One early spring day in 1962, Jan and I were driving to the beach in my newly custom-painted, fuel-injected Corvette.

I had spent months hand-sanding the fiberglass. I had taken off all the chrome. The guy from the Japanese body shop I frequented painted the car with twenty coats of Chinese red lacquer.

The indent on the side of the car that was normally painted white at the factory, I had painted jet black. I removed the fake knock-off hubcaps, painted the rims jet black, and put on small, button Chevy hubcaps.

For Christmas, my now girlfriend Judy had bought me a beautiful handcrafted wooden Nardi steering wheel made in Italy, and she had my name engraved on one of the polished aluminum spokes.

Jan & Dean were two cool cats!

The radio was always on KFWB. One day all of a sudden, this record comes on: “Surfin’ is the only way, the only life for me, so come on pretty baby and surf with me, yeah, bomp bomp dipadit-tydip bomp bomp dipadittydip.”

We looked at each other, our jaws wide open.

Who the hell are these guys, and why have they stolen our bomps, and they even had the gall to swipe our dipadittydips just to really rub it in! And why the heck are they singing about surfin’?

We listened intently, and at the end of the record, the DJ said, “That’s ‘Surfin’ by The Beach Boys.”

The Birth of California Sound

The Beach Boys! What a great name! But still, a song about surfing? Why would anyone care?

We could count on one hand all of our friends who surfed. On a big day at Malibu, there might be fifty guys.

How many surfers could there be in California? A couple thousand? At most? Where else do they surf? Not that many places, to be sure. Does anybody care about music about surfing besides surfers?

These were interesting questions, to be sure. We decided we had better keep our eye on this record. Over the next few days, we heard “Surfin'” a lot.

We called Lou to see what he knew about the record. He said it was on a small independent record label called Candex.

The record seemed to be just more of a regional hit. It was on the national charts but just barely.

Well, I guess that answers the question, “Does anybody inland care about a record about surfing?” I guess not.

We were struggling with our own career problems at the time. It had been a year since our remake of the hit “Heart and Soul.” We needed to retool our style.

Up to this point, we were a typical duo: two vocals with some occasional female background singers.

Status quo. We had just changed labels again for the fourth time. The new company was a very successful independent company.

The first record with each of our previous labels had always turned out to be a big hit, but not this time.

The record company tried everything. They asked Lou to step aside and let their hot-shot young record producer Snuff Garrett have a shot at getting Jan & Dean a hit.

That didn’t work either. Then they got so desperate they put the record company’s president’s kid in charge of helping us record a hit.

Now Lenny Waronker was showing early signs of talent, to be sure, but he was sixteen years old, for God’s sake. His mom had to drive him to the studio. That didn’t work out so well either.

Nobody at the company had any new ideas, so they did what they usually did best – resort back to old ideas. Hey, let’s put together a golden hits album, they said.

Never mind that.

Jan & Dean don’t have enough hits to do a golden hits album. Well, said the record company executives, we never really said whose golden hits we are talking about, did we?

So they bought the rights to some of those past Jan & Dean hits from the other three record labels. Then they tried to talk us into supplementing the rest of the album with Jan & Dean’s versions of other people’s golden hits.

Hey, who will know the difference? Wink, wink. For lack of anything better to do, we agreed to give it a try. We thought maybe this would give us the opportunity to experiment with other people’s styles.

Recording studios were starting to realize that pop music was here to stay and that new young recording artists were going to start pushing the envelope, and they were all going to have to keep up with all of the new advanced recording technologies.

So the time was right for experimentation.

We got a lot of inspiration listening to the new group, The Four Seasons. Their hit record, “Sherry,” was one great record. The lead vocal was all in falsetto, and the background parts were strong masculine four-part harmonies.

Our trademark had been to use falsetto only at the end of a record. Maybe we should try doing a Four Seasons song on our golden hits album? And maybe look for another falsetto lead song as well?

