Tuesday, 10 April 2012


Got a nice surprise in the mail today from my good friend Mel Bergman in California. It's a music project that himself, Deke Dickerson and friends collaborated on with Nokie Edwards.

Nokie Edwards was the lead guitarist with original instrumental surf kings THE VENTURES from 1959-1968. Tons of great tracks: 2000 lb bee, pedal pusher, swingin' creeper and their biggest hit...walk don't run.

Mel is the Guitarist in THE PHANTOM SURFERS and Deke was in THE UNTAMED YOUTH and this platter is an authentic sounding homage to the mid-60's period Ventures.

However....track Five is called DO THE FRANK SIDEBOTTOM....

How can this be? you ask.....Well, let me explain.... back in 2005, my band THE STAGS played a couple of European shows with The Phantom Surfers. One of these was at Wigan where we somehow managed to get Frank out of retirement to compere the show.....this kickstarted his career and led to me becoming Franks road manager.
Mel and the rest of the band where totally knocked out with Frank....instantly recognising the genius that it was. Frank ended up singing SHEENA IS A PUNK ROCKER with the Surfers and it brought the house down.
Frank and The Surfers stayed in touch and plans were made to record a Frank Sidebottom and the Phantom Surfers EP, for U.S. release and a west coast tour to promote it. Frank was really excited about this. Mel sent six or so instrumental tracks over but Frank being Frank....He never actually got round to finishing it. Sadly, Chris Sievey, Franks alter ego, contracted cancer and died. He did tell me he had recorded vocals on a couple of the tracks. It's possible they are tucked away somewhere on his portastudio. Problem is Chris/Frank was a disorganised, unconventional maverick. How you would even start to figure out the mystery tracks whereabouts totally beats me.

Anyways...it seems this particular song has gone full circle. Mel and the guys have paid tribute to Sidebottom by keeping its original title and having one of the all-time great surf instrumental guitarists play on it. I'm positive that Frank/Chris would be completely jazzed at this unlikely outcome....you know he would.....he really would....thankyou!

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