Beach Boys - Judging a book by the cover

How The Beach Boys got their name - the_beach_boys-surfer_girlThe sound of the Hawthorne, California Beach Boys gives rise to many different labels: surf rock, sunshine pop, psychedelic pop, art rock, psychedelic rock, baroque pop, you name it.

Initially (1961) The Beach Boys were called The Pendletones. A Pendleton was a shirt for preppies, checked and made of pure wool. It was worn loosely over a white T-shirt. For an impression: Beach Boys album Surfer Girl shows the five Beach Boys of that time in their outfit.

The Pendletones recorded their first song, Surfin, in fairly basic circumstances. This happened in the offices of music publishers Hite and Dorinda Morgan. The best of twelve takes was used to press a few 45 records from. Not much later the boys received the proofs, only to discover that record company Candix Records had taken the liberty to change the band name. Instead of The Pendletones the label credited The Beach Boys.

This initiative appeared to have been taken by an employee of the publicity department, Russ Regan – after all, the song was called Surfin, and the boys were crazy about surfing, were they not? Yet only one of the five Boys, Dennis Wilson, had ever set foot on a surfboard.

For a brief period The Pendeltones tried to persuade the company to relabel the records, but the budget was too small, so they did not succeed. The Beach Boys it was and The Beach Boys it would stay.

Active: 1961, USA

See also: Daft Punk, Switchfoot

Do you know a different explanation? Were you there when it happened? Questions or suggestions? Post a comment!

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