People have asked me about the famous Surf Song CECILIA ANN and if I indeed wrote it.. Yes, it is true. I wrote this song in 1989 with Charles "Frosty" Horton and Frosty and I played and recorded it as The Surftones on record. Then the Pixies heard it and asked if they could cover it as the opening song for their Bossanova record. (They sampled me kicking the Fender Twin amp at the start which amused me). The Story of CECILIA ANN: When I worked at DCC Compact Classics, Marshall Blonstein ("The Boss") gave me one compilation CD a year to dream up and run with that had good music but wouldn’t sell worth a darn. In other words, I got to license and release an album of obscure music on CD that we knew would lose money but was still neat anyway (Marshall was good that way, still is.) Sort of a Loss Leader. One year he let me do Chris Montez Greatest Hits from both A&M Records and Monogram Records (which actually made money). So in 1989 he let me do a Surf Music compilation mainly because I discovered and was crazy about an old surf type song that was recorded at (Downey Records) Wenzel's Music Town called "Inertia" by the Hustlers. We licensed it from Wenzel on my urging and first used it on the "BEACH CLASSICS" CD comp. But I wanted to build a compilation album around it and other local instrumental Surf Songs, licensed from obscure labels. Now our sales manager Lou Verzola HATED this type of teenage music, hated my idea, hated me. But, Marshall let me do it anyway. What I mean is, he ok'd a budget for licensing of the songs, artwork creation, mastering, manufacturing, etc. He knew it wouldn't sell but he liked the music as well. Sort of a guilty pleasure as it were. So, I compiled the disk of vintage obscure Surf Music but I was feeling that we needed a good kick off (truly, and I kicked my amp) song. I couldn't find one, so, I decided to just create one, make it seem like a long lost song, gave a fake band name, old record label, etc. and just put in as the starting song on SURF LEGENDS (And Rumors). To make the album stronger, and, well, because I could. Charles "Frosty" Horton, the new age music guru was in the next office and we were talking about how to do this. We decided to write a new Surf instrumental song, Frosty could play a convincing Surf lead and we could use my Sony TC-788 four channel tape deck to do it. I only had two microphones and that was all that was needed. So we overdubbed. We eventually recorded the thing at 15 ips on 1/4" four-channel. At any rate, one night at my apartment on Riverside Drive and Longridge Avenue in Sherman Oaks CA, Frosty came over after work at DCC Compact Classics and we started in, without an idea in our heads. Now, I had a sweet deal with my landlord, my oldies band could practice in my apartment every Tuesday night for two hours, FULL BLAST and the neighbors couldn't complain (it was actually in their lease agreement that we were doing this). The trade off was that I was the acting landlord when the real one went on vacation (which was often.) So, on a Tuesday night, I got my MCA Records buddy Jeff Traintime's Fender black face Twin (with JBL speakers), Frosty brought over his Fender bass and I pulled out my G&L beater strat-like guitar and we started in, without a clue in the world what to write. My drums were already set up in the living room, I put a mic near the snare, the other mic on the Fender amp plugged right into the Sony tape recorder and Frosty and I sat on the couch and tried to write an old style surf song. Wasn't working. Frosty's girlfriend brought us over pizza and tried to cheer us up. So after our second slice, Frosty had a brainstorm. He thought of a little melody fragment by the classical composer Gabriel Fauré' that he liked and he played it for me. It was good so we changed the notes around slightly and progressed. I took a yellow legal pad and knocked out the chords (I still have the page) as Frosty played his new melody. We liked it. We called it CECILIA ANN, a joke; a rough translation of Faure's little ditty from French to English. So, around 9 pm, I turned on the tape recorder, got on the drums, Frosty on the bass and we both stared at the yellow paper and I counted it off. We knocked out the basic track (drums/bass guitar only) in one take! That was the easy part. The rest of the night we overdubbed Frosty's lead line. At midnight we stopped, he did an OK take, a few flubs (even better, we sounded like teenagers) and left it. In the morning, instead of going to work, I recorded the rhythm guitar part by myself on my 1965 Fender Strat, mindful not to overpower Frosty’s lead