Duane Eddy's House of Twang

Surf Music Saga

1

Much has been written regarding how " surf music " evolved ! - Duane , Sandy Nelson et al have been credited with paving the way for it ! - But did their actual paths ever cross ? - Were they ever on the same show or indeed play together ? - Groups like the Beach Boys honed their music / craft to something like perfection. - The formula that gave us " Good Vibrations " seemed to be the pinnacle of the genre ! - But we should never forget Duanes - " Your Babys Gone Surfin " - Hitting the right notes, yet never seeming to get the credit that was deserved. ------ A recent TV programme, reminded us that Glen Campbell spent a year with the Beach Boys. - Did his extensive session work , not further enhance , some of Duanes recordings ? - With a hint of Surf music , say with the likes of " Beach Bound " !

2

Duane (with a little help from Link Wray) definitely got the ball rolling for instrumental rock guitar,and the Ventures carried that ball right over the goal line,but IMO most of the credit for that palm-on-a-Strat-bridge sound should go to The Fireballs' lead guy,George Tomsco and the pre-Jimmy Gilmer incarnation of that band,as well as their producer Norman Petty.Check out "Torquay",and "Bulldog".They're both on Youtube.You can also hear some of that same palm-muting in Buddy Holly's guitar solo on "That'll Be The Day",from a couple of years earlier,also produced by Petty.

Glen Campbell played bass and sang harmony in the roadgoing version of the Beach Boys for a few months after Brian's drug-fueled mental health issues compromised his ability to perform.I've seen Al Jardine do Brian's vocal parts spot-on live,so I don't know whether Campbell or someone else covered those while he was working for the BB's.IIRC Campbell was in The Wrecking Crew and may well have played on some BB studio tracks,but what instrument or which tracks eludes me. I see him at that point as a pro's pro of hired-gun players,but of marginal influence in the surf/hot rod genre,which by this time(early 1965) was a year or two past being on the cutting edge.

3

You mean it didn't start with Frankie and Annette? 8-o 8-o

Notable mentions.... Dick Dale and Hank Marvin. 8-)

4

dick dale!!!

king of the surf guitar

its his genre creation. no other. (sure he had influences ie hank williams, duane e...but...)

tho the earliest surf films by bruce brown were scored by jazzman bud shank...and featured the great dennis budimir on guitar...but it had little to do with surf music as we know it...that's pure dick dale

cheers

5

+1,000,000 on Dick Dale! Up until then I'd been a little blase about everything I'd heard,because I could cover just about all of it except for when Nokie Edwards would get fired up about something and let loose on a Ventures track. First time I heard "Misirlou" I got schooled.What a powerful,tasty player! Been a fan ever since.

I'm still amazed that the only Shadows I'd heard of back in the day was Bobby Vee's backup band.He-and they-were right on the money live.I've since gotten acquainted with Hank Marvin's work,but I don't remember his band charting in the US.I had a bandmate back then who'd been in Europe and he was over the moon about Hank,but other than that,not very much.Did Hank and the Shadows chart or tour here outside of working with Cliff Richard?

6

dick dale also pioneered the gear!...with freddy tavares and leo...dual showmans, jbl d-120f's. outboard reverb(which he used on his vocals at first), heavy strings....

he was lebanese...so he was using oud technique...horizontal runs up and down the string

he was an incredible pioneer

shadows were uk phenom...much more sedate...tho hank is king for tone...his use of tape echo with multi repeats influenced a diverse generation of players from peter green to mike oldfield

the ventures were pure americana...and later japan!! haha...great as well...well produced and arranged west coast style...nokie and gerry mcgee were phenomenal players...and mel taylor!!!(buddy richs fave!)

cheers

7

I might have to check out this Bud Shank, never heard his name before... I love all these artists mentioned!

8

We were talking about Bud Shank not three days ago. Think of the theme from Mission Impossible. That's Bud on the flute.

And plenty more. Check it out.

As for Glen Campbell, I'm pretty sure he's ripping on I Get Around. And, I do think Duane carried that ball across the goal line a number of times before The Ventures even suited up.

12

We were talking about Bud Shank not three days ago. Think of the theme from Mission Impossible. That's Bud on the flute.

And plenty more. Check it out.

As for Glen Campbell, I'm pretty sure he's ripping on I Get Around. And, I do think Duane carried that ball across the goal line a number of times before The Ventures even suited up.

– Deed Eddy

If the track logs say Glen played the guitar solo in "I Get Around" then I'm in even more awe of him to think he could mimic all of Carl Wilson's stylistic devices so accurately when Carl was a so much less advanced player.

