Beach Boys Britain
Manly Nods With Bruce Johnston

Today is Independence day in the US, and I fondly recall seeing the Beach Boys play a July 4 concert for an enormous audience under the Gateway Arch in St. Louis some years ago. I think the year was 1983 or 1984. The typical Midwest heat was in full force that day. It must have been tremendously hot and uncomfortable for the band, but you wouldn't know it from the way they played such an amazing set. The crowd loved them.

Afterward, my girl and I were standing by the side of the riverfront drive, waiting to cross, when who should pass by us but a caravan of passenger vans. I didn't think much of it until I noticed Bruce Johnston looking out the window of one of the vans, waving to folks. We made eye contact, and instead of waving to me, he simply gave me a nod. A good old dude-style "what's up" type of nod (perhaps he appreciated my girl...if so, he had good taste and I appreciated his compliment on my taste). I, of course, reciprocated with a nod of my own. And the Beach Boys motorcade moved on.

I realize it's a humble little story, but I always remembered the time I shared manly nods with Bruce.


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