Maybe that old song, “Barbara Ann” by The Regents would work.

That would be perfect – with the more advanced recording techniques now at our fingertips, we could sing all of the background harmony parts ourselves.

The advantage to this was that you would have all the same vocal tones and phrasing. This could be a really cool sound for us.

So in the studio, we started experimenting with doubling vocal parts by singing in unison to a vocal part previously recorded. This made a vocal part seem fatter, almost choir-like.

We started doubling the four-part harmonies, then the lead vocals, especially the falsettos. We knew we were onto something.

When we finished the golden hits album, we knew there were a few clunkers on it that we did for the benefit of Lou’s new company.

But we loved “Barbara Ann.”

We asked the record company geniuses to put “Barbara Ann” out as a single. It was the oldest remake on the album – at least four years old by that time. Nothing else made any sense as a single.

But the s–theads running the record company concluded that the song “Barbara Ann” was way too primitive and could never be a hit again.

Never! Never? Hmmm. We decided that the “Barbara Ann” formula was a sound one.

Jan and Dean: one of their hit songs coined Huntington Beach's nickname, Surf City USA | Photo: Omnivore Recordings

Songs With Girls’ Names

So now we started looking for a song about a girl that used a girl’s name in the title. Since 60 percent of rock-and-roll record buyers were teenage girls, it seemed like a good idea.

Then we would sing all the lead vocals in falsetto, add lots of four-part harmonies, and throw some doo-wops in for good measure.

A friend suggested an old fifties song, “Linda.”

Wow, this song fulfilled all the criteria; it was perfect. We recorded it using all our new recording techniques. The finished “Linda” recording was a breakthrough for us.

Yes, the lyrics were corny, but Jan’s record production was spot on. We had made a quantum leap from our last hit record, “Heart and Soul.”

Our new record debuted on the national charts, February 23, 1963, at #90. It looked like we had another big hit brewing!

Then, Christ! Those surfin’ guys were back again! Didn’t they learn their lesson? Now they have a song out titled “Surfin’ Safari.”

But wait a minute, it’s on a serious label – a very serious label – Capitol Records. The Beach Boys are no longer in the minor leagues.

“Linda” and “Surfin’ Safari” were all over the radio together. It was great.

For the most part, the majority of the hit records were still coming from the East Coast. So when a local LA concert promoter went looking for acts that had records on the charts, there were not that many choices.

It was inevitable that a promoter would put Jan & Dean and The Beach Boys together. This pairing also saved the promoter some money.

The promoter told The Beach Boys that if they wanted the gig, they would have to back up the headliners, Jan & Dean!

They were told to learn the “vast” Jan & Dean setlist, maybe ten songs.

Five were Jan & Dean songs, five were the usual rock ‘n’ roll standards, and there was at least one Chuck Berry song since we all liked Chuck Berry songs.

When we showed up at the high school where the concert was to be held, we were taken to a dressing room that we were sharing with The Beach Boys.

We walked into the room, not knowing what to expect. They were all there: Mike, Brian, Carl, Dennis, and David. They, too, didn’t know what to expect.

I mean, we were the old guys, already twenty years old, with two gold records, driving very cool, shiny new Corvettes.

We all shook hands and introduced ourselves. They were just kids, nice kids, but just kids all the same.

We small talked, then got down to business. We needed to run through our music set and, as I remember, they were very well prepared.

We all got dressed, and then they went on first. They played for about half an hour, and then we were introduced. We did our ten songs, bowed, and walked off.

Well, the audience wanted more. We had not thought about an encore song. It hadn’t even occurred to us to do so.

So we thought maybe we could just stay off the stage, and the audience would give up on an encore and go home. That didn’t happen. They wouldn’t stop.

What the hell are we going to do now? I thought. We hadn’t rehearsed any more songs with The Beach Boys.

The promoter was having a meltdown. The show was short by at least ten minutes – a couple of songs worth. He forced us back on stage.

