The Beach Boys

Influential American rock band with the occasional really bad idea,and generally liked to piss off Chuck Berry and steal music from him. Here is a graph of how we all felt a few years ago when "sMile" came out.

NOTE: This graph could also represent the hype leading up to the release of

Just The Facts

  1. The Beach Boys are a Californian rock band made up of the Brothers Wilson (Brian, Dennis, and Carl), their cousin Mike Love, and their friend Al Jardine.
  2. Brian Wilson is a musical genius who sometimes had really bad ideas. Also, he eventually went crazy.
  3. Brian Wilson wrote the greatest album never released.
  4. There is actually no place called "Kokomo". Trust us. We've looked.
  5. Yeah, Dennis Wilson really did hang out with Charlie Manson.

Good Idea: Forming a Band

The Beach Boys were originally an a cappella doo-wop band, until they realized that simply picking up guitars could be the difference between getting beaten up and getting laid. We feel that they made the right choice by picking up the fucking guitars.

The Beach Boys decided on a surfing theme for their band, despite the fact that only Dennis surfed. But they could all agree on driving and boning. So pretty much all of their early songs were about cars, girls, surfing, or some combination thereof. Internet cartoonist Dan Meth has done significant scholarly research on the early catalog of the Beach Boys.

In a bizarre twist of fate, starting out as a doo-wop group actually helped the Beach Boys as a rock band. It taught them to use complex vocal harmonies that made them stand out from many of their peers, and inspire bands and artists like Queen and David Bowie to do the same later on.

Good Idea: Broadening Their Horizons

Underneath the complex vocal harmonies, however, the instrumental parts were fairly simple, at least at first. But Brian Wilson soon got it in his head to expand the horizons of the group.

So he decided to start experimenting with more complicated instrumentation. At first this involved the inclusion of keyboards, strings and horns. Then it started involving the theremin. If you haven't spent enough time on the internet to learn what a theremin is, it is a musical instrument that works by magic. By which I mean you don't touch the instrument to play it. Here is a video of a cat playing a theremin:

Someone who actually knows how to play a theremin can make it sound much better than that, but only looks slightly less retarded while playing it.

This all culminated in the 1966 with the recording/release of...

Best Idea Yet: Pet Sounds

At some point in the mid 60s, the guys who brought you such deep and meaningful lyrics through songs like "Little Deuce Coupe" and "Surfin' USA" decided to actually write deep and meaningful lyrics. The result was this:

File:PetSoundsCover.jpg

Pet Sounds is arguably the greatest album of all time...even to people who hate the fuckin' Beach Boys. Even the bastards at Rolling Motherfucking Stone ranked it #2 on their 500 Greatest Albums of All Time (NOTE: It is only surpassed by The Beatles Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. Really Rolling Stone? I mean, we get that you feel the need to apologize for breaking up one of the greatest bands ever, but at least do the sensible thing and put The White Album or Abbey Road as #1. You know, the actually fucking remarkable ones)

Pet Sounds is basically the inspiration for every Queen song ever. Every song SOUNDS happy, but when you listen to the lyrics you just want to cut yourself and write bitchy poetry to post on MySpace. Even the song that The Beach Boys didn't write (Sloop John B) is depressing as hell, but so catchy that it makes you smile.

BAD Idea: Using Your Dad as a Manager

The Wilson brothers grew up with a physically and emotionally abusive father (like Gene Hackman in The Royal Tenenbaums but not funny). Now, a normal group of singing siblings

We said NORMAL dammit!

No! Normal! We'll try this one more time...

Fuck it. Fuck it all. There are no "normal" singing siblings. At least this one has the cousin too.

would leave their abusive father and start fresh. The Beach Boys, however, decided to take a different route. They hired him as their fucking manager. Needless to say, things only got worse. The Wilsons were driven into drug addictions, insanity and hanging out with...

REALLY BAD Idea: Charles Manson

You've heard the stories. Dennis Wilson discovers this incredibly talented young musician who resembles an evil form of Jesus.

Oh yeah. Evil Jesus FTW.

Dennis Wilson starts producing the debut album for said incredibly talented young musician. Incredibly talented young musician turns out to ACTUALLY be Evil Jesus. A few months later, Sharon Tate's dead and Roman Polanski is still off touching little girls.

WORST IDEA YET: The Beach Boys "Experience"

The Beach Boys 1966

The Beach Boys "Experience" 2006

40 years after Pet Sounds changed surf rock, rock, depressing music, and happy music forever and all at once, 2 Wilsons are dead (the unimportant ones), several books, a movie, and a Barenaked Ladies song have been made referencing Brian Wilson, and these old bastards just won't stop. We REALLY wish they would. Beach Boys, remember when you were young? You shone like the sun. And just like The Rolling Stones and Paul McCartney, we'd rather just listen to you on the fucking records than pay $200 for a lawn ticket to one of your damn shows. Just stop this madness. Go buy an island and name it Kokomo for all we care. Hell, it could be your Graceland. We'd love you for it.