Little Deuce Coupe

The Beach Boys song Little Deuce Coupe “with a flathead mill” was first recorded at Western Studios in Los Angeles, California on June 12, 1963.  This was the first song Brian Wilson co-wrote with fellow collaborator Roger Christian.  With Brian writing music and Roger writing lyrics, the song first appeared on the flip side of The Beach Boys 1963 single, Surfer Girl.  Little Deuce Coupe went on to become the band’s highest charting “b” side, making it all the way to #15 on the Billboard Hot 100 and later the album so named, hit #4 in the U.S.  Coincidentally this was also the first recording that Brian used session drummer Hal Blaine in the studio replacing his brother Dennis on drums.

Truth be told, neither Brian nor the rest of the boys held much interest in racing or hot rods.  Recently during a candid interview Brian was questioned about their interest in racing.  “No, we never did, never went to the races, I didn’t know much about cars anyway.”  Enter Roger Christian, nicknamed “Hot Dog Rog,” a Southern California radio personality and car aficionado.  One of the original “Boss Jocks,” he then went on to co-author several other songs for the Beach Boys including: Cherry Cherry Coupe, Car Crazy Cutie, Shut Down, No Go Showboat, Spirit of America, In the Parkin’ Lot, Don’t Worry Baby and Ballad of Ole’ Betsy.  Sadly, Roger was only 57 when he passed away in July 1991.

A deuce coupe was just one of a variety of Model B versions Ford introduced in 1932, replacing the popular Model A (“deuce” referring to the ‘2’ in 1932).  The car became a favorite of the drag racing and hot rod crowd in the 50’s & 60’s, including a teenaged Roger Christian growing up in Buffalo, New York.  It was also a favorite of 15 year old Clarence “Chili” Catallo; who in 1955 purchased a 1932 Ford coupe for $75.00 and through a process of mechanical evolution would eventually appear on the cover of the July 1961 edition of Hot Rod magazine, and later go on to grace the cover of the Beach Boys album “Little Deuce Coupe.”

  • It was Brian who added the lyric “There’s one more thing I got the pink slip daddy.” A California reference to the title of a vehicle and “racing for pinks.”
  • The yellow coupe that John Milner cruised the town with in the movie American Graffiti was a ‘deuce.’
  • Of all the early Beach Boys songs, ‘Deuce Coupe’ was probably the one most responsible for elevating the bands status and increasing popularity from that of a distinguished surf group to a band that now featured songs about cars, in particular, race cars, fast cars and hot rods.

(Lyrics)
Little Deuce Coupe, you don’t know what I got
(You don’t know what I got)
Little Deuce Coupe, you don’t know what I’ve got

Well, I’m not braggin’ babe so don’t put me down
(Deuce Coupe)
But I’ve got the fastest set of wheels in town
(Deuce Coupe)
When something comes up to me he don’t even try
(Deuce Coupe)
‘Cause if it had a set of wings man I know she could fly

She’s my little Deuce Coupe
You don’t know what I got
Little Deuce Coupe
You don’t know what I got

Just a little Deuce Coupe with a flathead mill
(Deuce Coupe)
But she’ll walk a Thunderbird like she’s standin’ still
(Deuce Coupe)
She’s ported and relieved and she’s stroked and bored
(Deuce Coupe)
She’ll do a hundred and forty in the top end floored

She’s my little Deuce Coupe
You don’t know what I got
(She’s my little Deuce Coupe)
(You don’t know what I got)

She’s got a competition clutch with four on the floor
And she purrs like a kitten till the lake pipes roar
And if that ain’t enough to make you flip your lid
There’s one more thing, I got the pink slip daddy

And comin’ off the line when the light turns green
(Deuce Coupe)
Well, she blows ’em outta the water like you never seen
(Deuce Coupe)
I get pushed out of shape and it’s hard to steer
(Deuce Coupe)
When I get rubber in all four gears

She’s my little Deuce Coupe
You don’t know what I got
(She’s my little Deuce Coupe)
(You don’t know what I got)

She’s my little Deuce Coupe
You don’t know what I got
(She’s my little Deuce Coupe)
(You don’t know what I got)

She’s my little Deuce Coupe
You don’t know what I got what I got
(She’s my little Deuce Coupe)
(You don’t know what I got)

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