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SurfGuitar101 Forums » Surf Music General Discussion »

Permalink 50th ANNIVERSARY OF THE BIRTH OF SURF MUSIC!!!

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All true, Norm, though let's also not forget that in 1961 Dick was 24 and the Wrecking Crew players were at least in their mid-20s, with some of them even in their early 30s (Hal Blaine, Tommy Tedesco). The Astronauts were about 24 when Baja was released. So, we have some notable examples of non-teenage pro musicians playing this music, too.

Ivan
The Madeira Official Website
The Madeira on Facebook
The Madeira Channel on YouTube
The Space Cossacks on Facebook

Yes, some of these guys were older but the majority of the bands were teens and the audience was teens. I think it was Tommy Tedesco that said he had to "play like a teenager" on these sessions. I don't take that as a putdown at all. I think it's all about maintaining that energy, which is difficult. Cool thread, man.

"Think Fink" Ed "Big Daddy" Roth
https://www.facebook.com/BossFink

shivers13 wrote:

I think it was Tommy Tedesco that said he had to "play
like a teenager" on these sessions. I don't take that
as a putdown at all. I think it's all about
maintaining that energy, which is difficult.

Definitely. And the Marketts' Surfer's Stomp, for all of its historical importance, totally fails in that regard! Despite their incredible abilities, I don't think the Wrecking Crew were able to do that very well very often. They were much better with the more pop-like vocal material where the music was just the background and didn't need as much oomph. Having said that, the Wrecking Crew did a great job with some of Dick's material - stuff like Hava Nagila or The Wedge, well, wow. And as recently discussed in the surf bass thread, the bass playing on the King of the Surf Guitar album is among the most impressive in all of first wave (probably Carol Kaye?).

Ivan
The Madeira Official Website
The Madeira on Facebook
The Madeira Channel on YouTube
The Space Cossacks on Facebook

Real nice write up, John - Thank You.

And... Ahhh discussion of surf music Yes

Granted I have little (or nothing) to contribute with regard to the history, I really enjoy this aspect of the forum/community. Carry on!

fady

IvanP wrote:

I don't
think the Wrecking Crew were able to do that very well
very often. They were much better with the more
pop-like vocal material where the music was just the
background and didn't need as much oomph. Having said
that, the Wrecking Crew did a great job with some of
Dick's material - stuff like Hava Nagila or The Wedge,
well, wow. And as recently discussed in the surf bass
thread, the bass playing on the King of the Surf Guitar
album is among the most impressive in all of first wave
(probably Carol Kaye?).

Ivan, I'm not a big fan of The Surfer's Stomp tune either but check out The Superstocks instros and Hal Blaine's Deuces T's Roadsters and Drums. I think it's great Hi-Energy instro stuff. Cool that you mentioned the Dick Dale Capitol stuff too. The Wrecking Crew backed him on that and it kicks ass. Also, The Challengers used Blaine as well and that stuff is their best recordings.

"Think Fink" Ed "Big Daddy" Roth
https://www.facebook.com/BossFink

image

image

image

Happy Birthday, surf!

http://www.reverbnation.com/thedeadranchhands

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jZEW74mHjQk

shivers13 wrote:

check out The Superstocks instros

Norm, I've got all the Superstocks and Hondells stuff. Love Surf Route 101 the best, with all the Podolar instros. But I enjoy their vocals, too. I just think the music in the background is kinda generic, but the songs are often quite good.

and Hal Blaine's Deuces T's Roadsters and Drums.

This I've never picked up. I should.

I think it's
great Hi-Energy instro stuff. Cool that you mentioned
the Dick Dale Capitol stuff too. The Wrecking Crew
backed him on that and it kicks ass. Also, The
Challengers used Blaine as well and that stuff is their
best recordings.

Oh yeah, LOVE the K-39/Sidewalk-Surfing-period of the Challengers with Blaine on drums, some of my favorite surf drumming ever! He's just so fluid.... But he was playing with the rest of the Challengers, and those guys were great, they knew what they were doing - they weren't emulating, they were the real deal (despite Art Fisher not really using much if any reverb on most of those recordings).

Ivan
The Madeira Official Website
The Madeira on Facebook
The Madeira Channel on YouTube
The Space Cossacks on Facebook

Ivan, a big thumbs up for mentioning The Hondells. One of my faves and another mostly vocal studio group that had really great instros as well. Same with The Buddies. Davie Allan is on lead on some of that stuff as you probably know. Love that Surf Route 101 record by the Superstocks. Their best record hands down. Most people don't know about these session groups, but they played a big part.

"Think Fink" Ed "Big Daddy" Roth
https://www.facebook.com/BossFink

Happy 50th Surf Music - you are looking and sounding younger everyday!

Tim O
oestmann guitar

clips

I read somewhere that the Beach Boys' first session with Capitol was on Feb 8, 1962. I was born that day!

Must have been destined to have something to do with surf music all along!

http://www.reverbnation.com/spaceparty4

Surf, you don't look a day over 40. You look maavelous! Embarrassed

http://www.reverbnation.com/thedeadranchhands

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jZEW74mHjQk

January 4, 1960 was the release date of the earliest surf guitar instrumental, "Bulldog" by George Tomsco with the Fireballs. Listen to what George himself says, but above all hear him play the song. This is 100% surf guitar. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TXNhywa5qHc

I have the original 45 rpm disc of this song, on the Top Rank record label. It is buried in a closet, I'll find it and post a photo soon.

