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This last Saturday I went to the NAMM show (music industry trade show) in Anaheim and who did I see amongst all the rock stars but Tiki.

Here it is for you:

I found this tiki at the Fender room being used for displaying a new line of surf inspired guitars. The bodies of the guitars include stringers found in longboards. I'm not sure who carved the tiki. Maybe Mai Tiki?

As I walked around the Fender room, a group of guitars caught my eye. Shag painted a collection of Fender custom shop telecasters. The far left guitar features a western scene (something that I don't think I've seen him do yet), the middle is a jungle tiki scene, and the far right features more of a witch doctor music type thing. I found some information on the middle guitar. The wood is flamed koa wood with matching pickguard. The Shag-designed tribal mask position markers on the neck were inlayed in green malachite. Pretty cool.

Here's a better view of the guitars.


Later on I went and saw Lee Rocker (formerly of the Stray Cats) at the King Doublebass booth.

Once he started slappin' and movin' the bass around I noticed his cool pin stripping on the back of it.

That is my tour of NAMM tiki. I hope you enjoyed it. I won't bore you with the pictures that I took of Jerry Only from the Misfits or me with Elvis' guitar player, or the guy with the star makeup from KISS. That guy is just silly...

Man, I'd go bankrupt at the NAMM show. Hell, I'd go bankrupt in the Fender booth alone. I've owned (count'em) five Telecasters (still got 2), a Mustang, a (minty mint)Coronado 2, a Jagstang, 2 Precisions, and a Musicmaster bass. Now have the two Telecasters (my absolute workhorses), a fireglo Rickenbacker 360, and a cherryburst Les Paul Standard. The Gibson is something I reward myself with if I'm on a roll! I lug around a Carvin MTS 412 halfstack (Jive on if you want to,....it's one sturdy, abuse taking, tube bristling rig that has really gone it hard a couple of times for me and never missed a riff, and anything good enough for Nokie Edwards is good enough for me).

Pretty bitchin' guitars. Jeez, what isn't Shag selling nowadays? If he is actually painting the guitars, those babies must be spendy! I go more for the guits with the stringers. Unfortunately, I have been unplugged for most of my guitaring career, but one day I with reverbarate again!
Chongolio

I thought that the Fender booth was the absolute best booth at the show. I got there just as Dick Dale was unplugging his guitar. But I did get to see an all-girl, Swedish, sister rockabilly group. 'The Slap Tones.' Wow!

Fender also just bought Gretsch, so yeah, it would be pretty easy to go broke there for me too. Not that I don't love Fender. Sounds like you have some pretty cool guitars Kahuna.

The teles were in fact hand painted by Shag. In fact there is a pull-out poster in the Fender catalog showing Shag at work on 'em. I'm not sure if he chose to paint on a Telecaster because that's what he plays or if that's just what they gave him to work on. He used to play guitar and banjo in my buddy's band the Swamp Zombies. I think that most of that band is now the Tiki Tones.

Lucky D,
Do you have any Swamp Zombies LP's? Their first album "Chicken, Vulture, Crow" was mixed and produced by a friend of mine, Dave Carey. His brother Paul Carey was in the band along with Shag. As a matter of fact, Dave works with me. He's sits directly across from me!

Pretty small world, huh?

The Swamp Zombies. I never heard of them did they do the same kinda stuff as the Tiki Tones? Did they release much? The Tiki Tones are pretty cool. I like their older stuff best. The CD Idol Pleasures helped me connect Shag the artist to Shag the Musician. I am still amazed that it is one dude has done so much work.
If CD covers count I guess I do have a Shag collection. Dick Dales drummer Dusty Watson is in another killer band called Slacktone. They are amazing live. Anyway, I think Dave Wronski their guitarist works for Fender also.

Chongolio

[ Edited by: Chongolio on 2003-01-22 10:51 ]

The Swamp Zombies played kinda weird folky swamp 60's beat music if that makes any sense. It was not really surf at all.

I have the CD of "Scratch and Sniff Car Crash" and a purple colored demo tape from them. Both were given to me by Steve, the bass player and were signed by the band.

Some of it is really cool but most is just kinda weird with bongos and banjo and a jews harp. Another thing that stands out are the 60's folk harmonies in the songs. I wonder what Josh's signature on a Swamp Zombie CD would be worth these days. He also laid out the artwork for all the albums, though they were well before his now signature monochromatic cartoon style.

In the band my friend Steve played a big purple upright bass with a tiki painted on the back. I think it must have been one of the first tikis that Shag painted. This was around 1992 or '93 maybe.

I never did get any records of the Swamp Zombies. I can only guess where you can find them now.

On 2003-01-22 13:33, Luckydesigns wrote:
I wonder what Josh's signature on a Swamp Zombie CD would be worth these days. He also laid out the artwork for all the albums, though they were well before his now signature monochromatic cartoon style.

In the band my friend Steve played a big purple upright bass with a tiki painted on the back. I think it must have been one of the first tikis that Shag painted. This was around 1992 or '93 maybe.

