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Posts tagged: Beach Boys

How would you explain this?

The song alludes to Santa hitting the gas (“Man, just watch her peel”) and also features the chorus “Run run reindeer.”

Did you ever try to reconcile those seemingly contradictory images? Or did you simply allow Mr. Wilson a little creative license?

Today’s underrated “B” side

With “California Girls” on the “A” side, this was easy to overlook when the record came out in July of 1965.

But “Let Him Run Wild” has much to recommend it. There are the group's soaring harmonies, of course. Then there are the clear allusions to sex. And it acknowledged the existence of a familiar character every kid had heard about — the lying lothario.

In addition, and perhaps most importantly, it offered boys a vision of the Emotional Rescue Guy — a role offering potentially sweet rewards. For some future squires, envisioning oneself as a shoulder to cry on had a heady appeal.

No mere throwaway, this was Brian Wilson near the height of his powers.

Nether regions

An early-rising reader noted the Slice column item today in which a local woman said she always took pride in the reference to “northern girls” in this song.

My correspondent, who grew up in the South and is quite familiar with this Beach Boys classic, said it was somewhat amusing to be from a region described in “California Girls” as “down there.”

Perhaps you recall the lyric: “And the southern girls, with the way they talk, they knock me out when I'm down there.”

In other contexts, that expression can…well, I guess I don't need to paint you a picture.

The No. 1 song on this date in 1965

The album version of this song was pretty lackluster. But the reproduced single was one of the best from their mid-'60s period.  

What’s your honest opinion of this?

I owned it. Still might have it somewhere in a box that hasn't been opened in a long time.

A case could be made that the group's soaring harmonies work on some of these songs. But I don't know.

You make the call.

“A run, run reindeer.”

48 years of mishearing “I Get Around”

I don't set the car radio on oldies stations. I usually put it on scan. At least when I'm by myself.

But I was on my way over to my mother's to watch the Preakness when the tuner landed on a snippet of “I Get Around” by the Beach Boys. It's a song I admired more when I was in grade school than I do now. But I listened.

And there it was. A lyric that has baffled me since I was 9.

“We always take my car cause it's never been beat

“And we never miss get with the girls we meet”

When I was a kid, I suspect I thought that was some sort of crude teen code for achieving a measure of closeness with bothersome females. Though why anyone would want to do that remained a mystery.

In later years, I might have factored in the possibility that I wasn't hearing it right. Maybe I have even known the actual line in the song at one time or another.

I once had occasion to visit briefly with the late Carl Wilson. I could have asked him.

“Hey, Carl. When your brother and cousin wrote 'I Get Around,' what were they saying about meeting girls?”

Fortunately, I said nothing of the sort. So when that song came on this afternoon, what I heard was “And we never miss get.”

Old habits die hard.

So, my mom and I watched I'll Have Another win the second leg of the Triple Crown. And I came home.

Then I looked up the lyrics to “I Get Around.”

Turns out the actual line is this: “And we've never missed yet with the girls we meet.”

Not quite so vulgar as “get,” I suppose. But it's still bragging.

Yes, hip hop didn't invent that.

“I Get Around” became a No. 1 hit in 1964. But the song on the other side of that 45 is the one that made me think the Beach Boys were special.

You make the call

True classic or hilariously overrated?

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About this blog

Features writer Paul Turner is a columnist for The Spokesman-Review in the Features department. He writes "The Slice" column, which appears six times a week and produces general features stories for the Today section.

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