The Illustrated Discography Of Surf Music is a fascinating read for the collector,
and frustrating too. I've been collecting surf since '61, and there's still so much in John's
book I've never heard or seen. You'll find the familiar and the obscure ...mostly obscure.
Many surf discs were issued by the bands themselves in small quantities (500 or less) & sold
or given away to friends & fans. Most never made it to stores or radio.
John's book includes the full spectrum of surf, from the real hard core instrumentals to the vocal studio creations. This printing is a limited edition of 1250 in hard cover. Prior issues were soft cover, and about half as thick. The forward is from Dick Dale, who tells his version of his place in the sun. His tale stretches things less here than the last few interviews I've done or read.
John provides a pretty good picture of the evolution of the sound. He includes the definitions and categories he used in compiling the book, and they make interesting fodder for parlor debate. John's view is historically valid and complete, covering the entire spectrum, from the real thing all the way out to the pale imitations like Lawrence Welk's "Pipeline." I recommend this book highly.
John first published this book back in 1978, with a 2nd edition was in 1983 and a hardback "revised 2nd edition" in 1985. This marvelous book is primarily a catalog of American Surf Music recordings released between 1961 & 1965. It's punctuated with brief bios, band line-ups, rumors about the records and session players, photos of bands, and pictures of labels.
About The Author
Jon and the Nightriders are one of the earliest and most important of the bands that lauched the surf revival, and their recordings continue to be sought after and influence surfbands today.
John is a serious musicologist and historian, widely published and sought after, and author of many books on music history.