Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Hollywood Persuaders - Drums A Go-Godotdotdot
artworkThis is an extended CD reissue of the original album, with added singles and demos. Frank Zappa appears on a coule of tracks.

This Paul Buff studio project was aimed at capitalizing on the go-go scene, which was born in the discotheques of America, and spawned a certain pumped dry sound. From Joey Dee and the Starlighters to the ever-changing Ventures, records appeared at a dizzying pace, each seeking to capture the market that never really materialized beyond a few stray single hits. In many ways, it could be considered the forerunner of disco, not the least of which was the role discotheques played in 1965-66, and the dance-centric music they spawned.
Picks: Drums A Go-Go, Last Night, Thunderbird, Tijuana Surf, Persuasion, North Beach

Track by Track Review


Drums A Go-Go dotdotdot
Go-Go (Instrumental)

This is one of the best examples of sixties go-go instros, and it clearly illustrates the roots of disco. All you need to do is add a black singer and your there. This is hypnotically rhythmic melody free, and targeted squarely at the dancer. This is a cool track, both historically and rhythmically. Exceptional drums, big organ, and real hypno-thud.

Last Night dotdotdot
Go-Go Surf (Instrumental)

The Mar-Keys' hit "Last Night" was a riff rocker, which is a natural source for the go-go sound. This is organ driven, horn line amped, and fun.

Forget it dotdot
Go-Go Surf (Instrumental)

The drums dominate the mix in this unremarkable riff rocker. "Forget it" is moreorless just a slow blues glide.

Thunderbird dotdotdot
Go-Go Surf (Instrumental)

Muted reverb surf guitar rhythm, snazzy percussion, and a riff-rockin' progression. Some of the surfisms are pretty cool, or at hypnotically rhythmic. Animal dancers in suspended cages with an eye on the curl.

Eve of Destruction dotdotdot
Go-Go Surf (Instrumental)

This is an instrumental treatment of PF Sloane's doomsday epic. Electric piano, harmonica, tremolo guitar, all elements yielding predictable results. Pretty nice, but not really memorable.

Tijuana Surf dotdotdot
TJB Surf (Instrumental)

Reverbed second guitar, and a huge debt owed to Balboa Stomp and Herb Alpert by Paul Buff's studio band on this one. It's so very close to Surfers Stomp with just slight variations created by the organ in the breaks and a twinge of the Tijuana Brass. Frank Zappa probably played guitar. Not surfy at all, but a cool tune. The original title was just "Tijuana."

Satisfaction dotdot
Go-Go Surf (Instrumental)

Low energy fuzz and production take the guts out of The Rolling Stones' "Satisfaction," replacing it with keyboard gentility with drums and chorus.

Hollywood A-Go-Go dotdot
Go-Go Surf (Instrumental)

Based somewhat around "Satisfaction" and Bruce Johnston's "Surfer's Stomp," "Hollywood A-Go-Go" is a very forgettable song.

Rush Street dotdot
Go-Go Surf (Instrumental)

The piano lick here is right out of Barret Strong's "Money," a song that got ripped off many times in studio sessions like this. Quite unremarkable, despite the appearance of cool harmonica and light fuzz guitar.

Persuasion dotdotdot
Go-Go Surf (Instrumental)

"Persuasion" is an easy flowing piece with cool electric piano, and a mild guitar melody and whistling organ, both of are inspired by Del Shannon's "Runaway." Derivative, but very pleasant.

Sunset Strip dotdotdot
Go-Go Surf (Instrumental)

Based heavily on the "Louie Louie" riff, this studio jam is fun and groovy, but in the end, you won't really remember it. All jam, no peanut butter.

North Beach dotdotdot
Go-Go Surf (Instrumental)

This is a really nice instrumental. Its piano melody is pretty and fluid, and the arrangement is very pleasant. It won't rock your world, but it's one of the more original pieces on Drums A Go-Go album.

Grunion Run dotdotdot
Blues (Instrumental)

This is a bluesy Frank Zappa guitar instro, traditionally arranged and fluid. It's not particularly interesting, except from a historical perspective, though it's very well played and recorded.

Juarez dotdotdot
Go-Go Surf (Instrumental)

"Juarez" is likely from the same session that produced "Tijuana Surf," because the style, instrumentation, and production are very similar, as is the melody structure. Not more than just OK.

Agua Caliente dotdot
Instrumental Rock (Instrumental)

This single b-side is nowhere near as interesting as the a-side or the album tracks. "Agua Caliente" ("Hot Water") is just a jam with squonky sax and organ.

Drums dotdotdot
Go-Go Surf (Instrumental)

So, you might expect a drum solo. You be right. This is probably an early arrangement of what became "Drums A Go-Go." The chorus is "Lolita Ya Ya" boring, but there are some cool percussion moments.

Yes, I Want To Dance dot
Go-Go Surf (Instrumental)

Piano jammin' and riffin' horns over pumping bass. There's no direction, and the la la chorus breaks down what's left of a good time.