Donavon Frankenreiter

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Donavon Frankenreiter
Personal information
Born (1972-12-10) December 10, 1972 (age 49)
Downey, California, United States
Residence San Clemente, California
Height 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Weight 190 lb (86 kg)
Surfing career
Years active 1985–present
Sponsors Billabong, Sanuk, Von Zipper, Surf Prescriptions, Coors Light, Verizon Wireless, MasterCraft Boat Company
Surfing specifications
Stance Regular (natural) foot
Shaper(s) Jeff 'Doc' Lausch
Quiver Donavon has one of the largest quivers of any surfer, comprising boards dating from the 1950s to present. The number is in the hundreds.
Favorite waves Trestles (San Clemente, California) Hossegor (France), Pipeline (North Shore, Oahu), Puerto Escondido (Mexico), A secret endless perfect wave in Orlando

Donavon Frankenreiter (born December 10, 1972 in Downey, California) is an American musician and surfer. He is a long-time friend of Jack Johnson and his debut self-titled album was released in 2004 on Johnson's Brushfire Records through Universal Music. It made the Australian ARIA Top-40 charts in April 2004.

Surfing career

Frankenreiter took up surfing as a teenager on the beaches of San Clemente, California. He eventually signed a sponsorship deal with the Australian-based Billabong clothing company, which allowed him to travel the world over.[citation needed] During his travels, he would rent a room in North Shore, Oahu, Hawaii, from the parents of musician and surfing-enthusiast Jack Johnson; he and Johnson developed a strong friendship.

Donavon is well known for his appearances in the Drive Thru series of surf videos.

File:Donavon's Quiver.jpg
Frankenreiter's Quiver

Musical career

Donavon Frankenreiter
Donavon Frankenreiter on stage
Background information
Born (1972-12-10) December 10, 1972 (age 49)
Origin Downey, California
Genres Soft rock
Surf rock
Years active 2000 - present
Labels Lost Highway Records, Universal Records, Wrasse Records, Liquid Tambourine Records
Associated acts Sunchild
Peanut Butter and Jam
Members Donavon Frankenreiter, Matt Grundy,Paul Joseph Clark, Sam Bolle, Ed Benrock
Past members Jose Medeles, Dean Butterworth, Koool G. Murder, David Leach, Eric Brigmond, Craig Barnette, Pete Winders, and Matt Hamilton aka "Hammy"

Frankenreiter started playing in the group Peanut Butter and Jam at the age of 18. In 1996 he began to seriously pursue a musical career when he formed the band Sunchild. In Sunchild, Frankenreiter was the lead guitar player but did not sing. The band had a 70s rock sound similar in style to The Black Crowes. They released their first CD, Barefoot & Live, on Surfdog Records in 1997. Produced by Gary Hoey, the live album featured covers of The Allman Brothers Band, The Marshall Tucker Band, The Rolling Stones, and Van Morrison, as well as several originals. California Honey followed in 2000 on their own Sunchild Records. This studio album is now out-of-print. Sunchild disbanded in 2001 and Frankenreiter pursued a solo career.

In 2002, Frankenreiter signed with Brushfire Records. His self-titled solo album, Donavon Frankenreiter, was recorded with co-producers Jack Johnson and Mario Caldato Jr. Johnson appears on the album, as do G. Love and Eels, member Koool G. Murder. The album was released in April 2004 in Australia due to his high profile in that country; he had done support gigs for Jack Johnson and had a significant surfing career of his own. He toured Australia in April 2004, helping the album reach the top forty of the ARIA albums chart. Gary Jules was his support act on this tour. The album was released in the United States one month later, on 11 May 2004.

In 2006, Frankenreiter left Brushfire Records and signed with Lost Highway Records, home of such notable artists as Elvis Costello, Ryan Adams and Willie Nelson. His follow-up album, Move by Yourself, was released on June 6, 2006. Soon afterward Donavon recorded a song called "Lovely Day" with Koool G., which was featured on the soundtracks to two films, Snakes on a Plane that same year and Georgia Rule in 2007.

Donavon's first live DVD, Donavon Frankenreiter: The Abbey Road Sessions, was filmed and recorded at a special concert performed at Abbey Road studios in London, England in November 2005. It was released in early 2006.

In November 2007, Donavon toured throughout Brazil on the Mostra Alma Surf Festival with bands, Animal Liberation Orchestra, G. Love and Matt Costa, along with Surf Artists Jay Alders, Nathan Gibbs, Céline Chat, Surf Photographer Sean Davey, and Surf Film Maker Sunny Abberton.[1]

An acoustic EP of cover songs called Recycled Recipes landed in 2007, with the polished full-length Pass It Around following in 2008. For the Pass It Around Tour, Donavon teamed up with surf artist and friend, Jay Alders to design a Limited Edition Tour Poster.[2] A second volume of Recycled Recipes followed in early 2010, which featured another round of cover songs performed by Donavon and the band.

In 2010 Donavon parted ways with Lost Highway Records, and formed his own label, Liquid Tambourine Records. He subsequently recorded and released his fourth studio album of original material entitled Glow, which was produced by Mark Weinberg.[3] The album has had two singles thus far: the title track "Glow" (written by Matt Nathanson) and "Keeping Me Away From You".

In early 2012, Donavon cut ties with band mates Eric Brigmond, Craig Barnette, and Pete Winders. He maintains ties with original band member Matt Grundy. In late 2012, Donavon added band members Paul Joseph Clark, Sam Bolle (Dick Dale, Fear, Agent Orange), and Ed Benrock (Watson Twins) to the touring lineup.

Donavon is well known for his iconic mustache and quick-witted humor. He has a penchant for New Mexican turquoise jewelry. He is married, has two sons and lives in Kauai, Hawaii.


with Sunchild:

  • Mr Jesus (1994)
  • Barefoot & Live (1997)
  • California Honey (2000)
  • The Galaxy Session (2009)


With Jack Johnson and G.Love:

  • Some Live Songs EP (2005)


  1. "MOSTRA ALMA SURF FEST: Surf Culture Reigns in Brazil | SURFER Magazine". 2010-07-22. Retrieved 2015-10-03.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "Surf Art,Figurative,Yoga and Nature Inspired Art - Jay Alders Artist: Art Inspired by Surf, Love and Nature". Jay Alders. Retrieved 2015-10-03.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "Flows and beats talking story with Donavon Frankenreiter", Free Surf Magazine

External links