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SurfGuitar101 Forums » Surf Music General Discussion »

Permalink Why have The Challengers never made the NSSR Classic Top 101 List?

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Shivers13 asked:
One more thing PJ if you're still around. What amp were you using on the SIDEWALK SURFING sessions? I hear the brownface Deluxe was popular with the Wrecking Crew guys. What were you and the guys on this session using?

Wish I could answer this with certainty; Most likely, it was my Fender Concert amp (with the four 10" speakers) that I used throughout that era for both live playing and studio work...

PJ -

Paul Johnson
Belairs / Galaxies / Packards / Surfaris / Duo-tones / etc.
www.pjmoto.com

Thanks PJ! Priceless info! Huge fan of the surf/hot-rod session stuff and your involvement. So cool to get this info straight from you.

BOSS FINK "R.P.M." available now from DOUBLE CROWN RECORDS!
www.facebook.com/BossFink
www.doublecrownrecords.com

Paul Johnson wrote:

With Delvy's help, we pressed about a hundred copies of a single (the first and last such release on my own label — PM Records) of "Work Out Fine" b/w "Fink." Absolutely nothing came of this; I don't recall getting any airlpay or notice outside of our own circle of friends.

I believe these two tracks were released on Delvy's Triumph label as by The Starfires. I think there was only one release on PM Records, "Tally Ho/Side II" by PJ & The Galaxies. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

"Fink" by The Starfires

www.johnblair.us
www.soundofthesurf.com

Boy is my face red! I spaced out on this answer, and confused two different projects, just as John so aptly points out. "Tally Ho" was indeed the one and only PM Records release.
However, what John cites about the PJ & Artie record being released as by the Starfires is just another example of Delvy playing fast and loose with his releases: this record WAS initially pressed on Delvy's Triumph label as by PJ & Artie (actually there was a misprint and the first copies came out as by PS & Artie); and as I said, nothing came of this. Then, true to form, Delvy re-released it as by the Starfires. Nothing came of this either.
Sorry for my mistake about this. Thanks to John for the "check and balance."

PJ -

Paul Johnson
Belairs / Galaxies / Packards / Surfaris / Duo-tones / etc.
www.pjmoto.com

Wow!

What a thread! This is surfguitar101 at it finest.

Thanks all!

ed

Traditional........speak softly and play through a big blonde amp. Did I mention that I still like big blonde amps?

I have been uploading pages from the Challengers Band gig book, from 1962, with comments and photos. Anyone that wants to can have a look at my Facebook photo albums. Just search for Randy Nauert.
There are several albums of photos along with Rick Griffin artwork and music videos from my personal collection.
You can also follow members of The Challengers that were a part of the working band and then had separate careers. We always drew from our childhood friends for recording.
Here's a story about that iconic photo of Jon Martin surfing playing a Fender, that has been erroneously attributed to others over the years. Follow my youtube uploads for more, if you like. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7k1OTd_5TKc

Welcome to sg101, Randy. Very glad you're here!

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

Hi Randy, Very glad to have you here at sg101 and adding to this thread! I'm sure everyone here appreciates all the surf music history you provide through YouTube and Facebook. It is truly wonderful and invaluable information directly from the source. Thank you for sharing, and, of course, for all the great music.

-Tim
MyYouTubeChannel
SSS Agent #777

pjmoto wrote:

In reply to Ivan's request for track-specific info on the Gppd Guys' "Sidewalk Surfing" album, here are some of my recollections...

HOLY COW!!! That was absolutely incredible, Paul!!! Thank you very, very much!! That's MUCH more info than I had hoped for!

The album was recorded in one day in 1964 at the Capitol Records

ONE DAY?? Shock Capitol Records??? Shock Shock How cool!!

What follows is the answer to "who played lead on what?" along with a few other tidbits of info:

Just a few comments:

Lanky-Bones: I had recently written this tune, and I regard this as "the definitive version." I'm playing lead throughout.

Paul, I think you're being a bit provocative here, I suspect on purpose! You trouble-maker, you! Wink

Small Fry: Me again on the lead on this, another then-recently-composed original. Note: I resurrected this tune with the Packards in the '80s, with a new title — "Beach City Bop."

Paging Lorenzo: see, I told ya!!! Smile

Kami-Kaze: This, for me, is the definitive version of this original of mine that dates back to the early Belairs. I'm playing lead throughout...

