Wednesday, July 1, 2015

BATTLE OF THE BANDS: I'M DIGGIN' THESE SUMMER VIBRATIONS

Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

It's time for the July 1, 2015, smack down of the Battle of the Bands. Mr. Stephen T. McCarthy provides us with this information about the bloghop:

The whole thing is really quite simple: You select two different versions of the same song (versions you feel might give each other some competition in the voting) and you post them on the 1st and the 15th of each month.

On the 7th and 21st of each month, you add your own personal vote to the mix, total up all the votes and announce the winner on your blog.

Beyond that, just try to have fun with it and let your readers/voters have fun with it.

Because I want to celebrate summer, our song today is California Girls, written by Brian Wilson and Mike Love for their very popular at the time band, The Beach Boys. It reached #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1965. Take it away, Beach Boys, performing live in Japan in 1972:






What a bunch of old geezers. I almost want to say, "Look at poor Brian Wilson with his brain damage," but he did it to himself--with encouragement. I would have preferred showing the group in '65, but the only video I could find was from some dumb TV variety special. The performance is so bad that some of the "boys" are still playing their instruments after the song ends.

I love this song, though. It objectifies women, especially women hanging around in bikinis who must want to be objectified. It's catchy, too.

Here's how I used to earn a living:



Twenty years after the Beach Boys released California Girls, David Lee Roth covered it. The cover also reached #3. Remember this guy from Van Halen who used to be kinda hot?





From 1974-1985, Roth was Van Halen's original lead singer. He re-joined them in 2006 for a very successful tour, and made an album with Van Halen in 2012.

As for the influence of California Girls, The Beatles' Back in the U.S.S.R. is an homage to the song. It's been covered many times, including by The Chipmunks. It influenced Katy Perry's 2010 hit California Gurls.

Now it's up to you to vote in the comments section, and yes, I have comment moderation enabled. Your comment won't show up until it has my seal of approval. On California Girls, do you prefer The Beach Boys or David Lee Roth?

Maybe you should close your eyes when you listen to the video of The Beach Boys. They aren't much to look at anymore. Of course, David Lee Roth has also changed a lot since 1985.



Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

P.S. You know you can join this hop. Visit Stephen T. McCarthy. He'll get you signed up.

74 comments:

  1. This one was so easy I didn't even bother listening to the second video (still remember it WAY TOO WELL from MTV, and haven't been able to erase the images from my mind since then).

    Lyrically, Bob Dylan was the single most revolutionary and influential songwriter in Pop Music history. And musically, Brian Wilson and The Beach Boys were the most revolutionary and influential.

    Had it not been for Dylan's and Brian's influence, the Beatles probably never would have graduated from their "Mop Top" phase. (You can listen to ANYTHING they did when they became "psychedelic hippies" and hear Dylan and Brian ALL THROUGH IT.)

    David Lee Roth, on the other hand, was never more than a hack and 3rd-rate talent. Without Eddie Van Halen, it's likely none of us would have ever heard of David Lee Roth to this very day.

    This was a "No-Contest" contest for me. Beach Boys by a landslide.

    ~ D-FensDogG
    'Loyal American Underground'

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    1. You are absolutely right about the Fab Four. The Beach Boys had a huge influence on The Beatles. I chose David Lee Roth to compete against them, however, because he brings a certain je ne sais quoi to the song. Perhaps panache is the word I want. Besides, once upon a mattress, I thought David Lee Roth was hotternshit. I never thought anyone in The Beach Boys could be considered even lukewarm.

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    2. Really? Not even Dennis Wilson? Because he was always the real "babe-magnet" in The Beach Boys.

      ~ D-FensDogG

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    3. I wasn't wild for Dennis Wilson. He was kinda cute.

