defend the indefensible: "kokomo" by the beach boys

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http://www.couleurnewyork.com/photosfilms/Cocktst2.jpg

http://www.mouseplanet.com/more/SCS-Kokomo.jpg

there's a surprising amount of love hereabouts for this tune. please chime up if you do in fact love this last breath of beach boys pop.

to the others -- DON'T HATE, APPRECIATE!!

Eisbär (llamasfur), Friday, 30 December 2005 19:04 (fifteen years ago) link

THAT BEACH BOY IS A GIRL!!!

Huk-L (Huk-L), Friday, 30 December 2005 19:10 (fifteen years ago) link

Hasn't this been done before?

Redd Harvest (Ken L), Friday, 30 December 2005 19:11 (fifteen years ago) link

no he's just wearing a hawaiian shirt

gear (gear), Friday, 30 December 2005 19:11 (fifteen years ago) link

oh man, worst song ever.

deadair (deadair), Friday, 30 December 2005 19:12 (fifteen years ago) link

I think it was around the time of Terry Melcher's passing. I seem to recall miccio using "Kokomo" as a gag line a few times.

(xpost)

Redd Harvest (Ken L), Friday, 30 December 2005 19:14 (fifteen years ago) link

this song is what i think of if someone mentions "yacht rock"

Yawn (Wintermute), Friday, 30 December 2005 19:24 (fifteen years ago) link

As I may have said elsewhere, my cousin invented a line that, by the logic of Tom Cruise movies, should have been in Cocktail but probably wasn't, that went something like this: "Just remember, if it weren't for your father, you wouldn't be behind this bar!"

Redd Harvest (Ken L), Friday, 30 December 2005 19:56 (fifteen years ago) link

"Kokomo" is, like, the first song I ever remember hearing!

poortheatre (poortheatre), Friday, 30 December 2005 20:24 (fifteen years ago) link

Can't defend. Hate it. Like, HATE hate. It was on radio or etc all the fucking time since I grew up in a summer resort area.

Laurel (Laurel), Friday, 30 December 2005 20:26 (fifteen years ago) link

My favorite number from Cocktail is the Jimmy Cliff song.

Redd Harvest (Ken L), Friday, 30 December 2005 20:29 (fifteen years ago) link

I still think this song is okay, but I'm not sure I'd say I like it anymore, and I definitely understand the hate better than I formerly did.

Rockist_Scientist (RSLaRue), Friday, 30 December 2005 20:32 (fifteen years ago) link

I may have mentioned this before, but when I was in 5th grade, I wrote a pornographic version of this song while attending a performance of Jesus Christ Superstar with my grandma.

jaymc (jaymc), Friday, 30 December 2005 20:33 (fifteen years ago) link

I like Kokomo.

[use of street parade as pivotal set piece] (nordicskilla), Friday, 30 December 2005 20:38 (fifteen years ago) link

It's good.

[use of street parade as pivotal set piece] (nordicskilla), Friday, 30 December 2005 20:40 (fifteen years ago) link

Sorry, no love. Just wondering if anyone posted the pic above in the "Mike Love with strange people" thread. Double damage with the bad cap.

Joe McCombs, Friday, 30 December 2005 20:41 (fifteen years ago) link

kokomo no. 1

cancer prone fat guy (dubplatestyle), Friday, 30 December 2005 20:42 (fifteen years ago) link

back in late 97 or early 98 i was driving to work and listening to don imus and his studio dudes worked up a parody version. "kosovo." the choicest lyric:

...we'll kick some ass and then we'll kick some mo', that's where our bombs will go, way down in kosovo..."

it was stoopid, but i laughed

andrew m. (andrewmorgan), Friday, 30 December 2005 20:49 (fifteen years ago) link

the muppets do a fine version of this.

frenchbloke (frenchbloke), Friday, 30 December 2005 21:59 (fifteen years ago) link

where the hell is miccio? he's a big fan of "kokomo."

hated this thing when it was new and stuff, mainly because it was omnipresent and less so for being annoying. now, it's just there -- not even really annoying, but not anything special either. so i am always kind of amused that "kokomo" regularly shows up in "worst songs ever!" polls -- it's not good, but it's far from the worst thing ever recorded!

