The Duncan Banner

Opinion

July 15, 2012

An evening with The Boys

DUNCAN — Memories of the first time I heard The Beach Boys in concert are vague, dulled by the passage of decades in time.

It was a Friday in May, the 7th to be exact, in 1965 at a “Shower of Stars” event hosted by WVOK-AM, The Mighty 690, in the north end zone of Birmingham’s then-cavernous Legion Field, known otherwise to us as the “Football Capital of the South” and scene to big game Alabama victories en route to back-to-back national championships in 1964 and 1965.

A carload of friends, one a drummer who later played for The Allman Joys before they became The Allman Brothers, and I had driven – partially on the yet-to-be-open Interstate 59 highway – to see The Beach Boys in an America vs. England Showdown, pitting the popular Californians against, hard to believe now, The Rolling Stones.

Tickets were $3 apiece. The Righteous Brothers also performed. So did Marty Robbins, Cannibal and the Headhunters, Skeeter Davis and Del Reeves.

Any details are sketchy at best, but it was a wildly exciting night and my guess is the entire concert lasted three hours or less.

Memories of the second time I heard The Beach Boys in concert, admittedly 47 years later, are much clearer.

It was a Monday in July, last Monday in fact, at the world famous Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre in tiny Morrison, Colo. just outside Denver, on a delightfully pleasant and cool evening at 6,450 feet elevation with 9,450 of our newest friends flanked by staggering formations known as Ship Rock and Creations Rock with the picturesque and breathtaking Denver skyline as a backdrop.

A carload of family, one a 9-year-old impressed more by an afternoon outing with highly trained sled huskies or hours in the Denver Zoo, arrived early, gawked at the one-of-a-kind venue that has hosted The Beatles, The Stones and likely every other significant group you can imagine, nestled in among excited, mostly gray-haired fans and realized if you closed your eyes, everything sounded and felt the same as that first experience years ago.

Tickets were more than $3. Other than those who sang and danced along or knocked a half-dozen multi-colored beach balls up and down the steeply pitched seats, nobody else performed. The Boys sang 51 songs, took one intermission, made fun of their own advancing age and stayed on stage more than three hours.

Remembering what they did on the 44th stop of their 50th Anniversary Reunion Tour and how they did it will be easy.

It was a classic performance, a Baby Boomers Concert delivered by one of the best music groups ever, one whose names – Brian Wilson, Mike Love, Al Jardine, Bruce Johnston and David Marks – have become legendary, one certainly deserving of its Hall of Fame status, one whose harmonious talents remain pure even today.

They opened with “Do It Again,”  followed by “Catch A Wave”, “Hawaii” and “Don’t Back Down” before Love got a giggle by suggesting, “We’re going to take an intermission now…followed by a nap…and then some oxygen.”

He was joking of course, as evidenced by the remainder of the set that included favorites like “Surfin’ Safari,” “Surfer Girl,” “Disney Girls”, “Darlin” and “Kiss Me Baby.”

Growing patriotic, he explained their need to recognize women in uniform as the emphasis behind a particular song, suggesting “Be True to Your School” honored those cheerleader uniforms they liked so well

And he turned nostalgic soon after, asking audience members about their affection for their first car, admitting, “I loved my 1949 Ford…not as much as I like my new Bentley…but I loved it just the same.”

“Little Deuce Coupe” and “409” followed.

“I Get Around” closed the first set, but little changed on their return with familiar tunes like “Pet Sounds”, “Wouldn’t It be Nice”, “That’s Why God Made Radio”, the title song of their new CD, “Good Vibrations”, “California Girls”, “Help Me Rhonda”, “Barbara Ann” and “Surfin USA” highlighting a high-energy, feel good pace.

Wilson’s personal tribute to his brothers, the late Carl and Dennis, both former band members, was especially touching and only when Love asked for waving cell phones instead of cigarette lighters to illuminate the evening during “In My Room” were you reminded of the passage of time.

It all seemed so surreal, so eerily simple and comfortable, so familiar and such  a throwback to the decades of the 60s, the 70s and the 80s, drudging up memories, good and bad, of those remarkable years.

An encore grouping of “Kokomo, “Do You Wanna Dance” and “Fun, Fun, Fun” couldn’t have been more appropriate.

That The Beach Boys, now in their 70s, have retained their unique sound and have come together for this worldwide Tour -- 70 harmonizing shows in 158 days -- borders on the incredible.

