Posts Tagged 'Beach Boys'

Beach Boy Girls

When the Ravinia Music Festival summer calendar posts in late winter, I immediately scour it looking to see when the Beach Boys are coming.  July 2 this year, a can’t miss concert for this wanna-be surfer girl.

Out of politeness, I invited my husband knowing he would gracefully decline, as he did. He still gets huge credit for surprising me with a BB concert for our 20th wedding anniversary though 🙂  Sure didn’t see that one coming as his music tastes are along the lines of The Beatles, Moody Blues and Chicago. I like those groups too but my primary allegiance is always to the B-Boys.

For over 50 years. YIKES!!

I didn’t mind going alone but a Beach Boys evening sounded fun to my girlfriend, Cindy, so we each packed a chair and a few items and met at the train stop.

So did about 16,000 other folks. A sold-out concert with many fans begging to buy an extra ticket.

Many, but not all were boomer-ish. Perhaps like me, they have been following the group since the early 60’s. I can still feel the charged energy and excitement of my first Beach Boys concert in 1965 at the Illinois State Fair grandstand. A political friend of my grandfather got me the tickets.


Cindy and I camped near the edge of the park but strolled down to get a better look. Hard to see inside the pavilion but we caught a glimpse of the screens. The only original Beach Boy was crooning into the mic and the rest of us sang along. Rhonda was getting a lot of requests for help that night!

The magical atmosphere of Ravinia was in full bloom, candles everywhere and elegant spreads.

The little girl next to us curled up and went to sleep under a blanket and the serious looking middle-aged guy on the other side of us got up and danced. The music played on, each of us hearing a different melody calling out from the past.

We ducked out before the end to get a spot on the returning train. I’ve been to enough BB concerts to predict the final song was FUN FUN FUN and we didn’t need to hear it to experience it that night!

On the way home from work today I slid on of the Beach Boys CD’s into my radio. I felt like, indeed, I had caught the wave and it carried me home.

Hope for the best,



Surfer Girl Here

373847_surfboardThe soundtrack of my summer is always the Beach Boys.  Back in the 60’s they packed out the Illinois State Fair grandstand and I never missed a concert.  My grandpa had some political connections that  resulted in me getting a ticket each year even if the stands were sold out.

Before long, the Boys moved on from the State Fair and so did I.  Of course, I still listened to the records, then the tapes and now the CD’s and I Tunes. A disc sits in my kitchen today.

About ten years ago they started coming to Ravinia, our lovely outdoor music festival, summer home to the Chicago Symphony.  I couldn’t wait to hear them again, especially my favorite, I Get Around.

It was hard to find anyone under 50 or at least 40 in that crowd.  I was looking for teenagers and at one point had only counted about eight.  Only one of the original Beach Boys was still with the group but the summer sound was the same.

I walked up as close as I could and all around me were the most prim and proper North Shore ladies who looked like they stepped right out of bridge club, bouncing to the music.  We all sang along with every song.  “Help me Rhonda” blasted the place!   I loved the  commonality of experience that night than transcended all of our circumstances.

I wondered how many of these “older” Ravinia-goers had also listened to this music on their transistor radios, in their Fords and Chevys and on their record players as I did.  All of us had hopes and dreams that somehow these songs played into.  How did their lives turn out based on those poignant longings? How did mine turn out?


Later in the same week, my husband drove me to an unplanned medical appointment and told me he had a message for me and turned on the music…  “Don’t Worry Baby” was playing, one of my favorite BB songs.  He had checked it out from the library for this event.  Such love.

I still go to Beach Boys concerts when I get a chance although I will miss Brian Wilson later this summer at Ravinia.  We’re growing older each year but they are still “The Boys” and I am still 15 for that evening.

Who was the Surfer Girl?  I think she was all of us.

Hope for the Best,


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