Baton Rouge, LA-based garage band the Basement Wall were formed in 1963 by singer/bassist Terry Bourdier, guitarist Richard Lipscomb, and drummer Barrie Edgar. Drawing inspiration from the British Invasion, the group started its career playing Beatles and Rolling Stones covers. With the subsequent addition of lead vocalist and guitarist George Ratzlaff, the Basement Wall graduated from local frat gigs to nightclub dates as far away as Los Angeles, along the way becoming the highest-paid cover band in the southern U.S., according to the Louisiana Entertainment Association.
In due time, the Basement Wall also began writing original material, in 1968 signing to the Senate label to issue their lone official single, "Never Existed," a keyboard-driven regional smash similar in spirit to Texas punk, no doubt an outgrowth of the band's myriad Lone Star State gigs. Additional recordings were made but remained unreleased until the Cicadelic label compiled The Incredible Sound of the Basement Wall in 1985.
In 1968 Bourdier got married and retired from the road. Despite adding bassist Duke Bardwell, who later toured with Elvis Presley, the Basement Wall soon dissolved. Ratzlaff later resurfaced in the blues-rock outfit Potliquor, recording three LPs for Janus and scoring a Hot 100 hit with the single "Cheer." In mid-June of 2005, the original Basement Wall lineup reunited for the first time in close to four decades, gigging in honor of the band's induction into the Louisiana Entertainment Hall of Fame. ~ Jason Ankeny