The Avengers VI may seem like another one of those archival rock & roll discoveries of the 1960s, endlessly fascinating to the mavens of surf music but easily overlooked by most listeners -- but listeners would be doing themselves a serious disservice to overlook this particular band. These guys were not only good -- they were superb, and all the more remarkable for a band whose median age was around 16 when they turned semi-professional and 17 when they cut their only surviving sides (which do, indeed, live up the group's reputation). The Avengers VI started out as trio of school friends from the same neighborhood in Anaheim, CA. Rick Bastrup, Bob Gallant, and Curt Pickelle, all in their mid-teens in early 1964, had been buddies practically since they'd all been old enough to walk, and all three had developed a liking for surf music as embodied by the likes of Dick Dale and the Lively Ones, and all of those various aliases (the Rip-Chords, etc.) utilized by Gary Usher, Terry Melcher, and Bruce Johnston. What's more, they liked the music well enough to start mimicking the sounds they heard on the records, first informally and then with actual instruments. Rick Bastrup started out on drums before switching to guitar, after Bob Gallant got serious enough in his percussive aspirations to purchase a better drum kit that his friend could visualize owning at the time; meanwhile, Curt Pickelle took that same cue to abandon the guitar in favor of the bass, and suddenly they had the makings of a viable trio, and began working out their favorite instrumentals. They became a quartet with the addition of Jim Goodwin on another guitar, figuring the more of the latter instrument the merrier, as most of the best surf bands -- including their personal favorites, the Pyramids and the Astronauts -- had at least three. There came a day in 1964 when the quartet decided to put their pride and social standing in their local circle on the line by taking a job playing a local junior high school dance in Anaheim. It could have been a disaster, but all four were astounded to discover that the kids didn't just dance to what they played, but actually liked them, and simply ate up the numbers that they were forced to repeat from their limited repertory (which, at that point, consisted of "Tequila" and a handful of other similar instrumentals). Perhaps the response had something to do with the fact that Bastrup and company were just a couple of years older than their audience, which allowed the younger teens to take to heart what they were hearing and dancing to, or that they genuinely loved the music and what they were doing. All of those hours of wearing out singles like "Pipeline" and "Tequila," learning all the parts just right, paid off. But according to Bastrup, in an interview for an essay by music scholar Robert J. Dalley, they got a 25 percent bonus, a whole extra $10 above the $40 they were to have received for the night, and that was in a time when $10 represented at least seven movie admissions, more than 20 gallons of gasoline, or 90 to 100 comic books, and was a lot more than most teenagers got for a week's allowance, and a lot more than most adults ever spent on haircuts, even with a tip.