The Beach Boys and Libraries: PART 2

I’d like to talk about two albums that were conceived and released in between 1964-1965, Today and Summer Days (and Summer Nights!!)

In 1964 Brian Wilson had a mental breakdown.  He was heading for another Beach Boys show when it all hit him.  He couldn’t go on any longer being the person who wrote, produced, and performed all of these songs.  He knew what he wanted to do, and that was writing and producing the band’s music.  He wanted to stay at home and hone his craft.

I was all over the place in regards to libraries in early 2011.  I was involved in way too many projects and was dipping my toes in way too many areas of interest.  I was cutting myself into little pieces trying to make everything happen and please everyone.  It didn’t work.

What did I get from these albums?

“When I Grow Up To Be A Man” and the whole second side of Today are  the best examples of why focusing on what you do best can lead to great things.  When I listen to these selections, I hear the sound of a songwriter really understanding what he can do and where he wants to take this.  Looking at what Brian Wilson did with music over the next few years, it’s easy to trace his movement towards a more spiritual form of music.
Summer Days (and Summer Nights!!)is, to me, the ultimate “summer” album.  It has all the elements of fun, sunshine, the smell of cotton candy, roller coasters, and more.  It reminds me of my own summer vacations on at the Jersey shore as a child.  The song “California Girls”, with its pop orchestral introduction is one of the most recognizable and beautiful pieces of music ever created.Left to focus on what he wanted to do, Brian was able to create some of the most recognizable songs of his generation.  That’s why I am stressing the importance of every librarian finding out what they do best and focusing on that.  It may look great to be on every ALA committee, have tons of library programs under your belt, and do all of these other library related things, but in the end you’ll get worn out.  Take a step back, breathe, and look at what you really want to accomplish.For me, I wanted to focus on people….seeing the goodness in everyone, connecting with people, and making sure my community came first before everything else.  I’m just starting my journey, but I’m refreshed.  I’m ready to be the librarian that I always wanted to be.

I leave you with this great performance of “California Girls” from 1965.

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