? and the Mysterians  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Question Mark and the Mysterians (or ? and the Mysterians) were an American rock and roll band formed in Bay City, Michigan, in 1962.

The group is best known for its song "96 Tears," a garage rock classic recorded in 1966 that reached #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and would go on to sell over one million copies and receive a BMI award for over three million airplays. Rudy Martinez, the lead singer, legally changed his name to Question Mark (?). Question Mark and the Mysterians was perhaps the first band to be described as punk rock , and also may be the first Latino rock group to have a general audience hit record in the United States. The group named itself after the 1957 Japanese science fiction film The Mysterians, in which aliens from the destroyed planet Mysteroid arrive to conquer Earth.

The band's frontman and primary songwriter was Question Mark. Though the singer has never confirmed it, Library of Congress copyright registrations indicate that his birth name is Rudy Martinez. His eccentric behavior helped to briefly establish the group in the national consciousness. He claimed (and still claims) to be a Martian who lived with dinosaurs in a past life, and he never appears in public without sunglasses. He has also claimed that voices told him he would still be performing "96 Tears" in the year 10,000.

First band to be described as punk rock

The term punk rock was coined by Dave Marsh, who used it to describe the music of Question Mark & the Mysterians in the May 1971 issue of Creem magazine.



Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "? and the Mysterians" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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