William Coder was the selected recipient of ESQ’s September giveaway featuring the Smiley Smile LP signed by Brian Wilson, Mike Love, Al Jardine, and Bruce Johnston. We received a lot of great comments on the album and the music of this period, and want to thank everyone who participated.

Here is William’s comment:

“Proud to be a newbie to ESQ, signing up in just June 2020, but absolutely loving it! I first discovered Smiley Smile around the summer of 2000 when I was 16 years old. I was introduced to it as the ‘watered-down SMiLE’ album, so always had a bit of disdain for it. However, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve come to really, truly appreciate it. To me, it showcases the earnestness of Brian Wilson and the music of the Beach Boys. It is the rare mix of simple but also something you must truly sit and listen to in order to appreciate it. I suppose that is true of all of the Beach Boys music and what makes it so timeless. At its surface, it’s songs about cars, surf, boy/girl, friends, etc., but when you really listen to it it creates a feeling. Growing up on the East Coast, I’ll never forget seeing the Pacific Ocean for the first time and listening to the Beach Boys and finally being able to say ‘I get it- this feels like home.’ That’s what Smiley Smile is to me … it’s the putting of genius on the lower shelf for the listener to sit, be still and get it.” — William Coder

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