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SurfGuitar101 Forums » Surf Videos »

Permalink Jim Thomas received several guitars from Fender and then....

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They were savagely and systematically destroyed in various ways to achieve certain sonic masterpieces like the one posted below. I refer to this one as the Frankenstrat because it is 2 Fender Stratocaster's glued together... This is by no means a traditional surf song but I think you might just like it anyway. Allen is playing a 1969 Gibson Thunderbird Bass through an Ampeg SVT. The drummer Martyn Jones is just the epitome of cool. Enjoy it loud...


Thanks to Bill Cooper for shooting the video, and Michael Zelner for recording the audio. It wouldn't exist otherwise...

I absolutely love this.

THE KBK ... This is the last known signal. We offer Sanctuary.

I remember reading that at one point he used to send each pickup in his Strat to a different amp.

Site dude - S3 Agent #202
Need help with the site? SG101 FAQ - Send me a private message - Email me

"It starts... when it begins" -- Ralf Kilauea

Excellent for so many reasons.
Just MHO, but they kind of remind me of early 70s King Crimson. Even Martyn's drumming has a bit of a Bill Bruford touch. I'm not implying they are derivative of them, just an impression I get at times.

BTW, anyone know what tuning Jim is using on the top neck?

Curve is played in D-A-D-G-B-E. I'd love something like this myself, except with a baritone. I know there are Dano's like this, might track one down some day.


This went from "huh?" to "WOW!" and never looked back. Enjoy it loud, indeed!


"I knew I was in trouble when the Coco-Loco tasted like water!" -- morphball

That's very cool, thanks for posting!

Here's a story about that song. The first time I saw the Mermen they were touring with MoAM? (Ha! Imagine that!), I think it was sometime in '95. I was quite impressed by them and bought their Glorious Lethal Euphoria CD. After really getting into that for a few months, I thought I'd get some more of their stuff, so I called the phone number on the CD. It turned out to be Jim's personal number!!! We ended up chatting for something like two hours, discovering a common interest in shoegazing music, which I was quite into at the time. He also loved bands like My Bloody Valentine, Lush, etc. I talked to him over the phone a couple of more times soon after, and the next time they played Washington, DC, maybe late '95 or early '96, I don't remember now, I went backstage before the show to say hi. He greeted me very warmly, and shortly afterwards went to some boxes to pull out a copy of Songs of the Cows to give to me. I seem to remember him saying that they received the CDs that very day, but I could be wrong about that. Anyway, he pointed to the opening track, which was Curve, and said it was inspired by the shoegazing band named Curve, of which he knew I was a big fan. They played it live that night, and sure enough, I could definitely hear the influence.

Just a few months later, the Space Cossacks were ready to start playing out and after seeing that the Mermem were playing DC again in June of '96, I contacted Jim to ask him if we could open for them. He put me in contact with Allen, their bass player, who intervened with the club and made it happen. So, that was the first Cossacks gig ever - opening for the Mermen! Not bad! I am still so grateful to those guys, for being a major influence and an important bridge for my transition from alternative/shoegazing to surf music. And they were all genuinly good and nice people, I enjoyed being in their company so much - and of course, they are astonishing musicians! Long live the Mermen!

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

Last edited: Jun 14, 2012 11:03:34

Great story Ivan! Hey, so why didn't you put your personal number on the Tribal Fires CD? Someone in Australia may have needed to call you at 3am for some tab.


Truly moving video, and equally awesome story, Ivan!!!


El Mirage @ ReverbNation

I've seen this before, but thanks for posting it here.
I have seen the Mermen prob. about 15 times(not enough)
I wish they would come down to So. Cal. more often.

I'd love to have them headline the SG101 convention.
But trying to figure out how to set up all their gear,
in 15 min. might be a slight problem.


bigtikidude wrote:

I'd love to have them headline the SG101 convention.
But trying to figure out how to set up all their gear,
in 15 min. might be a slight problem.

Make it happen Jeff! Big Grin

Cool video, thanks for posting. I first saw the Mermen during their tour right around the time that A Glorious Lethal Euphoria came out. That album just blew me away. Everything about it, from the incredible music to the stunning artwork, to the awesome song titles. That album has it all. I remember that Jim Thomas had a hell of a time with equipment issues that night. But he still was able to absolutely melt the Casbah in San Diego. I'll echo Ivan's comment, Long Live The Mermen! (Great story by the way!)

The Secret Samurai Website
The Secret Samurai on Facebook

Last edited: Jun 15, 2012 09:37:59

Yes it is true that I posted this one before. I aim to please so here are a couple of traditional surf tunes from The Edge in Palo Alto CA in 1998... Adventures in Paradise and Latinia:


These videos are pretty trippy as well:

turn it up as loud as possible...

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