Its title track dropped as a single a couple weeks prior to this Spring day full LP drop in 1963, if the Beach Boys‘ sophomore LP Surfin’ U.S.A. were a metaphor for the beach-pop lifestyle’s stronghold on American youth, it’d be the slickest surfboard ever built, propelling the band into sunburnt riff-rock and harmony stardom that didn’t quit for a decade.

Set to his girl’s brother’s list of the sweetest surfing spots in all the Pacific lands, Brian Wilson and his buds became the blonde-haired, blue-eyed princes of surf, from the opening groove of the vinyl, decreeing, surely, “If everybody had an ocean across the U.S.A.,” that they’d “be surfing’ like Californ-I-A.” Only problem was, they deliberately set it virtually note-for-note to Chuck Berry‘s “Sweet Little Sixteen,” near ruining their chops as legitimate songwriters.

Of course, Pet Sounds became Pet Sounds and Brian Wilson became mad with serious genius. But we’ll always have this innocent beach bum moment when all that mattered was a chugging guitar riff and a tasty wave:

If everybody had an ocean across the U.S.A.
Then everybody’d be surfin’ like Californi-a
You’d seem ’em wearin’ their baggies, Huarachi sandals too
A bushy, bushy blonde hairdo, surfin’ U.S.A.

You’d catch ’em surfin’ at Del Mar
(Inside, outside U.S.A.)
Ventura county line
(Inside, outside U.S.A.)

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