Surfer Girl

Album: Surfer Girl (1963)
Charted: 7


  • Written by group leader Brian Wilson, "Surfer Girl" was part of a run of surf-related hits for The Beach Boys, following in the wake of "Surfin' Safari" and "Surfin' U.S.A.." Unlike those tracks, "Surfer Girl" is a love song, with the singer professing his devotion and imagining a life of oceanside joy together.
  • Wilson's girlfriend when he wrote this song was Judy Bowles, who was with him before he formed the band. It's not clear if she directly inspired this song (Wilson has given conflicting answers), but he did write another song about her around this time called "Judy," which was not released until it was issued on a collection of outtakes in 1991.
  • The Beach Boys first attempt to record this song came on February 8, 1962 at World Pacific studios in Los Angeles. This languid version, which can be heard on the 2016 release Becoming the Beach Boys: The Complete Hite & Dorinda Morgan Sessions, was not broadcast quality; when they took another crack at it on June 12, 1963 at Western Recorders, they were a much more polished band. This is the version that was released on July 22 and used as the title track to the third Beach Boys album.
  • This was the first song Brian Wilson wrote. In a 1976 radio interview, he said he was 19 when the melody popped into his head as he was driving to a hot dog stand. When he got home, he quickly put the song together, an early sign of his musical genius.
  • In terms of melody and lyrics, this song owes a debt to "When You Wish Upon A Star," the 1940 classic from the movie Pinocchio. In 1960, Dion & The Belmonts released a popular version of the song, which was around the time Wilson wrote "Surfer Girl."
  • The line, "In my woody I would take you everywhere I go" refers to a wood-paneled vehicle popular with surfers for transporting boards and babes. The woody also shows up in "Surfin' Safari":

    We're loading up our woody
    With our boards inside

Comments: 3

  • Msn from United Kingdomespecially their endless summer tv shows from the 80s they too are tacky and cheap as are their concerts from the 80s and 90s which are highly distressing extremely upsetting to watch with those dancers skipping around on stage to amuse the male members of the audience, wonder what the reaction would be if they had male dancers?
  • Msn from United KingdomNot only that the model looks disgusting, tacky and cheap, the BB song is ruined by this video I hope it gets banned from youtube along with other BB videos.
  • Msn from United KingdomI dislike the video on youtube that was filmed on Laguna beach Its about a man who falls in love with a woman he sees surfing on the ocean not some bikini clad model running on the beach with a surf board tucked under her arm!! I used to like this song but not anymore.
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Bryan Adams

Bryan AdamsSongwriter Interviews

What's the deal with "Summer of '69"? Bryan explains what the song is really about, and shares more of his songwriting insights.

Tony Banks of Genesis

Tony Banks of GenesisSongwriter Interviews

Genesis' key-man re-examines his solo career and the early days of music video.

Black Sabbath

Black SabbathFact or Fiction

Dwarfs on stage with an oversize Stonehenge set? Dabbling in Satanism? Find out which Spinal Tap-moments were true for Black Sabbath.

Jon Oliva of Trans-Siberian Orchestra

Jon Oliva of Trans-Siberian OrchestraSongwriter Interviews

Writing great prog metal isn't easy, especially when it's for 60 musicians.

Johnette Napolitano of Concrete Blonde

Johnette Napolitano of Concrete BlondeSongwriter Interviews

The singer/bassist for Concrete Blonde talks about how her songs come from clairvoyance, and takes us through the making of their hit "Joey."

Jackie DeShannon - "Put a Little Love in Your Heart"

Jackie DeShannon - "Put a Little Love in Your Heart"They're Playing My Song

It wasn't her biggest hit as a songwriter (that would be "Bette Davis Eyes"), but "Put a Little Love in Your Heart" had a family connection for Jackie.