W is for… Woodies
As you can see on this 'Woodies on the Wharf' YouTube clip, ‘woodies’ was the nickname for American cars with visible rear frames made of, you guessed it, wood.
Produced by various manufacturers from the '30s to the early '50s these cars became hugely popular with surfers of the early '60s before they discovered Volkswagens. Woodies were cheap to buy and repair and, thanks to their sheer size, could hold plenty of people and their surfboards.
As Jan and Dean sang in their 1963 number one hit record Surf City (watch this amazing clip!), "I bought a '30 Ford wagon/And we call it a woody…"
Incidentally, the ‘EMHO’ woody that Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler sings about in F.I.N.E. from Pump (1989) is a different thing entirely…
W is also for… Wipe Out
Wipe Out, one of the best loved surf records of all time, was a 1963 hit for Glendora, California's most famous sons, The Surfaris (listen here). The song features some astonishing drumming from Ron Wilson who was only in his teens at the time of recording the tune. The solo was a sped up version of his Charter Oak High School marching band's drum cadence.
Wipe Out has been covered countless times. Our favourite covers are by The Ventures (watch it played live here) and, of course, Animal from The Muppet Show. Watch some prime Muppet madness here…
"WOMEN! WOMEN! WOMEN!" Ahem.