Deed,you made me think on what I meant to say,which is that Duane's work taught a great deal to young players of the time (I'm one),and for sophisticated young players of the day(I wasn't one) there was a great deal to be learned from the accompaniment on records,as well as live.When I saw him,I think in late 1959 because he didn't play "Peter Gunn" ,he had an electric bassist,a drummer and a sax player.No keyboard,no rhythm guitar,no chorus,strings or anything else,and I was very intrigued at how it sounded "just like the record" with so few people onstage.

But while Duane is a much more influential teacher than perhaps even he realizes,he was and is a single artist....It was the Ventures who taught ensemble playing to bands of the era.Their work was indeed less sophisticated than DE's,but it was more accessible,because high school kids could play it,where they might not "get it" about Lee Hazelwood's production,arrangements,et cetera. I would think that as the first rock and roll instro guitar hero,Duane could be compared culturally to groundbreaking singers like Elvis Presley or Roy Orbison,and I'd think that as the first rock and roll multiple-guitar instro hero band,the Ventures can be culturally compared to the Beatles.YMMV.

13

Saw Dick Dale live twice in London and that fantastic, thundering, rumbling, screaming staccato sound made me feel my organs were being sucked out through my chest it was so loud. Couldn't stop vibrating for days!

14

I am surprised The Shadows have been mentioned in a "surf" topic. Not remotely Surf in my mind. But then again I guess the term "surf music" has been stretched over the years to cover more styles than it originally did (I think!)

15

BUT the Fire Balls did their songs Torquay",and "Bulldog 1959 and 1960 . Dick Dale may have coined the title surf music but his first two hits were 1961 1962 for lets go triping and Miserlou. The Ventures released Walk don't run in 1960. So if you discount the penning of the title of the genre, the Fire Balls were first with Torquay 1959 . I met them last year and instead of being bitter or feeling overlooked I even had to ask them point blank who came out first and George said with a peaceful but happy look on his face ,We were . They are very friendly ,happy to play for you, nice people.

16

Al Casey " Surfin Hootenanny " was that actually Duane , when in the middle of the track, a girl announces , " Duane Eddy " and some twangy gold nuggets , make us listen even more intently to a classy song ! ? - There has been some speculation, that the backing singers listed as The K - C - ettes is really, yet again Darlene Love and the Blossoms ! .... http://youtu.be/U2S4Lmsls4Y

17

BUT the Fire Balls did their songs Torquay",and "Bulldog 1959 and 1960 . Dick Dale may have coined the title surf music but his first two hits were 1961 1962 for lets go triping and Miserlou. The Ventures released Walk don't run in 1960. So if you discount the penning of the title of the genre, the Fire Balls were first with Torquay 1959 . I met them last year and instead of being bitter or feeling overlooked I even had to ask them point blank who came out first and George said with a peaceful but happy look on his face ,We were . They are very friendly ,happy to play for you, nice people.

– rickvox

Glad to see more recognition for George,Stan,and the rest of the Fireballs.First thing I did with my first check from my first dishwashing job was buy their first album.Learned all of George's,Stan's,and Danny Trammell's parts note for note,and in the process got taught a whole lot about taste.Many years later I got to see them live about a half dozen times,and over 2 or 3 shows,got everyone's autograph on my B-bender.Classy playing,classy guys.

18

+1,000,000 on Dick Dale! Up until then I'd been a little blase about everything I'd heard,because I could cover just about all of it except for when Nokie Edwards would get fired up about something and let loose on a Ventures track. First time I heard "Misirlou" I got schooled.What a powerful,tasty player! Been a fan ever since.

I'm still amazed that the only Shadows I'd heard of back in the day was Bobby Vee's backup band.He-and they-were right on the money live.I've since gotten acquainted with Hank Marvin's work,but I don't remember his band charting in the US.I had a bandmate back then who'd been in Europe and he was over the moon about Hank,but other than that,not very much.Did Hank and the Shadows chart or tour here outside of working with Cliff Richard?

– DaveH

+1,000,000 on Dick Dale! Up until then I'd been a little blase about everything I'd heard,because I could cover just about all of it except for when Nokie Edwards would get fired up about something and let loose on a Ventures track. First time I heard "Misirlou" I got schooled.What a powerful,tasty player! Been a fan ever since.

I'm still amazed that the only Shadows I'd heard of back in the day was Bobby Vee's backup band.He-and they-were right on the money live.I've since gotten acquainted with Hank Marvin's work,but I don't remember his band charting in the US.I had a bandmate back then who'd been in Europe and he was over the moon about Hank,but other than that,not very much.Did Hank and the Shadows chart or tour here outside of working with Cliff Richard?

