Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Iguanas - Jumpin' With The Iguanasdotdotdot
artworkDoes the name Jim Osterberg ring a bell? Ann Arbor Michigan 1963? Class President in High School? Published writer? How about 1966 Ann Arbor blues band the Prime Movers? Still not sure? Well, his nick name developed at about this time - Iggy! Got it now? The Iguanas were the first band for a fledgling Iggy Pop, the first place he performed "Louie Louie", and they did surf. Iggy Pop in a surf band! Yeow! Some of the tracks on this CD are from an actual studio, though the sound has not survived too well, and the rest are from home recordings. All were intended as demos only. Historically wonderful. Even without the surf instros, there's some amazingly unique stuff here. Imagine Bo Diddley's "Mona" with surf guitars doing the chops, or a Beatle-esq "Twist & Shout" with wet reverb, or the Beatles' own "Things We Said Today" with surf guitars. The Rolling Stones' "Tell Me" with wet guitars is very odd indeed! Even the Rivieras' "California Sun" is an odd arrangement with sax & guitar trading the leads. There are two versions of "Louie Louie" here too! Instrumentally, this band had a unique vision, half way between surf & the sax-based rock of the prior decade, not entirely unlike that of the Rumblers, just more raw.
Picks: Blue Moon, Surfin' Bird, Wild Weekend, Outer Limits, Tequila, Walk, Don't Run, Perfidia, Wild Weekend

Track by Track Review


Blue Moon dotdot
Surf Sax Rock (Instrumental)

"Blue Moon" is a sax lead instro. Raw, but unremarkable.

Surfin' Bird dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The oddest of all here is this instro version of the Trashmen's "Surfin' Bird" where the sax and guitar trade the melody lines... a most unusual treatment.

Wild Weekend dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This track is the best surf on the CD. It is the Iguanization of the Rockin' Rebels' "Wild Weekend" (the first of two versions that appear here). Pretty amazing, especially when you think about Iggy Pop being in the band.

Outer Limits dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The sax and guitar lead line tradeoffs on the Mar-Ketts' "Out Of Limits" are priceless. Very interesting.

Tequila dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

This is a pretty dry version of the Champs' "Tequila," and nothing special at that.

Walk, Don't Run dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

A dry versions of the Ventures' version of Johnny Smith's "Walk, Don't Run."

Perfidia dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

The Ventures' version of the 40's big band classic "Perfidia" featuring the most unusual and very strange use of sax as a lead instrument.

Wild Weekend dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This track is the best surf on the CD. It is the Iguanization of the Rockin' Rebels' "Wild Weekend" (the first of two versions that appear here). Pretty amazing, especially when you think about Iggy Pop being in the band.