Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Story Songs: Surf City

While The Beatles and the British bands may have ruled most of the 1960s, it was American surf musicians who, pardon the pun, established the first beachhead in that wonderful decade of music.

With the likes of The Beach Boys, Dick Dale, The Trashmen,  The Surfaris, and many others, surf music was the rage of American teens, even those like me who lived in Kentucky. They presented us with a world of sun-kissed beaches, endless blue waves, and bikini-clad babes that most of us could only dream about back then.

One of my all-time favorite groups is Jan and Dean, who had the first No. 1 surf song with "Surf City" in 1963. It was written by Jan Berry and Brian Wilson, with some input from  Dean Torrence.

The song opens with a spirited, "Two girls for every boy."
It's no wonder that we landlocked guys wanted to head to the West Coast in a woodie and buy a surf board, if only to look cool strutting on the beach.

"You see they never roll the streets up 'cause there's always somethin' goin'
(Surf City, here we come)
You know they're either out surfin' or they got a party growin'
(Surf City, here we come)
Well, with two swingin' honeys for every guy
And all you gotta do is just wink your eye"

There's no stopping the guys heading to Surf City, even if their woodie breaks down and they have to hitch a ride. Why?

"...we're goin' to Surf City, 'cause it's two to one
You know we're goin' to Surf City, gonna have some fun
You know we're goin' to Surf City, 'cause it's two to one
You know we're goin' to Surf City, gonna have some fun, now

Because there's:

"Two girls for every boy."

Some folks remember only Jan and Dean's "Dead Man's Curve," recorded nearly two years before Jan's near-fatal car accident in which he suffered severe head injuries, of which he never fully recovered. Jan passed away in 2004 at the age of 62; Dean still performs on occasion with a surf-music group.

The duo had several top-selling songs such as "Linda," "The New Girl in School," "Ride the Wild Surf," "Sidewalk Surfin'," "Little Old Lady From Pasadena," "Drag City," and "Honolulu Lulu." I believe they're another group that has been overlooked, and underrated, by Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

If you're ever want to go to "Surf City," the city of Huntington Beach, Calif., is nationally recognized as the official, "Surf City USA." 

"Surf City" lyrics

Until the next time...

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