Eisbär (llamasfur), Friday, 30 December 2005 22:57 (fifteen years ago) link

saxophone solo, ffs

gear (gear), Friday, 30 December 2005 23:00 (fifteen years ago) link

Derek Jeter's Taco Hole

Tape Store (Tape Store), Friday, 30 December 2005 23:02 (fifteen years ago) link

saxophone solo, ffs

http://thighswideshut.org/videos/sax.gif

Eisbär (llamasfur), Friday, 30 December 2005 23:04 (fifteen years ago) link

But it's got a beautiful Carl Wilson vocal on the choruses! His falsetto on the turnaround in the chorus -- accompanied by a nice chord change -- is the best thing about the song.

phil d. (Phil D.), Friday, 30 December 2005 23:06 (fifteen years ago) link

Indefensible. With the sole exception of the aforementioned Muppets version.

Stephen C (ihope), Friday, 30 December 2005 23:06 (fifteen years ago) link

It's the "c'mon pretty mama" phrase that makes us sick, right? Fuck, I hate it.

paulhw (paulhw), Friday, 30 December 2005 23:50 (fifteen years ago) link

But doesn't the fact that it rhymes with "Bahama" make up for that a little?

Rockist_Scientist (RSLaRue), Friday, 30 December 2005 23:58 (fifteen years ago) link

True, few lyricists would have the courage to use "Bahama" in the singular. Song would be improved if it also rhymed "Kokomo" with "Comoro," "wanna" with "Mariana" and "oh well" with "Seychelle."

But, as it is, kinda indefensible.

Guayaquil (eephus!), Saturday, 31 December 2005 00:04 (fifteen years ago) link

it doesn't exactly make the song defensible, but get some of the lyrics:

To Martinique, that Montserrat mystique

so 80s, esp. since montserrat is a steaming volcanic ruin now

and as a "wtf?" moment:

Port Au Prince I wanna catch a glimpse

do they REALLY wanna see probably the most run-down city in the islands?!?

Eisbär (llamasfur), Saturday, 31 December 2005 00:39 (fifteen years ago) link

He is careful to say he wants to catch a glimpse though, so maybe he does know what he's talking about.

Rockist_Scientist (RSLaRue), Saturday, 31 December 2005 00:43 (fifteen years ago) link

I mean, he doesn't say he wants to actual spend a lot of time there.

Rockist_Scientist (RSLaRue), Saturday, 31 December 2005 00:43 (fifteen years ago) link

that Montserrat mystique

i have ALWAYS heard this as "mounds of rotten steak" which you gotta admit is pretty bad ass.

geoff (gcannon), Saturday, 31 December 2005 01:07 (fifteen years ago) link

AWFUL

deej.. (deej..), Saturday, 31 December 2005 01:08 (fifteen years ago) link

i have ALWAYS heard this as "mounds of rotten steak" which you gotta admit is pretty bad ass.

me too -- until i googled the lyrics, i didn't know what they really were.

Eisbär (llamasfur), Saturday, 31 December 2005 01:22 (fifteen years ago) link

How many times has a reference to "Kokomo" been followed by a photo of Koko the signing gorilla, Jess?

Redd Harvest (Ken L), Saturday, 31 December 2005 01:48 (fifteen years ago) link

i don't really hate this song

Amateur(ist) (Amateur(ist)), Saturday, 31 December 2005 02:25 (fifteen years ago) link

it reminds me of grade four

Freud Junior (Freud Junior), Saturday, 31 December 2005 08:27 (fifteen years ago) link

but it's far from the worst thing ever recorded!

Not that far.

However, the picture of Mike Love/Disney's California Adventure = classic*(classic

Joe (Joe), Saturday, 31 December 2005 13:36 (fifteen years ago) link

jaymc's story, sadly short on details, totally redeems this song.

Tracer Hand (tracerhand), Saturday, 31 December 2005 13:38 (fifteen years ago) link

four weeks pass...
Has anyone here heard the BB's Lei'd In Hawaii bootleg from 1967? It's all super mellowed-out Beach Boys peace music with only bass and organ accompaniment and gorgeous whispery Carl and Brian vocals. As much as I've always loathed this song, I'm wondering what I'd think of it with the Lei'd treatment...

Naive Teen Idol (Naive Teen Idol), Sunday, 29 January 2006 06:58 (fifteen years ago) link

Ok, five points for anyone who knew this factoid about "Kokomo". From a Terry Melcher interview I found on the web:

Throughout the '80s, the Beach Boys had placed several songs in films (The Big Chill, Lethal Weapon 2, Troop Beverly Hills, Soul Man). In '87 the amassed brain trust of Melcher, Love, ex-Papa John Phillips, and Scott McKenzie (of “San Francisco” fame) decided to try to write a song for the film Cocktail, derived from the scene where the Tom Cruise character moves from New York to Jamaica. Recalls Melcher, "We went into it to see if anyone could write a major hit for the band besides Brian. I figured a lot their hits had been travelogues like ‘Surfin' USA' and 'California Girls.'

