Fender IV

The Fender IV were a mid-1960s group of cult 1960s guitar hero Randy Holden, who later went on to psychedelic music in the Sons of Adam, the Other Half, and Blue Cheer. The Fender IV, however, were for the most part a surf band, recording two singles for Imperial in 1964 and 1965. On "Mar Gaya" and "Malibu Run," Holden revealed himself as a guitarist who even at that time, and within the restrictions of the surf genre, was restlessly imaginative and experimental. "Mar Gaya" had staccato picking and swampy reverb reminiscent of Dick Dale, while "Malibu Run" had scrapes and echo effects that conveyed the most disquieting aspects of the sea. Surf music was on the verge of passing out of vogue, however, and the Fender IV also edged into the British Invasion-influenced era with "You Better Tell Me Now," a curious but catchy mix of Merseybeat and surf. "Mar Gaya" was reissued on Rhino's Guitar Player Presents Legends of Guitar: Surf, Vol. 1. Both sides of the Fender IV's Imperial singles, as well as a couple of unreleased Fender IV songs, are on the Captain Trip CD Early Works '64-'66, which also includes seven songs by Holden's next band, the Sons of Adam. ~ Richie Unterberger

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