The Beach Boys Official Website
Dennis was, but Carl and Brian Wilson weren’t really “beach boys”. In fact their first group, along with cousin Mike Love and family friend Al Jardine, was called The Pendletones. A young man named Russ Regan, who later became a successful record executive, is credited with changing the name, without their knowledge, to “Beach Boys” on a batch of single records that were pressed for their first song titled Surfin’.
Turned out rather well, I’d say.
On December 16, 2011, original members Brian, Mike and Alan, and long time members David Marks and Bruce Johnston, announced a 50th Anniversary reunion tour as well as a new album.
The “surfer sound” became a comfortable niche for the group, and no one did it better. Their close harmonies both in and out of the genre produced 36 top 40′s hits. In 1988 The Beach Boys were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
The bands ups and downs have been well chronicled, but it’s the life struggles of Brian that have generated the most attention. Painstakingly documented in Catch a Wave: The Rise, Fall, and Redemption of the Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson by Peter Ames Carlin, and available in paperback and Kindle, the substance abuse and interpersonal conflicts makes a reunion concert with these guys seem the most implausible yet captivating event, literally, in decades.
Appearing on the television show Shindig! on December 23, 1964, The Beach Boys performed their Christmas classic Little Saint Nick, which appears to have been pre-recorded, but it seems to me that they switched their amps on for a live set that included Monster Mash (which is not in this clip) and then covered the Rivingtons Papa-Oom-Mow-Mow and Chuck Berry’s Johnny B. Goode.
This next clip is a live version of Good Vibrations featuring all three brothers at a birthday celebration for Brian in 1976. There’s a cut-in of an intimate party with Paul and Linda McCartney.
Probably the quickest way to get up-to-speed on The Beach Boys is to get a copy of The Very Best Of The Beach Boys: Sounds Of Summer which contains 30 of their original, remastered hits. They also produced a great, one-of-a-kind Christmas album, Christmas with the Beach Boys.
And then there’s SMiLE. Probably the most anticipated album that Brian Wilson almost never produced. The brilliance of Brian Wilson is not in his writing alone, and some may find SMiLE to be a bit “out there” in a few places. What defines Brian Wilson, beyond the tight harmonies of the surfer songs, is his obsession with the music; all of the music. Brian wrote, sang, mixed, arranged, played, edited and produced music. The SMiLE Sessions and The SMiLE Sessions Box Set are the working out of Brian’s music.
Here’s a recent promo for the audio release of their 50th Anniversary Tour; that great sound is still there!
The Beach Boys released a new album in 2012 which contains 12 brand new songs and is called That’s Why God Made the Radio. Also released in 2012 in both DVD and BlueRay was The Beach Boys Live in Concert: 50th Anniversary. And in 2013 they released the CD/Digital version of their anniversary concert called The Beach Boys Live: The 50th Anniversary Tour which contains 41 live tracks. So take out your best Hawaiian shirt, put on your shades and crank up some Beach Boys magic. I doesn’t matter how cold it is where you are, this will make it feel like summer, I promise.
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