Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Surfmen - Ghost Hop c/w Extasydotdotdotdot
artworkThis is the first single from The Surfmen. It's January 1962, and already they have it down. Born from the ashes of The Expressos, The Surfmen were Ray Hunt (lead), Nick Drury (rhythm), Armon Frank (sax), Randall Anglin (bass) and Tim Fitzpatrick (drums). Drury, Anglin, and Frank left, being replaced by Ed Chiaverini, Ron Griffith, and Joel Willenbring. They became the Lively Ones in 1962. Armon Frank went to Dick Dale's band.
Picks: Ghost Hop, Extasy, Ghost Hop

Track by Track Review


Ghost Hop dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Ghost Hop" sports a great melody riff played on low-E surf guitar, with classic piano tinkling and great drums. The nasty sax in the break is a fine offset. Powerful and infectious.

Extasy dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Surf Men's rendering of "Paradise Cove" under the title "Extasy" was the second recording for them. As the Expressos, they had recorded it as Wandering with Aki Aleong producing. They had renamed it "Extasy," but changed it to "Paradise Cove" to relate to the rising surf phenomenon. It's more basic than the familiar Lively Ones version, and truly primal and significant in it's seminal creation of the Polynesian rhythm cool lagoon variety of Surf. This is a must-have track for any collector.

Ghost Hop dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a completely different take of this song, slow and sludgy, with an obviously developmental arrangement. It ends short, with the engineer stopping the tape, whistling, and saying "let's try it one more..." "Ghost Hop" sports a great melody riff, but in this arrangement, it's pretty weak. Still, this is history. Where the track came from is a mystery. Since it was licensed from Bob Keene at Del-Fi, it makes you wonder how many other gems lie undiscovered in his closet?