Mike Love sang lead vocals and wrote the words for this celebratory track that takes a nostalgic look back at his days of sun and surfing. Love told us that the lyrics were inspired by a surfing safari with some of his old high school buddies, and were autobiographical. He explained: "I went to the beach with my friends and we went to the surfing spot down at a place called San Onofre, down near the Marine Corps base down south. And it was such a beautiful day and the waves were great. And then of course one of the great things about the beach is it attracts good looking girls. [Laughing]." (Here's our full Mike Love interview.)
Love had the concept and most of the lyrics before Brian Wilson added the instrumentation. He recalled to us: "I came back and we sat down at Brian's piano, and we banged that song out in maybe 15 minutes, something like that. I had the concept and the lyrics in mind, and he just got a good groove going on the piano."
Another Beach Boys hit song where Mike Love wrote the lyric before Brian Wilson added the music was "Fun, Fun, Fun."
Love told us that it was the Beach Boys' engineer at the time, Stephen Desper, who came up with "that really interesting" drum effect heard at the beginning of the track. Desper created it by blending the original sound with that of one drum strike being repeated four times. The engineer recalled: "I had commissioned Phillips, in Holland, to build two tape delay units for use on the road (to double live vocals). I moved four of the Phillips PB heads very close together so that one drum strike was repeated four times about 10 milliseconds apart, and blended it with the original to give the effect you hear. Everyone liked the sound and credited me with adding to the commercial success of the single. Whether or not that was true, I don't know, but it put me in the engineering seat for many years." (Source Desper Archives.)
The trumpet-like sound during the wordless chorus is Brian Wilson using a falsetto voice.
Following all the esoteric sounds the Beach Boys had pursued on Pet Sounds, the band's popularity had waned in the US and this song only peaked at #20. However, their support had held up well in the UK and it topped the chart for one week thus becoming the band's second #1 hit there after "Good Vibrations" two years earlier. It also became the band's first #1 hit in Australia.
The single mix of the song is slightly different to the album version, as it doesn't feature the hammering sounds on the fade out.
The song was originally entitled "Rendezvous."
Amongst the movies that the song has featured in are 1986's One Crazy Summer, 1996's Flipper and 2006's Happy Feet.
The "did-its" in this song inspired Eric Carmen's 1977 hit "She Did It."
Jennifur Sun from RamonaIntro is my fav thing about this tune.
Moanin' Lisa from Chillicothe Mo.Really cool hit for the BBs from 1968. I was shocked to see that Billboard only had it peaking at #20. The Kansas City radio stations ranked it Top Ten back then. It was all over their airwaves, as I recall. I always wondered why the song sounded like it was recorded on cheap equipment because it sounded muffled & indistinct. However, I can hear someone talking in the background! Well, anyway I love the song. I don't know what that instrument is that makes those bizarre background noises like grinding knee-joints, but it's cool.