Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Bel-Aires - Charlie Chan c/w Baggiesdotdotdotdot
artworkThis is the post Paul Johnson single from the last lineup of the Belairs, spelled Bel-Aires on the label. Bassist Steve Lotto wrote much of the new material. Paul had gone off to the Galaxies among others, and the band was on the last leg of it's race.
Picks: Charlie Chan, Baggies

Track by Track Review


Charlie Chan dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Highly rhythmic, chunky, and infectious, this track sports an unusual melody, but more importantly is unique among surf instros in it's use of choppy rhythm guitar, and relentless pumping energy. The bass lines are inspired, as is the rest of the performance. While the title traded on the "Mr. Moto" theme, there was no comparison. This is a very chunky rhythmic number, intensely energized, but without the Paul Johnson writing sense. It's a great track!

Baggies dotdotdotdot
Dry Surf (Instrumental)

B-side of the only Bel-Aires single on Lucky Token Records, the label also shared by the Crossfires. Quite rhythmic with a dry sound, it's an odd melodic twist on "Surf Beat" with little in common. You'll get when you hear it. "Baggies" is a splendid song. The guitar is both intense and subtle. The twang is absolute, and the rhythm is very powerful. Like the A-side, it's a track that desperately needs to come out of the vaults from the tapes.