We are always on the cutting edge here at WMMCM, so we figured since it’s been cold and rainy in our own little corner of the universe that we would drive full speed off that old cliff near Mulholland Drive where James Dean almost bit it in Rebel Without A Cause and crash to the ground in a ball of flames to honor Summer.
A summer that seems to be a bit late in arriving here, but what the heck. Memorial Day is a short time away so why get caught in the metaphorical traffic jam? Right?
Summer is a season custom made for rock n’ roll. Pretty girls, fast cars, beer, hot dogs and campfires. Did I say beer? In fairness I have to include the occasional great looking guy like Bob Falfa and his mean lookin’ 55′ Chevy from American Graffiti. So what if he couldn’t drive all that well. He looked great.
American Graffiti was set in 1962 and throughout the sound track you will hear some of the great music that was on the radio in those days. Bill Haley & The Comets, Del Shannon, Fats Domino, Chuck Berry, Booker T & The M.G.’s and The Platters. An audio drive down memory lane of all that 1962 had to offer in popular music delivered to your very own car window by the legendary DJ Wolfman Jack.
By the time the beautiful blonde in the T-Bird was sighted from the air, driving away, there had been over forty classic early rock n’ roll songs used in the movie, to great effect I might add. There was only one problem. One of the songs didn’t exist at the time of our mythical night in Modesto.
In fairness I do have to note that director George Lucas did use “All Summer Long” as part of the ending credits, but…
“All Summer Long” is an ode to summer indeed. Being young and foolish and just running around having fun with your friends and your girl. It truly seems like what you should be doing in summer.
“Sittin’ in my car outside your house
(Sittin’ in my car outside your house)
‘Member when you spilled coke all over you blouse?
T-shirts, cut-offs, and a pair of thongs
(T-shirts, cut-offs, and a pair of thongs)
We’ve been having fun all summer long.”
I have always been sucked in by the xylophone intro on “All Summer Long.” Brian Wilson and the guys always seemed to know what little detail to throw in to give a song just the right feel with the xylophone giving the song a bit of irreverence. These folks know how to have a good time and this song can’t stop saying it.
“Miniature golf and Hondas in the hills
(Miniature golf and Hondas in the hills)
When we rode the horse we got some thrills
Every now and the we hear our song
(Every now and the we hear our song)
We’ve been having fun all summer long.”
Mike Love’s vocals are supported by a patented Beach Boys harmony that repeats most of the lines like a bunch of loyal friends having the time of their lives. Which they no doubt did when they recorded “All Summer Long.”
With the expected complex harmonies of The Beach Boys and the unexpected xylophone and party time sax solo, “All Summer Long” is a wonderful example of a song that doesn’t sound serious. It’s not meant to sound serious. The ability to – not sound serious – while still creating incredibly rich harmonies and music with a depth that belies the subject matter is one of many things that made The Beach Boys great.
The Beach Boys and Brian Wilson made a habit of that. Making these astonishing sounding songs about – sometimes – quite frivolous subjects.
Brian Wilson and Mike Love’s lyrics for “All Summer Long” are simple and to the point, and they provide the useful introduction to the next wave of WMMCM. Melted Cheese!
Even though summer hasn’t bothered to come to our house yet, we know it’s out there somewhere and will arrive soon. And when it does, we’ll be ready for it with all the tunes about blazing heat, bar-b-ques, beaches, Beach Boys, beach babes and beyond.
“We’ve been having fun all summer long
We’ve been having fun all summer long
(We’ve been having fun all summer long)”