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guilty pleasure monday: girl don’t tell me (beach boys)
March 22nd, 2010 by wrekehavoc

i’m still riding high on the T.A.M.I. show from last week, i guess.

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when i was about 9 or so, my oldest brother, BTD, bought the compilation album endless summer, a move which effectively made me a fan of the beach boys lock, stock, and surfboard. i probably played that LP more than he ever did, as i loved the warm sounds the band evoked on countless songs.  my dad, with his ever-discerning ear for melody, eventually pointed me toward some of the more challenging songs not present on that compilation, like god only knows, a product of the famous pet sounds album.  it is well-known how super genius brian wilson was attempting to keep up with the beatles in the mid-1960s; he tired of writing about surf and girls and cars and moved on to significantly complex musical ideas. (and i’m pretty sure that the beatles adored him as well.)

but before brian veered down the road of creative genius/man who laid in bed for years, he composed things that were a little weightier but not as heavy as what would come. one of these songs, girl don’t tell me (a song which wilson claimed in his autobiography that he wrote alone, which resulted in mike love successfully suing him for songwriting credits), i believe, was actually written in 1965 for the beatles to record. the beatles, of course, never recorded the song (who knows if they ever even saw it), though it sounds like a perfect fit for stuff they were doing during that year (i can see it fitting in nicely on the help! soundtrack.)

why do i love this song? well, besides the interesting and moving direction in which the chords take you, i love this song because carl wilson sings it.

can you imagine being carl wilson? living in the shadow of the immense talent that is brian wilson? yet carl was no slouch in the talent department, and i wish more people realized that fact. his lovely alto graces so many classic beach boys songs following this one (yeah, he sang on a few before, but to me, girl don’t tell me is the first song of any significance that his voice graces.) not knocking mike love, of course, but his voice would not fit the bill on songs like this and god only knows and even good vibrations.

sadly, carl wilson lost his cancer battle over 10 years ago; but his stellar guitar work and his evocative singing are still with us. it’s hard to come out from the shadow of a sibling who looms so large; but carl definitely did his best to do so, in a quiet but consistently solid way.


6 Responses  
  • sue writes:
    March 22nd, 2010 at 7:37 am

    always a Beach Boys day….

  • Phil Goldwasser writes:
    March 22nd, 2010 at 8:57 am

    Sometimes, I see it is possible for me to learn something about the Beatles that I did not know. I did not know that this song was written for the Beatles, but I agree 100% that is would easily fit in Help! or even Rubber Soul.

  • wrekehavoc writes:
    March 22nd, 2010 at 9:03 am

    yeah phil, brian wilson wrote in his autobiography (which is actually a good read, i would add) that he wrote this for them. i don’t know whether he actually ever showed it to them, especially since he was entering that phase of his life that became rather strange, but i am pretty sure this stuck in my head as one of the takeaways for me from the book (as most things beatle-related end up being, lol.)

  • Longtime Beach Boys Fan writes:
    March 22nd, 2010 at 1:07 pm

    Although not widely known, Brian Wilson did not write the “autobiography” credited to him. See the webpage cited above for documentation

    .

  • Doug writes:
    March 22nd, 2010 at 1:26 pm

    I like GDTM too, but it’s really just a re-write of Ticket To Ride.

    She’s got a ticket to ri -i -ide.
    Girl don’t tell me you’ll wri -t -ite.

    :)

  • wrekehavoc writes:
    March 22nd, 2010 at 1:39 pm

    @longtime beach boys fan — thanks for the info. i always suspected there was a ghostwriter of sorts. my cousin “co-wrote” a book with john lennon’s girlfriend, may pang, years ago. i just figured there was someone else in the picture. and all the glowing words about dr. landy — well, it did trip my radar a bit ;-)

    and doug — you know, i never figured that out, but now that you mention it… :-D


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