Song Of The Day 6/20/2016: Gary Usher – “Sacramento”

The Life of Brian – Everything seem to conspire in favor of a Brian Wilson theme week: watching the brilliant biopic Love & Mercy the other night, summer sneaking in later this week, ranting without too much prompt about Mike Love, kicking my overbearing 24-hour psychologist out to the curb. The universe wasn't giving me too many other options, so let's whip this out. The songs this week all feature songs that were written, produced or both by the captain of your charred marine memories, Brian Wilson. None are by the Beach Boys because, like building a theremin from scratch or finding the right glass harmonica for the fade-out on your cover of "Caroline, No," that would be too easy.

First up is Gary Usher, one of the first people to collaborate with Wilson who wasn't a Wilson. The two of them composed the Beach Boys' hands-down beautiful "In My Room," which in and of itself guarantees Usher a box seat in the gallery of unceasing teen angst up there in the rafters. Usher was more known for his hot-rod songs -- he also co-wrote "409," and a whole slew of other oil-stained tracks. One of my favorites is the quirky "Let's Go to Heaven In My Car," which Wilson recorded for his classic 1986 self-titled album (but did not put on the final lineup). Wilson and Usher also co-wrote today's song bearing the name of my hometown, sometime around 1962, all about a lonesome guy ditching the cold-hearted ethos of the East and taking a train to the California state capitol. "All I know (was) that the end of the line was Sacramento." Heh. You don't know the half of it sunshine.

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