The Surfaris

The Surfaris were an American surf music band formed in Glendora, California in 1962. They are best known for two songs that hit the charts in the Los Angeles, California area, and nationally by May 1963: "Surfer Joe" on the A side and "Wipe Out" on the B side of a 45 RPM single.

Career

The original band members were Ron Wilson (drums), Jim Fuller (Lead guitar), Bob Berryhill (rhythm guitar) and Pat Connolly (bass). Saxophone player Jim Pash joined after their Wipe Out/Surfer Joe recording sessions at Pal Studios recording. Ken Forssi, later of Love fame, also played bass with The Surfaris.

Ron Wilson's energetic drum solo made "Wipe Out" one of the best-remembered instrumental song of the period. "Wipe Out" is also remembered particularly for its introduction before the music starts, a cracking sound (imitating a breaking surf board), and a maniacal laugh followed by the only two words of the song, "wipe out". "Wipe Out" is often regarded as being "the" surfing anthem. "Wipe Out" was written in the studio by the four original members on the spot (Berryhill, Connolly, Fuller, Wilson), and was originally going to be titled "Switchblade" which was rejected by the group since the cracking board sound of a wipe out was more exciting.

The band released a series of records, with two other singles,"Surfer Joe" and "Point Panic", having an impact on the charts. (Point Panic is a renowned surfing venue in Hawaii named after the song.)

The Surfaris disbanded in 1966 but have periodically reunited and are still active as of 2008, performing and recording, often re-recording their old and new songs. They still perform as Bob Berryhill's Surfaris and Jim Fuller's Surfaris (two separate groups) all over United States and Europe with a large fan base.Drummer Ron Wilson died 7 May 1989, one month short of his 45th birthday. Wilson had released an album of his songs, entitled "Lost It In The Surf", on Bennet House Records of Grass Valley, California, recorded in June 1987. A very small number of cassettes of this album were produced. "Lost It In The Surf" included a cover of "Louie Louie", complete with Scottish bagpipes.

Discography

Albums

*1963 "The Surfaris Play Wipe Out "
*1963 "Wipe Out "
*1964 "Surfaris Play"
*1964 "Hit City '64"
*1964 "Fun City USA"
*1965 "Hit City '65"
*1965 "It Ain't Me, Babe"
*2005 "Wipe Out"

ingles

*1962 "Wipe Out / Surfer Joe"
*1963 "Wipe Out / Surfer Joe"
*1963 "Point Panic / Waikiki Run"
*1963 "Wipe Out / I'm A Hog For You"
*1964 "Murphy The Surfie / Go Go Go For Louie's Place"

Compilations

*1973 "Yesterdays Pop Scene"
*1973 "Wipe Out, Surfer Joe & Other Great Hits"
*1976 "Surfers Rule"
*1977 "Gone with the Wave"
*1982 "The History of Surf Music"
*1989 "Surfin Hits"
*1994 "Wipe Out! The Best Of"
*1994 "Surf Party!: The Best of the Surfaris Live! "
*1995 "Pulp Rock Instros - Vol 1"
*1995 "Surfaris Stomp "
*1996 "Cowabunga! Surf-Box"
*1996 "Teen Beat - Vol 3 "
*1996 "Let's Go Trippin' "
*1996 "Surf Crazy"
*1997 "Guitar Heroes "
*1997 "Hot Rod - Big Boss Instrumentals "
*1997 "Kahuna Classics "
*1998 "Hard Rock Records - Surf"
*1998 "Surf! Sand! Sun! "
*1998 "Wipe Out "
*1999 "Surfers Rule / Gone With The Wave"
*2000 "Water Logged "
*2000 "Teen Beat - Vol 5 "
*2003 "Lost Legends Of Surf Guitar - Vol. 02"
*2003 "Basic Tracks w/ Jim Fuller"
*2005 "Wipe Out, Surfer Joe And Other Great Hits "
*2006 "Street Party w/ Jim Fuller"

Trivia

* One version of the Wipe Out/Ron Wilson drum solo story is that it was conceived from drum cadences used by the Charter Oak High School marching band, where a rhythm was constructed from sixteenth notes played with higher or lower emphasis. Ron basically sped up the tempo and created his own rhythm using that technique. Ron spent four years in Charter Oak and Glendora High School marching bands, competing in parades in Southern California. Another story version gives credit to Hawaiian drum rhythms(Mystic Island Drums).
* The manic laughing and spoken title at the beginning of "Wipe Out" is the voice of the band's manager, Dale Smallen.
* "Surfer Joe/Wipe Out" was recorded at Pal Studios in Cucamonga, California.
* Following the death of television personality Morton Downey, Jr., news reports and obituaries incorrectly credited him as the composer of "Wipe Out" (as well as The Chantays' "Pipeline"). [ [http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2001/03/13/entertainment/main278395.shtml Morton Downey Jr. Dies, Combative Talk Show Host Was An Icon Of The 1980s - CBS News ] ] As of 2006, Downey's official website continues to make this claim. [ [http://mortondowneyjr.com/mortondowney.html Morton Downey Jr.'s Home Page ] ]
* Another Southern Californian surf group formed around the same time known as The Surfaris renamed themselves the Original Surfaris following the success of "Wipe Out"
* Jim Fuller is known as the Godfather of Surf Guitar.
* "Wipe Out" featured in one of the 1980's Guinness adverts starring Rutger Hauer

References

External links

* [http://myspace.com/thesurfariswipeout The Surfaris featuring Jim Fuller official MySpace site]
* [http://www.myspace.com/surfariswipeout The Surfaris featuring Bob Berryhill official MySpace site]
* [http://thesurfaris.com The Surfaris', Bob Berryhill official website]
* [http://surfariswipeout.com The Surfaris', Jim Fuller official website]
* [http://allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&searchlink=THE|SURFARIS&sql=11:tq98b5n4tsq0~T0 Allmusic Entry]
* [http://www.youtube.com/user/TheSurfaris The Surfaris', Bob Berryhill YouTube site]


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