Friday, July 13, 2012

Boys Of The Beach . . .

Nothing like some experiences to make you feel your age!  On Tuesday, during our visit to Calgary, we went to Heritage Park and I realized that there were way too many elements there that I related to...wooden sidewalks, the old pharmacy from our once-upon-a-time hometown of Vulcan and the horses pulling wagons, etc etc. etc.  Wow!  I don't often think so thoroughly about the passage of time.

Then last night Marilyn took us to The Beach Boys 50th Anniversary Concert at the Stampede.  It was so much fun and we hooted and hollered along with the best of them but it did remind us of an era gone by.  While the 'Boys' were at the height of their fame Sherwin and I were busy tending children and building a life.  We knew their music and recognized faces and names but we were not very familiar with the lyrics.  But as I listen to their music now I can hear the influence.  The following video is from a concert back in the day...

But there they were...we were in row 3 so we got to see them as they truly are today.  I was interested to see these California men of 'a certain age' come out on stage and present themselves as 65-72 year olds, grey or white hair, wrinkles and all.  There wasn't a lot of sham when it came to personal appearance. After the first medley which was a loud, delightful mix of oldies they suggested going now for a nap, maybe they would return the next day.

But no, these guys were the only entertainment, no opening act giving them any breather...they came onstage right after 7:30 and with a 20 minute intermission, kept us there until some time between 10:30 and 11. They didn't do a lot of dance moves but Mike Love in particular was up and down the stage  connecting with the audience.  All of them showed great endurance presenting music that meant so much to another time and place.

We had decided not to haul our big cameras into the Stampede grounds but we got a few photos on our iPhone, which early on said, 'low battery'.  So even though our results were not spectacular we do have a few mementos of our time there.

(a rather unclear photo of Mike Love in the middle 
with David Marks on your left and Al Jardin on your right)

Once in a while, for a slow song, they had all cell phone users get out the phones, put on a light and wave the phone was very beautiful to see this large venue lit up by the phones moving to the music.  Interesting to see singers of another era using today's technology.  And once in a while one of the 5 would whip out their phone and take a photo of the band.

They showed the late Wilson brothers, Dennis (the only surfer of the group) and Carl,  on the screen including pre-recorded songs of theirs.  But brother Brian was at the piano and when he did any solo parts his voice was strong and clear even though it is very evident that he has suffered physically.

(on the far right is Brian Wilson...time moves on)

Bruce Johnston, particularly known for his music composition with "I Write The Songs" made famous by Barry Manilow, Al Jardine and David Marks made strong contributions throughout the evening.  Of the 5 'Boys', only Mike Love didn't handle a guitar...he just schmoozed the ladies in the front rows.

These 5 men have had very complex, stormy relationships with one another and a history fraught with split-ups and lawsuits. Their lives have been anything but exemplary with more pain and sadness than one would wish but during the concert they worked well together . They are great ambassadors for the USA and they made a huge crowd of seniors smile last night.

Take a look at this is very revealing and gives you a great inside view with even a moment or two of wisdom.

Thanks, Boys!


  1. i watched the videos -- very cool story. thx ma. sounds like you had a good time!

    1. Yes, son, I did have a good time even though it was difficult to see so vividly the passage of time.

      It was cool to hear just the first notes of a song and know what was coming. And the 'Boys' did appear to enjoy themselves too!


  2. Wonderful post, Shirley. I never really knew much about the group... just loved their catchy music.

    To attend that concert was truly a treat. To feel the synergy of the event was amazing.Thanks for sharing the links. They were great!