The thundering in the background might be horse hooves, not waves, but make no mistake, aficionados: Saturday at The Starting Gate at Los Alamitos Racetrack will be all surf guitar, all nations, all day.
Ms. Go Go exaggerates a tad — only two nations besides the U.S. will represent– but Saturday will def be ground zero for surf guitar in SoCal with ten hours of music at the Third Annual Surf Guitar 101 Convention, organized by Jeff “Big Tiki Dude” Hanson. Doors open at 8AM so you can wave over brekkie then wander the huge back room of vendors starting at 9AM. Plant yourself by 10:00 for the all-day main event starting with a Surf Guitar 101 Members Jam.
Time your bathroom break so you don’t miss the 60’s Legends of Surf Jam at 11AM (a rare opportunity to see First Wave surf band members perform the songs they wrote and recorded), then have your Red Bull six-pack ready to sustain you for the eight-hour line-up of bands starting at noon with L.A. County’s International Men of Mystery (a tribute to England’s legendary Shadows) and ending with the 7PM show of Washington DC’s re-formed Space Cossacks, one of the top surf/instro acts of the Nineties surf music revival now on their 10th anniversary tour. Cosmic Debris called them “the Casablanca of surf”; you can call it the beginning of a beautiful friendship.
The impressively varied line-up includes Phoenix, AZ’s the Surfside IV (“a love of Fender guitar drenched in spring reverb and the big surf beat”…plus fezzes), Antigua’s the Wadadli Riders (“surf music kings of the Caribbean”), Germany’s The Space Rangers (“endless summer on the shore of the Danube”), D.C.’s the Atomic Mosquitoes (“edgy but always in control” – Lance Monthly), L.A’s own Insect Surfers (this high-energy surfadelic band opened for the B-52’s, Psychedelic Furs, Echo & the Bunnymen, Iggy, and Joan Jett back in the day and is the world’s longest running modern surf band), and a rare, live performance by San Francisco’s Frankie and the Pool Boys (the last CD from Ferenc Dobronyi’s project band was dubbed a “whacked out throbbing party album” by Vintage Guitar). Expect CD contributors to join in on stage…which will undoubtedly mean more throbbing.
Hard-core fans can go to the Surf Guitar 101 Convention site for a full rundown of the several days of convention events (sightseeing, tours, etc.) but merely average devotees will want to save Sunday at the very least for Invasion of the Surf Guitars at Suzy’s in Hermosa Beach featuring several bands from Saturday’s line-up plus Dead Men Don’t Surf, Point Doom, and the Eliminators.
Go Go’ers, prepare to be invaded.
Ready? U Know U Want 2 Go Go….
Surf Guitar 101 Convention
Saturday, August 7 from 8AM – 8PM
The Starting Gate
Los Alamitos Race Track]
5052 Katella Avenue
Los Alamitos 90720
$20 (under 16 is free)
Invasion of the Surf Guitars
Sunday, August 8 from 11am to 6 pm
Suzy’s Bar and Grill
1141 Aviation Boulevard
Hermosa Beach 90254
$10 cover charge