Blogs > From The Bleacher Seats

A roundup of news on sporting events, people and places in Southeast Michigan by columnist Jim Evans.

Monday, August 11, 2014

The Beach Boys span the generations

I’m watching the Beach Boys at Freedom Hill.
It is Sunday night and I’m on the lawn with my wife, Kim.
We are looking at a complete mix of people; from infants in Pampers to their grandparents in Depends. Sitting close by are teens. Also on blankets near us are folks whose high school graduations were so long ago that Abraham Lincoln gave the commencement address.
Some are eating soft pretzels. Some are drinking beverages that are definitely not soft drinks.
Spanning the generations isn’t an easy thing to do in the music business.
Filling up a place like Freedom Hill in Sterling Heights isn’t either.
It is a testament to the music of the Beach Boys.
Good Vibrations isn’t just a song. It is also a feeling and the Beach Boys make people feel good.
Truthfully, growing up, I was never that big on the Beach Boys. They were a little too straight-laced and I  was into music that had more of an edge. Groups like Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath and the Stooges.
As I get older, my appreciation for longevity increases. I find it remarkable that songs first performed in the 1960s and 1970s can remain so popular today. Think of everything that’s gone on in society since Mike Love, Brian Wilson, Carl Wilson, Dennis Wilson, and Alan Jardine got together in California in 1961. The war in Vietnam.  Richard Nixon and Watergate. Mark Zuckerburg and Facebook. Bill Gates and Microsoft. The riots in Detroit. Detroit and bankruptcy.
The Beach Boys sing about surfing and somehow it works even though most of us have only surfed the web. They sing about a little deuce coupe when most of us are tooling around in minvans, SUVs or trucks. Somehow that works, too.
They unabashedly wear Hawaiian shirts in a Rust Belt state and somehow that works, too.
The Beach Boys sing about a life that most of us want to live. They sing about a lifestyle that most of us want to embrace.
Thanks for stopping by, guys. See you again in 2015.


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