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Category: Surf Scene News

Fifty Years of Surf Music

Submitted by John on September 08, 2011.
Surf Scene News

Fifty years ago, the earliest forms of surf music were being defined and cultured in the beach communities of Southern California. It was, in great part, focused on the high school social scene; music created by and for teenagers (not by and for surfers). The emergent (and most frequent) form was the reverbed guitar instrumental (Dick Dale & The Del-Tones, The Challengers, The Surfaris, The Chantays, etc.), but the popular form of surf music was vocal (Beach Boys, Jan & Dean, Bruce & Terry, etc.). Celebrating the 50th anniversary of surf music in 2011 is actually a celebration of the first four important recordings of this genre, released during the last half of 1961 (the “golden years” of the music were 1962 and 1963, so the celebration might continue for awhile!):

Let’s Go Trippin’” by Dick Dale & The Del-Tones. Widely considered to be the first surf instrumental recording, it was released on Dale’s own record label (Deltone) in September, 1961. Dale and his band were packing them in every weekend at the huge Rendezvous Ballroom in Balboa.

Mr. Moto” by The Belairs. It’s not exactly clear when The Belairs’ first recording was available in local record shops, but it would have been very close to the release of Dale’s single. The band was from the South Bay area of Southern California, a group of small beach communities just north of the Palos Verdes Peninsula. Both Dick Dale & The Del-Tones and The Belairs played equally important roles in the emerging surf music style in 1961. A large percentage of the kids who came to see both bands were avid surfers. It was the audience, not the performers, that ultimately coined the term “surf music.” The sound and energy of the style came from Dick Dale; the style and form came from The Belairs.

“Surfin’” by The Beach Boys. Part of the South Bay enclave was the city of Hawthorne, forever known as the “birthplace” of The Beach Boys. In the fall of 1961, the bouncy and danceable “Surfin’” – a vocal – quickly became a local radio hit. When the band signed with Capitol Records in the summer of 1962, the music suddenly went nationwide.

“Surfer’s Stomp” by The Marketts. They were a studio group produced by Joe Saraceno who saw their recording climb into the Top 40 and remain on the national charts for over two months in the waning days of 1961 and early 1962. It was, arguably, the first rock instrumental recording to incorporate the word “surf” in the title; certainly the first such recording to be nationally distributed (“Surfer’s Stomp” went from the indy label, Union, to the major label, Liberty in early 1962). Despite all the trappings of the winter season, “Surfer’s Stomp” made the rest of the country’s teenagers aware that something cool was starting to happen on the West Coast.

By the early spring of 1962, there was no mistaking the new genre of pop music. It was all over the radio, it had a name, and it had a certain sound and form. Happy 50th Anniversary to surf music, and a toast of gratitude to Dick Dale & The Del-Tones, The Belairs, The Beach Boys, and The Marketts.

-- John Blair

Category: Surf Scene News Comments 11 comments Permalink

You've Entered The Shrunken Head Lounge!

Submitted by noodles on August 09, 2011.
Surf Scene News

The Shrunken Head Lounge is the grooviest new surf music radio show which is gaining worldwide popularity.

We currently broadcast to over 200,000 surf fans and are looking to be the coolest Surf Music Radio Show ever!

If you'd like to be a part of our broadcast, send an mp3 with your Band name to

Check out the site to find archived shows ready for broadcast on any on-air and internet based radio station.

The Shrunken Head Lounge - Surf Radio Show


Category: Surf Scene News Comments 0 comments Permalink

Damian from Mister Neutron will be Guitar World editor starting April 18

Submitted by MisterNeutron on March 30, 2011.
Surf Scene News

Not THE editor, of course!

But as of April 18, I'll be the online managing editor at Guitar World magazine, which is based in the lovely and talented New York City.

Some of you might be familiar with the print edition of the magazine, which has been hard-rock-heavy for a while. But the new website -- the redesigned version of which will be launched in May or June -- will be very much open to all guitar genres. Including surf/instro!

So basically, a surf guitarist will be an editor at Guitar World magazine.

Just an FYI!


Damian Fanelli

P.S.: Mister Neutron / Asbury Lanes / Asbury Park, NJ / May 20!!!

Category: Surf Scene News Comments 9 comments Permalink

Please Donate to the Victor Vector Fund

Submitted by Brian on March 14, 2011.
Surf Scene News

Victor Vector, aka Jonny Shamen, came down with a severe case of pneumonia right after the Man or Astro-Man? tour wrapped up. He's been in the hospital for over a week now. As with most working musicians, he has no health insurance. In addition, he has a wife and young child. His family could really use some help. Please take a moment and send a few bucks his way. Thank you!