We walked back on and looked at one another as if to say, “Well, what the hell do we do now?”

It would be very garage bandish to repeat a song you just did a few minutes ago. The Beach Boys were willing to do it, but we really were opposed to repeating any of our songs.

“Hey, I got an idea,” I told them. “Let’s do ‘Surfin’ and ‘Surfin’ Safari.”

Those were legitimate hits, not someone else’s hits. It had been a while since those songs had been played.

“Is that okay with you?” I asked Brian.

They all looked stunned and pleased at the same time, and I actually was looking forward to singing their songs.

Their songs were a lot of fun to sing, and Jan and I had really missed singing in a vocal group – this felt like being back on stage with The Barons.

We launched into the two surf songs, Jan and I adding two extra parts. It sounded so cool. The audience loved it.

From that moment on, The Beach Boys could see we were team players, and we really respected everything they had accomplished.

Afterward, Jan and Brian exchanged phone numbers. Do I hear Humphrey Bogart’s voice again?

Dean Torrence and Dennis Wilson: the connections between the two surf music groups are many | Photo: Torrence Archive

Jan & Dean and The Beach Boys: The Ultimate Surf Music Joint-Venture

A few weeks later, we were given the green light to start a “Linda” titled album. We needed to come up with a concept.

The “Baby Talk” album was kind of a girls’ names album because the follow-up to the single, “Baby Talk,” was titled “There’s A Girl.”

We knew that the title to our new album would have to have the name of our latest hit single, “Linda,” in it. Maybe we could record “Sherry,” and we could even throw in “Barbara Ann.”

More girls’ names could always work as a concept, but then again, in the long run, we decided it was time to start to shed that teen idol crap.

We had been there and done that – time to blow it up and start a reinvention of sorts, and we would start by burning our suits!

Southern California lifestyle here we come.

The record company nitwits would go ballistic over this. Teen idol heartthrob shit was still the mainstay of the record business.

Why would anybody want to tamper with this proven formula? Well, we were ready to tamper. We thought about doing some of those cool surf songs. They were really fun to sing.

The only problem was that, to date, there were only two vocal songs written about surfing, and Brian Wilson had written both of them. We weren’t really sure if Brian wanted us to record his songs.

But The Beach Boys versions had already run their course, so we thought our versions wouldn’t impact their sales at all.

Jan called Brian and told him our idea: “Jan & Dean Take Linda Surfing.”

That would accomplish two major goals: it would get the hit title “Linda” on the front of the album cover, but we would also get the word “surfing” on the cover as well.

Plus, graphically, we could start to explore visual beach themes – the sun, the sand, hot rod woodies, surfboards, ocean, palm trees, and yeah, Linda in a bathing suit.

Now we’re cooking. Brian loved the idea.

He said as a songwriter he would be flattered if Jan & Dean did their own versions of his “Surfin'” and “Surfin’ Safari” songs – not to mention that he stood to make some extra royalty loot off of the pending sales from the new project.

Jan recognized how stoked (that’s an old surfing term) Brian sounded about the project and decided to get even bolder.

“Say, Brian, it sure would save us some time and money if you would consider coming into the recording studio and playing the instrumental tracks for us. And while you are there, you could maybe help us with the vocals, just like we did on stage a couple of weeks ago.”

Brian agreed.

March 4, 1963, we were all in the studio together recording “Surfin'” and “Surfin’ Safari.”

Jan and I loved it. We were finally back in a vocal band. It felt perfect.

Brian was astounded by Jan’s technical knowledge, and Jan was enjoying sharing his information with Brian.

Brian shared some of his vocal harmony expertise with us. Brian was more musically creative than Jan, but Jan was a brilliant technician.

I, on the other hand, was less musically knowledgeable than Jan or Brian, but I was more conceptually creative, and I was almost always the one who interjected the humor into our projects.

We all had different strengths, and this made for a pretty interesting team. We had a blast recording with those guys.

