Sunday, July 13, 2008

Soundtracks For Summer: Wipe Out

Part 6 in my "Soundtracks For Summer" Series.

This song doesn't really need an introduction:

This song is simply not only a staple of summer, it's probably the stapler of Summer songs. It just wouldn't be summer without this one.

Originally recorded in 1962 by the Surfaris, it's also the first song in this series to be completely instrumental, save for the creepy laugh at the beginning. As the previous Soundtracks For Summer songs had all been slow-paced and relaxing, we finally feature a song that's much more vibrant and action-packed. It makes me want to go to the beach right now and hit on some hotties, but it's 2 in the afternoon and I should be at work by now.

One of the more famous songs of the "Surf Rock" genre, this ditty always seems to be played over stock footage of people surfing through 30 foot tall pipelines for some ungodly reason. But hey, it was the 60's, and Surfers were cool back then. Now they're just annoying and make crappy pseudo-reality shows that people are forced to watch because the other pseudo-surfing shows are all in reruns. You just magically transport to some beach in Hawaii with a martini served in a tiny Tiki Idol Head in your hand upon the song's initial notes. Hey, it's Hawaii, and you somehow got there from hearing it on Youtube. I say live it up. Just don't bring the Tiki head cup home with you. A spider might crawl on you in your sleep and Vincent Price might be hiding in a cave somewhere. Family of 9 going to Hawaii on a 60's Architect's salary my ass.

One of my favorite parts of the song is that great drum solo. It's vibrant, hard-pounding, and can be imitated anywhere. Whenever you feel the urge, just take some pencils and start banging them on the edge of a table to get the sound just right. Unfortunately, if you do it in a room full of people who aren't stoned at the moment might think something's off and they'll try to take your pencils away. Good thing that they're not sharpened or else impromptu knife games would begin after that.

Since this song's inception, it's been covered by a slew of people, most notably The Fat Boys with The Beach Boys, The Ventures, and, oh yeah, this guy:

Jerry Phillips, more commonly known as "The Manualist." That man can do no wrong whatsoever. Now, if he'll play "Hotel California," then I've got myself another entry.

Speaking of another entry, I'm also taking reader requests for "Soundtracks For Summer" entries. Just pop me an email at with what song(s) you like, and why they define "summer" for you like what I just did.


JoshC said...

Ahh wipeout.
One of the first surf rock songs I learned to play on guitar.

I had a hospital room mate in 2001 who loved to play that drum solo on his lunch tray.
Everyday for two months.
I don't miss him.

DC said...

Good old Wipeout! I had forgotten about this song. Definitely one for the summer.

Anonymous said...

good song. I always thought that the ventures were the first. Whoops!