Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Bobby Fuller - Never To Be Forgottendotdotdotdot
artworkBobby Fuller came from the El Paso area of Texas. Bobby teethed on the sounds of Buddy Holly, the Everly Brothers, and the reverb of surf. His first releases were on his own Exeter label. The bulk of Bobby's tapes from the El Paso days are chronicled on the "Shakedown! The Texas Tapes Revisited" two-CD box set. During this period, Bobby's raw energy and talent were honed, along with his guitar fetish for surf instrumentals. This box set contains 3 CD's from his time in Southern California, where he was signed to Bob Keane's Del-Fi label. CD one and two come in a double jewel box, and comprise his studio work for the Donna and Mustang subsidiaries of Del-Fi. Here, you'll find his biggest and most infectious hit, a cover of the Crickets' obscuro, in stereo, where you can clearly hear the words. Now, this is important only if you like knowing that J. Edgar Hoover's long arm of dictated morality missed a high profile "fuck" song. The line is supposed to be "I miss my baby and good fun," but Fuller can clearly be heard sing "I miss my baby and a good fuck." The mono single version also appears here. Other gems here include his "Let Her Dance," and the other Crickets' tune "Love's Made A Fool Of You." You'll also find a bunch of previously unissued material, and a Gallenkamp Shoes commercial. Disc three is a repro of the "Live At P.J.'s" album. Among the many fine tracks are a slice of Bobby's surf instro work, including his most familiar "Our Favorite Martian," complete to the end, sans fade out. Most interesting is the 62 page book, with a ton of photos, an interview with his brother Randy Fuller, and a whole section of the unsolved mystery of Bobby Fuller's untimely death. It's a monster of info and intrigue.
Picks: Our Favorite Martian, Wolfman, Thunder Reef, KRLA Top Eliminator, The Lonely Dragster

Track by Track Review


Our Favorite Martian dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Bobby Fuller played some of the best surf instros on the gentler side of the track. This recording is essential to any surf collection. It begins with a slowed reverb kick, and moves right into one of the most recognizable of the more obscure instros. The structure and sound are perfectly surf, and the energy and style are exquisite. This is the full track, without being faded for the single, including the post performance tape echo swell.

Wolfman dotdotdotdot
Border Radio Surf (Instrumental)

This is very similar to The Lonely Dragster, with Bobby's Wolfman Jack imitation overdubbed, and wolf baying added. It's pretty surfy, chunky, and moderately paced. It's a cool track, dripping the early sixties border radio days when Wolfman Jack was on XERB beaming into California (and on XERF and others along the border as well). Saturday nights, car radios were tuned to XERB, KRLA, KFWB, KHJ, KAFY, KFXM, or KGFJ, from which oozed out the surf, the rock, and the R&B that drove a generation.

Thunder Reef dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Thunder Reef is a riff-rockin' surf instro, with not much reverb, and little melody. The stompin' sensibilities are dominant, and the rhythm is infectious. A fairly tame track over all.

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.

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.