Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Collection: Wax, Board and Woodiedotdot
artworkThis compilation surfaces a varietal crop of surf instros and vocals. Some have been around the block before, and others are seeing the light of the laser for the first time, at least legitimately.
Picks: The Beachcombers - Lone Survivor, The Chandelles - El Gato, Kenny and the Fiends - Moon Shot, The King Pins - Door Bangor, The Rondels - On The Run

Track by Track Review


The Beachcombers - Lone Survivor dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

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.

Kay Bell and the Tuffs - (The Original) Surfers Stomp dot
Studio Pap (Instrumental)

Kay Bell and the Tuffs' "(The Original) Surfers Stomp" is neither original, nor a surfers stomp. It's just a standard fifties style studio imitation of rock n' roll with way too much sax. Kay Bell was a vocalist, and had a number of minor hits in the early fifties under Al Hazan's guidance as The Bell Sisters, including "The Dance Of Love," on which "The Wedge" was based.

The Blazers - The Masked Grandma dotdot
Rock & Roll (Instrumental)

"The Masked Grandma" may be rare, but it is also not very good. It's a rockin' (not surfin') instro in the late fifties sax-lead vein.

The Chandelles - El Gato dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"El Gato" is a track John Blair sent me on cassette years ago, and it ranks as one of my favorite obscuros, at least as far as moderate tempo numbers are concerned. It's not exactly double picked, but it is a very infectious low note tune based on a unique riff. It makes you wanna drive the open road on a hot day with the top down on your '67 Camaro. Originally issued in 1963.

The Galaxies - Tremble dotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Galaxies are another non-seaside band. Their "Tremble" has the lead guitar so buried behind the rest of the band that it is almost undetectable. The sax is pumpin' out some cool for cats in a honky dirty way in a reasonably good surf format reversal.

Kenny and the Fiends - Moon Shot dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Moon Shot" is no where as interesting as their other tracks, and with the guitar buried so far in the mix, it's really a stretch to call this surf. A long pickslide and boing-boing electronics introduce this fundamentally piano lead number. It's unusual, and full of energy, but not great. The organ break is cheesy.

The King Pins - Door Bangor dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The King Pins "Door Bangor" (aka "94 Second Surf") is a low key number that is far more Fireballs influenced than surf-centric. Being a New Mexico band, they also recorded at Norman Petty's place.

Milt Rogers - Let's Go Trippin' dotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Well now, this will certainly demonstrate what was wrong with most studio sessions in the sixties, studio musicians unfamiliar with the genre they were messing with, playing covers of all too familiar songs with so little feeling it hurt... this doesn't even hold up to the Billy Vaughn version of "Mr. Moto." Milt Rogers' "Let's Go Trippin'" is among the lamest covers around, as are his other tracks. So, why do they keep showing up on comps?

The Rondels - On The Run dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

So, who the hell were the Rondels? 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.