Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Collection: Rendezvous Ballroom Reunion 2000dotdotdotdot
artworkThis is the long awaited live set from the big show. All the performances are excellent. All great bands, beginning with the Nocturnes, the Space Cossacks, the Eliminators, Jon and the Nightriders, the Belairs, the Lively Ones, the Chantays, and ending with Dick Dale. This is a vital document, and raises funds for the International Huntington Beach Surfing Museum. Some of the mixes are less than desirable. Very cool stuff here.
Picks: North Shore Rumble, Sticky, Third Star From The Left, Solaris Stomp, Beyond The Third Star, The Apes Of Wrath, Bone Cruncher, Punta Baja, Cross Steppin', Moving Target, Storm Dancer, The Force Of Gravity, Mr. Moto, Kamikaze, Squad Car, Goofy Foot, Southern Surf, Tranquilizer, Crystal-T, Blunderbus, Killer Dana, Pipeline, Nitrus, Let's Go Trippin' / Surf Beat / (Ghost) Riders In The Sky, Scalped, Shredded Heat

Track by Track Review

North Shore Rumble dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"North Shore Rumble" is a Spanish flavored piece that features semi-gently double picked guitar and warm tone. The arrangement is well balanced and the melody pretty. An excellent original with staying power. Almost orchestral.

Sticky dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is jam track, with little of a melody, and those great mariachi horns pumpin' away over an organ, like what Freddie King might have sounded like in Las Vegas.

Third Star From The Left dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This magnificent tune was originally cut by the Nocturnes in 1963 at Paul Johnson's PM Productions studio in Redondo Beach (Paul's garage). It's been covered by the Space Cossacks, but remains best at the hands of the originators. "Third Star From The Left" aka "Third Star To The Left" is less intense than the tribal vintage track, less like the Ventures' "Journey To the Stars" which influenced it, but is none the less a vital surf track. very cool.

Solaris Stomp dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is the best track on this CD! It's rhythmic, pristine, chunky, spirited, and carries you right on down the road with no effort at all. Great melody and gorgeous guitar tones. If this is any indication of this band's prowess (and it is - I've heard DAT of several other great tracks), they are a band to be reckoned with. Killer!

Beyond The Third Star dotdotdotdot
Russian Space Surf (Instrumental)

Based on / inspired by "Third Star To The Left," "Beyond The Third Star" has all of the solid thunder and experimental charm of the Nocturnes' tune, but with a new melody line and power drive. Guest on sax here is Jim Frias (Nocturnes). Powerful, stunning, and magnificent. It cross fades through space-fi sfx right into "Tsar Wars."

The Apes Of Wrath dotdotdotdotdot
Russian Space Surf (Instrumental)

With the low-E pummeling the title implies (imagine the Apemen angry), "The Apes Of Wrath" bowls you over from the get go... relentless shredding double picked guitar, powerful arranging, and just plain mean. Intensely driven with flair and relentless energy. Egads, this is better live than in the studio!

Bone Cruncher dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

From the first slapped note, this track simply pummels. High energy, fine writing, exquisite sounds, and infectious down-the-highway kinda pace. The big whammy chord break is really cool, especially where it yields to back to the prime current.

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!

Cross Steppin' dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Damped rhythms and moody bass under flowing lead chords give way to a great riff, and then the backtrack transitions into a cool solid beat with ska rhythm guitar. This is an infectious and haunting track, with power and excellent arranging.

Moving Target dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Over a "Pipeline" styled rhythm track, a tuff infectious melody drives, commanding attention and infecting your very soul. A fine performance with great whammy and glissandoes, and major power. Excellent!

Storm Dancer dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Amazing performance of one of my favorite Jon and the Nightriders songs. Hard driving surf with an infectious riff and an in your wave attitude. Great job guys!

The Force Of Gravity dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"The Force Of Gravity" pounds out a rock solid surf rage. Originally released by the Genteels, this has been in Jon and the Nightriders's set for decades. It just keeps getting better. Excellent!

Mr. Moto dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

What don't you know about the Belairs? "Mr. Moto" is their signature tune. Unfortunately, the mix loses most of the magic of this band and song. It does feature the piano right up front, and it's very cool.

Kamikaze dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Originally called "Whiplash," this fine song is typically Paul & Eddie interplaying their two guitars for a rhythmic holistic sound. A fine infectious track, this is a lot like "Mr. Moto." The groovy piano work in the middle is cool.

Squad Car dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This version of Paul's classic is starkly different from the better known Eddie & the Showmen version. It relies on the delicate interplay between the two guitars, where as the "hit" version relies on Eddie's pure power. This approach is totally different, almost like a different song. This is very infectious. Chas Stuart plays the sax reed to simulate the police siren.

Goofy Foot dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A high power track is an essential part of any vintage surf collection. This is just about the best Lively Ones track ever! Fast, powerful, high energy, ripping good guitar work, ample changes. Stunning! It's been covered, but never matched.

Southern Surf dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This modern tune has appeared live before. It's a fine melody in a subdued Spanish vein. Very nicely played here, this is very soothing.

Tranquilizer dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is one of the most infectious and fiery surf instros anywhere, otherwise known as "High Tide." It flies through a staccato lead line, and a softer break. Very powerful. This is one of my favorite classic surf tracks. (fake stereo)

Crystal-T dotdotdot
Big Guitar (Instrumental)

This was one of the great recording acts. "Crystal-T" sports thump and thunder, and a big guitar modern rock guitar sound with not much surf feel.

Blunderbus dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This an odd song, with stop-start abruptness and an unusual melody line. It's the riff Dick Dale has used since the mid sixties to intro What'd I Say and today calls a song. The Chantays are the original source of the riff, as evidenced on their first album from 1963. Cool.

Killer Dana dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Pipeline dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

You have to know this song... and this is the band that invented it. This is quite a powerful take, even though it's significantly different from the vintage track. Hard driving, and infectious as ever.

Nitrus dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

As if you couldn't tell from the name, it's a "Nitro" wannabe. Pure riff rock. Dick plays well, and the rhythm section rocks!

Let's Go Trippin' / Surf Beat / (Ghost) Riders In The Sky dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a fine medley for showing off the Dick Dale legacy. Dick's huge guitar, and a rock solid rhythm section plow through two classic Dick Dale tunes and an instro standard that always bears repeating. Lots' of Dick jammin' here.

Scalped dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

More show and flash than song, yet magnetic and way fun. Dusty's solo rules... but what else would you expect. A fine performance from the King.

Shredded Heat dotdot
Not (Instrumental)

Dick's "What'd I Say" riff worked into yet another song that he's been playing for a while, also known as "Desert Storm." It's repetitious.