The Trashmen were a rock and roll band formed in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in 1962. The group's lineup was Tony Andreason on lead guitar and vocals, Dal Winslow on guitar and vocals, Steve Wahrer on drums and vocals, and Bob Reed on bass guitar. The group played surf rock which included many elements from garage rock.
The Trashmen's major notable hit was 1963's "Surfin' Bird", which reached #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the later part of that year. The song was a combination of two R&B hits by The Rivingtons, "The Bird's the Word" and "Papa-Oom-Mow-Mow". The earliest pressings of the single credit the Trashmen as composers, but following a threat from their legal counsel The Rivingtons were subsequently credited as composers. It was later recorded by many artists, including the Ramones, The Cramps, Silverchair, Pee-Wee Herman, Equipe 84, and even the thrash metal band Sodom. It has been used in several movies and television shows (such as well-known scenes in Stanley Kubrick's Full Metal Jacket and John Waters' Pink Flamingos). It is featured in the soundtrack in the video game Battlefield Vietnam. More recently it has been the subject of a 2008 episode of the animated series Family Guy, launching the song to #8 on the iTunes Top 10 Rock songs chart and #50 on the UK Singles Chart in 2009.
The Trashmen went on to have other hit singles on the charts. In 1964, "Bird Dance Beat" hit #30 on the Billboard in the United States, as well as becoming a top 10 hit in Canada, and a mega hit in Brazil. Five other Trashmen singles charted, and overall they released 14 albums. They were prolific enough for a four CD box set of their work to be released later.
The group disbanded in 1967 but reunited in the 1980s, they played together until the death of Steve Wahrer, who died of cancer in 1989. Tony's brother, Mark Andreason filled Steve's shoes as drummer. In 1999, The Trashmen played in Las Vegas, Nevada at The Las Vegas Grind to a full house. Since then, they have reunited to play select gigs including Chicago (July 2007), Spain (September 2007), Chicago (November 2007), Wisconsin, and Cleveland (March 2008). The Trashmen played for the first time in over a decade in their homestate of Minnesota, when they played the birthday bash for KOZY (AM) Radio at the Reif Center in Grand Rapids, Minnesota. The Trashmen returned to Grand Rapids, where they played in 1964.
They have since been touring Europe and the US with successful 2009 gigs in Germany, The Netherlands, France, Spain, Belgium, Italy, and Austria, with many more playdates on the calendar.
1964 Surfin' Bird
1990 Live Bird '65-'67
1992 Tube City!: The Best of the Trashmen
1994 The Great Lost Trashmen Album
1998 Bird Call!: The Twin City Stomp of the Trashmen