“John Phillips had this idea about a kind of blues song about some place the band would go before they broke up. We changed all the words and chords around and I wrote the chorus. As far as the feel goes, I always loved Jimmy Buffett records, so I got a steel drummer, Van Dyke Parks played the accordion, Ry Cooder played the guitar and the slide, and Jim Keltner was the drummer, going for a 'Margaritaville' kind of thing.

"I just layered it until it all started to shimmer. What really made it was the out-of-tune accordion: it glued everything together, especially with the steel drum. Then we left the falsettos out of the harmonies rather than having somebody copy Brian." The song shot to No. 1 and led the Still Cruisin’ album to gold.

Naive Teen Idol (Naive Teen Idol), Tuesday, 31 January 2006 01:28 (fifteen years ago) link

so i'm gonna be the first and only one here but i really like this song ! it's a huge party favorite of mine (yeah, we have some weird parties dancing limbo and singing karaoke to it).
of course it's totally cheezy and corny and all but still i enjoy it (not on the same level as i love brian's songs, obviously).
and not even in a nostalgic/ironic way !

AleXTC (AleXTC), Tuesday, 31 January 2006 11:51 (fifteen years ago) link

two years pass...

This is a bit of a banger, this one.

Dom Passantino, Saturday, 19 April 2008 10:43 (twelve years ago) link

Indefensible. With the sole exception of the aforementioned Muppets version.
-- Stephen C (ihope), Friday, December 30, 2005 3:06 PM (2 years ago) Bookmark Link

Above posts make it appear that the Muppets covered the Imus version.

If Timi Yuro would be still alive, most other singers could shut up, Saturday, 19 April 2008 10:55 (twelve years ago) link

watching the muppets version on youtube, i notice that half of the lines are double entendres.

abanana, Saturday, 19 April 2008 11:40 (twelve years ago) link

I brought in a tape with "Kokomo" on it to show & tell in 4th grade, when everyone else brought Nirvana, Weird Al and Guns & Roses tapes. Damn you, Beach Boys. I tried to explain to my classmates that it was Van Dyke Parks unorthodox accordion playing that really made the song, but no one would listen...

Z S, Saturday, 19 April 2008 14:17 (twelve years ago) link

when I was in 5th grade, I wrote a pornographic version of this song while attending a performance of Jesus Christ Superstar with my grandma.

Cockomo?

stephen, Saturday, 19 April 2008 14:21 (twelve years ago) link

prefer it to all other beach boys songs

J0hn D., Saturday, 19 April 2008 14:34 (twelve years ago) link

Mike Love does it good.

Thus Sang Freud, Saturday, 19 April 2008 15:09 (twelve years ago) link

"Mom, how can someone get there faster if they take it slow?"
"I don't know sweetie but that dance you're doing looks really stupid please stop"

Call me Ishmael (Ówen P.), Friday, 22 June 2012 20:26 (eight years ago) link

xxp
http://media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lq14yhsnlq1qjhphb.jpg

fit and working again, Friday, 22 June 2012 20:41 (eight years ago) link

never forget:

Beach Boys songs off their Greatest Hits that sound worse to me that a crying baby on an airplane: "God Only Knows," "In My Room," their massacre of "Sloop John B.," the bridge to "Wouldn't It Be Nice," "I Get Around"

― J0hn D., Tuesday, April 22, 2008 2:39 AM (4 years ago)

(The Other) J.D. (J.D.), Friday, 22 June 2012 20:49 (eight years ago) link

I think this was the thread where I realized me and aero have certain irreconcilable differences

a dense custard of infinity (Shakey Mo Collier), Friday, 22 June 2012 20:51 (eight years ago) link

oh dear

and here I was thinking aero would forever remain on his pedestal

;_;

Peppermint Patty Hearst (VegemiteGrrl), Friday, 22 June 2012 20:53 (eight years ago) link

also that cartoon is fantastic

Peppermint Patty Hearst (VegemiteGrrl), Friday, 22 June 2012 20:53 (eight years ago) link

there's like a half dozen of those, they're all pretty funny

a dense custard of infinity (Shakey Mo Collier), Friday, 22 June 2012 20:54 (eight years ago) link

as a random-ass mike love/john phillips '80s soundtrack collabo featuring carl and john stamos it's a shocking success

this is why I play the game.

Cunga, Friday, 22 June 2012 21:01 (eight years ago) link

That piece on Kokomo reminded me SO MUCH of my own childhood. Wow.

