People Music by Alexia Fernandez
January 16th 2018
Brian Wilson is taking a trip down memory lane but for a good reason.
The musician and co-founder of The Beach Boys, 75, returned to Hawthorne High School on Monday to fight for a change in his music grade – 58 years after he graduated.
Wilson composed the song “Surfin'” while in high school for his music teacher, Fred Morgan. In a tweet shared by Wilson, Morgan said, “Brian wrote a composition for me and it turned out to be ‘Surfin.’ That composition got an F, but it made a million dollars.”
The tweet also read, “Brian’s failing grade has now been changed to an A on this assignment by Dr. Landesfeind!”
“Surfin'” was The Beach Boys’ first hit in 1961 for their debut album Surfin’ Safari. The song was co-written by Mike Love.
The song began the group’s career and established them as the vanguards of what would be known as the “California Sound.”
As a kid growing up in Southern California, Wilson was “scared” of the ocean, as he revealed in his autobiography, I Am Brian Wilson.
“You wouldn’t think this,” Wilson wrote. “but I almost never went to the beach as a kid, even though it was only a few miles away.”
“The first time I went to the ocean I couldn’t believe it,” he wrote. “My dad took us and I was scared at the size of it.”
And although he is remembered for such hits as “Surfin’ USA,” “Surfin’ Safari” and “Catch A Wave,” Wilson admits that he only tried surfing on one occasion – and it didn’t go very well.
“I tried once,” he writes, “and got conked on the head with the board.”
Yet despite his early misgivings about the ocean, Wilson admits that he found musical inspiration whenever he stared out at the surf.
“I liked to look at it, though,” he writes. “It was sort of like a piece of music: each of the waves was moving around by itself, but they were also moving together.”
Photo: Brian’s high school music teacher Fred Morgan: “Brian wrote a composition for me and it turned out to be ‘Surfin.’ That composition got an F, but it made a million dollars.” Brian’s failing grade has now been changed to an A on this assignment by Dr. Landesfeind!