Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Jon and the Nightriders - S/Tdotdotdotdot
artworkIt all restarted right here. It was John's first J&NR session as well. John had been in surf bands as a kid, and was itching to play again. He found buddies with an interest, and created what became the first shot in the rise of the surf instrumental from obscurity to passionate pursuit. The songs are well played, and all the right hooks are there. This session has a fairly dry sound, and the limitations of the recording equipment is evident in the listening. Still, it's a well done labor of love, and created a whole new generation of admirers, as well as launching a whole lot of other bands. They gathered in Ed Black's living room back in '79 and committed these 4 songs to tape just because they love the sound. John subsequently released it as an ep on the California label. They are basic arrangements, essentially demos, but if you can find it, this little ep is worth whatever you have to pay for it. The band is John Blair - lead, Ed Black (Karla Bonoff's band) - rhythm, Nikki Syxx (Jeff Nicholson) - bass, and Dusty Watson - drums. Recorded 7/22/79 to 4 track at Ed Black's house (Mixed Up Studios). Produced by John Blair, mastered at Goldstar.
Picks: Rumble At Waikiki, Bustin' Surfboards, Ali Baba, Squad Car

Track by Track Review


Rumble At Waikiki dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Still in their set today, this song is a powerhouse piece with a great melody and plenty of power.

Bustin' Surfboards dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

It all restarted right here. This track comes from the first release of the Surf Revival, 1979's 4-song blue vinyl EP on California Records titled Bustin' Surfboards. It was John's first J&NR session as well. John had been in surf bands as a kid, and was itching to play again. He found buddies with an interest, and created what became the first shot in the rise of the surf instrumental from obscurity to passionate pursuit. The song is well played, and the all the right hooks are there. This session has a fairly dry sound, and the limitations of the recording equipment is evident in the listening. Still, it's a well done labor of love, and created a whole new generation of admirers, as well as launching a whole lot of other bands.

Ali Baba dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

One of the greatest of the lost masterpieces, "Ali Baba" by Dave and the Customs is at least as good a tune as "Miserlou," and this rendition is quite nice, though less energetic than the original.

Squad Car dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

One of the defining tunes of the vintage era, written by Paul Johnson and issued by Eddie and the Showmen. Really cool.