The Bel-Airs

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The Belairs
OriginLos Angeles County, California, United States
GenresSurf rock
Years active1961 (1961)–1963 (1963)
(1986 reunion)
Associated actsThe Challengers, Eddie & the Showmen

The Bel-Airs were an early and influential surf rock band from South Bay, Los Angeles, active in the early 1960s.[1]

They were best known for their 1961 hit "Mr. Moto", an instrumental surf rock song that featured a flamenco-inspired intro and contained a melodic piano interlude. The song's theme was used in the solo for the song "Seed" by Sublime.

Upon splitting up, guitarist Eddie Bertrand formed Eddie & the Showmen in 1964, while guitarist Paul Johnson joined Cat Mother & the All Night Newsboys in 1970. Original Bel-Airs drummer Dick Dodd joined Bertrand in Eddie & the Showmen, and later joined the Standells, playing drums and singing lead on their major 1966 hit, "Dirty Water".[2] Richard Delvy replaced Dick Dodd on drums and went on to found the surf group the Challengers.

Johnson has continued in music, both in recording and as a performer. Among other music associations, he has been a member of the "Jim Fuller version" of the Surfaris since 1990.[3] Bertrand also continued in music, touring as Eddie and the Soundwaves, among other performance configurations.[4] Dodd has participated in various reunions and later recordings of the Standells.[5]

Eddie Bertrand died of cancer in November 2012.[6]

Band members[edit]

  • Paul Johnson (guitar)
  • Eddie Bertrand (guitar)
  • Richard Delvy (drums, replacing Dick Dodd)
  • George Dumeshousen (drums)
  • Dick Dodd (drums)
  • Chas Stuart (saxophone)
  • Steve Lotto (bass and vocals)
  • Jim Roberts (piano)
  • Art Fisher (lead guitar), replacing Eddie Bertrand

Published recording[edit]

  • " Mr Moto" b/w "LITTLE BROWN JUG" (7" vinyl Label/Cat #: Arvee A-5034, 1961)
  • " Charlie Chan" b/w "Baggies" ("Lucky" Token 107, 1964)


  1. ^ Allmusic
  2. ^ Dodd became both the lead singer and drummer of The Standells: see Profile of The Standells;
  3. ^ "Surfari Section - Paul Johnson's Guitar Heaven".
  4. ^ See Chris MacDonald, Surf Museum "sizzles" with summer concert; Undated news release and video in relation to Huntington Beach International Surfing Museum.
  5. ^ See The Standells.
  6. ^ "Influential surf guitarist Eddie Bertrand of the Bel-Airs dies". Los Angeles Times. 2012-11-02. Retrieved 2012-11-02.

External links[edit]