Sunday, July 12, 2009

Greetings from 1966

I am standing in the cashier's line at a discount store. There is a new Beach Boys album in what today we think of as the impulse-buy rack. I'm excited — if the album contains that wild new song I'm hearing on the radio these days, I will gladly slam that thing down on the counter and pay the $2.74 for this thing.

But I'm disappointed. Sure, the album has "Sloop John B" and "Wouldn't It Be Nice" from last spring and summer, but there's no sign of "Good Vibrations." And the cover photo, of the band feeding a bunch of animals at a petting zoo, is pretty lame. No sale today.

I love the new song, but I haven't been a hard-core Beach Boys fan before this. They're my older brother's band. Maybe someday I'll buy this one, but it's not going to be high on my priority list unless they have a string of tunes like "Good Vibrations." It never occurs to me that it might be 35 years before I actually purchase and hear this album in its entirety and recognize how cool it is. My next album purchase will instead be "The Monkees." Not that there's anything wrong with that!

It occurred to me the other day that each and every one of us is a time machine, carrying sights and sounds and smells and tastes of a long-ago time on the biological hard drives that are our brains. From time to time we access that drive and do our best to communicate what it is we see, hear and smell in our storage device. That communication gap is the main problem: I can't just upload my first encounter with "Pet Sounds" to YouTube. But it remains one of those watershed moments nonetheless.

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Anonymous Tom Ender said...

Monkees? Bleah....

Here's some Monkees for you.


5:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tom, neat, except for all the mistakes in literalism.
1.) The literalizer must have never seen an actual rainbow;
2.) must not know that playing a guitar with a tie laying on the strings is a form of 'dampening' used in such songs as, Mrs. Brown You've Got a Lovely Daughter; and
3.) Mike Nesmith is definitely not goofing off but playing natural, 12th fret harmonics, a very common guitar playing technique used for example at the end of George Harrison's guitar solo on Nowhere Man.
Other than that....I enjoyed it.

6:25 PM  

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