They, like us, were making music together because they enjoyed the process of creating music and making records.

We weren’t counting on getting rich, making movies, buying palatial estates, or riding around in limos and private jets.

It was fun to develop a musical idea into a tangible project.

Jan Berry and Dean Torrence: the pioneers of California Sound | Photo: Torrence Archive

“Surf City”? You Can Have It

After we finished the two tunes, Brian sat down at the piano and asked us if we wanted to hear The Beach Boys’ next single. Of course we did.

“If everybody had an ocean across the USA, then everybody would be surfin’ like Cala-forn-i-a.”

Ahhh, excuse me, Brian, that is a great song, but the melody sounds exactly like “Sweet Little Sixteen” by Chuck Berry.

Jan told Brian that he would get in big trouble when Chuck Berry heard the song.

“Sweet Little Sixteen” was copyrighted, both the melody and the lyrics, so you couldn’t just take the melody and change the words. It doesn’t work that way.

Jan suggested that Brian should give us “Surfin’ USA” because we know Chuck, and Jan was sure that he could work it out somehow.

Brian said his dad didn’t think there would be a problem, so he wasn’t worried about it.

“But, you know, I do have this other surf song that’s similar. I will probably do only one or the other, and ‘Surfin’ USA’ is my favorite. So if you want, you can have the other one. You’ll have to finish it. Want to hear it?”

“Sure.”

“Okay, I’ll sing it to you.”

So he sits back down at the piano and starts to play:

Two girls for every boy.
I bought a ’33 panel truck, and I call it my woody.
It’s not very cherry, it’s an oldie but a goodie.
It ain’t got a heater or a radio,
but it still gets me where I wanna go.

“Well, that’s the first verse. What do you think?”
“Wow! We’ll take it. What’s it called?”
“Surf City.”
“It’s a deal.”
“The song is yours – change it any way you want to.”
“Thank you so much, Brian. So what else do you have that you’ve lost interest in?”
“Well, I do have this other song called ‘When Summer Comes Gonna Hustle You.'”

He plays it.

“Damn, that’s a great song, too. We’ll take that one too if you don’t mind!”

Jan went right to work on the arrangements for the instrumental tracks. He was really pleased with the chemistry of the new studio musicians he had handpicked.

Hal Blaine was on drums, Ray Pulman on bass, Leon Russell on keyboards, Glen Campbell on lead guitar, and Tommy Tedesco on rhythm guitar.

But Jan wanted to try something new.

He wanted to hear what two drummers playing at the same time sounded like. So he added our old drummer, Earl Palmer, into the mix.

Jan would write out each and every part for each instrument, including the drums. So the two drummers set up their kits side by side and read off of identical charts.

What a great sound! These tracks were the best that Jan had ever done. He had definitely arrived.

Jan had also formed a special relationship with an up-and-coming studio engineer, Bones Howe. This guy was not only a great recording engineer, but he was also extremely creative.

Now, with the instrumental tracks done, we were ready for the vocals.

“When Summer Comes Gonna Hustle You” was lyrically complete, so we worked on that one first. Plus, it was a pre-summer, spring semester song, and “Surf City” was definitely a summer song.

We loved “Gonna Hustle You.” It was the quintessential Brian Wilson musical story, full of fifties innocence, plus it was a doo-wopper.

When it was finished, we played it for the “suits” at the record company. They looked shocked.

“What’s wrong?”
“You can’t say ‘hustle you’ on the radio!”
“Say what? Run that by us again.”
“You can’t use the words’ hustle you’ on the radio. Get rid of it!”
“We can’t. It’s in the goddamn title, you morons!”
“Well, delete it, change it to something else.”
“When Summer Comes, Gonna (Blank) You?” What kind of sense does that make?”
“Change the words! Maybe, ‘When Summer Comes, Gonna Date You.'”

We about puked all over their shiny Continental suits!

