1989 – Surfaris drummer Ron Wilson dies…


1989 – Surfaris drummer Ron Wilson dies this day in rock history.

The Surfaris were an American surf music band formed in Glendora, California in 1962. They are best known for two songs that hit the charts in the Los Angeles, California area, and nationally by May 1963: “Surfer Joe” on the A side and “Wipe Out” on the B side of a 45 RPM single.

The original band members were Ron Wilson (drums), Jim Fuller (Lead guitar), Bob Berryhill (rhythm guitar) and Pat Connolly (bass). Saxophone player Jim Pash joined after their Wipe Out/Surfer Joe recording sessions at Pal Studios recording. Ken Forssi, later of Love fame, also played bass with The Surfaris.

Ron Wilson’s energetic drum solo made “Wipe Out” one of the best-remembered instrumental song of the period. “Wipe Out” is also remembered particularly for its introduction before the music starts, a cracking sound (imitating a breaking surf board), and a manical laugh followed by the only two words of the song, “wipe out”. “Wipe Out” is often regarded as being the surfing anthem.

The band released a series of records, with two other singles,”Surfer Joe” and “Point Panic”, having an impact on the charts. (Point Panic is a renowned surfing venue in Hawaii named after the song.)

The Surfaris disbanded in 1966 but have periodically reunited and are still active as of 2004, performing and recording, often re-recording their old and new songs. They still perform as Bob Berryhill’s Surfaris and Jim Fuller’s Surfaris (two separate groups) all over United States and Europe with a large fan base. Drummer Ron Wilson died 7 May 1989, one month short of his 45th birthday. Wilson had released an album of his songs, entitled Lost It In The Surf, on Bennet House Records of Grass Valley, California, recorded in June 1987. A very small number of cassettes of this album were produced. Lost It In The Surf included a cover of “Louie, Louie”, complete with Scottish bagpipes.


1963 The Surfaris Play Wipe Out
1963 Wipe Out
1964 Surfaris Play
1964 Hit City ’64
1964 Fun City USA
1965 Hit City ’65
1965 It Ain’t Me, Babe

1962 Wipe Out / Surfer Joe
1963 Wipe Out / Surfer Joe
1963 Point Panic / Waikiki Run
1963 Wipe Out / I’m A Hog For You
1964 Murphy The Surfie / Go Go Go For Louie’s Place

1973 Yesterdays Pop Scene
1973 Wipe Out, Surfer Joe & Other Great Hits
1976 Surfers Rule
1977 Gone with the Wave
1982 The History of Surf Music
1989 Surfin Hits
1994 Wipe Out! The Best Of
1994 Surf Party!: The Best of the Surfaris Live!
1995 Pulp Rock Instros – Vol 1
1995 Surfaris Stomp
1996 Cowabunga! Surf-Box
1996 Teen Beat – Vol 3
1996 Let’s Go Trippin’
1996 Surf Crazy
1997 Guitar Heroes
1997 Hot Rod – Big Boss Instrumentals
1997 Kahuna Classics
1998 Hard Rock Records – Surf
1998 Surf! Sand! Sun!
1998 Wipe Out
1999 Surfers Rule / Gone With The Wave
2000 Water Logged
2000 Teen Beat – Vol 5
2003 Lost Legends Of Surf Guitar – Vol. 02
2003 Basic Tracks
2005 Wipe Out, Surfer Joe And Other Great Hits

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