"More Enthusiasm Than Talent" Page


My Recordings

The "Studio" The recording engineer is taking a break on the futon.

These are full length mp3 files, a high speed connection, or a little patience is required

Walk - Don't Run
Bass and Drums tracks were taken from a midi file found at John Walker's Ventures midi file web page. The Rhythm and lead tracks are performed by me. Editing and mixing were performed with Pro Tools Free from Digidesign. The orginal version was written by jazz guitarist Johnny Smith in 1955. The Ventures 1960 version was based on Chet Atkin's rendition.

The Ventures co-founder, Don Wilson (left), and me

Harlem Nocturne
All instrument tracks, except the melody track (played by me), were taken from a midi file found at John Walker's Ventures midi file web page. I edited out a key change, to shorten the overall length. Editing and mixing were performed with Pro Tools Free from Digidesign. The orginal jazz version was written by Earle Hagen in 1940.
The drums, bass and arrow sounds were taken from a midi file found at John Walker's Venture's midi file web page. All the guitar parts are performed by me. I used my 12-string for the rhythm guitar part. Editing and mixing were performed with Pro Tools Free from Digidesign. Inspired by Burt Lancaster's 1954 movie of the same name, "Apache" was written by British composer, Jerry Lordan in 1960. The British band, The Shadows' version was an international hit except in the US, where the popular version was recorded by Danish guitarist Jorgen Ingmann. I hadn't played it since the 60's, but was inspired to relearn it after recently hearing "Surf Guitar" pioneer Paul Johnson play it with The Surfaris and acoustically with the The Chantays bass player, Gil Orr (The "Duo-Tones"").
The Wedge
Paul Johnson has me hooked on "Surf Music". This is my cover of The Duo-Tones rendition of Dick Dale's "The Wedge", from their "Plugged in and Live" CD. The Duo-Tones are comprised of Paul Johnson (currently with The Surfaris (Wipeout)) and Gil Orr, currently with the The Chantays (Pipeline)). Together, they play the old "surf" hits without bass or drums, sometimes on acoustic guitars. I've been completely obsessed with learning this since I first heard them play it at a small house concert last summer. It's been a bear for me to learn and record.. I think it would take me 6 more months to get better at it, so here it is, with apoligies to (Paul, Gil, and Dick). Recording Info: I recorded this without an amp, using the Pro Tools Free multi-track recording/editing software, I played my Carvin Bolt guitar connected directly to the mixer section of my Tascam 414MkII Portastudio (with a Carvin FX-2 effects processor in the send/return loop), and the portastudio connected to my computer. There are 4 tracks: One rhythm, two lead (they are the same, but the second one fills in any notes I missed on the first one ;-) and one track with a few small fills. There was also initially a kind of funky percussion track that I use as a metronome for timing when I recorded the rhythm track, but I deleted if from the final mix.
Mr. Moto
Getting this web page into the Cowabunga Web Ring, and seeing Paul and Gil perform last night has inspired me to record and upload "Mr. Moto". Paul Johnson wrote "Mr. Moto" when he was 14 years old. According to, "Mr. Moto" was the "first surf hit recorded by a surf band".

Paul Johnson (standing on the right) watching The Chantays perform "Mr. Moto".

True Detective
This is not a surf tune, actually, I don't know what genre it falls into. One day I was playing some chords on my guitar, and I thought to myself, "this sounds familiar". I realized that it kind of sounded like an instrumental played by one of my favorite local guitarists, Pat O'Brien (not to be confused with the actor or broadcaster of the same name). I got out his CD, and found it was a tune written by him, called "True Detective". I figured out how to play the basic riff, but the rest of the tune was beyond me. Pat recently taught me how to play the rest of it. I really don't do it justice, but if I did, I'd have to change the name of my web page. The kind of quivering sound on my version is the result of accidentally having the "chorus" effect active on my effects processor ... it sort of "works", so I left it that way. The drum track was synthesized with the "Drumz Wizard" software.

Pat performs with his trio, "The Priests of Love", Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights at the First Cabin in Arcadia, California, just east of Pasadena. I highly recommend stopping in to see a show.
"He is the King; if it hadn't been for Link Wray and Rumble, I would have never picked up a guitar." -- Pete Townsend (The Who).

