Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Royal Flairs - Surfin With The Royal Flairsdotdotdot
artworkThis little seven inch holds all but the one single release by the Royal Flairs. They were from Council Bluffs, Iowa. They set up shop in 1961 as a backup band for local legend Dick Hodge, but by '62 they were on their own. Four of the tracks on this disc are recorded live at the Molrose Ballroom on a 7-1/2 ips reel-to-reel tape deck. While primitive are primitive, they give us a rare glimpse into the Midwestern bands that prominently featured surf instros in their sets. The band was fronted by Brad Starr - lead guitar and Dave Krivolavek - rhythm guitar. This e.p. was issued in 1984.
Picks: Baja, Pipeline, Sniper, Surf Sight, Let's Go

Track by Track Review


Baja dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a competent cover of the Astronauts' interpretation of Lee Hazelwood's finest moment. Garage surf with an honest approach. Historical, but not otherwise significant.

Pipeline dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Chantays' classic is performed with Midwest flair and reverb. A small combo sound, but without the delicacy of the original.

Sniper dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Sniper" was written following the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. It's a decent original, melodic enough and surfy too. It doesn't invoke Lee Harvey Oswald's mug, but then I suppose it's just one more part of the lone gunman myth.

Surf Sight dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Hmm. More surf riffery, issued from the garage and captured on the home recorder. Interesting, but more historic than groundbreaking.

Let's Go dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This was cut in mid 1962, and released on SAM Records in October of that year. It is very similar to the Routers' release of the same name, and predates it.