Psychedelic-Rock'n'roll: Pop Surf Culture: Music, Design, Film, and Fashion from the Bohemian Surf Boom

11 April 2012

Pop Surf Culture:
Music, Design, Film, and Fashion from the Bohemian Surf Boom



Pop Surf Culture: Music, Design, Film, and Fashion from the Bohemian Surf Boom
Brian Chidester and Domenic Priore,
272 pages, Santa Monica Press 2008

From original beachcomber personalities like the Waikiki Beachboys to the rise of Venice Beach as a creative center for music, art, and film, "Pop Surf Culture" traces the roots of the surf boom and explores its connection to the Beat Generation and 1960s Pop culture. Through accounts of key figures both obscure and popular, the book illustrates why Surf culture is a vital art movement of the 20th century.
"Pop Surf Culture" includes essays about the popular "beach" movies of the 1950s and 1960s, which featured such stars as "Annette Funicello" and "Frankie Avalon" and the music of "Dick Dale and His Del-Tones", "Brian Wilson", "The Pyramids", "Gary Usher", "James Brown", and "Little Stevie Wonder".


Sixties art figures "Michael Dormer" and "Rick Griffin"—as well as the Surf magazines which promoted their art—are featured alongside the progenitors of "Surf music", from the little known ("The Centurians") to the wildly popular ("The Beach Boys").
The writing is workmanlike, but the visuals are superb.


Record sleeves, vintage paperbacks and kooky ephemera like printed instructions for the Surfer's Stomp dance liven up the pages.
The brief heyday of surf-oriented L.A. nightspots like the "Peppermint Stick", "The Deauville Castle Club" and "The Cinnamon Cinder", emceed by "Bob Eubanks" are also spotlighted in this treasure-trove.

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