The Songs of Summer #64: ‘Penetration’ by The Pyramids
Monday is now officially designated as the day for surf tracks. We’re running out of summer, and I’m running out of room to get all of my Songs of Summer in, so this may continue into October or November.
‘Penetration‘ by The Pyramids is another classic standard of the surf rock instrumental genre. The Pyramids were one of the first-generation surf bands that helped shape and mold the genre; formed in Long Beach, California in 1961, ‘Penetration’ was their biggest hit, peaking at #18, in 1964. After this pinnacle, the group disbanded in 1965 after the Beatles and the rest of the British Invasion rendered the surf genre largely obsolete.
The Pyramids were known mostly for this song as well as for their bald heads. They also appeared in the 1964 beach flick ‘Bikini Beach’, appearing in Beatles-esque mop top wigs, which blew off their heads just as they began to play.
‘Penetration‘ is straight-up surf; no heavy reverb, no waves crashing…just a simple, straight-up surf instro (which, let’s admit it, is really just kind of a less moody sounding knockoff of ‘Pipeline’ by The Chantays.) But the fact remains that it is a memorable classic of the surf sound.
You may take your car to work, The Pyramids grab their boards…
A Pyramids greatest hits package described them as “Crazed, head-shaven, moshing surf warriors from planets unknown…” Watch this rather awkward performance from American Bandstand (keep an eye on the sax player and wait for his honkin’ solo) and see if you agree. 1964 was a different age, my friends…A very different age. I mock, but I still love, The Pyramids. Enjoy.