Surfin’ craze revisted at The Suncoast

Jan 6, 2003 2:47 AM

Surf’s up this week as Jan & Dean bring their unique surfin’ rock music to the Suncoast Showroom, Friday through Sunday, at 7:30 p.m.

With their bleached blond hair, T-shirts and sandals, Jan & Dean helped usher in the Southern California surf craze that ultimately won the hearts of teens who were into hot cars, girls on the beach and cruisin’ the Boulevard.

Their string of hits in the 1960s included Surf City, Ride the Wild Surf, Side Walk Surfin’, Honolulu Lulu, Dead Man’s Curve and Little Old Lady From Pasadena.

Although Jan & Dean is recognized along with the Beach Boys for fueling the surfin’ craze, they actually preceded the "other" group by five years. In that time they had 10 records on the pop charts including Heart and Soul, Linda, Barbara Ann and Baby Talk, their first of nine gold singles. They also had their own TV music special plus multiple appearances on Dick Clark’s American Bandstand.

The group sold more than 30 million records between 1960 and 1966. Moreover, they were the first celebrity rock group to tour the People’s Republic of China.

Their sky-rocketing career as teen idols came to a crashing halt in 1966 when Jan almost died in a catastrophic car accident. When Jan awoke from a month-long coma, he was unable to speak.

On the 30th anniversary of that car crash, Jan & Dean were inducted into Hollywood’s Rockwalk on Sunset Boulevard. They were honored by their peers as innovators and contributors of the Southern California sound to the rock ”˜n roll art form.

Tickets for Jan & Dean are $29.95 to $39.95 plus tax.