Surf Side 5 LP Recorded Live cover

The Surf Side 5

Surf Side 5 LP Recorded Live cover to the original pressing

Surf Side 5 LP Recorded Live Side ASteve Carter of Phoenix rescued this very rare LP by the Surf Side 5 from the trash, scanned the labels and transferred the LP to CD to share with Garage Hangover. Steve didn’t find the cover, and it wasn’t until August 2012 that Ed Nadorozny found the low-resolution photos of the front and back cover seen below.

Recorded live at the Surf Side Club in Salt Lake City, Utah in front of a small but raucous crowd, this is a solid set of mostly standard cover songs of the day. The performances are well done. “Sparkling Sands” is something of a standout and the track I would recommend.

Surf Side 5 LP Recorded Live Side B“Greenback Dollar”, “Louie Louie”, “Surfer Joe”, “Memphis” (the Lonnie Mack version), “Kansas City” (the Trini Lopez version) and “Long Tall Texan” were all hits of 1963, and “California Sun” hit big in early 1964, so I think it’s safe to date this to very early ’64. Certainly there’s zero British Invasion influence in their choice of material or style.

In 2017 I heard from Brent Littlefield, the drummer for the Surf Side 5 who sent in the larger cover scans seen here and answered my request for some history on the group:

I had a three piece band during high school and we mostly played at school dances and assemblies during the Beatles rage at Bountiful High School in Utah.

Walt Sanders (rhythm guitar), Randy Young (lead guitar), and Ted Gosdis (bass) all played together at Granite High School in Salt Lake City. I think Larry Higginson (lead vocal) was also with them. I joined the band in summer of 1964 right after high school graduation.

Walt’s older brother George Sanders formed a teen club named Surf Side and the band played at the club for next to free after they deducted food and Cokes from our pay. That summer their drummer went on vacation and they asked me to sit in for the drummer until he returned from vacation. When he came back they asked me if I would stay and he was not invited back. We were rocking and bringing in packed crowds every night at the teen club.

When we cut the album we had only been together for about 4 months, after a few more months we really got good. The album is called the second edition because the first recording was done so poorly we made them re-do it for free. I have the original but it is terrible.

In 1965 during the “British Invasion” a promoter by the name of Al Michaels (from England) heard of us and wanted to help promote the band. He was very obnoxious but a good promoter. We had no money for promotion so he was on his own.

He arranged a “western tour” for the band. We spent a few days traveling in Idaho. In each town he arranged local performances for the band. We were greeted with convertible Cadillacs driven by a chauffeur and went through a downtown parade. We performed on the city hall steps in front of the mayor, the city council and the community. We performed at an old folks home and later that night participated in a “Battle of the Bands”.

We stayed at a dumpy hotel, but it was OK because our groupies followed us from Salt Lake and a lot of the locals joined us. I guess we got a little crazy.

On the way out of town on Sunday we were listening to the local Sunday morning talk show and they were talking about these rock bands who come into town and raid their culture and people.

We played several gigs at the Lagoon Amusement Park, the same venue used by all the top groups of the day. The Everly Brothers, the Beach Boys, and Paul Revere and the Raiders and others all performed at the Lagoon.

We also played in big promotion concerts at the Terrace Ballroom, another great Salt Lake venue.

While I was in the band I worked in the teen club as a janitor, at Albertson’s grocery as a bagger, and had a full schedule at the University of Utah. I flunked my 7 AM class, as I could never get my butt out of bed to get to class.

I quit the band in early 1966 as I got a pretty good job in the finance industry and planned on getting married in June of 1966.

Brent Littlefield
Feb 11, 2017

It’s amazing that this LP had two editions, with some differences in song choice and the covers. The 1st edition, which the band withdrew, had “Mashed Potatoes”, “Lonesome Town”, “Abilene”, which were replaced by “Vic’s Song”, “Winter Winds”, “Long Tall Texan” and “Memphis” in the 2nd edition.

The Intermountain Recording Service has a Salt Lake address on the label, I believe the studio has moved and is now the Inter-Mountain Recording Studio in Carson City, Nevada, unless that is a different studio altogether.

The Surf Side 5 – Sparkling Sands (phase corrected)

Thank you to Brent Littlefield for his help in this article.

