Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Collection: Cowabunga (The Surf Box)dotdotdotdotdot
artworkThe most common question I get is "IÕm new to surf music, so what's the best CD to buy to get started?" The answer is Cowabunga - The Surf Box from Rhino!

Cowabunga is right! Also, Wowie Zowie, Hot Damn!, Shazam!, Yippee!, and other expletives not deleted! This is one hell of a release. Rhino commissioned John Blair to write the 64 page booklet that comes with the surf board artwork 4 CD box set, and he's delivered the goods once again. John is a consummate surf historian, and his writing skills are exceptional for this sort of thing, being a tech-writer in one of his other lives. The box is divided chronologically among the 4 CD's. This is a truly magnificent set.

Cowabunga Set 1: Ground Swells (1960-1963)
Cowabunga Set 2: Big Waves (1963)
Cowabunga Set 3: Ebb Tide (1963-1967)
Cowabunga Set 4: New Waves (1977-1995)

Well boys 'n' girls, that's the scoop. Rhino has put together an incredible box, and John Blair has done a monster job with the liners. At under $65 for 80+ songs, most of which are great and some of which are more than a little rare, this is a must have for the beginner or the long time collector. Thank you Rhino and John Blair.

Five Stars only 'cuz there can't be more!

Picks: Richie Allen and the Pacific Surfers - The Rising Surf, The Aqua Velvets - Spanish Blue, The Astronauts - Baja, The Belairs - Mr. Moto, The Blazers - Beaver Patrol, The Boss Martians - XK-E, The Centurions - Surfin' At Mazatlan, The Challengers - K-39, The Chantays - Pipeline, Killer Dana, The Chevells - Let There Be Surf, The Crossfires - Fiberglass Jungle, The Cruncher - Rebel, Dick Dale - Esperanza, Dick Dale and his Del-tones - Let's Go Trippin', Miserlou, Surf Beat, Teisco Del Rey - Pier Pressure, Eddie and the Showmen - Mr. Rebel, The Eliminators - Punta Baja, The Fabulous Plank-tones - Cheater Stomp, The Fender IV - Malibu Run, The Fireballs - Bulldog, Johnny Fortune - Soul Surfer, The Frogmen - Underwater, The Bobby Fuller Four - Miserlou, The Gamblers - Moon Dawg, Gene Gray and his Stingrays - Surf Bunny, The Halibuts - Chumming, The Illusions - Jezebel, The Insect Surfers - Polaris, Jon and the Nightriders - Storm Dancer, Laika and the Cosmonauts - Night In Tunisia, The Lively Ones - Surf Rider, The Looney Tunes - Desert Bound, Man or Astro-MAN - Reverb 1000, The Mermen - Honeybomb, Dave Myers and the Surftones - Moment Of Truth, The New Dimensions - Cat On A Hot Foam Board, Jack Nitzsche - The Lonely Surfer, The Nobles - Body Surf, The Pharos - Pintor, The Pyramids - Penetration, The Ready Men - Disintegration, The Revels with Barbara Adkins - Church Key, The Rhythm Rockers - Breakfast At Tressels, The Rondels - On The Run, The Rotations - Heavies, The Sandals - Theme From 'The Endless Summer', Wingnut's Theme, The Sentinals - Latin'ia, The Snow Men - Ski Storm - Part I, The Surfaris - Wipe Out, The Surfdusters - Save The Waves, The Surf Men - Paradise Cove, The Surf Raiders - Wave Walk'n', The Tornadoes - Bustin' Surfboards, The Ventures - Walk, Don't Run '64, The Wedge - Night Of The Living Wedge

Track by Track Review


Richie Allen and the Pacific Surfers - The Rising Surf dotdotdotdotdot
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!

The Aqua Velvets - Spanish Blue dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Aqua Velvets are another SF band on the move, with two CD's on Mesa Bluemoon / Atlantic and a new one on the way from BMG (RCA's parent). They are seasoned musicians. They focus on relaxed spaghetti western spy theme Spanish motif music destined for film scores. "Spanish Blue" is from their first album. They are pushing the envelope of what surf music is, adding new elements and experimenting with influences that shouldn't work but do. Great band. It's not often that Surf musicians are so accomplished that they relax on stage and completely captivate their audience with the shear beauty of their playing. I'm amazed at how they can capture the full attention of a whole room playing gentle melodic and perfect tunes. Highly recommended. Check out the CD's, and watch for their new album due shortly.

