Family-favorite ‘60s surf-rock band The Beach Boys are still cruising today, heading to Odawa Casino Resort in Petoskey and bringing their pet sounds with them.
Doesn’t matter which generation you’re from – The Beach Boys’ music always conjures up carefree summers, sock hops, and of course, the beach.
Now touring with Mike Love in the frontman position (Brian Wilson retired from touring with the band in 2012), the band includes Bruce Johnston, guitarist Scott Totten, bass player Randall Kirsh, keyboardist Tim Bonhomme, and The Cowsills’s John Cowsill on drums and vocals.
“Plus a surprise returning band member – stay tuned,” said Love, one of the band’s original members.
Love said that today’s touring is a far cry from the ‘60s and ‘70s: Now, it’s better.
“In my opinion, technology allows us to deliver a better experience to our fans, both visually and acoustically,” he said. “Forty to 50 years ago, production standards weren’t nearly what they are today. And we are fortunate to have an excellent crew.”
The Beach Boys’ remarkably long list of hit songs are requested at each and every show, no matter where in the world they play.
“We get requests for ‘I Get Around,’ ‘California Girls,’ ‘Surfin’ USA,’ ‘Fun Fun Fun,’ which turned 50 years old this year,” Love said. “There are so many.”
The band’s harmonies are instantly recognizable, and distinguish the group from others, Love said.
“I think that has a lot to with the longevity of popularity of the music spanning multiple generations,” he said. “I also believe that songs speak of subjects that so many can relate to.”
But after 50 years of playing the same songs, do Love and his bandmates ever simply get tired of the repetition? Not with fans chiming in. Love said that the mass singalongs have always been one of his favorite parts of playing live.
“‘Kokomo,’ for instance, was one of our biggest hits, and is a great singalong song,” he said. “I enjoy audience participation. It’s inspiring to me to see the audience engaging along with us.”
In addition to their huge fan base, The Beach Boys have also amassed a whole lot of honors since they started back in 1961. Their albums are regularly included on “best of ” lists.
They’ve been awarded a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and an American Music Award of Merit.
They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and they’ve got a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
And they’ve influenced countless other musicians of all genres, from The Beatles and The Who to R.E.M., Sonic Youth, Beck, Daft Punk, and MGMT.
Back when brothers Brian, Carl, and Dennis Wilson formed the band with their cousin, Love, original bassist Al Jardine, and childhood pal David Marks, did they ever think that they’d still be in such demand five decades later?
“No one ever dreamed that The Beach Boys would become a lasting musical force in American music history,” Love said. “What started out as our hobby became our profession. We have a lot to be grateful for.”
The Beach Boys will be in concert at the Odawa Casino Resort in Petoskey on Fri., May 23 at 8pm. For more, visit odawacasino.com or thebeachboys.com.