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Author Topic: The Beach Boys Touring Lineups  (Read 4089 times)
All Summer Long
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« Reply #50 on: November 08, 2017, 08:09:47 AM »

I've been waiting for a comprehensive thread about this! I hope we can get a detailed look at the touring band all the way until the current band(s)
I think there should be some discussion of the other on-stage players over the years, such as their various horn sections. I remember (vaguely) some shows in the '70's that featured some amazing horn contributions, but don't recall any names.



I'll put anything we can find in the first post.
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« Reply #51 on: November 09, 2017, 12:47:17 PM »

So back to 1961: I know Brian played at least a snare drum on Surfin' but what did he play live? Al was playing double bass so I'll assume piano with Dennis on drums? Would the set just have consisted of Surfin'?
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« Reply #52 on: November 09, 2017, 12:54:47 PM »

So back to 1961: I know Brian played at least a snare drum on Surfin' but what did he play live? Al was playing double bass so I'll assume piano with Dennis on drums? Would the set just have consisted of Surfin'?

I get the impression that even their earliest gigs were done with two electric guitars, electric bass (Brian) and drums. But I'll have a look in Ian and Jon's book, although someone else may get back to you before then...
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« Reply #53 on: November 09, 2017, 02:36:42 PM »

So back to 1961: I know Brian played at least a snare drum on Surfin' but what did he play live? Al was playing double bass so I'll assume piano with Dennis on drums? Would the set just have consisted of Surfin'?

Regarding the very first gig, I found what I wanted in James B. Murphy's Becoming the Beach Boys, an essential purchase for the serious fan. For that gig on December 23rd, Murphy lists (on p. 131) Carl on guitar, either his own or one he rented, Al on the rented double-bass, Dennis on drums ("perhaps just a snare") and Brian and Mike sharing a microphone. They did two songs, "Surfin'" for sure and possibly "Johnny B. Goode" or "Bermuda Shorts".

As for subsequent gigs from December 30th on, Brian took over on electric bass (learning to play it in three days) and Al joined Carl on electric guitar. This infromation is from Rusten and Stebbins' equally essential The Beach Boys in Concert (p. 5).
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« Reply #54 on: November 09, 2017, 06:53:21 PM »


So back to 1961: I know Brian played at least a snare drum on Surfin' but what did he play live? Al was playing double bass so I'll assume piano with Dennis on drums? Would the set just have consisted of Surfin'?

Regarding the very first gig, I found what I wanted in James B. Murphy's Becoming the Beach Boys, an essential purchase for the serious fan. For that gig on December 23rd, Murphy lists (on p. 131) Carl on guitar, either his own or one he rented, Al on the rented double-bass, Dennis on drums ("perhaps just a snare") and Brian and Mike sharing a microphone. They did two songs, "Surfin'" for sure and possibly "Johnny B. Goode" or "Bermuda Shorts".

As for subsequent gigs from December 30th on, Brian took over on electric bass (learning to play it in three days) and Al joined Carl on electric guitar. This infromation is from Rusten and Stebbins' equally essential The Beach Boys in Concert (p. 5).

Thanks JK, and I'll definitely look into those books. Brian learning bass in three days was surprising until I remembered, duh, he's Brian Wilson and why am I doubting his talent.  Grin

Did Al always know how to play guitar? If so, do we know why he learned double bass? If I'm right, one important user (I think Jon Stebbins?) said that Carl used his Kay (I think) hollow-body electric on Surfin' (unplugged)? Do we know if Carl used that before he bought the Strat and Jaguar? Al, I'm assuming, used his '62 Strat?
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« Reply #55 on: November 10, 2017, 01:50:23 AM »

Did Al always know how to play guitar? If so, do we know why he learned double bass? If I'm right, one important user (I think Jon Stebbins?) said that Carl used his Kay (I think) hollow-body electric on Surfin' (unplugged)? Do we know if Carl used that before he bought the Strat and Jaguar? Al, I'm assuming, used his '62 Strat?

