Saturday, May 16, 2009

Estoy Pacheco's Top 10 Old-School Surfing Tunes

Add to Technorati Favorites

I was transplanting some seedlings the other day zoning out on my iPod when Fleet Foxes came on and I started thinking, "Just what is the best surfing music out there?" Then I zoned out again and when I came to, I had a vague recollection of putting together the best old-school wave-riding tunes and some newer stuff to enjoy while waiting for that next monster to roll in.

So I took a deep breath and came up with these ten old-school surfing videos arranged in no
particular order that are representative of the genre...

Santo & Johnny - Sleep Walk
This song is like 50 f'n years old. It came out in 1959. Nobody was born when this tune came out, this was the dark ages. This explains Lawrence Welk. Yeah, we'll get to that soon enough.

Shadows - Apache 1964
I don't know why it's called "Apache 1964" it came out in 1960... the British Surfing Association didn't form for another six years. The Shadows were ahead of their time.

Ventures - Tequila
You knew that this one had to be on the list. Any number of Ventures tunes could have landed here but for us it's mas Tequila! Check out the threads.

Trashmen - Surfin' Bird
Curiously enough this is also thought of as a Viet Nam protest song. Where's Freelance Johnson when you need him?

Surfaris - Wipe Out
The one old-school surfing song that everybody knows as an old-school surfing song. The one old-school surfing song that every drummer has played.

Chantays - Pipeline
This vid is another trip in the time machine. I can't believe that the King of Champagne Music and Bubbles, Lawrence Welk himself had The Chantays on his program on May 18, 1963. Happy Birthday Sweet Carolyn!

Dick Dale & The Del Tones - Misirlou
You were waiting for a surfin' classic from Pulp Fiction. Did you know that this clip debuted in another film? 'A Swingin' Affair" from 1963. Cool opening.

Cousins - Boudha
Smokin'! Boudha is an underappreciated gem from 1961. Is that a hookah I see?

Tornadoes - Bustin' Surfboards
There are lots of reasons why this one makes the grade including the fact that one of the techies on the cut was some cat named Frank Zappa. That made the diff between Bustin Surfboards being on this list and Telstar hanging high and dry.

So there you have it. My Top 10 Old-School Surfing Tunes. The cognizanti out there will have noticed that there are only nine videos in my top ten. Yeah, I know, so what? Chill out. Some of you may have noticed that there is only one song on this list with words - that's why I call them surfing tunes and not surfing songs. Jan and Dean and the Beach Boys never were my bag.

(Full disclosure: First "rock" concert I saw was the Beach Boys. My grade six teacher took weird is that? She never did get married, how weird is that? How weird is it that I know that? Uh-oh, I think I have to book another appointment with my therapist. Flashbacks!)

But we digress. I would have liked to include Cecilia Ann here by the Surftones but the vids all
suck, even the cover versions by the Pixies among countless others taped in mom's basement aren't worthy for inclusion on this list. Same thing goes for Comanche by the Revels so no one is bringing out the Gimp today. But if you are so inclined you can check out other tunes on the Old-School Surfing Playlist and take a sneak peak ahead at the New School with a collection of hits and misses that we'll post manana. And yes, the seedlings are doing fine. Peace out.


  1. thnx man!,
    that was a really fun half hour

  2. Good work. I enjoyed them all.
    A nice selection.
    A good take on Surf rock if you haven't heard of them already is Man or Astro-man?