I have never been involved with any project that used any word as much as this
one used cool.
Cool was the goal and authentic was cool. Authentic period guitars, microphones,
and stuff were cool. They rented a marimba for one song, for authenticities
I didn’t know what a marimba was (turns
out it is like a xylophone with wooden keys) but when it showed up it was the
coolest! - for about three hours. Then someone got a harp – a real concert
quality harp – (hell I thought Harp was an Irish Beer.) Damn if that wasn’t the
next coolest thing.
I didn’t know all this stuff was in Beach Boys songs but the songs are
deceptive, they sound like simple bubble gum but they got a whole lot going on
The set was cool too, naturally. Three levels, the drums were 7 feet in the air.
The keyboard guy wouldn’t get on the platform with the Hammond B3 until we added
a bunch of cross bracing to his 6 foot high platform, can’t actually blame him.
We made a Tiki bar and drive-in to flank the stage. (we tried to put an AC Cobra
at the drive in but it wouldn't fit through the doors.)
At some point cool required neon, I found a friend who just happened to have a
bunch of it and we light up the drive-in. That was made the drive in cool.
It took 4 tries but I got the drive-in sign to qualify as cool. It was in a
script font like on a ’58 Impala and painted in blue day-glow paint that looked,
well, cool in black light.
Most of the tickets were sold on a pay as you pick’m up the night of the show
basis. I have been to Disney enough to know that pre-show is an important part
of a quality presentation. So I made a queuing line with strings of checkered
flags and Beach Boys trivia on music stands – kind of inspired by Rock n’ Roller
Coaster. I figured it worked when I saw people stopping to read the trivia when
there was no line in front of them.
The shows were… COOL!
The lights went down with a few guys straggling into practice “Girls, Girls,
Girls…” in front of the curtain at the Tiki Bar. The leader stops them and
corrects their diction, “It is GUURLS”
The lights fade to black, the curtain
goes up on a blacked out stage. With each opening note of “California Girls” a
spot pick up the a different band member playing.
The lead singer walks up to the mic
just as his part starts and he gets the spot.
When the chorus starts all the mics
have guys singing and the full set is lit. COOL.
Two shows sold out and make over $8,000 for the arts in
That was Very Cool.