Signing Off

…And, with that, we find ourselves at the end of 1965. Brian was holed up in the studio nit-picking the album that history would deem his masterpiece while the rest of the guys toured, dodged the impatient foot-tapping of the folks at Capitol, and fretted amongst themselves about his drug intake and mental stability.

I chose to cut my coverage off here partly because a week is not as long as you might think and there’s a lot to talk about with this band even in just the four years I’ve sketched out, and partly because, in the timeline of the Beach Boys, their next two moves are the point around which the subsequent forty years would pivot. Pet Sounds would stretch them to their limit and SMiLE would shatter their confidence and send them spinning in all directions. Each of those records, because of the mythology surrounding them, casts a shadow over the way people listen to this band. Not that I wouldn’t love to spend weeks dissecting the minutia of those songs (or even the traditionally ‘underappreciated’ democratic albums of the later 60s and early 70s, which are great in their own different ways), but I thought some writer far more skilled than me deserved that chance (if you are a skilled writer and love the Beach Boys, consider talking to Hendrik about doing this—it’s fun!). Besides, ‘serious’ music people can be quick to dismiss these early fun-n-sun tunes as nothing more than backdrops for group harmonies. I hope I’ve gone at least a little way toward dismantling that idea this week.

A hearty thanks to Hendrik for trusting me with the keys to the blog, to my friends and roommates for putting up with the irate requests for silence because I can’t write with the TV on dammit, to all the other writers/tumblrers who’ve encouraged me, and to all of you for reading this week. My most humble thanks and all my love to G, who’s support and enthusiasm I would not have been able to finish this without.

If you care to read more of my musical ramblings, follow me on tumblr. I promise I talk about other bands besides the Beach Boys. Thanks for reading—surf’s up!