Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
George Tomsco and the Fireballs - Indian Nationdotdotdotdotdot
artworkThe night of June 21, 2003 was nothing short of magical. Guitar legends George Tomsco and the Fireballs came into KFJC for a Pitstop. George was a gentleman, and it was quite an honor to host him in our little studio for a live radio broadcast. The Fireballs on this tour were Mike Vernon's fine band 3 Balls Of Fire.
Picks: HarLee Guitar, Quite A Party, Torquay, Fiero, Chief Whoppin' Koff, Gunshot, Dumbo, Indian Nation, Fireball, Bulldog, Rik-A-Tik

Track by Track Review


HarLee Guitar dotdotdotdotdot
Near Surf (Instrumental)

"HarLee Guitar" is a relatively new song. It is clearly in the Fireballs-Tomsco mold. A fun and bouncy song with a bit of biker edge and updated southwest twang. The notes fire like rounds from a liquid machine gun in the hands of George Tomsco. Powerful and very cool. Great stuff!

Quite A Party dotdotdotdotdot
Near Surf (Instrumental)

One of the more infectious of the Fireballs tunes, "Quite A Party" is a pleasure to behold. Great drums and guitar flair, along with a solid rhythm. A great performance!

Torquay dotdotdotdotdot
Near Surf (Instrumental)

Speaking of vintage deluxe Fireballs, "Torquay" is a splendid example of their style. George Tomsco has lost none of the spunk that characterized his playing those many decades ago. A fine track.

Fiero dotdotdotdotdot
Near Surf (Instrumental)

"Fiero" erupted on the scene a few years back. It might as well have been written in 1959 at the peak of the Fireballs. Perfect in-format and rhythmic as all get-out. Great drums and a fine performance from bass and rhythm as well. Tomsco's leads are brilliantly inflected.

Chief Whoppin' Koff dotdotdotdotdot
Near Surf (Instrumental)

This is one solid track, sounding very much like the original Torquays cut, just a little less chamber reverbed. The lead guitar is delicate and rhythmic, with just enough edge. Wonderful drums and a solid rhythm section here.

Gunshot dotdotdotdotdot
Near Surf (Instrumental)

With all the sparkle and innocent fun of the original, George Tomsco and the Fireballs brought "Gunshot" back to life just as if was 1960, yet without a doubt, it's modern and immediate. Amazing how durable this song is.

Dumbo dotdotdotdotdot
Near Surf (Instrumental)

Long one of my favorite Fireballs songs, "Dumbo" rocks with that infectious rhythm and liquid lead guitar. The delicate rim shot sequences are so cool, and the last verse features pristine double picked guitar. Simply stunning!

Indian Nation dotdotdotdotdot
Near Surf (Instrumental)

"Indian Nation" is a very pretty and tribal instro with a watery guitar line and great percussion. George Tomsco's guitar licks flow like water off his vintage ax. Excellent track!

Fireball dotdotdotdotdot
Near Surf (Instrumental)

This was the first single for the Fireballs. Its infectious rockabilly rhythm section magically powers under the great circular riffs of "Fireball." A powerful and perfect period performance!

Bulldog dotdotdotdot
Pre Surf (Instrumental)

"Bulldog" is rhythmic and infectious, and has a quiet power about it, as did most of the Fireballs / Norman Petty output. All of their sessions are available in various CD forms, from ACE, Sundazed, and others. The Challengers borrowed "Bulldog" for their debut album Surf Beat.

Rik-A-Tik dotdotdotdotdot
Near Surf (Instrumental)

Easily the most infectious of all the Fireballs songs, "Rik-A-Tik" was a natural to bring fully into the surf idiom, as the Lively Ones demonstrated so well. Bouncy, rich, rhythmic, and just plain cool.