After seeing the Family Guy episode (Season 7 – Episode 2) featuring The Trashmen’s one verse hit “Surfin’ Bird,” I got news from a close friend that the band was actually in town playing on Saturday evening at a dive (The Turf Club) on University and Snelling in St Paul, Minnesota. For those of you who’ve heard of the Surfin Bird song (and who hasn’t?), you might be surprised to find out that the group is actually based here in Minnesota. They were also the original kings of surf music. Before the Beachboys. Before the Beatles. Probably even before you.
15 bucks and a few cover bands and beers later, Tony Andreason (lead guitar), Dan Winslow (guitar), Bob Reed (bass), and Mark Andreason (drums) were rocking it out at a packed house a quarter after midnight. Time meant nothing to these “geriatric rockers” as they let loose a barrage of 50s-60s surf rock to a frantic wild crowd, of which half appeared to be well over 40 years young. Songs such as Surfin Bird, King of the Surf, Gloria, I Fought the Law, and It’s So Easy were instantly recognizable which brings me to the big question as to why in all these years of my existence did I not know who sang them until recently. Maybe it’s because The Trashmen don’t have a website?
Mini-mosh pits formed and disappeared in seconds possibly due to the age of some of the patrons. My only disappointment with the event was that there were no body surfers present. Disappointment with myself – not buying memorabilia (cd/tshirts) because the line was too long.
Some classic covers were splayed out much to the happiness of the retro-loving crowd. At the very end after we heard the gurgling sounds of a wet surfin’ bird bailing out into the waters, masked members of the Neanderthals jumped on stage with their drums and clubs (along with the Trashmen) pumping the crowd to a exhilarating finale with more tunes from that era. Best of all, I got a chance to shake Mark Andreason’s hands after the gig. One cool cat.
And so in case you still don’t know THE BIRD, you might want to check out a clip from the Surfin Bird episode of Seth McFarlane’s Family Guy show below.
PS: They’re playing in GreenBay (Wisconsin – booooo) Sunday tomorrow which would be technically today since it’s almost 5am right now and I need to catch some sleep. G’nite!