Artist Details

The Chantays

Formed in Santa Ana in 1962, the Chantays were five high school buddies -- Brian Carman (guitar, vocals), Bob Spickard (guitar, vocals), Bob Marshall (piano, keyboards), Warren Waters (bass), and Bob Welch (drums) -- ranging in age from 13 to 17. Playing local dances, they specialized in surf music, and at least in the beginning were primarily an instrumental outfit. They were spotted and signed up by manager Dale Smallins, and in 1962 Carman and Spickard composed and published a piece entitled "Pipeline," which went on to become one of the biggest and best instrumental surf hits ever recorded. Its simple yet memorable melody and beautiful guitar line -- lyrical yet evoking excitement and motion -- and deceptively complex embellishments, all backed by a highly animated and propulsive bass part, made it naturally appealing in the musical landscape of the time. Additionally, the record had a very natural sound that made it seductive to the ear. One reason for its success may have been the fact that, so the story goes, it was actually recorded in the back of a particular surf shop (where the original master tape was reportedly found more than 25 years later) -- perhaps it was just a practical decision to cut the song there, or they were seeking some kind of psychic verisimilitude, but if it is true, it didn't hurt the finished product one bit.

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  1. 2012Best Of