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|Origin||Glendora, California, U.S.|
|Years active||1962–1966, 1973, 1976, 1981–2017 for the actual Surfaris band led by Jim Fuller. Bob Berryhill’s Surfaris began in late 2000|
|Labels||DFS, Princess, Dot, Decca, GNP Crescendo, MGM Records|
The Surfaris are an American surf rock band formed in Glendora, California, United States, in 1962. They are best known for two songs that hit the charts in the Los Angeles area, and nationally by May 1963: "Surfer Joe" and "Wipe Out", which were the A-side and B-side of the same 45 rpm single.
The Surfaris were inducted into the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum in 2019 for their hit instrumental song, "Wipe Out".
In the fall of 1962, Southern California high school students Jim Fuller and Pat Connolly competed against Bob Berryhill in a local talent show and were wanting to create a band. Fuller and Connolly called Berryhill one day to ask if he wanted to practice, since he had an amp. After practicing the two told Berryhill they were going meet with drummer Ron Wilson at a high school dance. After adding Wilson then Berryhill the band was set. That night they played their first dance at Pomona Catholic High School after a football game. "Wipe Out" was written and recorded by the quartet later that winter, with the song reaching No. 2 nationally in 1963 before becoming an international # 1 hit.
Wilson's energetic drum solo made "Wipe Out" one of the best-remembered instrumental songs of the period. "Wipe Out" is also remembered particularly for its introduction. Before the music starts, Berryhill's dad found a piece of plywood in back of the studio and Pat broke the board (imitating a breaking surf board) over the mic, followed by a maniacal laugh and the words "Wipe Out" spoken by band manager Dale Smallin. After needing a second song to record, Jim Fuller had been working on a guitar riff for almost a month for a song he was writing named "Switchblade". They used the guitar riff and used a sped up Charter Oak High School drum cadence and "Wipe Out" was born and recorded studio by the four original members (Berryhill, Connolly, Fuller, and Wilson). It was initially issued on the tiny DFS label (#11/12) in January 1963. It was reissued on the tiny Princess label (#50) in February 1963. It was picked up by Dot (45-16479) in April 1963, and reissued as Dot 45–144 in April 1965. It sold over one million copies and was awarded a gold disc.
Following the death of television personality Morton Downey Jr., news reports and obituaries incorrectly credited him as the composer of "Wipe Out" (as well as the Chantays' "Pipeline"). As of 2010[update], Downey's official website continued to make this claim but it has been changed to state he "also played major roles in the production of the hit surf music-era songs "Pipeline" and "Wipeout" which was not the case."
Disbanding and reformation
The band released a series of records, with two other singles, "Surfer Joe" (written and sung by Wilson) and "Point Panic" (another group-composed instrumental), having an impact on the charts. Point Panic is a renowned surfing venue in Hawaii after which the song was named.
The original 1963 membership remained intact until August 1965 when Connolly departed before their Japanese tour. Ken Forssi replaced him on bass for the tour. Fuller resigned after the tour and the band folded in early 1966. Forssi died from a brain tumor in 1998. Ken Forssi joined the group and was the bass player for their "It Ain't Me, Babe" LP recorded at Capitol Records in Studio A in late Spring and early Summer of 1965.
Pat Connolly left the music business in 1965.
Ron Wilson died of a brain aneurysm on May 12, 1989, one month short of his 45th birthday. Wilson had released an album of his songs, entitled Lost In The Surf, on Bennet House Records of Grass Valley, California, which was recorded in June 1987. A very small number of cassettes of this album were produced. Lost in the Surf included a cover of "Louie Louie", complete with Scottish bagpipes.
Jim Pash, who played saxophone in the earlier formation and was later a guitarist, died April 29, 2005, of heart failure at age 56.
Jim Fuller played with the Surfaris starting in the 1980s with Pash and Berryhill. In 1983 Berryhill left because neither Pash nor Fuller wanted Berryhill's wife, Gene to join the band as bassist. By the mid-'80s, Fuller's The Surfaris added new players, such as Kelly Lammers, Robert Watson, Jay Truax, Paul Johnson (Mr. Moto), and Dave Raven, among others. These members were all concurrent with Fuller's own side band, Jim Fuller and the Beatnik, until his passing on March 3, 2017, in Monrovia, California at age 69.
After leaving the band, Berryhill became a teacher until late 2000, when he created a new band with his family and named it The Surfaris. Now the last original member playing professionally, Berryhill performs worldwide as The Surfaris with his wife Gene Berryhill and sons, Deven and Joel Berryhill. In 2003, Berryhill's band re-recorded "Wipe Out" and eight original songs, which is what he wanted to do for the first "Wipe Out" session in 1962. At the time, the boys just 15 and 17 years old were forced to play other writers' songs, not by The Surfaris, which were later replaced by the company's players while The Surfaris were on tour. Lawsuits ensued in favor of The Surfaris. In 2015, Berryhill recorded and released a critically acclaimed album entitled The Surfaris Hurley Sessions.
