Jan and Dean – Surf City

You know we’re going to Surf City ’cause it’s two to one, now…Two girls for every boy”

It’s time to mix it up a little before Fall arrives and think about summer and fun. This will wrap up the surfing weekend at powerpop…it’s been fun to feature these surfing songs and they will occasionally pop up here and there. I know people who look down upon songs like this…What do I tell them? Lighten up Moondog and catch a wave while you are at it.

As I said in a previous post…When I was a senior in High School…1985… for some unknown reason I really got into surf music at the beginning of the year. I listened to Jan and Dean, the Beach Boys, Dick Dale, Link Wray,  and The Ventures. I loved those songs then and now.

I remember watching Dead Man’s Curve when I was a kid about Jan and Dean and the terrible car wreck Jan Berry was involved in.

This song was written by Brian Wilson and he didn’t think he would ever finish it. Jan met him at a party and helped Brian finish the song. Dean also contributed some lines but never asked for any writing credits. “Two girls for every boy”…what teenage boy didn’t want to go there for a visit. It was the first surf record to hit  #1 nationally.

Brian Wilson’s controlling dad Murry was furious at Brian for giving away a number 1 hit to someone else. Brian was happy that another group took his song and made a hit with it.

Surf music is bout fun… The Beach Boys expanded surf music and then left it with Pet Sounds. By that time Surf purists didn’t like it. They wanted the old formula songs… I wasn’t a purist…I like them all.

Surf City

Two girls for every boy

I bought a ’34 wagon and we call it a woodie
(Surf City, here we come)
You know it’s not very cherry, it’s an oldie but a goodie
(Surf City, here we come)
Well, it ain’t got a back seat or a rear window
But it still gets me where I wanna go

Yeah, we’re going to Surf City ’cause it’s two to one
You know we’re going to Surf City, gonna have some fun
You know we’re going to Surf City ’cause it’s two to one
You know we’re going to Surf City, gonna have some fun, now

Two girls for every boy

They say they never roll the streets up ’cause there’s always somethin’ goin’
(Surf City, here we come)
You know they’re either out surfin’ or they’ve got a party growin’
(Surf City, here we come)
Yeah, there’s two swingin’ honeys for every guy
And all you gotta do is just wink your eye

And I’m going to Surf City, gonna have some fun, now
Going to Surf City ’cause it’s two to one
You know we’re going to Surf City, gonna have some fun
You know we’re going to Surf City ’cause it’s two to one, now

Two girls for every boy

And if my woodie breaks down on me somewhere on the surf route
(Surf City, here we come)
I’ll strap my board to my back and hitch a ride in my wetsuit
(Surf City, here we come)
And when I get to Surf City, I’ll be shootin’ the curl
And checkin’ out the parties for a surfer girl

And I’m going to Surf City ’cause it’s two to one
You know, we’re going to Surf City, gonna have some fun
You know, we’re going to Surf City ’cause it’s two to one
You know, we’re going to Surf City, gonna have some fun, now

Two girls for every
Two girls for every boy


Author: Badfinger (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

20 thoughts on “Jan and Dean – Surf City”

  1. I never knew it was a Brian Wilson song, that explains why it has a definite Beach Boys sound to it. I figured they were deliberately copying them, but turns out it was more real or organic than that. Imagine how well it would’ve done if the photog of the single’s slip cover had listened to the lyrics and used “two girls for every boy” instead of the reverse!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I do agree with that…since it was Jan and Dean…put 4 girls on the front with them. Brian is a nice guy…he was just happy for someone to take it to number 1. I love these songs…I’m surprised by the positive comments from the other three I did.


    1. Yes it’s all around us. We didn’t see anything in our little town or county but many of the counties around us got hit bad.
      The 2010 floods didn’t touch our house either…which I’m grateful.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. When I was little, I thought this WAS the Beach Boys. So it makes sense that Brian wrote it. I too remember watching Dead Man’s Curve. That movie had to have saved some young lives back then, by making them more cautious on the road. It was sobering and memorable.


  3. Good post Max. Not many Woodies left these days, or long boards either. I have one of their albums, so now I have to dig it out and give it a spin. I’m thinking that Jan and Dean weren’t real surfer boys because the board in the picture doesn’t have wax on the deck. Thanks to them, every kid in America suffered injuries from those early skateboards with steel skate wheels. I know I had more than most. Great read.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Phil. I could never handle a skateboard…tried when I was 11 in 1978…I was athletic but not on a skateboard. I could go a little…and then there I’d go skidding across the pavement.


  4. Oh dear god, YES. On my Surf & Drag album… I remember watching the TV movie and Richard Hatch as Jan struggling to sing this after his accident.

    The Rip Chords did their own version, too, moving some lyrics around.

    Little Deuce Coupe was the same. The Beach Boys did it first but, Jan & Dean did it and sang the lyrics a bit different. My album has Jan & Dean’s version, not BBs.

    Here, Jan screwed up the lyrics on stage:

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I had fun last weekend… I only posted surf songs which was a joy.. I’m going to do that again.

      I’m in a car and on the phone… I can’t see the link but I’ll check it out when I get home

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Did you read why? This was on the Steve Allen show…it’s interesting…Jan was pissed at Allen which I can understand. I copy and pasted this

        This was on the Steve Allen show and apparently, there was some trouble going on here between Jan and Allen. Allen had just given them a poor introduction, and they had to sing without a monitor for feedback or earpieces, just one mike, and a live but unenthusiastic band playing 30-feet away behind a curtain. So Jan half-arsed the performance and deliberately mucked up the lyrics at 00:49 with a clear “furs” innuendo to make a point (just think about what he was implying), complete with a big self-satisfied grin, while Dean has no idea what he’s doing. Hence Dean’s “WTF” double take reaction, followed by an ear scratch, and then Jan’s dirty look over at Allen (to his right) at the 00:59 mark. And then Jan does it again at 1:10 with another innuendo, with Dean finally understanding then what was happening and shooting that look at Jan, rolling his eyes, and shrugging. I’d like to have been a fly on the backstage wall to hear what they all said to each other afterward. Has anybody ever asked Dean about this?


      2. I didn’t check the comments below the video. I don’t follow the “furs” innuendo.

        It does appear that they are messing with their own appearance. I wonder what Allen’s problem was.


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