Fun, Fun, Fun

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"Fun, Fun, Fun"
Single by the Beach Boys
from the album Shut Down Volume 2
B-side"Why Do Fools Fall in Love"
ReleasedFebruary 3, 1964
RecordedJanuary 1 and 8, 1964
StudioUnited Western Recorders, Hollywood
Producer(s)Brian Wilson
The Beach Boys singles chronology
"Little Saint Nick"
"Fun, Fun, Fun"
"I Get Around"
Audio sample

"Fun, Fun, Fun" is a song by the American rock band the Beach Boys from their 1964 album Shut Down Volume 2. Written by Brian Wilson and Mike Love, it was released as a single in February, backed with "Why Do Fools Fall in Love". "Fun, Fun, Fun" is one of the Beach Boys' many songs that defined the California myth.[5]

The lyrics are about a teenage girl who deceives her father so she can go hot-rodding with his Ford Thunderbird. At the end, her father discovers her deception and takes the keys from her. Near the end of the song, the song's narrator suggests that the girl accompany him, so that they may 'have Fun, Fun, Fun' engaging in other activities, 'now that Daddy took the T-Bird away.'[1]

Background and inspiration[edit]

The song was written by Brian Wilson and Mike Love. The lyrics are partly inspired by events from Dennis Wilson's life.[6][7] Russ Titelman recalled that he visited Brian while he was working on the song, and that its original lyric was "Run, Run, Run".[8]

According to Salt Lake City radio manager Bill "Daddy-O" Hesterman of KNAK, an early promoter of the Beach Boys who brought them to Utah for appearances and concerts, the song was inspired by an incident involving Shirley Johnson, the station owner's daughter.[9] Johnson had borrowed her father's 1963 Thunderbird, which had a University of Utah parking sticker, ostensibly to go study at the University library. Instead, she went to Shore's Drive In, a hamburger shop on the corner of 33rd South and 27th East. When the deception came to light, her driving privileges were revoked. In 2007, Johnson told KSL News that she was complaining loudly about the incident at the radio station, where she worked as a part-time secretary, when the Beach Boys happened to be there for an interview. Hesterman said that Brian Wilson and Love, amused by the incident, jotted down the beginnings of the song as he took them to the airport that afternoon.[10]

The opening electric guitar introduction of the song was based on Chuck Berry's "Johnny B. Goode",[11][12] and the track's punctuated drum fills were inspired by the work of Phil Spector.[1] Musicologist Philip Lambert noted that the initial two phrases of the song are based on almost the same chord progression as the first two phrases of "Da Doo Ron Ron", and are melodically similar.[13]


The song was recorded on January 1, 1964, at United Western Recorders Studio 3. Vocals and additional overdubs followed on either January 8 or 9.[14] An earlier session was cancelled by band manager Murry Wilson, as he had felt dissatisfied with the song. Brian rescheduled the session after discovering what happened.[7]

The stereo and mono mixes stem from the same recording but have a significant difference: the fadeout on the stereo mix fades out early into the song's outro, with the instruments fading away before the vocals (and an overdubbed drum part). The mono mix, as heard on the 45 as well as mono copies of Shut Down Volume 2 has an extended outro.[citation needed]


The "Fun, Fun, Fun" single backed with "Why Do Fools Fall In Love?" was released in the United States in February 1964. Cash Box described it as "a contagious steady rock beat" song with a "great teen arrangement."[15] The single peaked at the number-five spot on the Billboard chart. In the United Kingdom, the single was released in March 1964 through Capitol Records, but failed to chart.[citation needed] In Australia, the single peaked at the number-six position, which was the band's highest charting single in Australia at that time. In West Germany, the single became their first single to chart in the country when it peaked at the number-49 position.

Status Quo version[edit]

"Fun, Fun, Fun"
Single by Status Quo and The Beach Boys
from the album Don't Stop
B-side"Mortified" (Status Quo)
ReleasedFebruary 19, 1996 (1996-02-19)[16]
Length3:05 (short version) 4:03 (album version)
Producer(s)Pip Williams
Status Quo singles chronology
"When You Walk in the Room"
"Fun, Fun, Fun"
"Don't Stop"

The song was covered in 1996 by the then-current lineups of the Beach Boys and Status Quo, with a new verse written for the song. The Beach Boys sang mainly backing vocals, with Status Quo's Francis Rossi performing the lead vocal for the entire song, except the new verse, which was sung by Mike Love. It was released under PolyGram Records as a single in the United Kingdom. The single, featuring another artist on the B-side, peaked at number 24 on the UK Singles Chart.[17]


