Illustrated Discography Of Surf Music 1961-1965, Fourth Edition
Essential Reading by John Blair
Illustrated Discography Of Surf Music 1961-1965, Third Edition By John Blair With great anticipation, I opened the package from John Blair , knowing it contained the Fourth Edition of his remarkable The Illustrated Discography Of Surf Music. I spent the next several days going over the familiar, the new, and the changed.

John updated the book in several important ways:
  • more pictures of the bands
  • more images of record labels and sleeves
  • many images are now in color
  • more the mini bios, many expanded in detail
  • lots more releases
Like earlier editions, this book is a fascinating read for the collector and the casual fan alike. I communicate regularly with John about vintage surf releases, and like those conversations, there are an many obscuros I never knew about.

John's book is loaded with the obscure, the familiar, and the strange. Blair is a serious surf historian, who is very careful about documentation before he claims any fact. He has tracked down label records, band members, and label moguls to get the straight story.
The Illustrated Discography Of Surf Music includes the full spectrum of surf music, from its inception in 1961 through the end if its heyday in 1965. John has compiled the authentic, the commercial, the garage, and the studio groups. They only need fit the historians view to be included. As before, John defines the rules of engagement, including the use of teh work "surf" or a surf term in the title, the styles commonly included i both the instrumental and voacl variants, the use of the classic band equipment, and the song structures too.
A few band pictures:
  • Al & The Untouchables
  • The Avengerss VI
  • The Baymen
  • Jay Bee & The Kats
  • The Breakers
  • Chiyo & The Crescents
  • Conrad & The Hurricanes
  • The Cornells
  • Dick Dale & The Del-Tones
  • The Emeralds
  • The Esquires
  • Eddie & The Showmen
  • The Fender IV
  • The Goldtones
  • Mike Gordon & The Agates
  • Gene Gray & The Stingrays
  • The Illusions
  • The Jades
  • Johnny & The Shy Guys
  • Ronnie Kae
  • The Montereys
  • The Motivations
  • The Original Surfaris
  • The Pastel Six
  • The Ramblers
  • The Renegades
  • The Rhythm Rockers
  • The Royal Coachmen
  • The Royal Monarchs
  • The Royals
  • The Shattoes
  • The Shelltones
  • The Snow Men
  • The Stage-Men
  • The Starfires
  • The Surfmen
  • The Teemates
  • The Teenbeats
  • The Tornadoes
  • The Trashmen
  • The Tremolons
  • The Truants
  • Bob Vaught & The Renegades
  • The Vibrants
  • and many more

So, what are you waiting for? It's all here, just waiting for you. You need not be a hard core surf instro guy like me to enjoy this book. Those songs that you have on reissue or bootleg compilations are here in their original form, with real facts and dates and more. If you are like me, you'll be in this book virtually every day about something, as I was with the Third Edition right up to the publication of this updated edition.

To call The Illustrated Discography Of Surf Music essential is an understatement, because it is so much more than a reference giude.
Reasons you should buy this book:
  • It is an all too rare glimpse into the world of the bands, the singles, and the albums from an era that passed all to quickly into relative obscurity
  • It is detailed look a genre that is largely ignored by the music press, except as a footnote, a curiosity, or a novelty, and in some cases as if it never happened at all
  • It puts the roots of the music you love into perspective, illustrating the evolution of the sound then, providing a foundation for a deeper appreciation of the modern bands
  • It is factually rock solid, scholarly, and direct. This is the real deal, boys and girls.
  • John Blair is thee preeminant authority on surf music - he knows his stuff!

Thank you John Blair!