Surf Side 5 LP Recorded Live back cover of the original pressing

Surf Side 5 Recorded Live LP - second editionSurf Side 5 Recorded Live LP back cover to the second edition

40 thoughts on “The Surf Side 5”

    1. this brings back a lot of memories, I saw that band every week at the old surfside teen club…I moved from Kentucky when I graduated from High School in 1963 to live with my Mom and Step Dad….I had played drums in several bands before I came to SLC one of the first guys I met in SLC was Ted Gosdis, I lived on 4209 south Redwood Road, I think they built a McDonalds on that property, Brent the drummer was a nice guy and a good drummer, he let me set in on Louie Louie.. that was a blast….I drove a black 1960 Impala convertible….and gave Aggie a ride home from the Club….she was the most popular person there, and everyone liked her .I had an old album with these songs on it, lost it somewhere when I moved to Phoenix in 1965 to play the Bar Circuit… I remember going there with Mike Prezynski…..Jim and Eddie Pitcher..Steve and Randy Thomas…Peggy Diamond . I moved back to Salt Lake in 1973 and stayed until 1983 and moved to Denver Colorado…….nothing was ever as much fun as being a teenager and going to Surfside and listening to that band Thanks for the memories

  1. Hi Dan,
    good comments. I checked and found the original album, cover and all. I’m not sure how to scan something that size, but I’ll work on it and send it in. Somewhere I also have the official scrap book, I’ll start looking. Oh my, our record was found in a dumpster in Arizona! It had wider distribution than we thought.

    Randy

    1. Randy – I had the record professionally transferred to CD. Chris is going to post my pictures and a little write up I did. Let me know if you want a copy of the CD. All the songs didn’t make the transfer but most of the good ones did. The quality is better than I expected there are a couple of skips and crackles but it sure brings back memories. Have you heard anything from Walt?

      1. Brent, is there any possibility of buying this album or a DVD copy? I want it for my 5 grandchildren. Walt Sanders is their grandfather.

        1. I had a couple extras made for others – but they have not claimed them. Please call me 623-999-7098 and we can arrange to get one for you – free

  2. I play in a band with the lead guitar player of the Original Surf Side 5. He has an original vinyl which he has had transfered to a CD. For whatever reason it has speeded up the tempo so the sound is out of whack. Contact me and I’ll fill you in.

    Dan Bradshaw

  3. It is appropriate that it was found in a dumpster. Walt was usually a little “Trashed” when he was playing. Love you Bro.

    Dan

  4. Back in 64, just as the Beatles were taking off, the Surf Side 5 came up to Pocatello to perform. I remember the local station that was promoting them tried to tie into the British Invasion (the SS5 had mop top hair styles (although they may have been wigs), and dressed pretty mod. They had one record called “Heart,” and I thought it was great. Does Dan know anything about this?

  5. Hi Dan, My niece found your site and told me about it. Wow! Talk about a walk down memory lane! I was at Surfside the night the Surfside 5 made their album. I spent most of the summer of 1964 going to Surfside and, yes, we were a raucus bunch. I have a picture of the Surfside Club but I don’t know how to get it onto your website. It was, originally, called the Banjo Bar and had a lit-up banjo on the sign out front. The club was (if I remember right) owned by a guy named Sanders and an attorney named Don Bybee. I’m sure you have the names of the band members from the original album cover. I met my husband at Surfside–he was a bouncer and I was a “teeny-bopper” and we had to sneak around to date because he was 23 and I was only 17 and he wasn’t allowed to date the patrons! It looks like our sneaking around paid off–we have our 45th wedding anniversary coming up on June 18th with 2 grown sons and 2 granddaughters. You brought back some great memories. Suzan

  6. A priceless quoting from the cover: “Nowhere in the world, at any time in history has there been such a foot-stampin’, hand-clappin’, hoppin’ group. Any teenager who can remain motionless while this record is spinning is either deathly sick or in a straight-jacket.”

  7. I was looking through some vinyl at the D I several years ago. Came across the same LP that you are talking about, bought it for 25 cents and now its framed and hanging on my wall. Yes I also was there and remember the guys in the band. If you were there I’m sure you remember Aggie & her sister Darlene, great gals always knew where the party was after the Surf Side gig. Great memories, thanks for posting…

    Case

  8. Hi,
    My dad is Brent Littlefield, the drummer. He has his original record. I am so glad I found this site because I framed it for his Christmas present this year. It’s been 50 years. Thought it was time to give him the golden record. I was looking for any old photo’s to add to it. He will be excited to see this site. I know he loved those days. He still plays. I will send you a pic of the gift when he opens it. Thanks so much for doing this.
    Lisa, his oldest daughter!

