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Surfers Pajama Party

Bruce Johnston

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Album Review

This is truly one of the great, unheralded raw rock & roll live albums of all time. The rockin' contents cannot be denied. Working with a pickup band of more enthusiasm than accuracy while pounding the daylights out of a distorted Wurlitzer electric piano (think of Ray Charles' intro on "What'd I Say" off a 45 that's been played about a million times, and you're beginning to get the idea), Beach Boy of the future Bruce Johnston lays it down rough and rockin' for the UCLA college kiddies with a shake-'em-down spirit that's hard to ignore. The set list is a frat-party classic with versions of "What'd I Say," "Kansas City," "Surfer's Stomp," "Ramrod," "Green Onions," and "There's Something on Your Mind" being counted up in the noisy mix. With vocals going on and off mic, an occasional sax section darting in and out, a reverb-soaked lead guitar, and a hyperactive drummer, this is bare-bones Saturday-night rock & roll from the post-twist, pre-Beatles era, a period seldom documented with this much abandon.

Biography

Born: 27 June 1942 in Los Angeles, CA

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

While never a household name, Bruce Johnston enjoyed one of the longest and most intriguing careers in pop music, most notably as a member of the Beach Boys. Born June 27, 1942, in Peoria, Illinois, he was raised in Beverly Hills, California, attending school with fellow aspiring musicians Kim Fowley and Sandy Nelson and occasionally playing with them in the group the Sleepwalkers. Though still in high school, Johnston became a well-regarded performer on the West Coast circuit and played on a number...
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Surfers Pajama Party, Bruce Johnston
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