Heavy Surf! Opening for the Best Surf Band in the World

Heavy Surf! arrived.  It was a surf music fan’s delight.  Somebody wrote on Facebook, “It was one of the funnest nights ever!”

Our job was to engage the audience and put some energy into the room to ready them for the Sneaky Tikis, the Pyronauts, and Slacktone -- the best surf band in the world. 

Despite knowing that Slacktone would play “Surf Party” in its encore, we decided to take a page from John Blair’s book and open with the song.  I leaned into the microphone, reached down for a radio voice, and announced, “We are the Lava Pups.  Are you ready to party?”

The audience cheered.  I continued, “What kind of party?”  The audience knew where we wanted to go and shouted back, “Surf party!”  Glenn pounded out two bars, and our set was underway.

We rolled through our set and pulled out all stops.  We managed to get some of the audience out of their chairs to dance.  I had arranged for Defender Jon to play the siren for the introduction to “Squad Car.”  But when the time came, he had handed off the job to somebody else who was busy doing something else.  So I walked over, picked up the siren, and cranked it.  Amazingly, I managed to pull off the multitasking.

As we played, the Pyronauts arrived from an afternoon at the Loomis Eggplant Festival.  Prior to October 6, I never knew that Loomis was such an eggplant growing hotbed that it hosted an Eggplant Festival.  Of course, in reality, who knows or has even thought about where eggplant is grown?

During our set, Slacktone entered the Beach Hut Deli.  When I realized that Dave Wronski -- the best surf guitarist in the world -- was watching us play, I almost lost track of what I was doing and where I was in the song.  Wow, this was living out the fantasy of strutting our stuff before the guys who set the bar against which surf music is measured.

We finished with our Link Wray medley.  I turned to Glenn.  We pushed the tempo.  Faster, faster, faster.  I raised the neck of my guitar, made a semi-jump (one of those things where an old guy almost leaves the floor), and hit an A chord.  We ended together.

“Thank you.  3 of 4 is next.  Then the Fourth Wave sensations, the Sneaky Tikis followed by Auburn’s own Pyronauts.  And then the best surf band in the world . . . Slacktone!”  The audience was energized and applauded.

Our job was done.  We unplugged, put away our instruments, and headed off for sandwiches and beers.  We joined the audience which had grown during our set.  Another 4 hours of music lie ahead.

By the time that Slacktone got to “Surf Party,” almost nobody would remember that that was how we opened.  And those who did knew that the two versions of the song were completely different.  Dave Wronski’s skills are other worldly, and Slacktone's “Surf Party” is truly unique.  From beginning to end, this surf party had been -- in the words from Facebook -- "one of the funnest nights ever!"

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