About Us

Welcome to Surfdog and Dave Kaplan Management, where we live and breathe our passion for music in our tropical bungalows by the beach! Our company was established in 1985. It all started with Dave Kaplan opening the doors to the company’s first division: Dave Kaplan Management. Soon thereafter, came Surfdog Records, a wholly-owned independent record label. Then came Surfdog Music Publishing & Licensing, Surfdog Entertainment Marketing, Surfdog Merchandising and Surfdog’s Java Hut; all located in the slice of heaven we call Encinitas, CA.

Dave Kaplan Management has established a strong and extensive network of associates among the music industry, major and independent music labels, musicians and their management, film and television, and the action sports industry. DKM has worked with clients including Brian Setzer, Stray Cats, Sublime, Dave Stewart, UB40, Glen Campbell (co-management), Gary Hoey, Royal Crown Revue, BulletBoys, and Butthole Surfers, among many more.

Surfdog has released over 150 albums by artists such as Eric Clapton, Brian Setzer, Stray Cats, Glen Campbell, Dave Stewart, Joss Stone, Slightly Stoopid, Butthole Surfers, Richard Cheese, Dan Hicks and the Hot Licks, Gary Hoey and many more. We have also released several soundtrack albums, including “The Endless Summer II” and “Step Into Liquid.” Surfdog artists’ music has been prominently featured in movies (Mission Impossible, Elf, Madagascar, Soul Surfer, Monsters vs. Aliens, etc), TV shows (Ellen, American Idol, Dancing With The Stars, Gotham, East Bound and Down, Glee, ER, Scrubs, etc), plus major national commercials (Ford Lincoln-Mercury, Ritz, Miller Beer, Ashton Kutcher’s Nikon, Hallmark, etc).

Our company’s deep love for music spans everything from rock, rockabilly, big band swing, soul and reggae, to punk, folk, alternative, comedy, and in the early years, a release of crazy-cosmic-galactic-rock n’ roll by Harry Perry (the roller-skating/turbaned Venice Beach icon)! We are driven by real artists and musicians with passion and soul, regardless of musical style; it just needs to hit you in the heart, gut, head, or all three. But don’t let our casual, unassuming nature fool you. We are relentless in our pursuit of excellence for our artists and clients. And we release music we love and want to share with the world.

We are also very proud to be an ocean-conscious company with our three MOM (Music For Our Mother Ocean) releases, which helped us contribute to some of the largest donations in Surfrider Foundation’s history. For the MOM albums, Surfdog assembled the biggest names in music, including Paul McCartney, Pearl Jam, Sublime, James Taylor, Rage Against the Machine, Snoop Dogg, Jimmy Buffett, No Doubt and many more; gaining worldwide attention for these albums as well as for the protection and preservation of our planet’s oceans.

Our classic Surfdog “stick-guy” symbolism and tropical tiki-influenced office complex near the cliffs of the world-class wave at Swami’s helps keep us sane and grounded in this wild ride called the entertainment business. Beware…if we’re ever out at a “board meeting” and the surf is good, you’ll know what we’re really up to! If you’re ever in the San Diego area, come by to check out our local hang-out, Surfdog’s Java Hut, on Coast Highway 101…serving up killer smoothies, coffee, and grub!

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