“You can’t be serious!”
“Dead serious! We will not put that record out if that word” – cover your ears folks -“‘hustle’ is still in it.”

We Were dumbfounded! What were these dimwits talking about? Is this a bad dream? A Candid Camera bit? A CIA experiment?

We took our demo lacquer off the turntable and left.

Damn it, this is the best record we had made to date, and the a–holes won’t release it. What in the world is wrong with the word “hustle” anyway?

We were thoroughly confused.

That evening, around the dinner table, I asked my dad what he thought about the word “hustle.” He said that to his generation, it was a suggestive word used as another way of saying “proposition.”

We had to remember that our parents were raised in the Victorian age.

I wonder what they thought when they heard the Stones singing, “I can’t get no satisfaction.” It wasn’t that far off in the future.

Rewriting and Arranging “Surf City”

So we now focused on “Surf City.” All we needed to do was to finish the lyrics, and then the song was ready for the vocals.

Once in the studio, Jan, Brian, and I laid down the four-part harmony background vocals first, and then we doubled them.

Then Jan did the low bass background part and doubled that. Then Brian and I did the falsetto parts and doubled those as well.

What a great sound.

Brian’s falsetto was airy, smooth, angelic, and round sounding. Mine was a lot less airy – what they refer to as a head falsetto, less from the diaphragm and more from the sinus, sounding a lot more top end, trebly, and edgier than Brian’s.

Together, we had the full range of sounds. Our phrasing was noticeably different, causing almost a Doppler effect.

There was a time when we would have kept doing it over and over and over until our phrasing matched.

But now, it was more fashionable to experiment and be more imaginative than musically correct. This was always hard for Jan to accept.

But if Brian said it was okay, it was okay.

The more we listened to it, we realized that this out-of-sync phrasing created some interesting harmonics, or what would later be called phasing by guitarists.

Brian thought it was really cool.

“Leave it alone, keep it as it is! Don’t touch it!”

Jan didn’t.

Now it was time to sing the lead vocal. Brian wrote out the complete song combining Jan’s contribution to the lyrics with his own old lyrics, and then he showed it to me for my two cents.

I immediately noticed the first line, “I bought a ’33 panel truck, and we call it a woody.”

I said, “Brian, a panel truck is a metal paneled truck. It doesn’t have wood on it. It doesn’t have side windows. It’s solid metal. It’s a truck, not a station wagon.”

So I crossed out the words “panel truck” in my distinctive printing, and I wrote the word “wagon.”

There, that’s better. “I bought a ’33 wagon, and we call it a woody.”

But then I started to wonder if they made station wagons in 1933.

“Brian, I don’t think Ford made any cars in 1933, but I do know they did in 1932. That’s what we now call a Deuce. But I don’t recall seeing a Deuce station wagon, although I have seen a ’34 station wagon. Is it okay to change ’33 to ’34?”

It was okay with him.

“Also, Brian, you wrote ‘it ain’t got a heater or a radio.’ Well, maybe we don’t need a heater, but ya gotta have a radio. You’ve got to be able to listen to surf music in a car, don’t ya? So if this woody is missing anything, it should be the back seat and the rear window because that’s where the surfboards go. Plus, window rhymes with ‘go’ in the next line. Check it out.”

It ain’t got a back seat or a rear window,
but it still gets me where I wanna go.

Next, I noticed the line, “There’s two swingin’ girls for every guy, and all you got to do is just wink your eye.”

“Brian, surfers call their girls ‘honeys’ don’t they? Let’s drop the word ‘girl’ and replace it with ‘honeys.'”

There’s two swingin’ honeys for every guy,
and all you got to do is just wink your eye.

“How’s that?”

He liked it.

“Let’s record it.”

Jan and Brian sang the lead vocal together and then doubled it. It was meant for Brian’s vocal to be just behind Jan’s, shadowing it.

