I suppose that most of you know, from previous postings, that I am a big Beach Boys fan. Oh yes, I listen mainly to jazz and you can find me on many evenings sitting in THE chair, listening to the disharmonious musical ravings of John Coltrane, Albert Ayler and the like. But then, on some more mellow occasions, I relax and listen to the more sonorous harmonies of the Beach Boys, and that musical virtuoso, Brian Wilson.
I grew up musically in the 1960s, and my musical taste was quite varied, from Motown R&B, to the Beatles to the aforesaid Beach Boys. Many were the nights that I listened in bed to my little Spica transistor radio (one of the very first) to Cousin Brucie. Those were the days that I could recite by heart the top 50 singles in the USA. And foremost among my favorites were the Beach Boys.
Beginning with their classic California surf songs (Surfer Girl), hot rod car songs (Little Deuce Coupe) and then going on to more complex material, like their Pet Sounds album, the Beach Boys were America's answer to the Beatles and the British invasion in the pre-psychedelic era. And it was the genius of Brian Wilson, who heard melodic, harmonic rock and roll symphonies in his head, who wrote most of their music. I still remember being in Wilkes Barre Pennsylvania at a major slot car race (another of my teenage predilections) when Sloop John B came over the sound system. It hit me like a ton of bricks, and I couldn't get the song out of my head, and still can't.
Well the Beach Boys, and especially Brian, went through a lot of
trials and tribulations after their glory years. Luckily for us, Brian is still composing great songs and making wonderful albums. His latest, No Pier Pressure, is killer. Now some critics were critical of the album, saying it reminded them of the Beach Boys. Duh........It is replete with gorgeous harmonies and lyrics which seem very introspective of much of the sadness that Brian has lived through. And, as a special treat, the audio quality is quite good.
This Fall, Anne and I attended a Brian Wilson concert at the
in NY. This was Brian's 50th Anniversary Pet Sounds tour. No, not the Beach Boys, Brian. It seems that
, another Beach Boy, fired Brian after the Beach Boy's 50th Anniversary Reunion Tour in 2012! Imagine that, firing Brian Wilson from the Beach Boys. In fact, I understand Brian may have written Pier Pressure to be a new Beach Boys album. The concert was GREAT!!! The first set was composed of many classic Beach Boys songs, like California Girls, Wild Honey, etc. The second set was Pet Sounds in all its glory. Remember, according to rock and roll legend, Pet Sounds was Brian Wilson's answer to the Beatles Sgt. Peppers. And then, the encore: Good Vibrations, Help Me Rhonda, Barbara Ann, Surfing USA, Fun Fun Fun, and Love and Mercy. Whew, the joint was hopping! Helping Brian out was his long time associate and friend, Al Jardine, Al's son, and Blondie Chaplin. All in all, a great night, and Anne and I went back home and kicked back listening to Pier Pressure on our