The Trashmen

Responsible for the great, babbling refrain of "Everybody's heard about the bird", The Trashmen's single Surfin' Bird has become a cult classic covered by The Ramones, featured in Stanley Kubrick's war movie Full Metal Jacket and famously used as a running joke in animated series Family Guy. The "Pa-pa-ooh-mau-mau, Pa-pa-ooh-mau-mau" chorus became a sort of rock'n'roll catchphrase. Led by Tony Andreason (vocals, guitar) and Dal Winslow, (vocals, guitar), the band formed in Minneapolis in 1962 and created a feverish take on early rock'n'roll that incorporated twanging surf melodies, rattling R&B and DIY garage rock. Surfin' Bird came about when drummer Steve Wahrer/singer started improvising The Rivingtons' two songs Papa-Oom-Mow-Mow and Bird Is The Word on stage, and after being overheard by a local radio station, went on to reach Number 4 in the US charts in 1963. Dismissed by some at the time as a novelty, the band's follow-up singles Bird Bath and King Of The Surf and album Surfin' Bird (1964) failed to make the same impact and they split in 1967. But their raw, high energy, slightly insane performances went on to inspire the punk movement and make them favourites with record collectors and garage rock obsessives. They reformed in the late 1980s and were boosted when an online campaign sent Surfin' Bird to Number 3 in the UK charts in 2010 and, although Steve Wahrer died of throat cancer in 1989 at the age of 47, they celebrated their 50th anniversary as a band in 2012 with gigs across Europe.

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