Perfect until it demanded execution, anyway, which happened at Tween Hell, viz., a quilt exhibition. No—a quilt exhibition on a perfect summer day, and to be trapped in such, as a child, feels identical to what being slowly digested by a transparent worm must. Hours of cicada hum, stifling church air, polite yet impenetrable conversation; if I'd known state secrets, or what those were, I'd have begged to trade for clemency.

so otm, quilt shows are a godless void

chupacabra seeds (Abbbottt), Saturday, 23 June 2012 02:24 (eight years ago) link

kokomo as a code word is amazing

Impetuous hybrid (Matt P), Saturday, 23 June 2012 19:25 (eight years ago) link

How about as a safe word?

Julie Derpy (Phil D.), Saturday, 23 June 2012 21:21 (eight years ago) link

ooh I wanna take ya

chupacabra seeds (Abbbottt), Saturday, 23 June 2012 21:23 (eight years ago) link

safeword is always one of the locations listen in the song, so if you forget the safe word just hum a few bars

Cunga, Saturday, 23 June 2012 23:01 (eight years ago) link

^^It's all you can do when Mike Love's shoved a ball cap in your mouth.

Electro-Shock Rory (C. Grisso/McCain), Saturday, 23 June 2012 23:35 (eight years ago) link

let's not give Q. Tarantino any free scene ideas.

Cunga, Saturday, 23 June 2012 23:38 (eight years ago) link

I am from Kokomo.

(Indiana. USA. Auto town.)

Thus, I have heard this song more than everyone else in this thread. Combined.

Alas. Now it is playing in my head again.

dronestreet, Sunday, 24 June 2012 00:07 (eight years ago) link

three years pass...

actually WORSE than Kokomo! i don't know how they did it, but they did it. the worst band on the planet just keeps getting worser.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cuoIvNFUY7I

scott seward, Monday, 22 February 2016 17:55 (five years ago) link

huh. dancing baby aside, that's not bad. i always mean to check those guys out more, understand they're considered quite the big deal.

shandemonium padawan (Doctor Casino), Monday, 22 February 2016 18:01 (five years ago) link

yeah i think they were...in 2007.

scott seward, Monday, 22 February 2016 18:04 (five years ago) link

wrong thread guys

Οὖτις, Monday, 22 February 2016 18:04 (five years ago) link

port au prince
i wanna catch a glimpse

Cornelius Pardew (jim in glasgow), Monday, 22 February 2016 18:09 (five years ago) link

i stand by my earlier "kokomo" comments more or less - it's catchy and harmless despite a really metallic and inorganic choice of sounds for a band whose themes are very material (sun, sand, surf) or very heartfelt, and the real problem is that one must now imagine their "beach" as someplace you reach via cruise ship rather than by thumbing a ride (or turning on in your bedroom).

shandemonium padawan (Doctor Casino), Monday, 22 February 2016 18:13 (five years ago) link

"wrong thread guys"

soooooooo the right thread. there is no way i'm going on an animal collective thread.

scott seward, Monday, 22 February 2016 18:14 (five years ago) link

Good god, I've avoided any new Animal Collective this whole album cycle until you advertised that as worse than 'Kokomo' Scott. It did not disappoint.

Here I was thinking that they couldn't possibly name it something as stupid as 'Floridada' and make the mistake of actually saying the word in the song. Spoiler: not only they do it say it, they say it a lot.

Whoo boy, that was bad.

Thanks?

Austin, Monday, 22 February 2016 19:38 (five years ago) link

*not only do they say it

Jeez, it seems to have triggered a seizure that it warned me about and caused me to type nonsense.

Good god, I mean are they serious? It sounds like something Weird Al would do to make fun of them.

I mean, I'm astounded. Impressively bad.

Austin, Monday, 22 February 2016 19:41 (five years ago) link

port au prince
i wanna catch a glimpse

*epic sax*

Karl Malone, Monday, 22 February 2016 19:44 (five years ago) link

one month passes...

i keep on listening to "floridada," at least once every couple days. i guess it's time i bought an animal collective record, huh.

never ending bath infusion (Doctor Casino), Friday, 8 April 2016 05:27 (four years ago) link

one year passes...

this song is like when the bad guys win in a movie

fuck you, your hat is horrible (Neanderthal), Saturday, 9 December 2017 16:02 (three years ago) link

Hmm, "New Yorkork"

Let's do that..

Mark G, Sunday, 10 December 2017 14:54 (three years ago) link

Compare "We'll get there fast and then we'll take it slow" from "Kokomo"

with

"Imma take it slow just as fast as I can" from "Body Like a Back Road."

