The Beach Boys

April 25, 2011

I did not grow up loving the Beach Boys. Maybe it’s because my older siblings liked hard rock and the Beatles. They were hippies and burnouts that smoked pot and did other assorted recreational drugs. That didn’t really fit in with the Beach Boys sound. As an adult, my un-appreciation only grew. Those ubiquitous songs “Fun, Fun, Fun” and “Barbara Ann”, played endlessly on oldies radio when I’d rather it was a Motown song by Stevie Wonder or Marvin Gaye. Then, playing in bands and hearing other musicians talk about the great Brian Wilson, the amazing vocal harmonies and production on Pet Sounds, still I couldn’t wrap my head around it. I think I could never get past the grating falsetto. Maybe the silly, light-hearted lyrics had something to do with it too.

I’m not going to say that my opinions have changed much. I’m not announcing that my next project will be covering Pet Sounds from beginning to end. I would rather eat a raw pork chop. But I will concede that Brian Wilson wrote some pretty great songs. The best one, by far, possibly one of the best pop songs ever written (I think Paul McCartney said this too) is “God Only Knows” from Pet Sounds. What can I say, but the song makes me cry.

The reason I’m blogging about the Beach Boys is because I recently recorded a cover of “God Only Knows” in my little basement studio. Last year, I was introduced to a friend of a friend who is working on a documentary. Filming herself, her family and her father as his brain is slowly consumed by Alzheimer’s disease, the story is personal and painful. Her name is Joleen Firek and she is an accomplished writer, director and film producer. She needed music for the trailer and will hopefully need music for the film once funding is secured.  Her father loved the Beach Boys and they shared many moments on camera, dancing and singing together through the painful progression of his illness. Here is the link to her blog where she talks about her dad. I am grateful that she asked me to contribute music to her project. I’m still working on a few more covers of the 1960’s pop variety and hopefully they will fit with Joleen’s vision for the film. My Tambourine Project is on hold for the moment, but in the meantime, I hope you enjoy this song…
God Only Knows MP3

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6 Responses to “The Beach Boys”

  1. David McKay Says:

    Well done!
    Thanks for sharing

  2. Christine Says:

    Really love it!

  3. jaspyr Says:

    well it took me long enough but here i am finally… i agree with you in lock step to your childhood experience except i had an older sister who loved all 50’s music and i gritted my teeth so much tolerating that not my style (drivel) that i fear i am still grinding. so thank you. i can also share with you your respect for this song. and as you have it couched with this little rememberance of a father fading, and a daughter finding herself a lonely witness to the loss, aren’t we all… i hear it with a new opportunity to like it. thank you miss di-io! i always love to hear your interpretation (covers) but i also love your stories. thank you for sharing! 🙂

    jenny b xo

  4. Lori Jo Vest Says:

    Beautiful rendition. Love how it works in the trailer.


  5. A few days ago I listened to this. It’s beautiful, the vocals are superb (no more grating falsettos :-). I can’t help sing along the bapapapa bit in the middle. Now I also watched the trailer, that gives the song even more depth. It’s heartbreaking.

  6. jennyb Says:

    Glad for Rob posting as it gave me the impulse to listen to this again. Ditto re: falsetto’s. I especially like the way Deanne’s voices had different characteristics her layering, whether it is because of the synthesizer or just because. I really love this listen!


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