Commentary Magazine


Topic: The Beach Boys

The “Good Vibrations” Continue

In today’s Washington Post, George Will wrote an interesting appreciation of The Beach Boys, who are still touring the country to applause 50 years after they topped the charts with “Good Vibrations.” As Will notes, the sweet sound of that pop band epitomized a moment in our cultural history as the ethos of Southern California provided a soundtrack for a new surge in individualism.

To back up his assertion, Will quotes at length from a classic COMMENTARY article by James Q. Wilson, “A Guide to Reagan Country: The Political Culture of Southern California,” that explored the way trends in that region exemplified a new way of thinking about politics and culture. As Will noted, given its “dystopian present,” it’s hard to recall the way America felt about “California Dreamin” in those days, but for those who like to revisit it, we have made Wilson’s timeless piece available here.

In today’s Washington Post, George Will wrote an interesting appreciation of The Beach Boys, who are still touring the country to applause 50 years after they topped the charts with “Good Vibrations.” As Will notes, the sweet sound of that pop band epitomized a moment in our cultural history as the ethos of Southern California provided a soundtrack for a new surge in individualism.

To back up his assertion, Will quotes at length from a classic COMMENTARY article by James Q. Wilson, “A Guide to Reagan Country: The Political Culture of Southern California,” that explored the way trends in that region exemplified a new way of thinking about politics and culture. As Will noted, given its “dystopian present,” it’s hard to recall the way America felt about “California Dreamin” in those days, but for those who like to revisit it, we have made Wilson’s timeless piece available here.

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