(It's kinda like comparing how Whitesnake walked down a road alone, going down the only road they'd ever known, and then Green Day walked a lonely road, which was similarly the only road they'd ever known. Who was on those roads? No one. Because they were being walked alone.)

didgeridon't (Ye Mad Puffin), Sunday, 10 December 2017 15:39 (three years ago) link

Everyone else was driving

Mark G, Sunday, 10 December 2017 17:03 (three years ago) link

i was walking down the highway, baby
i'm just a rebel with nothing to lose
you know i hate to leave you lonely, lady
but the hard life is calling and i just can't refuse-ah

Karl Malone, Sunday, 10 December 2017 18:17 (three years ago) link

seven months pass...

this is a cool piece https://www.stereogum.com/2006749/kokomo-beach-boys-story/franchises/sounding-board/

niels, Tuesday, 24 July 2018 10:03 (two years ago) link

and this is some video https://youtu.be/Z8JqzFg1OGs

niels, Tuesday, 24 July 2018 10:07 (two years ago) link

Derek Jeter's Taco Hole
― Tape Store (Tape Store), Friday, December 30, 2005 5:02 PM (twelve years ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

frogbs, Tuesday, 24 July 2018 13:01 (two years ago) link

we'll get there fast and then we'll take it show makes sense

they want to get there (Kokomo) fast (b because they are excited for vacation)

then they'll take it show (chillax on vacation)

The Desus & Mero Chain (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Tuesday, 24 July 2018 13:09 (two years ago) link

fun fact: 'kokomo' is good

a Stupendous Leg of Granite (bizarro gazzara), Tuesday, 24 July 2018 13:13 (two years ago) link

not bad

a Stupendous Leg of Granite (bizarro gazzara), Tuesday, 24 July 2018 13:13 (two years ago) link

UMS: compare "Body Like a Back Road," specifically the line "I'ma take it slow just as fast as I can."

nonsensei (Ye Mad Puffin), Tuesday, 24 July 2018 13:23 (two years ago) link

I get more requests to write about this song than any other, and I have to say, "But it's not bad."

morning wood truancy (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 24 July 2018 13:45 (two years ago) link

^ this guy fuckin' gets it

a Stupendous Leg of Granite (bizarro gazzara), Tuesday, 24 July 2018 13:46 (two years ago) link

it's bad

Οὖτις, Tuesday, 24 July 2018 15:47 (two years ago) link

I don't dislike it.

Police, Academy (cryptosicko), Tuesday, 24 July 2018 15:48 (two years ago) link

I was born in 1986 and it wasn't until like 2003 that I found out that the Beach Boys had more songs than "Kokomo"

frogbs, Tuesday, 24 July 2018 15:49 (two years ago) link

Best thing Stamos was ever involved in.

i’m still stanning (morrisp), Tuesday, 24 July 2018 15:50 (two years ago) link

UMS: compare "Body Like a Back Road," specifically the line "I'ma take it slow just as fast as I can."

― nonsensei (Ye Mad Puffin), Tuesday, July 24, 2018 8:23 AM (two hours ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

i think it makes a lot more sense than this line

though "I'ma take it slow just as fast as I can." def has some "galaxy brain" appeal

The Desus & Mero Chain (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Tuesday, 24 July 2018 15:59 (two years ago) link

song/verse is so so and just kind of there but the catchy chorus alone def makes it. if nothing else then Mike Love hit a homerun there. this is a fast food jingle level earworm.

Hazy Maze Cave (Adam Bruneau), Tuesday, 24 July 2018 20:12 (two years ago) link

Yeah I have always liked this song while knowing (even as a kid) it was trash.
And the verses are nice but indeed the most catchy part is Love’s.
Actually I’m pretty sure if you ask 100 persons to sing « Good Vibrations », I’m pretty sure 60% will sing Mike’s chorus part.

AlXTC from Paris, Tuesday, 24 July 2018 20:35 (two years ago) link

60% of people are pretty dumb tbh

I think of the bit where Mark says "c'mon, feel it feel it!"

16, 35, DCP, Go! (sic), Tuesday, 24 July 2018 22:18 (two years ago) link

two years pass...

aruba jamaica oh I want to take you to
bermuda bahama let’s leave it up to fema
key largo montego baby my state’s a frozen igloo
oh I want to take you down to
cancun-o we'll get there fast and then I’ll shitpost slow
that's where mr. trump would go way down in cancun-o

— kilgore trout, back in some form (@KT_So_It_Goes) February 18, 2021

"what are you DOING to fleetwood mac??" (C. Grisso/McCain), Thursday, 18 February 2021 17:53 (two weeks ago) link


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