Friday, August 30, 2013

Friday Nuggets - The Rivieras "California Sun"

College football season launches this weekend. So today we'll go with a truly great one that the Friday Nuggets staff has been holding back for just the right time. And that time is now.

Of course everyone knows that the most storied, successful and beloved college football team in the world is the University of Notre Dame Fighting Irish, inventors of the forward pass, home of the most Heisman Trophy winners, 11 national championships, etc etc etc. And I might incidentally mention, the alma mater of all 5 writers here at When You Motor Away.

But did you know that the home of Notre Dame - the oft-maligned South Bend Indiana - also produced  The Rivieras, who in 1964 recorded "California Sun", one of the all-time great garage rock songs?

The song was written and first recorded by New Orleans singer Joe Jones in 1961. Check out this Crescent City obscure original version:

While the Rivieras recording is by far the most well known, "California Sun" has been covered by a wide array of great artists - The Byrds, The Replacements, The Dictators, Dick Dale, Chris Isaak, Bobby Fuller, and Tommy James and the Shondells, to name just a few. But the best cover was done by arguably America's greatest rock'n'roll band, The Ramones, seen here doing an absolutely killer live version:


1 comment:

John Hyland said...

Sweet Jesus, you gotta love the Ramones. Turned a 2:20 original into a 1:48 cover, just by running it through the "Ramoneanator". They could play a 20-song set in less than 25 minutes. ONETWOTHREEFOUR!!!