Although from New York, both Walter Egan and John Zambetti (the founding members of the band) took a keen interest in the surf sound, made famous by groups like The Beach Boys and Jan and Dean, and formed their own surf band. The two guys share vocal, songwriting, and guitar duties, and while the rest of the lineup seems to change with the release of each album, Zambetti and Egan remain the solid foundation of the band.
Sylistically, the Malibooz are similar to the Beach Boys and, like their more famous counterparts, much of their music includes wonderful vocal harmonies. However, the similarities end there. Much of the early Malibooz material has a far greater sense of humor than anything I've heard from Brian Wilson and company, while recent Malibooz releases seem far more introspective and cover subjects beyond the usual - surfing, cars, and girls - even experimenting with spirituality and religion.
The Malibooz were originally formed while Walter Egan and John Zambetti were still in high school and the band didn't last long beyond those years. Soon the members would go their seperate ways, though Egan and Zambetti would unite again in a group called Sageworth and Drums. Egan, of course, was fortunate enough to pursue a solo career that yielded respectable sales and even a hit song, "Magnet and Steel," that is still often heard on the radio today. John Zambetti also released a solo album in 1987.
The band reunited briefly in the early 1980's to record one album, Malibooz Rule!, but were not notably heard from again until the release of 1992's Malibooz Yule - A Malibu Kind of Christmas. The tide went out again, so to speak, on the Malibooz for several more years and another album, Living Water (The Surfer's Mass), would not be released until 1999. 2002 saw the release of Beach Access - perhaps the greatest work of the band yet - and in 2004 a cd entitled WRVR Sessions '65, a disc of early demos, was also made available.
2010 has finally brought us an album of new material from The Malibooz as well as a different sound - Queens' English pays homage to the British Invasion and features appearances from many of the key figures in that movement.
A little word of advice for non-surfers like myself: you might want to check out this site - Surfin' Slang - before reading The Malibooz's surf lyrics. I found it to be very helpful in deciphering some of the words.
Malibooz Rule! (1981)
Malibooz Yule - A Malibu Kind of Christmas (1992)
Living Water - The Surfer's Mass (1999)
Beach Access (2002)
The WRVR Sessions '65 (2004)
Queens' English (2010)
John Zambetti Solo:
The Johnny Z Band: Bring Back the Night (1987)