– DaveH

The Shadows were popular only in Europe (except australia and South Africa) but here particulary in England of course and in France they were the start of many guitarists career. In France in the sixties they were more popular than Cliff Richard and many many bands were influenced by the Shadows style. Hank Marvin is a genius of the Stratocaster he had invented a style of playing and of course the Sound of the Shadows. The Ventures, dick Dale and all of the US surf bands never found fame and fortune in France. The same for Duane Eddy. It's strange but it's true. Some exemples of the french clones of the shadows.

les mustangs http://www.youtube.com/watc... les fantômes http://www.youtube.com/watc... Les bourgeois de calais http://www.youtube.com/watc... Les Cyclones http://www.youtube.com/watc... Les Champions http://www.youtube.com/watc... Les Guitares http://www.youtube.com/watc...

19

Yes, The Blossoms are on Surfin' Hootenanny. Certainly not Duane on this, but surely is an homage, one could say, to Dance with the Guitar Man.

20

As someone who is pretty immersed in the surf/instro genre...I think I agree that Dick Dale really put a stamp on the "surf music" sub-genre of instrumental rock and roll in the summer of 1961 when he described his music as having what he called "The Surfing Sound". Surf music as it was later called by DJs and show promoters also had it's origins in location...The Rendevous Ballroom in Balboa, CA., where Dick Dale shows ruled the day and where I believe he was nicknamed "King of the Surf Guitar". The Belairs and Surfaris were also important players at The Rendevous Ballroom and in the formation of "the surfing sound".

The Ventures and Shadows are great instro bands but performed concentrically to surf bands like Eddie and the Showmen, The Lively Ones, The Pyramids and the others mentioned above. They covered surf tunes but really had their own style and catalog and pre-dated the surf bands mentioned above.

IMHO, Duane Eddy and Link Wray are also in a category of their own...yes they influenced surf music players and may have recorded a surf tune or two but it was their innovation and coolness that gave rock and roll guitar a voice that would change music...pop to punk for many generations to come. And being that I realIy dig "The Fireballs" (and just about everything else that came out of Norm Petty's studio)I think they should be recognized more in the DE tradition than "the surfing sound".

21

Calacas- Agreed about the Fireballs not being a surfing act.By the time that musical trend was taking hold,Jimmy Gilmer had replaced Chuck Tharp on lead vocal/rhythm guitar and while "Quite A Party" charted in '61,it was their last big instro hit.Everything after that had Gilmer on lead vocal,and the band was going after a contemporary pop-rock sound-pretty successfuly.Not a surfboard or a hot rod in sight,but a lot of surf bands covered their earlier instros.

22

Calacas, if you hadn't mentioned the Belairs, I would have had to! Little 14-year-old Paul Johnson wrote what would be considered the first surf single, "Mr. Moto" by the Belairs, which preceded Dick Dale's first single, "A Run for Life"( later rearranged and rerecorded as "The Wedge") by a couple of months. He and Eddie Bertrand fronted the hugely popular Belairs until they split into Eddie & the Showmen and PJ and the Galaxies (after Johnson's short-lived Journeymen and PJ & Artie, both with the Challengers' Art Farmer). Eddie Bertrand just passed away a few months ago.

The Fireballs, the Champs, the Shadows, and The Ventures all had a lot to do with surf music, but it really was the Belairs, The Challengers, Dick Dale, and a few others who turned it into a cohesive "scene".

There's one other crucial influence that always seems to get overlooked: Ike Turner! He had a 1962 instrumental album called "Dance" that spawned no fewer than three covers by the Belairs/Pj & the Galaxies. Surf music was already underway at this point, but the young turks were clearly listening to this fabulous album.

And Glen Campbell is often credited with the smoking leads featured on the Hondells' recordings, produced by Gary Usher of Beach Boys fame. Richie Podolor also contributed; I couldn't tell you who plays what, except that I'm pretty sure "Haulin' Honda" is Glen.

Lots of session guys cooked up quickie surf and hot rod albums back in the day. They didn't take long to make and were guaranteed sales. Jerry Cole, Hal Blaine, Leon Russell, Billy Strange - these guys were on a million of 'em.

23

he was lebanese...so he was using oud technique...horizontal runs up and down the string

he was an incredible pioneer

Yes yes yes. Not just oud, but saz as well (the Turkish cousin of the Greek Bouzouki).

BUT. Let's keep Dick Dale in present tense as long as we can. No need to Abe Vigoda him. Relish the greats that walk among us!

24

I honed my playing skills (as dull as they are) with my cousin Michael who was a huge "Ventures" fan so we learned nearly every song off of every album. When Michael got hooked on Hank Marvin, I moved back to the one who inspired me in the first place, Duane Eddy and adding Chet and Merle.

As we grew older, Michael went rock and I went country. Michael went on to play with the "Shadows of Knight".

25

Bear, Great to hear from you. Have you been in hibernation ? All this talk of 'Surf Guitar' makes me smile. I, and millions [I use the term 'millions' advisedly] took up guitar through listening to Duane. If anyone wants to tell me that the original exponents of surf guitar were NOT influenced by Duane..............I will discuss this further, in the car park !


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