May 16, 2013

The Fender IV - Mar Gaya (1964)

Formed in Baltimore, Maryland in 1962 by school friends, this surf rock band was the brainchild of Randy Holden (born 1945), a future guitarist in Blue Cheer. Besides Holden on lead guitar and vocals, the band also featured Joe Kooken on guitar, Mike Port on bass, and Bruce Miller on drums. Holden decided to move the band out to Los Angeles, California in 1963 where they were hoping to find an audience more receptive to their surf-styled music. Ironically, shortly after they got there, the surf genre was quickly losing popularity to the rise of the British Invasion; so, the band attempted to create songs that either fit one or both of the surf and Merseybeat genres. After the release of the band’s second single, Holden and the guys gave in to shift with the times and renamed themselves the Sons of Adam, focusing on a harder genre of rock. Their drummer Bruce Miller was the only member not to carry on under their new name.

This song was written by Randy Holden at the band’s beach house in Topanga Canyon in California. According to an interview with Holden in 2002, the title is Swahili for “crocodile.” Featured as the A-Side on the band's first single, it was an instrumental track inspired by the surf music of Dick Dale and other big names in surf of the time. The song was backed with the B-Side “You Better Tell Me Now,” a surf/Merseybeat hybrid that attempted to adjust to the British Invasion without losing their surf essence, as mentioned above.

[Update: Randy Holden of The Fender IV submitted an exclusive story to us. Click here to read it.]

album art

The Fender IV - Mar Gaya (1964)

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