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Author Topic: Mike and the reunion  (Read 1044 times)
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« on: June 22, 2006, 05:20:17 PM »

Keeping summer alive
Mike Love takes pride in Beach Boys music and legacy

BRIAN MCCOY
Record Entertainment Editor
Published Thursday, Jun 22, 2006

The surviving founding Beach Boys made news last week by gathering for the first time in 10 years for a ceremony atop Hollywood's historic Capitol Records building.

"It was weird," lead singer Mike Love said of the event designed to mark the 40th anniversary of "Pet Sounds," the band's landmark album. "We have meetings and stuff from time to time, but we're never together in a public way."


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The original Beach Boys splintered long ago, thanks in part to a series of Love-initiated lawsuits. The vibe in Hollywood between Love and creative mastermind Brian Wilson, however, was so positive that the singer could speak openly about a possible reunion.

"Brian couldn't have been nicer to me," said Love, 65. "I have actually talked to Brian about writing together, and from there, if we do a reunion thing, I'd like to start with a PBS special. If it turns out to be something people really respond to, we could go on from there."

In the meantime, Love, Wilson and guitarist Al Jardine continue to follow separate musical paths. Love brings a Beach Boys lineup that includes longtime band member Bruce Johnston to Stockton tonight for a show at the San Joaquin Fair.

The rooftop gathering was designed to celebrate the band selling 2 million copies of 2003's "Sounds of Summer: The Very Best of the Beach Boys." The album is just the latest in a string of retrospectives that have had the effect of introducing the group's classic 1960s work to succeeding generations.

Not surprisingly, those songs remain at the heart of every Beach Boys concert, a show that spotlights both Love's personality and his approach to pop music.

"Our job, I feel, as performers is to make people happy and take them away from the concerns of their lives," he said. "That's our philosophy - 'Fun, Fun, Fun,' 'Good Vibrations.' We want people to leave having had a good time."

Of course, the irony lies in the fact that the Beach Boys are famous for suffering remarkably painful dramas as they've tried to present their happy-go-lucky music to the world.

The angst was there long before the Beach Boys convened in 1961. It started in the Wilson home in the Southern California community of Hawthorne, where Brian, Dennis and Carl were blessed with a love of music and cursed by a father given to physical and verbal abuse.

Joined by their cousin Love and friend Jardine, the Wilsons began formulating a sound that blended the pop vocal harmonies of groups such as the Four Freshmen with the churning rock 'n' roll of Chuck Berry. Throw in lyrics - many written and sung by Love - that covered symbols of teen freedom such as surfing, cars and girls, and you had music sure to resonate with baby-boom America.

There followed what Love called a "whole tidal wave of hits," 20 from 1962 to '66, before Brian Wilson's frail emotional state and burgeoning drug habit shut down the Beach Boys pipeline. The tunes - "Surfin' U.S.A.," "Be True to Your School," "I Get Around," "Help Me, Rhonda" - defined the Beach Boys not just in their time but for all time.

And not just in America. Love ticks off stops on the band's tour itinerary - Japan, Germany, Australia and, coming up, the group's first visit to Russia.

"They can't understand what we're saying, but they love the beauty, they love the sound," Love said. "It shows the strength of not only the Beach Boys, but also the fact that we represent American music wherever we go."

The appeal of those Wilson-conceived hits has come at a cost. After all, the Beach Boys are first and foremost musicians, and their later work - from such '70s and '80s albums as "Wild Honey" and "Still Cruisin' " to their various solo efforts - remains largely overlooked.

The best of that era will be collected in another anthology, "The Warmth of the Sun," due out next year, Love said. The Beach Boys are also the subject of the latest Hallmark Cards special release, "Songs From Here and Back," which features live versions of such hits as "Surfer Girl, "Kokomo" and "Wouldn't It Be Nice," along with solo tracks from Love, Jardine and Brian Wilson.

After 45 years in the music business, Love is philosophical about the group's future. He accepts it as the natural state of things that the Beach Boys, while just honored by Capitol, periodically will need to audit the company's books. He knows, too, that tragedy lurks around every corner; witness the early deaths of Dennis and Carl Wilson.

For all that, Love remains upbeat. He keeps himself healthy and takes pride in continuing to deliver those vintage Beach Boys hits.

"If your lifestyle is such that you're getting enough rest and you're watching what you eat ... then you're going to be in good shape no matter what age you are," he said. "I can sing exactly those same keys and same arrangements."
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« Reply #1 on: June 22, 2006, 06:33:54 PM »

Quote
such '70s and '80s albums as "Wild Honey"
Roll Eyes
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« Reply #2 on: June 22, 2006, 07:15:16 PM »

BRIAN MCCOY
Record Entertainment Editor
Published Thursday, Jun 22, 2006

The vibe in Hollywood between Love and creative mastermind Brian Wilson, however, was so positive that the singer could speak openly about a possible reunion.

"Brian couldn't have been nicer to me," said Love, 65. "I have actually talked to Brian about writing together, and from there, if we do a reunion thing, I'd like to start with a PBS special. If it turns out to be something people really respond to, we could go on from there."

Brian, have you committed to that Ambrosia guy yet?
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