Brian Happy

This performance by The Beach Boys is by no means an “Odditty”, but it moved me, and I wanted to share it with you.

The band sometimes looked and sounded a bit wobbly in vintage TV performances; they’re still usually pretty strong- they were pros- but they were also very young, and I’m sure terribly nervous to be on national TV. And inevitably, one can’t help but feel particularly for Brian, famously fragile, and at this song’s point in time (with the Beach Boys Today! LP) soon to retire from public performance at his own tortured request.

But you wouldn’t know that from this confident, rockin’ performance. The band kills, the sound is totally together- the vocals full and the instruments tight; everybody is smack in the groove. My eyes are instantly drawn to and stay on Brian, who looks at ease and in complete control; eyeing the audience with a confident, Elvis-like crooked smile, then closing his eyes and listening… riding the sound like a wave.  The inter-band symbiosis is working, and one gets the impression that if Brian was happy, everyone played it right.

The narrative is witnessing the ingenuous genius, at a time when we now know was coming to pieces emotionally (and soon to enter decades of darkness), rise to the occasion… at least for the duration of one wonderful song.


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