The Astronauts - Baja dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Baja" displays power of their trademark three guitar line up, and shows what a few weeks at RCA Hollywood could do. Actually, having said that, I'd really like to remix this. The lead guitar is too loud in the mix. Anyway, if there's a list of the ten most significant surf singles, this must be on it. Hazelwood had a knack for melody, and the Astronauts had a knack for the sound, and together, look out!

The Belairs - Mr. Moto dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is it, their claim to fame, their most familiar song, and the first surf release from May 1961 on Arvee Records. "Mr. Moto" is just about the most influential surf instro ever. "Mr. Moto" came to be a surf classic, and was recorded and released months before Dick Dale's "Let's Go Trippin'," before he opened the Rendezvous Ballroom, and before it was called surf. If you must draw a line in the sand, it must be drawn here. "Mr. Moto" was recorded at Liberty.

Covered by countless others, this song features 15 year olds Paul Johnson and Eddie Bertrand trading guitar parts in their trademark style on a prototypical PJ writing masterpiece. Jim Roberts' piano work is stunningly perfect for this song. A historical absolutely must have!

The Blazers - Beaver Patrol dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Many of the Surf bands (maybe most) from Southern California were teen bands, some not old enough do drive yet. The Blazers were a Fullerton teen band that just ripped. The recordings this band made were among the hottest most energetic of any band of the era, including the New Dimensions and the Fender Four. "Beaver Patrol" was banned here and there due to it's obvious slang meaning. It's raucous and mean and high energy. It ranks right up there with their incredible "Bangalore" and their beautiful "Sound Of Mecca."

The Boss Martians - XK-E dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"XK-E" original melody is strong. This infectious track is rhythmic and bouncy, and sports optimism galore. This is perhaps the definitive Boss Martians song. Totally excellent.

The Centurions - Surfin' At Mazatlan dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Surfin' At Mazatlan" is one of their faster more upbeat tracks. It's Spanish influences are obvious, though somewhat mechanical. Bitchin' vintage mean surf.

The Challengers - K-39 dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"K-39" is one of the best late Surf tracks. It is named after a Surf spot 39 kilometers south of the California-Mexico border. Hal Blaine's drumming is exquisite, and the melody is great. This is a true Surf classic, melodic, powerful, double picked joy!

The Chantays - Pipeline dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is it. This track defined surf. It is the archetype! Paul Johnson once told me that when first heard this tune on his car radio, he said Whoa! Wha-at is THAT?, and pulled over to the side of the road to listen. The Chantays defined the classic surf line up, 2 guitars, piano, bass, and drums. Glorious first use of glissandos, first rhythm guitar dominance in the mix, and just plain essential.

The Chantays - Killer Dana dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Recut version of the hottest tune from their "Next Set" CD. It's a simple ditty with an infectious nature. This performance is less energetic, but has more finesse and a more effected lead guitar, with a bit of phasing or flanging. I think the "Next Set" version is better one because it is more reverby and has a deeper surf feel to it. Still, this is one powerful track.

The Chevells - Let There Be Surf dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Chevells were around for a while, but recorded little. "Let There Be Surf" is infectious. It has a melody line and rhythm interplay that stick with you. And the title... brilliant! This is one of the great lost infectious surf tunes. Above average pace with a great rhythmic and driving feel to it.

The Crossfires - Fiberglass Jungle dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A gentle wave rippling at the shore chord opens to a totally ominous low-E grinder, with evil sax from the twins Kaplan-Volman a.k.a. Flo and Eddie, thundering bass from Chuck Portz, rhythmic tribal drums from Don Murray, and utterly incredible Al Nichol guitar work. This is a must-have surf MONSTER!

The Cruncher - Rebel dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Cruncher is from Germany. They are the child of Herbert Hooke, who slammed 'em together in '87 or '86. Hooke used a home studio, but he got really crisp results. "Rebel" is from the second Cruncher album, and is a cover of an obscure Mike Curb composition originally done by Davie Allan. The Cruncher sport a trad sound with exceptional aural quality. Check out the Cruncher CD's on NPR.

Dick Dale - Esperanza dotdotdotdot
Not (Instrumental)

Dick Dale has been wowing the new Surf fans with his legend and guitar showmanship. "Esperanza" is one of his few new tunes, and it's a really cool Latin thing with a nice rambling listenability. There's a ton written about Dick, so I'll leave it there, except to say that this is a great track.

