With the indie underground currently swooning to the sun bleached beach-pop of Best Coast, Real Estate and Wavves, time to look deeper at the '60s sound that so influences it - surf!
A is for… Amped
According to surf guitar deity Dick Dale, he blew the nuts off 48 Fender amps before he managed to persuade Leo Fender and his designer Freddy Tavares to build him a more powerful unit. Leo and Freddy came up with an 85-watt output transformer that peaked at 100-watts and coupled it with a specially designed 15-inch JBL speaker.
Dick’s new Fender Showman amp gave him the volume he needed to own his audiences’ eardrums and we all got more powerful backline as a result.
Interesting fact: Freddy Tavares played the famous steel guitar lick at the beginning of every Looney Tunes cartoon - check this YouTube clip for proof. Th-Th-Th-That’s all folks!
A is also for… The Ambassadors
The Ambassadors were a British instrumental band of the early '60s that recorded a couple of great surf tunes for legendary producer and troubled genius, Joe Meek. The tracks, Surfin’ John Brown and Big Breaker, are available on the Joe Meek: The RGM Legacy - Portrait of a Genius boxset. Worth seeking out if only for the otherworldly guitar sounds and righteous drumming.