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SG101 Video Clips Resurface on YouTube

A very popular fixture on the old SG101 site were the various video clips that my wife shot. I took these videos down when we turned on the new format, as the videos were eating my monthly bandwidth.

I have created an account (surfguitar101) on YouTube.com, and have begun the process of uploading the videos there. It's gonna take me a little while to get them all uploaded, so please be patient. I hope you enjoy them, and I hope they will receive a wider audience at YouTube.

SG101 Videos on YouTube.com

PS Here is a tip for would-be YouTube uploaders. I got the best results with my Quicktime files by first converting them to mpeg-4 (.mp4) before uploading them to YouTube.


Quite A Party! 24 Great Instrumental Bands Play the Fireballs

Quite A Party! 24 Great Instrumental Bands Play the Fireballs (Ace Records, UK, 2005)
(Originally posted on Surf Guitar 101 on February 7, 2006)

Here we have a tribute album that's been a long time in the coming. The Fireballs were a New Mexico band that got their start in '58 (pre-Ventures) and ended up becoming a major influence on both the Ventures as well as the nascent surf genre (especially the Belairs and the South Bay sound) with their early instrumentals which went beyond Duane Eddy and relied much more on the Fender sound. They also introduced a heavy dose of Mexicana to their tunes, which clearly has also had a big influence on surf music. And their lead guitar player George Tomsco penned some of the classic instrumental tunes, such as Bulldog, Torquay and Quite a Party.

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


Wild Sammy & the Royaltones: Speed Crazy

Wild Sammy & the Royaltones: Speed Crazy (One Million Dollar Records, Germany)
(Originally posted on Surf Guitar 101 on February 7, 2006)

This is the same band as the Royal Fingers, about whom there was some discussion here recently. So, a Japanese trio with a girl bass player. I first heard their song Echo Rocket 66 on the Continental zine compilation and thought it was really great, so I bought their Del Fi album 'Wild Eleki Deluxe' – and hated it. I put the CD away and forgot about it, until people started talking about it on SG101, at which point I pulled it out again and gave it another spin. Strangely enough, I got really into it at that point, and now love the CD. 'Speed Crazy' is pretty much as good 'Wild Eleki Deluxe', though it is more lo-fi in production. Most of it is lo-fi in a way that makes it sound kinda vintage (with a lot of distortion of the rhythm section), though there are two songs (Jet GT and Pipeline, both maybe live?) that sound really bad, like they were recorded on a seventies boom box. There is slight overlap between the two CDs, with four songs being on both CDs: Wild Datsun, The L.A., Running Donkey, Echo Rocket 66. But as far as I can tell they're different performances and recordings, so it's not that big of a deal.

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


Richie Allen Reissues in Guitar Player

Guitar Player magazine has done it again with another nod to the surf scene! In the June 2006 issue (Zakk Wylde on the cover), in the "Rants and Raves" column, Darrin Fox gives his verdict on the two Sundazed CD reissues of Richie Allen and The Pacific Surfers "Surfer's Slide" and "The Rising Surf".

I'll let you read the piece, but I think his opinion will resonate with many of us here.

Recent surf mentions in the pages of GP have included bits on Pollo Del Mar, Slacktone, and Meshugga Beach Party. Someone please send them a Madeira CD!


The Surfaris: Hit City '64 / Fun City, USA

The Surfaris: Hit City '64 / Fun City, USA (BGO Records, UK, 2005)
(Originally posted on Surf Guitar 101 on February 7, 2006)

Though I already have pretty much everything by the Surfaris on their three previously released CDs, I decided to pick up this new two-fer reissue anyway, and I'm glad I did. These guys don't get much respect and don't have many champions (Satan's Pilgrims are among the very few). And for sure, they're no Eddie & the Showmen or the Lively Ones or the Astronauts, etc. But they were a good surf band that did a LOT more than Wipe Out, and all surf music fans should check them out. These two albums (their 3rd and 4th – or if you don't count their first one which was actually performed by the Challengers, their 2nd and 3rd) have a lot of great stuff on them. About half of each is vocals, mostly in the Gary Usher/Beach Boys style (with session musicians backing up drummer Ron Wilson's vocals) – and none of them quite as good as the Beach Boys, though overall not too bad. The highlights here are Wax, Board and Woodie, I Wanna Take a Trip To The Islands and Hot Rod High. (Gary Usher actually produced the first of these two albums.) There are also some garage-y vocals, with mixed results (the bad: Louie Louie, Hound Dog; the good: Go Go Go For Louie's Place). Among the instrumentals there are some covers, some of which really aren't very good (Shazam, Comin' Home Baby, Scratch) and some of which are so good that you can say the band actually made them their own (Murphy The Surfie, Hiawatha, Earthquake). The best stuff by far on this CD is the handful of the Surfaris' originals: Scatter Shield (awesome!), Dune Buggy (really cool), Big Surge, Burnin' Rubber, and Hot Rod Graveyard. This British release is part of a complete Surfaris reissue series, with two other CDs compiling the first two albums and their two seventies releases. This one comes with original sleeve notes as well as detailed and interesting liner notes by Dave Peckett of New Gandy Dancer zine, who is probably the biggest champion of the Surfaris out there. Anyway, this is a class reissue all the way and I give it a big thumbs up and highly recommend it.

rockabilly guy (Robert Gordon)

last monday I saw in Milano-Italy "the legend"-mr Robert Gordon,with a extraordinary italian guitar player( a mix of D.Gatton-Setzer_),,mr. DI Maggio what a sound,it was no surf but there was everything!!!!!
we drove 8 hours to get there....bingo!
to use the voice like an instrument-so deep and vibrant-it was the "life concert" 4 me.
bruno the wet(without the drummer)tones

Danny Morris Band releases new LIVE DVD!

