Surf’s up at River Run |

Surf’s up at River Run

KEYSTONE – Summer was made for shagging. Not Austin Powers-style shagging, but early-1960s-before-the-sexual-revolution shagging – when surf music drove hordes of teen-agers to shake their bodies wildly.

Apparently, generations can’t live long without shagging because it’s back. The Park Lane Pavilion’s summer season begins with a shag (as in, dance) contest and beach party at 5:30 p.m. Thursday with the Beloved Invaders.

The Invaders, a classic instrumental surf band, rides in like an “Austin Powers” cast party – dressed in 1960s attire and sporting go-go dancers with glossy wigs and calf-high platform boots.

Lead guitarist Bob Cannistraro caught the wave of surf music when he was 7 and heard his sister play “Walk, Don’t Run” by the Ventures. He picked up a guitar two years later, but by the time he turned 10, the British invasion took over and the Ventures became “uncool.” The Ventures jetted to Japan, where the people embraced their surf sound and dubbed them the “beloved invaders.”

Cannistraro, on the other hand, didn’t catch the wave of surf music again until about seven years ago, when he and a few friends recorded some Ventures songs for a nostalgic ride back to the ’60s. The recording turned out so well, they decided to call themselves the Beloved Invaders and go cruisin’ with their classic surf music.

“It’s one brand of party music,” Cannistraro said. “Jimmy Buffett is Jimmy Buffett, and there’s a certain feel-good-you’re-on-the-beach feeling. But it’s lyric-oriented. (Our music has) no lyrics, which means that there’s no message. It’s whatever you want it to be.”

About 40 percent of the Invaders covers are Ventures tunes, but they play all types of surf music: Dick Dale’s classic “Misirlou” from “Pulp Fiction,” the reverb-drenched guitar lines of “Pipeline,” the Latin groove of “Sway,” the desert theme from “Lawrence of Arabia” and themes from the police shows “Hawaii Five-O” and “The Fugitive.” The band also adapts non-surf songs to their retro style.

The musicians, dressed in matching sport jackets, don’t just look authentic – they sound authentic, in part because of the vintage Fender Jazzmaster Cannistraro plays and the vintage amps. And, the go-go dancers get the crowd shagging, shimming and doing the swim with their high-energy shakin’.

The free beach party will be outside of the Park Lane Pavilion. People dressed in beach attire can buy beer from the Great Northern Tavern for $1.

Kimberly Nicoletti can be reached at (970) 668-3998 ext. 245 or by e-mail at

Event: Beach party with the Beloved Invaders

When: 5:30-7:30 p.m. Thursday, June 12

Where: Outside of the Park Lane Pavilion, River Run, Keystone

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