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SurfGuitar101 Forums » Surf Music General Discussion »

Permalink R.I.P. Jim Frias of the Nocturnes and the Chantays

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Some very sad news - Bob Dalley posted this on Facebook just minutes ago:

I just learned today that a good friend and musician passed away last
month of cancer. Jim Frias who was the original sax player for the
1960's Chantay's and later the Nocturnes. Jim is pictured below to the
far left. Jim had been very active with the instrumental surf music
revival scene since the early 1980's. Gonna miss you buddy.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/2226412510/?multi_permalinks=10154066402042511%2C10154065080512511&notif_t=group_activity&notif_id=1485272325844294

Sad Sad Sad

Jim was such a great guy. Loved surf music, was proud of his work with the Nocturnes (rightly so!) and looked for any opportunity to play with a surf band. He sat in with The Space Cossacks several times when we played in SoCal, playing Third Star to the Left and Journey to the Stars with us, and even contributed his song "Beyond The Third Star" to our album "Tsar Wars", on which he also played. I'm so very sorry to hear this. I will miss him.

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

I'm so bummed to hear about this. I saw your facebook post and immediately had to come here and comment. Jim was a wonderful human being. He very generously offered for me to stay at his apartment on 2 SG101 trips, and we had nothing short of a BLAST every time. He'd even text me every now and then and was always just a happy and energetic ball of personality. I'll remember him VERY fondly. RIP.

RIP

I just saw him right around the end of the year at the Apple store across the street from South Coast Plaza. We had a small, friendly chat. He was always smiles and super friendly.

Last edited: Jan 24, 2017 17:51:43

I honestly can't even believe it. It's been a few years since I've seen him, but he was always so full of life and joy and seemed incredibly youthful - always a big smile on his face, quick to laugh. Just one of the nicest guys I've ever met, and a great sax player. Sad Here's a video of the better times, back in '10:

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

Terrible. I thought about him at SG101 this year, and wondered why I didn't see him. He was always the nicest, coolest guy in the room.

In 2008, Tim Ferrill (HBKahuna) put together a big surf jam the night before the Deke Dickerson Guitar Geek Show. It was a who's who of OC surf guys, and they let me come! Anyway, Jim was there, and he was the most fun to be around! About 30 minutes into the jam, I look over, and about 5 or 6 guys are gathered around Jim, who had produced a bottle of tequila and 3 shot glasses from his bag. I think that entire bottle got finished in about 10 minutes. Then the jam got really good!

The next year, before the big jam, I got the chance to have dinner with Jim and John Benton. Jim told stories of the old days of surf, and how one of the Chantays (either Bob Spickard or Brian Carman) asked him to listen to a competing band at a show and tell him what he heard. Jim's answer was "no saxophone" and he knew his time with that band was limited. He also told me about how The Chantays had recorded a version of Pipeline with a sax and keys solo. I asked how it sounded, and he said "not too good". He told me about getting kicked out of The Nocturnes on a weekly basis for screwing around, and not showing up, etc. I think he was a bit of a hell raiser back then.

Since then, he was at every SG101 thing I went to, and was at the Eddie B show a few years ago. always willing to play, and always doing a great job. I should have known something was up when I didn't see him this year.

He will be missed.

"You can't tell where you're going if you don't know where you've been"

MadScientist wrote:

He very generously offered for me to stay at his apartment on 2 SG101 trips, and we had nothing short of a BLAST every time.

OMGosh, I can only imagine what that must have been like.

"You can't tell where you're going if you don't know where you've been"

I too wondered where Jim was at the convention.

I remember talking to him for the first time and being blown away by how friendly he was to me and everyone around him. I started asking him questions about the Nocturnes and he was so animated in his responses. He was so proud of that work he acted as if he recorded and worked on that stuff just last week, let alone 50+ years!!

It was always a big thrill to see him year after year. What a super guy, he just loved to play. I remember seeing him at Don the Beachcomber's doing a set of music with Paul Johnson and it was amazing.

I'm truly fortunate the SG101 conventions have allowed me to meet all these incredible people, and Jim was one of the greats!

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

Oh man, this is awful. Every time I've been out to California Jim has always been there. Smiling promoting a good vibe and being right in the middle of it.

Damn, what a guy. Rest in peace "James."

Ed

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

Rest easy. My phone is blowing up as the rest of the nebs remember old times via group text.
Obviously this guy left his mark on many. We should all aspire to that.

Nebula V

Another Old Timer bites the dust. This is getting scary as heck: how many are left?

Myself being more of a Colorado River player than an Ocean one, because Jimbo and I shared a few gigs down at a club in Redondo and a couple at a skating rink in 63, maybe 64, then ran into each other when I would get my buddies to play down at the surf museum in the late 90's, we stayed in touch over the years. Even though I've always played Hodad music, a blend of R&B with surf, many times I would ask Jim to join me.

When I started playing again last year I asked him to join Dick and I at a music festival up in Riverside, but, he was not feeling too well. Darn cigarettes.

A real nice guy who shall be missed.

I know Jim has many personal friends here. I too wish I'd seen him at the Convention. To all his family and friends I offer my heartfelt condolences.

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

Oh this is a real bummer. Jim was always such an easy guy to talk with, even for me, a fan not a musician. Always upbeat and down to earth.

We had a few things in common - both working for Rockwell N.A. and a mutual interest in cars. The last conversation I remember is at a local gig when Jim casually mentioned that Seal Beach was going to have their Annual Car Show the very next day. I didn't know this and so I drove my Manx down there early enough in the morning to grab a post entry spot in Hennessey's lot! That was a fun day. Thanks, Jim, you made my day.

Godspeed...

oh no........i too was missing him at last summer's convention

www.surfintheeye.com

Damn that's sad news. I really liked the guy too. Always pleasant to chat with him every year. Cry

Danny Snyder

aka Mycroft Eloi of The TomorrowMen
aka Shecky Shekels of Meshugga Beach Party

Please check out our latest album FUTOURISM, it's a deluxe box set with original artwork from 10 artists and a bonus download sticker.

Vaya con Dios, Jimmy.
https://youtu.be/Pw-XjtCbSXQ

Great video Matt!

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

A couple videos I recorded on a cheap camera for the Eddy & the Showmen tribute at Don the Beachcomber. Jim, PJ, Matt Q, Dick Dodd

Great guy. Talked to him at length at the 2nd Convention, after he came over and introduced himself. From then on, it was always a pleasure to see him and talk to him at the Conventions, Pier shows, and the Eddie B. Benefit. Great musician, who could cover a lot of styles. One of those memorable people, who made everyone around him feel good: through his personality, and through his music. This is a huge loss. RIP, Jim.

Bob

Sonichris wrote:

MadScientist wrote:

He very generously offered for me to stay at his apartment on 2 SG101 trips, and we had nothing short of a BLAST every time.

OMGosh, I can only imagine what that must have been like.

HA! Pretty much like you would imagine. Lots of hangovers, very little sleep and tons of great memories. I'm so lucky to have been able to have that experience.

RIP Jim Cry

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