DVD Release Party for The Danny Morris Band
Former Nighthawks Guitarist Issues Live Concert Video

Danny Morris will release a DVD filmed at a beachside club capturing the guitarist' stunning live performance and tight rhythm section of Mike Tolnay on bass and Chris Waldron on drums. Already receiving pre-release rave reviews, the DVD audio was recorded, produced and mixed by Morris himself. "The video captures all the spontaneity, energy and interaction of our live performances that our fans love to see each show," he says. "It's a straight-ahead, rockin' show by three real-live musicians playing real-live music with no overdubs, sequences or pre-recorded anything."

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


Dr. Gangrene Needs Surf!

(Posted on behalf of Dr. Gangrene)

Hello everyone - My name is Larry Underwood, better known as TV horror host Dr Gangrene in Nashville TN. My show is on our local WB and broadcasts every Sat night into all of Middle TN and Southern KY.

I am in need music videos, and nothing goes better with old b&w monster movies than great surf music. I've had Gein and the Graverobbers on the show, from when they came through town this past November, and I know Eddie Angel and plan to get him on the show at some point too (he lives right here in Nashville).

If any of you have music videos together, I'd sure like to show them on the air. I also am always in need of cool background music, so if any surf bands out there have instrumentals we could use on the air, I'd love to get a copy. I use Gein on the show almost every episode in the backgrounds somewhere.

Here's my website for more info about us: www.drgangrene.com & www.myspace.com/drgangrene. Hope to hear from some of you. Thanks again and now, surf's up!


Colorado Springs...Surf Rock City?

Colorado Springs is a lonely town, when you're the only surf guitarist around. But after playing guitar and learning guitar here for a few years, I was down at the local guitar store when a new American Vintage Jaguar showed up as a custom order. It was a beauty of a surf maching, in surf green nonetheless, and I knew there just had to be a kindred spirit in town.

I was right....

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


Venturesmania (w/Nokie Edwards) and Deke Dickerson's Eccophonics

First up was Deke Dickerson, and his Eccophonics. Deke is one of those guys I don't think about going to see all the time. But when I do, I always enjoy myself. He plays a style/styles of Music I'm not really into. As in I don't buy the cd's of Rootsrock/rockabilly, but Live I totally dig it and can get into the vibe, and appreciate the music more.

I'm not even going to try to go over a song list. But needless to say, I'm sure they covered his career, and Dave Stucky got up and they did a few songs with him also. Garret from the Ghastly Ones is Deke's new rhythm guitarist.

Then Ventures Mania took the Stage (minus Nokie) and did an excellent set of not totally obscure, but more obscure than the standard Ventures set of originals and covers. Diamondhead, 2000 lb. Bee, He Never Came Back are a few I can think of. They sounded really tight, and well rehearsed. I thought the treble could have been turned up. But Marty Tippens said up front the guitars sounded fine. It must have been all the bodies filling up the place (about 300 some said). I wish they had some reverb on the guitars. But I know that no reverb is more the Ventures sound. Such is life.

Next up all 4 of the Ventures Mania were joined by Nokie Edwards. You can tell he's getting up there in age, but walks and moves around very well still. And I saw him talking to some people and he has all his wits to him still, and seems to be in good spirits. Deke said he has been in town filming the Deadwood series on HBO. So he asked him to join them for the show. So the first thing that shocked me was that he sits down on a stool to play. So there went any chance of seeing him play from where I was. I did go up front for a song to see his fingers fly on a song, but then went back to my seat. Venturesmania played a more run of the mill set of Ventures songs, and covers, such as Perfidia, Lullaby of the Leaves, Penetration, Pipeline, Wipeout, Caravan, and others. I will say he's a very good guitarist, but I was a bit let down by all the hype. I was expecting to see a Chet Atkins / Joe Maphis caliber type player. Not even close. Just sounded like a good instro/surf player. No mistakes that I noticed, and his timing and sound levels very consistent. Just not the style, or intensity I'm really into.

I'm glad I got to see him before it was too late. and I'm not trying to take anything away from him. He totally deserves all the recognition he has got, and will get. And I think that he and the Ventures should definitely be in the rock and roll hall of fame.

Jeff(bigtikidude)

PS. Venturesmania used old Ventures model Mosrites, plugged into Showman amps. Nokie had the newer custom model guitar he's been using lately (sorry don't know the maker) but it has gold hardware, and a flammed maple top I believe. My buddy Ran told me that he saw one reverb tank on stage. But I have a feeling it never got used. :-(