Friday Night Forgotten Oldie: “The Godfather of Surf Guitar”

The following is a regular weekly feature on This Just in…because we can’t be political all the time.

We’ll get to this week’s oldie, but first, as the late, great Elvis once sang, “Gee it’s great just to be in that 50th state.”


But wait!.

In the world of popular music the “Surfaris” are what is known as a One Hit Wonder.

In 1963, the year prior to the onslaught of Beatlemania, surf music was hot.

Jim Fuller was one of the original members of the “Surfaris” and has often been called “The Godfather of Surf Guitar.”

The band formed in 1962 and wrote “Wipe Out” that winter. The following year “Wipe Out” was recorded at Powell Studios in Cucamonga, opening with a cracking sound, meant to be a surfboard breaking in half. Then comes a crazy falsetto voice:“ha ha ha ha ha, wipe out,” a quick drum solo, and lead guitarist Jim Fuller.

Fuller died March 3 at the age of 69 in Monrovia, Calif. The cause of death has not been reported.

“Wipe Out” was the only hit for the group peaking at #2. It’s one of the classic instrumentals of all time.



One thought on “Friday Night Forgotten Oldie: “The Godfather of Surf Guitar”

  1. Very sad to hear jam Fuller has left us….Besides his lead guitar playing on the hit “Wipe Out” with Surfaris .. His other guitar work was no more than fantastic…..From Waikiki Run to Mystic Drums…Hawaii even named a surf break after his song “Point Panic”
    He truly was a one of a kind …These early rockers ROCKED RIP JAMES


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