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UltrasArtist of the Month, August 1997


The Ultras are one of H.E.A.R.'s all time favorite bands! Their music is pure fun. It makes you want to call in sick, head out to the beach to ride the waves, and catch some rays. We at H.E.A.R. are especially grateful to Eric for his loyal support of our organization's work. Give a listen, sit back and enjoy "Surf- Pop- Sludge".

THE ULTRAS are a mostly-instrumental rock'n'roll trio from San Francisco formed in l988 by guitarist Eric "Sludge" Lenchner. They call their sound "Surf-Pop-Sludge".

In their early days, the Ultras played the "new lounge" supper clubs in San Francisco utilizing their diverse musical palette of Surf, Rockabilly, Salsa, Pop, Blues, Country, Jazz, and Psychedelic styles. This was a low-volume sound with the instrumentation of electric guitar, acoustic "string" bass, and brushed drums.

In the l990's, as the Ultras began to play more and more original music (at a more electrified volume), they moved from the lounges to the original music showcase clubs of San Francisco and Northern California. The Ultras toured the West Coast several times and shared the bill numerous times with surf music legend Dick Dale.

1993 saw the release of the Ultras' CD, SURF-POP-SLUDGE Produced by Scott Mathews, the man responsible for the Dick Dale "comeback" CD" on Hightone, "Surf-Pop-Sludge" was a college radio hit, going Top Ten on numerous stations throughout the U.S.

In 1995 the Ultras stopped playing live shows due to guitarist Lenchner's hearing damage. They have continued to record, and their latest projects are "Rocket Jockey" (video game), "Attack of the New Killer Surf Guitars" (compilation featuring Ultras' track "THE ULTRA FACTOR"), and "Just Write" (feature film starring Sherilyn Fenn - soundtrack features "Steel Twist" by The Ultras).


Eric Lenchner ("SLUDGE") - electric guitar; vocals

Hailing from Long Island, New York, Sludge's first band in junior high school in 1966 was called The Ultras. In San Francisco Sludge first made his mark as part of the punk-new wave outfit The Readymades (1977-1979) and later as part of nouvelle-lounge swingers The Dinos in the latter 1980's.

30-plus years of playing in bands has left Sludge with hearing damage. He suffers from hyperacusis (oversensitivity to sound), tinnitus (ringing in the ears), and hearing loss. He presently is a full-time guitar teacher, running the Professor Sludge Guitar Academy in San Francisco.

The Sludge Academy is partnerd with H.E.A. R . ( Hearing Education and Awareness for Rockers) of San Francisco. Proceeds from Sludge Academy Concerts go to H.E.A.R. in support of their many programs. This year The Sludge Academy helped to fund the printing of H.E.A.R.'s new brochures that are distributed to recording studios, rehersal halls, music stores, music venues and schools.

Eric and his students appeared on Tom Brokaw's NBC Nightly New this May in support of better hearing for young musicians and music fans!

Trey Sabatelli ("TREY KING KOOL") -drums; vocals

Originally from New York City, Trey King Kool has played with some of the top groups in rock (Jefferson Starship; The Tubes) since relocating to the Bay Area. Kool's amazing fluidity on the drum kit, stylistic versatility, and dynamic showmanship have earned him a growing reputation and following among musicians and fans alike.

Bing Nathan ("STRING BING") - acoustic and electric bass

Originally from Illinois, String Bing has been a fixture on the Bay Area music scene since performing at the Fillmore Auditorium in 1968. He now performs regularly with swing jazz act Lavay Smith and the Red-Hot Skillet Lickers (a 1997 Bammie Award winner).


1992 - We Love You and You Love Us / full length album (Vanilla Sludge)
1993 - Surf-Pop-Sludge / full length album (Vanilla Sludge)
1994 - Live at D.N.A. / video (Vanilla Sludge)
- Planet Surf / compilation (Tri-Surf)
- Beyond the Beach / compilation (Upstart)
- California Music / compilation (Australian magazine)
1995 - Xmas, Ultras-Style / single (Vanilla Sludge)
1996 - Rocket Jockey / video game (Seqa Soft)
1997 - Attack of the New Killer Surf Guitars / compilation (Shanachie)
1997 - Just Write/ feature film

INFO-ULTRA-MATION / (415) 239-5390
Vanilla Sludge Records
PO Box 460205
Noe Valley Station, San Francisco, CA 94146-0205


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