Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Tagged: The Hondells

Little Honda

First recorded by The Beach Boys (US #65 1964).
Hit version by The Hondells (US #9 1964).

From the wiki: “‘Little Honda’ was written by Brian Wilson and Mike Love for The Beach Boys. It was released on the group’s 1964 album All Summer Long, and was also featured on the EP Four by The Beach Boys but was not released as a single until after The Hondells’ version had charted and peaked. The song pays tribute to small Honda motorcycles, specifically the Honda Super Cub. Carl Wilson recalls:

[Brian Wilson] does exactly what he wants to do. I remember [sits back and laughs] — this is so funny — when we did ‘Little Honda’, Brian wanted me to get this real distorted guitar sound, real fuzzy. ‘This guitar sounds like shit,’ I said. ‘Brian, I hate this.’ And he goes, ‘Would you fucking do it? Just do it.’ When I heard it, I felt like an asshole. It sounded really hot. That was before fuzz became a big deal.

“It was during the recording sessions of ‘Little Honda’ (and ‘I Get Around’) when Brian relieved his father, Murry Wilson, of his managerial duties after three years. An attempt at reconciliation on Murry’s part, much of it captured on the tapes for the 1965 recording sessions of ‘Help Me, Rhonda’, cemented the break.

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