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Marie & Kyle Verbtone
Marie & Kyle Verbtone

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SurfGuitar101 News & Articles

Category: Show Reports

The Longboards & TomorrowMen at The Pike - August 6, 2015

My lousy blog of the great show at The Pike with The Longboards and The TomorrowMen.


KELP On The Beach - Grover Beach, CA

Last Saturday in Grover Beach, slightly South of Pismo Beach, Santa Barbara's Surf Band KELP played a corporate gig for CoastHills Credit Union.  CoastHills employs 225 people with branches from Lompoc, CA to Paso Robles, CA.  Beach Butlers out of San Luis Obispo set up tiki torches, fire rings, chairs, cabanas, food & beer while KELP played 4 long sets, ending with their last song as the sun disappeared over the horizon. 

Not only were these the nicest people (they paid us each in cash with little thank you cards and hand written notes) but they hauled our gear with trucks down to the beach.  Mind you, you can drive trucks, dune buggies, ride horses and camp at Grover Beach.  There's a little bit of everything going on here. 

My 7 year old daughter, Keilana brought her maracas, tambourine and an assortment of shakers, joining us on stage and salting the music with her "instruments".  And at the end of the night she said to me "So, daddy - how much money did I make at this gig?"  Really?  Naturally I paid her an undisclosed amount.

To those of us that have had this experience of playing on the beach, facing the waves as they crash on the shore, watching bikini beauties stroll by, guys ripping it up on the waves and finally, the setting of the sun, there is absolutely nothing like it.  It's truly a zen moment.  I encourage everyone that can to do this!

Looking forward to playing the third year in a row next year.  Thanks CoastHills!

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Double Down Saloon Surf Coasters / Boss Martians / The New Waves - Thursday August 7th 2014

Hey Everybody,

Heading into the Big Event in SoCal on Saturday, there was a great show at The Double Down Saloon here in Las Vegas:

Turbo of The Vermin's surf band "The New Waves" started it off with some great 80's conversions.

The Boss Martians came in next with a dead on set apparently featuring stuff from '98 ish. They will be in S.D. on Friday.

Escorted by Frankie (of the pool boy's fame) to finish were The Surf Coasters from Japan. I have seen them in Vegas before and they were as awesome as always. I love their version of "Green Hornet."

In attendance beside my awesome self was Ruckus from the Vermin and A&E's "Bad Ink" fame, Jesse and Jeff from "The Swank Bastards", Dj Rex Dart was spinnin', Moss the owner and Louie the Lech of "Blood Cocks Uk" were seen as well.

A Great Event enjoyed by all !!!

See Ya Saturday !!

Donny X

702-523-6379


Battle of the Bands - Santa Barbara

The Battle of the Bands always seemed like a cool tradition back in the heyday of surf with a bunch of reverb heads grinding it out to see who was king of the spring.  I haven't seen many battles these days and those that I have rarely included an instrumental band.  Kelp attempted to remedy that situation by entering the Santa Barbara Independent's 2013 Battle of the Bands.  Amazingly we made the first cut from ~50 bands to semifinal list of 12.  After an online voting poll and some judging by local music industry types, a final 6 were chosen to play live in the final contest.  We were plenty surprised (and stoked) to make the finals with a group of more commercial indie and rock acts.  Each audience member got 1 vote and a panel of "industry" judges got 25 votes each.  Each band had just 20 minutes - we had to narrow things down to 5 songs, a bit of trad, a bit of fuzz, some happy melody, some driving reverby darkness.  When it was all said and done, we ended up second in the closest contest they've had in the 5 years of the contest - 75-78.  I admit we were a bit let down at not getting the winner-take-all prizes, which included some a spendy guitar and bass that we could have easily sold - the real prize was 12 free hours at arguably the best studio in SB.  Ah well, the new album will have to wait a bit longer.  In the end, we realized that, while we may not have come out on top, we had a blast and gained a bevy of new fans; nothing to be bummed about!


