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SurfSometimes in this navel-fluff of a world one stumbles on a phenomenal discovery.

Fun Fun Fun till daddy took the t-bird awayyyyyyy (repeat).

I discovered something the other day that has without a doubt changed my life forever, and hopefully more people’s lives too when you read this.

In my roommmmm, in my roommmm (repeat repeat).

The discovery is so simple, yet so absolutely amazing that I have already written to several doctors all around the world, sharing my discovery with them, in the hope that millions of people will benefit from this hidden elixir I discovered (no I am not an alchemist, or even a chemist, or err an alch).

Ooooh weeee ohhhh eeeeeee.

I was on the beach recently, busy doing nothing, trying not to listen to the thousand banal conversations around me – why do people go on the beach to have elaborate conferences about where the best place to buy pottery from, how hilarrrriously funny a bidet is, and how the waiter was rude, but the food was nice enough, oohh there was so much choice Hilda, four different kinds of rice, four.

Anyway, to drown out this awful noise I quite uncharacteristically put on the Beach Boys Greatest Hits. Now, you must appreciate that the said Beach Boys Greatest is the mother of all boxsets. EIGHTY tracks children, eighty, read ‘em and weep.

I listened with the usual glee to the first few tracks, it was only then that I noticed the said eighty tracks length. Hmmm. I was in a quandary. I could change it to shuffle, I could listen to other stuff, but all of a sudden in this world of sand, sun burnt Brits, & bread n’ butter banter, and intense intense sunshine (honestly if it wasn’t a ball of fire, it would be a ball of fire ON fire… umm that made sense in my head that comment). I had no choice, movement had to be minimalised, the absence of music was quite frankly mental-suicide, so there I was, the challenge was on…. I would listen to all eighty beach boy bombastic buoyant braying barrage without moving until the opus had ceased, no sun-tan lotion top-up, no word to the missus or outside world of the journey I was embarking on, I was now surfing Californ-I-A, let’s go surfing now, everybody surfing now, come along safari with meeeeeeeeee…..

An hour into the Beach Boy Marathon my mind was far away from my body. I was floating on harmonies so delicate, so intricately layered, so complex, I had no idea the Boys from the beach were so musically maestrotastic. These weren’t just cheap-shot sixties ditties like we’re used to hearing ad-nauseum ad-infinitum, ad-sugar no milk thanks, nay sir, these tunes were totally doing it, they had layers and layers of different sounds all merging into their own divine streams of magic. Wow. How long had I missed this whole almost-genre-of-its-own music?

This journey I had embarked on reminded me of a bizarre generation-x experiment I once heard about. It occurred to this student one day that MTV was utter tosh and that if you watched it for at least 2 hours consecutively you would lose your mind, and become very agitated and angry with the world. So what he decided to do was (in very much a Morgan Spurlockesque manner) watch MTV for 48 hours constantly without a break. I remember reading an entry of this experiment in his diary, it was something like “…just seen Prince trapped in a tube while he was innocently singing his new song, hope he’s ok…”. Genius. I might replicate this experiment with UK gold. The student guy actually went into therapy after his MTV marathon.

Two hours into my Beach boys experiment I was beginning to feel that not only did I wish that they could all be Californian (whatever that means) but…

2. that I should be true to my school
3. that fifth gear is the way to travel
4. that surfing was the only way for me
5. that I was going to give up my daily pursuits, move to Newquay and live for the tubes (pronounced toobs) man.

My head was awash with surfin, surfin, surfin, California, sound of the city baby… I could hear music, sweet sweet music, whenever you touch me baby….. it was hypnotic.

Three hours into it, I honestly thought I was cruising down the freeway in my thunderbird on the way to the hop (hop hup hop). Honestly, I really thought that, no fooling.

Four hours (surely the end was close now? I thought in the’60s tunes lasted for no longer than three minutes? how wrong I was) came and went, am not sure if I was even listening any more, or just daydreaming in psychedelic colourful rainbow roads.

Five hours and I happened to notice track 80 looming. I knew I was sun-burnt. I knew I was delirious. I remember embarking on an experiment but I no longer remembered what it was for, was it something to do with the waiter in the restaurant? The wife was there next to me chatting with friends that I didn’t even know were in the country, let alone on the beach with us.

Track 80 came and went, I did it. I wonder how many others can say the same? I listened to the whole Beach Boys Greatest hits, and my goodness did I feel different about the whole world. It would never be the same again.

That very evening as I sat in the bath, aside from contemplating my sun-burnt bits (not those bits, come on now), I arrived at a conclusion: You cannot be sad when you hear the Beach boys, it’s so damn positive. Sure, maybe one or two songs won’t affect you, but listening to those guys for a straight five hours? It is a life changing experience amigo. I felt so good afterwards, so chilled, so relaxed, the world could have ended at that moment and I think I would have been pretty darn passive about the whole thing.

Steve Martin did a sketch where he played the banjo remarking that you cannot be sad when playing that instrument. The same is true of listening to the entire Beach Boys, it is not only impossible to be down when hearing the Beach Boys, but also that it is an incredible spirit-lifter. At that moment I felt like I could write a million books, paint sixty Sistine chapels, make passionate love endlessly for days, well, you get the idea, I wanted to share the love baby.

Anyway, the moral of this story kids is if you’re feeling down – whack on the Beach Boys, it is an amazing tonic. One day they will be in the medical journals for sure, I am going to try my hardest to put them there. Years from now, you will read Skate’s theory on Beach Boys Greatest Hits therapy, a great alternative to valium – you read it here first, am off now for some surfinnnnnnnn.

This post was brought to you by the letters BB, the number 80, and the mighty power of the boxed sets.

Ps I am not a doctor, do not try this at home unless adequately supervised and doubly do not try if you have deadlines to hit (oh dear).

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