Dick Dale and his Del-tones - Let's Go Trippin' dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Dick Dale's August 1961 recording of "Let's Go Trippin'" is ahead of the surf sound, more a rock 'n' roll number than what would be later identified as surf. It is nevertheless a very important key to the development of the genre.

Dick's original Del-tones were a hell of a band. This session featured a seasoned Barry Rillera on sax, who had been in his brother Ricky Rillera's band the Rhythm Rockers (no relation to the surfband of that name), with whom Richard Berry had sung for over a year at Harmony Park between 1954 and 1955. It was at Harmony Park one Saturday night in 1955 that Richard heard them do Rene Touzet's "El Loco Cha Cha" for the first time, and was inspired by it's "duh duh duh, duh-duh" intro to write "Louie Louie."

Dick Dale and his Del-tones - Miserlou dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The introductory note of Miserlou is somehow bigger than life. Dick's machine gun staccato is perfect. This is Dick Dale's biggest Del-tone singles, the incredibly archetypal "Miserlou" featured so prominently in Pulp Fiction. No comprehensive Surf collection should even be conceived without this song. This IS the sound of primal surf, the source of the idea of really LOUD guitar leads. It's reported that the arrangement was developed after Dick saw Johnny Barakat do it this way.

Dick Dale and his Del-tones - Surf Beat dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Demonstrating the power of CHUNK in surf, "Surf Beat" lent it's name to the genre, and clearly is a standard. A great performance captured live at the Rendezvous Ballroom and issued in 1962. This is the embodiment of rhythm based surf chunk.

If you want to play the chords right, when the lead and rhythm both play together, the rhythm guitar would "push" the chord downward, while the lead must "pull" the chord upward - remember, Dick Dale played left handed and used a right handed guitar upside down without restringing. That meant when he pushed the chord, it was the same as pulling it. I verified this with Dick personally in '88, so there ya go.

Teisco Del Rey - Pier Pressure dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Pier Pressure" is not as surfy as the title might imply, but it definitely rates as cool. Glissandos fly, notes splash, and the general bent is rolling break. Quite nice.

Eddie and the Showmen - Mr. Rebel dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Eddie and the Showmen's third single was a tribute to KRLA DJ Reb Foster, who also owned the Revelaire Club, where Eddie Bertrand found themselves to be the house band for a while. This is one of the great surf singles, sporting a totally infectious and optimistic melody and beat.

The Eliminators - Punta Baja dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Eliminators are one of my favorite modern bands doing the trad thing. They have a pure very powerful vintage sound, do great covers (you should see Joe Kurkowski play "Miserlou" behind his head!), and write perfect Surf originals. ""Punta Baja"" is one of my favorite tunes from their first album, which is an entirely great CD. They sound like the Original Surfaris crossed with the Challengers and Eddie and the Showmen. Truly great band. I'd recommend you see them if you can, if not for the music, then for their coats and shoes! ...and, get their CD!

The Fabulous Plank-tones - Cheater Stomp dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

John Blair didn't list this in his "Illustrated Discography Of Surf Music 1961-1965," and neither did Rich Hagensen in his phone book thick compendium of instrumentals. Heavy surf and plucky piano riffola. Very fun indeed.

The Fender IV - Malibu Run dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Malibu Run" of the best examples of how ska was creeping into the surf instro sound just before it ended. This is a fine, very melodic, and rhythmically infectious track. Mid tempo magic. Brilliantly melodic and surfy. Check out the more ska-centered cover by the Halibuts. "Malibu Run" is a beautiful rolling song with a great melody line. It was the B-side of "Everybody Up in February 1965.

The Fireballs - Bulldog dotdotdotdot
Pre Surf (Instrumental)

"Bulldog" is rhythmic and infectious, and has a quiet power about it, as did most of the Fireballs / Norman Petty output. All of their sessions are available in various CD forms, from ACE, Sundazed, and others. The Challengers borrowed "Bulldog" for their debut album Surf Beat.

Johnny Fortune - Soul Surfer dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is one of those magical tracks that stands alone sound wise. "Soul Surfer" was written in the back seat of the car on the way to the studio. An afterthought of sorts, it became a classic in it's own time, being covered by contemporary bands. Johnny Fortune's melodic sense, combined with some flamenco and jazz influences to create a wholly unique sound. Highly melodic and magnetically rhythmic.

The Frogmen - Underwater dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Frogmen romp with "Underwater." It's very much a surf precursor, and important for that reason. Numerous of their tracks have appeared on various budget comps over the past few years.

