Camp Chronicles (11): And Now the Glitter Riptide Tiki Surf!

Editor’s Note: These chronicles started out as “letters” from Sierra Surf Music Camp.  But the story was bigger than a letter.  We hope that you are not exhausted yet.  The good news is that we are on the downhill side.

First up for the evening was the Glitter Riptide Tiki Surf.  “Surf Miners” would sound pretty lame and unimaginative next to that.  How about we use GRTS for short?  “GRiTS?”  “GReaTS?”  Nope.  We better stick with Glitter Riptide Tiki Surf.

Coached by Tim Stephenson, the Glitter Rips (how about that?) took the stage.  It included John and his daughters, Greta and Elia, from Oregon.  Elia was the youngest camper at 10 and set up on keyboard stage left.  No keyboard, no garage surf.  Greta had a raspberry Daisy Rock bass and wore some matching clothing and nice pair of Buddy Holly style glasses.  The bass amp was stage left too.

Between Greta and Elia and dressed in black was Kyle, Becky’s and my nephew.  Even though he is a student of Paul the Pyronaut, the music that drives him is one or more of the 956 or 659 or some similarly large number genres of metal.  A Schecter Omen is his guitar.  Humbuckers and bats for neck markers.  Not very surfy.  But he was on stage and ready to go.

On the far stage right was Greg, who is a truly hard core Dick Dale fan.  Decked out in pegged denim pants and a black sleeveless Dick Dale tee, he proudly hung a gold Strat from his shoulder.  That guitar displayed Dick Dale’s autograph.  Over years of Dick Dale or Pyronaut shows, Greg always wears Dick Dale apparel. 

Tim walked up to the microphone and announced, “This is the Glitter Riptide Tiki Surf.  Nobody can beat that name.  Pipeline!”  He took the drum throne.  John started the opening glissando.  The concert was underway.

Following “Pipeline,” the rest of the Glitter Ripped Tikis executed well-choreographed bowing down moves while Greg played a double-picked solo intro for their next song.  He put his all into this tribute to the King of the Surf Guitar.  John shifted to drums -- his instrument by education and training.  Greta launched the recognizable bass line to “Peter Gunn.”

Kyle soloed.  His dad and Becky stood up, cheered and applauded.  Because he understood it musically, he was able to make the song his own.  When he missed a part, he had the wherewithal to wait for that ever-present bass line to come around again.  “Peter Gunn” is a song for second chances and patience.  Quite impressive for his first ever public appearance as a musician.

Elia punctuated the end to “Peter Gunn” with a bit on the keyboard.  Applause.  Cheers.  Becky was texting the world before the Glitter Riptide Tiki Surf was off the stage.  She had wireless.

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