Thursday, March 10, 2011
Birthday wishes go out today to Dean Torrence, one half of California's pioneering surf rock duo and golden gods Jan and Dean; in the video above that's him on the right - the one with the cleft chin. Having met while both were enrolled at Los Angeles' University High School, Jan and Dean came by their SoCal cred honestly; at the height of their fame they performed only sporadically, since they were attending university at the same time, as well as taking the time out to, you guessed it, surf.
Yet it was almost all for naught; in April 1966 Jan Berry was badly injured at Dead Man's Curve, the same spot in Bel Air north of UCLA's Drake Stadium they'd sung about so successfully just two years before. The event was immortalized in a 1978 TV-movie called Deadman's Curve, in which Berry was played by Richard Hatch and Torrence by Bruce Davison.
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