WHEN THE BEACH BOYS RELEASED PET SOUNDS IN 1966, we could see once and for all that they were presenting us with some serious competition. Until then, they’d seemed like a pretty good surf band. They’d already produced some great stuff, some innovative work that had itself come out of the doowop tradition, and we’d already nicked a few of those little things. The harmonies would be a case in point. Of course, they were nicking from us. Everybody was nicking from everybody else. There was a circularity to the whole enterprise.
One way or another, the Russian ‘protagonist’ of this song has certainly been influenced by The Beach Boys, and Chuck Berry’s ‘Back in the U.S.A.’ is in there too. And it’s perfectly in order for him to have been influenced by The Beach Boys. He’s on a plane from Miami, after all, where he’s been listening to ‘California Girls’ in particular, which is why our bridge section refers to how the ‘Ukraine girls really knock me out’. There’s a pretty blatant parody of a Beach Boys chorus in the background.
Photo: Back in the World tour. Red Square, Moscow, 24 May 2003