Hearing them once was a treat probably taken for granted. Hearing them again was a pleasure, not to be forgotten.

edarling@duncanbanner.com

(580) 255-5354, Ext. 130

1
Text Only
Opinion
  • Governor, state Legislature have misplaced priorities

    If the Oklahoma State Legislators and our Governor spent less time interfering in women’s rights to manage their bodies, creating ways to lay more taxes and fees on the middle class in order to generate more tax breaks which benefit only the wealthy while also conceiving methods with which to fill Oklahoma’s for-profit prisons, they would be doing all of us a favor. Instead, why not work to enhance funding for our schools and wage increases for all school employees? While reforming the state’s educational budget, why don’t they approve wage increases for our Oklahoma State Troopers and enlarge their Academy to insure qualified individuals are ready to fill the upcoming vacancies as many of the older force retire?

    April 9, 2014

  • Self government key to keeping politicians in check

    Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that federal campaign laws that limit the total amount of money donors can give to political parties, committees and candidates for federal office (U.S. House, Senate, and President) was unconstitutional. The ruling will not increase the current $2,600 limit on how much a donor can give to a federal candidate in each primary and general election or the $32,400 limit that can go to a national party committee. Those limits are still in place.  The ruling will instead remove the limit on how many candidates/committees to which a donor can contribute.

    April 9, 2014

  • Legislative goals crucial to priorities in education

    I am a member of several professional organizations where I attend regular meetings, network with colleagues, and stay abreast and informed on education best practices.  The Cooperative Council for Oklahoma School Administration, better known as CCOSA, is a nonprofit organization that establishes close and continuous communication and cooperation between educators, taxpayers, and legislators to improve the effectiveness of professional school administrators and to communicate the needs of schools. Attendance this time of year is especially critical because legislators are in session.

    March 28, 2014

  • An impressive ranking that could be better

    That Duncan was named one of the best 15 communities in Oklahoma by Movoto, a national Real Estate company, is news worth celebrating.
    Of 43 places with population of 10,000 or more, as determined by the U.S. Census data, Duncan finished 15th. Norman was first, Edmond second, Yukon and Moore tied for third and Bethany was fifth.

    March 9, 2014

  • Kids shouldn’t have to pay for having punster parents

    Friends and neighbors, I’ve been cloistered in my Thought Chamber for the past few days, contemplating many high-brow philosophies and haughty hypothesis that we who think on a different level use to exercise our finely-tuned minds and remain intellectually superior to the Great Unwashed.
    As you see, the time alone has been intellectually beneficial. I just composed an opening sentence (what we in the journalism dodge call a “lead”) that’s 46 words long.

    March 9, 2014

  • The blissful serenity of No-TV Land

    Life without TV is possible. Maybe you should try it. I did. It’s a do-able thing, I tell you. I’m still here, no worse the wear, no oozing wounds, no serious loss of brainwave activity except for the slow, inexorable downhill decline that already started when TV viewing was a daily occurrence.

    Granted, two months without the tube is quite likely not a scientifically acceptable sample from which is to hold forth. But it’s the best I can do, so deal with it.

    March 9, 2014

  • Cooper’s message is to remain active

    Dr. Kenneth Cooper, the Dallas physician who coined the phrase “aerobics” more than four decades ago, who has become a world leader in physical fitness and who has saved, literally, thousands of lives by promoting the value of an active lifestyle, shared his philosophy of life here last week.

    March 9, 2014

  • Time to take the “B” out of the “Three R’s”

    Our young folks are hitting the stretch drive toward the end of another school year, during which they’ve been taught “Three R’s”, which are not really “r’s” at all.
    In case you missed it, reading is the only one of the “Three R’s” that actually begins with the letter “r.” Writing starts with a “w” and arithmetic begins with the letter “a.” There are two reasons we drop the “w” from “writing” and the “a” from “arithmetic”: 1. For poetic flow in the age-old saying; and, 2. many people have a secret yen to talk like the Beverly Hillbillies.

    February 23, 2014

  • Thank you for lettin’ me be myself again

    Friends and neighbors, hope I don’t sound like the biggest egomaniac since Donald Trump, but you know, I am the most interesting person I’ve ever known.
    Forgive me if — on first blush — that sounds like the most totally self-aggrandizing statement you’ve ever heard. And if you’ve headed to the restroom to express an editorial opinion about the statement above, I’ll stop for a couple minutes.

    February 15, 2014

  • Buzz misfired in Vanity Fair body slam of Duncan

    As the new kid in town, I’m reluctant to leap atop the ramparts to defend the honor of Duncan, Okla., my new adopted hometown.
    But to heck with that. When an out-of-towner comes into your house and soils your rug, it’s on.
    I speak, of course, about the article in Vanity Fair magazine about Duncan and the  killing last year of Chris Lane, the Australian who was gunned down in August.

    January 24, 2014