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Movie Review - The Beach Boys

Image by Annie Spratt from Pixabay

Image by Annie Spratt from Pixabay

Movie:             The Beach Boys

Year:               2024

Where:            Disney+

Time:               Just under 2 hours

Summer is really here now. And what better time to watch a documentary on the Beach Boys!

I was never really a Beach Boys fan. All the falsetto, all the bubble gum sounds, just never struck a chord with me. I saw them in concert once in San Diego after a Padres game. More of “just happened to be there” at the right time. Or wrong time. I think I left before the show was over. And then one time in the late 80’s, I was teaching school in China, and a fellow teacher from Wisconsin and me were “encouraged” (forced) to entertain during a banquet. We sang “California Girls.” A Capella. Bad news.

Given the recent spate of terrific music driven documentaries, I have had to reconsider the Beach Boys. One album in particular, “Pet Sounds” (1966) {Info on Pet Sounds} has garnered so many accolades, from fans and fellow musicians alike, that one (me) ignores this offering at his/her peril. But the story of their early rise is remarkable, given all the family members involved and the idiosyncrasies of Brian Wilson. The film makers interview current and former band members, including, and who knew, Glen Campbell. That the Beach Boys rivaled the Beatles in the 60’s for popular acclaim is a fact I had never been introduced to. I just never really got the vibe. And I was born in Pasadena!

But when you strip away all the dysfunction, there remains these unbelievable harmonies. Not being a singer and having no clue how harmony works, “unbelievable” is really the only word to describe these guys. Had it not been for Mrs. Swaim, who can sing harmony, I might not even know the word. When they show the clips of the young Beach Boys singing A Capella harmony, you really sort of stop breathing for a few seconds. Unbelievable.

I am going to give “Pet Sounds” another try. In the meantime, this film is a great way to spend a few hours when the digits outside are triple.

Let me know what you think.



2 Join the Conversation

  1. Diane Renee says
    Jun 25, 2024 at 7:37 PM

    Loved the film. I was not huge fan, but I liked the Beach Boys Music. I did not appreciate their talent until a few years ago. I was born and raised in Ventura, California, so I am very familiar with the Beach Boys songs and what they sing about.

    • says
      Jun 25, 2024 at 5:09 PM

      Thank you chiming in Diane. The appreciation grows with time. Cheers!

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