Thursday, June 11, 2015

TBT: Jan & Dean, "Sidewalk Surfin' "

It's not officially summer for another ten days or so, but it sure feels like it already, so here's some summer music. Well, truth be told, this song actually charted in October of 1964, a time I remember well. I had just started my higher academic career at the University of South Florida, and there was a guy there; a tall, slender, blond guy; who had something I'd never seen before: a skateboard. He'd ride it around campus; the local terrain was slightly hilly, so he had lengths of sidewalk he could skate down.

"Sidewalk Surfin' " was Messrs Berry and Torrence's attempt to expand the demographic for surf music into more urban territory. As the story goes, Jan Berry tried to write a song about skateboarding, which was just becoming popular at the time, but came up blank. He turned to his friend Brian Wilson who, with his lyricist partner Roger Christian, came up with a song to the tune of the Beach Boys' then recent hit "Catch a Wave".

Bust yer buns!

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