The Clocks struck first in late 1979 following the breakup of three bands that were part of Cleveland's "second wave" of underground rockers.
Ex-members of the Pagans, Chronics, and Bernie & the Invisibles got together in an attic studio in Ohio City to record what was to be a one off single. The A-side, inspired by sci-fi author Harlan Ellison, was entitled "Ticktockman" hence the band's name.
A chemistry developed between the participants, after all, they shared a mutual fondness for chemicals, and a working band was soon formed. Soundwise, they blended several vintage musical forms that had been currently revived via the new wave. Rockabilly, power pop, surf, psychedelia, R&B, or ska, the Clocks didn't miss a beat.
When the single came out the following May, Rock Scene, a national supermarket rock tabloid, did a spread on the band that featured a ½ page photo accompanied by a positive review wriiten by "Doc Rock" (a.k.a. Lenny Kaye of the Patti Smith Group) who compared them to who else, the Chocolate Watchband!
Onstage, the Clocks mixed sci fi themed originals and obscure cover songs with plenty of psychobabble stage banter that both intrigued and baffled their audiences. The Clocks played out A LOT! They were a weekend house band at two flats clubs, Tucky's and the Warehouse, a regular at the Mistake, and played countless one-nighters, often with the Wild Giraffes, at suburban nightspots throughout Northeast Ohio.
Some of their more memorable gigs include their shows at the old Agora ballroom, the rock and roll marathon, an opening slot for Iggy Pop, the disasterous "Pride of Cleveland" night, and the near disasterous re-opening of the newly renovated Pop Shop (it got trashed).
They also headlined the first ever Studio A Rama at CWRU's Mather Courtyard and once found themselves in a most unlikely scenario, playing in front of AC/DC at an after concert bash in Erie Pa.
Their over ambitious gigging schedule and a misguided foray into a professional recording studio left the band creatively and financially bankrupt by the end of 1981.
For the Clocks it was evident, there time was up (Sorry). A posthumous LP was released in 1984 entitled "Wake me when it's over" under the name Radio Alarm Clocks (the Clocks name had since been copyrighted). The following year, three of the members formed a spin off group called Venus Envy.