Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA Collection: The Best Of Richie (Allen) Podolor
|This web only compilation of Richie Podolor guitar tracks is broad and inclusive. Its sources are sometimes less than desirable, and are of uneven levels. Obviously unlicensed, but The Best Of Richie Podolor serves as an introduction to a seriously overlooked talent.|
Picks: Richie Allen - Goochy Bamba, Lonely Guitarist, Room 304, Stranger From Durango, Richie Allen and the Pacific Surfers - Foot Stomp USA, Ground Swell, Malibu Run, Push Off, Put It On, Surf Man, Surfers Delight, Swanee River Twang, The Quiet Surf, The Rising Surf, Undercurrent, The Beachcombers - Lone Survivor, Samoa, The Chocolate Watchband - Expo 2000, The Devons - Free Fall, The Ghouls - Coffin Nails, Dracula's Theme, Shake Rattle and Rot, Voo Doo Juice, Weird Wolf, Dark Side Of The Mushroom, The Hondells - Black Boots and Bikes, Haulin' Honda, Sandy Nelson - Casbah, Get With It, Let There Be Drums, Teen Beat, The Super Stocks - Gridiron Goodie, Midnight Run, Newport Beach, Redondo Beach, Santa Barbara, The Last Walk, Trophy Run, Oceanside, Ventura, Wheel Stands
Track by Track Review
Richie Allen - Goochy Bamba
This rare Dot 45 opens with a grouchy call to goochy bamba with gutty guitar and jungle drums. It's quite primitive, but still shows off Richie Podolor's inventive prowess. Great drums and surf chords.
Richie Allen - Lonely Guitarist
"Lonely Guitarist" is a Sunday drive kinda song with tremolo and shimmering tone, coupled with plinky piano and a light rock beat. Also released as "The Lonely Surfer."
Much like a "Cinnamon Cinder" backtrack, and also released as "Malibu Run."
Richie Allen - Stranger From Durango
Body Rub Surf (Instrumental)
"Stranger From Durango" is a slow close body contact dance tune. Richard Podolor's guitar tone is in evidence. Pretty and on the verge of surf. It was issued both as Richie Allen and Richie Allen and the Pacific Surfers.
Richie Allen and the Pacific Surfers - Foot Stomp USA
Driving Surf (Instrumental)
There is an utterly infectious rolling rhythm, melody and structure here, entirely unique in the surf idiom, and only occasionally seen in other genres. The picking is really great. Rhythmic, bouncy, infectious, galloping meter, perfect. Need I say more?
Richie Allen and the Pacific Surfers - Ground Swell
Peter Gunn Surf (Instrumental)
Based on Henry Mancini's "Peter Gunn," "Ground Swell" is an ominous low-E and sax track. Quite derivative, but cool. Also released as "Tidal Wave."
Richie Allen and the Pacific Surfers - Malibu Run
Studio Surf (Instrumental)
Similar to "The Lonely Surfer," but with low notes and a sax. A studio structured tune. "Malibu Run" was also issued as "Room 304."
Richie Allen and the Pacific Surfers - Push Off
Marching Band Country Funk Surf (Instrumental)
Marching band country funk... The melody seems targeted at Buck Owens and the cadence, well it'll take you back to your home coming game at South Central High. a.k.a. "Kick Off," as the cheers from the stands would indicate. The original title actually tells the tale. It has a decidedly football game cheerleader mentality, cowboys ropin' steers, that sorta thing. It's very fun, not too surfy, and infectious.
Richie Allen and the Pacific Surfers - Put It On
An answer to Dick Dale's "Take It Off" maybe, this song is otherwise not like Dick's greatest hope. It is rhythmic and very tribal thundering. A "Surf Beat"-like tune with lots of energy and evil low-E tones.
Richie Allen and the Pacific Surfers - Surf Man
Ominous Surf (Instrumental)
Also known as "Cave Man" on a pre-surf single, Richie Podolor does it yet again. Heard within the confines of this song are the base elements for several other Podolor tunes. He often wrote pieces with enough things happening that subsections or runs could be morphed into whole new songs with yet more little foundation lines. Amazing writer.
Richie Allen and the Pacific Surfers - Surfers Delight
Choppy Surf (Instrumental)
This tune is also know as "Surf Beater." It's a totally fun choppy tune with lot's of pickage and a wailing' sax bridge. The double picked transitions are speedy, and there are touches of Chuck Berry through out.
