Another work from my “Rock Art” series is a triptych entitled “Psychedelic Beach” that visually brings to life three emblematic, feel-good rock songs from 1966: The Monkees’ “I’m a Believer,” The Beatles’ “Tomorrow Never Knows” and the Beach Boys’ “Good Vibrations.” In this trio of illustrations, I wanted to continue my exploration of merging three individual songs into one scene, as I did a few years ago in a triptych depicting a nightclub scene.
The visual treatment for this triptych was inspired by 1960s pop culture, beach party movies and poster art from the San Francisco Bay Area. I also drew inspiration from social trends emerging at the time, including the second wave of the feminist movement, peace activism, the concept of the Age of Aquarius, and hippie and psychedelic culture.
I’m a Believer
Tomorrow Never Knows
Psycho Beach Party one of our favorite campy summer movies. We love it for the music, art direction, and modern social themes — Rocky Horror Picture Show meets Beach Blanket Bingo! Psycho Beach Party is the film version of the off-Broadway play, which we still have yet to see on stage but it’s on our list. Set in Malibu in 1962, the movie is a fun parody of both mid-century beach movies and 1980s teen horror flicks with more visual appeal than either genre typically offered. Surf’s up!
Deke Dickerson joined one of our all-time favorite bands, Los Straitjackets, on stage to perform one of our all-time favorite songs, Wooly Bully. The Jackets headlined Saturday’s lineup of bands at the 2014 Viva Las Vegas show that draws vintage fans from around the world. If classic cars, surf and rockabilly music, and pinup fashion are your thing, you must put Viva Las Vegas on your calendar for April 2-5, 2015. Meantime, as Deke says in this video, he and Los Straitjackets have a new album coming out with a tour in fall 2014. We’re looking forward to both!
Of course, it’s hard to beat the cool factor of the original song performed live in 1965 by Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs as seen below. Sam’s infectious smile is the perfect contrast to the mannequin-like Cleopatras on stage with him. Check it out!
Hmm, this one leaves us wondering why a song entitled “The Monkey’s Uncle” wasn’t part of the Beach Boys‘ Pet Sounds record! While this theme song from the 1965 Walt Disney movie of the same name starring Annette Funicello is certainly more standard Beach Boys cheery, surf-beat fare than the experimental tunes on Pet Sounds, tell us which you like better — the kooky or the critically acclaimed. The movie itself smells like a, well, you get the picture. But regardless of the cheese factor, who wouldn’t go bananas over cute and perky Annette Funicello? She was enough to make anyone one to be a monkey’s uncle. RIP Annette, April 8, 2013. You were one of a kind.
This video is so cool, they need to invent a new word for cool. It mashes up iconic scenes from around the globe with two other pop-culture icons (James Bond of the ’60s and El Santo, Mexico’s most famous lucha libre star from the mid-century). And the song is great, too. Los Straitjackets are surf music icons in their own right and make us want to hop on the next plane headed to the coast.