Friday, October 24, 2008

"She was born in '32 and was she ever pretty"

What to make of me waking up the last two mornings with Beach Boys songs in my head. Yesterday morning it was "Ballad of Ole Betsy" from "Little Deuce Coupe" (the album) (and it's a great song, by the way, certainly not a song that anyone unfamiliar with the Beach Boys would know) and this morning it was "Little Deuce Coupe" itself. I am a person who always has a song in their head, often more than one, and I am also the self-proclaimed Lyric Girl of our time, so it is perfectly normal for me to wake up with a song in my head (and that's the reason I can't use a clock radio for an alarm clock). It takes me about 3 or 4 minutes to figure out why I have that particular song in my head, and it usually is from something on the TV as I drifted off to sleep the night before. But I can't figure out the two Beach Boys songs. Especially "Ballad of Ole Betsy".

And then, as I got in Barbie's car tonight to go to Mark's party, ready to tell her about these mornings' phenomenon, what CD is she playing? "Good Vibrations" (the 1975 one). Okay so that's kind of weird, but only kind of, because I grew up in a Beach Boys household. And then on the way home from Mark's, she introduced me to Brian Wilson's newest CD - "That Lucky Old Sun". Newly released, and I had no idea. I'll be buying it tomorrow.

Growing up, my older brothers (and Barbie) loved the Beach Boys. Loved them. They were pretty much the background music of my life. My dad even liked them because of the harmonies. And when I say Beach Boys, I mean Brian Wilson's band, not the crap you see on tour these days, not Mike Love living off the dream and just being embarrassing and selling out every chance he gets. I mean Brian Wilson and his music and his vision, the sound of his voice and the meaning in his lyrics. Before you say, "Uh, what kind of meaning is "Surfin' USA" supposed to give us...?", remember that the surfer albums were the beginning, and there is much more beyond that. If you have the opportunity, go do some research. Listen to "Pet Sounds", or "Surfs Up", or hell even "Holland". There's a lot more to it than "California Girls", believe me.

Pretty much everyone in my family can carry a tune, I think, (even Benny, in a Neil Young kind of way) or is at least musically inclined, and there was a lot of passion in the fan-dom. Luckily it is one of those things that never goes away, so I am still just a huge fan of Brian Wilson and his music and his genius and his story. And what a story it is. Just listening to those three songs on the new CD brought me back to a place that made me happy; that's what Brian's voice does to me.

So anyway, I still don't know where "Ole Betsy" came from, but it's been nice to hear it again in my head these last couple of days. I am the kind of person that believes there are signs everywhere, so I'll figure out one of these days just what the universe is trying to tell me.


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