The Swinging Hi-Tones 30 Year Reunion

Everything that's Old is New Again

Back in 1983 I joined a local band in my hometown, Hamilton, in South Eastern Australia.   Formed in 1982 and hailed as the Western District's premier inland surf band, The Swingin' Hi-Tones were a unique feature on the local music scene. Each member of the band appeared under an alter ego, with names acting as a homage to surf culture and the deep blue. Mine was Dip Dimucci.

Surfs Up

I was approached to join the band following the departure of original rhythm guitarist, Ed Tide. During my 6 months tenure we played locally and also at the Duke of York Hotel in South Yarra, Melbourne. Our final gig, brought on by the overseas departure of lead guitarist and primary song writer, Hank C. Marlin was memorable. I remember getting zinc cream in my eyes and having trouble switching my effect pedals on and off with flippers on my feet.

Preserving the Beat

During the bands relatively short first life they released a live set Alive Alive-Oh, with former guitarist Ed Tide followed by the bands seminal album The Fabulous Surfin' Sound of the Swinging Hi-Tones  with their current line up. This album was recorded, old school, onto a reel to reel tape from which a limited edition of 50 cassette tapes were issued. I still have number 4 of that limited edition series.

Various members of the Hi-tones recently got together to record a few new tracks which have been added to the band's latest album, Hi-Atus. Our drummer, Sandy Beach, celebrated his 50th Birthday last Saturday night at the Mentone Hotel in Melbourne. This majestic building, overlooking the sea, proved to be a great venue for the band's 30-year reunion.

The above video features a newly recorded version of one of our most-loved tunes; The Lone Surfer. Produced by our bass man, Rick Schweitzer Jr., for Thong 'n' Dance Films I'm confident you'll enjoy the archival footage from 30 years ago that accompany this haunting, melancholy track. The clip includes images of both the band's original rhythm guitarist, Ed Tide, and myself together with a few glimpses of our only other reunion, around 5 years ago, for Rick's 50th Birthday celebrations.

And The Beat Goes On

I'm very happy to share this lovely video with you. Though it seems very much like yesterday, It's a glimpse back to days long past. I hope you enjoy it as much as my friends and I have enjoyed bringing it to you. Long Live the Beat!

Credits

The Swingin' Hi-Tones are:

  • Hank C. Marlin (lead guitar)
  • Rick Schweitzer Jr. (bass guitar)
  • Sandy Beach (drum kit)
  • Dip Dimucci (rhythm guitar)

The Lone Surfer

  • Composed by Marlin/Schweitzer
  • Originally recorded by Ray Batten at Western District Recording Studios, Panmure, June-August 1983.
  • This recording Aug-Sept 2013 by Chris Wilson at Chris Wilson Recordings, Clayton

As always friends, feel free to SHARE widely and wildly. And, please, enjoy the music

Glenn Guy, Travel Photography Guru