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The Lively Ones: Surf Drums

Album Notes

The Lively Ones: Jim Masoner, Ed Chiaverini (guitar), Joel Willenbring (saxophone), Ron Griffith (electric bass), Tim Fitzpatrick (drums).

Includes original release liner notes by Gene Weed.

The second Lively Ones long-player, Surf Drums (1963), was compiled in much the same way their debut had been created, comparable to the vast majority of rush-released platters of the era. Del-Fi Records owner Bob Keane collected a few of the band's previous singles alongside a variety of already established covers, many of which were concurrent hits for other artists. The instrumental quintet had gained a sizable name for themselves in and around the Orange County, CA, scene, scoring regionally on covers of the Ventures' dynamic "Spudnik" and the Fireballs' effervescent "Rik-A-Tic." The album opens up with a remake of Duane Eddy's mid-tempo, ambling "40 Miles Bad Road." The track is the perfect vehicle for Jim Masoner (guitar) and Joel Willenbring (sax), whose collaborations became an integral ingredient not only in the Lively Ones' sound, but helped to separate them from the plethora of similar units. Providing support for the soloists and rounding out the personnel are solid contributions from Ed Chiaverini (guitar), Ron Griffith (bass), and Tim Fitzpatrick (drums). Despite the dearth of original compositions, the aggregate muscle through some choice overhauls of genre favorites, most notably the soulful strut of the Rockin' Rebels' "Wild Weekend," the high-energy yakety sax on the Belairs' "Mr. Moto" and the analogous rearrangement of "Tuff Surf," an R&B entry from the relatively obscure Nobel Watts. [Surf Drums was reissued and paired with Surf Rider! on a two-fer CD from Collectors' Choice Music in 2004.] ~ Lindsay Planer


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