As a lad growing up in the northwest of England in the early 1960s The Beatles were big local heroes but they held no attraction for me.
It was the California sound of the Beach Boys that caught my ear and my imagination.
Why they first went by the unlikely name of The Pendletones is a question I have idly speculated on over the last 50 years. The answer, I recently discovered, has been hanging in my closet.
One of my first purchases when I moved to California in 1992 was an Indian Trading Blanket made by Pendleton, an Oregon-based weaving company. While I was about at it I also bought myself a heavy wool shirt-jacket, ideal for the San Francisco summers.
A few weeks back I decided it was time for a new one and went online at Pendleton.com. There it was: the Board Shirt – a style made famous by the Beach Boys in the 1960s. Pendleton/Pendletones?
A quick search on Wikipedia revealed the name was band-member Mike Love’s suggestion. In their earliest performances, the band wore plaid ‘Pendletons’, the heavy wool jacket-like shirts favored by surfers in the South Bay at the time.
God only knows how glad I am they changed their name. A band named after a shirt would have passed me by without notice and I might be in Stockport still.
- Today in History: The Pendletones, Who Would Go on to Become the Beach Boys, Attend Their First Real Recording Session (wcbsfm.radio.com)
- The Beach Boys: Surfin’ USA For 50 Years (wdok.radio.com)
- Beach Boys to Release SMiLE in November (silentuproar.com)
- The Beach Boys: Surfin’ USA For 50 Years (wncx.radio.com)