The Surf Dawgs are a Rock Instrumental band, despite the word Surf in the band’s name, from Minneapolis Minnesota. They have been performing in the upper Mid-West area since 2001 featuring Zippy Caplan of the Cult garage band “The Litter” on Lead Guitar and, when available, Bob Spalding of The Ventures also on Lead Guitar. Following the 2001 release of Zip’s solo CD Zip Caplan and Cast of Thousands “Monsters and Heroes”, the co-producer of the CD Bernie “Bombers” Bomberg, joined with Zip to form a vintage style instrumental group that pays tribute to the Rock instrumental classics of the 1950’s and 1960’s in addition to their own interpretation of other well known classic Rock songs from that era and beyond. The last two albums (2013 & 2015) introduced several original instrumentals, some written by Zip Caplan and Bob Spalding.
Currently The Surf Dawgs can be seen live backing up The Trashmen’s Tony Andreason (Surfin’ Bird) fame. This successful show not only features favorite Trashmen tunes, but Instrumental favorites as well from the 6 Surf Dawgs CDs, plus covers of other Classic Rock favorites sung excellently by Tony. (See the Calendar page for on-going gig updates)
Over the years The Surf Dawgs have performed before large numbers of enthusiastic fans at such venues as Famous Dave’s Blues Club, Dixies on Grand, the popular National act venue the Medina Ballroom, O’Gara’s, The Poodle Club, opener for Saint Paul Saints baseball games, Blue Nile, Royal River Casino South Dakota, Lake Okoboji Summer Concert series Iowa, Highland Fest annual summer event, the Hexagon, Standing Room Only, The Minnesota History Center Summer Concert Series, The Pourhouse, The Turf Club, and were the headline act in 2011 for the long running annual Back to the 50’s Hot Rod show which draws over 100,000 people during a three day period and is held at the Minnesota State Fair Grounds. In addition the group has opened for world famous groups The Trashmen (Surfin’ Bird) and The Castaways (Liar Liar). They are best known for their closing number, a show-stopping Rockin’ version of The William Tell Overture.
The Surf Dawgs from time to time have had many top musicians play with them including Larry Wiegand of Crow (Evil Woman), Gregg Inhoffer (Bob Dylan’s “Blood on the Tracks”), Tony Andreason (The Trashmen), and most recently Bob Spalding (The Ventures), who also wrote the opening Track “Bullet Wave” on the 2013 Surf Dawgs CD release “Unleashed” and features Bob’s masterful guitar work on 5 different Tracks. In addition, Bob’s talents are all over the current 2016 release of “The Surf Dawgs with Bob Spalding” CD titled “Moontide”.
The Surf Dawgs have a standing annual guest appearance for the Mid-America Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremonies and recently they were asked to play with Crow (Evil Woman fame) for the ground-breaking of the Mid-America Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum. Zippy Caplan and Bernie Bomberg are inductees in the Mid-America Rock Hall of Fame with Life-Time Achievement Awards and Zippy was inducted in 2008 with “The Litter”, “Cadillac” Sally West in 2000 with a Life-Time Achievement Award and has the unique distinction of being the first Female inductee in this category. Sally was also inducted in 2005 with The Fendermen.
All the albums, singles, and music by The Surf Dawgs are available on i-Tunes, Amazon and most other music download sites, plus there are several tracks from the latest CD through Reverbnation on the music page of this web site and on Facebook at “The Surf Dawgs Minneapolis”. There are several music videos on youTube and the Bullet Wave video can be viewed on our Video page.
The dedication to keeping their music true to the original sound of the 1960’s instrumental craze has paid off with a loyal following of fans and a warm reception where ever they perform.