The Beach Boys: When the Good Vibrations Turned Bad – clip

William McKeen / Boston University

The Beach Boys – three brothers, a cousin, and a pal – defined the joy and optimism of America in the early 1960s: tousle-haired Jack Kennedy was in the White House and the Beach Boys provided the soundtrack of the New Frontier. They were the first great American rock’n’roll band and their songs celebrated the “Fun, Fun, Fun” of that more innocent time. After achieving critical success in the mid-1960s with the bold and groundbreaking Pet Sounds album and the “Good Vibrations” single, the band’s popularity fell off a cliff. Their principal songwriter, Brian Wilson – already suffering grievous mental issues — lapsed into a long period of withdrawal and decline. His younger brothers took the reins and led the group through the dark end of the decade, bringing Charles Manson into their circle. Despite the drama and dissolution, the group stayed active and produced some of the best music in its 60-year-history. At the time, the music went largely unheard. Now is your chance to listen to the music and hear their story.

William McKeen

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