Grateful Surf : Ron and i had been performing under the name SURFIN' TIKI BANDITS doing mostly acoustic versions of surf tunes. he had been playing in the MALADROITS (longest running surf band in Cincinnati) and I in the DON'T FEAR THE REVERB band. this was just something fun and extra away from the other groups when we could get a duo gig. Then came an opportunity to play free for the Flying Pig Marathon. My band did not want to do it. Ron's band dod not want to do it. We got together and added Ron's wife Tamina on bass. All went well. This was like 2009 or so. Then came a paying gig opening for Maurice Mattei and the Tempers of whom I was also a member at the time. DFR declined so I asked Rick to be the drummer. He had been playing with BARNY AND THE HOWLERS (Barny was the dog) and was in-between gigs; so he said sure. Then there were a host of other gigs. Then another Flying Pig Marathon. This time with Rick. Somehow, Tam who played with me and Ron on the First one said: you guys are playing ten minute versions of two minute surf tunes and are wearing tie dyed shirts so why not name the band "the Grateful Surf"? And that is where the name came from. We played the momentous 2nd OXFORD BATTLE OF THE SURFING BANDS. You can look that up on YouTube. We were playing together several times a year and when the MALADROITS broke up and DFR slowed down a bunch, and Rick left Barney and the Howlers; we decided to make it more permanent.

the GEAR

I am currently using a TRACE ELLIOT BLX 80 as my main performance amp unless it is a real small job in which I also play guitars. Then I use a CARVIN AG100D which has three channels including a mic input for vocals or any instrument requiring a microphone or sub mixer. The Trace is Augmented by a TRACE ELLIOT dual compressor. Gives a nice tight sound in a small package. I own six bases. Lately I have been using either an acoustic 4 string which is a DEAN Performer CE. It is wonderful for what it cost and easily comparable to instruments costing $1K more. The other currently in use is a 5 string fretless all koa CARVIN LB75 custom made. This one is also wired a ROLAND GK2B pickup to be used in conjunction with a Roland V-Bass Modeling System, a synthesizer. In the SURF band I am using a GRETSCH Streamliner with cat's eye sound holes and a Bigsby whammy bar. It is cherry red. I am also regularly using a Jay Turser MOSRITE copy with a Bigsby bar and actually I am quite impressed with the thing. It is not a MOSRITE but it did not cost Mostite bux either. It is black with white binding and tuners that stay in tune. I am occasionally using a dreadnaught Alverez-Yari six banger and a 12 string GARRISON 40-12. On the song DON'T FEAR THE REVERB I am using Roger McGuinn edition Rickenbacker 12 string. I am currently rebuilding my U.S.A. Mockingbird Supreme B.C. Rich and building a few others, one of which is a strat model. The amps are either LINE 6 spider II or the BELAIRE CARVIN tweed dual channel. I occasionally use a Danelectro pedal board or a Line 6 POD or a Roland V10 WAH.

the Philosophy

Too many people have thought of the bass player in the band as being stuck with the job because that person was the weakest guitar player. I am a very good guitar player. I realized very early in life that the bass line in a production can make or break it. I, like many bass players listen to everthing in the ensemble and are not concerned with being the hot noodely guitar player that gets all the girls excited. I myself am not that insecure. I am concerned with the total sound, the total production and the total presentation.