Track details courtesy of session archivist Craig Slowinski.[14][18]

The Beach Boys

Additional musicians


Beach Boys version
Chart (1964) Peak
Australian Singles Chart[19][better source needed] 6
Canada CHUM Chart[20] 6
Belgium (Ultratip Bubbling Under Wallonia)[21] Tip
New Zealand (Lever Hit Parade)[22] 8
US Billboard Hot 100[23] 5
West Germany (Official German Charts)[24] 49
Status Quo version
Chart (1996) Peak
Europe (Eurochart Hot 100)[25] 43
Germany (Official German Charts)[26] 81
Scotland (OCC)[27] 21
UK Singles (OCC)[17] 24


  1. ^ a b c Guarisco, Donald A. "Fun, Fun, Fun". AllMusic.
  2. ^ Richie Unterberger, Samb Hicks, Jennifer Dempsey. Music USA: the rough guide, ISBN 185828421X, p. 383.
  3. ^ Altham, Keith. "Lily Isn't Pornographic, Say Who" New Musical Express May 20, 1967
  4. ^ Hoffmann, Frank W.; Bailey, William G. (1990). Arts & Entertainment Fads, Volume 1. Binghamton: Haworth Press. pp. 61–62. ISBN 9780866568814.
  5. ^ Sumrall, Harry (1994). Pioneers of Rock and Roll: 100 Artists Who Changed the Face of Rock. Billboard Books. p. 15. ISBN 978-0-8230-7628-4.
  6. ^ Leszczak, Bob (2014). Who Did It First?: Great Rock and Roll Cover Songs and Their Original Artists. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. pp. 68–69. ISBN 978-1-4422-3322-5.
  7. ^ a b Gaines, Steven (1986). Heroes and Villains: The True Story of The Beach Boys. New York: Da Capo Press. pp. 112–113. ISBN 0306806479.
  8. ^ White, Timothy (June 1996). "Russ Titelman 35th Anniversary Salute". Billboard. p. 44.
  9. ^ Robinson, Doug (October 11, 2005). "Shirley's had fun, fun, fun with her 41 years of 'fame'". Retrieved December 11, 2018.
  10. ^ "Beach Boys' Hit Inspired by a Utah Gal Having All the Fun". Retrieved December 11, 2018.
  11. ^ Brown, Pete and Harvey P. Newquist (1997) Legends of Rock Guitar
  12. ^ Miklitsch, Robert (2006) Roll Over Adorno: Critical Theory, Popular Culture, Audiovisual Media
  13. ^ Lambert, Philip (2007). Inside the Music of Brian Wilson: the Songs, Sounds, and Influences of the Beach Boys' Founding Genius. Continuum. ISBN 978-0-8264-1876-0., p.138
  14. ^ a b Craig, Slowinski (2014). Keep an Eye On Summer 1964 (Digital Liner). The Beach Boys. Capitol Records. Mirror
  15. ^ "CashBox Record Reviews" (PDF). Cash Box. February 8, 1964. p. 10. Retrieved January 12, 2022.
  16. ^ "New Releases: Singles" (PDF). Music Week. February 17, 1996. p. 31. Retrieved June 29, 2021.
  17. ^ a b "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved August 24, 2019.
  18. ^ "Fun, Fun, Fun Backing Track Session".
  19. ^ "Australian Singles Charts". Retrieved November 12, 2007.
  20. ^ "CHUM Hit Parade - March 23, 1964".
  21. ^ "The Beach Boys – Fun, Fun, Fun" (in French). Ultratip.
  22. ^ Flavour of New Zealand, 26 March 1964
  23. ^ "The Beach Boys Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard.
  24. ^ " – Beach Boys – Fun, Fun, Fun" (in German). GfK Entertainment charts. To see peak chart position, click "TITEL VON Beach Boys"
  25. ^ "Eurochart Hot 100 Singles" (PDF). Music & Media. Vol. 13, no. 10. March 9, 1996. p. 27. Retrieved July 19, 2020.
  26. ^ "Status Quo & The Beach Boys – Fun, Fun, Fun" (in German). GfK Entertainment charts. Retrieved August 24, 2019.
  27. ^ "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved August 24, 2019.