“Batmobile”: Ohio Surf

Once upon a time, American automobile designs were the envy of the world.  Today’s piece is a tribute to the creative genius who not only designed Batman and Robin’s iconic mode of transport but also the Munster Koach, and the unbelievably spectacular Voxmobile that guitarist extraordinaire, Jimmy Bryant, once befriended.  As Barris’s son, Brett, sadly informed the world this week, “Sorry to have to post that my father, legendary kustom car king, George Barris, has moved to the bigger garage in the sky.”

Apparently, I wasn’t the only Ohioan who was smitten in the 1960s with Barris’s radical design for the Batmobile.  Youngstown’s The Squires would bequeath to future generations their musical interpretation of Barris’s most famous creation in pop’s peak year, 1967:

“Batmobile”     The Squires     1967

Guitar:   Phil Keaggy
Guitar:   Al Frano
Drums:  Jim Love
Bass:    Bob Flamisch

Wow, I just discovered that the lead guitar work on “Batmobile” is from that Phil Keaggy – here’s a link to the bio on his website.

As it turns, landlocked musical combos can create credible surf sounds – not just West Coast bands.  Cincinnati’s King Records, you might recall, even delved into the “surf rock” genre via The Impacs, whom Zero to 180 profiled just over a year ago.

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