My first favourite band is still alive

In my younger years, I Get Around was an innocent song about driving. The ‘60s – that golden era Gold FM always reminisced about – was a gay old time, when rock stars would experiment with different instruments and nothing more. And when they said that Brian Wilson was crazy, I understood that to mean he had an odd fashion taste.

I was just a naive primary schooler. And The Beach Boys were my favourite band.

My first favourite band.

Almost two decades on I’m still in love with The Beach Boys. Unlike my other amateur music preferences – think Good Charlotte, Backstreet Boys, and Colin Buchanan – The Beach Boys have stood the test of time.

And they haven’t just passed my benchmarks, but those of two generations before me. Having recently commemorated the 50th anniversary of their first single, The Beach Boys have well and truly earned their place among music royalty.

Their inoffensive brand of feel-good hits motivate me today as much as they did when I was five. The early singles invite the listener to sing along and forget about the world’s dramas. Their later catalogue, whilst also impressive for their use of five-part harmonies and instrumental codas, has a similar effect.

The Beach Boys have been with me every step of my life. When I was a toddler, they taught me how to have fun, fun, fun. In high school, they reminded me to stay true to my school. And when I entered my rebellious phase, they ordered me to eat a lot, sleep a lot, and brush ’em like crazy.

Tonight marks a significant milestone in my life; the band I have adored for so long will be appearing in real life, in front of my very eyes. Sure, they’re probably not quite what they used to be; I don’t expect Mike Love to reach any of the falsetto summits he made famous in the twentieth century. Nor do I expect the harmonies to be performed by the band members themselves (or at least those that are still living); it wouldn’t surprise me if a trio of female gospel singers were to accompany every hit.

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The problem with writing about music is that I can use all the pretty adjectives in the thesaurus and you still wouldn’t be persuaded. As such, I have included a collection of my favourite Beach Boys moments below.

These – among others – are the reasons why I still hold this group with such high regard. And these are the reasons I am willing to fork out $100 to see them on stage, even if they might be a little past their prime.

Kokomo

I wasn’t alive when The Beach Boys originally released this song. Nor do I think I was alive when this Muppets episode first aired. Regardless, this is classic nostalgia. It makes me want to live in a generation I never knew.

God Only Knows

This song is the extent of my theology. And Rivers Cuomo is probably the greatest man that ever lived. If only his concert tickets didn’t cost $140…

Good Vibrations

Before The Good Guys massacred this song and turned it into a capitalist jingle, this was a classic. And it still is. In case you’ve only heard the version sung by the electronics salespeople, listen closely for the haunting organ line, the throbbing cello, and a oft-forgotten post-chorus breakdown.

Wouldn’t It Be Nice

Speaking of capitalism, here’s Cadbury’s reinterpretation of The Beach Boys’ ever-pleasant catch cry.

Wild Honey

Of all the songs from The Beach Bo’ys greatest hits album, this is one of their least known. Moreover, it’s a song uncharacteristic of their other material, which is not particularly rock-influenced. I don’t expect Wild Honey to make the set list for Friday night’s performance. But every time I hear this song, it inspires me to raid the pantry and stick my fist into a bee hive.

Barbara Ann

This next one needs no introduction. Circa 2008.

Other essential tracks: “I Was Made To Love Her”, “Sloop John B”, “I Can Hear Music”, “I’d Love Just Once To See You”,  “Heroes And Villains”.

Stay tuned to Knockin on Kevin’s Door for a review of The Beach Boys’ Rod Laver Arena concert.

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