The Beach Boys surf into Centennial TerraceWritten by Vicki L. Kroll | | firstname.lastname@example.org
It’s been an endless summer for The Beach Boys, who continue to ride a wave of music synonymous with surfing, sun, souped-up cars and fun.
“A lot of music has survived and thrived from the ’60s — The Beatles, The Beach Boys, Motown,” said lead singer Mike Love. “In our case, the subject matter was a bit unique, starting out with songs about surfing and California girls and our car songs — ‘I Get Around’ and ‘Fun, Fun, Fun,’ ‘Little Deuce Coupe.’
“Prior to that, I think most songs revolved around that boy-girl attraction and love songs, and we came along and did songs about cars, surfing and stuff. So I think for young people who are not overly involved with relationships, especially when you’re very young, I think those songs have a lot of appeal.”
Not only does the group’s music attract fans of all ages, it’s been hanging 10 for five decades.
“Seems like every year a Beach Boy song or two shows up in a major motion picture soundtrack, which keeps The Beach Boys’ sound really current in terms of popular culture,” Love said during a call from a tour stop in Waukesha, Wis. He mentioned the films “50 First Dates” and “It’s Complicated,” which featured “Wouldn’t It Be Nice.”
“The ‘Full House’ reruns, can’t forget Uncle Jesse — John Stamos, our friend, he’s a big Beach Boys fan,” Love said. “He got us on his show three or four times. We get recognized by kids who’ve seen us on ‘Full House’ all the time and young adults who watched it 10, 15 years ago.”
And Katy Perry’s 2010 smash “California Gurls” paid tribute to the band’s “California Girls,” a 1965 hit co-written by Love.
“I think she’s quite creative, good singer, good writer — bad speller though,” he said and laughed. “We have something in common in addition to the song ‘California Girls’: We both kissed girls and liked it.”
Love and his cousins, Brian, Carl and Dennis Wilson, and their friend, Al Jardine, formed The Beach Boys in Hawthorne, Calif., in 1961. The group’s first single, “Surfin’,” was released that year and featured their rich harmonies.
“When we started out, one side would be surfing and the other side would be cars because, it wasn’t rocket science, we figured not everybody would have an ocean, but everybody could appreciate the great cars of the ’50s and ’60s; we sure did,” Love recalled.
“We’ve had all kinds of great cars over the years. My cousin, Dennis, had a 409. In fact, we actually tape-recorded the sound of him burning rubber on the street outside their house and that showed up on the record, ‘409,’ which was on the backside of the 45 single of ‘Surfin’ Safari.’ ”
The group’s hits include “Surfin’ U.S.A.,” “Help Me, Rhonda,” “Surfer Girl,” “God Only Knows,” “Barbara Ann,” “Good Vibrations,” “Do It Again” and “Kokomo.” In 1988, The Beach Boys were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In 2001, they received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Grammys.
“I’m probably most proud of the fact that so many multiple generations of people have enjoyed the music and that it’s positive and uplifting,” Love said. “Our songs are still appreciated by so many people in so many countries of the world to this day, and it represents America, represents rock ‘n’ roll, in a really uplifting, positive way.”
Love and The Beach Boys — longtime member Bruce Johnston, keyboards and vocals; Christian Love, guitar and vocals; Randell Kirsch, bass and vocals; Tim Bonhomme, keyboards and vocals; John Cowsill, percussion and vocals; and Scott Totten, guitar and vocals — will play Centennial Terrace in Sylvania at 7:30 p.m. July 28. Tickets are $28.50 and $52.50. Gates open at 6:30 p.m. There is no opening act.
Love is happy to have his son in the group.
“Christian sounds eerily like Carl Wilson,” he said. “He’ll do the lead on ‘Good Vibrations,’ he’ll do Carl’s part on ‘Kokomo’ and it’s just absolutely great.”
Carl Wilson, lead guitarist and vocalist, died of cancer in 1998. Drummer Dennis Wilson drowned in 1983.
As the band’s golden anniversary of its first single approaches this fall, Love is working with Brian Wilson.
“[Brian’s] recorded some tracks and I’ve recorded some music; it’s kind of show and tell. We’re getting together; he’s got some songs he wants me to write the lyrics for,” Love said. “In light of the 50th anniversary, it makes a lot of sense to get together and do some new music together. I think that would be great.”