The 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.
By TOM CHESEK
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.