Sounds like more information to be found in James Murphy's must-buy. If no one else answers first, I'll read it up (hardly a chore!)...

My brother's a guitarist and used to play bass on my uncle's cello! And then later double-bass in the school orchestra. So I should imagine the switch comes quite easily if you're musical (no lessons required).

Well, to answer all your other questions in one fell swoop (unless someone leaps in to correct me): Murphy states that for the recording session Carl "strummed an authentic sounding surf rhythm on his acoustic guitar" (p. 103). No one owned an electric instrument at that stage.

So it's a book well worth investing in. :=)
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« Reply #56 on: November 10, 2017, 07:29:56 AM »

Chiming in on a back ground player mentioned earlier. Joe Chemay  plays bass for Peter Cetera now, and sings bkgd on the new Roy Orbison release!
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« Reply #57 on: November 10, 2017, 07:35:08 AM »

Did Al always know how to play guitar? If so, do we know why he learned double bass? If I'm right, one important user (I think Jon Stebbins?) said that Carl used his Kay (I think) hollow-body electric on Surfin' (unplugged)? Do we know if Carl used that before he bought the Strat and Jaguar? Al, I'm assuming, used his '62 Strat?

Sounds like more information to be found in James Murphy's must-buy. If no one else answers first, I'll read it up (hardly a chore!)...

My brother's a guitarist and used to play bass on my uncle's cello! And then later double-bass in the school orchestra. So I should imagine the switch comes quite easily if you're musical (no lessons required).

Well, to answer all your other questions in one fell swoop (unless someone leaps in to correct me): Murphy states that for the recording session Carl "strummed an authentic sounding surf rhythm on his acoustic guitar" (p. 103). No one owned an electric instrument at that stage.

So it's a book well worth investing in. :=)

Carl's first guitar was a cheap Kaye hollowbody archtop cutaway model. Although it was equipped with an electric pickup, Carl was unable to use it as an electric guitar, as he had no amplifier.
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« Reply #58 on: November 10, 2017, 07:40:54 AM »


So back to 1961: I know Brian played at least a snare drum on Surfin' but what did he play live? Al was playing double bass so I'll assume piano with Dennis on drums? Would the set just have consisted of Surfin'?

Regarding the very first gig, I found what I wanted in James B. Murphy's Becoming the Beach Boys, an essential purchase for the serious fan. For that gig on December 23rd, Murphy lists (on p. 131) Carl on guitar, either his own or one he rented, Al on the rented double-bass, Dennis on drums ("perhaps just a snare") and Brian and Mike sharing a microphone. They did two songs, "Surfin'" for sure and possibly "Johnny B. Goode" or "Bermuda Shorts".

As for subsequent gigs from December 30th on, Brian took over on electric bass (learning to play it in three days) and Al joined Carl on electric guitar. This infromation is from Rusten and Stebbins' equally essential The Beach Boys in Concert (p. 5).

Thanks JK, and I'll definitely look into those books. Brian learning bass in three days was surprising until I remembered, duh, he's Brian Wilson and why am I doubting his talent.  Grin

Did Al always know how to play guitar? If so, do we know why he learned double bass? If I'm right, one important user (I think Jon Stebbins?) said that Carl used his Kay (I think) hollow-body electric on Surfin' (unplugged)? Do we know if Carl used that before he bought the Strat and Jaguar? Al, I'm assuming, used his '62 Strat?

Al played acoustic guitar and banjo in his previous group, The Islanders, and quickly learned the bass when it was decided that it would be his instrument in the group he was forming with the Wilson clan.
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« Reply #59 on: November 10, 2017, 07:54:09 AM »


So back to 1961: I know Brian played at least a snare drum on Surfin' but what did he play live? Al was playing double bass so I'll assume piano with Dennis on drums? Would the set just have consisted of Surfin'?