line. Then, I rough mixed it, OLD SCHOOL stereo vintage style, no music in the middle. Twin-track, like those old small studio Surf songs. Frosty heard it at work that afternoon. He liked it, thought it made a worthy Surf Song.. So, I decided to slip it on the “Surf Legends ( And Rumours) disk as the opening track. The next night I figured out an extra intro opening for the song to punch it up a bit. What I did was turn on the Sony recorder, kicking the reverb chamber of the Fender Twin amp and strumming a minor chord using the wang bar, spliced it on the four channel tape right at the start, remixed and that was it. The opening song for SURF LEGENDS (And Rumours)! It was perfect, and the CD then went right into the second song, Inertia by the Hustlers which was ALSO twin track, same mixing style. Excellent. Now, let's be clear here. Frosty and I didn't charge DCC Compact Classics any money to license the song, we just gave it to them for free. we never published the song, we never charged royalties, we never even put our names on it (simply written by THE SURFTONES), it was a freebie that we did for fun and for the good of the compilation album. Nothing else. I just wanted a good, strong, memorable first song to get the SURF LEGENDS (And Rumours) going with a pounding opener. I mastered the compilation at Location Recording Service in Burbank with Kevin Gray and we sent it off to be manufactured. The album was released on CD a month later and as I feared sold initially around 10 copies in the USA (as predicted by our grumpy sales manager Lou Verzola), BUT to our surprise, in England, Japan and around the world it sold a LOT more. Surf music is very popular overseas (so we discovered). Our sales manager still hated me but he eventually did order a repress and DCC Compact Classics sold at least 30,000 units, mostly imported to other countries. So the disk made money after all. A year passed and I was on to other projects. In that time the rock group on Elektra Records called The Pixies heard the song off the DCC disk somehow while on tour in the UK and when they got back into the studio, recorded it. Their manager found us through the address on the back of the “Surf Legends” disk and asked about publishing. So, Frosty and I put our heads together (remember, the song was unpublished) and Frosty hurried out and registered the song for us, got it published and the next thing we knew it was the opening track on the new Elektra Pixies album "Bossanova!" Holy crapola. That's how I became a BMI writer. Then, amazingly, CECILIA ANN was chosen to be the opening title credit music for a great 1995 film called "Kicking And Screaming" and not the Pixies version, OUR Surftones version, up on the big screen. So cool, and then the Pixie's box set came out on Elektra, and then, and then, and then... The gift that kept on giving, quarterly. Now, several other songs off of SURF LEGENDS were noticed, one, by the Pastel Six was licensed for use on that show with Johnny Depp, 21 Jump Street or whatever it was called. And of course, The Revels COMMANCHE was pulled from SURF LEGENDS and featured in PULP FICTION in the Gimp scenes. So, that's the story, forgive the length of it, but I thought you'd find it interesting.. Frosty and I were delighted, of course. Thing is only today we discovered that the song has gone deep into YouTube, inspiring musicians of all types to give it a try. It's quite flattering. The first link is our original, then the Pixies and then a bunch of intense strangers trying it. Gotta love 'em. Feels weird that a song we wrote as a lark is now so ingrained in the pop culture and judging by the size of our royalty checks, this is happening all over the world. Bitchin'. On our original Surftones version that's Frosty on guitar and bass and me on guitar and drums as first heard on the "SURF LEGENDS (And Rumors)" compact disk from 1989.. THE SURFTONES ORIGINAL (Steve & Frosty, recorded in my apartment in Sherman Oaks, 1989): THE PIXIES from "Bossanova" 1990: Pixies "Cecilia Ann" » SOME OTHERS: Cohen - Cecilia Ann » Los Daytonas - Cecilia ann » The Pixies - Cecilia Ann/Allison » Razorblades - Cecilia Ann - 2011-08-10 » Cecilia Ann - The Mermen - 19 Broadway - June 19, 2009 » SURFZILLA - Cecilia Anne - Outback Lodge - 2009-04-17 » Cecilia- Ann (Cover) by Smash Your Radio » Cecilia Ann by Dave Purslow.wmv » CECILIA ANN (cover by BLUE(S)PILLS) » YouTube » Kazan Vs Surftones & Pixies : Cecilia Ann + Out of wonderland » Hi, Donna Here... - Cecilia Ann (Live at WHRW 2011) » I'm sure there are more but this handful is enough. If you find any more good ones can you post?