Like "Walk Don't Run" and "Harlem Nocturne", this is not a surf tune, but it's played by many surf bands. When I heard it played by "The Duo-Tones" at David Zink's house concert, I thought I was hearing it for the first time, yet it sounded familiar. Probably because this simple tune can be found on several movie sound tracks, including Pulp Fiction and Independence Day. It came into being in 1958, when Link Wray was performing at a dance. Someone requested that he play a "stroll" (a line dance popular at the time). He didn't know any, so he improvised the tune that was to become known as "Rumble", so named because the record producer's daughter said it reminded her of the gang war scene in West Side Story. The tune was banned from air play in several markets because it was thought to glorify gang warfare. At the time it was recorded, guitar amplifiers were designed to sound very clean. In order to give "Rumble" a distorted sound, Link poked pencil holes in his amp's speakers. No speakers were harmed for my recording. The drums and bass tracks in my recording were taken from John Walker's Ventures midi file web page.

I took these pictures of Link Wray performing at the City Of Glendale, CA Cruise Night Street Fair - 7/16/05

Link passed away on November 5, 2005. The Glendale peformance was his last.
I took a short video of him playing Rumble that night, that's been posted to Youtube.
You can link to it here.
Sorry about the distortion.


Shorter, more
for dial-up
I had to record this to go along with the picture below :-)
Learning to play this 1963 Surf tune was once a rite of passage for young aspiring rock guitar players. Pipeline was written by two (then) 17 year old high school students, Bob Spickard and Brian Carmen of the Chantays. I play all the guitar parts in my recording, and the drums were again "borrowed" from John Walker's Ventures midi file web page.
I made the organ sounding chords by playing my 12-string through a flanger pedal.

This is a big file. If you have a dial-up connection, you might want to download the shorter Lo-Fi version.

Me (left), and "Pipeline" creator, Bob Spickard, of The Chantays

Nokie's Tune aka Spudnik aka Surfrider
This tune was written by Nokie Edwards, best known as a member of the instrumental group, The Ventures. They referred to it as "Nokie's Tune". When it was recorded for the The Ventures album, "Mashed Potatoes And Gravy" it was recorded as "Spudnik" (Yes "SPUD" like a potato ). The tune was later covered by Jim Masoner, and his surf band, The Lively Ones. They called it "Surfrider". This is the version that is played during the closing credits of the movie Pulp Fiction. This is the name that stuck, and even The Ventures renamed it "Surfrider" on later albums. "Mashed Potatoes And Gravy" was renamed "The Ventures Beach Party".

In my rendition, I "borrowed" the bass and drum tracks from a midi file sequenced by Don Walker. I play the rhythm and lead.

Nokie Edwards (left), and me at the All Star Guitar Night show at NAMM

Nokie Edwards (right), and me a couple of years later at Joe's All American Bar and Grill

Me and Jim Masoner (right) at the Huntington Beach International Surf Museum

Penetration, covered by many surf bands, was orginally recorded by The Pyramids, one of the last surf groups of the 60's.

Once again, I "borrowed" the bass and drum tracks from a midi file sequenced by John Walker. I play all the other parts.

You can read more about The Pyramids, and the band member that missed the Penetration recording session here.

Journey To The Stars
Journey to the Stars is a Ventures tune that was popular with surf bands in the 60's.

Once again, the bass and drum tracks are courtesy of John Walker.
The Shuttle launch is courtesy of NASA
I play everything else.

Sleepwalk was recorded in 1959 by the Farina brothers, Santo and Johnny. This old instrumental hit tune is still popular in both the "surf" and "country" music genres.

While the sliding melody of the original recording, was played on a steel guitar, I recorded it with my semi-hollow electric acoustic 6-string, though I did get a steel effect on the last few notes, sliding them with a letter opener. I play only the melody in this recording, I found the backup track at the web site of the British Columbia Steel Guitar Association.

I originally didn't plan to post this. I recorded it with my toy-like Fender Mini Twin and a cheap p/c mike, but after listening to it, I decided, what the heck, it's as good as anything else I've done

Misirlou is a Greek folk song that found it's way into the genres of middle eastern music, klezmer, jazz, and thanks to Dick Dale, has become a mainstay of instrumental surf rock since the early '60s. In 1994 Dick's original recording became the unofficial theme song of the film Pulp Fiction, and is still often heard on many television commercials. While there have recently been several outrageous performances of Misirlou by groups such as Slacktone and the Surfcoasters, my recording has more of a "beach party campfile in an old Gigit movie" feeling.

