Biography

The Surfaris were an American band formed in Glendora, California in 1962. They are best known for two songs that hit the national charts in May 1963, which were “Surfer Joe” and “Wipe Out” (respectively on the A side and B side of a 45 RPM single). The original band members were Ron Wilson (drums), Jim Fuller (lead guitar), Bob Berryhill (rhythm guitar), and Pat Connolly (bass). Saxophone player Jim Pash joined after their initial recording.

Ron Wilson’s energetic drum solo helped make “Wipe Out” the one of the best-remembered instrumental song of the period. “Wipe Out” is also remembered particularly for its introduction before the music starts, a cracking sound (imitating a breaking surf board), and a manic voice babbling “ha ha ha ha ha wipe out”. A “wipe out” is a misfortune that can occur in surfing, that is, the surfer falling off the board with physical danger, and/or interrupting the ride prematurely. The song is generally regarded as being the surfing anthem.

The band released a series of records, with only one other single, “Point Panic”, having any impact on the charts. Point Panic is a renowned surfing venue in Hawaii.

The Surfaris disbanded in 1966 but have periodically reunited and are still active as of 2004, performing and recording, often re-recording their old songs.

Drummer Ron Wilson died on May 7, 1989, one month short of his 45th birthday. Wilson had released an album of his songs, entitled “Lost It In The Surf”, on Bennet House Records of Grass Valley, California, recorded in June 1987. A very small number of cassettes of this album were produced. “Lost It In The Surf” included a cover of “Louie, Louie” with Scottish bagpipes.

Edited by promisedeyes on 7 May 2014, 23:27

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  • 1962
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