So we are nearly onto the 52nd year of surf music.

http://www.myspace.com/SurfInsanitizers

Squid wrote:

January 4, 1960 was the release date of the earliest
surf guitar instrumental, "Bulldog" by George Tomsco
with the Fireballs. Listen to what George himself says,
but above all hear him play the song. This is 100% surf
guitar. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TXNhywa5qHc

I have the original 45 rpm disc of this song, on the
Top Rank record label. It is buried in a closet, I'll
find it and post a photo soon.

So we are nearly onto the 52nd year of surf music.

I concur with you that the Fireballs started the whole deal, but unfortunately, most people don't agree, as the reverb on the Fireballs' recordings was generated by Norman Petty in his studio. George Tomsco told me that they always played "dry" and Norman worked his magic in the studio. He did tell me that they did play with Reverb units live, once they came out. In 1960, the Shadows were also doing instrumentals overseas and not using reverb. However, the credit is given to Dick Dale, who used the reverb tank when recording.

Matt "tha Kat" Lentz
Otto and the Ottomans: 2014-
The Coconauts surf band: 2009-2014
www.theamazingcoconauts.com
Group Captain and the Mandrakes 2013
http://www.gcmband.com/
The Surfside IV: 2002-2005, 2008-2009
the Del-Vamps: 1992-1999, 2006-2007
http://www.dblcrown.com/delvamps.html

The Fireball's didn't kick off a surfing movement with their song though. I agree that there is very little to distinguish Bulldog from other early "surf" instrumentals (Mr. Moto & Let's Go Trippin'). However as the genre developed, you had more and more reverb and glissandos to solidify the sound.

You could make the same argument with the Venture's Walk Don't Run as you have with Bulldog. These are great guitar instrumentals, but they didn't capture popular attention on the Southern California surfing scene.

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And don't forget Moon Dawg by The Gamblers which actually has a bonified surf feel and it came out in 1960 before Let's Go Trippin' and Mr. Moto. Who was first? A complicated answer but Dick Dale had his own sound which became the signature "surf sound" that everyone copied and defined the genre.

"Think Fink" Ed "Big Daddy" Roth
https://www.facebook.com/BossFink

Let's not forget Johnny & the Hurricanes (from Toledo, OH - 60 miles away from me!), whose instrumental Crossfire was a big national hit in the summer of '59 and which certainly featured pretty much all the elements of surf music (minus reverb).

The way I think about these things (and I don't think there's one right way) is that surf music started off a a cultural phenomenon rather than a music genre - surf music was initially surf music due to the surfing-related titles, but the music itself wasnn't that different from popular rock&roll instrumentals of the time by the Fireballs, the Ventures, Johnny & the Hurricanes, Duane Eddy and Link Wray. (And certainly Paul Johnson has talked a lot about his original view that he was simply writing and playing rock instrumentals, not surf, and has talked a lot about the influence of all of those bands and artists.) But once there was that cultural distinction for SoCal instrumentals, it created an identity which allowed it to become more distinctive. You can see that happening throughout '62, as the surf instros become more and more differentiated from the earlier r&r instros. (And BTW, neither Let's Go Trippin' nor Mr. Moto used reverb.)

That's my take on it all. So, I still say Let's Go Trippin' was the first surf instro. I like how the two CD in the Birth Of the Surf series on Ace Records show this evolution, including stuff like Crossfire and Moon Dawg as well as multiple other predecessors.

Ivan
The Madeira Official Website
The Madeira on Facebook
The Madeira Channel on YouTube
The Space Cossacks on Facebook

Well said, Ivan. Surf music was definitely drawing on quite a few other styles for inspiration. I would say that Mariachi music had a lot of influence on surf and a huge indication that the bands listed above by Ivan were influencial is the fact that most surf bands covered songs by those artists.

About Paul Johnson; I read that he was opposed to using reverb and it was Eddie that was pushing it for the Bel-Airs.

Matt "tha Kat" Lentz
Otto and the Ottomans: 2014-
The Coconauts surf band: 2009-2014
www.theamazingcoconauts.com
Group Captain and the Mandrakes 2013
http://www.gcmband.com/
The Surfside IV: 2002-2005, 2008-2009
the Del-Vamps: 1992-1999, 2006-2007
http://www.dblcrown.com/delvamps.html

Forgive me if this has been posted before, but here's an interesting take on the whole Dick side of things. (I wonder who penned this? Curious that it leads directly to the Dick Dale home page?)

Insect Surfers
The Tikiyaki Orchestra
Fiberglass Jungle Radio
North Sea Surf Radio

Dick dale invented surf music in the 50's... Precisely why one you shouldn't believe everything they read especially on the web. Smile

"Think Fink" Ed "Big Daddy" Roth
https://www.facebook.com/BossFink

I thought Dick Dale invented the mai tai...

Radio Free Bakersfield--60 Minutes of TWANG, CRUNCH, OOMPH.
http://radiofreebakersfield.com
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Radio-Free-Bakersfield/172410279636
http://www.sandiegojoe.com/rfb.htm

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