The Surfaris Biography

Formed in Glendora, California, in 1962, the Surfaris - Jim Fuller (lead guitar), Jim Pash (1949, USA, d. 29 April 2005, Yucca Valley, USA; guitar), Bob Berryhill (guitar), Pat Connolly (bass) and Ron Wilson (d. 1989; drums) - achieved international success the following year with ‘Wipe Out’. This frantic yet simplistic instrumental, originally envisaged as a throwaway b-side, is recognized as one of the definitive surfing anthems. Controversy arose when the Surfaris discovered that the music gracing their debut album was, in fact, played by a rival group, the Challengers. However, despite their understandable anger, such backroom machinations remained rife throughout the quintet’s career. Their third album, Hit City ’64, introduced a partnership with producer Gary Usher, who employed a team of experienced session musicians on ensuing Surfaris’ releases. In 1965 the group abandoned beach and hot-rod themes for folk rock. Wilson had developed into an accomplished lead singer and with Ken Forssi (b. Cleveland, Ohio, USA, d. 5 January 1998, USA) replacing Connolly on bass, the Surfaris completed the promising It Ain’t Me Babe. The contract with Usher ended and the group broke up when the last remaining original member, Jim Pash, left the line-up. Newcomer Forssi then joined Love, and although no other member achieved similar success, the Surfaris’ name was resurrected in 1981 when they performed at Disneyland. Various line-ups of the group have continued to play live ever since.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

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