The Bobby Fuller Four - Miserlou dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Bobby Fuller and the Fanatics / The Bobby Fuller Four had hits with "I Fought The Law," "Love's Made A Fool Of You," and "Let Her Dance." Bobby loved the surf sound, but his other guitarist Jim Reese hated it. So, they only recorded a handful of instros, like the legendary "Our Favorite Martian." Here we have a live performance of "Miserlou" from PJ's in '65 (or, as has been reported elsewhere, from '64 in Texas?). This is a monster performance. Too bad the recording sux, because this would rule heavily! Great to see it here. Bobby was a great surf guitarist. There are several Bobby Fuller Four CD's available, and an instrumental CD coming from Del-Fi.

The Gamblers - Moon Dawg dotdotdotdot
Pre Surf (Instrumental)

Right in the pocket is "Moon Dawg" from this great studio band. "Moon Dawg" is intense and energetic. Even Paul Revere and the Raiders covered it on their first album. Producer Nik Venet did the dog howls. As a side note, the B-side of the original World Pacific single was called "LSD-25," one of the earliest drug-titled rock songs.

Gene Gray and his Stingrays - Surf Bunny dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Surf Bunny" is one of the great surf obscuros, full of raw power, spirited vocal eruptions from Gene, and a really grungy sound. This record has been on my top 20 list since it's release in '63.

The Halibuts - Chumming dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Halibuts have been together since... well... since God was a boy. They are a large band as surf bands go, six members. Their sound has evolved over the last fourteen years from primal surf-ska to more complicated multipart tunes with a greater and greater sense of humor. I've had the privilege of hosting them at Summer Surf II when Mike Palm (Agent Orange) was filling in on bass. They are a really great band. They thoroughly enjoy playing, and it shows in their recordings. They have a melodic and richly enjoyable sound. "Chumming" is from their last CD on Upstart. They have a new album due shortly.

The Illusions - Jezebel dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Illusions were one mean sounding surf band! "Jezebel" totally pummels the living effluent out of you. Low-E menacing staccato powerhouse! Need I say more? Drummer Tom Brown wound up later in the Wedge. John Blair says that Tom told him this track was recorded with a single mic... yikes!

This amazing version of the Frankie Lane classic is mimicked almost exactly by Mark Brodie and the Beaver Patrol.

The Insect Surfers - Polaris dotdotdotdotdot
Desert Surf (Instrumental)

This is one perfect instro. The melody line features the kind of hooks that stay with you, the arrangement is nearly magical, and the imagery is stunning. This is a mid tempo beautifully written and played tune with subtle drama and picturesque guitar tones.

Jon and the Nightriders - Storm Dancer dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is one of the best numbers John Blair has written. Very hot and infectious. In fact, this track rules! The fire in the percussion, the catchy nature of the melody, the power in the rhythm... a masterpiece! Very hot and infectious. Aside from being one of the best second wave bands, Jon and the Nightriders are incredibly tight and percussive.

Laika and the Cosmonauts - Night In Tunisia dotdotdot
Euro (Instrumental)

There was a lot of jazz in Southern California surf instros back in the days of old. This is a hot rendition of a spiffy jazz number from the fifties. It's a natural for the Euro instro sound.

The Lively Ones - Surf Rider dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is what happens when a real surfband covers a Nokie Edwards (Ventures) tune that had no relation to surf as written. In fact, it started life as a Potato concept song called "Spudnik." This is the grand and beautiful song that runs under the ending credits of Pulp Fiction. This is the full length version, not the single edit.

The Looney Tunes - Desert Bound dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Desert Bound" is ominous, pure surf, with a fine melody, and a solid structure. This song stays with you after listening. It grumbles along, growling out Spanish influenced changes, and issuing forth the sounds of the surf...

Man or Astro-MAN - Reverb 1000 dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Man or Astro-MAN? are alone in their approach. They sound somewhere between sci-fi and Surf and punk and garage and chicken bop. They do great grindy rhythmic poundy quirky instrumentals (mostly). "Reverb 1000" is a tune they've issued in several forms. John Blair was wise to say "at least 3..." because it's so hard to keep track of a band with a new CD every month... They are cool. Check out any their CD's.

