Performer Scene: Bernard Yin – Par Avion, The Bellrays, The Fuzztones

How did you get into playing the guitar?

Like many musicians, it was after a move to a new city, while I was in my teens, that I grabbed the guitar; giving me a chance to be creative while feeling a bit awkward in a new town. I found that it was fun and not too hard to play along with many of my favorite Neil Young songs.

What was your first good guitar and how did you get it?

I hate talking about guitars that I no longer own! I’ll mention my first electric. It was a natural stain Gibson L6S. Really a curious guitar. 24 frets. The stock pickups weren’t that great but the rosewood neck was fun and played well. I also love that thin body – like an SG. I don’t have it anymore.

What were your early musical influences?

My interests were stoked with some of the “basics” like Jimmy Page, Van Halen. Musically, I love the Beatles and film music. I think Richie Blackmore showed me that you can really be a little twisted and have your own signature – as did Neil Young. Sure, I have other more esoteric tastes but … well … being honest here!

Favourite piece of gear?

I worship no gear because even the finest instrument will one day yield to another in some way or another. Example: You could be recording and find out that the studio’s beater knock-off Strat sounds better than your carefully set-up vintage Strat. Also, I try not to get too attached for fear of damage or theft. I don’t tour with anything valuable.

What gear that you still use today has been with you the longest?

This is funny but I have a small patch cable that I have had since roughly 1985 from Apex Music in San Diego. Hmmm now, coming to think of it, I do have a 1940s era ACE lap steel. This was a gift from my highschool girlfriend’s family. It’s a blast to record with and the pickup offers a real sassy tone.

What are your top 3 guitar albums (or songs)?

I’ll pick three faves from three very different worlds: Love Songs in Spanish by Edie Gorme and the Trio Los Panchos, Van Halen’s first record, maybe anything by the Byrds? Dam. This is tough.

What’s your latest release/recording?

PAR AVION did a fantastic collaboration with a cumbia band in Mexico right before the pandemic hit hard. Here is a sample at Spotify. One of the songs features surf music hero Dusty Watson:

Any upcoming live/streaming gigs?

Not really.

What’s YOUR scene?

Mother nature! Whether I am surfing or int he mountains hiking and fly fishing – those are my scenes!

About Bernard Yin

Bernard has a long history with Southern California bands of a considerable variety. In more recent years, he toured and recorded with Astra Heights (Universal Music), the Fuzztones, the Insect Surfers and most recently the BellRays (as bassist). All said, PAR AVION is his musical home base and offers an opportunity for him and his wife Rebecca to collaborate on surf influenced instrumentals.

The group has performed in Spain, France, Puerto Rico, and Italy (including the legendary Surfer Joe Festival). Top that off with Tiki Oasis and Surf Guitar 101 along with plenty of California gigs. While in Mexico in early 2020, PAR AVION collaborated with Mexico City’s Perro Agradecido to craft a recording; hybridizing So Cal Surf with Cumbia. Dusty Watson (Dick Dale band, Slacktone, SONICS) joined the sessions along with the accompanying gigs.

The EP has just been released digitally under “Perro Avion” with limited edition vinyl in the works. Film and TV licenses are an important component of Bernard’s musical journey. In 2018 the group released Surfzilla! – a collection of “beach music” tracks curated by pioneer film trailer producer Yoav Goren for BMG Production Music available at Spotify and iTunes. In 2019, Bernard performed guitar on the TV spot for Telemundo’s coverage of the last Copa America.

About Martin Cilia 79 Articles
Martin is an Australian guitarist and vintage guitar collector. Apart from his solo work he is a member of The Atlantics, Dave Warner’s From the Suburbs and is currently guitarist in Mental As Anything.

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