The Pyramids, a surf band from Long Beach, California included lead guitarist Skip Mercier, rhythm guitarist and lead singer Will Glover, bass guitarist Steve Leonard, saxophonist Tom Pitman and drummer Ron McMullen.
In the mid 60′s, their hit recording “Penetration”‘ was on the National Charts for 24 weeks straight, reaching #18.
The Pyramids are remembered for their appearance in the Frankie and Annette movie “Bikini Beach.” As they are about to perform a song, their wigs fly off to reveal their shaved heads!
Will and the group’s guest appearance in the American International Pictures’ film has them performing their wild antics on stage wearing Beatle-wigs which they soon abandon to show their newly shaved, bald heads.
For the film soundtrack, The Pyramids performed two songs, “Record Run” and the instrumental “Bikini Drag“.
They are also featured performing back-up on two other songs “How About That?” by Frankie Avalon and “Happy Feelin’ (Dance and Shout)” by Little Stevie Wonder.
Will’s Inside Story
The portion of the movie was shot at the Universal Studios lot. An incredible time for Will, still a high school student.
Later in the movie, as part of the Bikini Beach storyline, the gorilla goes wild and sprays everyone with paint.
When you see Will on camera being covered in paint, behind the camera it’s not actually the gorilla spraying Will and the rest of the cast. It’s Don Rickles, who had grabbed the paint and decided this was just too much fun to pass up! The film editors were able to use the footage and edit Don’s character out, while still making it look like the gorilla had been the culprit.
Paint ended up getting all over Will, his guitar and half the stage. But it was well worth it. Working with Don Rickles was hilarious, and a moment that was just pure joy.
The Pyramids Ride the Wave of Success
is About to Meet
The British Invasion
On January 27th, 1964 surf music was still in its prime.
You can see a strong prominence of Surf Music represented by the light orange bars on the local Los Angeles radio station Top 60 chart.
Local talent “The Pyramids” featuring lead singer and rhythm guitarist Will Glover, were riding the wave of success by landing at the #11 spot for the week with their hit “Penetration“. The high school students from Long Beach Poly had experienced sudden fame, and would soon experience the ever-changing taste of the musical world.
A love for Beatles music had started (purple bars). America’s infatuation would soon explode upon the arrival of the mop-tops from Liverpool, into New York. In just two weeks the musical landscape within the United States and throughout the world would change forever. The sounds of the “British Invasion” would be heard live on February 9th, 1964 as The Beatles performed on The Ed Sullivan Show.
From there, nothing would be the same.
The Best of The Pyramids
PENETRATION – There’s no sound effects of crashing waves, or heavily echoed reverb. This song is a simple, solid, super surf classic.
ROAD RUNNAH – The sound of a revving engine signals the start of this sizzling hot rod instrumental. With a strong beat and great guitar playing, this sounds like a big hit that somehow missed.
PYRAMID STOMP – This rocking instrumental is a showcase for Ron McMullen’s fantastic drumming, with the rest of the Pyramids firing on all cylinders.
KOKO JOE – This rocking vocal about “the coolest little monkey in town”, is very close to being a novelty song.
STICKS AND SKINS – After a couple of guitar licks, this instrumental is one long, rocking drum solo.
EVERYBODY – The vocals on this version rival those of Tommy Roe on his original hit version.
PAUL – This is a rocking instrumental without much of a melody.
LONG TALL TEXAN – This humorous song would have been better suited for the Coasters.
DO THE SLAUSON – In the tradition of Chubby Checker’s dance songs, the Pyramids sing about the slauson. Evidently, the slauson dance craze didn’t extend much beyond Los Angeles.
OUT OF LIMITS – The Pyramids cover the Marketts’ classic instrumental and do the song proud.
LOUIE LOUIE – The Pyramids cleaned up the lyrics to this classic.
HERE COMES MARSHA – This sounds like a love song from the fifties.
WALKIN’ THE DOG – The Pyramids do a rocking version of this Rufus Thomas song.
CONTACT – This is another outstanding surf instrumental, which rocks from start to finish. It was one of the singles, released after their album.
PRESSURE – This surf instrumental is a combination of “Pipeline” and “Penetration,” and yet somehow manages to sound unique.
PYRAMID’S STOMP (45 VERSION) – The saxophone accompaniment to the guitar is gone on the single version of this song, giving it a heavier sound.
CUSTOM CARAVAN – This vocal hot rod single sounded more polished than the vocals on their previous album.
MIDNIGHT RUN – This rocking hot rod instrumental features a memorable melody and strong guitar playing. Its failure as a single hastened the end of the Pyramids.
RECORD RUN – Written by Gary Usher and Roger Christian, the Pyramids perform this song in the movie “Bikini Beach.” It’s a hot rod classic, featuring great harmonies on the chorus.
BIKINI DRAG – This is another Usher/Christian composition from “Bikini Beach.” It’s a scorching instrumental, featuring great saxophone and drumming, and closes this collection out on a strong note.
These reviews were posted by Michael King on Amazon