Saturday, March 19, 2011


[From the STMcC archive; 2006, August 1st]

I'm kind of a quirky character - "unique" is the word that my friends have used to describe me. Those who were not my friends used other less friendly words from time to time, but those people are all dead now so there's no point in our discussing them.

One of my little "quirks" is to occasionally ask odd questions from out of the blue. It might be a reasonable question such as, "The year of your best Summer?" (Mine was '74, how 'bout yers?) Or the question might be something totally nonsensical like, "What did you do when the crops failed?"

Now, if you expect to remain a friend of mine for very long you will be required to consistently reply immediately with something (at least mildly amusing) that we can develop into a full-blown, long-term nonsensical discussion. Acceptable answers to that last question would go something like: "We turned to cannibalism" or "I died in the famine." You get the idea?

When I suddenly blurted out, "Best guitarist?" to my buddy at work, The Great LC, he answered, "Gary Hoey."
I said, "HOEY? WHO HE?"

I thought I had heard of all the highly acclaimed guitarists but this cat was news to me. Well, the compact disc-addicted Rams fan, The Great LC, loaned me a copy of one of his Hoey CDs and I was turned onto truly one of the most unjustly unknown six-string slingers extant. And it came as an added surprise and bonus when I discovered that 'Who He Hoey' had also written and performed the musical soundtrack for the movie sequel 'ENDLESS SUMMER II' (1994).

The first 'ENDLESS SUMMER' movie (1966) you'll remember was the original full-length movie on surfing that - along with the fabulous music of The Beach Boys - really pushed the sport into the American consciousness, and it is still considered the classic, holy grail of surfing films. (In the days before art house/cult flick movie theatres and Beta/VHS tapes, they used to show 'Endless Summer' at the packed Santa Monica Civic Auditorium to kids like me who rode waves all Summer long in our quest for skin cancer. That was before the invention of sunblock, ya understand!)

So, is 'Who He Hoey' really the "best guitarist"? Well, The Great LC ain't no dummy, and I'd say that Hoey is darned sure in the running; the cat can really sling it! I think I'd still have to side with Danny Gatton because, despite his amazing versatility, I'm not sure Hoey could quite match Gatton's exquisite finesse on numbers like 'Canadian Sunset' and 'Poinciana.' But I'd certainly be interested in seeing the boys duel. That won't happen any time soon though because Gatton "died in the famine" of '94.

But let's briefly examine this soundtrack and see what 'Who He Hoey' is doing on it:

The first thing you'll be happy to find is that this does NOT sound like your typical movie soundtrack album. There is none of that draggy "movie music" with cheesy orchestras sawing away on strings that meander over nondescript melodies - you know wot ahm talkin' 'bout here: FILLER! No way dudes and dudettes, this is a SERIOUS surf guitar Rock album! This is the one movie soundtrack album that REALLY ROCKS! I mean this baby makes most so-called "real" Hard Rock guitar albums sound like the "movie filler" we've been yakkin' 'bout here!

It opens with 'RIPTIDE', a highly electrified excursion into swirling waters of sonic danger. (How many of you blokes know how to swim out of a riptide? There's a secret to it, but I'm keepin' it to myself.)

'BLAST' is a heavy-chorded piece of menace (think Black Sabbath or sumpin' like dat), but 'SWEET WATER' is a fluidly-picked bit of metal funk with neo-reggae rhythms.

Then we get Hoey's outrageous cover of the old War classic, 'LOW RIDER' - the unofficial theme song of my hometown, Los Angeles (maybe you've heard of the place?) It's obvious that Hoey's amplifiers go up to eleven and that's where he keeps 'em set during most of these recordings.

If you don't get mental pictures of some long-haired surfer dude pulling off spinners and hanging ten on his longboard while Hoey plays his original composition 'WALKIN' THE NOSE' then you simply have no imagination whatsoever (and yer gonna be in big trouble when out of the blue I ask you to, "Tell me about your business with Roger O'Vernout.")

'DRIVE' has a nice little melody; it's not gonna wake the children or anything, but it's got a good beat and you can dance to it.

With 'LA ROSA NEGRA' (that means "The White Petunia" in Spanish), Hoey gives us his Carlos Santana impersonation; it's fairly Latinized for a White Surfer-lookin' dude, and it's a "daisy" of a tune.

OK, yer halfway thru this disc now, Surfcats.

'LINUS AND LUCY' is a cover of Vince Guaraldi's famous theme song for the Charlie Brown TV specials, and Hoey launches into it with all kinds of weird harmonic shifts and...somehow I'm thinkin' dat Linus an' da kids (and even Snoopy) would have had a difficult time doing their goofy dances to this version!

'SURFDOGGIN' is one of my favorite tracks. It's a bit o'tickling Country-Surf Pickin'. I dunno but metinks 'Who He Hoey' may have invented a new genre with this composition and it really shows off his nimble fingers as they fly all over that fretboard and make me smile - this piece has a real Sense O'Humor...SERIOUSLY! "No, no, I'm nuh kiddin' you, uh!"

'PIPE' is an almost indescribably moody composition with Hoey's sparking guitar trading licks with Bud "Barefoot and Slippery" Shank's nasty Tenor Sax and Tony Franklin's great grumbling Bass pushing everything through the whitewater - probably my very favorite cut.

Hoey duets with one of his heroes, surf guitar legend DICK DALE, on Dick Dale's classic 'SHAKE & STOMP (Part II)' and it sounds like that wacko who used to juggle live chain saws on Venice Beach...only faster and louder. Forget about waking the children, this one's gonna getcha evicted from yer apartment.

