!) a fanzine devoted to Garage, which he named Bomp Magazine. He also started a record label (also named Bomp), and was for a while The Flamin’ Groovies manager. His office/warehouse was in Burbank, where I visited him a lot in the 80’s-90’s, buying Garage/Punk/import 45’s (my collection of 7" 45’s numbers somewhere around 750-800). Shaw’s primary musical interest was Garage, about which he was an expert (he wrote the liner notes for a lot of Garage/Punk compilation albums). In 2004 he died suddenly at age 55 of a cardiac arrest, leaving behind a massive collection of Garage Band 45’s, estimated to number about 100,000!
I grew up in San Jose in the 60's, and if you are as into Garage as I think you are, you know what that means: as a teenager I saw perform live The Chocolate Watchband (seen in the Roger Corman movie Riot On Sunset Strip. The Watchband’s drummer went to my High School), The Otherside, The Syndicate Of Sound ("Little Girl"), The Trolls/Stained Glass (two albums on Capitol Records, no hits), People ("I Love You"), and all the other San Jose Garage Bands you’ve read about. I somehow managed to miss The Count Five (of "Psychotic Reaction" fame). I also saw The Music Machine ("Talk Talk". They were great!) and other national acts when they came through on tour. San Jose is considered by Rock ’n’ Roll historians to be Ground Zero for Garage, with at least one band on every suburban block!
I love The Sonics to death, and saw the reformed line-up about ten years ago. But my favorite Garage Band of them all is The Lyres. I saw them at Club Lingerie on Sunset Blvd. in the 1980’s, and almost lost my mind. They’re real good on record, but insanely great live. Monoman (Jeff Conolly) plays his Vox Continental organ with one hand, and a tambourine with the other. He is a man possessed!