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SurfGuitar101 Forums » Best-Of SG101 »

Permalink Your First Surf Show

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BTD and I were talking at the recent Slacktone show and the question came up about what was my first surf show.
Slacktone at the Mercury Lounge in Goleta with Voodoo Court was the first time I went just to see surf music. I had heard some of their downloads and read about them in Guitar Player magazine. But then I met Sam who was still employed at a local guitar store. I didn't know Mike had passes away so I was surprised when he said he was in Slacktone, but thrilled when he said they had a show coming up soon. Hearing their recordings did not prepare me for what I saw, I'll spare the details because you all know what I mean.

But actually, in around 1988 I saw The Surf Tikis in Isla Vista at Borsodi's a coffeehouse/beer bar left over from the hippy era...right across the street from the Bank of America that was burned down by protesting students. The Surf Tikis were a four piece using vintage guitars and amps, the two guitarists trading leads and guitars, a Lake Placid Blue Jaguar used for lead and a Strat for rhythm. I fell in love with Jaguars that night and within weeks I had one. I wonder if anyone else heard of those guys or if it was a local phenomenon. I'd like to thank them.

I wonder if you could mean the Swingin' Tikis? They were a Santa Barbra
area band that later moved down to O.C. I saw them a few times, and the guitar player couldn't play with them any more and they got another guy, and they started playing 50's 60's vocal, and became the Screaming Tiki's.
Crazy Al of the band Ape and famous Tiki Carver first started going to their shows, and dancing around like a loon, thats how he got his name Crazy Al.

My first Vocal surf show was Jan and Dean at the O.C. fair in 82 or 83.
I thought it was cool at the time. But later shows of theirs in the 90's made me realize that they were very overproduced (i.e. 15 piece band)and not very surfy.

My 1st surf show was the Insect Surfers at the Doll Hut in Anaheim in late Nov. of 96. I was totally blown away, I know the Insects are not Trad. Surf. but they were my gateway drug, that got me into it. Had it been a super Trad band like the Torquays, I might not have come back. But Because they were kinda rock/spaghetti inspired, I think that helped grab me. Then when I was hooked it was easier for me to appreciate the mellower side of surf.

I know I missed alot of cool shows in the 80's and ealry 90's
but if its underground music scene, I guess I can count myself lucky I ever found it.

Now, 10 + years later and 1000's of shows later I am a live reverb addict more than a surf cd fan. But I'll cut anyone's hands off that tries to touch my surf collection Smile

p.s. Doug, good to see ya last Wed. hope to see ya at a few shows this summer.


Last edited: May 07, 2009 11:34:29

Good thread idea! I didn't get into surf until the late 90's and it doesn't help that I live in the midwest. So I think the first official surf band I saw was The Volcanos, as part of a great show in Indianapolis: Ivan Jr and Sr's The Troubadours (Shadows!!!), Destination: Earth!, and The Volcanos.

At that show I met Too-Fast-Jim from the then new band The Nebulas, and I also met Tsunami Tom from Oberlin Ohio and all the way from Santa Barbara, Trode. What a great night! We would meet again a few years later during the first Surf Coasters tour of the US. Good times!

I think that must have been summer of 2001? Ivan? Rick? TFJ? Tom? Trode? You guys remember that?

I had been trading email with Ivan for a while at that point and he suggested I try to make the show. It was a 7-8 hour drive, but what the hell, right? At that point there was no going back, I was a hard core surf fan then.

I remember asking some awkward fanboy questions of Volcano Rick and Chris. Smile They really knocked me out. The Troubadours and D:E! were excellent too.

And go figure, Patrick from D:E! and Ivan are now in The Madeira together!

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

Duh I did see Los Straitjackets in late 2000. That was with Danny Lester on drums, a fairly new Pedro del Mar on bass, Eddie with his strat, and Danny with his Japanese CAR Jazzmaster. They opened for the Rev. Horton Heat. That was a mind blower too.

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

I wonder if you could mean the Swingin' Tikis?

