The Ranch is actually a campground/resort (we didn't stay there) on "Lake (see photo for the name)" which, back in our school days we learned meant "Lake You Fish on Your Side - I Fish on My Side - and Nobody Fish in the Middle" which of course is an approximate translation of the Nipmuk words. You can google it if you are curious. Now they call it "Webster Lake" - it almost touches the Connecticut border.
|The Name Was Too Long For My Camera |
and I Couldn't Back Up For a Wider Angle
Unfortunately for us gay guys, they were/are very straight and their music was/is very straight. It is so obviously straight, and that they play to a straight audience; that being there at the concert one realizes the depth to which straight people dominate our social discourse and our culture. But I digress again.
We gay boys were coveting surfer boys while the Beach Boys were crooning over the Surfer Girl. But, at least for some of us, the music touched us even though it made us feel both sexy and a little confused at the same time. (I just googled various permutations of "gay fans of beach boys" and came up dry.)
There were other articles that popped up including those that talked about the Boys' politics and their split up and divergent tours.
We saw Mike Love (who has the license or legal right to use the trade name "Beach Boys") and Bruce Johnston who was an early, but not truly an "original" Beach Boy.
Of course they were good, had good backup singers and instrumentalists and they sounded "original" to my ears. At first, I almost thought they were lip-syncing to their old music.
They had just about everyone up and dancing, clapping, singing along. I must say I enjoyed it.
But when they sang "Don't Worry Baby" I got a little emotional. Under my sunglasses my eyes got a bit moist. Crazy, I know, but why?
I was 16 when that song came out. I bought the 45 and probably played it a thousand times. I have difficulty describing the emotions of a 16 year old who knew he was different and did not belong to the world that was occupied by the adolescents he knew - a boy who did not belong to the world of Beach Boys and Surfer Girls, but who felt a deep, empty longing to belong...for some reason those old emotions got a bit of a stir. Silly me.
|Except for Mike Love, the Boys's Outfits |
Were Not Very Beachy
(actually a few looked like they shopped at Wally Mart)
The concert was a hoot, but I was seeing it all with a philosophical eye: aging bodies dancing and singing like we were sixteen again, like age was/is, at least for the moment, just a joke, a meaningless transformation, a jest of the gods, an illusion. The grey, the wrinkles, the flab, the waddle, the liver spots...just a disguise for 16 year olds, incognito.
I'd say the majority of those in attendance were over fifty, many in their sixties (like me) and seventies.
Mike Love is, what 73 years old now? Not a Beach "Boy" by any means.
We are all in this boat together. A boat that takes us on a voyage where we lose our youth, our hair or at least or hair color, our strength, our complexion, our posture, our hearing, and eventually our health and our breath.
We are all on this boat together.
For a few moments this afternoon, it was the "Sloop John B."