The Mar-Kets - Surfer's Stomp dotdotdot
Sub Surf (Instrumental)

The Mar-Kets created this nearly Lawrence Welk forties-ish "Surfers Stomp." Frankly, Susan and the SurfTones do the best version of this song. Simple slow paced innocent instrumental rock and roll, with great piano and saucy sax. Infectious and unpretentious. Don't look for the classic surf sound here, but do enjoy the simplicity and fun. Smooth and right nice.

The Mermen - Honeybomb dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is surf... at least one of the futures of surf, mixed with psychedelia and jazz and whatever else fits. They have a huge sound. "Honeybomb" was recorded live at KFJC on my show, and I'm honored to see it here in this collection. They are a must-see band. Check out their CD's too.

Dave Myers and the Surftones - Moment Of Truth dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Dave's interpretation of the Original Surfaris masterpiece "Moment Of Truth" is nothing short of essential listening. What Dave does with it transforms it from a stomp on demand surf obscuro to a melodic rolling almost entirely new song. The melody has been embellished, and the whole sense of rhythm has been replaced with something so infectious that it is irresistible. The use of tenor sax gives it a near-jazz element that adds to the mystery. This remains among my all-time favorite surf tracks.

The New Dimensions - Cat On A Hot Foam Board dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Cat On A Hot Foam Board" is a track I've adored for 30 years. It's fiery, has a bitchin' melody, an incredible infectious tinkly piano, and pummels the drawers right off of your surf buns with its great staccato lead lines. Crank this one up big time! This song is worth the price all by itself! There are not enough stars...

Jack Nitzsche - The Lonely Surfer dotdotdot
MOR Surf (Instrumental)

"The Lonely Surfer" is an enigma, hardly legit surf band fare, yet definitely a genre classic. It only charted at 39 on Billboard, but it is among the more recognizable and sophisticated surf standards. It's haunting moody and dramatic. The French horns are surreal, giving it a major pompous feel that somehow transcends the dismissibility of other similar works, like the "Surfers Stomp" Marketts sessions. Amazing.

The Nobles - Body Surf dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Body Surf" a boogie progression over a surf beat with chunky rhythms. It's not their best recording, yet it has a certain draw that makes it work really well. It's is a lesser tune from the album, fairly dry, simple progression based and quite rhythmic.

The Original Surfaris - Bombora dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Original Surfaris' "Bombora" is one of the great surf pounders, with it's heavy tom tom action and low-E lead growling away. A great and essential track.

The Phantom Surfers - Banzai Run dotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

San Francisco's Phantom Surfers are notorious to say the least. Their sound is vintage trad. Their recordings tend to be ambient sounding. They play with a vengeance and a choreographed stage show, and care not whom they offend, offending on purpose sometimes. Their recordings been issued in many countries on a bunch of labels, and have created both followers and detractors. "Banzai Run" is from their first album. If you want raw primal frat band surf, this is it. If you want good sound, you might think twice. Highly entertaining live band. (4 stars for performance, 1 star for sound quality)

The Pharos - Pintor dotdotdotdot
Spanish Surf (Instrumental)

The Pharos are a total mystery. No one seems to know who they were. A few quirky tracks exist, "Pintor" among them. It's a rare, pleasant listening, Latin surf track. It has a certain quaintness, an infectious melody, and well placed whammies. Their other tracks are on various Del-Fi compilations and elsewhere.

The Pyramids - Penetration dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

One of a handful of nationally successful surf single, this track has been covered more than "Miserlou," and in more varieties of rock styles. If you don't own this track, you have entered the surf idiom yet. This is one of the essential classics. The production is unusual and masterful, and the melody is simple and enduring. It spawned hundreds of covers, and is still quite infectious.

The Ready Men - Disintegration dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Readymen were another Minnesota band that played a lot of Surf instros. "Disintegration" is a raver that remained unreleased until last year. Their writing was good, and their performances were spirited. The main riff is a basic surf progression, with jam-like break action. It's rhythmic and energetic, but not very melodic. Raw primal teen surf.

The Revels with Barbara Adkins - Church Key dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Revels had been playing for quite a while before laying down the classic slang-for-can-opener titled "Church Key" with producer Norman Knowles' girl friend Barbara Atkins giggling away. Danny Darnold is the lead player here, and Norman does duty on the sax. If you're impressed with their edgy energy.

The Rhythm Rockers - Breakfast At Tressels dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

More raw and rhythmic than reverbed, they were a dance band with a solid following. "Breakfast At Tressels" is from their lone album, and exemplifies them. This sports a cool title I've always liked. The basis of the tune is a fifties boogie, with reverbed guitar and lots of twang. No melody, but quite infectious.

