Normally, you get to read about George’s latest successful completion of a “bucket list item”. This time, I have the honor of writing the article since I helped bring this latest item to fruition.
Those of you that know me may know that my wife, Effy, is a pharmacist and specializes in chemotherapy agents for cancer care. That being said, we support Moffitt Cancer Center’s annual fundraiser known as “Magnolia Ball”. Every year, the hosts of the fundraiser select entertainment for the night. Normally, it’s a big name from days gone by like Foreigner, Earth Wind and Fire, and, most recently, Rob Thomas. This year, we received the invitation to Magnolia Ball and prominently displayed on the front of the invitation was the entertainer for the event: The Beach Boys.
Knowing George’s affinity for the Beach Boys because they were, in fact, the hottest band during his high school years growing up on Clearwater Beach, I guessed that George would want to attend this event. So, for procedural history, Effy calls Demetria, George’s wife, and conveys the details and sets up the surprise.
First, let me be clear “The Beach Boys” are technically only “The Beach Boy” because Denny Wilson died a number of years ago, and apparently so did a few of the other band members more recently. So, to be perfectly honest, I wasn’t sure how big of an impact this concert was going to have for George.
Well, let me be the first to say how thoroughly impressed I was. First of all, Mike Love, the lead singer and cousin of the Wilson brothers, put on an amazing show. Let’s set aside the fact that he is well into his 70s, he performed for over two hours straight. More amazing was how nostalgic the show was. The producers had incorporating stories of how individual songs were written with backdrops of time period photos relevant to the individual songs (yes, I saw real pictures of both the “little deuce coupe” and the famed “409”). The next thing that was impressive was that two of the original band members’ kids, friend Al Jardine and one of the Wilson boys, took the stage with Mike Love and performed the individual songs written by their respective fathers so many years ago.
The Beach Boys’ music truly transcends generations. People in the room from 18 to 80 were singing along with songs written in the 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s. In fact, the Beach Boys music is still in use today. Most recently in soundtracks of Vanilla Sky in 2001, 50 First Dates from 2004, and even classic movies like Cocktail in 1988, Good Morning Vietnam in 1987 and the James Bond film A View to a Kill.
The band members were also very cordial and interacted particularly well with the crowd. Overall, it was an awesome experience and I’m glad I got to share it with George.