Recommended listening: NPR's 'Misirlou,' from Klezmer to Surf Guitar

I made my recording with Audacity recording software, and used Hammerhead Rhythm Station to create the modest drum track.

Jimmy Dale (left), Me (center), and Dick Dale (right)

He Never Came Back
Another Ventures orginal from their 1964 album, "The Ventures in Space".
The bass and drums tracks are from a Johnny Walker midi file, and I play all the guitar parts.
Driving Guitars (Ventures Twist)
This is another old Ventures favorite of mine, from their 1962 album, "Twist With The Ventures".
I made the drum track with HammerHead Rhythm Section, and I play all the guitar parts.
Bumble Bee Twist (Bumble Bee Rock)
Various arrangements of this tune appear on several Ventures albums, starting in 1962 with, "Twist With The Ventures".
This tune is based on Rimsky-Korsakov's "Flight of the Bumble Bee".
In 1946, Jack Fina had a hit recording of his "Boogie" version called "Bumble Boogie".
In 1961 it was a hit for B. Bumble And The Stingers.
The Ventures version seems to be a simpler rock version of "Bumble Boogie".
My version is a multi-track recording of me on guitar. Maybe some day I'll revisit it, and try using Band In A Box for some additional instruments.
This tune was a national hit in 1963, by the Boulder, Colorado surf band, The Astronauts
The Bass, Drums and Organ tracks were made with Band In A Box. I play all the guitar parts.
Hawaii Five-O
This tune was the Ventures cover of the theme song written by Morton Stevens for The TV show Hawaii Five-O
I got the background tracks from a midi file I found on the internet. I'd like to give credit to the creator, but the sequencer is listed as "unknown". I play all the guitar parts..
Squad Car
This tune was written by Paul Johnson and popularized by Eddie Bertrand's band, Eddie And The Showmen.
This multi-track recording is all me, so there are no bass or drum tracks.
My version is a little different then most Squad Car covers. I'd say I was mostly influenced by the renditions of The Hodads and 'PJ and Artie' (Paul Johnson and Art Fisher).

Eddie Bertrand and me at the Huntington Beach Surfing Museum

Jeff's Flute Tune
This is a simple tune I came up with to make a recording of one of my homemade flutes.
I made the backup with Band In A Box and my 12-string. I play the melody with my flute and fuzzed out 6-string.
Shootin' The Pier
This is an original "surf" instrumental written by me. I'm playing all the guitar parts. All the other instruments are generated by Band In A Box. You can only hear it here and on the 2008 Compilation.
Long before Jimmy Gilmer joined The Fireballs to record such hits as "Sugar Shack" and "Bottle of Wine", The Fireballs had recorded guitar instrumentals that led Dick Clark, in 1961, to introduce them as "the surf band from Albuquerque, New Mexico". They didn't quite understand what that meant at the time, but George Tomsco's tunes such as "Torquay" and "Bulldog" are still popular in the surf genre nearly 50 years later.

This is my cover of the Venture's cover of The Fireball's "Bulldog".

Me and George Tomsco of The Fireballs at the Baked Potato in Studio City

Out Of Limits
This is my cover of The Marketts instrumental hit, Out of Limits. Another tune that was used in the movie, Pulp Fiction.
I recorded this version with the Fender Mini Twin, a DanElectro delay, a Boss tremelo and a cheap computer mic in about an hour. I spent the afternoon redoing it with much more elaborate equipment, but I decided the quick and dirty version sounded better.
The drum and bass tracks came from a Johnny Walker midi file.
Ginza Lights
This is my cover of another original Ventures tune, “Ginza Lights”. Named for the brightly lit Ginza district of Tokyo. It may have been their first Japanese oriented tune. The Ventures used it as a filler for their 1966 LP, “Go With The Ventures”, but like the ”tail that wagged the dog”, it became a huge hit in Japan, where they are still immensely popular. Words were put to the tune, and you can hear it sung by Masako Izumi and Ken Yamauchi in the videos below.
The Ventures later recorded a reggae version called Ginza Ska. I’ve incorporated some features of both versions in my cover.
I generated the bass and drum tracks with Band in a Box. Everything else is played by me using my Fender Mini Twin, a DanElectro delay, and computer mic.

