Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Da Monz - Louies 4 Youiedotdotdotdot
artworkIn the beginning, there was Da Monz! Well, almost. The surf revival started in the Bay Area in 1979 with Teisco Del Rey's band Cowabunga. Within a couple of years, the Shockwaves were formed, and then came Da Monz. While Cowabunga and the Shockwaves were traditionally based, Da Monz wasn't. They blended what was to become Dino Francesconi's trademark guitar sound and style with Bruce Savage's disturbed lyrics about the beach and surf culture. Eventually, they morphed into the Berzerkers. It's a twenty year lineage of surf in the Bay Area.

In 1989, I was working as an event consultant for the San Francisco chapter of the Leukemia Society in developing their first west coast Louie Louie Parade hosted by K-FOG. I was in charge of booking the entertainment and stage sound. The bands on the parade route all had to play Louie Louie when the parade passed, but could play their own songs before and after. I booked the infamous Guttersluts, who became the darlings of the parade, Johnny Kool and the Rattlesnakes, and Thermo, a surf rap outfit that later became the touring version of the Surf MC's.

For the stage, the band had to play Louie Louie for a long time, as well as back the legend that wrote the song, Richard Berry, who was the grand marshal of the parade and honored guest. For this duty, there was no choice better than Da Monz. The ultimate party and luau band played to a crowd of gazillions of crazed and costumed party goers. They not only performed their own magnificent set of "Louie Louie" variations, they closed with a hot and heavy "Miserlouie." During the main event, they backed up R&B legend and "Louie Louie" author Richard Berry for several rousing renditions of his sainted song.

This extremely rare European EP is culled from those session. Only "Miserlouie" is instrumental, but this is such an inspired set that it warrant a full review.
Picks: Ten Years After Louie / Louie Bluie, Louie Louie, Surfer Louie, Miserlouie

Track by Track Review

Ten Years After Louie / Louie Bluie dotdotdotdot
Anthema Partee Ultimato (Vocal)

With a tip of the hat to Ten Years After's "Goin' Home," Da Monz groan and rip through the chords and morphed lyrics of the anthema partee ultimato. From the first rippin' jump blues riff to the last plaintiff cry, this performance will bring tears to the eyes of any TYA fan, and all "El Squared" fans as well. Then, the tune suddenly dips into the slow "I'm too poor to pay attention" kinda blues treatment is made even more plaintiff by the culminating bad news that Bruce Savage "had to get a job today." What could be worse than that? Pure Chicago blues, "Louie Louie" not withstanding, and deep burnin' soul.

Louie Louie dotdotdotdot
Surf (Vocal)

Less melodic than Ghastly Stomp, but equally powerful, this is more pummel oriented. Rich surf tones and panache accented with cries of "Hang Ten!"

Surfer Louie dotdotdotdot
Anthema Partee Ultimato (Vocal)

Written about the day after the night in Richard Berry's classic, this is the new dawn epic of sunrise, surfing, and forgetting, of moving on and drivin' the woody - "Louie Louie" blastin' from the radio in a '40 Ford wood panel with a classic Dewey Webber juttin' outta the back window on Main Street in Fresno... what could be finer.

Miserlouie dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Maximum energy guitar over flying drums. This is chunky, pumped, and a real surf grinder, ready to make you eat sand. Speed, power, and shortboard ecstasy.