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Guitar World: 10 Instrumental Surf Rock Songs You Need to Hear Now

Posted 03/10/2016 by Damian Fanelli

Photo by Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images
Photo by Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images

I spent the good part of 10 years as the guitarist (and chief songwriter) in an instrumental surf-rock band.

We played for very little money … drove for hours looking for gig parking onManhattan’s Lower East Side … had people scream at us to turn down the freakin’ reverb …

As Slacktone’s Dave Wronski asked in a GuitarWorld.com column a few years ago, will surf guitar be the last electric-guitar genre to earn some long-overdue respect?

Sure, Pulp Fiction elevated surf guitar from under the seaweed to a spot on the party-song playlists of hipsters around the universe.

But what is surf guitar? How does it differ from other styles of guitar playing? What equipment is used to get the sound?

“Fender-style guitars with single-coil pickups have typically been the weapon of choice, while vibrato bars are used to help express the rolling of the surf,” Wronski wrote.

“Sometimes the vibrato bar is used very smoothly; sometimes it is shaken to the point of breaking off–enough to make Ike Turner proud! (Check out his instrumentals from the early 1950s). Big, gnarly guitar strings that, when played loud and proud through a huge Fender amp, could shake the building, even when drenched in reverb from a tube-driven Fender Reverb unit. Even with all that reverb, there’s still enough bigness to the sound to do some major crowd control.”

A lot of you—most of you, in fact—have heard the usual batch of surf-rock instrumental classics from the early Sixties. Things like “Pipeline,” “Out of Limits,” “Wipe Out” and my favorite, “Penetration.” However, it’s probably safe to surmise that millions of you might know almost nothing about the modern brand of instro-surf rock that you’re likely to witness in a club in 2016. Or about the bands that play it.

Below, check out a guide to 10 surf-rock tunes—played by nine different bands or artists—that should be on your reverb-drenched radar. The good news is, most of these bands still exist! In fact, my band even performed with a lot of these guys back in the day. Ah yes, Slacktone at Asbury Lanes in New Jersey in ’06 … Insect Surfers at the Purple Orchid in El Segundo, California, in ’07. Ah, the memories.

Anyway, enjoy!

P.S.: Dave Wronski, who is mentioned above, is the guitarist in Southern California’s Slacktone. You can check out two of their songs below.

CALHOUN SURF | Los Straitjackets

COFFIN CLOSER | Slacktone

THE BELLS OF ST. KAHUNA | Slacktone

SURF! SURF! SURF! | The Aqualads

FLIGHT OF THE SURF GUITAR | The Atlantics

FATHOMIZED | The Fathoms

GREASE YOUR HAIR AND GET TATTOOED | The Razorblades

NITRO | Dick Dale

VARYKINO SNOW | The Mermen

MOJAVE | Insect Surfers

Damian Fanelli is the online managing editor at Guitar World and Guitar Aficionado. His New York-based band, the Blue Meanies, has toured the world and elsewhere. Fanelli, a former member of Brooklyn jump-blues/swing/rockabilly band the Gas House Gorillas and New York City instrumental surf-rock band Mister Neutron, also composes and records film soundtracks. He writes GuitarWorld.com’s The Next Bend column, which is dedicated to B-bender guitars and guitarists. His latest liner notes can be found in Sony/Legacy’s Stevie Ray Vaughan: The Complete Epic Recordings Collection. Follow him on Facebook,Twitter and/or Instagram.

Original article: http://www.guitarworld.com/artists-artist-news-artist-lists/10-instrumental-surf-rock-songs-you-need-hear-now/28828

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The Age: Waxing lyrical: From The Atlantics to The Break, surf music refuses to die

by Damien Murphy

The Beach Boys were part of the gift of surf culture from the US: (clockwise from top left) Dennis Wilson, Al Jardine, Bruce Johnston, Brian Wilson, Carl Wilson and Mike Love.
The Beach Boys were part of the gift of surf culture from the US: (clockwise from top left) Dennis Wilson, Al Jardine, Bruce Johnston, Brian Wilson, Carl Wilson and Mike Love. Photo: Supplied

“To you I shall put an end, then you’ll never hear surf music again.”

