Friday, July 16, 2010

The Turtles - "Surfer Dan"


The Turtles - "Surfer Dan"
B-side of "Elenore" 45
(White Whale, 1968)

What a great hotrod song - I think Baltimore's retro-stylists Garage Sale should cover it!

I only recently discovered this Turtles B-side on the greatest hits compilation Turtle Tracks that Flo & Eddie (Mark Volman and Howard Kaylan) sell exclusively at their live shows (and which my girlfriend Amy wisely picked up - and got signed by the boys, too! - when they performed at the 2010 Dundalk Heritage Fair). It also appeared on their 1968 The Turtles Present the Battle of the Bands LP. The Turtles had some badass B-sides - hmmm...come to think of it, Garage Sale could do a mean cover of "Buzzsaw" (the B-side of The Turtles' "You Showed Me" 45), too!

The Turtles started out in 1965 as a surf-rock group called Crossfires from the Planet Mars and on "Surfer Dan" they not only return to their roots but also update the early '60s hotrod-surfer lexicon to (tongue-in-cheekily) reflect the changing times of the flower-powery late '60s with lines like "He's a gremmie Maharishi in his baggies and beads." The result, like Surfer Dan, is so cool it knows it's cool.

Watch/listen to "Elenore/Surfer Dan" (YouTube)



"Surfer Dan" Lyrics:

Moving so fast you can't see him go by

Everybody's talking bout Surfer Dan
Doheny to Nirvana in his Chevy Sedan
Moving so fast you can't see him go by
(ooh....)

He's a gremmie Mahareshi in his baggies and beads
Super Stock surfer jock down to his knees
He's so ripped he can't see you go by

Surfer Dan someone that everyone knows
(he's so cool you know his cool is cool)
27 girls follow wherever he goes

Everybody's looking for Surfer Dan
Skinny Minnie, mom & dad and Uncle Sam
He's so cool they can't see him go by

SOLO (Whahooo, Wah, Wah Wahooo..)

Surfer Dan someone that everyone knows
(he's so cool you know his cool is cool)
27 girls follow wherever he goes
(Boss, Stoked, Groovy)

Everybody's talking bout Surfer Dan
Doheny to Nirvana in his Chevy Sedan
Moving so fast you can't see him go by
He's so ripped He can't see You go by
He's so cool you can't see him go by

Surfer Dan 6x

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