The Rondels - On The Run dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

So, who the hell were the Rondells? The "del" part is Delbert McClinton. This disc came too late for surf to be picked up for radio play, but "On The Run" has a definite exuberance. Nice choice for the box. This Rondells single has been comp'd before.

The Rotations - Heavies dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Rotations were Paul Buff and Dave Aerni. Paul Buff owned and operated Pal Studio, used by an ample number of Surf bands. Dave Aerni managed the Hollywood Tornadoes. Buff also recorded as the Hollywood Persuaders. Paul and Dave played all the instruments on the "Heavies" single included here. It's quite obscure, and unusually cool for a studio construct. This track, and the other side of the single appears on the Japanese CD The Cucamonga Years, which collects early works by Frank Zappa. Zappa is not on this track.

The Sandals - Theme From 'The Endless Summer' dotdotdot
Classic Film Score Surf (Instrumental)

"Theme From The Endless Summer" is a world renowned tune. It incorporates nontraditional instruments and has been an influence to many others. The use of melodica is particularly interesting.

The Sandals - Wingnut's Theme dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Sandals have regrouped for studio sessions in the last few years, resulting in two CD's, and some fine music. The songs are mostly the old Sandals songs, but the energy and recording quality are much higher. "Wingnut's Theme" is a prime example of their current sound. Really good CD's over all.

The Sentinals - Latin'ia dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Easily one of the most beautiful Latin surf instros ever recorded. Tommy Nunes' writing and guitar wizardry were unsurpassed. I'd sure like to hear what he's doing now. This song shimmers. It's been on my top ten surf instro list for 33 years.

The Snow Men - Ski Storm - Part I dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Snow Men cut this single on for Kim Fowley who licensed it out to Challenge in 1963. "Ski Storm - Part I" is rhythmic and poundy, with a bitchin' riff and great energy. The drums rock, the piano is ultra cool, and the riff, while straight forward and simple, is very effective. Incidentally, the melody and basic arrangement of "Ski Storm," recorded in 1963, is identical (except for minor phrasing) to "No Man's Land" by France's Les Fantomes from 1962.

The Surfaris - Wipe Out dotdotdotdot
TV Surf (Instrumental)

"Wipe Out" is simply the definitive drummer's badge of courage. If he can do a decent "Wipe Out," he's hired. Simple, and written and recorded in just minutes, this is an international classic that has sold multimillions of copies, and still does every year worldwide.

The Surfdusters - Save The Waves dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Surfdusters are a Canadian band (Vancouver BC) formed around the nucleus of Rich Hagensen (Live Wire Magazine), whose association with Ralph Cameron Johnston goes way back with the Garage Surfers, the Fridge Magnets, the Unknowns, etc.... "Save The Waves" is from their brand new CD, which is one of the great new releases! Their approach is pretty traditional, but it's edgy.

The Surf Men - Paradise Cove dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Surf Men's rendering of "Paradise Cove" was the second recording for them. As the Expressos, they had recorded it as Wandering with Aki Aleong producing. They had renamed it "Extasy," but changed it to "Paradise Cove" to relate to the rising surf phenomenon. It's more basic than the familiar Lively Ones version, and truly primal and significant in it's seminal creation of the Polynesian rhythm cool lagoon variety of Surf. This is a must-have track for any collector.

The Surf Raiders - Wave Walk'n' dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Smooth trad surf, with organ added. This is a melodic and warm track, with the kind of draw that brings you back for more.

The Tornadoes - Bustin' Surfboards dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Bustin' Surfboards" is one of the most recognizable of the tribal surf instros from the sixties. It's drum dominated raw sound was nothing short of magical when I first heard it on KRLA. This is one of the essential surf instros, a desert island must-have.

The Ventures - Walk, Don't Run '64 dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Ventures had already become the chameleons of rock by the time surf came along a mere few months after they cut "Walk, Don't Run" in 1960. They adapted quickly, morphing their crown jewel tune into a surf classic by adding reverb and glissandos. It's way fun.

The Wedge - Night Of The Living Wedge dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Night Of The Living Wedge" is from their 1980 mini album on Rhino. It has been covered by the Mallards. It's a rousing modernized surf sound, with an edgy guitar and a full-on attack. Now, you'd think with all that money and them having such a strong "in" at Rhino, they could talk the scheduling masters there to release a complete Wedge CD. Their "Pipeline" from the second album is unsurpassed in clarity and brilliance.