Jimi Hendrix’s lyric from his 1967 album Are You Experienced delivered an elegy to surf music that was well past its use by date.

But it refuses to lie down and die.

Despite Jimi Hendrix's elegy to surf music in 1967, surf music has survived.
Despite Jimi Hendrix’s elegy to surf music in 1967, surf music has survived. Photo: Supplied

Even today, more than 50 years after they were hits Patricia Amphlett is asked to become her younger self, Little Pattie, and sing He’s My Blonde Headed Stompie Wompie Real Gone Surfer Boy and Stompin’ at Maroubra when performing at clubs or private functions.

Patricia Thompson, better known as Little Pattie: "They were such innocent joys and it's lovely to relive those innocent times."
Patricia Thompson, better known as Little Pattie: “They were such innocent joys and it’s lovely to relive those innocent times.” Photo: Supplied

“They were such innocent joys and its lovely to relive those innocent times,” she says.

Fourteen-year-old Amphlett sang Surfer Joe (“a truly dreadful song”) at a Maroubra Surf Life Saving Club talent quest, was spotted by a talent scout, signed up and had her first hit within weeks as surf music inundated teenage transistor radio programs.

Until the early 1960s, England set the benchmark for being young in Australia but as Baby Boomers hit puberty America stepped up to the plate, bestowing the gift of rock and roll and car idolatry to teenagers across the world.

Surf guitarist Dick Dale was part of the Los Angeles beach crew.
Surf guitarist Dick Dale was part of the Los Angeles beach crew. Photo: Supplied

The US also had a special present for Australia – surf culture. And it was Sydney’s beach suburbs that embraced California dreaming.

In 1961, the Beach Boys, Dick Dale, and the Chantelles started pumping out regional hits for the Los Angeles beach crew. Session guitarists like Jack Nitzsche and the arranger Henry Mancini took the music into mainstream USA – Mancini, who wrote Moon River, Peter Gunn and the Pink Panther Theme, had a hit with Banzai Pipeline that featured a big band sound laced with jazz accents.

But surf movies showing surfers riding waves in California and Hawaii had sound tracks that brought surf music ashore when the films played the northern beaches, the eastern suburbs and the Shire.

A group, The Denvermen, released Surfside in January 1963 and reached No 1 on the Sydney Top 40. In a nod to the tribal wars, a curtain raiser to the Cronulla riots five decade later, Digger Revell joined the Denvermen to record the deathless My Little Rocker’s Turned Surfie.

Other acts, including the Delltones and the Joy Boys, that had been performing a pale imitation of rock and roll switched to surf sounds. Long before the Bee Gees hit big, Barry Gibb wrote Surfer Boy for television songbird Noeleen Batley. And a New Zealander, Johnny Devlin, jumped on the bandwagon but became lost at sea with his hit, Stomp The Tumbarumba.

Barry Gibb wrote <i>Surfer Boy</i> for television songbird Noeleen Batley.
Barry Gibb wrote Surfer Boy for television songbird Noeleen Batley. Photo: Supplied

The high point came in mid-1963 when the Atlantics released Bombora and it too topped the charts in September. An Indigenous word for a wave breaking on an off shore reef, Bombora was a driving, pounding, much emulated sound that encapsulated a moment in Australian pop music and has continued to have a life of its own.

Although the band disbanded in 1969, their song is such a part of Australian life that they played at the 2000 Sydney Olympics closing ceremony and when the ABC’s 2001 documentary on Australian rock and roll Long Way to the Top breathed new life into their music, they toured Europe.

The Atlantics' <i>Bombora</i> created a much-emulated surf music sound.
The Atlantics’ Bombora created a much-emulated surf music sound. Photo: Supplied

“It was weird,” guitarist Jim Skiathitis says. “They even knew our music in Hungary.” The Atlantics hung up their instruments a couple of years back. “The spirit was willing, but the fingers were weak,” said septuagenarian Skiathitis.

