EDITOR'S NOTE: This story appeared in an Aug 2012 edition of The Walton Sun. With an announcment that the Beach Boys maybe playing a Memorial Day concert in Gulf Place, The Sun is sharing the story again.
Thirty years ago this week, South Walton saw its first major rock concert when the Beach Boys performed on the beach at Sandestin. It was the band's first time to perform on a beach in two years.
Susan Lucas was here at the time and remembers the performance and it being very hot, but for some reason, she didn't go.
"I always regretted not going," she said.
However, a 19-year-old Joyce Sunday was there on Aug. 21.
"I was just out of high school. At that time, Seaside didn't have much and Sandestin was just getting started, so my social life consisted of going to my parents' store and church. Seeing the Beach Boys was the biggest event of my life at that time. I had been to concerts, but this was the first time one had been held here," the Point Washington resident said.
Sunday remembers parking on the Bay side at the new resort and being shuttled over to the beach where she paid maybe $20 to get in.
"The Hilton wasn't there and Elephant Walk wasn't there. There wasn't much on the beach side," she said.
Drinks were sold for $5 and the crowd sat on towels, Sunday recalls, for a three or four hour wait before the Beach Boys came on. A large sign hung from the big metal stage that read "Sandestin Beach Resort Welcomes the Beach Boys."
Concert-goers told the Sun a helicopter dropped the band off on the beach. And then, the iconic Beach Boys took the stage and began to play.
"It is hard to describe what it was like to be 19, have your own car and go to a concert like this. I had not been to that many. Mike Love was there and Brian Wilson was there. I think they opened with 'Barbara Ann,' or 'Good Vibrations,’ ” she said. "They played all their hits."
The band played for about an hour and a half, she remembers.
"It was a good concert. I had their records but I had never experienced anything like it," she said. "We have things like that all the time now, but back then … I had a great time. On the shuttle back to the Bay side, everyone was singing 'Good Vibrations.' It was awesome. It was the biggest thing this beach girl had been to."
Since that day in August 1982, Sunday has not seen the Beach Boys in concert again, and she was so caught up in the excitement of the moment that day that she didn't take a souvenir home.