Whether it be vocals and/or instrumentals, listening to surf and hot rod music shouldn't be relegated to the summer months alone! The following tracks/albums, with images of warm weather, fun and folly, will help nudge away the winter doldrums.
The Pyramids were mainly an instrumental surf band, although they did record a few songs with vocals, including The Kingsmen-like "Koko Joe," "Long Tall Texan," "Custom Caravan" and the awesome "Record Run." The last two songs were featured in the 1964 AIP flick Bikini Beach. During "Record Run" the band appears wearing shaggy Beatles wigs only to have them pulled off to reveal their shaved bald pates. They were also known to do amazing back flips, kinda like H.R. of Bad Brains.
Secret Surfin Spot" &
"Surfin' and A Swingin'"
Like the Pyramids, Dick Dale cut mainly instrumental tracks, several of which became standards of the genre. But for some strange reason his vocal cuts have been universally ignored. WHY? What's not to like: his delivery was gritty, his voice cracks here and there and the lyrics were crammed full of references to Gremmies, Hodads, hot doggin' and woodies. Dick Dale also appeared in two Beach Party films where he would occasionally put down his Fender Stratocaster and play bongos while sporting Elvis greaser hair and a huge pirate earring.
Anything by Jan and Dean
The Laurel and Hardy of the surf set. Sure, they recorded some filler, but tracks like "Submarine Races," "Horace the Swingin' School Bus Driver," "The Anaheim, Azusa & Cucamonga Sewing Circle, Book Review & Timing Association," "Surfing' Hearse," and the entire Jan & Dean Meet Batman album are just plain fun. But nothing else in their catalog touches the irreverent lunacy of side 4 (whoops, I mean tracks 22-26) of the Anthology Album. This 20-minute concoction was put together by Jan Berry right before his horrendous auto accident in 1966. Taken from road tapes of the duo, we hear band introductions accompanied by SFX of machine gun fire and bombs being dropped, songs are sped up to Chipmunk speed, jokes are told with blown punch lines, people sneeze and cough consistently throughout, wolves howl, cows moo and Beatles songs are attempted. In a nutshell, it was general mayhem. Their record company, Liberty, refused to release it.
"Hang on Sloopy"
Supposedly this was one of surf/hot rod fanatic Keith Moon's favorite records.