Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Vistells - Audiodisc Acetatedotdotdotdot
artworkThese four tracks come from a 78 RPM acetate recorded in 1963 at Meagher Electronics, in Monterey, California. The Vistells were from Monterey. No releases occurred. These acetates are courtesy Dave Kibler, currently half of The SoundBytes, and a founding member of Papa Doo Run Run.

The image at left of The Vistells was taken in 1963 at Fort Ord in Monterey. In the photo are from (L-R) Johnny Mullins rhythm guitar, Mike Reesen drums, Dave Kibler lead guitar, and Mike Dokter bass. I came across these wonderful tracks on Garage Hangover. From there come the following notes:

"The Vistells recorded in what may have been the only recording studio in Monterey, Meagher Electronics. They made some 78 rpm Audiodisc acetates for us and we were thrilled. The Vistells were Johnny Mullins on rhythm guitar, Mike Reesen on drums, Mike Dokter on bass, and Dave Kibler on lead guitar. On Night Train you can hear what an accomplished drummer Mike was. He started when he was really young, and he knew all the drum rudiments. This is the genesis of the Cobras sound, since this is the same lineup, without Bob O'Neill."

The Cobras were the band that followed, also based in Santa Cruz. They played with all the local and South Bay legends, from the Syndicate Of Sound to the E-Types.

Garage Hangover led me to Dave Kibler, who lives nearby, and the honor of restoring the acetates and then the resulting digital transfers. One day, I hope these tracks appear on a comp for all to hear.
Picks: Night Train, Mr. Moto, Summertime, Let's Go Trippin'

Track by Track Review


Night Train dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Totally solid drums open up to a rhythmic reverb rendering of the R&B classic "Night Train." The surf guitars are very good, and the drums and bass superb. While there's nothing highly adventurous about this, it is nonetheless very fresh sounding. Great energy and splash chords complete the picture.

Mr. Moto dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The introduction chords are modified on this version of Paul Johnson's great song. The transmutation to 2 guitars and bass from two guitars and sax is very good. I love the second guitar, and the dribbling beauty of the lead is superb! Amazing!

Summertime dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

What a cool version of George Gershwin's "Summertime." It's very soulful lead guitar is drenched in surf tone, and the resulting blend is fluid and emotional. It's a very cool track.

Let's Go Trippin' dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a great romp through Dick Dale's first instro. Liquid and splashy and very well done. This is an infectious take in genuine surf style. Really fine!