This was intended just as some subtle support, but somehow by the time it was ready for the final mix, his vocals ended up being a lot more prominent than they were meant to be.

But because he and Jan sang it together at the same time and not on separate tracks, nothing could be done about it without starting over.

We didn’t want to touch it.

The final mix of the record came out great. This was by far the best Jan & Dean record we had ever made.

Surf City: the song written by Brian Wilson was the first by Jan and Dean to become a national number one hit

The Music Industry Meltdown

The record was released May 17, 1963, and just flat took off.

A Capitol Records promotion man was driving in his car when he first heard “Surf City” on the radio.

He pulled over, got on a payphone, called Capitol Records’ offices in Los Angeles, and demanded to know why he had not been given the new Beach Boys record to deliver to the radio stations himself.

This was embarrassing.

The new Beach Boys record was already on the radio, and he didn’t even know about it. Hey, what gives? Have I been fired? The “suits” at the record company were as confused as he was.

There wasn’t any new Beach Boys record out that they knew about. It was their understanding that it wasn’t finished yet. So what’s going on, the promotion man asked.

The “suits” think maybe it might have been bootlegged or something. They tell the promo man to head on over to the radio station and find out how they got the record.

At the radio station, the promo man is informed that it was not a Beach Boys record he had heard, it was a Jan & Dean record, and it’s a smash hit.

He now calls back to corporate with the bad news.

Somebody else has done a surf music record, and it appears that it is going to be a monster hit, and yes, it does sound a lot like a Beach Boys record.

He said he would ask to get a closer look at the record in hopes of gathering more information about it and will report back ASAP.

He is finally handed the record. He notes that it is on Liberty Records, the artists are Jan & Dean, and the writers are Wilson and Berry.

“Hey, wait a minute, isn’t one of The Beach Boys named Wilson? Why would he cowrite a song for the competition?”

The promo man asks to hear the record again.

“Man, it sounds more like The Beach Boys than any typical Jan & Dean recording. There is a voice that sounds a lot like a voice heard on The Beach Boys recordings.”

The promo man calls back to corporate with the new information. Corporate goes nuts. They get right on the phone and call The Beach Boys’ manager, Murray Wilson, father of three of The Beach Boys.

Now Murray goes ballistic and calls Brian.

Brian tries to explain to his dad that it was a song he was never going to finish, so why not get some use out of it? But Murray was out of control.

He called us “record pirates” and forbids Brian to give us any more songs, forbids him to sing or play on any future Jan & Dean records, “and for that matter, don’t associate with them anymore either. Period.”

Brian was hurt and confused by his dad’s irrational demands.

Brian and his dad owned a music publishing company together, and in Brian’s way of looking at it, “Surf City” was a song he had lost interest in.

It probably would have never been a Beach Boys record, and besides, Brian thought that “Surfin’ USA” was a much better song.

So, as a songwriter and music publisher, to have someone else record your leftovers and derive some royalties from those leftovers should be something to strive for, not to avoid.

And the competition argument? Hey, there was plenty of room on the charts for everybody. Plus, this competition was friendly and beneficial to both parties.

Murray’s distorted point of view and his lack of experience in the music industry was what eventually got him fired from The Beach Boys’ team.

The rest of The Beach Boys initially wished Brian wouldn’t have been quite so helpful, but as time passed, they realized that our musical connections were not only beneficial to each other but enjoyable too.

We were one of their biggest fans, and I always felt the feeling was mutual.

Some fifty-plus years later, they do some of our songs in their live concerts, including “Surf City,” and we do a bunch of theirs in our live concerts as well.

Surf City: The Jan and Dean Story

A Nationwide Hit

June 1, Billboard Magazine makes “Surf City” the Spotlight Winner of the Week and a Billboard Pick, with a quote, “Two more swinging sides by the hot West Coast team.”

June 2, “Surf City” debuts at #7 on LA’s KRLA radio station.

