Let’s start with the Surf Punks[rev_slider alias=”surf-punks”]
Their subsequent first album, an independent release on their own label, Day Glo Records, garnered them enough airplay on the then fledgling L.A. alternative radio station KROQ to lead to a re-release of the album on Epic Records in 1980, and the release of two further albums, Locals Only and Oh No, Not Them Again on Enigma, with Mark Miller, keyboard player Jerry Weber and lifeguard/guitarist Andy Jackson. Surf Punk members Dennis Dragon and Tony Creed/”Hulk” also provided the theme song to KLOS Shock Jock Frazer Smith’s signature show bumper, “Cool Patrol”. Frazier’s pushing the band to heavy rotation on KROQ was largely responsible for them selling out their first live performance ever at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium. The Surf Punks were road managed from 1980 to 1983 by Michael Parenti (the artist, http://artificialeyes.tv , not Michael Parenti the political writer), who also provided many of the T-shirt designs for the band. At one time, rock legend Johnny Rivers showed interest in the band by co-producing with Dennis a single titled “Surfs Up Medley”, released on his own Soul City label. TV Producer Chris Bearde also managed the band for a short time and tried with movie producer Brian Grazer and Rivers to procure a Hollywood movie deal for the band.
The live shows of the Surf Punks, in the heyday of the punk explosion in L.A., were wild and abandoned. High points of the show were “I Can’t Get a Tan” and “Big Top”.
The lyrics of the band centered primarily on the in-group/out-group experiences of “locals” (surfers living on the beach in Malibu) and “valleys” (commuters from the San Fernando Valley to the private and public beaches of the exclusive Malibu Beach community). Never truly “punk” in the traditional sense of the word, the Surf Punks were sort of a “Beach Boys” of the punk world, offering an intelligent take on the “turf wars” over the southern California beaches and its waves.
The band made at least five music videos: “My Beach”, “Big Top”, “Welcome to California”, “Shark Attack” and another for their cover of “Come on-a My House”, which was originally a hit for Rosemary Clooney.
The term “surf punk” was a generational adaptation of the term “surf Nazi” which was in wide use in the early days of the sport in the 1960s and 1970s, and also used tongue-in-cheek to describe people who were fanatically dedicated to their sport.