Count Five

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Count Five pose in front of San Jose's historic Winchester Mystery House.

Formed in 1964 in San Jose, California, USA, Count Five were a classic one-hit wonder whose Yardbirds-inspired psychedelic-punk hit Psychotic Reaction, reached the US Top 5 in 1966.  They first drew attention by wearing Dracula-style capes to their gigs. After recording one album, also titled PSYCHOTIC REACTION, they continued to release singles before disbanding in 1969.

Band Line Up:

As they were in 1966 (left to right in the photo below):
COUNT ONE!  John "Sean" Byrne, 19, vocalist, rhythm guitar, composter, sophomore at San Jose City College, a native of Dublin, Ireland.

COUNT TWO!  Craig "Butch" Atkinson, 19, drums, sophomore at San Jose State College, originally from Springfield, Missouri.

COUNT THREE!  Kenn Ellner, 18, leader, vocalist, tambourine, harmonica, freshmant at Los Altos Foothill College, born in Brooklyn, New York.

COUNT FOUR!  Roy Chaney, 18, fender bass, freshman at San Jose City College, home-town Indianapolis, Indiana.

COUNT FIVE!  John "Mouse" Michalski, 18, lead guitar, senior at San Jose Pioneer High School, hails from Cleveland, Ohio.
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A picture sleeve single from Spain.

Click here to read an interview with John "Sean" Byrne from July 2003 (reproduced courtesy of

Selected Discography:

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(Double Shot DSM 1001) released in 1966
side 1: Double-Decker Bus / Pretty Big Mouth / The World / My Generation / She's Fine / Psychotic Reaction
side 2: Peace Of Mind / They're Gonna Get You / The Morning After / Can't Get Your Lovin' / Out In The Street

Singles (non LP tracks appear in purple):
A side B side Label and catalog # Release Date
Psychotic Reaction They're Gonna Get You Double Shot 104 July 1966
Peace of Mind The Morning After Double Shot 106 November 1966
Teeny Bopper,Teeny Bopper You Must Believe Me Double Shot 110 March 1967
Contrast Merry-Go-Round Double Shot 115 June 1967
Declaration of Independence Revelation In Slow Motion Double Shot 125 January 1968
Mailman Pretty Big Mouth Double Shot 141 1969

Compact Discs:
There are numerous re-issues of the LP on compact disc. My advice is to ignore all of them except a release titled PSYCHOTIC REVELATION on the Big Beat label. This release contains the original album's 11 tracks, the 7 non LP tracks, plus a demo version of Contrast, and four previously unreleased songs:    Move It Up / So Much / People Hear What I Say / Enchanted Flowers.

There is also a live CD called Psychotic Reunion Live. This features 14 live tracks recorded on April 11th 1987, during a reunion concert in San Jose.

Live Performances: (there are many more, but these are the only ones I know of)

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Aug 14, 1966. Bakersfield Civic Auditorium, CA. The Animals, The Surfaris, The Count Five, Floyd & Jerry, The Avengers.

Aug 24, 1966. unknown location. Count Five, plus Ernie & the Emperors.

Sept 17, 1966. Shrine Exposition Hall in Los Angeles, CA. "Freak Out" with The Mother of Invention, Little Gary Ferguson, The West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band, The Factory, Count Five, and Kenny Dino.

Fall 1966. Count Five appear on episode #1748 of American Bandstand (broadcast 12-Nov-66) performing Psychotic Reaction and Piece of Mind.

May 13, 1967. Santa Rosa Fairgrounds, CA.  Below, a thin paper handbill for this show featuring Count 5, Iron Butterfly, and Bystanders.
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July 7, 1967. The Bold Knight in Sunnyvale, CA.   Below, a thin paper handbill for this show.
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July 15, 1967. The Terrace Room at 1500 Almaden Road in San Jose, CA. Featured performances by Count Five, New Dawn, and The Art Collection.


A nice collection of picture sleeve singles from around the world by Count Five and others.

Psychotic Revelation: The Ultimate Count Five from Big Beat records (a.k.a. Ace Records)

The Count (a current band with ex-Count Five members)

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