Mountain Musings


All Summer Long


It’s time once again for my annual ode to summer: Spring has sprung and fall has fell, now it’s summer and hotter than…heck! I don’t know about around here, but it was hotter than heck (I bet you thought I was going to say “Hell”…oops!) in Laughlin (112 degrees), where I celebrated Father’s Day and my birthday last weekend.


This was my first excursion to Laughlin, or anywhere else, since mid-March, when all heck broke out. Back in December, I had the good fortune to score tickets to see The Beach Boys in Laughlin. This of course was not the same Beach Boys I remember from my misspent youth. Misfortune and tragedy have taken Dennis and Carl Wilson from us, while Brian Wilson and Al Jardine have gone their own separate ways. But this was still The Beach Boys, the quintessential, good-old-fashioned California rock and roll band, now fronted by original members Mike Love and Bruce Johnson, with John Cowsill (from The Cowsills) on drums and several other musicians that you probaly never heard of.


“Sittin’ in my car outside your house. Member when you spilled coke all over your blouse. T-shirts, cut-offs and a pair of thongs, we’ve been having fun all summer long” (All Summer Long – Brian Wilson/The Beach Boys – 1964)


These days, the Beach Boys seem to attract a mostly geriatric crowd. As expected, many old time surfer boys and girls rolled into the arena in their wheelchairs, while others plodded along with their walkers and canes, but that didn’t slow them down as many of those grannies and grandpas were seen kickin’up their heels in the aisles.


“It’s the little old lady from Pasadena. If you see her on the street, don’t try to choose her…Go granny, go granny, go granny, go. And everybody’s saying that there’s nobody meaner than the little old lady from Pasadena. She drives real fast and she drives real hard. She’s the terror of Colorado Boulevard…Go granny, go granny, go granny, go.” (“Little Old Lady From Pasadena” – Beach Boys – 1964 – originally by Jan & Dean)


One octigenarian seated next to me reminiced about seeing the Beach Boys at the Lake Arrowhead Teen Dance Pavillion back in the 60s and wanted to know if it was still there. The old codger seemed disappointed when I explained how the spot is now occupied by a condoninium complex. But when I told him Brian Wilson used to reside across the lake from the former pavillion, where the 1965 film A Swingin’ Summer was filmed, that seemed to cheer him up.


When I spoke to original Beach Boy Mike Love after the concert, he confirmed what I had always suspected: That they “borrowed” the idea for wearing stripped shirts from the Kingston Trio. Former Trio member John Stewart once told me he had tutored the Beach Boys in singing harmony, which I figuered was total BS. Love confirmed that it was true, as well as the fact that “Sloop John B” was also “borrowed” from the Kingston Trio.


Have a swingin’ summer!


Keep it flyin,’ Uncle Mott