Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Challengers - Go Sidewalk Surfingdotdotdotdot
artworkThe Challengers were one of the more important surf bands of the sixties. Formed out of the collapse of the Belairs by exiles Richard Delvecchio (Delvy) and Jim Roberts. By the time they got to this album, Delvy was in the control room and Hal Blaine was on the drum stool for recordings. They were more polished than most, and often less edgy, but capable of some really amazing and grab you in the gut performances. This is easily their best album, finally out on CD from our friends at Sundazed.
Picks: Pipeline, Asphalt Spinner, Raunchy, Hop Scotch [aka Channel Nine], Big Shot, Johnny October, Skinned Shins, Delvy's Sidewalk Capers, Bust Your Buns, Cruel Sea, Banzai Washout, The Rise and Fall Of Flingel Bunt, Cruel Sea, Big Shot

Track by Track Review


Pipeline dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Hal Blaine's drums, and either a totally different mix or different take of the Triumph records session. This mix is fuller, sports more clarity, and has a different charm. very cool.

Asphalt Spinner dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Tango rhythm track and castanets make this vibrato number unusual. Written by Thom Starr.

Raunchy dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Pedestrian cover of Bill Justis' classic.

Hop Scotch [aka Channel Nine] dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Ed Fournier wrote this wholly infectious surf monster that was also dubbed "Channel Nine" because of it's use as a theme on LA television channel 9's series "Surf's Up!." This is a must have for any surf collection.

Big Shot
Surf (Instrumental)

Paul Johnson wrote this track, and it has his signature on it, but it doesn't measure up to "Mr. Moto" or most of his other writing, which is mostly stellar.

Johnny October dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Lee Hazelwood's beautiful melody played stunningly with gorgeous vibrato. This shimmers and dances on your forehead.

Skinned Shins dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Another dynamite track from Ed Fournier's pen and guitar. It's a fast paced pounder with Hal Blaine's brilliant rolls and Steve Douglas style sax lines.

Delvy's Sidewalk Capers dotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Similar to "The Rise And Fall Of Flingel Bunt," this is a nice tune with an electric piano lead.

Bust Your Buns dotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Fast and light.

Cruel Sea dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Among the better covers of this Dakotas (Billy J. Kramer) tune written by Mike Maxfield.

Banzai Washout dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is one of the best sixties covers of Steve Douglas' classic from the Catalinas sessions. It's not quite as intense exactly, but is sure does rock. Great version.

The Rise and Fall Of Flingel Bunt dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Better than the Shadows original. It's named for the Rick Griffin cartoon character from Surfer Magazine in the dark ages of the sixties.

Cruel Sea dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

An alternate take, different, and quite nice.

Big Shot
Surf (Instrumental)

Paul Johnson wrote this track, and it has his signature on it, but it doesn't measure up to "Mr. Moto" or most of his other writing, which is mostly stellar.