By Jim Fusco:
Back into my favorite domain: the obscure Beach Boys cover songs! Today’s song is by request, and I’ll tell you, it wasn’t easy.
I always loved the acoustic guitar part in “Busy Doin’ Nothing”, especially because there’s not too many acoustic-guitar driven Brian Wilson songs.
But, this song uses some crazy chords, including some that 99.9% of rock songs never use- kind of like old jazz chords.
Needless to say, I learned all these new chords and practiced it over and over again for this cover song music video. That same night, I made this recording. It was actually pretty easy because I knew the words completely by heart (any Beach Boys songs I can sing in my sleep). That’s always the hardest part of the Laptop Sessions- learning the chords to a cover song is easy, but if you forget the order of the verses (see Jeff’s post yesterday), you’re stuck.
About this song: From the Friends album, this tune (I always thought) kind of shows the state of mind Brian Wilson was in during the late 60s. I think after the craziness of SMiLE, he wanted to be at home. This song describes a “day in the life”. Although, I still don’t know why Brian Wilson had a “pocket book”! Reminds me of that Seinfeld episode where Jerry had the pocket-book: “It’s European!” But seriously, “Busy Doin’ Nothing” doesn’t really sound like any other Beach Boys song. It has it’s own sound, from the acoustic guitars (that I mentioned earlier) to the flutes. It has the same bossa nova beat The Beach Boys were into during the Friends sessions, though. I think The Beach Boys were looking for a way to forge their own niche. After the SMiLE project broke down, the Beach Boys tried doing psychedelic music on “Smiley Smile”, but to me, it just didn’t work. I can imagine that they didn’t want to always follow in the (large) footsteps of the Beatles. At that time, they were working on the White Album and were going back to basics with their sound. The Beach Boys kind of did that in a way, but they also changed their style. It became more relaxed. Beach Boy music was always peppy and fast-paced under the tutelage of Murray Wilson, the Wilson brothers’ father. Under their own management, the Boys decided to take a more mellow approach. It didn’t gain them much commercial success for quite a while, but I do look back on this period of albums fondly.
This is a big shout-out to all the Blueboarders (fans of Brian Wilson’s message board on his official website) that always give me encouragement and always want more videos! I have so many great cover song music videos up my sleeve, I can’t wait to release them to the world! Enjoy tonight’s cover song video in the Beach Boys’ “Busy Doin’ Nothing” here on the Laptop Sessions acoustic cover songs music video blog!
NOTE: This video was remastered in 2020 for better video and audio quality.
Loved your cover. I can’t find the chords to Busy Doin Nothing anywhere,
was wondering if you could write them down for me?
Keep up the good work,
Hi Ben- thanks for the nice comment! Sorry it took so incredibly long to get back to you. The chords are online at SurferMoon.com. Hope this helps!