Monday, April 16, 2018

Music Monday ~ "Pickin' up good vibrations"

We accompanied husband's daughter and son-in-law to see a Beach Boys tribute band perform on Friday evening - Woodie and the Long Boards. The concert was housed in an event/ballroom area rather than the usual theatre setting. Dance enthusiasts were able to enjoy their nostalgia both mentally and physically.

Unsurprisingly, dancers were mostly "of a certain age", but quite adept at swingin' those hips and doing all the cool gestures and....well...whatever. You can probably tell from this that I'm not, and never have been, much of a dancer myself. A bit of square dancing and the odd shuffle to a last waltz has been my lifetime limit. My brain might co-ordinate with my fingers for writing or typing purposes, but it refuses to co-ordinate with my feet for dancing purposes. Anyway...

I realised fairly quickly that The Beach Boys must have written many more songs than I'd ever realised. My knowledge extends to what was played by BBC disc jockeys, back in England in the 1960s and 70s, and later by older disc jockeys suffering from chronic nostalgia.

Good Vibrations is Beach Boys' gold standard, Gold Only Knows, Barbara Ann; my own favourite, not written by the band, but a traditional song of the Bahamas Sloop John B, and all their other hits were played, along with some more obscure to all but dyed in the wool Beach Boy fans.

Glancing at the lyrics of Fun, Fun, Fun this morning I realised why, in spite of their great, well-polished sound, The Beach Boys never managed to outshine The Beatles in the UK (for some, they didn't mange to do so even in the USA) :

Well she got her daddy's car and she cruised through the hamburger stand, now
Seems she forgot all about the library like she told her old man, now
But with the radio blasting goes cruising just as fast as she can now
And she'll have fun, fun, fun till her daddy takes the T-bird away
(fun, fun, fun, 'till her daddy takes the T-bird away)

In the UK, back then, we didn't have T-birds for daddy to take away. We were lucky if we had a bike on which to ride to the railway station to catch a train to school, or to work. We couldn't relate, nor I feel sure could some of the poorer families in the USA at that time. We understood Beatles' lyrics, though, we'd lived'em!

Woke up, fell out of bed
Dragged a comb across my head
Found my way downstairs and drank a cup
And looking up I noticed I was late
Found my coat and grabbed my hat
Made the bus in seconds flat
Made my way upstairs and had a smoke
And everybody spoke and I went into a dream...

I read the news today, oh boy
Four thousand holes in Blackburn, Lancashire
And though the holes were rather small
They had to count them all
Now they know how many holes it takes to fill the Albert Hall
I'd love to turn you on......

This is not to say that I was a great Beatles' fan back then, but with this amount of hindsight I can see that while The Beach Boys offered the feel of a privileged and slightly exotic lifestyle, The Beatles, for us were like a familiar plate of fish and chips, with just the right amount of salt and vinegar added.

Woodie and the Long Boards entertained the crowd on Friday evening, in spite of a rather dodgy sound system. It was good to hear lots of foot-tappingly familiar music, and to watch some of our near-contemporaries shakin' their thang on the dance floor.

The real thang for Music Monday:


Wisewebwoman said...

Fan of both Bs here.Beach Boys were a great LP for the start of parties to get everybody up on the floir.

I was introduced to the Beatles music by a friend of John Lennon from Liverpool who was in med school in Cork. I've never forgotten the frisson when I heard "please please me" on a demo disk for the first time.


Twilight said...

Wisewebwoman ~ I bet! - The music was, and is infectious.
I somehow missed the early Beatlemania thing entirely - possibly because my life was in something of a mess at the time. I've come to appreciate some of the Beatles later stuff more, since being in the USA, husband and his family are great fans of theirs.