Wipe Out (song)
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Wipe Out Song
"Wipe Out"
Surfaris Wipeout single.jpg
Single by The Surfaris
from the album Wipe Out
"Surfer Joe"
ReleasedJanuary, 1963
Recorded1962, Cucamonga's Pal Recording Studio
GenreSurf rock, blues
LabelDFS, Princess, Dot
Bob Berryhill, Pat Connolly, Jim Fuller, Ron Wilson
The Surfaris singles chronology
"Wipe Out"
"Point Panic"
Audio sample

"Wipe Out" is an instrumental composed by Bob Berryhill, Pat Connolly, Jim Fuller, and Ron Wilson. It is a twelve bar blues[1] first performed and recorded by The Surfaris, who were elevated to international status with the release of the "Surfer Joe" and "Wipe Out" single in 1963.

The single was first issued on the tiny DFS label (#11/12) in January 1963. It was reissued on the tiny Princess label (#50) in February 1963, and finally picked up for national distribution on Dot 45-16479 in April 1963. Dot reissued the single in April 1965 as 45-144.

The song - both the Surfaris' version as well as cover versions - has been featured in over 20 films and television series since 1964, appearing at least once a decade.[2][better source needed]

The term "wipe out" refers to a fall from a surfboard, especially one that looks painful.


Bob Berryhill, Pat Connolly, Jim Fuller and Ron Wilson wrote the tune almost on the spot, as a suitable B-side was needed for the intended "Surfer Joe" single. In late 1962, while the band was in Cucamonga's Pal Recording Studio recording the single, one of the band members suggested that during the introduction before the music starts, a cracking sound, imitating a breaking surfboard, should be made. This followed by a manic voice babbling, "ha ha ha ha ha, wipe out." The spoken voice at the beginning of the song is the voice of the band's manager at the time, Dale Smallin.

Single reception

The afterthought track spent four months on the national Billboard chart in the autumn of 1963, reaching #2 and kept out of the top slot only by Stevie Wonder's "Fingertips". The smash hit "Wipe Out" returned to the Hot 100 in 1966, reaching #16 in Billboard and #9 in Cash Box in its second national chart run, landing at #63 on the Year-end chart. This time it is said to have sold around 700,000 copies in the US to add to its original million-plus. Meanwhile, original A-side "Surfer Joe", sung by Ron Wilson, only attracted airplay in the wake of "Wipe Out"'s success, and peaked at #62 during its six-week run. Wilson's energetic drum solo for "Wipe Out" (a sped-up version of his Charter Oak High School marching band's drum cadence) was beaten out on malt-shop tables all over the country, helping the song become one of the best-remembered instrumental tunes of the period. Drummer Sandy Nelson issued different versions on different LPs. "Wipe Out", in 1970, peaked at number 110 in the Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles chart. The single spent a grand total of 30 weeks on the Hot 100.



In popular culture

Following the 2001 death of television personality Morton Downey, Jr., news reports and obituaries incorrectly credited him as the composer of "Wipe Out."[7][8] As of 2010, Downey's official website continued to make this claim but it has been changed to state he "also played major roles in the production of the hit surf music era songs Pipeline and Wipeout."[9]

In science fiction author Robert J. Sawyer's Neanderthal Parallax series, the DNA sequence for a deadly virus is saved in a computer folder entitled "Surfaris". A character immediately recognizes this as a reference to "Wipe Out" and determines that the virus will wipe out all of the Neanderthals on a parallel universe's Earth. She then rewrites the DNA code to a non-lethal version and calls the file "Surfer Joe" in reference to the A-side of "Wipe Out".

In the late 2000s, the track was used on Harry Hill's TV Burp, usually played when Harry or the Knitted Character ride a jelly.

"Wipe Out" has been used on a number of film tracks, including Dark Star (1974), Dirty Dancing (1987), The Sandlot (1993), Toy Story 2 (1999), Recess: School's Out (2001), The Cat in the Hat (2003), and Surf's Up (2007).

In 2014, this track was played in the 29th episode of season 5 of Regular Show when the surfer dudes making fun of Pops call in reinforcements with the "ancient call of the surfers" which just so happened to be this song.

The Fat Boys feat. The Beach Boys version

"Wipe Out"
Single by The Fat Boys & The Beach Boys
from the album Crushin' and Still Cruisin'
Fat Boys - "Crushin"
ReleasedJuly 10, 1987
Format7" vinyl, 12" vinyl
GenreOld-school hip hop, rap rock, surf rock
Bob Berryhill, Pat Connolly, Jim Fuller and Ron Wilson
Brian Wilson, Albert Cabrera, Tony Moran & The Beach Boys
The Fat Boys & The Beach Boys singles chronology
"Jail House Rap"
"'Wipe Out'"
"The Twist (Yo, Twist)"

In the summer of 1987 a remake of "Wipe Out" by The Fat Boys & The Beach Boys collaborating made #12 US and #2 UK.

Music video

The music video begins with an announcement of a boxing match, The Fat Boys and The Beach Boys are attending the match. The match is interrupted by a fight. In the following scene, The Fat Boys load up a car with swimsuits and then drive off. The Beach Boys are driving in a dune buggy through the city. Both bands go around the city in the direction of a beach, while they perform the song and animate the inhabitants of the city to come to the beach. Meanwhile, at the beach one of The Fat Boys tries to lift a heavy weight and is laughed at by two women because of failure, another playing volleyball and another surfing. The Beach Boys on the other hand are DJing in the street. In the course of the video all celebrate a beach party.[10]

Track listings

7" Single

  1. Wipeout! 3:50
  2. Fat Boys - Crushin' 3:40

12" Maxi

  1. Wipeout! (Wave I) 6:05
  2. Wipeout! (Wave II) 5:43
  3. Fat Boys - Crushin' (12") 5:38


Chart (1987) Peak
US Billboard Hot 100 12
UK Singles Chart 2
German Singles Chart 30
Dutch Top 40 Singles Chart 13
Belgian Singles Chart 17[11]
Norwegian Singles Chart 2
New Zealand Singles Chart 2

Other cover versions


  1. ^ Wolf Marshall. Stuff! Good Guitar Players Should Know: An A-Z Guide to Getting Better. Books.google.com. p. 131. Retrieved .
  2. ^ "The Surfaris". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved .
  3. ^ "Wipe out in Canadian Top Singles Chart". Library and Archives Canada. Archived from the original on 2017-10-27. Retrieved 2013.
  4. ^ "Wipe out in German Chart". Media control. Retrieved 2013.
  5. ^ "Surfaris". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 2013.
  6. ^ a b "The Surfaris awards on Allmusic". Allmusic. Retrieved 2013.
  7. ^ "Wiping Out a Myth". Orange County Register. 2002. Archived from the original on 2007-09-28. Retrieved .
  8. ^ "Morton Downey Jr. Dies, Combative Talk Show Host Was An Icon Of The 1980s". CBS News. 2001-03-13.
  9. ^ [1]
  10. ^ "The Fat Boys, feat. The Beach Boys - "Wipe Out" - ORIGINAL VIDEO - stereo HQ". YouTube. 2010-03-09. Retrieved .
  11. ^ "Fat Boys & The Beach Boys - Wipeout!". Ultratop.be. Retrieved .
  12. ^ "ANIMAL | full Official Chart History | Official Charts Company". Officialcharts.com. Retrieved .

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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