It was a big “surf’s up” on a Wednesday night at Nashville’s 5 Spot. Courtesy of newly based in Tennessee, The Surfaris, all that was missing was the sand, the boards and Frankie and Annette. The house was packed for this $10 bargain 6pm show that also featured local guitarist Eddie Angel of Los Staitjackets fame as the opener with the E Street Band’s Garry Tallent a part of his Guitar Party band.
The Surfaris of “Wipe Out” fame were just fantastic. Sadly (since the other three original members are no longer with us) and surprisingly, the band now consists of founding member Bob Berryhill on guitar with his wife on bass and their two sons on guitar and drums. They were spot on to the classic Surf Rock sound and for you Surfaris fans, yes, they even did “Surfer Joe.”
Unaware of how great the headliner would be, yours truly was more interesting in seeing Eddie and Garry and they did not disappoint. Arriving early, I managed to catch their soundcheck of The Ventures’ “Walk Don’t Run” which marked for me the first time to ever see Angel without his trademark mask. I was also surprised to see that Garry would be playing guitar tonight instead of bass.
While Angel as usual donned the mask and cape of a Mexican wrestler, Tallent looked very Beatlesque in a sharp black suit and Beatle-like boots. Both also played some wicked surf guitar making for a perfect pairing of the night’s acts.
Eddie and Garry both played lead guitar throughout the 40-minute set of mostly instrumentals with Eddie providing vocals on one number, “the only love song he has ever written, “Ballbuster Baby.”. Garry was given the spotlight on two songs, “Walk Don’t Run,” a tune he also played when he last headlined at The Five Spot in 2019, and “Apache,” a song made famous by The Shadows. Garry’s Beatle-vibe was also appropriate for the band’s version of an old Beatles’ chestnut from their Hamburg days called “Cry for a Shadow.”
With all the night’s players living close by, I sure hope that we get to have another surf’s up night at The 5 Spot real soon.