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  2. OMG! I have to go with David Lee Roth. I have never seen his video, but I thought it was a hoot! Sweetly bizarre takeoff on The Twilight Zone--love all the strange, colorful characters and that he didn't try to change the song melody. Seemed like he was making fun of the California girls "thing", too, which I liked. They were like mannequins in the end--and I got a kick out of the lady body builder--LOL! Like musical farce. I enjoyed it. :)

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    1. It's so colorful and cheerful. Even when The Beach Boys were young, I don't think anyone could accuse them of cheerfulness.

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    2. I forgot to say that the super muscular woman was Roth's trainer. I'd be too intimidated to have a trainer, especially one who looks like that.

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    3. She was almost entirely chemically produced, of course. Without massive doses of steroids and HGH, no female body can be built like that.

      In fact, a woman can't even acquire the body of a Serena Williams without ongoing chemical enhancement. No female gets built like that playing tennis her whole life.

      It's a fake world and getting phonier by the hour.

      ~ D-FensDogG

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    4. My world is quite real. Just a minute--the aliens are ringing the doorbell again.

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  3. As much as David Lee Rith's video is fun.
    I have to vote for The Beach Boys by a Tsunami !

    Lived way back when in the desert of Tucson and here comes the Beach Boys.
    Yes I became a California girl learned to body surf and lived in Huntington Beach.
    Just the best summers.

    cheers, parsnip

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    1. What wonderful memories. I wanted to be Gidget or Annette Funicello.

      Love,
      Janie

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  4. Oh Janie... what can I say? I never could watch David Lee Roth's video. I'm not sure why; maybe it was too bizarre for me. Then again, with BOTB I rarely watch anyway. I'm busy listening to stuff. Additionally I'm not to keen on David's voice. Go figure.

    When it comes to the Beach Boys, I've only begun to really appreciate the talents of the group since joining BOTB. Some of our participants are loaded with the stats, and information on every group or artist they present. Me - I'm not the researcher at all. I close my eyes, pick two versions, and run with them, (smile).

    All that said... my vote goes to the Beach Boys. This will be an interesting battle, Janie. Hang on tight!

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    1. God bless you, Dixie. I don't have to hang on tight. Franklin holds on to me. I don't have lots of stats and trivia. I just like to pick out a song I enjoy. I think The Beach Boys were at their best when they did Pet Sounds.

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  5. Replies
    1. Okay. Well, we already know it won't be a shut out.

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  6. Cast my vote for the original. Knowing what Brian Wilson went through, I can't with good conscious vote for Roth's version, despite my deep unabashed love for campiness.

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    1. Brian Wilson had a really messed up life. I see him on TV sometimes now. He seems at peace.

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  7. Probably beach boys. I think this game is going to result in some VERY polarizing opinions, though...

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  8. I'm shocked and dismayed, Janie Junebug!!! I was hoping there'd be a Sid Vicious version. My special friend Dangling Chad and I had our pencils sharpened and were all set to vote for him again. Special request for the 15th: a Sid Vicious - Justin Bieber battle!

    I assume that you want us to remember the original Beach Boys studio recording of "California Girls" and to choose between that version and the D.L. Roth cover. (If that was not your intention then please change my vote.) The Roth cover benefited from the iconic high budget music video with its distinctive Rod Serling/Twilight Zone intro. The vid was wildly popular with viewers and played heavily by veejays at the television station where I was working at the time. However, it is the original Beach Boys version that brings back the happy memories of my teenage years. "California Girls" chased other monster hits up the chart in the late summer of 1965 including "Satisfaction," "I Got You Babe" and "Help!" Oh, those super Summer Days (And Summer Nights!!). I liked Roth's rendition and funny MTV video but, when it comes to the Beach Boys, you can't beat the original. Therefore I am voting for the Beach Boys.

    Thank you, dear Janie Junebug!

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    1. Yes, I want you to remember the original, but I couldn't find a good video of it.

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  9. Beach Boys get my vote. Never liked Van Halen or David Lee Roth. I did like the Beatles though, and Bob Dylan.