Regarding the very first gig, I found what I wanted in James B. Murphy's Becoming the Beach Boys, an essential purchase for the serious fan. For that gig on December 23rd, Murphy lists (on p. 131) Carl on guitar, either his own or one he rented, Al on the rented double-bass, Dennis on drums ("perhaps just a snare") and Brian and Mike sharing a microphone. They did two songs, "Surfin'" for sure and possibly "Johnny B. Goode" or "Bermuda Shorts".

As for subsequent gigs from December 30th on, Brian took over on electric bass (learning to play it in three days) and Al joined Carl on electric guitar. This infromation is from Rusten and Stebbins' equally essential The Beach Boys in Concert (p. 5).

Thanks JK, and I'll definitely look into those books. Brian learning bass in three days was surprising until I remembered, duh, he's Brian Wilson and why am I doubting his talent.  Grin

Did Al always know how to play guitar? If so, do we know why he learned double bass? If I'm right, one important user (I think Jon Stebbins?) said that Carl used his Kay (I think) hollow-body electric on Surfin' (unplugged)? Do we know if Carl used that before he bought the Strat and Jaguar? Al, I'm assuming, used his '62 Strat?

Al played acoustic guitar and banjo in his previous group, The Islanders, and quickly learned the bass when it was decided that it would be his instrument in the group he was forming with the Wilson clan.
Did Al always know how to play guitar? If so, do we know why he learned double bass? If I'm right, one important user (I think Jon Stebbins?) said that Carl used his Kay (I think) hollow-body electric on Surfin' (unplugged)? Do we know if Carl used that before he bought the Strat and Jaguar? Al, I'm assuming, used his '62 Strat?

Sounds like more information to be found in James Murphy's must-buy. If no one else answers first, I'll read it up (hardly a chore!)...

My brother's a guitarist and used to play bass on my uncle's cello! And then later double-bass in the school orchestra. So I should imagine the switch comes quite easily if you're musical (no lessons required).

Well, to answer all your other questions in one fell swoop (unless someone leaps in to correct me): Murphy states that for the recording session Carl "strummed an authentic sounding surf rhythm on his acoustic guitar" (p. 103). No one owned an electric instrument at that stage.

So it's a book well worth investing in. :=)

Carl's first guitar was a cheap Kaye hollowbody archtop cutaway model. Although it was equipped with an electric pickup, Carl was unable to use it as an electric guitar, as he had no amplifier.
Chiming in on a back ground player mentioned earlier. Joe Chemay  plays bass for Peter Cetera now, and sings bkgd on the new Roy Orbison release!
Did Al always know how to play guitar? If so, do we know why he learned double bass? If I'm right, one important user (I think Jon Stebbins?) said that Carl used his Kay (I think) hollow-body electric on Surfin' (unplugged)? Do we know if Carl used that before he bought the Strat and Jaguar? Al, I'm assuming, used his '62 Strat?

Sounds like more information to be found in James Murphy's must-buy. If no one else answers first, I'll read it up (hardly a chore!)...

My brother's a guitarist and used to play bass on my uncle's cello! And then later double-bass in the school orchestra. So I should imagine the switch comes quite easily if you're musical (no lessons required).

Well, to answer all your other questions in one fell swoop (unless someone leaps in to correct me): Murphy states that for the recording session Carl "strummed an authentic sounding surf rhythm on his acoustic guitar" (p. 103). No one owned an electric instrument at that stage.

So it's a book well worth investing in. :=)


Thanks everyone.

JK: I also play guitar and have been learning bass for a couple of years so I know guitar-bass is an easier switch because you don't need any chords. Bass-guitar would be tougher because you'd have to learn chords.

C-man: Before I saw your post I almost quoted a post from Jon Stebbins about the Kay from the "Beach Boys and Fender guitars" article from 2006.  Learned a lot when I found that article and others using the search button. It would also make a lot more sense that Al had already known how to play guitar because it probably would've been a harder switch from bass to learn chords to be a rhythm guitarist for The Beach Boys after David left (had he not already played guitar).

