Murry Wilson soon discovered that the boys had a natural talent for music, which he intended to exploit. It was then that his three sons, Brian, Dennis and Carl, began to rehearse, accompanied by their cousin Mike Love and a friend of Brian’s, a certain Al Jardine. Dennis, the only real surfer in the band, suggests to his older brother that he write songs about surfing. An activity that more and more young people practice on the Californian coast. Inspired, Brian composed Surfin’, the first song of the newly formed Beach Boys. A mix of rock and roll, surf music and doo-wop. The patriarch, on the other hand, is in charge of managing the band. Surfin’ was quick to draw attention to the young group. Soon Capitol Records, looking for fresh talent, offered the Wilsons a contract. The result is Surfin’ Safari, the band’s first album. While the singles did very well in the Los Angeles area and nationally, the album had a harder time selling. However, the Beach Boys’ adventure is well and truly underway. And if the sound is still under construction, sometimes a bit hesitant, the image is already well established, fed by this legendary cover.
To illustrate their first studio delivery, the Wilson brothers, Mike Love and Al Jardine, go to Paradise Cove, not far from their home. On the beach, the photographer puts them in a beautiful yellow pick-up decorated with palm branches. In the picture, the five musicians are looking at the ocean as if they were watching the waves. All dressed in white trousers and checked shirts, they embody the youth in search of strong sensations, ready to defy Mother Nature and the whole world at the same time. However, the Beach Boys only have one surfboard for five. And for good reason: it was all they had. When it came time to create the illusion of these seasoned surfers ready to take on the Pacific, it was the only one available, Dennis’. This board was brought to the surface many years later, in the American television show Pawn Stars. A pawn shop customer then offered to sell it for $100,000.
The Beach Boys have sold over 100 million albums worldwide.
Paradise Cove Beach
The Paradise Cove Beach did not wait for the Beach Boys to acquire a true celebrity.
Located in Malibu, Paradise Cove Beach is a sort of Hawaiian enclave, with its palm trees, warm sand and surf. Popular with locals and tourists alike, this beautiful beach is also a popular film location in California. Movies like Indecent Proposal, X-Men, Charlie’s Angels, Lethal Weapon 4 and TV shows like Lucifer and Alias have made use of its idyllic landscape. Fun fact: for a long time, surfing was forbidden here! Today, this is no longer the case.
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Cult! music: 100 mythical music places [French Edition]
Embark immediately on an exhilarating world tour with some of music’s most iconic bands and artists!
Head to Melbourne, Australia for a stroll along AC/DC Lane before crossing the iconic Abbey Road pedestrian crossing in the company of The Beatles. Visit Janis Joplin‘s home in San Francisco and find out how Johnny Cash ended up playing his greatest hits to a crowd of prisoners in San Quentin. Travel the winding roads of Laurel Canyon in Los Angeles with Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young and stop in Japan to catch up with Deep Purple, Phil Collins and Daft Punk. Drive down the Tina Turner Highway before entering some of the most legendary studios in music history. Go back to the troubled origins of Billie Holiday and make a pact with Robert Johnson at the famous crossroads in Clarksdale, Mississippi. Embark immediately on an exhilarating world tour with some of music’s most iconic bands and artists! Relive the Jimi Hendrix concert on the Isle of Wight before paying tribute to Bob Marley in Jamaica.
Produced by a team of pop-culture specialists and enhanced by numerous anecdotes, Cult! musictells the secrets of the places that made the history of music.
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Discover all the places Surfin' Safari on our map
By Gilles Rolland
Passionné de cinéma, de rock and roll, de séries TV et de littérature. Rédacteur de presse et auteur des livres Le Heavy Metal au cinéma, Paroles de fans Guns N' Roses, Paroles de fans Rammstein et Welcome to my Jungle : 100 albums rock et autres anecdotes dépareillées. Adore également voyager à la recherche des lieux les plus emblématiques de la pop culture.