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  10. Many bands and singers make money off of objectifying women. It's sad, but it's even sadder when the women objectify themselves. You should get a taste for reggaeton...that'll really spin your head.

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    1. I've heard of reggae, but not reggaeton.

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  11. Interesting battle, Janie. We all age and none of us look as good as we did years ago.Pity! Sigh.......
    Anyway, getting back to the music, I've never been a huge Beach Boys fan, but this is a "feel good" "summer vibe" song. Dave DOES give it a little something extra. I love the campy, cheesy approach, too. ☺ Put me down for Diamond Dave.

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  12. Ooh, well, you know I'm an 80s girl, but I've gotta go with Beach Boys on this one. When I was a kid I'd listen to my parents' Beach Boys album over and over and OVER again. My cousins would come over and we'd call ourselves the Beach Kids and air guitar & air keyboard the heck out of that thing. Good times, good times.

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  13. Going against the grain here... and voting for Diamond Dave! His ego is as big as the Beach Boys career, but he managed to pull this one off and in my opinion the song is more entertaining.

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  14. The Beach Boys are a fun group and I do like them, but I really like David Lee Roth's version. So, I'm giving my vote to DLR! :D

    #BOTB Star Spangled Banner Showdown ~ Spirit VS #MadisonRising

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  15. Roth's video was amusing, and he did a pretty good job. (He sure does look a lot different!) But I'm going to have to go with the Beach Boys.

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    1. We need a Sherry Ellis v. E.C. Stilson battle of the violins.

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  16. I never cared for the Beach Boys. So I'm voting for David Lee Roth. Although I read comments while listening to DLR, so I'm not sure it that is fair.

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  17. OK I go with The Beach Boys. They made the song fun and cute where there is some sleaze in the David Lee Roth version which I never cared for. Speaking of ick-he does not look good

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  18. Rockers live hard and don't age well. I wouldn't have recognized David in that recent picture.

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    1. He must have had a lot of work done on his teeth because they are perfect.

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  19. Beach boys. Never been a David Lee Roth fan.
    And I wish that I had a beach body. I'm working on more of a PJ sort of body.

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  20. The original Beach Boys version is classic and one I'd consider voting for, but since you offered up the older version, I'm hard pressed to vote that way.
    Besides that, I'm always been a David Lee Roth fan, camp and all. My favorite Van Halen has always been with David Lee Roth.
    So for this vote, put me down for Diamond David Lee Roth

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  21. First, David Lee Roth has NOT aged well. Seriously. Not well. I guess that's what excessive drinking and drugging will do for you. I think he's also a smoker. Anyway, it's all showing. Yikes.

    This, for me, was an easy vote for The Beach Boys. I just love their harmonies, and I must echo StMc's comment about their contribution to music as a whole. They are da bomb.

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    1. Yes, the BB's contribution to music is huge, but if we're going to talk about looks, I think the BBs are corpses.

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    2. Ha! Yeah, well, most of them are dead, and the living ones are a bit older than The Hack. Am I right?

      ~ D-FensDogG

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  22. Hey Janie :)

    Ah, I remember when MTV video's were mini movies, worth watching rather you liked the band/singer or not.

    I do love the Beach Boys (and sadly, we all don't look like we did as we get older). I think I liked them better than the Beatles, as crazy as that sounds. Shhh, but I loved Jan and Dean too. I am true Californian and those surfer songs still speak to my soul (though I'm from NorCal).

    But David Lee Roth captured my heart for this song from the first it aired, and this is the video I first watched/heard it from him. Had any other artists been in the competition with the Beach Boys, BB would have surely gotten my vote. But, I vote for David, I just think (despite the video antics) that he sings it better.

    On a side note about the "objectify women"; as a social worker I should be outraged by the song. But I do think the song, and this video, pay tribute to women. I know, it is just looking at their bodies, but I think women sometimes take too much offense about a guy just appreciating what he is supposed to be attracted to. There is no uproar when women oogle men! Women do need to learn to tell the difference between a man (or woman) appreciating the view, and when they are being crude and abusive.