    1. Thanks for this site and for my daughters comments. This brings back many memories. Case thanks for mentioning Aggie & Darlene they were always dancing fools and an inspiration to party on! I see Randy has made a post, be nice to know where everyone else is. I still play the drums and this spring I just purchased an awesome digital set. The band was a great time in my life. Now that I have it framed I can be reminded of the fun times.

  9. Hi all.
    My name is Denis Hill.
    I am the Drummer that replaced Brent (when he left the Band). Brent was such an awesome Drummer and I was very much humbled to have the opportunity to perform in his shadow. I played with the guys for about five years. What a BLAST! I would love to know where everyone is now. i am in Denver and still Rockin’.
    Thanks to all for the Great memories!

    1. Denis, I lived in Denver from 1983 until I retired in Feb of this year, we probable know a lot of the same people, I know every Bar and a lot of the bands in the Denver, Boulder area

  10. Drummer: Brent Littlefield
    Lead Vocals: Larry Higginson
    Lead Guitar: Randy Young
    Rhythm Guitar: Walt Sanders
    Bass: Ted Gosdis

    I have my original album cover and will post some pics.

  11. Please post all of the pictures that you have I’m trying to find some of Ted Gosdis… thank you so much I appreciate it more than you’ll ever know.

    1. Sorry to hear about Ted, I met him when I first moved to SLC in 1963, he showed me all the good places to go, and I kept up with him for a few years after I moved in 1965…

  12. OMG I can’t believe this I was married to Larry Higginson and have been trying to find an album for our daughter Brook and his son Jeff. We had so much fun traveling with the band. We made many friends. If anyone know how I can get an album please let me know.

  13. Dianne – Brent here.
    I have wondered what ever happened with Larry and wonder how your life is?
    I live in Arizona – still working and life is good.
    I am healthy and happy.
    Would like to know how to contact you to see what happened to Larry.
    I did find out about Ted but didn’t post it here.

  14. Brent it is good to hear from you .I live in Kamas I am still working too! I would love to talk to you But I don’t want to put my phone number on here..

        1. Brent this is Dianne did you ever figure out how to tape your album? Are you still married to Marina? I got married to My husband and have been married for 46 years. You know that Todd died and Brook is good she lives in Provo.I often wonder what happen to everyone I didn’t know Larry had passed away till 2015 his sister told me I guess he had problems with drinking and smoking had a bunch of stokes he divorced Linda and was married again. I never heard anything from his family after Todd died.What are you doing?

          1. Diane good to here from you
            Marina left me in 2012 – we were married 46 years
            She went to Florida and married one of her high school boyfriends
            He died a few months later. I met Marion after Marina left and we were engaged for 3 years and just go married. I live in an active adult community west of Phoenix – it is wonderful we have 6 golf courses two county clubs – etc. Marina in now back in Phoenix and her father lives with her.
            Lisa framed my album as a tribute to the band. – I will send pictures -If I can figure out how to post. I will still try to make you a copy if I find an LP player that records

          2. Dianne – I did it – I took my record and had it professionally transferred to CD. It actually sounds pretty good for being over 50 years old . I had an extra copy made for you. I just don’t know how to get it to you. I also took some better pictures of the record and the albumin but I don’t know how to upload to this site?

      1. Hi
        I am the promoter who promoted the Surfside 5. My real name is attached. I was never Al Michaels lol. I am now in Japan, nearly 77
        and out living everyone lol !
        I can be contacted at: paulmartinenterprises@yahoo.com
        I have lived in America since 65 when I first arrived, Surfside 5 was my first promotion, I stayed at the club house and lived on fruit pies lol !
        I enjoyedthe Idaho promotions the band was great. I remember we only charged $1 entrance fee and I got only $20 for my efforts even though we filled the hall. Mayor Eddy Pederson Idaho Falls and the police chief where in the parade. I persuaded a car co. to lend us nice convertibles with young female drivers and I gave a speech on behalf of the queen on the city hall steps. I would love to get some memory photos, vids.etc if anyone has any. Best to y’all.

        Paul Martin

        https://sites.google.com/site/paulmartinentrepreneur/

        1. Paul,
          Sorry about the name error – I guess names get a little fuzzy after 50 years.
          Happy to hear from you

  15. Surf Side 5 were a truly awesome band!! They made every night so much fun at the club, great memories. Brent did a excellent job on the CD. He’s right by the time he left the Band was really incredible. Great Memories of all the fun, music and friends.

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