After all the world has gone through, who wouldn’t want to just leave all the stress behind for a frozen tropical drink at some beachside tiki bar in the middle of paradise? Luckily, Riker Lynch is tending bar, and his band, The Beachcombers, are playing down at Trader Vic’s. Together, they’re serving up cold cocktails and hot jams, with the first round being their take on Rupert Holmes’s classic, “Escape (The Piña Colada Song).” The 1979 original has become a staple of dive bars, movie soundtracks, and summer playlists for over four decades, and, as it turns out, the song also has had a profound influence on Riker.
“I chose to cover The Piña Colada song because it was a large part of the inspiration to start Riker and The Beachcombers in the first place,” the former R5 member tells HollywoodLife EXCLUSIVELY. Riker’s new musical outing has been the definition of “trop-rock,” so him being a Rupert Holmes devotee makes all the sense in the world. “It’s one of my all-time favorite songs, and I’ve played it at every Beachcombers show so far. I remember when I was first telling friends about the new project, I would say ‘If you like piña coladas, you’re going to like my new music.’”
It’s safe to say that anyone who likes Piña Coladas will love Riker & The Beachcombers’ version of “Escape.” For four minutes and five seconds, Riker aThe Beachcombers inject a much-needed dose of whimsy in a world that may have forgotten about it. Their version of “Escape” is a faithful cover, but it’s one that allows the band to inject their own energy. The song is a splash of neon against a cloudy night, one that offers a modern twist without losing the vibe that made the original so memorable. It’s easy to imagine how Parrotheads, Beach Bums, and anyone who has ever gone to Tiki Oasis would go wild at those opening notes.
This is not the first time that Riker & The Beachcombers sang a song about an intoxicating drink. Before they were drinking Piña Coladas and getting caught in the rain, they served up their love with a salted rim with “My Girl Rita.” The video for the track was full of cameos. “My sister, Rydel, has a little cameo, as well as the guys from The Fund, and my good friend from Glee, Curt Mega, and his wife, Kim,” Riker told us when the visual came out in February.
So, is Riker counting down the days before he and the Beachcombers can “escape” out of quarantine? He’s been keeping sane by “doing a lot of walks in the sunshine,” he tells HollywoodLife. “That seems to be helping keep sane [laughs].” He also has helped from a fellow ‘comber – sorta. He tells us that during this self-isolation period, he’s rediscovered the music of Luke Combs. “I guess it’s more first-time discovery because I only got into country music like a year ago. My sister got my wife and I tickets to Stagecoach last year as a wedding gift, and it was absolutely amazing!”
So, when this quarantine is all said and done, can we get Luke Combs to become an honorary Beachcomber? Perhaps he also loves Piña Coladas?
“Escape (The Piña Colada Song)” is out now.