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INTO THE NIGHT / STEVE HOCHMAN

And They Had Fun, Fun, Fun . . .

August 09, 1993|STEVE HOCHMAN

The Scene: Capitol Records' celebration of the release of a new five-CD boxed set, "Good Vibrations," by label stalwarts the Beach Boys Thursday night. Opting not to have the party at a real beach, the company trucked 650 tons of sand to the parking lot of its famed Vine Street tower. The faux beach was crammed with classic cars, surfboards, bodybuilders and volleyball games. A bonus: Instead of the expected token performance, the Beach Boys played a 90-minute-plus concert covering all their hits, including "Fun, Fun, Fun," "Help Me, Rhonda" and "Wouldn't It Be Nice."

Who Was There: Beach Boys Carl Wilson, Al Jardine, Mike Love and Bruce Johnston (but not the band's troubled architect Brian Wilson); new Capitol president and CEO Gary Gersh, presiding over his first lavish company event; Gersh's bosses, Capitol-EMI head Charles Koppelman and Thorn-EMI chief Jim Fifield; a celebrity contingent featuring Annette Funicello, Wink Martindale and Harry Connick Jr.; the original Gidget, Kathy Zuckerman; plus a surprisingly strong showing of hard rock stars including KISS' Gene Simmons, Iron Maiden's Bruce Dickinson, former Poison guitarist C.C. DeVille and W.A.S.P.'s Blackie Lawless; also on hand, lots of real surfers, representing the Surfrider Foundation's environmental campaign for clean waves.

Chow: Beach grub all the way, with an In-N-Out Burgers trailer drawing a lengthy line. Hot dogs and cookies were also available, with beer and sodas to wash them down.

Groans: With arriving guests receiving Hawaiian neck adornments (even the giant cutouts of the Beatles that decorate the lot were festooned), endless, um, witticisms about "getting lei'd" grew old very quickly.

Hair Today: The Paul Mitchell hair products company set up a booth where people could get free '60s do's. Mostly that meant beehives, like the one on Capitol distribution sales rep Monica Calderon--a pre-Conehead peak built on plastic foam. Asked what the Beach Boys had done for hair, Paul Mitchell co-founder/CEO John Paul Jones DeJoria said, "They were the first ones to get into really healthy hair." He failed to mention that Mike Love's hairline was last seen when Rhonda was a little girl.

Questions: "Is it really 650 tons?" "Is Brian going to be here?" "Is that the line for burgers?" "Did they really wear hair like that?" "Are they gonna give us boxed sets?" "Are they lip-syncing?" "How are they gonna get the sand out of here?"

Answers (in order): More or less. No. Yes. Yes. No. No. And not sure, but it will be donated to local parks, except for the several tons that went home in people's shoes.

Gaffe: Fifield put his classic 1940 Ford on display beside the 'Vettes and Woodies, but had to move it after being either unwilling or unable to comply with fire marshals' orders that cars at a public gathering must have their batteries disconnected. Ciao: Disappointment over not getting free boxed sets was assuaged by parting gifts of baggy shorts, a set of Paul Mitchell products, chocolate-covered pretzels and a sampler disc from the anthology.

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