The Beach Boys’ album Pet Sounds is one of the best albums ever recorded. It employs recording techniques that were experimental at the time. These demos are not in fact experimental at all, though. They are stripped down versions of Pet Sounds songs, a cover or two & “Surfer Girl” which reminds me of when I dated Megan Maffitt. I was 20 maybe 21, working at a lumber yard, she was a bleach blond little surfer girl.
We’d ride in my white van down to the beach, get stoned & watch the sunset over the horizon. She was constantly barefoot, tan & gorgeous. She was the quintessential “Surfer Girl” with a free love, hippie type outlook on life. Where as I had this rigid, what I thought of as realistic outlook. Trying to stay in control at all times instead of just trying to live life. Having fun, but on my terms. I was not the best boyfriend, I had yet to mature, yet to realize that things are give & take, instead of you give & I take.
We ended up breaking up after the summer & didn’t reconnect for another ten years or so. She married, had a kid & has responsibilities now, but somewhere in that motherly exterior, deep down that surfer girl from years ago still exists. Growing up comes with these responsibilities & in turn we lose a bit of that child that brought us such joy. Replaced by joys of a different kind as we live vicariously through the experiences our children, nieces or nephews experience on their quests through childhood.
We are not relegated to reliving memories of our youth as if time has passed us by, either though. Time is relative as we are only as old as we allow ourselves to feel. It is not beyond the realm of possibility to enjoy new challenges & more beautiful experiences as we grow into our so called twilight years. It took me forever to realize that that was possible.
It’s beautiful to walk through this city & see the dichotomous difference within a few miles. From Santa Monica to Venice the stereotypical “Surfer Girl” is all around, but venture a little farther towards Hollywood & Silverlake & that “Surfer Girl” is replaced by moronic wanna-be actresses with their heads in the clouds & backs on casting couches as they long to be on the next cover of US Weekly.
Do not ever consider the “Surfer Girl” an air-head. She is spiritually advanced & at once in touch with nature more so than most. She’ll shoot on-fire Tequila shots at the age of 12 in Mexico, but not let that deter her from her goals, whether those be Photography, Medicine or Motherhood. All extremely challenging occupations & worthy of admiration. For as the Beach Boys so succinctly put it:
Little surfer little one
Made my heart come all undone
Do you love me, do you surfer girl
Surfer girl my little surfer girl
God Only Knows – The Beach Boys
California Girls – The Beach Boys
Surfer Girl – The Beach Boys
You’re So Good To Me – The Beach Boys
The Letter – The Beach Boys
Help Me Rhonda – The Beach Boys
Heroes & Villains – The Beach Boys
Their Hearts Were Full of Spring – The Beach Boys