Astroray: I love Roy Orbison so I can't wait to hear the new RPO album and now also Joe Chemay's backing vocals!
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« Reply #60 on: November 10, 2017, 08:59:43 AM »


So back to 1961: I know Brian played at least a snare drum on Surfin' but what did he play live? Al was playing double bass so I'll assume piano with Dennis on drums? Would the set just have consisted of Surfin'?

Regarding the very first gig, I found what I wanted in James B. Murphy's Becoming the Beach Boys, an essential purchase for the serious fan. For that gig on December 23rd, Murphy lists (on p. 131) Carl on guitar, either his own or one he rented, Al on the rented double-bass, Dennis on drums ("perhaps just a snare") and Brian and Mike sharing a microphone. They did two songs, "Surfin'" for sure and possibly "Johnny B. Goode" or "Bermuda Shorts".

As for subsequent gigs from December 30th on, Brian took over on electric bass (learning to play it in three days) and Al joined Carl on electric guitar. This infromation is from Rusten and Stebbins' equally essential The Beach Boys in Concert (p. 5).

Thanks JK, and I'll definitely look into those books. Brian learning bass in three days was surprising until I remembered, duh, he's Brian Wilson and why am I doubting his talent.  Grin

Did Al always know how to play guitar? If so, do we know why he learned double bass? If I'm right, one important user (I think Jon Stebbins?) said that Carl used his Kay (I think) hollow-body electric on Surfin' (unplugged)? Do we know if Carl used that before he bought the Strat and Jaguar? Al, I'm assuming, used his '62 Strat?

Also - Carl and Dave played a gig or two with Rickenbacker 6-string solid-bodies, rented from Hogans' House Of Music, prior to getting their Fenders.
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« Reply #61 on: November 10, 2017, 09:10:25 AM »

Chiming in on a back ground player mentioned earlier. Joe Chemay  plays bass for Peter Cetera now, and sings bkgd on the new Roy Orbison release!

I saw Chemay's name on the credits for the new Orbison orchestral overdub album (also saw Robbie McIntosh formerly of McCartney's band in the credits as well).

I have mixed feelings about the new Orbison album. It doesn't hurt anyone, and some of the arrangements are nice. But the "rock" songs sound kind of goofy with a full orchestra, while the ballads already had various string arrangements and whatnot on them. Also not a fan of the manufactured "duet" on "I Drove All Night."

There's gotta still be some stuff in the archives they could release instead.

Far more tacky is that Orbison's sons have apparently signed on for a "Hologram Tour" of the UK. Ugggh.

Jeez guys, just put another DVD of a live show out, or remix some stuff, or something.

So how long did Chemay play with the BBs? Was it just a few months in the spring/summer of 1980?
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« Reply #62 on: November 10, 2017, 11:14:18 AM »

Chiming in on a back ground player mentioned earlier. Joe Chemay  plays bass for Peter Cetera now, and sings bkgd on the new Roy Orbison release!
So how long did Chemay play with the BBs? Was it just a few months in the spring/summer of 1980?

Yeah...although before that, he worked with Dennis quite a bit in the studio in '77-'78, and was in the band for the proposed POB tour. He might also have subbed for at least one BBs show in '82; a two-page color photo in John Milward's book shows the '82 lineup onstage, with someone other than Eddie Carter on bass...whoever it is has his face obscured by his baseball cap, but he's wearing a Pink Floyd "Wall" t-shirt, leading me to believe it's Joe (since he sang on that album, after all).
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« Reply #63 on: November 10, 2017, 01:44:06 PM »

Chiming in on a back ground player mentioned earlier. Joe Chemay  plays bass for Peter Cetera now, and sings bkgd on the new Roy Orbison release!

I saw Chemay's name on the credits for the new Orbison orchestral overdub album (also saw Robbie McIntosh formerly of McCartney's band in the credits as well).