Category: Surf Scene News Comments 0 comments Permalink

Radio show seeks music to air

Submitted by Arjay on March 08, 2011.
Surf Scene News

Aloha, all.

I am looking for promo CDs of surf music bands to air on my "Island Time" radio show.  If you would like to send me anything, here's my address:

P.O. Box 1269, Kilauea, Hawaii 96754.

My show originated on KMXT public radio in October, 2000, and is about to be revived there. I frankly was unaware of how many bands are producing great music in the old style, and I would like to air your music to the "Island Time" mix.


Category: Surf Scene News Comments 0 comments Permalink

Passing of Astronaut Bob Demmon

Submitted by cowabungabro on December 23, 2010.
Surf Scene News

Surf music fans lost this week someone who I feel was a great contibutor to the genre . Astronauts guitarist, Bob Demmon passed away on Saturday and although inactive from the surf scene for many years, his influence will be with us forever.

Here is a link to the details:




Category: Surf Scene News Comments 0 comments Permalink

Kick-start the Reverb Junkies Film

Submitted by Brian on November 05, 2010.
Surf Scene News

Surf music is alive no matter what Jimi Hendrix said...

"Reverb Junkies" is a high-energy feature film documenting the current surf music scene in southern California. Shot over the course of the summer of 2010, "Reverb Junkies" takes you inside this little known sub-genre of Rock and Roll. This documentary introduces you to some of the people playing the fastest, hottest instrumental music around and to the rabid fans of all ages who can't get enough.

Executive Producer/Director Steve Seagren, along with Producer Alan Altur, Producer Tony Dimond and Producer/Director of Photography Steve Gelder shot almost 200 hours of live performances and interviews with some of the best surf music bands from southern California and the world, including The Ghastly Ones, The Dynotones, The Space Cossacks, Surfside IV, Thee Swank Bastards and Szandora, Wadadli Riders from Antigua, Space Rangers from Germany, The Tequila Worms, Creepy Creeps, CHUM, Jason Lee and the R.I.P.Tides, Exene Cervenka from X, Dominic Priore (author of 'Pop Surf Culture'), Tiki Tena, surf radio hosts Clint Beachwood and Cousin Mary, Glasgow Tiki Shakers, Pyronauts, Kelp, Pollo Del Mar, and many, many more.

We are currently entering the post-production phase of our project, and we are looking for funds to complete the editing, color correction and a sound mix, as well as for some festival entry fees, press kits, etc. All of this adds up quickly, and in order to complete the movie properly, we feel we need to raise at least $10,000 with this Kickstarter campaign - so, here we go!

We have some great items available to those who choose to participate at various levels (DVDs, t-shirts, posters, etc. - check them out over there to the right...), and we've even opened up three (3) Associate Producer credits. These will be a unofficial title only (you don't get to put your buddy's surf band in the movie, sorry), but your name will appear in the credits of the movie and with the film on the official Internet Movie Data Base ( Also, as an Associate Producer, you will receive updates on when and where "Reverb Junkies" is playing at various film festivals, and occasional invitations to some of these screenings (transportation and lodging not included).

If you'd like to contribute without getting anything in return, you have that option, too. Thanks from all of us involved with "Reverb Junkies" for checking out our Kickstarter profile, and when you eventually see our movie, PLAY IT LOUD!

Please go here to kick-start Reverb Junkies!

Category: Surf Scene News Comments 0 comments Permalink

Reverb Junkies: New Surf Music Documentary

Submitted by Brian on October 28, 2010.
Surf Scene News

This is the official video for the recently-named surf documentary "Reverb Junkies," scheduled for release in 2011. With almost 200 hours of live performance footage and interviews to choose from, this film introduces you to some of the people playing the fastest, hottest instrumental music around and to the rabid fans of all ages who can't get enough.

Category: Surf Scene News Comments 2 comments Permalink

New Sundazed Limited Edition LP Releases

Submitted by Brian on August 19, 2010.
Surf Scene News

Category: Surf Scene News Comments 0 comments Permalink

Dick Dale Riding The Wave Back From Cancer: L.A. Times Article

Submitted by Brian on July 28, 2010.
Surf Scene News
The L.A. Times Entertainment blog has a great article entitled Dick Dale: Surf guitar king riding the wave back from cancer. This story is a must read to appreciate the resiliency and determination of our favorite guitar player. Please join SurfGuitar101 in wishing Dick a complete and full recovery from his recent medical issues. As one forum member put it: "Dick Dale is The Victor!"

Category: Surf Scene News Comments 0 comments Permalink