The Beach Boys - Forever

Written by Oceanna Colgan, Illinois -
I grew up in the heartland of the United States, thousands of miles from the nearest ocean. Home-schooled with two older brothers and a much younger sister, I spent much of my time alone, imagining stories and finding ways to bring them to life.

The first cassette tape I ever owned was a hand-me-down copy of DO IT AGAIN by the Beach Boys. I remember staring at them, in their blue striped shirts -- and thinking of how cute they were. I, being quite isolated from the rest of the world, had hardly any concept of time: to me, this cassette was filled modern music, I didn't know three decades stood between me and those blonde boys, or that I couldn't have been further from their surfing, car loving, Southern California culture.

Maybe the connection with their music existed because I was named after the same body of water that served as the motivation for all their music; but listening to them inspired a longing to experience the ocean that they sang about, to be a "California Girl."

I continued to build my Beach Boys album collection. At one point in time, I remember being teased by neighborhood kids for only listening to "oldies." At a friend's house once, I was outraged when I realized the Hanson album she was listening to had 'stolen' one of the Beach Boy's Christmas classics. I treasured the re-runs of Full House guest starring the Beach Boys - if Uncle Jesse could jam with them, surely their music WAS cool!

My favorite songs would become "Fun, Fun, Fun" and "In My Room." For whatever reason, their music attached to my heart, their harmonies something I would rewind repeatedly. My love of music from generations past was nurtured by my dad. I remember laughing with him over the commonly misheard lyrics from "Help Me Rhonda" - how could people really think they sang "Well since you put me down. I've got owls puking in my bed"? We had discussions of Brian Wilson's breakdowns and the band's connections to the Charles Manson family.

"Pet Sounds" would become a pinnacle album for me, the tracks of which my dad and I enjoyed together. Who can resist "Good Vibrations"?

It's approaching the 4 year anniversary of losing my dad -- but the legacy he left of truly enjoying a song, being submerged, feeling the lyrics and searching for their meaning has never departed. When I hear our favorite songs, I feel him near.

When I met Jonathan, it was first time in my life I felt I finally fully appreciated "Wouldn't It Be Nice." What a beautiful song. At our wedding, I chose a Beach Boys song to walk down the aisle to. With a brother on either side, I proudly approached the altar with "Forever" playing (picture above) -- the choice was a melodic nod to my father, thanking him for sharing his love of music with me; it was the most wonderful day of my life, and I felt as if my dad was there.

Last year, Jon and I were finally able to make my long awaited pilgrimage to the West Coast. The entire trip I felt as if I was living their music. I saw the Pacific Ocean for the first time, and it was every bit as wonderful as Mike, Brian, Al, Bruce and David had always made it seem.

Written by Oceanna Colgan
Filmmaker, Green Shoe Studio, Illinois

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