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.
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