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What's In A Name?

Within a few weeks, the group was at Keen Studios in Beverly Hills to record “Surfin'.” Carl and Brian played guitar, Al was on bass, and all five boys were slated to sing. There was only one hitch: Brian and Carl didn't think Dennis was a good enough drummer and had brought along a session player to fill in for him. Dennis was furious, but the Morgans ended up not using his replacement, either; according to Carl, Brian simply pounded on the lid of a handy garbage can for the record's percussion effects! After a dozen or so takes, the record was finally cut.

The Morgans, with whom the group had signed a publishing contract, arranged for a small local label called Candix to release “Surfin'.” On December 8, 1961, it was delivered to record stores throughout the western states. Copies also showed up at on the Wilsons' doorstep, where the family was shocked to discover that the Pendletones had been renamed the Beach Boys. A young promotion man at Candix thought the group's new name would sell more records, and despite Murry's objections, there wasn't enough money to repress and repackage the discs. The band was stuck with the name.

“Surfin'” debuted on Los Angeles radio station KFWB at number thirty-three on December 29. Dennis recalled hearing it for the first time while he and his brothers cruised in Brian's car. “Nothing will ever top the expression on Brian's face,” he said. Dennis began shouting excitedly to anyone who would listen that they were on the radio, while Carl celebrated by drinking as many milkshakes as he could. Despite a predictably critical response from Murry, the Beach Boys knew they were on their way.

Rock & Roll Hall Of Famers

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Musician BiographiesThe Beach BoysWHEN I GROW UP (TO BE A MAN) - California Saga, “rock And Roll Music”, Family Affair, Surf City Soul, What's In A Name?