This morning, CBS Sunday Morning aired a segment on the Beach Boys and, with every tune they played, I was transported to my pre-teen and teen years. They were happy years in my life; safe, secure, innocent and filled with the joy and excitement of a young girl coming of age to the music of an endless summer. Beach movies were all the rage and my girlfriends and I all dreamed of being Annette (Funicello), Shelley Fabares or Sandra Dee with our own surfer guy who adored us.
"Surfer Girl" was one of the first records I ever bought with my own money and is one of my top three favorite Beach Boys tunes. That 45 (for you youngins', that's a small vinyl disc that we played on something called a record player - grin) is still a treasured possession though these days I get my Beach Boys fix from CDs and tunes I've downloaded from itunes. Every year when we emerge from the doldrums of a cold winter, it's the songs of the Beach Boys that welcome me to another summer. I'm the crazy lady at the wheel of the car next to you, belting out the lyrics of "Fun, Fun, Fun", "Surfin' Safari", "Little Deuce Coupe" or the iconic "California Girls" as I celebrate hot days, balmy nights and the memories of all the wonderful summers of my life.
It's a beautiful day in my neighborhood as I write this. It's not technically summer here yet but the sun is shining brightly, we're supposed to hit 89 F and the surf's up somewhere in the world. So, with a nod to my creaky knees and sore back I'm going to queue up the Beach Boys Greatest Hits album, crank up the volume, slather on the sunscreen, retreat to the back deck and let the music of Brian Wilson, Carl Wilson, Dennis Wilson, Mike Love and Al Jardine fill my soul with joy. And if the neighbors notice me dancing around the deck and singing at the top of my lungs? Well, maybe they'll join in!
What band defines the music of your generation? Are you a Beach Boys fan? What's your favorite Beach Boys song? Do you, like me, roll down the car windows and treat all the neighboring drivers to impromptu concerts? Let's talk music!