1 of The Beach Boys' Songs Is Supposed to Sound Like Chuck Berry's 'Johnny B. Goode'

TL;DR:

  • Chuck Berry’s “Johnny B. Goode” inspired one of The Beach Boys’ famous songs.
  • Mike Love decided the song should be about a teenage girl.
  • The Beach Boys’ song was more popular than “Johnny B. Goode.”

Chuck Berry’s “Johnny B. Goode” is one of the most important classic rock songs. Mike Love said the track inspired one of The Beach Boys’ songs. In addition, Love revealed why he decided the Beach Boys song in question should be about a teenage girl.

The Beach Boys released a new song as The Beatles swept the United States

In his 2016 book Good Vibrations: My Life as a Beach Boy, Love discussed the idea behind one of his band’s songs. “On Feb. 3, 1964, even as The Beatles were sweeping America, we released a new single, conceived in a rather spontaneous fashion,” Love wrote. “The previous September, Brian and I were in a taxi in Salt Lake City, Utah, heading from a Holiday Inn to the airport.”

Love wanted to write a song about teenage life. “I told Brian that I thought we should write a song about that teenage experience of getting your driver’s license, borrowing your parents’ car, and then driving to see and be seen,” he wrote. The song in question was “Fun, Fun, Fun.”

How Chuck Berry’s ‘Johnny B. Goode’ inspired the song

Love felt the song should be about a teenage girl. “But instead of a teenage boy doing it, I had this image of a great-looking girl in a hot car, and she tells her father one thing to borrow the car but then does something else,” he wrote. “We unspooled the idea further.”

Love decided to draw influence from Berry. “We thought it should be up-tempo, with a Chuck Berry opening guitar riff (like that in ‘Johnny B. Goode’), and because we were in Southern California, the girl should not be taking her ‘father’s car’ but her ‘daddy’s car,’” he said.

How Chuck Berry’s ‘Johnny B. Goode’ and The Beach Boys’ ‘Fun, Fun, Fun’ performed on the chart in the United States

“Johnny B. Goode” was not a huge hit on the Billboard Hot 100. The song reached No. 80 on the chart for one week. The track appeared on the album Chuck Berry Is on Top. The album did not chart on the Billboard 200.

“Fun, Fun, Fun” was a much bigger hit on the chart. The song reached No. 5 on the Billboard Hot 100, remaining on the chart for 11 weeks. The Beach Boys released “Fun, Fun, Fun” on the album Shut Down Volume 2. The album reached No. 13 on the Billboard 200, staying on the chart for 38 weeks.

The Beach Boys created many great songs and Berry definitely deserves credit for inspiring “Fun, Fun, Fun.”

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