David Marks, who was a guitarist in The Beach Boys from 1961-1963, explains on the DVD Brian Wilson Songwriter 1962 - 1969
, that he and Carl Wilson would play guitars every day after school, and one day Carl brought home the album Chuck Berry Is On Top
. They loved the album and introduced Berry's sound to Brian Wilson, who loved the rhythm parts and put together "Surfin' U.S.A." based on that sound. Brian changed the lyrics and added a hook, but it is basically a rewrite of Berry's "Sweet Little Sixteen."