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Sunday, October 1
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You can capsulize most pop music acts by reciting how many hits they’ve had and how many millions of albums they’ve sold. But these conventional measurements fall short when you’re assessing the impact of The Beach Boys. This band has birthed a torrent of hit singles and sold albums by the tens of millions. But its greater significance lies in the fact that The Beach Boys’ songs have forever changed the musical landscape, profoundly influencing countless performing artists to follow.
The band is led by Mike Love, who, along with longtime member Bruce Johnston, musical director Scott Totten, Brian Eichenberger, Christian Love, Tim Bonhomme, John Cowsill, Keith Hubacher and Randy Leago, continue the legacy of the iconic group. Grammy-winning songwriter Bruce Johnston joined The Beach Boys in 1965, replacing Glenn Campbell, who filled-in for Brian Wilson, on vocals/bass, when he retired from touring. Highly regarded in his field, Johnston’s vocal work with such legendary artists as Elton John and Pink Floyd firmly established him among rock’s elite artists.
Captained by Mike Love, The Beach Boys play an astoundingly busy schedule of concerts, averaging 150 shows a year, ranging from sundrenched ampitheaters to intimate performing arts centers and special events across the globe.
The band continues to create and perform with the same bold imagination and style that marked their explosive debut over 50 years ago. In 2013, their Capitol Records release, Sounds of Summer (RIAA certified triple platinum with over three million in sales and climbing), and its companion The Warmth of the Sun marked a resurgence in Beach Boys interest that again rocked the world.
The Beach Boys found through their music the key to unfading youth— and they made copies for everyone. To these guys, the beach isn’t just a place where the surf comes to play— it’s where life is renewed and made whole again.
Had this remarkable band been less committed to its art and its fans, it could have retired from the field with honor at dozens of points along the way, confident that it had made a lasting contribution to world culture. It could have rested on the success of the epoch-shifting Pet Sounds masterpiece in 1966… or after Mike Love’s concept album Endless Summer ignited a second generation of Beach Boys fans and stirred a tempest that rocked the music world… or after recording Love’s co-written Golden Globe nominated “Kokomo” in 1988 and seeing it become its best selling single ever… or after being inducted that same year into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame… or after watching its worldwide album sales blow past l00 million… or after winning the NARAS Lifetime Achievement Award in 2001 [along with The Who, Bob Marley, Tony Bennett, Sammy Davis Jr. and Les Paul]. And still, The Beach Boys continue to have fun, fun, fun, with no end in sight.
In 2012, The Beach Boys scheduled a 74 concert date limited 50th Anniversary Reunion Tour in which the original members reunited and released "That's Why God Made the Radio." The album debuted at #3 on the Billboard charts, their highest chart position in 37 years and an unprecedented milestone.
In 2016, The Beach Boys celebrated the 50th anniversary of the hit “Good Vibrations” – which is widely considered one of the greatest masterpieces in the history of rock and roll – with a 50 Years of Good Vibrations tour. Additionally, to commemorate this prolific time in the band’s life, Love released his highly-anticipated memoir titled GOOD VIBRATIONS: My Life as a Beach Boy, which made its way to the New York Times Best Seller list immediately following its release.
Few, if any, acts can match The Beach Boys’ concert presence, spirit and performance. They were center-stage at Live Aid, multiple Farm Aids, the Statue of Liberty’s 100th Anniversary Salute, the Super Bowl and the White House. On one day alone— July 4, 1985— they played to nearly 2 million fans at shows in Philadelphia and Washington, D. C.
Love’s role as the band’s front man sometimes overshadows his stature as one of rock’s foremost songwriters. “Surfin’,” The Beach Boys’ first hit came from his pen. With his cousin, Brian Wilson, Love wrote the classics “Fun, Fun, Fun,” “I Get Around,” “Help Me Rhonda,” “California Girls” and the Grammy nominated “Good Vibrations.” Years later, he showed he still had the lyrical chops by co-writing the irresistible and chart-topping “Kokomo.”
Presently, he continues to bring new, creative projects to his dedicated fans year after year. In 2020, he debuted his latest single, “This Too Shall Pass,” featuring special guest John Stamos. Released at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, he wrote the song to remind everyone that better days are yet to come. In 2019, Love released 12 Sides of Summer, a collection of original songs, covers and fresh takes on hits including George Harrison's "Here Comes the Sun," The Dave Clark Five's "Over and Over and Over Again," as well as updated renditions of The Beach Boys' "Surfin," "Surfin' Safari" and "It's Ok," featuring Hanson. The song marked Love's second recording with Hanson, after previously collaborating on "Finally it's Christmas" for Love's 2018 holiday album, Reason For The Season, which also features vocals from Love’s children: Ambha, Brian, Christian, and Hayleigh Love. In 2017, Love released a special double album entitled Unleash the Love featuring 13 previously unreleased songs and 14 re-recordings of Beach Boys classics to positive acclaim.