Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Bobby Fuller Four - KRLA King Of The Wheelsdotdotdot
artworkBobby Fuller recorded some mighty fine surf instros. He loved the sound, but his lead guitarist did not, so when the instros came, Bobby took the leads. This CD includes KRLA King Of The Wheels, plus a mess of additional tracks.
Picks: The Lonely Dragster, KRLA Top Eliminator, Only The Young, Just Pickin' Around, Night Train, The Lonely Sea / Lolita, Miserlou

Track by Track Review

The Lonely Dragster dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Mighty close to Wolfman, with a different guitar treatment, and piano. A sorta pre-spych long sustain on the lead hints of a changing time. A nice track.

KRLA Top Eliminator dotdotdot
Surf Progression (Instrumental)

Dragster engine racing, the machine fires off of the line, and then a basic rockin' progression comes forth. Not very melodic, but fun and chunky, with occasional wolf cries. Cool track.

Only The Young dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a pretty tame rendition of the Surfaris' signature tune. The drums don't hold up to comparison with Ron Wilson's original, but then what version does?

Just Pickin' Around dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The problem with covering this track is how hard it is to top the original, or even live up to Ron Wilson's drums. And so it is here, not lived up to. It's an OK performance, but why do it?

Night Train dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a very nice track. It is rhythmic, and has a unique enough sound that it carries it off. There's no reverb, but rather delay on the guitars, and that seems to make this work well. I find that I still enjoy this performance after 10 years of listening to it.

The Lonely Sea / Lolita dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Toronado" is dedicated to the classic Oldsmobile. The thick over reverbed sound masks some of the intense energy of this amazingly well written surf pounder. A melodic and rhythmic riff drives this home. The keys are suitably low in the mix for the most part.

Miserlou dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Bobby Fuller and the Fanatics / The Bobby Fuller Four had hits with "I Fought The Law," "Love's Made A Fool Of You," and "Let Her Dance." Bobby loved the surf sound, but his other guitarist Jim Reese hated it. So, they only recorded a handful of instros, like the legendary "Our Favorite Martian." Here we have a live performance of "Miserlou" from PJ's in '65 (or, as has been reported elsewhere, from '64 in Texas?). This is a monster performance. Too bad the recording sux, because this would rule heavily! Great to see it here. Bobby was a great surf guitarist. There are several Bobby Fuller Four CD's available, and an instrumental CD coming from Del-Fi.