E is for… Eleki
Japan was a hot bed of killer surf or Eleki (‘electric guitar’) music in the early '60s. The Eleki movement was kicked off by The Ventures' 1962 visit to Japan.
We’ve already looked at Yūzō Kayama’s Black Sand Beach (see ‘B’). Well, Yūzō’s main rival was one Takeshi ‘Terry’ Terauchi. Terry tore it up Dick Dale-style on hits like Kanjincho (listen here) and a version of The Ventures' classic Diamond Head (listen here).
Both Yūzō and Terry are still going strong and so is the Japanese tradition of great instrumental guitar music. It surfs on in young bands like Rat Holic - their tune Fat Rat Surfer is killer.
E is also for… Early days
Surf didn’t come out of nowhere. Credit for the big twangy guitar sound goes to Duane Eddy and his producer, and cult singer/songwriter, Lee Hazlewood. Tracks like Eddy’s 1958 recording of Ramrod (watch a 1974 version here) laid the foundation for the surf music that followed.