Richie Allen and the Pacific Surfers - Swanee River Twang
Folk Surf (Instrumental)
This is a moderately interesting surfization of "Swanee River." It's pretty light weight, but certainly serviceable, especially when you consider that the Belairs did "Little Brown Jug," and all those covers of "Shortnin' Bread," and, well, there's just a lot of such covers from the original era.
Richie Allen and the Pacific Surfers - The Quiet Surf
Pristine Perfect Surf (Instrumental)
This is easily one of my favorite all time surf instros, and it's Richie Podolor on guitar and penmanship, of course. What a grand sound. Entirely liquid and emotional. Every time I hear this track, it raises the hair on the back of my neck. Brilliant chords, lush tone, and a wonderful backtrack. It was originally known as "Samoa." This is simply stunning and shimmering, with rolling exotic tom-toms. The Mermen do this very well.
Richie Allen and the Pacific Surfers - The Rising Surf
Pure Gorgeous Surf (Instrumental)
Among the prettiest surf instro tracks of all time, Richie Podolor's composition is stunningly crystalline and well crafted. This track delivers imagery of the surf beginning to rise from a placid state, promising but not yet delivering big surf. The tones are characteristically clean and pure, and the melody is most memorable. Thoroughly engaging and emotionally charged!
Richie Allen and the Pacific Surfers - Undercurrent
Link Wray Surf (Instrumental)
Based on Link Wray's "Rumble," it's slower, vibrato laden, and ominous in a shimmering tremolo kinda way.
The Beachcombers - Lone Survivor
The Beachcombers' superb "Lone Survivor" has a decidedly cool and sad lagoon feel. Richie Podolor plugged his guitar directly into the mixing board, feeding that to an acoustic echo chamber for a unique guitar sound and style.
This is easily one of my favorite all time surf instros, and it's Richie Podolor on guitar and penmanship, of course. What a grand sound. The Mermen do this very well. It became "Quiet Surf" when it was recorded for the Rising Surf album. This is simply stunning, with rolling exotic tom toms and a totally different treatment than the more familiar Richie Allen & the Pacific Surfers' session.
The Chocolate Watchband - Expo 2000
Richie Podolor's incredible surf writing and guitar tones are evident in this no-Watchbanders-present track produced during the stormy relationship the Chocolate Watchband had with Ed Cobb, where Richie Podolor was on hand as a studio player and engineer. The mix is somewhat psychedelic, but the tune and his playing hearken back to his golden days in the studio surf scene. Great track!
The Devons were another studio persona of Richie Podolor. This is a classic track, better than the demo version which appeared on the Super Stocks CD. Melodic, sad, and very well written. I just love Podolor's guitar tone, generally obtained by plugging directly into the board instead of using an amp. and sending through an acoustic chamber. Richard Podolor wrote it, but is not on the session. Jerry LeMire - lead guitar, Bill Cooper - rhythm guitar, Dick Burns - bass, Chuck Girard - keys, Wayne Edwards - drums.
The Ghouls - Coffin Nails
The final version of the demo from the Super Stocks CD. It's another gorgeous Richie Podolor tune. His tone was totally bitchin, warm and crisp. He reportedly plugged directly into the board to get his sound. What ever he did, it was magical!
The Ghouls - Dracula's Theme
More amazing Richie Podolor guitarage. I can't get enough of his work. This is a silky slow track with a beautiful melody line and an optimistic sadness about it. Really cool!
The Ghouls - Shake Rattle and Rot
With delicate lead guitar work, this track features some tasteful guitar work and well-metered playing. The structure is surf, while the sound is a little more to the center. A nice track.
The Ghouls - Voo Doo Juice
Richie Podolor on guitar, with his usual style and brilliant writing. This is a slight reworking of another Podolor piece, but with the sultry organ just below the surface and the infectious guitar, this is magnificent. Wow!
Wolf howls, Super Stocks structures, and clean simple melody lines. Nicely twanged, rhythmically backed, and a little subdued.
The Chocolate Watchband - Dark Side Of The Mushroom
One of the more deceptively simple things from the Watchband, "Dark Side Of The Mushroom" is very surfable, quite psychedelic a la early Grateful Dead via the organ, and the imagery very illusive and murky. Very cool!
The Hondells - Black Boots and Bikes
Another Richie Podolor tune, from his guitar and his pen. This has a certain bell-like quality, and sports the same twang and sounds as "Haulin' Honda," suggesting it is from the same session. Originally issued in 1964.
