Got The Fever

Friday, July 20, 2007

Surf's Up!

There is something to be said about the right genre of music for the mood.

This certainly evokes thoughts of wet salty hair stuck to the back of my neck, hiding beers from the beach patrols in the cooler, the skill of tossing a Frisbee against the wind and not hitting sunbathers, rows of guys sucking in their bellies as bikini-clad breasts and ass saunter by and of just lying there on a towel feeling the heat through my eyelids while the sounds of frothy curling surf lap the shore in the background.

Surf music is spot-on for this moment and nothing else comes close.

The kids that live in my neighborhood jostled me into the mood for surf music recently. There are a few skate punks among them and they had their music blaring as usual while they navigated the downhill. But one of the sets had all this music that was way before their time! These kids were listening to the summer surf music of their fathers and possibly their grandfathers! I chose a few directly from the set they were listening to in an effort to spotlight and emphasize that the music has proven to be timeless. They underscore the point I make in the bar to the right titled 'About Me'.

For me, this track by The Chantays is the pinnacle of surf classic. The thunderous reverb and the haunting use of echo chill my spine every time it’s played. Do you realize that it’s been 44 years since this came out? It still sounds as raw and invigorating as it did when I was a kid, let alone what charges it gave to one’s spirit when it came out in 1963! You can picture yourself hovering low over your board, hands out for balance while the crest of the wave curls over and around you – daring you to escape in one piece!

Surfin’ Bird
Probably one of the best representatives of punky garage music brought to you by The Trashmen. As this track was blaring out of the sound cannons of those kids on the street, they were vigorously lurching their heads up and down, twisting their knuckles playing air guitar and working up a frenzied sweat any cardio-guru would be proud of! What little words to memorize were repeated over and over to all in the neighborhood. Again – amazing considering this one came out in 1964! I mentioned this to an older woman at work (she’s about 62-63 or so) and she launched into her dance and air guitar routine, then telling me tales of beach parties gone out of bounds! HER? But damn, this song gets around!

Hawaii 5-0
I remember this TV show in the reruns. I vividly remember the opening spot showing (among a million other snapshots) the hula girl running on the beach tossing off the flowers in her hair. This is another chilling instrumental that so accurately delivers on the mood and spirit of all that is summer on the beach - perfect waves, perfect girls and budget beer. Of course, for The Ventures, this was their bread and butter.

Yea, there are so many more that I could have delivered – most notably from Dick Dale or the Surfaris. But you already have that on your Pulp Fiction soundtrack.

Lie back in the sun. Close your eyes. Hear the pounding of the surf. Hear the giggles of the girls playing in the water. If there’s more to it than that, well, let me enjoy this scene to the fullest first.

But, don’t wait for me.

The Chantays: Pipeline [1963]
From: Two Sides of the Chantays/Pipeline [IMPORT]

The Trashmen: Surfin’ Bird [1964]
From: Bird Call!: The Twin City Stomp of the Trashmen [BOX SET]

The Ventures: Hawaii 5-0 [1969]
The Ventures Play the Greatest Surfin' Hits of All Time

Addendum: While sometimes I don't even have the time to look at my own blog, I do want to mention the glowing achievement of a few others. The good DJ over at The Hits Just Keep On Comin' celebrated - what - three years online! A must read, especially with his recent blogs on "A Day In Your Life". Darcy over at Feel It continues to just awe me with his encyclopedic knowledge of material. Quite simply, it is music commentary at its most entertaining. whiteray at Echoes In The Wind brings a smile to me each and every time I get there, based on his posts that bring originality and surprise to the screen. Red Kelly at The "B" Side exhaustively researches a track and gives you a comprehensive but readable lowdown that is pure gold on screen. Homercat over at Good Rockin' Tonight provides humor and an easy writing style that is hard to resist - he's also a faithful purveyor of all that is Canadian rock. Finally, AK over at Soul Shower has thankfully been back for a short while - as always, smart writing about great soul music.

Get to these blogs.
Get to these blogs often.


  • Good morning Kevin.

    The guest post is done. I think I stuck to the theme pretty well. Just a quick preview and it should be upped by Saturday.

    Now it's off to work at the crack of dawn, what I like to call o'dark thirty". Oh well, at least I'll be home by lunchtime at any rate. Have a good one.

    Peace and blessings.

    By Anonymous Vincent, at 3:27 AM  

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