I have mixed feelings about the new Orbison album. It doesn't hurt anyone, and some of the arrangements are nice. But the "rock" songs sound kind of goofy with a full orchestra, while the ballads already had various string arrangements and whatnot on them. Also not a fan of the manufactured "duet" on "I Drove All Night."

There's gotta still be some stuff in the archives they could release instead.

Far more tacky is that Orbison's sons have apparently signed on for a "Hologram Tour" of the UK. Ugggh.

Jeez guys, just put another DVD of a live show out, or remix some stuff, or something.

So how long did Chemay play with the BBs? Was it just a few months in the spring/summer of 1980?

Supposedly there's a lot of Roy Orbison songs in the vaults. I think anywhere from at least two albums up to maybe 100 songs according to a user on the FECC forum.

EDIT: about 200 songs in the Roy Orbison archives
« Last Edit: November 10, 2017, 02:02:33 PM by All Summer Long » Logged
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« Reply #64 on: November 10, 2017, 09:00:56 PM »

Chiming in on a back ground player mentioned earlier. Joe Chemay  plays bass for Peter Cetera now, and sings bkgd on the new Roy Orbison release!

I saw Chemay's name on the credits for the new Orbison orchestral overdub album (also saw Robbie McIntosh formerly of McCartney's band in the credits as well).

I have mixed feelings about the new Orbison album. It doesn't hurt anyone, and some of the arrangements are nice. But the "rock" songs sound kind of goofy with a full orchestra, while the ballads already had various string arrangements and whatnot on them. Also not a fan of the manufactured "duet" on "I Drove All Night."


I feel the same way about hearing Elvis Presley sing "Burning Love" with orchestral backing.
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« Reply #65 on: November 11, 2017, 04:50:27 PM »

I'm willing to bet, Putter Smith was the only member of the Beach Boys touring band to play a villain in a James Bond movie. "Diamonds at Forever"
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« Reply #66 on: November 12, 2017, 05:27:25 PM »

Does the The Beach Boys In Concert book have a list of the shows that they played? The thread that I'm using for a lot of my information has dates, but since some key personnel (Ed Carter, Bobby Figueroa, etc) appear to have missing shows from their core periods in the group so I was wondering if these dates are actually times the group didn't tour during a year.
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« Reply #67 on: November 13, 2017, 06:55:18 AM »

Does the The Beach Boys In Concert book have a list of the shows that they played? The thread that I'm using for a lot of my information has dates, but since some key personnel (Ed Carter, Bobby Figueroa, etc) appear to have missing shows from their core periods in the group so I was wondering if these dates are actually times the group didn't tour during a year.

As in just general BB tour dates? I believe "In Concert" has all known (at the time of publication) tour dates from the beginning through 1998. I believe a small number of tour dates (including some super early era dates) have been discovered since, but the book covers everything otherwise through 1998. After that, it features select dates for Mike, Brian, and Al.

The book is a must-have, one of the groundbreaking BB books of recent memory. Not only does it catalog dates, but it has an entertaining narrative where you can basically read a biography of the group as seen through the lens of their touring. The only thing I've ever said is that I hope they might be able to do an expanded edition some day to not only feature *all* known dates, but to also include a good amount of sample setlists from throughout each tour.
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« Reply #68 on: November 13, 2017, 05:00:05 PM »

Does the The Beach Boys In Concert book have a list of the shows that they played? The thread that I'm using for a lot of my information has dates, but since some key personnel (Ed Carter, Bobby Figueroa, etc) appear to have missing shows from their core periods in the group so I was wondering if these dates are actually times the group didn't tour during a year.

As in just general BB tour dates? I believe "In Concert" has all known (at the time of publication) tour dates from the beginning through 1998. I believe a small number of tour dates (including some super early era dates) have been discovered since, but the book covers everything otherwise through 1998. After that, it features select dates for Mike, Brian, and Al.

