THE BEST VIEW: “Good vibrations”

by Norma Best Boucher

We ran down the roadway to the Old Orchard Beach Ball Park. We were a little late because of the traffic, but that didn’t make any difference. His golden voice filled the air, and each perfect note sent a shiver through me.

That was the first and the last time I was to hear Roy Orbison, live. An hour of songs such as Oh, Pretty Woman and Crying was only the beginning. The next two hours were filled with Surfin’ USA, California Girls, and the Good Vibrations of the Beach Boys. This was definitely the best birthday present I’d ever received, and I was going to enjoy every note of it.

The outfield was mobbed with students of the ’60s. The crowd moved in time with the music producing a wave of bodies and minds, with dreamy-eyed adults reliving a memory and the children holding their hands and sitting on their shoulders, creating a memory.

Woodstock – Eat your heart out!

I wanted to move up closer to the stage, but my husband was convinced we’d never make it. He stayed behind while I pushed my way through the crowd with a plastered smile on my face and an “Excuse me” every two or three feet. To say I’m not easily deterred is an understatement.

Twice in the ’60s, while still a college student, I took five hours to push through a crowd of 100,000 screaming college students in the infield of Kentucky Downs and managed to see the favorites, Kauai King and Proud Clarion, race through the finish line to win the Kentucky Derby. I hadn’t even placed a bet. I would do no less for the Beach Boys.

They were older, and so was I, but their timeless music took me back to an era when the words “age” and “worry” were not in my vocabulary. After a few songs, I, too, was dreamy-eyed. Then the loudness of the music hurt my ears and stomach, and soon I was singing, dancing, and waving my arms with wild abandon.

Oh – youth!

My husband, usually the dancer of us two, sat in a bleacher seat with his feet up and just enjoyed. I could see him in the distance, smiling, reliving a time only he could know. A five-year-old boy, standing on a seat a short distance away from him, gyrated to the music. Totally self-absorbed, my husband and the boy neither knew nor cared that the other existed.

Sometimes, when I’m alone in my car, I play my CDs, and Roy Orbison and the Beach Boys take me back to that concert and to the ’60s when age and worry didn’t exist and when music and life could be described with “I like it…It has a good beat.”


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