Sunday, May 03, 2009

Beach Boy Huddle!

After watching The Beach Boys' theme song for Karen (the song was written by Jack Lawrence and prolific creator/producer Bob Mosher), I had to go back to YouTube and see if they had my fondest Beach Boy memory, their work as backup band for Annette Funicello over the opening credits of Disney's The Monkey's Uncle. This is the only part of the movie (the last film that Annette and Tommy Kirk made for Disney) that anybody remembers.

It's there, the most 1965 clip you can possibly imagine, and another illustration of the Sherman Brothers' remarkable ability to write songs that scream "Disney" no matter what style they're writing in. I'm not even sure if the Shermans are even particularly good songwriters. When I hear the smart, intricately-rhymed, Kiplingian songs that Terry Gilkyson ("Marianne") originally wrote for The Jungle Book, and remember that he's the writer of "The Bare Necessities" and the "O'Malley the Alley Cat" song, I find it disappointing that Disney favored the Shermans over him for most projects. But they could put the Disney brand on any kind of song, whether it was a mid-'60s pop pastiche like this one or the My Fair Lady pastiche (a pastiche of a pastiche) in Mary Poppins.

But back to the clip: Beach Boy fans who hate Mike Love (I don't) apparently find this clip to be a particular source of satisfaction, because he looks like such an idiot: he doesn't have an instrument until Annette hands him the tambourine, and he occupies his hands by doing "dance" moves that make him look like he's trying to mime climbing up a rope ladder.


mybillcrider said...

Thanks for this, Jaime. Really takes me back!

John V. said...

"I'm not even sure if the Shermans are even particularly good songwriters."

I'm sure they're not. :)

It's a good thing that someone (Walt himself) decided to make "That's What Friends Are For" into a more traditional Barbershop-style song, but a sick, twisted part of myself would be interested in hearing what the Shermans seemed to think a Beatles song was supposed to sound like. :D

Kenneth Burns said...

The Brian Wilson descant always gives me chills, no matter where I hear it.