Help Me Rhonda, The Beach Boys, 5/29/65, 2 weeks at #1
Riffage 8, Rhythm 5, Fills 5, Solo 0; Total Guitar Score: 18
Stick with me here. There are TWO versions of “Help Me Rhonda.” The first one, “Help Me Ronda” (with no ‘h’) was recorded in January 1965; it opens with a ukulele riff and features no Brian Wilson falsetto and no guitar solo.
The version that hit #1 (recorded in February 1965) adds the ‘h’: “Help Me Rhonda.” It opens with Al Jardine’s vocals, has Brian on falsetto in the chorus and does feature a three-bar guitar solo which, as with “Ticket to Ride,” is really too short to be called a solo.
The above is an excerpt from Volume 3 of “Number One with an AXE!”, a song-by-song look at the guitar’s role in all of America’s #1 Billboard hits.