Minneapolis, Minnesota, US
Artist / Band / Musician
Surf / Garage
Born in 1962 The Trashmen were a fledgling Minneapolis dance band playing teen dances and nightclubs in search of fame and fortune. That fame was realized when they turned their heads to the coasts and beaches of the California surf/drag craze where artists such as Dick Dale, The Beach Boys, Jan & Dean, The Tornados, Astronauts, Surfaris, and The Ventures were securing their legacy with an array of instant classics.
Adopting the "Surf Sound" in Minneapolis landed themselves on the charts in late 1963 with their hit "Surfin' Bird" a combination of the Rivingtons "Bird is the word" and "Papa Ooh Mow Mow" Something the band had been working up at local dances. After seeing the "crowd frenzy" stirred up during Steve's lip smacking, gut gurgling, jungle moaning during the middle breakdown and free for all finish by the band, they were encouraged by local DJ Bill Diehl to record the song at local Kay Bank Studios. (Bill's endorsement of the band is on the back cover of the Original Surfin' Bird LP)
While their debut single took off up the charts, the Trashmen took off on tours of the US, Canada, and South America also releasing the "Bird Dance Beat" as a follow up single to Surfin' Bird. As the fury the "Bird" craze wore down. The Band continued to tour and release various singles under different lables in hopes of landing another hit. While all were real gems and local chart favorites, they couldn't overcome the clamp the Beatles and Stones had on the US with the British Invasion.
The Trashmen officially threw in the towel in 1967 and stepped into their family lives and "real" jobs full time. Steve Wahrer continued on in the music scene full time briefly with the "New Trashmen" then Sherrie Davis & the Natural High and other local club acts where he would break out the bird on an unsuspecting audience. Steve's only job was as a musician.
The band reunited in the mid 70's to play shows in the Midwest and relive their glory from a decade earlier while adding tunes from new chart toppers The Eagles, Waylon Jennings etc. to their repertoire. When the demand was high, they'd play. When it died down, they would go about their business and normal lives. This continued thru the mid 80's when Steve was diagnosed with cancer. He continued on until 1989 when his condition worsened and it prevented him from playing, singing and public performances. He passed away in 1989.
In 1990 the band carried on with Steve's blessing as Tony's brother Mark Andreason took over on drums and Tony full time on vocals. The Trashmen played fairs, surf/drag fests, car shows and even the Clear Lake Iowa revival at the legendary Surf Ballroom (Holly, Valens & Boppers' final show) meeting and working with the Crickets and Buddy's widow Maria Elena Holly. Surfin' Bird also turned up in Hollywood as heard in "Full Metal Jacket", "Pee Wee's Beach Movie" as well as TV commercials and radio spots.
2000's have brought the band full circle. While now retired from full time careers, the band has been scheduling tour dates in the US and abroad since 2008, with shows scheduled periodically. Stay tuned for more show information to come. papa ooh mow mow! The Trashmen. They gave the world "The Bird"and got away with it :)
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