Dead Man’s Curve by Jan and Dean

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Dead Man’s Curve by Jan and Dean

Jan and Dean Dead Man's Curve

Vocal Surf Rock

The song “Dead Man’s Curve” by Jan and Dean is a good example of sixties surf rock. Sun, sand, surf, cars, girls — and cars. Jan and Dean were Jan Berry (William Jan Berry) and Dean Torrence (Dean Ormsby Torrence) from Los Angeles, California. They were among the pioneers of the California-style vocal surf music along with others, for example, the Rip Chords and The Beach Boys. A dead man’s curve is a crescent-shape part of a road where numerous traffic accidents have occurred. And the song describes a real stretch of road in L.A. The song was written by Berry, Roger Christian (a DJ and car enthusiast), Brian Wilson (of The Beach Boys), and Artie Kornfeld (producer, music executive),. It went to #8 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and #9 on Cashbox. Sometimes life imitates art, and eerily, Berry had a near-fatal car accident near dead man’s curve. He crashed his Stingray into a parked truck near a house once owned by Roman Polanski.

Here are the lyrics to “Dead Man’s Curve” by Jan and Dean:

“I was cruising in my Stingray late one night
When an XKE pulled up on the right
And rolled down the window of his shiny new Jag
And challenged me then and there to a drag

I said, “You’re on, buddy, my mill’s runnin’ fine
Let’s come off the line, now, at Sunset and Vine”
But I’ll go you one better if you’ve got the nerve
Let’s race all the way to dead man’s curve

Dead man’s curve
Dead man’s curve
Won’t come back from dead man’s curve

The strip was deserted late Friday night
We were buggin’ each other while we sat out the light
We both popped the clutch when the light turned green
You shoulda heard the whine from my screamin’ machine

I flew past LaBrea, Schwab’s, and Crescent Heights
And all the Jag could see were my six taillights
He passed me at Doheny then I started to swerve

But I pulled her out and there I was at Dead man’s curve

(Dead man’s curve) {Well, the last thing I remember, Doc, I started to swerve And then I saw the Jag slide into the curve I know I’ll never forget that horrible sight I guess I found out for myself that everyone was right} You won’t come back from dead man’s curve Dead man’s curve (it’s no place to play) Dead man’s curve (it’s that the best you keep away) Dead man’s curve (I can hear ’em say, ‘You won’t come back from dead man’s curve)…

Check Out The Groove Pad for More 1960s Music

The Pass the Paisley Groove Pad is a resting stop, a place to chill out and listen to the featured song on the stereo. If the mood strikes you, click on the juke box to access and listen to the 50+ commercial free online songs there. The TV has several channels, with selections updated twice a week. Every now and then, Pass the Paisley hosts an all-request of 1960s and 1970s songs for a Be-In at the juke box in the Groove Pad. Keep on truckin’.  Hope you enjoyed “Dead Man’s Curve” by Jan and Dean.

3 Comments

  1. […] other songs by Jan and Dean: “Dead Man’s Curve” and “Surf […]

  2. […] more songs by Jan and Dean: “Dead Man’s Curve” and “Little Old Lady from Pasadena,” which are on The Daily Doo Wop’s […]

  3. […] For another song by Jan and Dean: “Dead Man’s Curve.” […]

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