Beach Boys Britain
Mayor Martin Walsh Proclaims June 17, 2016 Pet Sounds Day

Mayor Martin J. Walsh proclaims June 17, 2016 "Pet Sounds Day" in Boston

Marty Walsh was yet not born when I bought my Pet Sounds LP in the Record Department of Jordan Marsh, a department store chain, for about $3.00 in May of 1966. But that did not stop him from proclaiming the day Pet Sounds Day in Boston, on Marty’s Twitter feed. This proclamation was read at Boston Symphony Hall by a representative, of Mayor Walsh, Joyce Linehan, to an elated audience, waiting for the Boston Pops symphony orchestra as a grand backing “backing" band for the evening in historic Symphony Hall where I had seen The Beach Boys in 1971, and where the late Dennis Wilson caught a glimpse of Dave Marks in the lobby, a student at the Berklee College of Music only a block away, and summoned him to the stage for a few songs during the encore. It was a full-circle night.

A few seldom-played live songs such as Wake the World, Row, Row, Row your Boat twice, a few measures of Rhapsody in Blue, and two suits that should not be buried at the back of the closet. One, of course would be Al’s white suit which he still rocks, and Blondie Chaplin’s dapper electric blue, worn of the earlier part of the show.

It is hard to imagine that the Boston Pops would not overshadow Brian’s band, but they blended tremendously, taking the lead from them. That proclamation set the tone for the evening. It was funny for me to see all these new vinyl copies of the classic Pet Sounds LP. Mine is held together with masking tape. My first album.

And the setlist…

Our Prayer (a capella) swinging into Heroes and Villains - and, yes, Nicky (Walusko) Wonder - we were all “under arrest!”

California Girls
In My Room
Surfer Girl

Don’t Worry Baby - Matt Jardine, working with The Beach Boys since the late 80’s starting off on percussion, on lead.

Wake the World - where you really got the nuanced Boston Pops, whose specialty is light classical and popular music. This is the same symphony group with whom The Touring Beach Boys guested in 2013 at the July 4th celebration at the Boston Hatch Shell. Mike was given some nice cousin-ly shoutouts from Brian, during the course of the evening, a nice reciprocation between the two BB founders and I think a mutual admiration society. Brian was a happy man last night and it was both shared and infectious.

Add Some Music (to your day!)

One Kind of Love - written for Brian’s wife, Melinda and featured in the Love and Mercy film.

Dance, Dance, Dance

Do It Again

I Get Around

Wild Honey - on lead in electric blue, and we were treated to another extended version as at the Harborlights Pavillion during the Boston No Pier Pressure performance. Blondie must like Boston!

Sail on Sailor - another extended wail-out version, with the two wrap-around balconies fully engaged, and Blondie directing much of the song in their direction.

Intermission - Pops Punch time!

Pet Sounds - full album

Wouldn't It Be Nice - Matt Jardine on lead

You Still Believe in Me

That’s Not Me - Brian declared that Mike could sing it better.

I’m Waiting for the Day

Let’s Go Away for a While - no vocals - the Boston Pops and Brian’s band were the voices.

Sloop John B - shout out to Al, who suggested that Brian use that old Kingston Trio folk song for the Beach Boys and - a sparkling result to close out side A of the LP. Al, of course, on lead.

God Only Knows - the majestic blue lights so still connected to Carl Wilson, and what was played for the Mother-Son dance at the wedding of one of my sons a couple of years ago. This Pet Sounds music has been a half-century "best friend."

I Know There’s an Answer - formerly Hang On to Your Ego - Al talked about how the lyrics were construed to be a little too “lofty” so they were changed to I Know There’s an Answer.

Here Today

I Just Wasn't Made for These Times - that place when we all feel that we are out-of-step with the world as it is, but addressing that feeling we can all experience when we feel the world may be moving while we are standing still. Brian gave legs to a place we may find ourselves at one point or another.

Pet Sounds - no “voices" - but excuse me, Mr. Wilson…each of those instruments were voices, including Nelson Bragg’s percussion, Blondie on tambourine, or Paul von Mertens on “vocal" harmonica!

Caroline No

Good Vibrations - also enjoying its 50th!

Encore -

All Summer Long

Help Me, Rhonda - yeah! (don't miss the HMR classic raglan-sleeve shirts at the merchandise table! )

Barbara Ann

Surfin’ USA

Fun, Fun, Fun

Love and Mercy - dedicated to Orlando - with some lyric tweaking, aligning the audience thoughts with the horrific event.

Thanks to Brian’s Band, intro’d by Music Director, Paul von Mertens prior to the encore, it was great to see Billy Hinsche, uncle to Carl’s sons, on keys, with Gary Griffin who was featured in the Love and Mercy film, as well as Mike D’Amico, Probyn Gregory ( a New Hampshire native) Nelson Bragg from Rockport (North Shore area) Bob Lizik on bass guitar. And thanks to the Boston Pops conductor, Lucas Richman.

Who would think that anything you would have bought 50 years ago, for only $3.00, would help define your taste in music and would remain a constant source of reflection and joy?

Well, I guess that would be Pet Sounds and yes, Mayor Marty, while you weren’t yet born in 1966, you can identify greatness when you see it, and proclaim in your City of Boston - Pet Sounds Day! - $3.00 well spent!


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