Beach Boys and Girls

After writing about the Beach Boys last month I did a little iTunes looking & found early lps were very inexpensive. I only knew the songs as radio fodder, not in Lp context so I downloaded: Surfer Girl/ Summer Days (and Summer Nights)/ Smiley Smile/ Surf’s Up.

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I enjoyed them all but there is little variation in lyric or style. Elevated barber shop, do-whop for the most part. Surf’s Up adds some electronic to the mix. I loved Summer Days (and Summer Nights) with California Girls & Help Me, Rhonda – a must have cd for any Beach Boys fan. Novelty song fillers on others lost their appeal quickly, for me, as well.

The Boys were too all-American clean for me at the time, even bare-chested on the beach they didn’t have any sex appeal. Their sunny sound couldn’t pull be away from the Beatles or the Stones.

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To this mp3 collection I added a bunch of r’n’b girl groups, & some real do-whop: Johnny Otis Presents: variety of acts including The Safaris; Barbara & The Browns: soul group ‘Can’t Find No Happiness;’ The Esquires: funky male do-whop; Linda Hopkins: Mid-US regional hit maker: “Come Back Baby.”

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Bob McFadden: Songs Our Mummy Taught Us: novelty Halloween songs a la Bobby Pickett; The Andantes: sweet girl group harmonies; Betty Harris: r’n’b soul “I’m Evil Tonight;” and finally the very recent Bette Midler: ‘For The Girls’ in which she pay tribute to 60’s girl groups (buy it.) Actually buy any of these, you won’t be disappointed.


The Amazing Spark

The poster for the circus was in reds and blues that Cindy couldn’t get out of her dreams.

“Ladies and gentlemen I would like to introduce the Amazing Spark!”

Cindy would ride out in her sequinned suit, ride on tiptoe balanced on the back of a perfect white – no not white, to hard to keep clean – on a perfect midnight blue horse. Yes, blue, just like the blue on the poster.

“The Amazing Spark on her wonder horse Sacre Bleu.”

She would ride in circles so fast her costume would be a magenta blur. As she twirled on Sacre Bleu’s wide back he would slowly rise into the air. Yes – they could fly but not too high but just enough.

How the children would applaud. They would put down their sweet sticky pink vanilla candy – cotton candy flecked with spikes of red, cinnamon flavour. Yum. She would lean over and scoop up some of the delicious cotton candy and eat it – handfuls of it. It would stick all over her. Then her Magic Owls would appear. Their wings iridescent with green and silver. They would flutter around her and clean her off. The crowd would applaud even more. They would jump to their feet.

Sacre Bleu would rise on his hind legs with Cindy poised on the tip of his nose on one foot. Toe to damp nose. Her other leg would stretch out perfectly and Magic Owls would land on her leg and they would take their bow.

When she left the ring the Prince would waiting for her but she wouldn’t care. She had her own true love already.

Trudy – the Monkey Man’s daughter.

They would wrap their arms around each other and walk through the fair grounds carefree and laugh at the looks of the people they passed. For of course they would be jealous. Who wouldn’t be of such two perfect little girls. Well, not so little.

Cindy rolled the poster up and put it on the dining room table. She hoped her kids would like it for more than the five seconds it would shut them up. The circus of her life wasn’t as thrilling.

Five kids, two husbands later – later than what, she didn’t know, but better later than never. She still didn’t know which was right for her. The circus of escape of the life of reality.

Some days she didn’t know where she had gone wrong or even if she had but she sensed that this wasn’t what she wanted. Something she had never wanted and now she was stuck with it. Even on her tip toes she couldn’t dance over the fields of life around her. She didn’t want to escape she just wanted to get it right.

Try as she might right always eluded her. Men with good jobs who wanted to raise families weren’t so hard to find but once she had them she couldn’t find them anymore. Not around the house.

Sometimes she would find herself with her latest him. Snug and warm beside her till the alarm, till the first child woke, till …

She unrolled the circus poster again. Ahh Trudy where the Hell are you?


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