George Harrison‘s son, Dhani Harrison, is a rock singer himself. George discussed how Dhani became exposed to some of The Beatles’ songs. Subsequently, George revealed a comedy starring Michael J. Fox helped his son become a fan of The Beach Boys’ songs.
George Harrison explained how his son heard ‘Hey Bulldog’ and other Beatles songs
According to the book George Harrison on George Harrison: Interviews and Encounters, the “My Sweet Lord” singer discussed Dhani in a 1987 interview. Specifically, he discussed Dhani’s familiarity with The Beatles. “I’ve never consciously sat him down and said, ‘Listen, here’s the old Beatle records,’ but he’s picked up on them because when he was about four or five, Yellow Submarine — there’s an age group that like Yellow Submarine.”
George elaborated on children’s relationships to Yellow Submarine. “The kids watch, and they watch it every night for like three months, and then they forget about it,” he said. “And so he knows, then, songs like ‘[Hey] Bulldog,’ and all those things to do with that.”
A scene from Michael J. Fox’s movie ‘Teen Wolf’ inspired George Harrison’s son to get into The Beach Boys’ songs
Subsequently, George revealed how Dhani became a fan of The Beach Boys’ songs. “It was Michael J. Fox I think, who was going to be in Teenage Werewolf [sic] or something, and they had ‘Surfin’ U.S.A.’ in the film,” he recalled. For context, George referred to a scene in which Fox’s character “surfs” on top of a moving truck while playing the air guitar.
George said his wife, Olivia Harrison, also helped expose their son to The Beach Boys. “Now the kids are all into these Michael J. Fox movies, and he sees it on video, and then he’s going around the house singing, ‘Everybody’s gone surfing/Surfin’ U.S.A.'” he added. “So the wife digs out The Beach Boys records, so suddenly he’s getting into The Beach Boys.”
The way listeners in the United States and the United Kingdom reacted to The Beach Boys’ ‘Surfin’ U.S.A.’
“Surfin’ U.S.A.” became a big hit for The Beach Boys. The song reached No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100, staying on the chart for 25 weeks. The Beach Boys released “Surfin’ U.S.A.” on the album of the same title. Surfin’ U.S.A. reached No. 11 on the Billboard 200, staying on the chart for 63 weeks.
“Surfin’ U.S.A.” was a more modest hit in the United Kingdom. According to The Official Charts Company, the song hit No. 34 there and remained on the chart for seven weeks. Meanwhile, the album Surfin’ U.S.A. hit No. 17 in the U.K. and lasted on the chart for seven weeks.
“Surfin’ U.S.A.” is a classic rock song – and Teen Wolf exposed it to a new audience.