Wouldn’t it be nice if we were older
Then we wouldn’t have to wait so long
And wouldn’t it be nice to live together
In the kind of world where we belong
When Mike Love helped write the words for ‘Wouldn’t It be Nice’, the opening track on The Beach Boys’ 1966 album ‘Pet Sounds‘ – you have to wonder if almost fifty years later, he would have known his words would ring so true …
Does it really matter?
For everyone in attendance at The Beach Boys’ show at Maddie’s Place Saturday night – it did not. Young, younger, old and older – witnessed something special. Songs that are timeless. Tunes which posses a label that is tossed about too easily. In the case of The Beach Boys, timeless is correct and they – along with The Beatles; wrote the book themselves.
‘America‘s Band’ are not just America’s band because they came from America. They did not receive the majestic title because they wrote and sang about the stars and stripes. At one point – before Vietnam, before Watergate and before the word started to get around of the ‘true’ American way, The Beach Boys represented what America sold itself as through propaganda. A country built on innocence. Structured by apple pie, baseball, muscle cars, beach, sun, sand and pretty girls. A society Utopian as a painting and The Beach Boys Utopian as the paintbrush.
American was unmasked. The Beach Boys were eventually unmasked. Their songs; masked to this day. A musical form of The Lone Ranger. Heroic anthems that can save the day. Innocent lyrics about innocent times. Innocent music for anytime …
Saturday, many in attendance on the South Shore of Montreal were not born when “Help Me Rhonda‘, ‘California Girls‘, ‘Surfer Girl‘ and ‘In My Room’ were invading the airwaves. Saturday, many in attendance were alive, well and cruising the roads in their T-Birds, Corvettes and Corvairs. Heading to the beach to catch rays, girls, guys and the sweet harmonies of The Beach Boys.
Listening to ‘Little Deuce Coupe‘, ‘ Surfin’ Safari’, ‘Wouldn’t It Be Nice‘ and ‘Barbara Anne’ in 2013; a time trip back. A reverse slide into a pool of nostalgia. A tub of fun awaiting even the most cynical of souls. Old men with glints in their eyes as their memories take a trip down Route 66 or Highway 401. Middle aged women, once more; wrinkle -free and looking for Mr. Right as the glistening sun highlights their virgin breasts.
Kids and teenagers. Pupils of iPods, iPhones and MTV. Hearing many of the songs for the first time. ‘God only Knows’, ‘Fun,Fun,Fun’, ‘I Get Around’ and ‘Good Vibrations’ – piercing their innocent ears with delight and escalating quickly to desire. Witnessing what was – at one point; commonplace. Beach balls flying around a concert hall. Smiles launching the inflatable orbs from hand to hand and sometimes foot. Real Beach balls – not the hallucinogenic type of the Hendrix crowd. Real Beach balls – not the digitally – enhanced ones invented by over zealous record companies anxious to make a buck.
The Beach Boys are no longer The Beach Boys. Mike Love ( on Saturday night) – the only original member on stage. Their last ‘hit’ as a group; the charming and timeless Kokomo from 1988. Over the years – the group have been in the headlines for all the wrong reasons.
Saturday night – it did not matter …
You know it seems the more we talk about it
It only makes it worse to live without it
But lets talk about it
Wouldn’t it be nice