EXPERIENCE ROCK HISTORY and ’60s SURF ‘n’ CAR CULTURE!
SURFIN’ SAFARI – The BEACH BOYS – October 1, 1962 – Capitol DT 1808
Well, the first day of Summer is June 20, 2016 – so,
“Let’s Go Surfin’!
“Surfin’, bop-dip-da-dip, surfin’ bop-dip-da-dip,
surfin’ is the only life the only way for me,
now come on pretty baby and surf with me, yeah, surf.”
“Surfin'”, the first single by the Beach Boys, was the very first 45 RPM single 00individual bought, released in November 1961; a few months before his 11th birthday. As simple as that song was, it began both his single and LP vinyl fetish addiction/mania.
Living in Southern California, the future mecca of the massively influential “Surf Culture”, was ideal for his pre-teen sensibilities. Within the next two years the “Surf and Hot Rod/Car Culture” would become an all encompassing vibe that would include; fashion, clothing, hair styles, dances, slang, attitude, beach bunnies, Pacific Islander culture, Tiki Gods, Ed Big Daddy” Roth’s custom cars and Rat Finks, and really fun cool spacey rockin’ surf music – and would also mark 00individual’s emergence as an official “teenager”!
This new craze would spread across the United States and to a certain extent the world. Here in SoCal where Dick Dale, Jan and Dean and The Beach Boys lived, recorded and performed, many were fortunate to “live” the culture in their own modest way and actually go to the beach and surf – even if you didn’t have a board, you would body surf! Gnarley!
Junior High school (and everywhere else) was a place to show your “surfwear”; usually a white t-shirt, Pendleton – a specific brand name plaid flannel long-sleeved shirt like The Beach Boys are wearing on the album cover – faded blue jeans, Blue-tipped Purcells, or barefoot, and if you were a “Ho-Dad” then your car culture fashion would be a white t-shirt (maybe a white buttoned-down shirt – if you were serious), black leather or dark blue “tanker” jacket, dark jeans and black tapered shoes/boots. 00individual preferred a cross between the two with all the surfwear but with a tanker jacket in place of a Pendleton. Many wannabe surfers called “Gremmies” would to peroxide their hair blonde as if bleached by the sun – and even some true surfers did – as tan and blonde became a fashion/lifestyle statement.
While not all the tracks on their first album were winners, “Surfin’ Safari” was a monster, and “409” was arguably the first single to chart that celebrated the Southland’s romance with everything cars. “409” led to other major Car Tune hits for The Beach Boys; “Shut Down”, “Fun, Fun, Fun” and “Little Deuce Coupe”, which in turn influenced classics by others like; “Drag City”, “Deadman’s Curve” and “The Little Old Lady From Pasadena” by Jan and Dean, “Little G.T.O.” by Ronny and The Daytonas, and “Hey Little Cobra” by The Rip Chords.
All too soon the British Invasion pretty much overtook the Surf ‘n’ Car culture music; leaving a truly historic time-stamp of a unique culture that emerged as quickly as it submerged. The Surf Culture however, was not music-dependent and surfers carved-out and established their part of society with a devoted core of individuals who continue with the “Surf Spirit” and Surf Rock – this applies to the equally-established Car Culture as well.
Eventually the ever-present serious issues of civil rights and the Vietnam War was reflected in Pop and Rock music – and everyone grew-up – fast. But for a moment in time they were enjoying truly innocent fun. The Beach Boys sound was full of the joys of summer; the beach, surf, cars, girls, guys, sun, freedom and youth.
The Beach Boys deserve all the credit that history provides as they single-handedly created a cultural and musical genre tidal wave. A wave that broke through the harbors of the original Rock of the ’50s, a wave that burst the dams for the British Invasion, and then a wave that morphed into a psychedelic pipeline with Brian Wilson’s epic “Good Vibrations“.
And while Chuck Berry’s riffs were admittedly used as basis or flourish to many of these tunes; cultural credit also has to be given to Dick Dale, “the King of the Surf Guitar” and to The Ventures for their creation of the guitar-driven surf instrumentals that were essential complements to The Beach Boys’ exquisite vocal harmonies that made up the Classic Surf Sound.
Rock History acknowledges The Beach Boys for their creation of a genre and for their incredible influence in the history of music. And also for the inspiration they provided for countless artists, bands, and music lovers that continues to this day!
Malibu – Zuma Beach – early 1960s
’70s Surf Culture Archive:
By 1979 00individual would be renting a nicely-converted horse stable guest house on the property that Neil Young recorded his “Zuma” album in 1975 – straight up from the bluff in this photo. 00individual’s immediate neighbors on Point Dume were Goldie Hawn (when Kate and Oliver Hudson were infants), Max Gail (Wojo on the TV series Barney Miller, had real Native pow-wows in a real teepee with late night drum and vocal chants; trippy ), and Bob Dylan – 00individual never saw him just his house/property.
’60s Surf Culture Archive:
At almost 18, 00individual was going into the second half of his senior year of high school – he was a split semester student and graduated as an A-12 in February 1969. He still needed to attend summer school to make up credits to graduate. His incarceration was at Westchester High, near LAX which was a very short ride/hitch to the beach. That Summer of 1968, every morning after class he’d go straight to Gillis beach and hang for the day.
As each day at the beach passed he marked it off on a calendar he had inside his notebook; by the end of the summer he had gone to the beach every day except for seven odd days, that included weekends, for the whole three months!
He had gone full native, his skin was a dark golden brown and he had a “Surfin’ U.S.A.” bushy, bushy blonde hairdo” – and to make sure that he had really gone native the only showers that he took were in the ocean, that’s right, any “dirt” that he had on him was washed away by the natural wonders of the pristine Pacific Ocean salt water – and he never had so many girlfriends as he did that summer!
” . . . and when the surf is down to take its place,
we’ll do the Surfer’s Stomp it’s the latest dance craze!”
Revised from a previous high-ranking post.
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