Jan & Dean play with The Beach Boys in Modesto, California, on June 5, again on June 7 at Veterans Hall in Bakersfield, California, and again on June 8 in Palmdale, California.

June 16, “Surf City” is the number one song in the Los Angeles market.

June 22, “Surf City” is the number one song in Florida and number twenty on The Billboard Chart, and number twenty-eight on The Cashbox Chart, and by June 29, we were in the top ten of both publications.

“Surf City” reached number one on both the Billboard and Cashbox charts on July 27, 1963, replacing “Easier Said than Done” and just beating out “Fingertips” by Stevie Wonder.

“Surf City” was the first surf song to reach number one.

We were hot. There were TV offers, movie offers, and lots of concert offers. One of our favorite places to play was Hawaii.

Tom Moffatt, a promoter and disc jockey based in Honolulu, loved putting Jan & Dean and The Beach Boys in concert together.

These concerts were totally bitchin’! We had such a great time together.

Because Brian had written a song called “Little Honda,” the local Honda dealer in Waikiki gave us all free Honda Scramblers to ride while we were on the island.

Dennis Wilson and I would ride our Hondas from one end of the island to the other – even late at night, just like the song said, “Gonna turn on the light so I can ride my Honda tonight.”

We would often be shirtless riding in the topical rain in the moonlight, the warm wind blowing through our hair. The sweet smell of the ocean mixed with the intoxicating smell of plumeria and Other tropical flowers.

During the day, we would stop at all of our favorite body surfing beaches, especially at Makapu’u, breaking out a bottle of rum, then jumping into the warm Hawaiian surf.

Later we would climb back on our Hondas and go balls out along Interstate H-1, past Chinaman’s Hat, all the way up to Turtle Bay, then down to Sunset Beach, past Banzai Pipeline, past Waimea to Haleiwa, then cut over to Route 99 taking it all the way to Pearl Harbor, stopping just long enough to salute the USS Arizona memorial.

We thought it was ironic since we were riding Hondas.

Then it was back to the Kabala Hilton and maybe a dip in the porpoise pool. Then we’d head to our rooms and fall asleep.

At one of our concerts, quite appropriately at Pearl Harbor, we all got in a huge fire extinguisher and shaving cream fight on stage.

The music stopped for a good fifteen minutes. It was the first official battle of the surf bands.

Brian’s wife, Marilyn, and her sister Diane were there, and they documented the battle on their 8 mm black-and-white camera.

To this day, we are still looking for that piece of film. If you have it, advertise it on eBay. It’s worth some righteous bucks.

At another concert, Jan had gotten into a fight with his girlfriend, Jill, at our hotel. He lost track of time and missed one of our matinee shows altogether.

My Beach Boy pals helped me out by accompanying me on stage. The audience loved it, and so did I.

Some nights we would all get together, order a couple of rounds of every tropical drink the bar could make, then play Monopoly – with real money, of course.

Or we’d play that old detective board game Clue.

We would often call friends back on the mainland to participate in the game with us over the phone.

Obviously, our phone bills were outrageous, but we were rock stars. The game was over when someone threw up or passed out.

These were great times.

On one of these late-night flights home from Hawaii, Dennis Wilson and I had brought a big bottle of rum on the plane.

We were celebrating the amazing time we had just had in Hawaii, and we were toasting the Islands, each and every one.

Then we toasted all of our favorite surfing spots, each and every one. Then we toasted all of our favorite Hawaiian girlfriends.

Uh-oh, there was some overlap. We settled in to our seats for the long ride back to the mainland.

Sometime after we had been underway for a while, we found ourselves lying on the floor by the door.

We were eccentric, drunk rock ‘n’ roll stars flying first class, so nobody bothered us.

And we were having the time of our lives.

Words by Dean Torrence | Surfer and Co-Founder of Jan & Dean

Excerpt from the book “Surf City: The Story of Jan and Dean” (Dean Torrence, 2016, SelectBooks)



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