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Trashmen Drummer Steve Wahrer Dies At 47

January 22, 1989 GMT

ROBBINSDALE, Minn. (AP) _ Steve Wahrer, the drummer who helped lift the Trashmen and their hit single, ″Surfin’ Bird,″ to the national pop charts in the early 1960s, has died of throat cancer at age 47.

He died Saturday at North Memorial Hospital in this Minneapolis suburb.

″He was the one who snarled out, ’The bird is the word,‴ said Bill Diehl, an entertainment writer for the St. Paul Pioneer Press Dispatch. ″They were all clean-cut guys and in their way kind of shy. They were more interested in music than anything else.″

Dal Winslow, a founder of the group and now a computer systems analyst, said Wahrer ″was one of the first drummers to use a heavy, heavy, foot-pedal beat. A driving, real danceable style. It was pure rock ‘n’ roll.″

In 1962, Wahrer, Winslow, Tony Andreason of Minneapolis and Bob Reed of North Dakota formed the band.

Two years later they released ″Surfin’ Bird,″ which became an instant hit, moving up to No. 4 on the national Billboard music chart.

The group broke up in 1967 and Wahrer stayed in the Twin Cities, playing with a variety of bands.

He played with the Trashmen in revival concerts until about a year ago, when he became ill.

Wahrer is survived by his father, Stephen, of Robbinsdale, and sisters Suzy McCasland of Shoreview and Vicki Wahrer of Coon Rapids.

Services are scheduled Tuesday in Minneapolis.