The Hondells - Haulin' Honda
Richie Podolor's marvelous writing is superbly portrayed through his exquisite direct-to-the-board guitar tones. This seems like a song he intended to be played more slowly, but found the spirited joy in it's speeding up. It's energy and twang, coupled with his pop melody sense, create a splendid studio surf monster. From 1964.
Damn near the best surf single ever, and certainly Sandy Nelson's best track. The brilliant surf guitar work is from my personal favorite studio player Richie Podolor. This single kicks major hind quarter. Fast rippin' tune delivered like a machine gun. Amazingly good! It's been in my top ten for 32 years now.
Sandy Nelson - Get With It
Richard Podolor's cool reverbed guitar chops under the dry riff lead as Sandy Nelson plays restrained drums. Similar in some ways to a softened "Let There Be Drums," "Get With It" is an infectious percussion track.
Sandy Nelson - Let There Be Drums
"Let There Be Drums" was the first track released after Sandy Nelson lost his foot. It is an infectious thing with a rolling rhythm and great drums. The formula was a cross between "Wipe Out" and "Rebel Rouser." Nelson's drums are solid, and Richie Podolor's guitar work is excellent too.
Sandy Nelson's first single, from 1959, set the stage for many rock drum records to follow. Only Cozy Cole's "Topsy Part II" had charted before, and it was a big band monster. This is a simple drum pattern, guitar and bass thing that was both innocent and infectious in its day.
The Super Stocks - Balboa Island
A thin guitar leads this Gary Usher progression that rides over a fifties-style backtrack. It is not particularly interesting, even though it is named for the center of Paul Johnson's South Bay Surf Scene. It never quite gets going.
The Super Stocks - Gridiron Goodie
This badly titled track features a tight melody line, and a rhythmic backtrack, with fine playing by Podolor and the whole crew. The chords that open are rich, and the melody riff engaging. The break is a bit too jam-like for me, but otherwise it is a fine track.
The Super Stocks - Midnight Run
This is THEE defining Super Stocks track. It is melodic, dramatic, emotional, powerful, dynamic, and highly melodic. It was written by Gary Usher, Richard Burns, and Roger Christian. It has one of the most infectious sounds of any of the more layered less assaultive surf instros. Totally great.
The Super Stocks - Newport Beach
A sad and ominous minor key marvel, distant and infectious. Very nice writing from Usher & Burns and extremely fine playing by Podolor. Moody and mysterious, with a dramatic piano riff and haunted guitar.
The Super Stocks - Ramcharger
This number is closer to what would become the signature Super Stocks instro sound, though still unremarkable in the melody department, and uninspired in the performance, except for the drums. That all said, this studio group gelled in ways that few others did.
The Super Stocks - Redondo Beach
This Gary Usher tune is less melodic than most here. It's more rhythm oriented, and employs a sax bridge. It is a relatively tame track for Podolor's guitar playing.
The Super Stocks - Santa Barbara
This alternate take of "Santa Barbara" is dryer and more like a genuine band. I'm guessing it's actually a Devons demo. It features some very cool double picked lines and a more garagy charm, and sports just one guitar.
The Super Stocks - 'T' Roadster
This track is a pretty standard progression much in the style of so many studio tracks, exhibiting little of the Super Stocks prowess. It has no direction, but some tasty sax work and great drums.
The Super Stocks - The Last Walk
This very pretty track is just as sad and romantic as you might expect from the title. It has a country melody line, and a slow-dance backtrack with brilliant Ferrante and Teischer-like piano work. Quite a nice track.
The Super Stocks - Trophy Run
Studio wizardry on guitar, though it's more repetitious than I usually like. The players include Richard Burns, Hal Blaine, and Leon Russell.
The Super Stocks - Oceanside
Richie Podolor's pristine guitar tones and the fine melody from a collaboration of Gary Usher and Richard Burns combine to make a fine instro. It is very much typical of the classic Super Stocks sound at it's best, defined by Podolor's guitar and the rhythmic underpinnings of Sandy Nelson or Hal Blaine (drums), Richard Burns (bass), and Leon Russell (piano). Podolor's addition to this group made an immense difference. This track is a splendid surf tune, displaying both a gentle sound and a powerfully rhythmic nature.
The Super Stocks - Ventura
Here, Richie Podolor's lead playing and Gary Usher's melody bring immense improvement to the sound of the Super Stocks, and are accented well with Leon Russell's piano pumping. The rhythm track is infectious and the melody fine.
The Super Stocks - Wheel Stands
This is another simple progression with sax accents, not much more complex than "Ramcharger," but with organ breaks instead of sax. Yet, there's something gong on with the progression that captures your ear.