News for the ‘The Trashmen’ Category

Song of the Day by Eric Berman – The Jukebox Series #32 – The Trashmen: “Surfin’ Bird” b/w The Castaways “Liar Liar” – Eric 45 RPM Single 247 (E4/F4)

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Song of the Day by Eric Berman – The Jukebox Series #32 – The Trashmen: “Surfin’ Bird” b/w The Castaways “Liar Liar” – Eric 45 RPM Single 247 (E4/F4)

Today’s jukebox classic is a near-perfect pairing of two garage rock classics by two different artists on one solid 45 RPM record (and on the Eric label, no less). One side gives us the stompin’ “Surfin’ Bird,” a song that set ‘60s frat parties into motion by The Trashmen. It is paired with another garage classic on the flip, The Castaways’ one-hit wonder “Liar Liar,” in all its primal glory.

The Trashmen’s “Surfin’ Bird” was itself an amalgam of two other hits originally by The Rivingtons, one being “Papa-Oom-Mow-Mow,” and the other, “The Bird Is The Word.” The Trashmen took the chorus to both Rivington songs and strung them together to make this nonsensical garage rock classic. When the record came out, the songwriting was credited to the group’s singer and drummer Steve Wahrer whose idea it was to string the two songs together. After legal representatives from The Rivingtons’ camp contacted The Trashmen, later copies of the single gave The Rivingtons sole writing credit of the song.

The Trashmen formed in Minneapolis in 1962 and consisted of Tony Andreason on lead guitar and vocals, Dal Winslow on guitar and vocals, Steve Wahrer on drums and vocals and Bob Reed on bass guitar. Along with “Surfin’ Bird,” they placed five other singles in the charts including “Bird Dance Beat” which climbed to #30 in 1964.

The song has been covered by the likes of The Ramones, Silverchair, The Cramps and Pee Wee Herman who sang it in the movie Back To The Beach. It has also been awarded screen time in the movies E.T., Full Metal Jacket and in John Waters’ classic cult film Pink Flamingoes.

Most recently, the song was used in a 2009 episode of Family Guy which brought the track back to the #50 position on UK singles charts, and #10 on the iTunes chart. It was also the subject of a Facebook campaign to send the song up the UK charts in 2010 in order to keep the winner of X-Factor off the top of the charts during the Christmas season. The campaign resulted in the song’s highest chart position of #3. The group broke up in 1967, but reformed in the 1980s and have toured on and off in some form ever since.

On the flip of today’s double A-sided single is another garage classic, “Liar Liar” by the one-hit-wonder garage rock group The Castaways. The Castaways were also from Minnesota and consisted of James Donna on keyboards, Robert Folschow and Dick Roby on guitar, Roy Hensley on bass and Dennis Craswell on drums.

The group formed to play frat parties where today’s song became popular enough to allow the group to record and release the track on the Soma record label. It is Folschow’s falsetto that is heard on the single which climbed up to the #12 position of the singles charts in 1965. The group became so popular on the heels of this song, that they performed it in the 1967 beach movie It’s A Bikini World.

The song was also used in the films Good Morning Vietnam and Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, and was covered by Debbie Harry of Blondie in 1988 for the film Married To The Mob. Harry’s version climbed to #14 on the Modern Rock charts. The group still exists today with James Donna the only original member.

“The Jukebox Series” focuses on the 80 records that inhabit my 1963 Seeburg LPC1 jukebox. I’ve had my jukebox (or as I like to call it “the prehistoric iPod”) for a little over 14 years and in that time I’d like to think that I’ve perfected the mix of 45s within.

Edited: May 19th, 2015

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – The Thanksgiving Trifecta

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – The Thanksgiving Trifecta #1 – “Alice’s Restaurant Massacree” by Arlo Guthrie

It wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without Arlo’s classic 1967 shaggy dog story of a bunch of hippies doin’ their best to lend a hand to a friend by disposing some garbage on Thanksgiving.  It’s a true story about a true Alice…in fact; my Aunt’s sister was good friends with the real Alice back in the day! 

What starts off as a silly story about disposing garbage turns comically serious when it gets around to the draft.  Enjoy and have a safe, happy and thankful Thanksgiving!


 

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – The Thanksgiving Trifecta #2 – “Surfin’ Bird” by The Trashmen

This single was most recently an installment from my Jukebox Series of postings, however on Thanksgiving, BIRD IS THE WORD!

Yes, I’ve played the “Alice’s Restaurant Massacree” by Arlo Guthrie every Thanksgiving ever since I was a little kid…and I will force my family to sit through it again tomorrow. However, aside from, perhaps, selections from the musical Bye Bye Birdie, I can’t seem to think of a more appropriate song for Thanksgiving…so as we give thanks, think about what you’re eating…Bird is the Word.


