The Raybeats - "B-Gas-Rickshaw"
"For all you supercharged types...decent...start your engines...you know, all that kind of stuff. Does anybody out there know what a B-Gasser is? If so, you probably get the rickshaw part." This is the liner note description of the song "B-Gas-Rickshaw" from the album "Guitar Beat" which Guitar Player magazine called "one of the ten best instrumental albums of all time". The nattily dressed Raybeats formed out of the remnants of New York's legendary the Contortions and 8-Eyed Spy. Their music blended surf rock, lounge and soul together with the experimental no-wave sound of downtown NYC. Their music recalled the sounds of the Ventures, the Shadows and Duane Eddy with trebly guitars, cheesy organs and wailing sax. The album "Guitar Beat" (PVC) was recorded on top of a cliff in England at producer Martin Rushent's (Joy Division,Buzzcocks, Altered Images, Human League, Stranglers, XTC) own Woodcottage (Genetic) studio. They debuted in 1981 with the EP "Roping Wild Bears", recorded "Guitar Beat" in 1981 and then ended their career in 1983 with "It's Only a Movie", which added electronic instruments.
The Raybeats were Pat Irwin: alto saxophone, Acetone combo organ, guitar, Don Christensen: drums, Jody Harris: guitar and Danny Amis: bass & guitar. George Scott who originally played bass, died in New York of a heroin overdose. Pat Irwin would go on to the B-52's (the group borrowed his amp for its very first gig in New York at the legendary Mudd Club) and compose for TV and films. Jody Harris went on to the Golden Palominos and Danny Amis recorded an EP called "Whiplash!" with producer Mitch Easter before forming Los Straightjackets.
Bar None records reissued "Guitar Beat" in 1997.