It’s October 29, 2016 and it was 80 degrees today. When I first moved into my house, one of my scheduled tasks was draining the pool by Halloween because that’s when we usually got our first serious cold snap. Tomorrow it’s supposed to be in the high 70s again. Ditto Monday.
Now, some people would point at this and say, “Global Warming!” and there was a time when I would have agreed with them. But, as the incoherent Trump likes to say, Global Warming was a myth created by the Chinese because reasons. Okay, so I don’t really believe most things Trump says, but in the interest of an American election year I’d like to propose an ever crazier theory.
Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys – that gang of clean-cut American youth who spun bubblegum pop like spiders spin webs and hatred – largely went off the rails in 1966 and went balls to the wall working on a new record. Rumors abound about what went on during the recording that album, everything from psychedelics to yogis to full symphony orchestras and run-of-the-mill mad genius level insanity got tossed in a bowl in California and swirled around. Out of that madness came “Pet Sounds”, which at the time was received like a bowl of tepid water – better than nothing, but not what the world was hoping for. It was an ambitious project, to be certain, but probably so far ahead of its time that most of the burnouts of the mid-sixties didn’t know what to make of it. For the record, “Pet Sounds” has gone on to be one of the most highly regarded rock albums of all time, but at the time no one knew quite what to make of it.
Now, flash forward to the early seventies. The Beach Boys popularity was waning, and the world was looking to early heavy metal and punk as the future of music. The carefree bubblegum pop of the Beach Boys wouldn’t come back into vogue for quite a while. But, during this waning phase, they released a collection of hits from 1962-1965 called “Endless Summer”.
“Pet Sounds” came out in 1966, but wasn’t covered on what the Beach Boys would consider their endless summer phase, even though “Endless Summer” was released long after “Pet Sounds”. Why would that be?
I believe it’s because of what went on to create “Pet Sounds”. During all the drugs and madness, it’s not too hard to believe Brian Wilson worked some kind of crazy sex magic with at least two women, a stuffed octopus, and the divine eye of a Tantric Yogi master. What was he trying to do? Create his endless summer and now it’s looking like he might have actually pulled it off.
Or, you know, it could just be summer holding on longer than it used to. But I prefer my theory; it’s got just enough truthiness to make it interesting. Besides, conspiracy theories are fun to create.
Do you have any favorite conspiracy theories?