'THEME FROM THE ENDLESS SUMMER' is the theme song from the movie 'Endless Summer' (guess that's why they called it that) and I've liked the tune since I first heard the original recording by The Sandals.

'ESCAPE' is pure Heavy Metal “Shock 'N' Awe” pyrotechnics. You might as well crank it up full blast because the manager's already on his way over to yer unit with the eviction notice in his hand anyway.

And the disc ends with the surprisingly "spiritual" 'THE DEEP' - it's an electric ballad with long notes of sustain. With this one, 'Who He Hoey' proves that still waters really do run DEEP - this is a genuinely moving piece of introspection and a fitting way to end what is otherwise an energetic assault, like an electric eel attack while riding waves in the Big Blue. And for that reason, I love to work-out to this disc! Yer gonna dig it too.

I'll end this review now with just one question for ya:
"What were you doing on the trail with Lewis and Clark?"

~ Stephen T. McCarthy

Gary Hoey plays ‘Linus And Lucy’ [Live]

Gary Hoey plays ‘Drive’

Gary Hoey plays ‘The Deep’

YE OLDE COMMENT POLICY: All comments, pro and con, are welcome. However, ad hominem attacks and disrespectful epithets will not be tolerated (read: "posted"). After all, this isn’t, so I don’t have to put up with that kind of bovine excrement.


DiscConnected said...

Oh, I see how it is.

Now that you've embraced the Obama administration and it's wonderful policy of Hope and CHange, you need some new twist on your blog.

So you try writing tips, but find out there's a whole bunch of people already at it. And the Australian Writer's Mafia threatens to break your pinky (a critical typing finger) so you retire.

Next, yer gonna try the music thing. Well lemme tell ya buddy, that's my racket! And ifs ya knows whut's good for ya....

I'd forgotten I introduced you to Hoey. He really is a well-kept secret. Satriana gets all the press, but Hoey is the real deal.

Well, writ, McDogg!

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

Thanks, Brotherman!

Yeah, I guess I was kinda trespassing on your territory with this blog bit, wasn't I?

Sorry 'bout that, man. (At least I didn't compound the error by peeing on the territory like a dog marks his "X".)

Guess I'll go back to promoting Obama, where I belong.

Hey... What did Obama's birth certificate say to Karl Marx's Manifesto?

Your punchline here: ________ .

~ McStephen

DiscConnected said...

Surf Dogg-

We may have had this conversation alreay and I forget.

I had a two album set, beach Boy's Endless Summer.

I think it was just a compilation (in fact I thought it was released late 70's), or was that the soundtrack to the first film?


Stephen T. McCarthy said...


The Beach Boys' "Endless Summer" was indeed a two-album compilation released in 1974. It unexpectedly shot The Boys back onto the Billboard charts and garnered them a major, bestselling album. The title was borrowed from Bruce Brown's classic surfing film of the same name, but it was not a soundtrack for the movie which was released circa 1966.

Great movie, and great Beach Boys album too.

By the way, Bro, I'm having major computer problems - has a virus that won't allow me to Email anyone. ...But I did receive yours and will get The Bocephus Box from ya on Tuesday. (That was QUICK! Don't forget that I already paid you for it, on "the night I kicked you in the shin".)

Yak Later, Toddfan Discman.

~ D-FensDogg
'Loyal American Underground'

DiscConnected said...

Paid me? I have no recollection of that.

Did you get a receipt?

Bummer on the computer issues.

Stephen T. McCarthy said...


>>.....Did you get a receipt?

The scab on your shin is my receipt.

How soon dey fergits:

~ D-FensDogg
'Loyal American Underground'

Arlee Bird said...

Never heard of this guy, but the Great LC seems to come up with a lot of things I've never heard of --I guess it just goes to show how disconnected (as opposed to DiscConnected) I've become from the music scene.

This post gives me an idea. You can blog from A to Z in April just by posting these oldie but goodie blogs that most people haven't read. Maybe a few people would read them in this go around. You could do this with both blogs! Wow what a wealth of information you could put out there with not that much effort. Might as well give those older posts another chance, eh?

Tossing It Out

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

I'm afraid that blogging from A To Z in April would interfere with my plan to quit blogging altogether.

And aside from that, my McBuddy, I really don't desire any more "Followers" anyhow. I already have enough "Followers" - it's "Readers" I am in short supply of. And blogging A To Z wouldn't garner me any more readers beyond April... when I will be dun bloggin'.

However, I will definitely check in on ya during YOUR A To Z postings in April, and will leave some comments.

~ D-FensDogg
'Loyal American Underground'

Michelle Gregory said...

i appreciated your comments on Arlee's blog post today.

Hold my hand: a social worker's blog said...

"La rosa negra" actually translates "The black rose" in Spanish :-)

Are you seriously quitting blogging??? :-(


Stephen T. McCarthy said...

Did I post comments on Arlee Bird's blog today?

I'm thinking that might have been my evil twin brother what did that.

[OK, seriously... thanks for backin' me up. (-:]

>>....."La rosa negra" actually translates "The black rose" in Spanish

Oh yeah, sure. Like I'm gonna fall for THAT!

I knew it didn't really mean "the white petunia"; I was just makin' a funny. Everyone knows it really means "the greenish-yellowish daisy".

(Yeah, quittin' purdy soon. Still gots a few things to write first though.)

~ D-FensDogg
'Loyal American Underground'