The Trashmen

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The Trashmen
Origin Minneapolis, Minnesota, US
Genres Surf rock, garage rock, rock and roll, protopunk
Years active 1962–67, 1982–present
Members Tony Andreason
Dal Winslow
Bob Reed
Robin Reed
Past members Steve Wahrer
Thomas Dunn
Mark Andreason

Cover of the 1995 re-issue of the album that featured the single

The Trashmen are a rock band formed in Minneapolis, Minnesota in 1962.[1] The group's original lineup was Tony Andreason on lead guitar and vocals, Dal Winslow on guitar and vocals, Steve Wahrer on drums and vocals, and Bob Reed on bass guitar. The group played surf rock which included elements from garage rock. They have been described as being, along with Colorado-based band The Astronauts, "the premier landlocked Midwestern surf group of the '60s."[2]

"Surfin' Bird"

The Trashmen's biggest hit was 1963's "Surfin' Bird",[1] which reached No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the latter part of that year. The song was a combination of two R&B hits by the Rivingtons, "The Bird's the Word" and "Papa-Oom-Mow-Mow". Early pressings of the single credit the Trashmen as composers, but following a threat from the Rivingtons' legal counsel, that group was subsequently credited as composers.[3] The early single was credited solely to the drummer (and singer) – Steve Wahrer. The song was later re-recorded by artists including the Ramones, the Cramps, Silverchair, the Psychotic Petunias, Pee-Wee Herman, Equipe 84, and the thrash metal band Sodom. It has been used in filmmaking and television productions including, most notably, Stanley Kubrick's Full Metal Jacket, Vince Vaughn's "Fred Claus", John Waters' Pink Flamingos, Lyndall Hobbs' Back to the Beach (in which Pee-Wee Herman sang it) and the soundtrack to the video game Battlefield Vietnam.

"Surfin' Bird" was the subject of the Family Guy episode "I Dream of Jesus", launching the song to No. 8 on the iTunes Top 10 Rock songs chart and No. 50 on the UK Singles Chart in 2009. Additionally, in 2010, a Facebook campaign was launched to send the song to No. 1 in the UK over the Christmas season; this was largely intended (as with Rage Against the Machine's "Killing in the Name", in 2009) as a protest against the takeover of the Christmas No. 1 spot by The X Factor winner's song. The track debuted in the UK Top Ten for the first time, on December 19, at No. 3.

Later history

The Trashmen went on to have other hit singles. In 1964, "Bird Dance Beat" reached No. 30 on the Billboard in the United States,[4] as well as becoming a top 10 hit in Canada, and a hit in Brazil.[citation needed] Five other Trashmen singles charted, and overall the group released fourteen singles. A four CD box set of their work was released on Sundazed.[5]

The group disbanded in 1967 but reunited in the 1980s, playing together until the death of Steve Wahrer, of cancer in 1989.[6] Tony Andreason's brother Mark replaced Wahrer as drummer. Reed's son Robin joined as a touring member in 2009 on drums filling in for Mark Andreason.

In 1999, the Trashmen played at the Las Vegas Grind and have played select gigs including Chicago (July 2007), Spain (September 2007), Chicago (November 2007), Wisconsin, and Cleveland (March 2008). They toured Europe 2009 with gigs in Germany, the Netherlands, France, Spain, Belgium, Italy, and Austria. Following up again in 2010, they added Norway, Sweden and Finland to the mix.

As of 2013, they continue to tour extensively in Europe and Minnesota, they also play selected dates and festivals in the United States. The band recently recorded four tracks at Custom Recording Studios in Golden Valley, Minnesota, with longtime fan and acclaimed guitarist Deke Dickerson for the Major Label record label, releasing a 7" 45 EP titled I'm a Trashman in March 2013.



Year Album Label Reissue US 200
1963 "Surfin' Bird" Garrett Sundazed (1995) 48[7]

Compilations and live albums

Year Album Label Reissue US 200
1965 Bird Dance Beat Garrett Soma (1996±)
1989 Comic Book Collector NPR
1990 Live Bird '65–'67 Sundazed
1992 Tube City!: The Best of the Trashmen Sundazed
1994 The Great Lost Trashmen Album Sundazed
1998 Bird Call!: The Twin City Stomp of the Trashmen Sundazed (4-CD box set)
2009 Teen Trot: Live At Ellsworth, WI, August 22, 1965 Sundazed
2014 Deke Dickerson and the Trashmen: Bringing Back the Trash Major Label Records


Year Single B-side Peak positions Album
1963 "Surfin' Bird" "King of the Surf" 4 3 Surfin' Bird
1964 "Bird Dance Beat" "A-Bone" 30 "Bird Dance Beat"
1964 "Bad News" "On the Move" 124 "Bird Dance Beat"
1964 "Peppermint Man" "New Generation" "Bird Dance Beat"
1964 "Whoa Dad" "Walking My Baby" "Bird Dance Beat"
1964 "Dancing With Santa" "Real Live Doll" "Bird Dance Beat"
1965 "Hanging on Me" "Same Lines" "Bird Dance Beat"
1965 "Bird '65" "Ubangi Stomp" "Bird Dance Beat"
1965 "Keep Your Hands Off My Baby" "Lost Angel"
1967 "Green, Green Backs Back Home" "Address Enclosed"
2013 "I'm A Trashman" "Torture"/"Bop A Lena"/"Brewski" I'm A Trashman 45 EP


  1. 1.0 1.1 Du Noyer, Paul (2003). The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Music (1st ed.). Fulham, London: Flame Tree Publishing. p. 33. ISBN 1-904041-96-5.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Biography by Richie Unterberger at Accessed 22 April 2011
  3. "Trashmen, The – Surfin' Bird". Retrieved April 19, 2009.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>. Copied Feb 3, 2012 from the Rivingtons article.
  4. "The Trashmen". All-Music Guide
  5. Sundazed Box Set Item. Retrieved Jan 21, 2012.
  6. Steve Wahrer (born November 22, 1941 in Minnesota – January 21, 1989) according to The Encyclopedia of Dead Rock Stars, pg. 252
  7. Hot 200 chart position. Retrieved Jan 21, 2012.

External links