Today we venture back in time to the spring of 1988. It was a simpler time — the Soviet Union was on its way out, I had just uttered my first sentence (creepily enough, it was “I see the light”), and the Beach Boys were recording the most crushingly brutal single of all time. Despite the fact that several Kokomos already existed, The Beach Boys came together to write a song about a fictional, quasi-magical “Kokomo.” In this Kokomo, you can apparently get drunk and have sex in mid-air, but the man in the song still wants to take his lady to a bunch of mundane, real places for some reason.
“Kokomo’s” July 1988 release spurred a golden age of metal that persisted well into the ’90s. Dino Cazares was so inspired by the hellish tune that he formed Ulceration (now Fear Factory) with Raymond Herrera immediately upon hearing the record. George Fisher chose the nickname “Corpsegrinder” after Mike Love and Carl Wilson’s vocals on the hit single made him want to grind corpses. “Kokomo” so thoroughly outclassed every other metal single of its generation that Dokken, unable to deal with the pressures of competition, disbanded for several years. The themes of alcohol abuse, sexuality, and open defiance of the laws of physics did not go unnoticed by the Parents Music Resource Center, who called for its banning until the airing of season 2 episode 6 of Full House.
The Beach Boys remain highly influential, and “Kokomo” continues to enjoy popularity in brutal death metal circles. Below is the official video for the single — it is NOT for the faint of heart.