The Trashmen are a rock and roll band formed in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in 1962. The group's original lineup was Tony Andreason on lead guitar and vocals, Dal Winslow on guitar and vocals, Steve Wahrer on drums and vocals, and Bob Reed on bass guitar. The group played surf rock which included elements from garage rock. The Trashmen's most notable hit was 1963's "Surfin' Bird", which reached #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the later part of that year. The song was a combination of two R&B hits by The Rivingtons, "The Bird's the Word" and "Papa-Oom-Mow-Mow". The earliest pressings of the single credit the Trashmen as composers, but following a threat from The Rivingtons' legal counsel, that group was subsequently credited as composers. The song was later re-recorded by artists including the Ramones, The Cramps, Silverchair, Pee-Wee Herman, Equipe 84, and the thrash metal band Sodom. It has been used in filmmaking and television productions including Stanley Kubrick's Full Metal Jacket, Family Guy episode "I Dream of Jesus", Vince Vaughn's "Fred Claus", John Waters' Pink Flamingos, and the soundtrack to the video game Battlefield Vietnam.
More recently, the song was the subject of a 2008 episode of the animated series Family Guy, launching the song to #8 on the iTunes Top 10 Rock songs chart and #50 on the UK Singles Chart in 2009. Additionally, in 2010 a Facebook campaign was launched to get the song to No.1 in the UK Top 40 over Christmas; this was largely intended (as with Rage Against The Machine's Killing In The Name, in 2009) as an unofficial protest against the takeover of the No.1 spot by The X-Factor winner's song. The track debuted in the UK Top Ten for the first time ever, on Sunday 19 December, at #3.