These are the vocal versions:
Audio with pictures of Ginza at night

Live performance
Theme From The Endless Summer
This is my cover of the "Sandals" theme from the 1966 movie,"The Endless Summer". A documentary film that follows two surfers following the summer sun around the world.

I generated the bass and drum tracks with Band in a Box. Everything else is played by me using my Fender Mini Twin, and DanElectro delay. I also used my 12 string guitar and Boss tremelo pedal for the bridge.

This is my cover of Crystal-T, written by Brian Carman and Ricky Lewis of The Chantays, and also performed by The Duo-Tones (Gil Orr and Paul Johnson).

I generated the organ, bass and drum tracks with Band in a Box. Everything else is played by me using my Fender Mini Twin. Effects pedals used for various parts, include a DanElectro delay, a VOX Valve Tone, and a Boss delay.

Slaughter On 10th Avenue
This is my cover of the Ventures 1964 hit, “Slaughter On 10th Avenue”.
The Ventures rendition is based on the much different sounding ballet of the same name, composed by Richard Rodgers, for the 1936 Broadway musical, “On Your Toes”.
Mine is a multi-track recording, which includes drum, bass, and organ tracks from a midi file of unknown origin. I play all the guitar tracks.

Surfin' And Spyin'
This is my cover of Surfin' And Spyin', written by Charlotte Caffey of the Go'Go's, and recorded by The Go-Go's and The Ventures.

I generated the drum and base tracks with Band in a Box. Everything else is played by me.

Moon Dawg
This is my cover of Moon Dawg, one of the early rock instrumentals that led to the instrumental surf genre of rock music. It was written by Derry Weaver, a member of a group of studio musicians called The Gamblers, and released on World Pacific Records in 1960. Since then, the tune has been covered by countless, well known bands, including The Beach Boys, The Surfaries, The Ventures, and even Paul Revere And The Raiders, all having their own unique spin.

I generated the drum and base tracks with Band in a Box. All the guitar parts are played by me.

Jack The Ripper
This is my cover of Link Wray's 1961 recording of Jack The Ripper. It can be heard in the soundtrack of the 1995 film, "Desperado".
My version is a bit slower than Link's version, and a lot tamer, especially compared to his later performances.

I generated the drum and base tracks with Band in a Box. All the guitar parts are played by me.

Link Wray performing at the City Of Glendale, CA Cruise Night Street Fair - 7/16/05

This is my cover of "The Original Surfaries" cover of Exotic. The Originial Surfaries are not to be confused with Jim Fuller's band, "The Surfaries", of Wipeout fame.
I believe that The Original Surfaries version is a cover recorded by an early 60's surf band, "The Sentinals".

I generated the drum and base tracks with Band in a Box. All the guitar parts are played by me.

California Sun
Written by Henry Glover and Morris Levy, originally recorded by Joe Jones, but the best known version was a cover, recorded by The Rivieras in 1963. Since then it's been covered by countless recording artists, played on TV commericals, and heard in movie soundtracks from the old Annette and Frankie Avalon "Beach Party" movies, to Oliver Stone's biographical film, "The Doors".

This is a little different for me, because this is my first multi-track recording with a vocal track. Don't worry, I'm not singing! The vocal is my decades old friend and neighbor, Jerry McClain. Jerry, along with his musical parter Truett Pratt did the hit recording of the theme song for the TV series "Happy Days.
Pratt And McClain

In my cover, I used the drums and organ tracks from a midi file of unknow origin. All the guitar parts are played by me.

Wild Weekend
This tune originated as a promo song for a DJ, Tom Shannon, on WKBW in Buffalo, NY around 1961. (Click to Hear The Promo). The instrumental version, by the Rockin’ Rebels, became a Top 10 Hit in 1963.

My cover was recorded in two locations. I recorded myself playing the lead and rhythm guitars. I sent my incomplete recording to my friend and sometimes jam buddy, Doug Forbes, a well know “Surf” player here in Southern California.
Doug added the percussion, bass, and another rhythm track.

Gil Orr (left), Me (center), and Paul Johnson

Another treasured picture of me with Paul and Gil

Me and orginal Surfari, Jim Fuller (playing Wipeout on the right)

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