Summers with the Beach Boys

No, I never knew the Beach Boys, although I currently know—and once knew—people who did.. one of those two degrees of separation things. But I've gone to three Beach Boys concerts, two in California and one in Colorado.

During the late 1970s and into the '80s they played at the Ventura County Fairground, which is situated right on the beach at Surfer's Point, many number of times, but because I wasn't a great fan, I never went. But in the summer of, I think, 1983 some friends took me with them to my first Beach Boys concert...

I've rarely had so much fun in my life. Seriously. Having been a teenager in the Sixties and having heard their music on my transistor radio on a daily basis, I realized that their music had been the soundtrack of my native Californian culture. No one really understands their music who hasn't lain on a California beach during summer vacation, the smell of Hawaiian Tropics filling the air. That first concert brought me back to a place I'd until then not recognized as "home". I suppose it's the same way for Boomer Liverpudlians and the Beatles' music. I went to another concert at the same venue the following year and had an even better time dancing and singing along with everyone who was there. It was like partying with a huge family.

The last time I saw them was during my first summer in Denver. Every year KOOL-105, an oldies station there, put on a concert at the old Mile High Stadium (they now hold their "Kool Concerts" at Coors Field). On the same bill that year was Jan & Dean, Martha & the Vandellas, the Mamas & Papas, and the Monkees. The stadium was full of newly transplanted Californians in Hawaiian shirts and tank tops and OP shorts, and we danced in the aisles until we were stupid.

Thank you Beach Boys for many happy summertime memories.