Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Collection: Cucamonga - The Early Works Of Frank Zappadotdotdot
artworkThis CD is similar to the package issued recently by Del-Fi. Most of these tracks are issued domestically for the first time. I includes many of the sessions Frank Zappa did with Paul Buff and others at Pal Studios in Cucamonga during the early-to-mid sixties under various names. There is some dispute about participation on some tracks, depending on who you want to believe, such as the Rotations tracks, which are generally thought to be Paul Buff and Dave Aerni, but not Frank Zappa. In either case, the two sides of the single are here, and are moderately interesting surf wanna-be releases. No double picking, just guitar and ocean sounds. Also included are a pair of Paul Buff instros.
Picks: Grunion Run, Tijuana Surf, Heavies, The Cruncher

Track by Track Review


Grunion Run dotdotdot
Blues (Instrumental)

Paul Buff's studio band issued an album Drums A Go Go around the samwe time as this single (1963). This is a bluesy guitar instro, traditionally arranged and fluid.

Tijuana Surf dotdotdot
TJB Surf (Instrumental)

Reverbed second guitar, and a huge debt owed to Baloba Stomp and Hern Alpert by Paul Buff's studio band on this one. It's so very close to Surfers Stomp with just slight variations created by the organ in the breaks and a twinge of the Tijuana Brass. Not surfy at all, but a cool tune.

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 Cruncher dotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

An organ lead track of little interest, neither particularly melodic or well thought out. It has a Peter Gunn-ish backtrack, and wailin' studio sax lines. The guitar is letting out a damped reverbed support for the lead instruments. From 1964.