Tag Archives: Beach Boys

W is for the Wilson Brothers of the Beach Boys

Carl, Dennis, Mike, Al, Brian
Carl, Dennis, Mike, Al, Brian

Murry Wilson was an entrepreneur, but he also had an interest in music, which he passed along to his sons, Brian, Dennis, and Carl, sharing his love of the tight harmonies of groups such as the Four Freshmen. He became their business manager, finagling for their group, which also included his nephew, Mike Love, and the brothers’ friend, Al Jardine (replaced briefly by David Marks), a recording contract with Capitol Records. He was a great motivator, though considered abusive.

But it was not the group, or Murry, who dubbed the group the Beach Boys. That was done by some record company employee, to capitalize on the band’s surf sound that was so popular. Ironic, since only Dennis knew how to surf.
Continue reading W is for the Wilson Brothers of the Beach Boys

F is for Friends

A few weeks ago, Daniel Nester wrote about Ex-Friends, which got me thinking about my own friendships. I can’t think of a current ex-friend, someone who was once my friend but is now my enemy. I did have a good friend in college with whom I had a falling out about a decade later, but we reconnected a couple decades after that, and while we’re not in regular contact, there’s no animosity anymore.

This is not to say that I haven’t lost contact with friends. I was cleaning the attic this summer and came across a Rolodex Continue reading F is for Friends

Obama v. Romney


Answering more Ask Roger Anything questions:

Tom the Mayor, who I know personally, pondered:
Here is a hard one Roger! Who do you think will win the presidential election?

I went to 270towin.com. The map there suggests that Obama has 217 likely electoral votes, and Romney with 191 electoral votes, with 130 electoral votes listed as a tossup. Three states in that latter category are hugely important – Florida (29), Pennsylvania (20), and Ohio (18). I suspect that whoever wins at least 2 out of 3 will probably win the White House.

Some statistical piece – I can’t find it presently – states that the Republicans were far better Continue reading Obama v. Romney

Brian Wilson is 70: my favorite Beach Boys songs

L-R: Wilson, Marks, Johnston, Jardine, Love

I’m watching the Grammys maybe four weeks after it aired, fast-forwarding through the stuff that didn’t interest me. Then what to my wondering eyes should appear but the Beach Boys – the REAL Beach Boys! It wasn’t a tremendous performance, with lots of “guest stars”, but it was genuine. Brian Wilson has toured occasionally, notably performing the SMiLE album. Al Jardine played with various friends and relatives. Mike Love has toured as the Beach Boys with longtime group participant Bruce Johnston. David Marks, an early Beach Boy, was also there.

Dennis Wilson drowned in 1983, and Carl Wilson died of cancer in 1998; I visited the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in April 1998, and saw nice tributes to the Carls, Perkins and Wilson. So for me, without Jardine, and the oft-feudin’ cousins, Love and Brian Wilson, it can’t really be the Beach Boys. Continue reading Brian Wilson is 70: my favorite Beach Boys songs

Summer Song: Summertimes Blues

I’m not positive, but I believe the first version of Summertime Blues I heard was by The Who from their Live at Leeds album; the single hit the pop charts on July 11, 1970, got to #27, and remained on th charts for nine weeks. THe song had been part of their live show for three years before that.

It was only then that I heard the original by Eddie Cochran, who co-wrote it; the song charted 8/4/1958, stayed for 16 weeks, and got to #8. I really like it, especially this rendition where Eddie giggles a couple times.

Another wonderful version is by Blue Cheer. From the Wikipedia: “The American psychedelic blues-rock band …recorded their version…in 1967…The single peaked at #14 on the Billboard Hot 100…While not as widely played or recognized as The Who version, it certainly is more distorted with a far more intense guitar sound. This version was ranked #73 on the list of ‘The 100 Greatest Guitar Songs of All Time’ of Rolling Stone. This version omits the responses and instead has each band member do a quick solo.”

A less-than-great iteration appears on the Beach Boys’ first album, Surfin’ Safari, released October 1962. “Lead vocal on the track was jointly sung by lead guitarist Carl Wilson, not yet 16, and rhythm guitarist Dave Marks, just turned 14. Never released on a single in the US, it gained enough popularity in The Philippines early in 1966 to post no. 7 on that country’s hit parade as listed by Billboard in its weekly ‘Hits of the World’ charts.” This was new to me.

I don’t listen to enough country, evidently, because I was also unfamiliar
with the Alan Jackson rendition, which went to #1 on the country charts in 1994.

Macca is 69, and soon Brian will be


Paul McCartney formerly of the Beatles turns 69 today. Brian Wilson, formerly of the Beach Boys, will be 69 on June 20. The southpaws, labelmates in the US on Capitol Records, inspired each other musically.

NEXT year, I’ll post my favorite songs by McCartney (solo/with Wings) and the Beach Boys. But these are the songs Continue reading Macca is 69, and soon Brian will be

Summer Songs QUESTION


Entertainment Weekly did one of those list of summer songs, again. Some radio station has the full 100 list, with video links to most of them.

The * indicate the ones that came to me on the list.

100. ”STAY (I MISSED YOU)” (1994)
Lisa Loeb
99. ”TENNESSEE” (1992)
Arrested Development
98. ”WE’RE AN AMERICAN BAND” (1973)
Grand Funk Railroad
97. ”RADAR LOVE” (1974)
Golden Earring
96. ”THE LOVE YOU SAVE” (1970)
The Jackson 5
95. ”DANCING IN THE DARK” (1984)
Bruce Springsteen
94. ”FUNKYTOWN” (1980)
Lipps Inc.
93. ”YAKETY YAK” (1958)
The Coasters
*92. ”SUMMERTIME, SUMMERTIME” (1958)
The Jamies
91. ”GANGSTER’S PARADISE” (1995)
Coolio
90. ”KISS FROM A ROSE” (1995)
Seal
89. ”MACHO MAN” (1978)
The Village People
88. ”MY CHERIE AMOUR” (1969)
Stevie Wonder
87. ”WATERLOO” (1974)
ABBA
86. ”SUMMERTIME” (1991)
D.J. Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince
85. ”THE END OF THE INNOCENCE” (1989)
Don Henley
*84. ”SAN FRANCISCO (BE SURE TO WEAR FLOWERS IN YOUR HAIR)” (1967)
Scott McKenzie Continue reading Summer Songs QUESTION