The Beach Boys, Columbia, MD, June 15, 2012.
I suspect I have been to/go to far fewer concerts than most of my fellow RTHers. And I’d guess I’ve seen far fewer acts as I tend to see the same folks over and over.
Still and all, I’ve seen some shows that I think would inspire envy: Springsteen from second row center at the Tower in December 1975; Dylan’s 4-hour club show at Toad’s Place in New Haven; Beefheart, Talking Heads, and Costello in the very early days; Sinatra a couple of times…
But 2 weeks ago I saw what may have been the best concert in my life. which I suspect many of you won’t believe; I can hardly believe it myself. I’m talking about the Beach Boys’ 50th Reunion Tour.
First, the back story. (I’ve told some of this before but can’t find it to provide a link; maybe it was back in the RTH v1 days.) My kids are Beach Boys and Brian Wilson fans from back in the day when I could control the radio dial / cassette player / CD player in the car. We listened to oldies and Brian and the gang naturally figured prominently. So they’ve known the classic BB songs since they were toddlers.
In 1997, I took my daughters, then ages 9 and 6, to see the Beach Boys (of course without Brian but with Carl, who was only to live a few more months). It was the first time I had seen them as well. It was a fine concert that the girls absolutely loved. They sang along, danced in the aisle and still talk about it 15 years later.
In 1998, when Brian was promoting Imagination, he did a signing session at Borders in downtown Chicago. I took my daughters and my then-18-month-old son to meet Brian.
My daughters had been listening to and loving the Imagination album and were excited to meet Brian. We drove 2 hours into Chicago (we lived 35 miles northwest of the city but 2 hours wasn’t unusual for that trip), then waited 45 minutes in line. My daughters, in anticipation of meeting Brian, had drawn a poster for him. It contained little pictures depicting each song from the album. When it was our turn, they presented their original poster to Brian, while I explained what it was. Brian, sadly, didn’t acknowledge the poster or my daughters or son or me at all. He kept his head down, scrawled his name on the copy I had had made, and that was it. On the way home, my 7 year old, bless her heart, said that the whole thing was kind of disappointing but still she was glad that we went and she had the chance to “meet” Brian. (To add insult to injury, 6 years later his Getting in Over My Head album had a cover with little pictures depicting each song. I’m not saying he stole Kate & Rebecca’s idea, I’m just saying…)
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