Fun, Fun, Fun

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

"Fun, Fun, Fun" is a song written by Brian Wilson and Mike Love for American rock band the Beach Boys. It was released in 1964 as a single backed with "Why Do Fools Fall in Love", both later appearing on the band's album Shut Down Volume 2.

“Fun, Fun, Fun” is one of the Beach Boys many songs that defined the California myth.[5] Its 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.[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] Then-manager Murry Wilson was dissatisfied with the song, and had engineer Chuck Britz cancel one of its recording sessions. However, Brian rescheduled the session after discovering what happened.[7]

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 a drive-in theater. 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 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] The track's punctuated drum fills were inspired by the work of Phil Spector.[1] Phil 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]

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]


Track details courtesy of session archivist Craig Slowinski.[14][15]

The Beach Boys

Additional musicians

Release history[edit]

The "Fun, Fun, Fun" single backed with "Why Do Fools Fall In Love?" was released in the United States in February 1964. The single peaked at the number 5 spot on the Billboard chart.[citation needed]

In the United Kingdom, the single was released in March 1964 through Capitol Records, but failed to chart. In Australia, the single peaked at the number 6 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. According to various national charts published in Billboard through the 1960s, the single peaked at number 4 in The Philippines (February 1965) with thirteen weeks in its top 10, and spent four weeks at number 3 in Hong Kong (December 1965) with ten weeks in its top 10.[citation needed]


The instrumental track was released on the 2001 archival release Hawthorne, CA. A new stereo mix, more closely resembling the original single version, was released in 2013 on the Made in California box set. Alternate live versions appear on Beach Boys Concert (1964), The Beach Boys in Concert (1973), and Good Timin': Live at Knebworth England 1980 (2002).


Chart (1964) Peak
Australian Singles Chart[16][better source needed] 6
German Singles Chart[17][better source needed] 49
New Zealand (Lever Hit Parade)[18] 8
U.S. Billboard Hot 100[citation needed] 5

Cover versions[edit]

Status Quo version[edit]

"Fun, Fun, Fun"
Single by Status Quo and The Beach Boys
from the album Don't Stop
LabelPolydor Records

The song was covered in 1996 by the then-current lineups of the Beach Boys and Status Quo (see Don't Stop), 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.


Chart (1996) Peak
Germany (Official German Charts)[19] 81
Scotland (Official Charts Company)[20] 21
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[21] 24

Other covers[edit]


  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. Binghampton: 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. ^ a b 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: 44.
  9. ^ Robinson, Doug (11 October 2005). "Shirley's had fun, fun, fun with her 41 years of 'fame'". Retrieved 11 December 2018.
  10. ^ "Beach Boys' Hit Inspired by a Utah Gal Having All the Fun". Retrieved 11 December 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. ^,20204.msg584533.html#msg584533
  16. ^ "Australian Singles Charts". Retrieved 12 November 2007.
  17. ^ "German Singles Charts". Retrieved 12 November 2007.
  18. ^ Flavour of New Zealand, 26 March 1964
  19. ^ " – Status Quo & The Beach Boys – Fun, Fun, Fun". GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved August 24, 2019.
  20. ^ "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved August 24, 2019.
  21. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved August 24, 2019.

External links[edit]