Redlands Was Home To Classic Surf Band

The Tornadoes, a seminal surf band from Redlands, comprised members who were among the most originally creative purveyors of that genre in the early 1960s. Their 1962 song, “Bustin’ Surfboards” became a number one hit in Southern California and received national airplay, the second surf instrumental to do so.
Released on Aertaun Records, “Bustin’ Surfboards is now considered a classic of its type, indeed a prototype of the surf sound that has been emulated by other bands endlessly, rarely with the same impact. The recording incorporated an opening of an ocean swell that resurfaces at various points throughout the 2:32 song.
“Bustin’s Surfboards” was composed by the band’s lead guitarist, Norman “Roly” Sanders and its drummer, Leonard Delaney. It was recorded at Pal Recording Studios in Cucamonga, with Frank Zappa serving as the engineer.
The other original band members were bassist Gerald Sanders, Norman’s brother; their cousin, rhythm guitarist Jesse Sanders and saxophonist George White.
The band has the further distinction of having a follow-up offering, “Shootin’ Beavers” banned from airplay as a consequence of its suggestive title.
For a time in the early 1960s, the band restyled itself as “The Hollywood Tornadoes,” as at that time a British band, also calling itself the Tornadoes, had a hit with another instrumental song titled “Telestar.”
The Tornadoes from Redlands had other songs which garnered airplay, ones that embodied a classic surf sound, including The Gremmie, Bumble Bee Stomp, Moon Dawg, Phantom Surfer, Vaquero and The Swag.
Eventually, the members moved away from the music business. Roly Sanders became an airplane pilot. Delaney became a contractor. Jesse Sanders worked for United Parcel Service. Gerald Sanders became a licensed marriage and family counselor. White went back to surfing and left Redlands to live close to the ocean.
In 1994, Quenten Tarantino included “Bustin’ Surfboards” on the soundtrack for his movie, Pulp Fiction. At that time Joel Willenbring replaced George White on saxophone. Bustin’ Surfboards went platinum.
The band reformed and has since performed, including internationally in Europe, in particular at the Zappanale concert in 2003.
The band still plays with Jesse Sanders playing guitar, Roly Sanders playing lead guitar, Greg Eckler playing drums, Mike Gooch playing guitar, Joel Willenbring playing saxophone and Gerald Sanders playing bass.
Leonard Delaney died in 2014.

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