When The Beach Boys Went To The Movies
The Beach Boys have embarked on a 50th-anniversary reunion tour this year, kicking off the media blitz with a Grammy performance featuring everybody from Maroon 5 to Foster the People.
As one of the pioneering rock bands of their era, the Beach Boys made a return to the spotlight that was met with a warm welcome, even though the material on their new album That's Why God Made The Radio, doesn't quite connect with fans like their bedrock material has. This past week I spoke with guitarist Al Jardine on his band's legacy and future plans as well.
With a nightly set list numbering almost 46 songs from their storied 50-year career, the Boys are pulling out all the stops this summer on their reunion tour. Now that Brian Wilson is back in the fold. don't expect this to be the last of these tours.
Tonight the band plays the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion. Expect a full report Monday morning here on Rocks Off.
The Boys have been one of the most widely-used bands in modern cinema, because their evokes fun, happiness, longing and general youthful exuberance. It's perfect for comedies, dramas and period films. Used in the right way, it can also be downright creepy.
"I Get Around": This Kirstie Alley and John Travolta-starring masterpiece about bastard children used not one but two Beach Boys songs, including "I Get Around" in the opening scene, where sperm race towards an egg.
"When I Grow Up (To Be A Man)": Less science class, more cutesy.
"Surfin' USA" : This pivotal scene in the Michael J. Fox coming-of-age drama features the roof of a truck, the Beachies, and a teen wolf. Don't try this at home, unless you have sharp wolf nails that can dig into metal.
"I Get Around": You don't remember this kid movie, but I do. Max wanted rock and roll, and young David hooked his alien ass up.
"God Only Knows": Director Paul Thomas Anderson stopped short of using this Pet Sounds classic for the bittersweet scene where we finally see Dirk Diggler's dong.
"Good Vibrations": It's hard to believe that director Cameron Crowe has only used the Beachies in two of his films, by my count.
"Feel Flows": This cut soundtracked the end credits for Famous, and came from the band's 1971 album Surf's Up. On first listen few would recognize this as the Beach Boys unless they were crate-digging fans. Sadly most casual fans don't go past the greatest hits.
"I Get Around": What? There may not be a traditional beach anywhere, but George Clooney, Spike Jonze, Mark Wahlberg, and Ice Cube (!) made the best of it.
"In My Room": Mother is one of Albert Brooks' most underrated pictures, dealing with a man coming back home to live with his mother, played by Debbie Reynolds. When he first moves back and finds his old room a storage dump, he restores it to the way he remembered it as a teen.
"Don't Worry Baby": Vada Sultenfuss was kind of a babe -- in my preteen mind at least -- so I imagine I would also hear this song in my head after we kissed for the first time too.
"Barbara Ann": Who knew that monks could sing?
"Kokomo": It's sad but true, but for those of born in the early '80s, "Kokomo" is one of the first memories we have of the Boys, aside from their Full House episode. Also, I still turn this shit up when it comes on the radio, I mean, the Cocktail soundtrack I keep in my car for road trips.
"Wouldn't It Be Nice": Director Michael Moore used this lovelorn Pet Sounds opener in his film about corporate greed. Shocker!
"Surfin' Safari": As a California kid, George Lucas knew his Beach Boys.
"Barbara Ann": Hollywood Knights was sort of like American Graffiti but not, somehow, I think. All I know is that the soundtrack LP had a dude's bare ass on it.
"Chasin' The Sky": No one remembers Up the Creek, but it reunited some of the cast from Animal House, and the world got a middlin' Beach Boys song out of it.
"Wipe Out": Just watch it. Don't ask questions.
"Warmth of the Sun": Check out Robin Williams at his most manic. Vietnam actually has a very good soundtrack attached to it, and worth tracking down.
7 p.m. tonight at Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, 2005 Lake Robbins Dr., The Woodlands.