Music on Mondays (4-7-14)–Catch ’em surfin’ at Del Mar

The Music Chronicles of Russel Ray

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

When I left College Station, Texas, on April 15, 1993, my intent was to go to Canada to kill myself. Really. Interestingly, I took $5,000 with me and a car full of CDs, about 500 of them. I guess you already know that I didn’t kill myself, winding up in San Diego and never going back to Texas. Mid-life crisis?

The CD collection which I took with me included a complete collection of music by The Beatles (including all of their individual solo music), The Who, The Beach Boys, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Lynyrd Skynyrd. Several months later I was listening to The Best of Beach Boys, Vols. 1, 2, and 3. The Beach Boys were from Hawthorne, California, a working-class suburb of Los Angeles. Their songs expressed the ’50s and ’60s Southern California lifestyle of wine, women, and song.

Wait! What? Wine, women, and song? That was Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Bing Crosby!

The Beach Boys were the Southern California youth culture of surfing, cars, and romance. One song in particular, “Surfin’ U.S.A.,” piqued my interest since I now lived in Southern California.

Here is the song and the lyrics:

If everybody had an ocean
Across the U.S.A.
Then everybody’d be surfin’
Like californ-I-A
You’d see ’em wearin’ their baggies
Huarachi sandals, too
A bushy bushy blonde hairdo
Surfin’ U.S.A.

You’d catch ’em surfin at Del Mar (Inside, outside, U.S.A.)
Ventura County line
Santa Cruz and Tressels,
Australia’s Narabine,
All over Manhattan,
And down Doheny Way
Everybody’s gone surfin’
Surfin U.S.A.

We’ll all be plannin’ out a route
We’re gonna take real soon
We’re waxin’ down our surfboards
We can’t wait for June
We’ll all be gone for the summer
Were on safari to stay
Tell the teacher we’re surfin’
Surfin’ U.S.A.

At Haggerty’s and Swami’s
Pacific Palisades
San Onofre and Sunset
Redondo Beach, L.A.
All over La Jolla
At Waiamea Bay
Everybody’s gone surfin’
Surfin’ U.S.A.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I decided I would try to visit all of the places mentioned in the song. I have made it to all of the Southern California places, but Australia’s Narabine (correctly spelled Narrabeen, but the Aboriginal word is Narrabine, still not spelled like the lyrics have it spelled. Tressels also is misspelled; it should be Trestles). I also have not made it to Waiamea Bay…. some day.

Now all I have to do is go back to all those places and take pictures. Here are a few pictures of the places I have visited:

Del MarDog Beach, Del Mar, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Swami’s at sunsetSwami's at sunset

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

San Onofre
(The state beach is to the left of the nuclear
power plant,  which was not there in 1963.
Construction on it began in August 1964.)San Onofre Nuclear Power Plant

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

(specifically Santa Monica, one of the best surfing spots)Santa Monica, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

La JollaSunset at La Jolla Cove, 10-17-12, La Jolla, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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16 thoughts on “Music on Mondays (4-7-14)–Catch ’em surfin’ at Del Mar

  1. jolynnpowers

    WOW interesting walk down memory lane today…. Just funny how we all have musical memories,,,these song bring up memories of my 5 year old son, who is now 23 bouncing on his bed and singing at the top of his lung to the beach boys. His first music loves were the beach boys and CCR…who would have known that they would make so many feel so good!


    1. Russel Ray Photos Post author

      You mention CCR. They were another one that I had a complete collection of at the time. As of December 31, 2013, I now have a complete collection of John Fogerty, too, including his Night Rangers music.


  2. philipfontana

    Russel, Just great! Love the Beach Boys & “Surfin’ U.S.A.” I have a box set of everything the Beach Boys ever did from radio jingles to rehearsals, etc. Nice post! …photos & narrative too! Ha! Phil


  3. LAMarcom

    I have done some ‘hard time’ in California: Bay Area and more recently San Diego, while in the Nav.
    Love the Beach Boys, btw.
    While I was working In Iraq back in ’05, I took an R&R to London.
    Being Texan and a Jerry Jeff Walker fan and loving the song, “London Homesick Blues,” I just had to make a pilgrimage to Marble Arch Station.
    Just had to.

    Great post.
    Great photos, Russel.


    1. quarksire

      so agreed………… we used to drive all the way frum el cajon to our fav beach almost evry morning b 4 skewl in the 70’s to find the best waves , then back off to 2nd period Lol 🙂



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