Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA Collection: Surfin' and Draggin'
|This Japanese CD is compiled from the from US vaults of MCA. It contains vintage sixties studio sessions and tracks from working bands as well. Rarities and common. Included here are some fine Richie Podolor studio sessions not available elsewhere, as well as other rarities.|
Picks: Wipe Out, Pipeline, Let's Go Trippin', Lonely Road To Damascus, Samoa, Lone Survivor, Free Fall, Linda's Tune, Little Linda, The Birds, Blues For Birds, Hot Pastrami, Boss, Boss Strikes Back, Hot Cylinders, Man Of Mystery, On The Run, Far Horizon, Waimea [The Angry Sea], House On Haunted Hill Part 1, House On Haunted Hill Part 2, Moon Shot, One-Two-Three-Four
Track by Track Review
TV Surf (Instrumental)
"Wipe Out" is simply the definitive drummer's badge of courage. If he can do a decent "Wipe Out," he's hired. Simple, and written and recorded in just minutes, this is an international classic that has sold multimillions of copies, and still does every year worldwide.
This is it. This track defined surf. It is the archetype! Paul Johnson once told me that when first heard this tune on his car radio, he said Whoa! Wha-at is THAT?, and pulled over to the side of the road to listen. The Chantays defined the classic surf line up, 2 guitars, piano, bass, and drums. Glorious first use of glissandoes, first rhythm guitar dominance in the mix, and just plain essential.
Let's Go Trippin'
Well now, this will certainly demonstrate what was wrong with most studio sessions in the sixties, studio musicians unfamiliar with the genre they were messing with, playing covers of all too familiar songs with so little feeling it hurt... this doesn't even hold up to the Billy Vaughn version of "Mr. Moto." Milt Rogers' "Let's Go Trippin'" is among the lamest covers around, as are his other tracks. So, why do they keep showing up on comps?
"Lonely Road To Damascus" may be an attempt at surf, but the dry guitar and energy free playing tell the story. Guitar instros from the era and area are not by definition surf instros.
This is easily one of my favorite all time surf instros, and it's Richie Podolor on guitar and penmanship, of course. What a grand sound. The Mermen do this very well. It became "Quiet Surf" when it was recorded for the Rising Surf album. This is simply stunning, with rolling exotic tom toms and a totally different treatment than the more familiar Richie Allen & the Pacific Surfers' session.
Another grand vault find from my favorite studio session guitarist Richie Podolor (aka Richie Allen & the Pacific Surfers, the Devons, the Hondells, the Super Stocks, etc.) under the name the Beachcombers finds it's way to CD. It has a decidedly cool lagoon feel. Richie used to record by plugging directly into the mixing board, and feeding that to an acoustic echo chamber. He has a unique guitar sound and style.
The Devons were another studio persona of Richie Podolor. This is a classic track, better than the demo version which appeared on the Super Stocks CD. Melodic, sad, and very well written. I just love Podolor's guitar tone, generally obtained by plugging directly into the board instead of using an amp. and sending through an acoustic chamber. Richard Podolor wrote it, but is not on the session. Jerry LeMire - lead guitar, Bill Cooper - rhythm guitar, Dick Burns - bass, Chuck Girard - keys, Wayne Edwards - drums.
A cool surf obscuro, more rare than wonderful. It's an average foray into the lesser singles of the period, melodic, and good listening.
A lot less interesting than the flip of this band's only release. Not terribly memorable. The huge lead guitar tones overlay a cowboy rhythm with a Spanish melody. Pretty nifty fiesta music variation. The melody is a standard called "Mexican Hat Dance" or some such.
Surf Jazz (Instrumental)
A lame attempt at Polynesian exotica, with Martin Denny bird calls and all.
Surf Jazz (Instrumental)
Another sad Martin Denny imitation, but more smoky bar like.
The disco organ grind with the lame utterances of "Hot Pastrami."
This is the Rumblers lone national hit, and was the basis for their follow up singles "Boss Strikes Back," "Son of Boss," and "Boss Drums." Heavily R&B based, rhythmic and grumbly, its catchy thump and honkin' grodiness are essential listening for ant fan of the genre.
Jammin hot and crunchy, "Hot Cylinders" lives up to its name. More power, spunk and reverb than melody, with tribal drums and nearly spitting guitar. Big and then some.
This is a tepid cover of the Shadows' album track. It's unremarkable, though the sound is not very Shadows-like.
So, who the hell were the Rondels? The "del" part is Delbert McClinton. This disc came too late for surf to be picked up for radio play, but "On The Run" has a definite exuberance. Nice choice for the box. This Rondells single has been comp'd before.
Not quite as solid as "On The Run," but a good track none the less. It is slower, more melodic and less energetic, but quite listenable.
This highly unusual track features the ugliest grodiest bass ever - mostly sounding like cabinet rattle without the bass notes... really cool! It's choppy, dark, brooding, and angular. A great track to augment a surf set.
House On Haunted Hill Part 1
Halloween Surf (Instrumental)
Slowly fee-fi-fo-fum introduced track that uses a melody almost exactly like "Istanbul," but with heavy toms underneath. The lead guitar is thin, but the track is fun.
House On Haunted Hill Part 2
Halloween Surf (Instrumental)
Like Part one, but with shimmering vibrato chords added to the intro, and more emphasis on the damped lead guitar, and more frantic tom tom action.
Space Surf (Instrumental)
A long pickslide and boing-boing electronics introduce this fundamentally piano lead surf number. It's unusual, but not great. The organ break is - well - yuk.
This is a basic fifties styles R&B rant, with piano lead.