Friday, July 22, 2005

Nature Boy and Friends: Surfer John/John, John (Bertram International 45-255)

This little item comes from a fairly prolific label that operated out of Hawaii. You'll notice from the songwriting credits that Eden Ahbez, Del Fi's answer to Martin Denny, wrote both songs, so that leads me to believe that he's involved in playing them as well. If you're expecting something like Martin Denny, though, you're bound to be disappointed. "John, John" starts out as an interesting, fast paced instrumental with surf guitar and a neat piano riff, but then deteriorates into brass quoting "Battle Hymm of the Republic" among others. And a chorus sings "John, John" throughout. As often happens, the good one's buried on the B: "Surfer John" opens with chick vocals bellowing out the following stanza:

John, John, Surfer John,
He was not afraid to die,
John, John, Surfer John,
He flew one wave too high.

But that's all you get for a story, which is repeated a couple more times. The rest is a snappy beat in which to lay down some neat surf guitar and eerie piano. See what happens when you flip the record over?

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