Archive for April, 2014


I am a long time lover of instrumental rock’n’roll, starting way back in the sixties listening to the Ventures and — thanks to my British relatives, the Shadows. In recent years, one of my recurring activities has been to arrange and record some of this terrific, old-time rock’n’roll.

Today, that song, arrangement and recording is “Perfidia”, based on the Ventures version. This tune was one of the Venture’s biggest hits, peaking at #15 on the Billboard charts in 1960.



Spanish for “perfidy”, as in faithlessness, treachery or betrayal, “Perfidia” was written by Alberto Domínguez (1911–1975), a Mexican composer and arranger. A much covered song in its Spanish, English and instrumental versions, “Perfidia” has been recorded by Julie London, The Four Aces, Charlie Parker, Laurel Mel Tormé, Glenn Miller, The Shadows, The Ventures, Trini Lopez, Linda Ronstadt (in Spanish and English), Nat King Cole, Cliff Richard, Lawrence Welk, Freddy Fender, Andrea Bocelli, Ray Conniff and Ben E. King. Quite a range of artists there.

The bouncy good feeling of the Ventures and my arrangements belie the nature of the title and its lyrics:

To you, my heart cries out Perfidia
For I found you, the love my life
In somebody else’s arms

Your eyes, are echoing Perfidia
Forgetful of the promise of love
You’re shared another’s charms

With a sad lament my dreams
Are faded like a broken melody
While the Gods of love look down and laugh
At what romantic fools, we mortals be

And now, I know my love was not for you
And so I’ll take it back with a sigh
Perfidia’s one goodbye

My arrangement is for guitar, bass and drums. I played the guitar and bass parts, and programmed the drums using loops.


April 30, 2014 at 2:35 pm Leave a comment

California Girls

Just about everyone who loves rock’n’roll and especially the wonderful music from the golden age (mid fifties through mid seventies) recognizes that the Beach Boys — and especially Brian Wilson — deserve to be considered the creative equals of the Beatles.

The landmark album “Pet Sounds”, as well as material like “Good Vibrations” were original and brilliant — much like the Beatles later work. Their early surf material was superbly done, good-time rock’n’roll, much like the early Beatles.

“California Girls” dates from 1965, when it reached #3 on the charts. Co-written by Brian Wilson and Mike Love, it is one of The Beach Boys’ most famous songs.

My version imagines the song as a something of a rockabilly instrumental, perhaps as a garage band (without the vocal prowess of the original artists) might attempt. I played the guitar and bass parts and composed the drums part from loops.


April 29, 2014 at 7:02 am Leave a comment

The Night Has a Thousand Eyes

This tune, written by Benjamin Weisman, Dorothy Wayne, and Marilynn Garrett, was a big hit for Bobby Vee in 1963, peaking at #3 on the charts.

This instrumental arrangement is for guitar, bass and drums. I played the guitar and bass parts and programmed the drum part from drum loops.

The guitar is my Gretsch 6120DS.


April 26, 2014 at 2:39 pm Leave a comment

Out of Limits

As someone with a rather poor singing voice, I have long had a great fondness for and interest in instrumental music. Of course, if it is GUITAR instrumental, so much the better. So I am naturally a fan of the Ventures, the Shadows, and other instrumental rock groups from the 1960’s.

One of these groups was the Marketts, founded by composer/producer Michael Z. Gordon. Basically in the studio it was Gordon and members of the Wrecking Crew, although a live touring version did exist as well.

The Marketts’ biggest hit was Out of Limits. Written by Gordon, the song peaked at #3 in February 1964 and sold over a million copies. It is basically a riff on the theme from the Twilight Zone, and named for a competing program of the time, The Outer Limits.

Gordon, BTW, was also involved in producing television and movies.According to Wikipedia, his production credits include: Married… with Children” (1987) Angels in the Endzone (1997); Narc (2002; In Enemy Hands (2004); Shortcut to Happiness (2004), Mafioso: The Father, The Son (2004), and Silent Partner (2005).

My arrangement is for a trio of guitar, bass and drums. I played both the guitar and bass parts, while using loops for the drums.


April 24, 2014 at 2:33 pm Leave a comment


In 1958, an instrumental track by Link Wray and the Wray-Men made it to number 16 on the charts. Originally titled “Oddball”, Phil Everly heard it and suggested the title “Rumble”, as it had a rough sound and said it sounded like a street fight.

It was banned in several radio markets because the term rumble was a slang term for a gang fight, and it was feared that the piece’s harsh sound glorified “juvenile delinquency” – one of very few instrumental singles banned from the radio airwaves.

I have attempted to retain some the the rawness of the original version in my arrangement and cover:


April 19, 2014 at 11:23 am Leave a comment

Classical Corner X

It’s been over a year since I’ve posted any classic guitar performances. I’ve actually been very consistent in working in this area, but I guess it didn’t occur to me to record.

Anyway, this is a very lovely Scarlatti Sonata (Kirkpatrick 481) originally written for harpsichord in F Minor but transcribed for guitar into A minor by my former teacher Carlos Barbosa-Lima.

Click here to listen.

April 18, 2014 at 11:40 am Leave a comment


This past week there was a special on PBS about the Dave Clark Five. Back in the mid-sixties, most of us liked them as much — if not more –than the Beatles. While history has certainly spoken here, there is still no doubt that the DC5 were a great, great band.

One of their best numbers was the ballad/slow-dance tune “Because”. It is really a nice tune by any measure.

In tribute, I recorded this “garage band” instrumental version.

Click here to listen.

April 12, 2014 at 6:33 pm Leave a comment

Blues Theme

The Wild Angels is a 1966 Roger Corman film. It was made three years before Easy Rider and was the first film to associate actor Peter Fonda with motorcycles and 1960s counterculture. It was also the film that inspired the outlaw biker film genre that continued into the early 1970s.

Fonda stars as the fictitious Hells Angels San PedWild Angelsro, California chapter president “Heavenly Blues” (or “Blues”), with Nancy Sinatra as his girlfriend “Mike”, Bruce Dern as doomed fellow outlaw “the Loser”, and Dern’s real-life wife Diane Ladd as the Loser’s on-screen wife, “Gaysh”.

Fonda’s character had a musical theme. This number from the soundtrack, “Blues Theme”, as performed by Davie Allan and the Arrows, cracked the top 40 in 1967, peaking at #37.

This tune was a staple of my first garage band — The Sugarbeats.

My new arrangement/recording of it is dedicated to my former bandmates and still good friends, Lance Yaste and David Cox.

Click here to listen.

April 5, 2014 at 7:07 pm Leave a comment

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April 2014