Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Collection: Diggin' Outdotdotdotdot
artworkThis is a great bootleg collection of surf instros, many of which aren't available in any other form. All from vinyl, some with telltale snap, crackle and pop noise, but all on the hit list. A magnificent collection.
Picks: Jezebel, Moon Relay, Heartbeat, Ali Baba, Anesthesia, Blue Mallard, Gutterball, Let There Be Surf, Hot Cylinders, Rockin' Fury, XL-3, Bali Ha'i, The Good Humor Stomp, Riptide, Cat On A Hot Foam Board, Strike, Diggin' Out, Miserlou

Track by Track Review

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.

Moon Relay dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Moon Relay" is a highly infectious, very rhythm oriented number. It rolls right along, plays really well loud in your car on warm summer night, and stays with you. It is very simple, and very effective. The pristine playing and glorious writing is similar to the (San Jose) Torquays work, chunky, delicate, and whammy driven. Great track.

Heartbeat dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Heartbeat" is one of the great surf obscuros. It has a minor sadness, and a minimal melody that really works, backed by a cool walking backtrack, and great accents. Excellent whammy, and ringing tone. This is one of the essential surf tracks.

Ali Baba dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Dave and the Customs recorded what must be the other "Miserlou." This is a totally tubular track that just plain moves. The relentless rolling drums, the low-E double-picked melody, the crescendo break... it made me twitch in my britches the first time I heard it. This is definitely the highlight of this CD. Oh, what I wouldn't do for the studio tapes on this one! Who were these guys, anyway? The other side of this single was a vocal version of "Shortnin' Bread." Their other single was "Mizerlou" c/w "Bony Marony."

Anesthesia dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

From the rising heartbeat kick drum through the horrific organ and down and dirty reverbed surf guitar playing a fine riff, this simply pleases. The break is filled with echoed calls for scalpels, sutures and the like. Infectious and unpretentious, "Anesthesia" even sports a manic glissando or two. Really cool.

Blue Mallard dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Blue Mallard" is a heavy duty riff surfer, with a basic structure and reverbed madness out front. Infectious in its innocence and fire, yet not particularly original. Lots of drive and sparkle, and an AABA format.

Gutterball dotdotdotdotdot
Lap Steel Surf (Instrumental)

This 1963 single is simply one of the finest ultra intense surf obscuros. The Goldtones were 15 years old. They cut this and it's B-side for a local TV bowling show theme. The lap steel lead is double picked and scraped into a frenzy by Glenn Ross Campbell, who went on to the Misunderstood, Juicy Lucy, and the Dirty Blues Band.

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.

Hot Cylinders dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Jammin hot and crunchy, "Hot Cylinders" lives up to its name. More power, spunk and reverb than melody, with tribal drums and nearly spitting guitar. Big and then some.

Rockin' Fury dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Recorded live, "Rockin' Fury" is pure primitive reverb fury. Aurally, the band reminds me of the Spiedles, but a little tighter. The tune is more a jam than a song, yet it is totally infectious with its drive and splashiness. Very cool.

XL-3 dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Raw high powered reverb rockin' space surf, with lots of reverb. The melody is minimal but effective, and the power obvious. Only the cheesy chorus detracts, and even that has an innocent garage charm about it.

Bali Ha'i dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a totally coy rendition of the most familiar theme from South Pacific. "Bali Ha'i" is difficult to do without being cutesy, but the Irridescents manage to pull it off. Tribal, twangy, surfy, and very cool.

The Good Humor Stomp dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a lot like some of the faster guitar boogies from the fifties, but reverbed out. It's not melodic. The break features the organ player.

Riptide dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Totally infectious rhythm track, nearly all chords, reverbed lightly, and tom tom driven. "Riptide" is in the same style as its flip side "Let There Be Surf." Very infectious.

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...

Strike dotdotdotdot
Lap Steel Surf (Instrumental)

From the pins crashing in the opener, this rocker is a lot like the A-side, except with more a riff orientation. Rhythmic and intense, "Strike" is a powerhouse of lap steel drive and rock chunk. Great drums.

Diggin' Out dotdotdotdot
Near Surf (Instrumental)

"Diggin' Out" opens with drums and a bass line, moves into ringing chords, then finally employs reverbed surfisms. Its a jam-like chord based number with lots of charm and flair, but no real melody. The coolest part is the tinkly fifties piano break.

Miserlou dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is from a little EP, and is the only evidence that this band existed. This performance is true to Dick Dale's single, and shows a lot of fire and youthful abandon. "Miserlou" opens with surfin' preacher Stub calling for his flock, then introducing the Lonely Ones. This was recorded live at the Hermosa Beach teen club called Stub's Pub.