This Minneapolis rock & roll band evolved from a group called Jim Thaxter & The Travelers, recording one single under that name (Sally Jo b/w Cyclone).
Unfairly depicted as a novelty act, The Trashmen were in actuality a top-notch rock & roll combo, enormously popular on the teen club circuit, playing primarily surf music to a landlocked Minnesota audience – there’s no hangin’ ten on the Great Lakes!
Drummer/lead vocalist Steve Wahrer combined two songs by The Rivingtons (The Bird’s The Word and Pa Pa Ooh Mow Mow), added freakish vocal effects and a pounding rhythm to the mix, and, by early 1964, the group was in the Top Ten nationwide with Surfin’ Bird.
Though the group continued to release great follow-up singles and an excellent album (also called Surfin’ Bird), their moment in the sun had come and gone.
They had disbanded by early 1968.
They re-formed in the mid-80s and continued to play locally until Wahrer’s death from cancer in 1989.
The band have played since, with Tony Andreason’s brother, Mark, on drums, and at times, Bob Reed’s son, Robin.
The Trashmen are revered by 60s collectors as one of the great American teen band combos of all time, their lone hit exemplifying wild, unabashed rock & roll at its most demented.