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SurfGuitar101 Forums » Surf Music General Discussion »

Permalink Surf......Space......whuts the connection ?

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So many 'space' references in Surf Music.
I wonder how that originated. I don't see any real connection between the sport of surfing and space ships, or space travel.

Was it the fact that a famous band from Denver called themselves The Astronauts? Or did this surf/space connection result from that classic 60's album, The Ventures in Space.

Opinions ?

Well, the space race was happening at the same time surf music broke... It was all over popular culture.

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Probably the time period of the early sixties when surf was born, many a time I walked into school in my early years to be herded into the school gym to watch yet another launch into space. After all, it was the "space age".

Surf, Space (or Sci-Fi), Horror, Spy, Spaghetti. Missed any? I haven't made a study of this subject, but I'm interested in it too. Lots of great instrumental music in movies back then.

I remember watching the reflection from Sputnik as it passed overhead one pitch black totally clear country night, and going into auditoriums to watch space launches and landings. We all wanted to be jet pilots or astronauts. Heady stuff for kids our age.

This is Noel. Reverb's at maximum an' I'm givin' 'er all she's got.

Noel wrote:

Surf, Space (or Sci-Fi), Horror, Spy, Spaghetti. Missed any?

Dude! Hotrods & Bikes. Cool

Anyway, it's interesting - I think it's just the nature of instrumental music played mainly with electric guitar.
The themes can not be so specific as with music with lyrics (hold my hand blah blah I'm depressed blah), but require a more general and atmospheric orientation, and that's nature: sea, space, speed&calm, long trips, sunrise/dawn etc.
Also escapist in a way, far reaching imagination and stuff (mainly the Reverb's part).
Bind it all with 60's pop culture you get something very cool.

Ariel


A single, double, triple, quadruple song

Last edited: Mar 05, 2012 12:45:19

I am sure that the connection is largely due to the time-period which the genre came into being. None-the-less, when it comes to modern bands, it is nearly impossible to deny that it mostly relates to the mark Man or Astro-man? made on the genre.

With that said, I am often baffled by how many bands have taken up the MOAM? schtick. I love MOAM? and many of the bands doing the same thing are quite good. But, I have a very difficult time with how blatant many bands are at copying their concept. I can only imagine that, for the most part, this does these younger bands a disservice, as it is very difficult to judge them on their own merrit.

The Space thing isn't the only overdone schtick in the genre though. The Lucha Libre masks are entirely too common. Hell, even our 'horror' schtick is overdone. Our realization of this is a large part of why we have been downplaying it over the past year, in a search to find out own niche.

Kill, Baby...Kill! ... Apocalyptic Surf Punk from the bowels of Alabama!

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Thought of them, but they're (almost?) all vocals, aren't they. And as I type this I start thinking of Davie Allan and Jerry Cole. So I should have included them. Laughing

DreadInBabylon wrote:

Noel wrote:

Surf, Space (or Sci-Fi), Horror, Spy, Spaghetti. Missed any?

Dude! Hotrods & Bikes. Cool

This is Noel. Reverb's at maximum an' I'm givin' 'er all she's got.

No, MOAM? throws in a select vocal track here and there, but they are about 95% instro.

Kill, Baby...Kill! ... Apocalyptic Surf Punk from the bowels of Alabama!

www.killbabykill.com
http://www.deepeddy.net/artists/killbabykill/
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I agree about the Space Age connection. The same for The Ghastly Ones and horror; rooted in the same time frame--when horror pictures were popular with drive-in going youth, and the emergence of Famous Monsters of Filmland, Mario Bava, William Castle, Hammer, AIP, not to mention TV shows like Thriller, Twighlight Zone, The Munsters, Addams Family, The Outer Limits. All at the same time as surfing and hotrods.

OK...but lots of things were "at the same time as surfing and hotrods"...

Rotory phones; JFK; electric typewriters; Frisbees; Hula Hoops; Silly Putty; TV westerns; Fondue parties -

None of those things were 'attached' to surf music.

Oh, it's all so arbitary.

Just why DID Jerry Cole call his band THE SPACEMEN?
That's a good question.

STATOcaster
STRATOsphere.....

All those Gibson amps Gemini, Atlas, Thor. All rockets.

Gretsch Astrojet.

Guild Jetstar.
Space was on the collective mind before the collective mind got spaced out.

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caddady wrote:

Space was on the collective mind before the collective mind got spaced out.

EXACTLY

Oldsmobile Jetstar, Starfire, Rocket.
Ford Starliner, Galaxie.
Hudson Jet.
Lockheed Constellation.

It was an era full of star gazing. Among other things.

This is Noel. Reverb's at maximum an' I'm givin' 'er all she's got.

in general surf music tends to take on an aesthetic of fantasy, lets face it, for most surf rockers even actual surfing is an element of fantasy. thats why there so many fantasy based sub genres of surf, space, horror, spy, hot rod, surf, spaghetti western...

its almost like we should start calling it 'fantasy', or 'adventure' rock

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Louie7 wrote:

OK...but lots of things were "at the same time as surfing and hotrods"...
Rotory phones; JFK; electric typewriters; Frisbees; Hula Hoops; Silly Putty; TV westerns; Fondue parties -
None of those things were 'attached' to surf music.

Well, none of those things were as cool as surfing and space (even Fondue parties!), were they? You can't ignore the cool factor...

Big_Ryan - Exactly, right on. There's a recurring theme of fantasy, open space, wonder. Exciting stuff (with all due respect to hula-hoops).

Ariel


A single, double, triple, quadruple song

Fax-machine rock.

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I dunno.... I think a guy could make a good case for Silly Putty rock.image

Brian wrote:

Fax-machine rock.

That has already been done. It is called 'dubstep'.

Kill, Baby...Kill! ... Apocalyptic Surf Punk from the bowels of Alabama!

www.killbabykill.com
http://www.deepeddy.net/artists/killbabykill/
www.reverbnation.com/killbabykillal
www.facebook.com/killbabykillal

Louie7 wrote:

JFK

Kenny & The Sultans - "Surfin' With Vigor" is the only one I can think of.

killbabykill34 wrote:

None-the-less, when it comes to modern bands, it is nearly impossible to deny that it mostly relates to the mark Man or Astro-man? made on the genre.

Honestly I don't hear any of their influence in the Space Cossacks, Vibrasonic, The Space Agency, the space-themed Surf Coasters, Huntington Cads, Bomboras and Stereophonic Space Sound Unlimited material, or the space albums the Thunderchiefs and Surfites did.

For as many bands as there are cranking out super-derivative MoAM ripoffs (and there are more than a few), there are just as many that looked or are looking back to the 60's space-themed material for inspiration.

That was excessively violent and completely unnecessary. I loved it.

Cars like these fired my imagination as a kid.

Your text to link here...

These are some of GM's Motorama show cars. So many were inspired by the figher jets of the day and rocket ships of the imagination.

This is Noel. Reverb's at maximum an' I'm givin' 'er all she's got.

Last edited: Mar 05, 2012 16:24:14

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