The book is a must-have, one of the groundbreaking BB books of recent memory. Not only does it catalog dates, but it has an entertaining narrative where you can basically read a biography of the group as seen through the lens of their touring. The only thing I've ever said is that I hope they might be able to do an expanded edition some day to not only feature *all* known dates, but to also include a good amount of sample setlists from throughout each tour.

I'll look into it, Hey Jude. Yeah I meant General tour dates. There's a link I was using as my source (http://smileysmile.net/board/index.php/topic,19617.0.html) and it has gaps for key touring members like Ed Carter, Bobby Figueroa, etc. so I wasn't sure if these gaps were gaps between tours or actual gaps where these members briefly left the touring band.
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« Reply #69 on: November 14, 2017, 12:17:20 PM »

Does the The Beach Boys In Concert book have a list of the shows that they played? The thread that I'm using for a lot of my information has dates, but since some key personnel (Ed Carter, Bobby Figueroa, etc) appear to have missing shows from their core periods in the group so I was wondering if these dates are actually times the group didn't tour during a year.

Hi, ASL. As HJ says, the book is a must-have. Best thing you can do is buy yourself a copy. It will answer most if not all of your questions about touring lineups.

Another great source is Eric Aniversario's BB Setlist Archive: 

members.tripod.com/~fun_fun_fun/setlists.html

Regrettably I get bombarded with popup stuff whenever I go there. Maybe it's just me...
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« Reply #70 on: November 16, 2017, 05:43:25 PM »

UPDATE: The original post is updated to the present.  I still have to make some minor changes but the basic frame is there.  Thanks again for everyone's help, especially C-man, Hey Jude, and JK. 
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« Reply #71 on: November 17, 2017, 06:39:50 AM »

One very minor update you can add to the top post: Phil Bardowell joined the touring band earlier than 1999. I know he was there in 1998 (he's on the May 1998 pro-shot video where Al is gone but Matt is still in the band).

I believe Bardowell actually joined at some point in 1997 while Carl was still in the band; I recall Bardowell doing interviews where he referred to playing with Carl.
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« Reply #72 on: November 17, 2017, 11:50:32 AM »

One very minor update you can add to the top post: Phil Bardowell joined the touring band earlier than 1999. I know he was there in 1998 (he's on the May 1998 pro-shot video where Al is gone but Matt is still in the band).

I believe Bardowell actually joined at some point in 1997 while Carl was still in the band; I recall Bardowell doing interviews where he referred to playing with Carl.

Hey Jude, I'll definitely add that.  Thanks again.

When was Al's last concert with the touring band?
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« Reply #73 on: November 17, 2017, 01:07:59 PM »

One very minor update you can add to the top post: Phil Bardowell joined the touring band earlier than 1999. I know he was there in 1998 (he's on the May 1998 pro-shot video where Al is gone but Matt is still in the band).

I believe Bardowell actually joined at some point in 1997 while Carl was still in the band; I recall Bardowell doing interviews where he referred to playing with Carl.

Hey Jude, 'll definitely add that.  Thanks again.

When was Al's last concert with the touring band?


I believe he did one or two shows in 1998, mixed in with Mike's "California Beach Band" gigs. Al for sure did the May 9 American Cancer Society benefit in Detroit. I think there's one other possible January date in Carlsbad, CA that may or may not have been a "Beach Boys" show with Al.

I think the May 9 show in Detroit is probably his last gig.

I believe it was starting in July that Mike was able to get his (at the time) non-exclusive license and started touring again as "The Beach Boys."
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« Reply #74 on: November 18, 2017, 04:27:25 AM »

I believe Hey Jude's timeline is correct with regards to both Al departure/last concert and Mike's obtaining the license. I believe it was June of 1998 when there was a concert at one of the casinos in Jersey where the act was billed as Mike Love and America's Band opening for KC and the Sunshine Band....something like that. In a small casino off shoot room too.  Ticket sales were awful. It was a couple of weeks after that where I believe Mike used the Beach Boys name for the first time, at a concert at a Tennis stadium in Northern Jersey.
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