Smiley Smile

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Hi all. Hope everyone is enjoying the weekend. :c)

I'm feeling a bit better after taking the week off. Still tired, which is to be expected, I suppose. I have quite a bit I need to process on a number of fronts from the past few weeks. It may also be from the time of year as much as anything else.

Hopefully things will slowly improve in the coming weeks. I hope that is the case. I will do what is within my power to make it so.

I have several fairly long, rather serious posts to write, but I thought I would post a short one about a funny moment from Thursday evening. :c)

I spent most of the day either dozing off or simply resting on the couch. I didn't have much more energy than that, as I haven't for several weeks. 

I finally decided I needed to get out of the house, no matter how tired I was or how chilly an evening. So I bundled up and headed off to the one thing I can always find energy for: shopping. :c)

I had a gift card from my sister for her favorite department store, and I wanted to use it to pick up a new pair of jeans. I also wound up getting a new bathrobe and a few odds and ends. 

It was getting late, so I headed to the checkout registers to pay my bill. I was literally the only customer in the entire store, so I had my pick. I headed for the first clerk I saw who waved me over with a smile.

I said hello and complimented her on her blouse (very stylish) as I reached into my pocketbook to dig out my debit card and driver's license. I did find them - and in the process managed to spill all of its contents on the floor (of course). 

Apologizing profusely, I handed her the card and license without thinking while I gave chase to a stray quarter headed straight for the revolving door. 

A moment later I heard her call after me. 

Her (puzzled): "Excuse me? Hi… I think you gave me the wrong card and ID."

Me (also puzzled, as I picked up the quarter *and* the other change I dumped from my purse in the process): "Oh… I don't believe so?"

Her (politely): "Well, I think these are your boyfriend's, miss."


Guess who is still in the process of getting her name changed legally?

Me (picking up stray lip balms and assorted keys while turning red): "Oh… that *isn't* my boyfriend."

Her: (even *more* puzzled): "Oh…. Fiancee? Husband? (raising her eyebrows and smiling) Single?"

Me (face now as red as my hair): "Umm… none of the above. That's *me*, actually."


Her eyes nearly popped out of her head!

We wound up chatting for a few minutes while she closed out her register. She was extremely nice, and paid me several lovely compliments. (It seems that my stylist was right in urging me to go strawberry blonde.)

As I was leaving, she paid me the ultimate compliment.

"You look wonderful, hon," she said. "I would *never* have known unless you told me!" 

Now *that* is customer-friendly service! :c)


P.S. If anyone in the Greater Boston area sees loose change rolling down the street… please let me know? Thanks…


Today's soundtrack comes courtesy of the Beach Boys: 

"Good Vibrations" was issued as a single in late 1966 as a precursor to what was to have been the now-legendary SMilE album, the album resident Beach Boys genius described was intended to sound like "teenage symphonies to God." 

SMilE was intended to be his response to The Beatles' Revolver album - which, in turn, was what Paul McCartney has since confirmed was their response to the Beach Boys's Pet Sounds.

Sadly, Brian never completed the album in its original form. He suffered a nervous breakdown near the end of the sessions, the result of open hostility from other members (in particular the utterly loathsome Mike Love), his prodigious drug intake, and most of all, his fragile psyche. (Reading about the harrowing physical and mental abuse he endured from his father took a toll that is almost unbearably sad.)

In the wake of his breakdown, he and the other Beach Boys pieced together what became the Smiley Smile album in 1967. It consisted of several reworked tracks from the SMiLE sessions, new tracks recorded in Brian's home studio, and "Good Vibrations," included at the insistence of Capitol Records (over Brian's objection). 

Smiley Smile is now considered one of the Beach Boys finest albums, although at the time it was considered a letdown in the wake of the enormous anticipation that had been building for nearly a year.

Happily, Brian recorded a wondrous version of SMiLE in 2004. Even better, the band released a SMiLE box set in 2012 with a remastered version of the album and outtakes from the sessions. Both are wonderful. :c) 

I'll end with a few other tracks from this era. First, a haunting, sadly incomplete take on Burt Bacharach's "Walk On By."

A more stripped down, but equally haunting, version:

And finally, an absolutely breathtaking, a cappella version of "God Only Knows."  Prepare yourself for goosebumps: 

The last minute (from 1:47 on) is utterly transcendent. Carl Wilson truly sang like an angel. 


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