Soul surfers: The Delimiters, Root Chakar, & a bit of surf-rock history from my mama

It’s summertime (and the living is easy…) in the good ole U.S. of A. and that definitely means beach time. I shared last week about the Kalob Griffin Band, who I heard while in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Now I need to share about a couple other groovin’ bands. The first is The Delimters, whose bass player, Robert Farmer aka Farmdog, owns a surf school where myself and 11 other cancer survivors learned to surf from some really awesome surf instructors (shout out to C-Mac, Noonan, Murph, Tort, and Sota).

Photo of Jay Rush by HaeJin Lee for morning glass images (www.morningglassimages.com)

Before I get into the music, I just have to plug the program that sponsored the surf camp, First Descents, an amazing organization that provides kayaking, rock climbing, and surfing adventures for young adult cancer survivors/fighters to help us overcome our perceived limitations after going through a life-threatening illness. I feel like a new person, reborn, and ready to jump head first into life. If you can support this worthy organization with funding to help other young survivors/fighters receive the gifts I have, please do.

Turns out Farmdog, the surf school owner, has a double life as the bassist for a local Outer Banks band, The Delimiters. Farmdog describes the name as “…removing one’s limits in life, perceived or otherwise (our definition)…” It’s interesting that the meaning of the band’s name is also the same mission that the program First Descents has in terms of helping cancer survivors to move beyond their own perceived physical and emotional limitations.

Back to the music. Here is a really cool original song, “Rain”, written by Farmdog. Check out the bass line. It’s pretty bass heavy, which I love:

I really love local bands who are the gel of a community. This blog celebrates roots-based music or music that is integral to a community or creates community. That is exactly the spirit of Farmdog and his band. You can hear more sweet tunes on their website: www.thedelimitersband.com.

Here on the West Coast, a good friend of mine who also surfs, has a psychedelic blues-rock band called Root Chakar, and they play around Santa Monica, Venice, and the Westside beach towns of LA. His shows tend to be community gathering-type events. He’ll always have anyone who wants to play music get up on stage and do a few songs with the band, whether they sing, play sax, percussion, or tambourine. As a side note, he developed a surfing/meditation app/game called SurfGod. Here is his song, Buckley’s Wake, for Jeff Buckley:

Surfing and music have always been companions since the beginning of the surf culture. My mom, born and raised in Corona, California (about 40 minutes inland from the beach), used to go down to Newport to see Dick Dale in the 1960s. If you’ve never heard of Dick Dale, he’s known as the king of surf guitar and has a signature sound heard in the song “Misirlou”. I love my mom’s stories of growing up in the 60s, she has had many cool encounters with icons from that era (Ken Kesey, Jimi Hendrix, etc). Here is her memory about going to see Dick Dale and dancing the surfer’s stomp:

“I was in my first year at Chaffey College after graduation from high school in 1961. My girlfriends and I heard about a dance at the Rendevous Ballroom in Newport Beach. We decided to try it out. It was a huge ballroom that held 3000 people and was located right on the beach…The ballroom was always filled, and people stood elbow to elbow when the music began. When the first song started, we would rush out to the dance floor and stomp – the surfer’s stomp. It was a double stomp on one foot, then the other. The music was mesmerizing, electric, and loud enough to drown out everything else in those moments. There were a lot of ‘surfer boys and girls’ there, as well as us inlanders. We went every weekend as long as Dick Dale was playing and we could catch a ride.”

Photo by Jay Rush/morning glass images (www.morningglassimages.com)

It’s cool that 50 years later, the beach and it’s sights and sounds still can soothe our souls. The beach still makes my mom super happy and that makes me happy!

Peace, love, and soul y’all!
~Marina

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