For me personally, I respect all surf tunes for what they are. They are a product of their time period, which I really wish I could have been old enough to have been a part of. I don't really hate any of them, though I definitely like some a lot more than others.
What I don't care for is how radio, movies, and TV have always treated surf - it's like they only know the most well-known of the well-known songs and they use them to invoke a certain "theme" or "feeling" in a scene, etc. So people only associate with those particular songs and unless they are really interested in delving deeper into the genre, they probably think all surf sounds just like "Miserlou", "Wipeout", etc.
It's kind of funny that when I refer to surf guitar music in conversation with non-musicians that I know, they have no idea what I am even talking about...until I say "Ever see Pulp Fiction?"...then boing! The light bulb goes on.
Oh and by the way...I know "Surfin Bird" is completely stupid, but that's exactly why I like it.
I know this is an old thread, but I feel that I have to add my two cent’s worth.
That’s a great observation. Pop music has always been rife with fads and people trying to sell whatever seemed hot at the moment. Songs that make sense in a certain time period don’t necessarily have anywhere near the same impact at some other point in time. Top 40 has always been about the flavor of the month and youth tend to be tuned into what is or is not cool at the moment. There was no need for Bach or Mozart levels of compositional skill; capturing the moment is what mattered most
In many ways, I think much of what I read comes down to what is overplayed. I love Secret Agent Man, but for many audiences, this has long since worn out its welcome. When Pulp Fiction came out, Surf Rider was all but forgotten and people were ready to welcome Surf music back into the mainstream when they heard it in the movie. The fact that Surf has remained at least somewhat viable in the years since is what I find the most amazing, and heartening. I would credit that to the Internet as a way for people with common interests to communicate.
The Astronauts, the Chantays, the Bel Airs and many others provided the foundation and no structure can be better than its foundation. Some of the newer Surf, built upon that very foundation, is excellent, some of it is not. When I think of some of the truly great Surf written in modern time I am quite impressed, but that is not the same sort of thing as a bunch of teens capturing the moment 55 + years ago and showing us the way.—
The artist formerly known as: Synchro
When Surf Guitar is outlawed only outlaws will play Surf Guitar.