And an excellent version of it it is, Paul!

Sidewalk Surfer: Delvy wanted to record this tune to which he had the rights, and which was only partially written — he had just the verse; so I came up with a chorus and an arrangement, and I played the lead.

A wonderful job with this one, Paul, I love it, probably my favorite on the album! I believe the Eliminators used to cover it live in the '90s, and they also made it sounds great.

In regards to PJ & Artie, Norm, it sounds like you may not have the "Rare Surf, Vol. 1" CD, which has all those PJ & Artie tracks as well as the complete selection of the PJ & the Galaxies tracks and some other assorted odds-and-ends. Paul's liner notes are fantastic, too, and he really goes into a lot of detail behind all of these sessions. I'd say that's a must-have for you!

image

Incidentally, I thought the matching tortoiseshell guards with different custom colors on those PJ & the Galaxies Strats on this cover looked SO COOL that it inspired the look we went for in the Madeira for our first 4-5 years (obviously we were not similarly influenced by the wardrobe! Smile We left that to the Volcanics. Smile )

image

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

Randyn wrote:

I have been uploading pages from the Challengers Band gig book, from 1962, with comments and photos. Anyone that wants to can have a look at my Facebook photo albums. Just search for Randy Nauert.
There are several albums of photos along with Rick Griffin artwork and music videos from my personal collection.

Welcome to SG101, Randy!! Great to finally have you here, and thank you for all that you do to keep the Challengers legacy alive on Facebook!

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

Wow! This is indeed a killer thread!! I vote to rename it THE OFFICIAL CHALLENGES APPRECIATION THREAD! Welcome Randy!

Ivan, I do indeed have that RARE SURF VOL 1 CD. Excellent stuff. I must admit I haven't listened to it in a while. PJ's description made me wonder if it was something I haven't heard. But I've been revisiting all
my Challengers stuff.

Some quick thoughts... More to come. Listening to KILLER SURF again several of the tracks do sound really bone dry all
over. Not all but some. I wonder if this is purely in the mastering. Perhaps the original tracks had plate reverb on them that was dropped when it went to CD.

One other thing for now. We all know the great Hal Blaine was on much of the Challenges stuff but I always felt that the first LP SURFBEAT was Delvy. It just doesn't sound like Hal'a style. I still dig it but it feels too loose to be Hal. Thoughts?

BOSS FINK "R.P.M." available now from DOUBLE CROWN RECORDS!
www.facebook.com/BossFink
www.doublecrownrecords.com

Last edited: Jan 05, 2016 23:25:14

Ha! Listening to the Killer Surf versions of Sidewalk Surfing at this very instant, while reading Paul's notes on the lead guitarists on each track, which makes me appreciate the album even more!

Norm, I always assumed that Blaine didn't play with the Challengers until K-39, and after that did pretty much everything. But it doesn't sound like him to my ears on their first three albums.

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

In the video that accompanies the article I linked to above, PJ asks Delvy how many of those albums he played on himself, and the answer is "the first few".

IvanP wrote:

Norm, I always assumed that Blaine didn't play with the Challengers until K-39, and after that did pretty much everything. But it doesn't sound like him to my ears on their first three albums.

I think you are correct, Ivan. I have SURFBEAT and the LLOYD THAXTON record but I don't own ON THE MOVE. After sampling that one just now on YouTube it doesn't sound like Blaine on that either. The KILLER SURF comp however sounds like it's all Blaine even though other drummers are credited.

BOSS FINK "R.P.M." available now from DOUBLE CROWN RECORDS!
www.facebook.com/BossFink
www.doublecrownrecords.com

Hal Blaine only played one session for us. Even then he played what Richard asked as Richard spent his time in the booth but knew what he wanted and would like to play live. Jim Keltner plays drums on "Vanilla Funk, as does Craig Doerge and Carl Radle.
The first 3 albums are the straight band members before Glenn and Don left and Art, John Anderson and Rob Edwards... and Larry Carlton had stints with us.
I have posted photos from my collection of the studio line ups as we recorded.

Last edited: Jan 09, 2016 21:40:46

I saw this thread mentioned on Facebook (thanks Ivan!), so I thought I would bump it. It contains some amazing and fascinating information!

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

Yes, it does, Brian! One of my very favorites of the many years of SG101!! Match THIS, Facebook! Smile

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

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