I picked up my copy of Dennis Wilson‘s lost classic Pacific Ocean Blue yesterday, and I’ve been enjoying its scruffy Quaalude-pop as I ponder aging and death. As Jebson previously noted, America’s prickly iconoclasts are fast becoming an endangered species. George Carlin, Norman Mailer and HST are gone and Gore Vidal is probably gonna drop any day now. Problem is, we don’t seem to be making any more.
Dennis Wilson is no prickly iconoclast, but he did have a cool beard. And he’s dead. Dennis crafted the finest solo record of all the Beach Boys, but his penchant for self-abuse and distraction practically guaranteed a limited output.
There’s something about POB’s sad yet summery sound that opens the door to introspection. What am I doing with this life of mine? Am I not to be a prickly iconoclast of great renown? Have I traded my edge for a high-definition TV and an iPhone? Is this the price of participating in the American Dream? This is not my beautiful wife, blah, blah. (For the record, my wife is possessed of considerable pulchritude.)
Well, at least I’m happy. Which is more than I can say for most of the great prickly iconoclasts and licentious rock stars.