The first surf music boom of the 1960s was ended by the Beatles but musicians recalibrated and when the next surf music fad landed, it was dressed in drugs and hipness.

The 1972 album that went with Albert Falzon’s surf movie Morning of the Earth featured a grab bag of musicians who either changed styles like underwear (Brian Cadd), were caught in some Woody Guthrie time warp (John J Francis), smoked too much dope (Taman Shud) or were slightly strangers in strange land (G. Wayne Thomas).

Whatever, MOTE went on to become Australia’s biggest-selling surf music album.

Richard Clapton and Midnight Oil, GANGajang , the Celibate Rifles and the Cruel Sea kept the surf music flag flying but their surf sound were heavily surrounded by other music.

Then came The Break. The perfect surf band, comprised of former members of Midnight Oil, Violent Femmes and now Hunters & Collectors, it arrived in 2010 and play that old surf beat, laced with reverb-heavy instrumental rock replete with high-pitched notes that can drill a listener to exhaustion: just ask the journalist George Negus who nodded off during the band’s debut at the Annandale Hotel.

The Break will play at the Groundswell Music Festival, Gippsland Victoria on January 2, proof that surf music can still be heard.

Footnote: Dick Dale has dismissed the belief that Hendrix had administered the last rites to surf music telling Surfer magazine in May 2010 that the guitar god had heard the surf guitar king had rectal cancer and had three months to live. “Jimi said, You’ll never hear surf music again. And then he said, I bet that’s a big lie. Let’s pack up, boys, and go home’.”

Original article: http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/waxing-lyrical-surf-music-sticks-around-20151130-glbcjc.html#ixzz3vyrhHO1h

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Continental Magazine (USA) – The Atlantics interview

Ivan Pongracic (The Madeira) interviewed The Atlantics for Double Crown Records’ Continental Magazine. The interview was conducted by email between January 2013 and March 2014 and is so lengthy that it was presented as two parts over two issues. The first part covered their early days from 62′ to 65′ (issue 21) and the second part covered what has become known as their Garage Days between 65′ to 70′. Also included is their come back, between 2000 to 2013. (issue22).

continental-mag-issue-21  continental-mag-issue-22

Here’s a sample of the interview from part 1 in issue 21.

Ivan: Jim, do you remember when you and Theo bought your first Strats?

Jim: I remember that it was Peter’s father that helped us buy the guitars under ‘hire-purchase’ with himself as guarantor. I think he also got Peter’s drums for him, too. He was always a stout supporter and motivator for the band as he was a drummer himself.

Peter: We bought our Strats in 1962. We bought the sunburst Strat first, and then the red Strat. In both cases, my father had to act as guarantor for the loans to buy the Strats. We paid 232 Pounds for each guitar – that was about AU$464.00 for each at that time [ed: roughly US$6000 today]. We put the Strats through a Fender Bandmaster amp. That was our sound at the time. We recorded “Bombora” and many of our earlier recordings using the Bandmaster amp and the Klemt Echolette for echo effects for the lead guitar. Both Theo and Jim used the Bandmaster for lead guitar. We bought the Fender Bandmaster at the same time we bought the Strats. We had no choice in the matter because Vox amps were not available at that time. The Echolettes we also bought in 1962. We had two of them. The Vox amps were bought later, probably 1964.

Jim: To the best of my memory, our Bandmaster only had one big speaker [ed: 12” tone-ring cab]. For a while it was the only amp we had, and both Theo and I played through it at the same time. Then we bought our first Vox amp, a piggyback AC-30, but it was really bassy. So we used the Fender for lead and the Vox for rhythm. Theo and I used to swap sides every time one of us had to play lead. Ahhh, the old days… lol!

Ivan: Are you saying that “Bombora” and those other early recordings were done with both Jim and Theo playing through the same amp?

Peter: Yes, that’s correct! They were both playing through the Bandmaster. I’m not sure which songs anymore, it’s been so long. I know this: “Moon Man”, “Dark Eyes”, “Bombora”, “Greensleeves”, “The Crusher” and “Hootenanny Stomp” were definitely recorded that way. I think the whole Bombora LP was recorded that way.

