Punk Rock Academy Fight Song – Fun, Fun, Fun

June 21, 2009

Lets get right to the point for this one. Its the first day of summer, I just saw the The Queers play last night and I LOVE the Beach Boys. No intellectual analogies and no apologies either. I flat out love this band. now when people talk about the Beach Boys two things usually come to mind-its either a bunch of middle aged white people in Hawaiian shirts at a fourth of July barbecue drunkly shouting out the lyrics to “Sloop John B.” or its music snobs blathering on about intricate melodies, shimmering harmonies and the revolutionary us of the therein on “Good Vibrations”.

Luckily I don’t fall into those two camps so allow me to explain why it is that I find those guys in matching Pendleton’s from Hawthorne so amazing. I have always loved surfing, surf music and those damn Beach Blanket Bingo movie. Unfortunately I grew up in lovely San Gabriel California-a place known for smog, killer Chinese food and a crumbling old mission and a good ways away from the ocean. So on those sweltering days with stage one smog alerts I dreamed of driving a hotrod to beach and meeting my own little surfer girl and it was all because of Brian Wilson. The beach boys were sort of my gateway drug into surfing and  to me the Beach Boys have always represented the idealized version of summer and the pure innocent fun that comes with it. That’s right I said the F-word. F-U-N. All too often in our crazy lives we forget about just having a good time. We start taking ourselves way too seriously, we get mired in our responsibilities, fears and obligations. Who has time for fun when you’ve got a mortgage and North Korea is aiming a missile at Hawaii? Well sometimes it has to be about fun. I spend 10 months of the year trying to keep kids out of trouble, listening to their problems and browbeating some of them to get their grades up. After all that Its nice to listen to songs about fast cars, cute girls, and catching waves.

Now this all seems to do little justice to the true musical genius of the Beach Boys and would tend to lump me in to the afore mentioned Hawaiian shirt gang. More importantly I haven’t even mentioned anything about rebellion, revolution or nonconformity. The Beach Boys arent dangerous, they are beloved by people in the Midwest hell they even had John Stamos play drums for them at one point. They weren’t trying to tear down the establishment and no one will ever mistake Mike Love for Joe Strummer so what the hell i am thinking including them in a column about Punk rock. Well that my friends is a quite simple. Punk rock was and has always been about putting the fun back in rock n roll. Sure its political at times and most of our heroes tend to be on the anti-authoritarian side but part of the danger came from having fun. Two minute burst of pure, uncompromising pop fueled fun. So its summer time grab your girl, grab your board, hit the beach and crank up “Surfin USA”. Oh and if don’t think the Beach Boys have anything to do with punk rock then you probably have never heard of a little band called The Ramones. Here endeth the lesson

-Daniel N-