Garage rock and Muppet history was made on September 18, 1966 as this date marked the first television appearance on CBS-TV’s The Ed Sullivan Show of Jim Henson’s Muppets. This is long before the Muppets became an institution, this is back when they were just an act. They were thereafter featured on the show regularly until it ended in 1971. For this first appearance, Henson chose a demented and pretty savage pure 1966 garage rock song called “Rock It To Me” by a teen band comprised of four actual brothers (Alf, Frank, Mike, and Joe Delia) from Pearl River, New York, amazingly called The Bruthers. The Bruthers had a great 45 on RCA Records this same year called “Bad Way To Go” backed with “Bad Love.” The A-side was included on influential, early 80’s garage compilation LP Pebbles Volume 8 and was a big hit with the new generation of sixties garage fanatics.
The Bruthers were managed by famous New York promoter Sid Bernstein, and also rumor has it, Ed Sullivan himself. Either way it couldn’t have been more perfect. This insane song has never surfaced outside of this clip, not even on the compilation of unreleased Bruthers material on Sundazed Records.
Sullivan introduced the sketch by showing the audience a present that the Muppets had given him, an instant rock and roll group in a box. He takes it out and places it on a table where the group grows from a small fuzzball into the three-headed rock and roll monster (with built-in guitars and drums). After the monster plays the song, it shrinks back to its original form and is eaten by the character Sour Bird.
In the original footage, Ed Sullivan intro’d this as “Jim Newsome’s Puppets,” but this was later overdubbed.