Yes, Josh's painting style was very different back then! However, if I recall correctly, he was painting tikis even as far back as the late 80's.

Great pictures of NAMM! The Fender custom shop stuff is awsome. My brother shot me an E-mail monday to relate a few of the things he checked out there but he said nothing about the Fender surf line. I'll have to give him a call (he lives in Irvine) and pick his brain (maybe get some more pics too.
Was the bass seen with Lee Rocker a painted on pin stripe? It almost looked like it is carved.

The tiki on Lee Rocker's bass was pinstriped. All King Doublebasses come with custom pinstriping. They make the absolute best upright basses for rockabilly/ rock n' roll.

A

chongholio wrote:

The Swamp Zombies. I never heard of them did they do the same kinda stuff as the Tiki Tones? Did they release much? The Tiki Tones are pretty cool. I like their older stuff best. The CD Idol Pleasures helped me connect Shag the artist to Shag the Musician. I am still amazed that it is one dude has done so much work.

I have a couple mp3s of the Swamp Zombies in the music folder on my website if you wanna hear them. That's Shag on lead guitar on Man With The Golden Gun.
http://www.goofspot.com/music/
(Be a responsible "preview" listener.) Also, Shag was in the Huntington Cads too, one of my favorites - sorta loungy surf. A sample song from them is in the same folder too. He wasn't lead guitar with them though.

With these you connect the dots to Shag the record label owner too, since the Huntington Cads' first LP was on his Mai Tai record label, which was a sublabel on the Orange-based Doctor Dream label, before they all got bought out and ultimately deepsixed by the acquirer (I forget who - some biggie).

-Randy

Thanks for linking to those tunes Aquarj.
I dug them. I have Daddy Long Legs done by the Tiki Tones and without vocals on a Halloween comp I picked up a few years ago. I have heard a couple songs by the Huntington Cads. They have a fun song on the Ventures tribute. Did they put out any CD's and do a lot of vocal stuff? The Untamed Youth tune was cool also. What do you have planned for Goofspot.com? Or is it that double wait and see stuff?
Cheers,
Chongolio

[ Edited by: Chongolio on 2003-01-24 08:22 ]

I forgot about the Man with the Golden Gun. I think that that song was really the only surf/ spy type thing on there. Really cool song though.

A

Lucky / Spike, you're right, there's only a couple instros on all those Swamp Zombies records as far's I know!

And Chongolio, glad you enjoyed those tunes! Yes, I know the Tiki Tones version of Daddy Long Legs you speak of. Incidentally, most of the Swamp Zombies stuff was on Doctor Dream, the parent label to Shag's Mai Tai records at the time.

And veering slightly OT to answer your question, goofspot is still just an empty vessel waiting for me to get some free time (like 3/4 of other "hobby" sites on the web I guess). BUT... there is a Lanai/Villa history and pictorial in the works, that I'll put up hopefully in the next few months. Some neat photos that I can guaran-damn-tee will be interesting and exclusive! I can't wait for other people to be able to see that stuff.

Even further OT, the other longstanding goofspot feature in the works is my expose on the lost Elvis movie, "Slalom Fever". Few people know about it because it was swept under the rug after the project collapsed in post-production as a result of the complicated inter-studio deal that was in place for the making of the movie. That's a longterm one though - maybe sometime next year.

-Randy

[ Edited by: aquarj on 2003-01-24 19:03 ]

Meanwhile...back to Lee Rocker, recent reviews of his new CD "Bulletproof" have been very positive.

T

A follow-up on the Shag guitars at the NAMM show:

The new issue of Fender's Frontline publication (their catalog) includes an 11x17 pull-out poster. One side has a closeup of the tiki guitar and you can clearly see the fantastic art on the body, the koa pickguard and the malacite Ku fretboard makers. Also, Shag is pictured with Fender Custom Shop Master Builder John English, a very well-respected hombre in the guitar-building biz. Very, very cool stuff. I hope they include the Shag guitars in next years Custom Shop Calander, which my girlfriend jokingly refers to as "guitar porn." I think she's joking ...

The best part is the other side of the poster - a reproduction of what I'm assuming is a previously-unpublished Shag original entitled "Kapunu Goes Electric" picturing some of Shag's famed dancing tiki heads havin a bongos-and-Telecaster hootenanny in the jungle. And the Tele-weilding tiki is plugged into a period-correct tweed-covered Fender amp.

And it's free! Just go to your local music equipment retailer that carries the Fender line and grab a copy or two.

As a guitar player for going on twenty years (and playing a Telecaster for most of them) who's become quite smitten with the whole tiki vibe in recent years, it's such a treat to have two of my favorite things meeting thusly. Kinda like you-got-you-chocolate-in-my-peanut-butter. :)


tweedtone
http://www.vodkanauts.com
http://www.barelypink.com

[ Edited by: tweedtone on 2003-02-02 08:18 ]

C

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