Origins of Surf Music - The Belairs

The definitive story of how it all began...


"Wow man—your music sounds just like it feels out on a wave! It’s like… ‘surf’ music, man!" —local surfer to the Belairs (summer of ´61, Redondo Beach)


This comment may well be the earliest documented evidence as to how surf music really began.  Accordingly, this is the album that reveals the truth behind the California myth. To hear this chronology of the Belairs’ music (from their early home tapings to the seminal hit "Mr. Moto" and on through their final studio tracks) and to read their colorful story (as it is told in the extensive liner notes by founding member Paul Johnson) is to discover the real origins of authentic all-instrumental surf music—the "original soundtrack" for the California youth revolution of the early ‘60s!

"This was the start of what became known as the California surfin’ sound.  Had some of the media attention focused on the Belairs in the beginning like it did on Dick Dale… they might have been recognized as the kings of surf music." 
—Bob Dalley (Surfin´ Guitars — Instrumental Bands of the ‘60s)

"What (Dick Dale’s) Deltones were to Orange County, the Belairs were to the (L.A.) South Bay—both in popularity and influence… they spawned an entire family tree of important surf bands." 
—Dan Forte (Guitar Player mag)

Pipeline mag (UK)
“...a 28 track compilation spanning the four years from 1960 to 1963. It’s a historian’s delight and the ultimate artifact for the dedicated fan... with Paul Johnson’s own exhaustive history of the band in a 24 page booklet together with many photos.”

Billboard mag
“Exhaustive liners, inclusion of previously unreleased demos along with all the pioneering group’s single sides—including the hit ‘Mr. Moto’— make this a genre enthusiast’s dream.”

Guitar Player mag
“Can you imagine if someone uncovered home tapes of the Ventures in their pre- ‘Walk, Don’t Run’ days, getting to hear how they came up with their two-guitar arrangements and arrived at their influential sound? Well, surf instrumental fans will be way stoked to hear that just that type of documentary coverage has been given to the Belairs... The original hit recording of ‘Mr. Moto’ is here, as well as a bedroom rehearsal tape of it (and others), showing the charming innocence and simplicity of Paul Johnson’s rhythm guitar and Eddie Bertrand’s lead... The insightful CD is accompanied by Johnson’s exhaustive notes—a priceless package.”

Goldmine mag
“...traces the Belairs from the early Duane Eddy-influenced practice sessions through the innovative surf rock sounds of ‘Mr. Moto’ and ‘Kamikaze,’ to sax-driven R&B tracks like ‘Chiflado’ and ‘The Shimmy’... Many previously unreleased gems will fill a treasure chest for surf music fans and instrumental collectors.”

   
 
The Crawler
Stung
Peter Gunn
It Was I
Mr. Moto
Mr Moto
Little Brown Jug
The Three Blind Mice Make it to Santa´s Village
Vampire
Kamikaze
Volcanic Action
Runaway
Bedlam
Volcanic Action
Rockin´ Pants
Giggling Girl
Squirt
On Top of Old Smokey
Chiflado
Davy Crockett Meets Mickey Mouse
Volcanic Action
Rampage
Flip Top Box
The Wayward Wind
Chiflado
Duck Waddle
Squad Car
The Shimmy