 

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – The Thanksgiving Trifecta #3 – “Dinner Bell” by They Might Be Giants

Choosing the perfect Thanksgiving Song Of The Day is not an easy task.

In the past, I’ve done the obvious with the all-American standby, “Alice’s Restaurant Massacree” by Arlo Guthrie. It’s something I’ve listened to every year on Thanksgiving ever since I was a kid, and I will be spinning it again (on vinyl, of course) sometime tomorrow.

One year I went total novelty and chose “Turkey Lurkey Time” from the Bacharach/David musical Promises, Promises which went over like picked over leftovers when posted. I was considering “Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)” by Sly & The Family Stone for a while, with its theme of thanks and that whole family angle via The Family Stone, but decided to shift gears a little to look at the holiday differenty…at least musically.

So this year, we’re gonna celebrate what we’re all gathering round the table for today: dinner! And what better way to start the celebration than with They Might Be Giant’s “Dinner Bell” from their classic Apollo 18 album. The song has always been a favorite of mine with its secret-weapon-of-a-counter-melody sung by John Linnell listing the things he either doesn’t want to eat, or what he would rather be having.

It gets right down to the heart of the matter this year, which is families and friends coming together for a meal and perhaps a prayer…so here’s hoping that the “Dinner Bell” is ringing joyously around your table tonight.

Edited: November 27th, 2013

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – The Jukebox Series #32 – The Trashmen: “Surfin’ Bird” b/w The Castaways “Liar Liar” – Eric 45 RPM Single 247 (E4/F4)

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Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – The Jukebox Series #32 – The Trashmen: “Surfin’ Bird” b/w The Castaways “Liar Liar” – Eric 45 RPM Single 247 (E4/F4)

“The Jukebox Series” focuses on the 80 records that inhabit my 1963 Seeburg LPC1 jukebox. I’ve had my jukebox (or as I like to call it “the prehistoric iPod”) for a little over twelve years and in that time I’d like to think that I’ve perfected the mix of 45s within.

Today’s jukebox classic is a near-perfect pairing of two garage rock classics by two different artists on one solid 45 RPM record. One side gives us the stompin’ “Surfin’ Bird,” a song that set ‘60s frat parties into motion by The Trashmen. It is paired with another garage classic on the flip, The Castaways’ one-hit wonder “Liar Liar,” in all its primal glory.

The Trashmen’s “Surfin’ Bird” was itself an amalgam of two other hits originally by The Rivingtons, one being “Papa-Oom-Mow-Mow,” and the other, “The Bird Is The Word.” The Trashmen took the chorus to both Rivington songs and strung them together to make this nonsensical garage rock classic. When the record came out, the songwriting was credited to the group’s singer and drummer Steve Wahrer whose idea it was to string the two songs together. After legal representatives from The Rivingtons’ camp contacted The Trashmen, later copies of the single gave The Rivingtons sole writing credit of the song.

The Trashmen formed in Minneapolis in 1962 and consisted of Tony Andreason on lead guitar and vocals, Dal Winslow on guitar and vocals, Steve Wahrer on drums and vocals and Bob Reed on bass guitar. Along with “Surfin’ Bird,” they placed five other singles in the charts including “Bird Dance Beat” which climbed to #30 in 1964.

The song has been covered by the likes of The Ramones, Silverchair, The Cramps and Pee Wee Herman who sang it in the movie Back To The Beach. It was also awarded screen time in the movies E.T., Full Metal Jacket and in John Waters’ classic cult film Pink Flamingoes.

Most recently, the song was used in a 2009 episode of Family Guy which brought the track back to the #50 position on UK singles charts, and #10 on the iTunes chart. It was also the subject of a Facebook campaign to send the song up the UK charts in 2010, in order to keep the winner of X-Factor off the top of the charts during the Christmas season. The campaign resulted in the song’s highest chart position of #3. The group broke up in 1967, but reformed in the 1980s and have toured on and off in some form ever since.

On the flip of today’s double A-sided single is another garage classic, “Liar Liar” by the one-hit-wonder garage rock group The Castaways. The Castaways were also from Minnesota and consisted of James Donna on keyboards, Robert Folschow and Dick Roby on guitar, Roy Hensley on bass and Dennis Craswell on drums.

The group formed to play frat parties where today’s song became popular enough to allow the group to record and release the track on the Soma record label. It is Folschow’s falsetto that is heard on the single which climbed up to the #12 position of the singles charts in 1965. The group performed the song in the 1967 beach movie It’s A Bikini World.

The song was also used in the films Good Morning Vietnam and Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, and was covered by Debbie Harry of Blondie in 1988 for the film Married To The Mob. Harry’s version climbed to #14 on the Modern Rock charts. The group still exists today with James Donna the only original member.

Oh, and as for the reissue label of today’s jukebox classic, you really can’t go wrong with a label named Eric…

Edited: November 19th, 2013