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SurfGuitar101 Forums » Music Reviews »

Permalink The Jokers overview

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I went down the hole listening to these guys, and I'd forgotten how awesome they are. I should start hunting down old LP's (if they can be found). Easy to see why Los Twang Marvels chose to cover this and stick pretty close to this performance.

Sabre Dance

The Mystery Men?
El Capitan and The Reluctant Sadists
SSS Agent #31

Last edited: Apr 29, 2018 15:11:07

There is also a 4cd best of series.


I know this is an old thread, but I was hoping someone could answer my question. I am a huge fan of The Jokers and am learning to play their song, Tabou. I ham trying to figure out what effects he is using to get this spacey sound for his solo. It is at the 1:45 point in this YouTube video

Thanks for any help that you can offer.


I love the jackets and the drummer looks like Jeff Fahey’s uncle!

I think that sound is the side of the pick sliding along the strings. The closer to the bridge, the higher the pitch?

Daniel Deathtide

DeathTide wrote:

I think that sound is the side of the pick sliding along the strings. The closer to the bridge, the higher the pitch?

Yes, that's exactly right. The lead guitarist, being a good, self-respecting '60s Euro-instro guitarist, is using an echo unit, which is key to give it that spacey sound. The technique is exactly as described above by DeathTide, and what you can see the guitarist doing in the video (though it's only a sync to the record, it isn't a live performance) - he's using the pick to slide up the strings (just the two plain strings, high E and B), starting over the pickups and moving towards the bridge, as well as alternatively kinda punching, chopping at those strings with the side of the pick. It's not very easy to get the sound out of the plain strings when you do this, so the technique is a bit tricky and takes practice, but this guy was a truly talented guitarist, so no wonder he found a way to make it work.

Hope that helps. Good luck!

The Madeira Official Website
The Madeira on Facebook
The Blair-Pongracic Band on Facebook
The Space Cossacks on Facebook
The Madeira Channel on YouTube

I am a HUGR Jokers fan. I actually always thought their name was The Fabulous Jokers because that’s what it said on the album I bought in the mid seventies in the cut out bin. It’s the record with Caravan on it. Even though I was into fusion and prog and jazz I wore out that Jokers record. Years later I recorded it into ProTools and converted to mp3s when records were going out of style.

It’s so great to discover this thread. I’m thrilled to learn they were an actual band. I thought maybe they were a studio project. No one in my musical journey has ever mentioned the jokers. But they are a major influence. The lead guitar plays with such a solid groove it’s like it’s a percussionist too even while playing the melody.

What would this genre even be called? The guitar is clean but it sure isn’t straight surf. Is instro a genre? This band happily plays from a wild variety of styles. Sabre Dance is incredible. But it comes from a completely different source than caravan.

Squid From Madrid - New Single on Bandcamp
MB Website

As recorded last night. I use a Dawner Prince Boonar Echorec pedal and the spacey sounds are from using a metal slide.

Lorne (Shake_n_Stomp)

The Surf Shakers (Vancouver BC):

formerly with...
Mai Tai Surf:
The Hang-Ten Hangmen:

Thanks everyone for the responses. I especially love the link to Shake n Stomp's video.

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