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Great Review of The Surfaris Concert in South Florida

The Surfaris are back from playing shows to VERY loyal fans in the rain in West Palm Beach Florida on July 2nd. The band flew home to perform another show in 92 degree heat in Glendora Ca. on July 4th.

The Broward/West Palm Beach New Times gave The Surfaris a great review of their show in south Florida. Read all about it and check out this slideshow.


Paul Johnson and The Everpresent Fullness!

Paul Johnson played a reunion of his post-surf folk-rock band 'The Everpresent Fullness' Sun Jun 12th at the 'Rhino Pop-up Store' in Westwood, Los Angeles. Abetted by 2 'youngsters' on drums and vocals/melodica/harmonica, the original singer/guitarist, bassist and lead guitarist Paul did a very tight set of their signature songs from 1966. It was definitely folk-rock, a few touches of blues, and Paul explained to the audience how their then record label 'White Whale (who also had The Turtles) was grooming them to be the West Coast's answer to The Lovin' Spoonful. It was explained to the audience that the release of their one big single was screwed up by the original writer (not in the band) disliking their arrangement and preventing the release! Also included in the set were a few Dylan tunes, and PJ even played a beautiful sounding electric 12-string on one song.  i had never heard any of the material before, I only knew OF the band, but i was not disappointed in the least. The last number I joined surf author Dominic Priore in boppin to the beat by the side of the stage! Hopefully PJ will continue to a few more Everpresent Fullness gigs around town!!


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Instromania: Photos from the Gigs

Photos from the Instromania gigs over the weekend in Victoria, Australia. It was freezing cold here, but we managed to warm people up with some surf tunes. (Click on the picture to open the gallery in a new window. )

There is more to this story, continue reading ...


Surf bands at Coney Island / Deno's Wonder Wheel - photos

It was an amazing day at the legendary Coney island last Saturday, August 15th.

Five surf bands and Witches In Bikinis (horror / sci-fi, surf) were guests of Deno's Wonder Wheel under a perfectly blue sky with the beach as background. Who could ask for more?

All the bands were ON IT and Blue  StingRaye did a terrific job keeping order and working the crowd as MC.

Here are links to the pictures.

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The Wet-Tones in Austria

We had 3 dates in Austria (we live in Italy), so we played in some clubs near Graz and Wien, we had good times playing after a rockabilly band called "Curtis Jensen."

This guy is a really lovely rockin'  friend, he found out where to play (he's from Wien), a drum set (a very low white pearl Gretsch), and all the p.a. He took us to hotels-restaurants-everything, and  help us in a visit to Wien in the afternoon before playing in the evening.

He's the more terrifying man on  a double bass I've ever seen, he showed me how to do the 4th slap in a note! Outstanding, a jet black double bass with tiki and bamboo painting on the edge, absolutely outstanding! Tom the guitar player with a B.Setzer matte black Gretsch guitar.

A great man.THANX CURTIS !

Bruno the Wet-Tones


The Wet-Tones opened 4 Los Straitjackets in Italy

ok,it's the "date"! at 15 february we opened 4 the " marvellous maskerade band" LOS STRAITJACKETS ! a dream come true!To be on the same stage with my heroes,FANTASTIC!so many times I wondered how Eddie &co,set their amps& guitars,now I know 'couse Eddie set..my twin reverb!!!They are great people,very friendly,we had funtimes together before and after the show.In the backstage  with my son Yari  movin' between the DIPinto's and their sharp dress,look incredible to me. Ah,I forgot to say that I live in a place in Italy where nothing happens..ever..never.. so it was the "LIFE's  DATE"!They play and know well  what to do on stage,grea t performance,great sounding amps(wet-tones's amps),but prior to everything..they are "simply FRIENDS"!!!!! one of the best  day in my life!

aloha from Bruno the Wet-Tones...Italy