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I Don't Want to Hold Your HandPosted Sunday, December 25, 2011, at 2:36 PM
During the fall of 1961, a new sound was coming out of California. It was the Beach Boys. Up until then, I was a true Buddy Holly fan even though he died tragically on February 3, 1959, the day after my fifteenth birthday. I immediately fell in love with the B-Boys' music and the surfer beat. In the spring of 1962, I gradated from high school. That summer, I learned how to frug my little buns off and, yes, they were fairly little then.
The Beach Boys' music was happy and it reflected a carefree time. Their close tenor harmonies gave the Boys a really distinctive and hard to duplicate sound. They were good musicians and wrote all their own tunes.
Meanwhile, John Kennedy moved into the White House in 1961, and Camelot had begun. The surfer sound was going full throttle with themes of surfing, cute bikini girls, and hot cars. Songs like "Surfin Safari", Little Duce Coupe" and "Surfer Girl" made life so sweet at the beach n '62 and '63.
But then November 22, 1963 closed the door on Camelot, and those simple, innocent days died.
Enter the Beatles, four skinny guys from Liverpool, who performed in the USA for the first time on the Ed Sullivan Show. Their sound was so different. For one thing, you couldn't dance to their music. The lyrics were simple and repetitive and boy, did they look strange...more like girls then guys. And what was up with that ugly drummer with the big schnoze? I was not impressed at all. I'm still not.
The Beatles were not the best musicians and their voices didn't blend like the Wilsons, but there was something defiant about their manner. Our country's youth responded to that defiance, and the Beatles became and overnight sensation. In 1964, the Beatles filled the top five slots on "Billboard's" singles chart, a feat that has never been matched before or since.
By the late 60s, the Beatles had lost their groove with their final album together. Not surprisingly, The White Album was filled with the discord of a rock group splitting up, but it was also Charles Manson's favorite disc. So much so, that he named his racial war, "Helter Skelter" after one of the songs on the White Album. The record was disturbing just as Manson was disturbed. Maybe that was why he liked it.
Time has past, but the Beach Boys are still America's Band, entertaining all over the country, and the world for that matter. They're still creating that special, carefree sound of the early sixties.
The Beatles' music has been re-released to another generation and the music critics continue to be impressed, but we'll see if the teens of this generation think the Beatles are still the FAB FOUR.
My money is on the B-Boys, who are long in the tooth, but can still catch a wave in my book.
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I'm Enid. No, not the town in Oklahoma, but a transplant to Eureka Springs from Minneapolis fourteen years ago. I'm a writer, journalist and sometime artist. My real love is expressing my opinions on almost any subject, as you have seen in my many letters to the Editor of The Lovely County Citizen over the years. Now, I'm happy to say that I will be writing a blog titled In a Twist for your amusement, amazement or commiseration. Thanks for giving me a read.