“Passing Friend” (Beach Boys/Culture Club Cover)

For Beach Boys / Culture Club chords & lyrics, CLICK HERE!

By Chris Moore:

The general public’s response to my video tonight will most likely be:

“Culture Club?  Finally!”

Since I’ve been focusing so heavily on more recent music, I decided tonight to go back to one of the best bands of all time, the Beach Boys!  (You might be thinking: “Wait, I thought he said ‘Culture Club,’ and you’d be right.  Be patient; all will become clear soon…)  For the past week, I’ve been listening back and forth to newer and older music.  In the car, it’s been newer — Wilco and Marcy Playground — and in the house, it’s been older — Beach Boys and George Harrison.  (I’m trying to iron out my George Harrison essentials playlist; I made the first selection of tracks months ago, but the recent release of the Let it Roll CD has inspired me to finally make the next set of cuts necessary to carve out the compilation.)

For tonight’s session, I’ve chosen to cover “Passing Friend,” a track from the Beach Boys’ self-titled release back in 1985.  This song was penned by George O’Dowd — better known as Boy George — and Roy Hay of Culture Club.  (So, I suppose, this technically isn’t a Culture Club song, but it’s as close as we’re going to come on this blog at least for now!)  “Passing Friend” is generally considered to be a disposable track on what is often considered a disposable album in the Beach Boys catalog.


Okay, so maybe “Passing Friend” is somewhat disposable.  But let’s be very clear here that The Beach Boys (1985) is one of my favorite albums of all time.  I think that I’m one of only two people who would give it that distinction, but it really is an enjoyable, versatile, all-around great album.  “Passing Friend” isn’t one of the strongest songs on the album by any means, but it’s still a solid track.  I was surprised by how easy and fun it was to learn, play, and record an acoustic cover of the over-produced studio version.

The story behind the song is based on members of the then-popular band Culture Club — singer Boy George and guitarist/keyboardist Roy Hay — writing a track for the Beach Boys to record.  It seems that the Beach Boys were experimenting with new ways to regain some semblance of relevance in a musical climate that was drastically different from their 1960’s hey day.  At the time, Culture Club had taken a break after touring England.  Hay was involved in a new band (This Way Up) and Boy George was making the rounds on the club scene.  Although they came together to write this song, Culture Club was destined to disband the following year due to tensions within the band and Boy George’s addiction to drugs.

Thus, we have “Passing Friend,” a deep track if I’ve ever heard one!  I hope you enjoy this stripped down version.  Maybe it will even encourage you to give The Beach Boys (1985) either a shot or a second chance…

To address old business, I had promised in last week’s cover song music video post that I would bring you a double header this week.  Well, today was a tremendously busy day, so I decided to hold off, as I need just a little more time to focus and figure out the chords for the second of the two songs.  I won’t give them away just yet, but suffice it to say that I’m presenting an all-new band to the blog.  They are big time one hit wonders — probably for good reason — and I’ll be recording a video of their hit single, as well as the single from their most recent album.  More on that next Monday…

But this is certainly NOT the last time you’ll be hearing from me this week.  You can look forward to a very special post — one that is very near and dear to me — coming on Wednesday and then another post on either Saturday or Sunday.

I realize this is all very vague, but believe me: these posts promise to be well worth your time clicking back to the best acoustic cover song blog in the universe!  (And we’re modest, too…)  Just think: you’ve got Jim Fusco Tuesday tomorrow (maybe more Beach Boys cover songs?), then I’ll be back on Wednesday, Jeff Copperthite’s “Thumpin’ Thursday,” and at least one more post this weekend.  Don’t miss any of the musical fun!

See you next session!  (Or, in this case, sooner…)

This is one in a series of acoustic cover songs, original music, and free mp3 downloads here on the Laptop Sessions Music Video Blog.

3 thoughts on ““Passing Friend” (Beach Boys/Culture Club Cover)

  1. Hey Chris,
    just wanted to you know that I am the other guy that thinks this album is one of their all-time favorites 😉 I bought it in 1985 and keep it in rotation on my ipod. A very underrated selection of fun-to-listen-to songs. Take care.

  2. Thanks for adding to the love for “1985,” Brett! It’s good to know that I’m not the only one adding play counts on my iPod, or even ripping it to digital format, for that matter! 🙂

    Hope you check back for future Beach Boys covers here!

  3. I really enjoyed your cover, Chris. I, like you and Brett, consider the ’85 album to be one of my favorites. “Passing Friend” might be my least favorite song on the album, though. I would list my favorite songs off the album, but I like them all.

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