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Beach Boys 2016Charter-member Mike Love leads the 2016 edition of the Beach Boys back to the Basie for a winter’s night of summer vibrations.

“The Count Basie‘s a great place to play,” pedigreed Beach Boy Mike Love told redbankgreen prior to one of the band’s frequent-flyer appearances in Red Bank a few years back. “We play new venues, and we play old places… we do 125 to 150 shows a year. Beats working!”

It’s been about 50 years since the American institution known for keeping the summer alive effectively split into two hemispheres during the landmark Pet Sounds sessions: the studio-sandbox residency of Brian Wilson (who’s scheduled to bring his golden-anniversary Pet Sounds salute to the Basie in September) and the hard-touring, crowd-pleasing roadshow skippered by Love. A polarizing figure, energizing frontman, and boosterizing flagwaver for a spectrum of environmental, political and spiritual causes, Love leads the Beach Boys back to Monmouth Street this Thursday night.

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imageThe 2011 touring edition of the Beach Boys — with John Cowsill at far left, plus Bruce Johnston and Mike Love front and center — returns (minus John Stamos) to Red Bank on August 23.


It’s been a long time, longer than the days prior to the passing of Dennis and Carl Wilson, since the original members of The Beach Boys shared a ride – or the same side of the conference table at a lawyer’s office.

The American institution that’s fast approaching its golden anniversary in show business split into two factions around the time of the landmark Pet Sounds sessions in 1966 — the studio-bound residency of Brian Wilson and the hard-touring, crowdpleasing roadshow skippered by Mike Love. And despite intermittent attempts at reconciling for albums and tours, the dichotomy abides to this day in the more or less separate-but-equal live shows fronted by the first cousins turned frenemies.

When the 2011 touring edition of the Beach Boys rolls into the Count Basie Theatre for a late-summer’s indoor concert on Tuesday, August 23, the core of Mike Love and Bruce Johnston (the successful singer/ songwriter/ producer whose 45-year history with the band hasn’t stopped him from being “the New Guy”) returns to the scene of some well-received sets of recent years — as well as memorable nights featuring Brian and his band The Wondermints. The two senior Boys will preside over a pretty awesome cavalcade of canonical hits delivered by a crack team of craftsmen that includes veteran John Cowsill (from the bands that gave us both “867-5309 JENNY” and “The Rain, The Park and Other Things”) — although the on-again, off-again stuntcasting of TV star John Stamos as drummer/ vocalist appears not to be in the cards for the Count’s crib.

The story of the Beach Boys is a way-stranger-than-fiction saga that takes in madness, child abuse, mind control, Charles Manson, multi-generational laboratory-level drug use, untimely death and tons of litigation. The story of America, in other words; all set to a soundtrack of the most achingly gorgeous “teenage symphonies” ever devised in a crossfire of inspiration and aspiration.

redbankgreen spoke to Mike Love — polarizing figure, energizing frontman, boosterizing flagwaver for environmental causes, transcendental meditation and not-so-gentle politics — from the Boys’ tour stop outside Philadelphia; turn the record over for more.

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