Sunday, July 15, 2012

Beach Boys: All Of The Things We Like To Do

Al Jardine is my favorite Beach Boy. I always liked his voice the best. Something about his hyper annunciation just always gets stuck in my head.

When I wrote this article for The Oregonian about the Beach Boys' 50th reunion tour, I delved pretty deep into the song “Isn't It Time,” which, lucky for me, has a very cool part in it sung by Al Jardine.

When the Beach Boys performed at Chateau Ste Michele outside of Seattle last Friday, Al just looked so happy to be there. When “Isn't It Time” came around, I was the only person in my vicinity singing along. And Al made me look bad—he changed it up on me!

Instead of singing “Every time I think of you / And all of the things we used to” he sang “all of the things we like to do.” I actually really liked this change for the live setting. Since the song is about recapturing youth and there were a lot of older Beach Boys fans in the audience doing just that, he updated it to the present tense. It was such a small change, but it made me smile and look around at everyone dancing around me.

Oddly, this isn't the first lyrical quirk I've come across with this song. When I was researching my article, co-writer of the tune Jim Peterik told me that the chorus of “Isn't it time we dance the night away?” was originally, “Isn't it time we catch another wave?” Apparently Brian Wilson thought it was too similar to the band's previous material and suggested the revision.

Anyway, it was a great show. I kept hugging my friend Jake and I teared up a couple of times. I won't bore you with what it meant to me to see “In My Room” and “Surfer Girl” live. Instead, I'll tell you about the video that played behind the band during the title track of their new record, “That's Why God Made The Radio.” It featured footage of hipsters complete with tattoos and vintage chic outfits cut with old footage of the Beach Boys.

Now, mind you, Jake and I were some of the only hipsters in the crowd, although one of the band's keyboardists looked plucked from an Urban Outfitters ad. I wonder if they haze that guy and make him carry gear and stuff, because the way I took the video was the Beach Boys saying, “Hey, just so you know, we did it first.” If dads are the original hipsters, the Beach Boys are the daddy of pop rock bands.

Image plucked from Front Row Features.