    The thing I like best from this video (aside from David Lee himself, he's such a character, and a good looking one at that) is that it does showcase (in my not so humble opinion) beautiful, well developed women. Even the body builder is mostly attractive. If this video had been shot today, the models would have been 5'8, 98 pound girls who barely need band aids to cover their boobs. Or special tops to enhance what isn't there, naturally. Thin and undressed does not always mean sexy or beautiful.

    All seriousness (rant) aside, this song was a lot of fun. The tune will be stuck in my head for days :)

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    1. I think DLR sings it better, too, because he sounds happy. I agree that the women are glorified. They have bodies and curves.

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  23. I fully expect my comment won't meet your approval, but hey I'm used to THAT.

    Davide Lee Roth; YIKES! I thought the only person who thought he was hot was himself. Well at least I think he thought he was hotter than anybody else, at the time. Just my opinion. Obviously, I never really liked the guy and thought Van Halen was much better off and much better without him.

    I bet you guess who I'm voting for here, right?

    Just in case... it's the Beach Boys by ad avalanche for me.

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    1. Why wouldn't your comment meet my approval? I only reject comments if they don't make sense, or they're intended to be cruel.

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  24. This is so tough for me. My love of camp is fighting my dislike of David Lee Roth. He always comes off as so full of himself.

    Gotta go with the Beach Boys on this one. I want to go with DLR's version, but I just can't.

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    1. It's all right, dear. Everything will be okay.

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  25. I'm going to give this one to the Beach Boys. They're so classic and just hearing their harmonies takes me back to those carefree days of my youth. I like David Lee Roth's version and the video is great but I just have to vote Beach Boys. Great pairing. Interesting to see that age hits us all, even the rich and wealthy! :)
    Michele at Angels Bark

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    1. Age has hit them all hard with their drinking and drugging.

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  26. Terrible music video aside, Roth's version was just okay. Beach Boys win this one by a landslide... for me, at least. After a while that repetitive, kooky carnival sound in Roth's just wears on my nerves.

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  27. DLR. always loved him with VH and thought they were better with him than without. And although I always loved the BB harmonies, I think DLR just sings this with more feeling.

    Side note: I remember when MTV first started. Those cheesy, awful, wonderfully fun rock videos were the best. Loved the stories they told that made all the songs fun even if you hated the band--and even if the video was awful! It was just fun. And who remembers "pop up videos"? Late '90s/early 00s (maybe still on, who knows...), they would take those old MTV videos and insert little fact bubbles throughout, giving details about the band members, the producers, the set, things that happened while filming, what the lyrics meant, what was going on in the world at the time, etc. Fascinating...

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    1. I remember the first video I saw: I'm Special. Loved pop up videos.

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  28. Beach Boys get my vote but Diamond Dave is fun.

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  29. You've made this a hard choice for me, Janie. Objectively speaking, the BB version, being original, has the advantage. But I'm also a child of the birth of MTV, and DLR singing this is one of my earliest memories of music on television. I'm going to have to put emotion ahead for this one: my vote's for DLR. (Plus the politically-incorrectness of the video is just priceless :D )
    Guilie @ Quiet Laughter

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  30. Hi Janie- finally coming over to place my vote. My apologies on my tardiness. I have to go with DLR on this one for sure!! I am a tried and true 80's girl and the video was so cute. The song is more entertaining with David's voice then the Beach Boys version. I am sad he has become so crazy cheesy as he got older but in his prime the cheesiness worked!!

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  31. Well now I've found it if not a bit too late. I got confused when I saw your other posts dated for the first.

    Lee
    Tossing It Out

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  32. Now I've looked again and see no other posts dated the 1st. I blame my computer circumstances. Gotta blame someone other than me.

    Lee
    Tossing It Out


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    1. I know you're not to blame. It's technology. It screws us up.

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