The Centurians

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The Centurians
Also known asThe Centurions (reunion spelling)
OriginCosta Mesa, California, U.S.
GenresSurf rock
Years activeLate 1950s–1960s
Past members
  • Dennis Rose
  • Joe Dominic
  • Ernie Furrow
  • Jerry Dicks
  • Pat Gagnebin
  • Jeffrey Lear
  • Ken Robison

The Centurians were an instrumental surf rock band started by Dennis Rose from Newport Beach, California. They were active in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Their music has been used in at least two films. They reformed as The Centurions in 1995 and released new material.


The group originated from Costa Mesa, California, they were a septet.[1]

In recent times, they are best known for their recording "Bullwinkle Part II", a dark and saxy surf tune from their album Surfers' Pajama Party. This song is featured in the 1994 film Pulp Fiction[2] where it is used to highlight a scene.[3] It was also used in an episode of the TV show How I Met Your Mother entitled "Girls Versus Suits". Less well known is their cover of the classic song "Intoxica" a twangy and upbeat surf instrumental originally by The Revels, used in the 1972 film Pink Flamingos.



In 1963, their line-up consisted of Pat Gagnebin, Ken Robinson, Dennis Rose, Joe Dominic, Dennis Kiklas, Ernie Furrow, and Jeff Lear.[4] When they released their album on Del-Fi records in 1963, its cover was identical (as well as catalog number) to Bruce Johnston's release, hence the title "Surfers' Pajama Party"[5] – which was not the name The Centurians had in mind.[citation needed] Their name was changed from The Centurions to The Centurians sometime after 1967 due to legal reasons.[6]

In 1966, some of the music they recorded, along with music by Dave Meyers and the Surf Tones and The Sentinels was involved in legal action by Al Schlesinger against the Del-Fi Records label. Schlesinger was representing Anthony Music and its principal shareholder Anthony Hilder in an action pursuing $122,000 over royalties not being paid as per an alleged agreement for the masters of albums and another album, Battle of the Surf Bands.[7]

Later years[edit]

In June 1995 Dennis Rose reformed the group as "The Centurions" with Dennis Rose (guitar), David Jobes (drums), Charly Grey-Son (bass), Perris Alexander (keyboards), Norman Knowles (tenor sax) and Dennis Rehders (tenor and baritone sax). They recorded a new album called Bullwinkle Part III produced by Dennis Rose and Perris Alexander.[8] In August 1995 the group performed a concert at Pierfest [9] in Huntington Beach.[10][11]

Original members[edit]

Name Role Notes #
Dennis Rose guitar and bass
Joe Dominic drums
Ernie Furrow guitar and bass
Jerry Dicks keyboard
Pat Gagnebin sax and harmonica
Jeffrey Lear bass [12]
Ken Robison sax, flute and clarinet


The song "Bullwinkle Part II" was used in the 1994 film Pulp Fiction and features on the soundtrack album. The film's success led to the band's reunion. In 1999 "Bullwinkle Part II" was covered by Elliot Easton's Tiki Gods on the Del-Fi tribute compilation "Delfonic Sounds Today!".


Act Title Label and catalogue no. Year Notes #
The Centurians Surfers' Pajama Party
(Recorded Live on the U.C.L.A. Campus)
Del-Fi DFLP 1228 1963 [13][14]reissued in 1995 on CD as Bullwinkle Part II by The Centurions (Del-Fi CD 71250-2)[15]
The Centurians a.o. Surf War - The Battle of the Surf Groups Shepherd Records – SLP 1300 1963 six tracks on a compilation
The Centurions Bullwinkle Part III myspace online release 1995


  1. ^ Becoming the Beach Boys, 1961–1963, By James B. Murphy – Page 283
  2. ^ "Surf Music and Seventies Soul: The Songs of 'Pulp Fiction'". Rolling Stone magazine. Retrieved 7 July 2014.
  3. ^, 2013-09-18 – Log, black" music, refreshing surfing – "Pulp Fiction" music (日志 “黑色”音乐,爽快冲浪——《低俗小说》的音乐) Archived 2019-02-20 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ Surfin' Guitars: Instrumental Surf Bands of the Sixties, Robert J. Dalley – Page 50
  5. ^ The Music Lover's Guide to Record Collecting, By Dave Thompson – -
  6. ^ Surf & Hot Rod Music of the 60's: Collectors Quick Reference, By R. Duane Cozzen – Page 36 THE CENTURIONS
  7. ^ Billboard, 26 Mar 1966 – Page 4, Anthony Music Sues Del-Fi
  8. ^ Surf Bands of the Sixties (Second Edition), by Robert J. Dalley – ISBN 1560750421, 9781560750420 – Page 53
  9. ^ Surf City Foundation Festival (1995)
  10. ^ The Centurions Surf Band, Myspace – Photos
  11. ^ Perris Alexander – Jul 4, 2016
  12. ^ "Tales of Balboa (March 2005 / Vol 7 No 3)". Retrieved 2015-05-30.
  13. ^ Worthpoint – BRUCE JOHNSTON'S SURFING BAND: Surfers' Pajama Party LP
  14. ^ The Music Lover's Guide to Record Collecting, By Dave Thompson – -
  15. ^ Blue Suede News, Volumes 25–36 – Page 130

External links[edit]