Lifted from the Jason Mraz Website.. I thought it was funny!
Off the Florida, Please
Get there fast. Take it slow. Those are the wise words of my least favorite song in the entire world, Kokomo, by the Mike Love rendition of the Beach Boys. I’m not sure if I’ve ever posted that comment about how I cringe when I hear it. If I have, it bares repeating, in case my love for the beach translates years later into having that song played at my funeral. I prefer to steer clear of posthumous unpleasantries like that. (Is unpleasantries a word yet? It very well should be. I’ve been using it for years.)
Disliking Kokomo is an acquired hate by the way. When the song came out I was an eager sixth grader, smart enough to make his own music choices and I was first in line to buy the cassette to Cocktail the Movie where I had known the song to be released. I was extra stoked that Uncle Jesse (from Full House not Dukes of Hazzard, though that would’ve been keen!) was playing percussion. My school friend Rod and I even made a music video to the thing after soccer practice. He pretended to shred the sax solo on a trumpet. We were in school band at the time but I had already given up the trumpet because it was difficult to sing and be a hot dog with heavy twisted brass in my mouth already. My role was to mime the words and look like a southern sophisticate with attributes of Tom Cruise’s character in the film and Jimmy Buffet. Our production included a strobe light, a sofa bed, and that trumpet I no longer cared for. Years later I’d use the trumpet as trade for my first guitar at MechanicsvilleMusic.com
Somewhere along the accidental route that thieves use to try to steal my youth, it occurred to me that the harmonies in Kokomo are supernatural and shouldn’t be acknowledged by anyone. It’s like placing two mirrors toward each other. That’s how evil enters our universe according to Extra-Spiritual Home Interior Monthly, a magazine I’ve made up in my head to please me when things go wrong at home and I have to relocate some furniture or kill a spider. I don’t like to harm things but sometimes my fear needs an ego boost and I must do what I have to do. We had bees a few months ago and instead of just destroying the hive in our rafters we found a specialist who rounds the little stingers up like cattle and takes them away in a bucket to a new location. It’s a bizarre process but even more so it’s an oddball profession. The guy is as much a bee lover as I am an Anti-Kokomo Un-thusiast.
There’s a game called “Would you rather…” the object is to come up with two random activities and ask someone if they’d rather do one or the other. Such as, “Would you rather streak your local Sunday morning church service or french kiss your grandmother?” the idea is to make it nasty or gross so the person on the receiving end has difficulty deciding and must actually think out the scenario in their heads, which in turn causes mental traffic and/or permanent brain damage. The best question I ever came up with was, “If in your car, there could only be one song that played over and over again at maximum volume, and you couldn’t do anything about it, such as turn it off or sell the car. Everywhere you went this song blasted, making it incredibly uncomfortable when other people rode around with you. (Actually making it impossible for others to ride with you because they’d never elect to take ‘your car’.) Would you rather the song be Kokomo, by the Beach Boys, or Electric Slide by whoever it is?” That is by far the most difficult question I have come up with, ever.
I don’t know what brought on this Kokomo awareness issue. I think it has to do with our long weekend in Florida. Maybe the sunburn on my brow went deeper than anticipated while playing golf again yesterday. I usually beat the skin fire with water. Being a well-watered body makes you able to withstand all sorts of common calamity, thus making you somewhat of a super-hero on a local level. The guys I play golf with drink yoo-hoo. Apparently what that does for you is make you better at golf.
I should add that I don’t play golf, at least not before this summer’s tour. Being the envy to office managers, business nerds, and cigar smokers everywhere seemed like the perfect way to spend a summer. We get to tout around in an air conditioned RV, dress like pimps, and play some of the finest AND ghetto links in the country. I used to knock balls around our yard when I was in high school so I’m familiar with the sport. But I honestly do suck. Each game is an improvement however and the goal is be shooting average by October when we hold our first annual Mraz Invitational in Las Vegas. We’re still working out the details but perhaps you can come and watch us suck under the Bob Hope’s Desert Classic sun.
It just occurred to me that there IS a place called Kokomo. I mean, I knew the Beach Boys were telling the truth, but I never actually thought about the innocent civilians and residents of the island. Do you think the song is played there often? Maybe during parades at least? Do you think they need our help? I’m sure it’s too late for them. An envelope addressed, 1-1-2-2 Boogie Boogie Avenue, Kokomo, sounds delightful. But the poor mailmen probably get that song stuck in their heads as often as the yard dogs get their teeth stuck in the mailman’s boot. I guess the pay-off for both man and beast is that everywhere you look on the island of Kokomo you find bodies in the sand, tropical drinks melting in your hand, and soon be falling in love to the rhythm of a steel drum band. Down in Kokomo sounds picturesque. But thanks to the theme song, the only place I prefer to picture it is on the side of a milk carton.
Fun Fact: Florida absorbs and consumes the most energy in the universe because of the high concentration of air conditioners humming at the same time, while keeping summertime a chilly 38 degrees indoors everywhere. Artificial winter weather preserves the elderly apparently.
I'm pickin' up good vibrations...