I don't think so, the name Surf Tikis was burned in my memory. It was quite a novelty at the time. They were young guys, probably students. I don't even recall the songs but it was all instro/reverb full tilt surf music and I think I was the only person listening to them.

The Slacktone show was in 2000, 12 years later!

In the early 70s I saw the Beach Boys and also The Alliis, Don Ho's backup band at the Latitude 20, a tiki bar in Torrance that had an extended life.

wow the Latitude 20, that is a famous long gone tiki bar.
lucky bastard. Smile



1st surf show was around 2003---dick dale with dusty and sam

Just last summer for my first show I saw Pollo Del Mar, Slacktone, and the Madeira all under one roof... Epic show. I met Ferenc, Ivan, and Phil Dirt. I couldn't stop smiling or shutting up about if for weeks.

I saw Dick Dale a couple of times in the 1990s (1997?)...and I saw Agent Orange and Lawndale back in the olden days of the 1980s...

But my first super-big all-surf extravaganza was the Rendezvous Reunion...
I was able to see quite a few 1st wave acts...and the Space Cossacks were there...great stuff!

My first surf show was seeing Dick Dale in Sausalito at the Wine and Art festival in 1998. Wow, he really blew my mind and my ears with his volume! Captian Ron on bass and who on drums??? DUSTY MOTHER F'N WATSON on Drums!!!! How was I to even imagine that 8 years later I'd be sharing the stage with him!

That really was the best show I've ever seen. I was "high" on the experience for a couple of weeks. I just had to try to play guitar like that!

Another first was Los Straitjackets opening for Rev. Horton Heat. That's the show were I decided that I needed a Jazzmaster!

Paul The Pyronaut

My first was around 1990. It was at the Huntington beach High School football stadium. It featured Dick Dale, The Chantays, Jan & Dean with the Surf City All Stars & several other bands.

My first surf show was in my Jr High school gym. There were lots of surf band around my area. In my neighborhood we could ride our bikes around until we heard reverb penetrating a garage door. Thats how I got addicted.
My first pro show was DD at the Golden Bear with a brass section.

I saw him years later at the Coach House as a trio. MUCH BETTER STUFF

Is that too much reverb?

It must of been Los Straitjackets in 2000. Saw them at a free outdoors show in Salt Lake City, UT.

Science friction burns my fingers.

DD in '91 - I was completely blown away.

Danny Snyder

aka El Gringo Viejo of Combo Tezeta
aka Mycroft Eloi of The TomorrowMen
aka Shecky Shekels of Meshugga Beach Party

It was the best of times, it was the blurst of times

notice how many times on the page dick dale has been mentioned?

Still have yet to see a Surf Show. But the music is in me so much I don't think it could get any better.
This SG101 Podcast is taking me there right now.
Could God have created the universe with 'surf music' playing? I'd imagine heaven with no pain etc...but also with no need for more reverb ya know Smile
Music. What a privilege to be able to hear.

you know that there is a pretty good surf scene and live shows on the East Coast right?



My first kinda-surf show was Man or Astroman on the Spectrum of Infinite Scale tour, at the El Rey in Hollywood. They were great, and two of the opening bands were really good, too - The Forty-Fives and Poster Children.

The first real surf show I went to was the MiGs, Slacktone and the Surf Coasters at Suzy's in Hermosa Beach a few years later. There have been some really good ones since, but that one's still the best.


That was excessively violent and completely unnecessary. I loved it.

I have no excuse. But I rally in my virgin cry. Please understand Razz
One day Jeff, and that will be special I'm sure.

(edit...I have seen Pat Metheny, Eric Johnson, Boston, Bob Seger, The Outlaws, Mylon Lefevre, Phil Keaggy and U2 3 times. Off topic I know, sorry, but just getting in on the conversation. Oh, and I can't forget The Glenn Miller Orchestra! Thats my 'concert' list pretty much lol. Proud of it none the less. Just haven't done a lot of 'shows' in my 46 years. Staying tuned for Surf)

notice how many times on the page dick dale has been mentioned?

I hear ya', Mom...he's always bee "TKOTSG" in my book!


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