28. THE RIPTIDES - Last Wave Of The Day

THE RIPTIDES - 'Last Wave Of The Day' (Tower DT-5083) 1967

During last years countdown of the Los Angeles music scene 1965-69 I included 'Vietnam' by Bobby Jameson from the Mondo Hollyood film soundtrack but I wanted to feature an obscure surf cut by The Riptides from this LP for my 2011 select fifty.

The Riptides were a group of teenagers from Burbank. The following information is from Riptides keyboard player Bob Bennett.

"The Riptides were first formed from a band that was initially called The Mai Tai Five It was composed of Bob Bennett, Phil Kasper, Ron Record,  Tommy Howell, and Tom Rockriver.  The basic musical content was surf music (note that most early surf music used saxophones-hence Tom Rockriver) and local garage band music.  

THE RIPTIDES - Last Wave Of The Day

We played some junior high dances at Jordan and elsewhere.  But when we discovered that we could sing, and the Beach Boys were becoming popular we formed The Riptides after Rockriver left the band for a different type of music.  Bob Bennett on piano/keyboards, Phil Kasper on Fender Jazzmaster guitar, Ron Record on Gibson ES 335 guitar, and Tommy Howell on a Ludwig kit.  When we ran into a kid named Steve Schoen, who played bass, we were introduced to his mother who was a Hollywood type who had just written a song for a Christmas Supremes album.  
She heard us and liked us.  She said that she knew a guy who was just beginning to make it in the L.A music scene.  He had just written two songs for Honda-"You Meet The Nicest People On A Honda" and "The Worlds Biggest Seller Is A Sporty Little Street Machine".  His name was Mike Curb.
Steve's mother set up a meeting at her house and Phil and I played some songs that I had written and recorded on Ron's Sony Reel to Reel.  Curb liked what he heard and thus began  a new direction for The Riptides.  Curb wanted us to record a Beach Boy song because he had produced the hit song "Little Honda" by The Hondells on Mercury.  

So he gave us a demo of one of the future Three Dog Night singers, Danny Hutton.  It was from an album by The Beach Boys and the song was "Farmers Daughter", written by Brian Wilson.   We had a recording date set up and we practiced the song 897 times.  When we went to the studio it was the studio that had recorded all of the Steppenwolf  and Three Dog Night albums and hits.  It was recorded in four track.  The guitar solo in the middle of the song was performed by Richie Podolor who was also the engineer.  He was married to Pricilla Paris at the time and did the solo on a Rickenbacker 12 string.  Absolutely fantastic, probably the best recorded song was our first.  Perfect, but nothing happened. 

Next song was "I Couldn't Love You Again" written by Curb writer and friend Harley Hatcher.  Hatcher's name appears on a lot of the songs in street gang movies that were popular at the time.  Our next effort was our only single released on Curb's Sidewalk label. "Sally Ann" which was a "Barbara Ann" knock off  written by Curb.  The B side was called "April" and was written by Curb writer friend Ron Abeyta.  It was also recorded in four track and included a dubbed in horn section.  The single bombed but it did make the John Burroughs Cafeteria juke box.  

We recorded a song for the movie called Mondo Hollywood called The Last Wave Of The Day.  It was written by Curb and it was a great song.  The album was released on Tower, a Capital subsidiary.

After the bass player moved on to a low-rider band there was no bass in the song and it suffered as a result.  We also had some background parts for that movie which included the sidewalk surfing/skateboarding scenes.  The movie was terrible and very controversial at the time.  Curb's reputation suffered but not enough to stop him from eventually becoming California Lieutenant Governor. 
Next we did two songs for the movie The Golden Breed.  Curb had the backing tracks already done but he had Phil Kasper record a song called "The Golden Breed" and  Bob Bennett recorded a song called "Hey Girl, What Turns You On".  The album was released in stereo on Capital.  That was our last involvement with Mike Curb. 
The Riptides would eventually break up, Ron Record got married at age 17, Phil and Bob went on to college and Tommy Howell went off into the sunset.  Great times, fun stuff.  Some of it still available on DVD." 


  1. An excellent little pop number, that would have sounded great coming out of the transistor. As ever many thanks Colin!

  2. As a founding member of "The Riptides", I had all of our songs engineered into an MP3 format and released on a CD. It is still fun to listen to such happy, care free music. The original four songs were recorded at American Recording Studio in North Hollywood. Mike Curb was a young twenty-something and on his way up in the music biz. Interesting guy. Very good recording studio.


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