Ivan: How big of a deal was it to buy the Stratocasters and the Bandmaster? Fender instruments must have been very rare in Australia at that time.

Jim: Yes, they were, and it was a big deal. We had to order them from the States through a local shop here in Sydney, I think it was J Stanley Johnston’s. Of course, I ordered the Fiesta Red model. We were so excited when they called us and said the guitar had arrived, but that soon turned a bit sour when I discovered that they hadn’t sent a Fiesta Red but a Dakota Red. Still, it looked so mighty and new and exciting that I just kept it and used it – and still use it now. It is a 1961 pre-L Strat.

Get the magazines to read the full interview  …….   www.doublecrownrecords.com

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Johnny Rebb: 1939 – 2014

I-Put-a-Spell-on-You---Front-coverIt is with great sadness, that we extend our sincere sympathies to the family of our long time friend, Johnny Rebb who passed away in Newcastle Hospital on Monday 28th July 2014.

We shared many happy adventures and fond times during our musical careers with John, and we will always remember him with joy and affection.

John, you truly were the Gentleman of Rock and to you we say thank you for the privilege of knowing you and working with you.

Rest In Peace

Peter, Theo, Bosco, and Jim.

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Retirement Announcement

After completing their European tour in 2013 The Atlantics announced their retirement from live playing and touring. We wish to thank all our fans and friends that have supported us throughout the years by buying our records and coming to our gigs and concerts. It really made it all worthwhile.

06-OAKP~1

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Nastola Rautalanka Festival Award

2013-06-30 15.29.37 Award [Lloyd]

At the Nastola Rautalanka Festival we were presented with a beautiful gold guitar award for our contribution and lasting  promotion of instrumental music internationally.

2013-06-30 15.29.51 Award [Lloyd]

It was the Thirteenth presentation of the award and the first time it has been presented to a non European band.

2013-06-30 00.52.20 Award at Nastola Finland [Lloyd]

It was indeed a great honour to receive the award.

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Cooly to rock on with blast from past

Bob Anthony, Sun Community Newspapers   |  12:01am April 14, 2013

20130414-ready-to-rock-n-roll-140413Cooly Rocks On is coming to Coolangatta and festival chairperson Gail O’Neill and CEO Bob Newman are revved up for the event.

BREAK out the boardies and wax up the malibu because Cooly Rocks On is hitting the beach in more ways than one this year.

The annual nostalgia festival at Coolangatta will incorporate a new “surf precinct” this year and to keep the crowds on their toes, Aussie surf band, The Atlantics, will be taking a trip down memory lane reviving music of the era.

The precinct, to be set up at the Gold Coast’s spiritual home of surfing – Kirra – will feature surfing memorabilia from the ’50s and ’60s, retro markets featuring surf wear and a range of classic surf vehicles such as Kombis, station wagons, panel vans and woodies.

Cooly Rocks On CEO Bob Newman said the action wouldn’t just be confined to the beach with an old malibu surfing competition. In July 1963, The Atlantics released their most famous track, Bombora, its name also derived from an unusual and widely unrecognised source – an Aboriginal term for large waves breaking over submerged rock shelves.

The Atlantics will play the Cooly Rocks On Kirra stage on Saturday and Sunday, June 8 and 9, along with a lineup of bands including The Shallows and Bridge and Brady.

Cooly Rocks On chairperson Gail O’Neill said this year shaped up to be the biggest festival yet with interest at an all-time high.

Ms O’Neill said the 1200 classic car and hotrod places had been filled with a strong demand for accommodation thanks to a big entertainment line-up.

“The festival is growing in strength and size each year and all we need is some fine weather and we will see all records broken this year,” she said.

Cooly Rocks On runs from May 31 to June 10. For details, go to www.coolyrockson.com

Read the original article: http://www.goldcoast.com.au/article/2013/04/14/450274_gold-coast-news.html

20130414-Gold-Coast.com.au