I Just Wasn’t Made for These Times

The Beach Boys, Pet Sounds, 1966

When we started AdamsMorioka in the mid 1990s, the design world seemed endlessly enthralled by the discordant, weird, and complex. Unfortunately, we’re none of those things, so we were forced to fall back on our own values and personalities. I recall talking with Noreen at Hamburger Hamlet about this. “Let’s face it,” I said, “We’re just not that groovy.” She agreed, and made a wonderful analogy that the designers doing work that was complex and avante garde were like Portishead or The Smashing Pumpkins, we were like The Beach Boys. This was confirmed years later at a dinner with Ellen Lupton. After dinner, she turned to me and said, “You know, you’re actually smart. I thought you were just a beach surf guy.” I’m taking this as a compliment.

Actually, I liked being more like The Beach Boys than The Boo Radleys. First, Pet Sounds is one of my favorite records. Second, I think they were adventurous and did some amazing things with unexpected instruments and tone. The Beatles gave them credit for being a major influence on Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. And finally, Wouldn’t it Be Nice? is a remarkable piece of music that I could listen to endlessly. And, I do at work. It’s like torture, but it’s the price you pay if you work with us.

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4 Responses to “I Just Wasn’t Made for These Times”

  1. Brent Couchman Says:

    I was just listening to Pet Sounds this weekend trying to get into a summer state of mind. Brilliant record! Also interesting to think about if a song like Barbara Ann (released a year or so before Pet Sounds I think) was released today would it get much radio play? It’s so weird and different. And awesome of course.

  2. Christopher Simmons Says:

    I think one could argue that Pet Sounds is a fairly avant garde album. One might also argue that anyone who uses the word “groovy” in conversation probably is, whether they think so or not. The exception of course is Quentin Tarantino.

  3. Sean Says:

    If I think something is “Far-out” does that make me any hipper?

  4. Sean Says:

    Thanks you. I love the Beach Boys, and Pet Sounds is remarkable.