Spring 1963: A year after forming, the Trashmen road-trip to California and come back as surf-rockers.
Summer 1963: Drummer Steve Wahrer improvises an early version of “Surfin’ Bird” at Chubb’s Ballroom in Maple Grove to great applause.
September-October 1963: Wahrer’s goof-off song is shortened and rerecorded at Kay Bank Studio at the urging of disc jockey Bill Diehl, who debuts it triumphantly during WDGY’s “Battle of the Bands.”
Nov. 13, 1963: “Surfin’ Bird” enters the Billboard charts with 38,000 copies sold in its first week on Minneapolis-based Soma Records.
January 1964: Wahrer performs solo on “American Bandstand" because neither the show's producers nor the band's handlers would pay to fly all the members to Philadelphia. Recalled guitarist Dal Winslow, "He was mortified about doing it himself."
Late January 1964: The song peaks at No. 4 the same week the band headlines the Winter Carnival Spectacular lineup at St. Paul Auditorium over Jan & Dean.
February-March 1964: The hastily made “Surfin’ Bird” LP peaks at No. 30 in Billboard. The band hits the road in earnest, tallying 292 gigs by year’s end.
1965-67: More touring, more albums, but no more hits. The band calls it a day.
1977: New York punk heroes the Ramones cover the song on their landmark 1977 album "Rocket to Russia."
Mid-1980s: The band wins back ownership of "Surfin' Bird" and their recording for Soma Records from Minnesota music mogul and Musicland store founder Amos Heilicher
1987: Stanley Kubrick uses "Surfin' Bird" in a chaotic scene in his epic Vietnam War movie "Full Metal Jacket." The band members have heard from pilots who served in the war they really did play the song often while flying.
1970s-80s: “Surfin’ Bird” also re-emerges in other movies (“Back to the Beach”), albums (Cramps) and TV commercials (Pringles, California Coolers), but the band offers only occasional Twin Cities reunion shows as the band members focus on their families and non-musical careers.
1989: Wahrer dies from esophageal cancer. His sister receives his share of the band's royalties.
2007-13: The three surviving members play a series of well-received European tours and cool retro-rock festivals such as New Orleans’ Ponderosa Stomp.
2014: The first Trashmen recording in 25 years arrives, “Bringing Back the Trash,” a collaboration with guitarist Deke Dickerson.