- Jim Fuller – lead guitar (1962-1966; 1981-2017 died 2017)
- Pat Connolly – bass (1962-1965),
- Ron Wilson – vocals, drums (1962-1966; died 1989)
- Jim Pash – saxophone, guitar (1963-1966, 1981–2005; died 2005)
- Bob Berryhill – rhythm guitar (1962-1966) Lead guitar (1966-current)
- Ken Forssi – bass (1965-1966)
- Jay Truax – bass (1984 - current)
- Rob Watson - Keyboards
- Dave Raven - Drums
- Dusty Watson - Drums
- Paul Johnson - Lead Guitar
- Ron Eglit - Rhythm Guitar
- Kelly Lammers - Guitar (1973, 81' - 84)
The Surfaris featuring Bob Berryhill
- Bob Berryhill – lead guitar
- Deven Berryhill – vocals, rhythm guitar
- Gene Berryhill – bass
- Joel Berryhill – vocals, drums
- 1963: Wipe Out (Dot DLP-3535/DLP-25535)
- 1963: Play (Decca DL-4470/DL-74470)
- 1964: Hit City '64 (Decca DL-4487/DL-74487)
- 1964: Fun City U.S.A. (Decca DL-4560/DL-74560)
- 1965: Hit City '65 (Decca DL-4614/DL-74614)
- 1965: It Ain't Me, Babe (Decca DL-4683/DL-74683)
- 1983: Surf Party! The Best of The Surfaris Live! [rec. 1981] (Koinkidink KWK-102; CD reissue: GNP Crescendo GNPD-2239, 1994)
- 2003: Basic Tracks by Jim Fuller's Surfaris (Got It Records #0101)
- 2005: Wipe Out by Bob Berryhill's Surfaris (Calvary Chapel Music #6021)
- 2006: Street Party by Jim Fuller's Surfaris (Heyday Records #35753)
- 2015: Hurley Sessions by Bob Berryhill's Surfaris (Salt Talk Music #41662)
- 4/63: "Wipe Out" // "Surfer Joe" (DFS 11/12; Princess 50; Dot 16479)
- 9/63: "Point Panic" // "Waikiki Run" (Decca 31538)
- 11/63: "Santa's Speed Shop" // "A Surfer's Christmas List" (Decca 31561)
- 12/63: "Scatter Shield" // "I Wanna Take a Trip to the Islands" (Decca 31581)
- 3/64: "Go Go Go for Louie's Place" // "Murphy the Surfie" (Decca 31605)
- 6/64: "Dune Buggy" // "Boss Barracuda" (Decca 31641)
- 10/64: "Karen" // "Hot Rod High" (Decca 31682)
- 1/65: "Beat '65" // "Black Denim" (Decca 31731)
- 5/65: "Theme Of The Battle Maiden" // "Somethin' Else" (Decca 31784)
- 7/65: "You Can't Sit Down" // "Surfer Joe" (Dot 16757)
- 8/65: "Catch a Little Ride With Me" // "Don't Hurt My Little Sister" (Decca 31835)
- 4/66: "So Get Out" // "Hey Joe Where Are You Going" (Decca 31954)
- 8/66: "I'm a Hog for You" // "Wipe Out" (Decca 32003)
- 10/66: "Show Biz" // "Chicago Green" (Dot 16966)
- 4/67: "Search" // "Shake" (Dot 17008)
- 1973: Yesterday's Pop Scene: The Surfaris – Wipe Out!
- 1974: Wipe Out, Surfer Joe and Other Great Hits
- 1976: Surfers Rule
- 1977: Gone with the Wave
- 1982: The History of Surf Music – Vol. 1: The Instrumental Hits 1961–1963
- 1984: Wipe Out: 20 Instrumental Greats
- 1987: Wipe Out (The Singles Album 1963–1967)
- 1987: The Best of 60s Surf (Original Master Recordings)
- 1989: Surfin' Hits
- 1989: Surfin' Sixties (Baby Boomer Classics)
- 1990: Fun City U.S.A. / Play (Repertoire)
- 1991: Guitar Player Presents...Legends Of Guitar: Surf – Vol. 1
- 1994: Wipe Out! The Best of the Surfaris
- 1994: Rock Instrumental Classics – Vol. 5: Surf
- 1995: Pulp Rock Instros – Vol. 1
- 1995: Surfaris Stomp
- 1995: Revenge of the Surf Instrumentals
- 1996: Cowabunga! The Surf Box Set
- 1996: Teen Beat – Vol. 3
- 1996: Let's Go Trippin' (Classic Tracks from the Surf & Hot Rod Era)
- 1996: Surf Crazy: Original Surfin' Hits
- 1996: Jenny McCarthy's Surfin' Safari
- 1997: Guitar Heroes
- 1997: Hot Rod Presents...Big Boss Instrumentals
- 1997: Kahuna Classics: A Collection of Surf Music
- 1998: Hard Rock Cafe – Surf
- 1998: Surf! Sand! Sun!
- 1998: Surfers Rule / Gone with the Wave (BGO)
- 1999: Wipe Out / Play (BGO)
- 2000: KFJC 89.7 – Water Logged
- 2000: Teen Beat – Vol. 5
- 2003: Lost Legends of Surf Guitar – Vol. 2: Point Panic!
- 2005: Hit City '64 / Fun City U.S.A. (BGO)
- Colin Larkin, ed. (1997). The Virgin Encyclopedia of Popular Music (Concise ed.). Virgin Books. p. 1155. ISBN 1-85227-745-9.
- "The Surfaris - Bio". Thesurfaris.com. Retrieved 15 June 2021.
- Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2nd ed.). London: Barrie and Jenkins Ltd. p. 167. ISBN 0-214-20512-6.
- "Morton Downey Jr. Dies". CBS News. March 13, 2001.
- "Morton Downey Jr.'s Home Page". Mortondowneyjr.com. Archived from the original on October 1, 2011. Retrieved 2011-10-31.
- "Jim Fuller, 'Wipe Out' Guitarist with Surfaris, Dies". Best Classic Bands. Retrieved March 20, 2017.
- "Surfaris Guitarist Jim Fuller Dead at 69". Ultimate Classic Rock. Retrieved 15 June 2021.
- Rosen, Jody (25 June 2019). "Here Are Hundreds More Artists Whose Tapes Were Destroyed in the UMG Fire". The New York Times. Retrieved 28 June 2019.