|Musicians and Patrons Outside During the Open Mic|
John Movius is a great electric guitar and mandolin player who plays this open mic and the Open Mic Rancho San Diego - typically held at the Starbucks in El Cajon. He's one of several performers at these open mics who loves to find songs from the past and bring them to life today by playing them for us.
One of John's selections last week was a surf rock song which I really enjoyed. I fell in love with surf rock at a very early age, when my Uncle Tom would bring me along to see the University of New Hampshire ice hockey team play. Ironic, right? Yes, it's true - my first exposure to music inspired by riding the waves in sunny California at an ice arena in the dead of winter in Durham, New Hampshire. How, you ask? Well to get the fans riled up, the sound man always played the song "Wipeout" as the UNH hockey team came out of the locker room, got on the ice and skated around for their pre-game warm-up. It was the perfect music to get all the UNH fans riled up for the game. "Wipeout" was released by The Surfaris in 1964.
John Movius played an instrumental by The Ventures, whose hey-day was the 1960's. The Ventures had many hit songs, but are probably most widely known today for authoring the original theme song to the TV show Hawaii 5-0. John played a song called "Night Drive," off their fifth LP. You can listen to it on the YouTube video below.
To bring the song that got me into surf rock, "Wipeout," together with the band that created John's cover, The Ventures, here's a video of The Ventures playing "Wipeout" along with Max Weinberg, of Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band and currently Conan O'Brien's TV show. The drumming here is pretty awesome...
The open mic's closer was Greg Gross, who played a bunch of interesting covers. He played Neil Diamond's "Sweet Caroline," but I'm planning on dedicating a whole post to that song, and its relationship with Boston and the Marathon tragedies, on Sunday or Monday.
The other one Greg played that caught my attention was a song that I have loved since I first heard it as a kid. There's something about the guitar riff at the end of the chorus, the overall guitar sound, and the vocal rhythm throughout that has always got me. It's "Secret Agent Man," which was written by Steve Barri, P.F. Sloan, and uses that guitar riff that hooked me, which was originally written by Chuck Day, a guitarist and bluesman from the South Side of Chicago. It was recorded and released by Johnny Rivers in 1966.
Thanks for visiting my blog here, and for reading and watching. I hope you got some enjoyment out of these fun songs!