Who took that look away? I remember how you used to say You’d never change, but that’s not true Oh, Caroline, you break my heart I want to go and cry It’s so sad to watch a sweet thing die. Oh, Caroline, why?
Could I never find in you again, Things that made me love so you so much then? Can we ever bring ‘em back once they have gone? Oh, Caroline, no
– “Caroline, No” from the Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds, written by Brian Wilson and Tony Asher
Although they were an ever-present part of my growing up in Southern California, it wasn’t until the Brian’s Back tour in the 70’s that I really got into the Beach Boys. Finding it difficult to embrace Alice Cooper and the whole bloody guillotine thing, I went back in time and embraced the sun of my childhood.
Caroline, No was a favorite of mine for a special reason. I decided that I was never going to be that person. I wasn’t going to get old, bitter, and disillusioned. No one was going to look at me as an adult woman and miss the girl I used to be.
And that was how it was for a very long time. Whatever was happening in life, I retained the ability to face it and figure out how to get through it and make the best of things. People would say that I led a charmed life. I agreed. Life was good.
And then there was The Year from Hell. The divorce was actually the easiest part. But other things happened that took me totally by surprise and shook my confidence in practically everything. For the first time ever, I doubted my ability to bounce back.
And then one day, I happened to buy a new release of Pet Sounds, which I hadn’t listened to in it’s entirety since it was on vinyl. And Caroline, No came on and I kinda fell apart. How did I let this happen? That happy glow had lasted until I was 40, but now it was gone and I wasn’t sure if I could ever get it back.
And then I listened again. And again. And about the fifth time through, I remembered who I really was. And started back on the road to the sun.