The Pyramids: Penetration! The Best Of The Pyramids (LP, colored Vinyl, Ltd.)
(Sundazed) 18 tracks - colored Vinyl on turquoise + inlay
The five-piece of shaved, saxophone-blowing, reverb-stomping maniacs mixed up the stages of unsuspecting West Coast teenagers and were brought to the big screen by the 1964 B-movie "Bikini Beach."
The album features the hit track "Penetration," one of the undisputed cornerstones of surf history! In the 1960s, when surf music was played up and down the beaches of the Southern California coast, it was often just a gimmick that set one band apart from the rest. The Surfaris had the laugh at the beginning of "Wipe Out." The Chantays had the great guitar run at the beginning of "Pipeline." The Tornadoes tried their hand at "Shootin' Beavers"; the Pyramids had just great surf music ... And bald heads.
Their big hit, "Penetration," stayed in the Top Ten (Billboard) for 13 weeks and even reached #4 nationally; only the Beatles prevented the song from rising higher. The Pyramids appeared on American Bandstand (twice), The Bob Eubanks Show, Shebang, Dave Hull's Hullabaloo and The Lloyd Thaxton Show. The band recorded a handful more great singles and an album before breaking up in 1965. Now, after 25 years, the Pyramids are back in action and ready to rock!
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Producer Tony Hilder changed the group’s name to The Charades and was listed as producer of Surf N’ Stomp, written by Al Garcia and Ray Jiminez for George Sherlock’s Northridge Records, even though The Charades’ website states that Garcia and Charade Ray Baradat handled production on the 1963 single. Hilder produced their followup for dance legend Fred Astaire’s Ava label later that year, Please Be My Love Tonight.
Their trademark shaved heads glistening, The Pyramids performed Bikini Drag in the 1964 film ‘Bikini Beach’ while comic Don Rickles wore a giant bird on his head, a guy in an ape suit shared a table with actor Keenan Wynn, and Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello glowed with beautiful youth nearby. The Pyramids’ choreography was as exciting as their music, lead guitarist Skip Mercier doing a mid-solo somersault off the stage. The quintet may have been the only integrated Southern California surf outfit thanks to southpaw guitarist Willy Glover; they were rounded out by saxist Tom Pitman, bassist Steve Leonard, and drummer Ron McMullen.
Hailing from Long Beach, California, the band formed in high school and made their debut 45, Pyramid’s Stomp, for the Long Beach-headquartered Best label at the close of 1962. Their John Hodge-produced instrumental surf classic Penetration made it to #18 on the Hot 100 in early ’64, again on Best. Despite its exposure in ‘Bikini Beach,’ Bikini Drag, written by surf titans Garry Usher and Roger Christian, didn’t appear on vinyl at the time.