On the EDge: Keep pickin’ up those good vibrations

OPINION – Back in the days before untimely deaths, egos, and anger splintered the group, The Beach Boys used to be one of the hottest bands on the New Year’s Eve circuit.

The boys from Hawthorne, Calif. almost always put on a great show, singing about cool waves, hot cars, and the girls on the beach. But, on New Year’s Eve, the guys pulled out all the stops, saving all their biggest hits for the 11th hour, which was always climaxed with a drawn-out version of “Good Vibrations” to ring in the year.

If you remember the song, and who doesn’t, there’s an instrumental space a little more than halfway through where it’s just bass guitar and an organ playing the famous riff before the band explodes into soaring, heavenly harmony.

Now, during any other regular show, “Good Vibrations,” one of the greatest rock ‘n’ roll songs ever, was considered a highlight, but add to it the excitement of New Year’s Eve and counting down the final seconds until midnight with these guys just made it, well, bitchin’, man, as we used to say on the beach all those years ago.

It made for a great party, smiles abundant, and those good, good, good vibrations.

I don’t know if either of the touring groups that hit the road under the banner of The Beach Boys will be out gigging tomorrow night, but just in case they aren’t, well, Happy New Year and may it be filled with good vibrations of all kinds, shapes, and sizes.

Truth be known, I was never big on running the town on New Year’s Eve. Except for a wonderful and memorable time on Fremont Street in Las Vegas a few years ago – something everybody should do at least once in their life – I prefer the comfort of home instead of doing all the First Night stuff.

That doesn’t diminish, by any means, the excitement of turning the calendar over, it just means you can do it in more comfortable surroundings and not be elbow-to-elbow with the bustling crowd or worry about what condition the guy driving down the road is in.

Still, I always found New Year’s Eve to be more celebratory than melancholy. There’s just something about being handed a fresh, new slate to fill with adventures that appeals to me and while, yes, there is that marking of the passage of time, there is also some kind of hope for rejuvenation in all of that.

It doesn’t have to come in the form of resolutions, which, let’s face it, almost none of us keep for more than a day or two, and it doesn’t mean drastic changes. Just, perhaps, a little refocusing, a little goal setting, a little prodding to make sure we do those things we want to do, and not just those things we have to do. You know, follow your dream, seize the day, all that kind of stuff, because otherwise, we can go stale and not hook up to those good vibrations that really are out there but too often go unnoticed.

It’s a good time to uncouple from the past, and connect with a future that may be unknown, but holds a lot more promise than we may realize. At least I’d like to think so.

I also think that those who lament the passage of time have probably not used their time wisely, spending much of it on the mundane, buried in an ever-deepening rut, never pushing their boundaries, whether physical, emotional, spiritual or intellectual. But, we really need to turn up the antenna a little to pick up more of those good vibrations whizzing around out there so we can gain a little perspective, perhaps some context, about this big blue marble, as they call it, floating around the universe.

That’s why even cynics and skeptics can become fairly contemplative and hopeful as we get ready to unveil a new year, because even they realize that there can be a boatload of promise in the unknown if we are only brave enough to embrace it.

We’ll pop the cork on 2015 in a little more than a day. God only knows what we’ll bump into as we march through the coming year.
But, in all sincerity, I hope it is one of great joy, enlightenment, good health and fortune, but most of all, an abundance of peace and love.
I think it’s possible, as long as we keep pickin’ up those good vibrations.
Happy New Year.

Ed Kociela is an opinion columnist. The opinions stated in this article are his and not representative of St. George News.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @STGnews, @EdKociela

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2014, all rights reserved.

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  • Big Guy December 30, 2014 at 8:59 am

    I enjoyed your Christmas message and now your New Year’s message is equally welcome. Happy New Year to you, Ed, and to all who frequent this web site.

  • NewGuy December 30, 2014 at 9:20 am

    As always, a good article Ed. and a Happy New Year to you.
    As we plan out the new year, we have to appreciate what we experienced in the past. Fremont Street, the strip? Had a blast there too! (just once is enough ).
    The Beach Ball club in Newport Beach, Ca. with the Beach Boys bringing in the New Year, was a fond memory too.
    This coming year? Just hoping for a good place to dance in Dixie and hoping Obama resigns and goes back to what he does best? Selling favors in Chicago . Cheers Ed.

    • Ed Kociela December 30, 2014 at 11:24 am

      The Beach Ball in Newport? I used to hang out there. Wow! Small world! Happy New Year.

      • OFFICER MCGRUFF December 31, 2014 at 10:22 am

        Being raised in Huntington Beach just up PCH, I too used to frequent the Beach Ball. Could it be I may have shared a bong hit with you Ed? Happy New Year Ed.

        • OFFICER MCGRUFF December 31, 2014 at 10:23 am

          Shared it under the pier…

          • Ed Kociela January 1, 2015 at 6:25 pm

            You never know…

  • arts and letters December 30, 2014 at 9:49 am

    Back at ya, Ed! A great message and yeah, the Boys always brought it home. Funny how just thinking about them makes a person feel younger, more adventurous, more ready to take on whatever’s in store. Despite what anybody believes might await us eventually, the only thing we know absolutely for sure is that we go around just once. This is it. Make it the best time it can be! Happy New Year to everybody except New Guy who just couldn’t resist spoiling a good message with a slam at the President. Ouch, buddy. Oh, heck, you have a happy New Year, too, New Guy and try to outgrow the smallness of your heart.

    • Ed Kociela December 30, 2014 at 11:25 am

      Peace and love, A&L, peace and love.

      • My Evil Twin December 30, 2014 at 5:23 pm

        Back at ya Ed. I’m an old guy now, (even older than YOU, I believe,) so I’m happy to spend New Years eve at home with my loving wife, and faithful dog. I’ll leave “amateur night,” to the amateurs. (Yeah, I used to be one of those too. WAAAY back in the dark ages!) 😀

    • NewGuy December 30, 2014 at 12:42 pm

      Arts and Letters,
      Sorry for being small of heart sometimes. I just figure we, as a country need someone who will stand with us and not against 90% of the folks. Just the way I read things. Hope you have a Happy New Year too.


    • Koolaid December 30, 2014 at 6:57 pm

      NEW GUY types probably will spend News Years evening watching Fools News and arguing politics (ranting about Obama) with the tv set, just like they do the other 364 nights of the year.

  • McMurphy December 30, 2014 at 11:12 am

    Ed– You are either losing your touch or one of us is getting mellow. Two columns in a row that don’t annoy me.

  • Joe Smith December 30, 2014 at 11:49 am

    Ed, if your column doesn’t throw the right-wing gun nut crowd into little tissy fits I see no point in keeping you around 😀 hopefully u step it up in 2015, and happy new years 😀

    • My Evil Twin December 30, 2014 at 5:24 pm

      Hey even right-wing gun nuts need to chill once in a while! 😉

  • Evil twins mommy December 30, 2014 at 4:46 pm

    Great article Ed well written. very nicely done. The best to you Ed

  • Dana December 31, 2014 at 4:49 am

    Happy New Year Ed….hope you continue to keep S.Utah rockin’ with your columns.

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