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Author Topic: When Did the Beach Boys' Cheerleaders End?  (Read 1407 times)
urbanite
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« on: January 07, 2020, 12:27:46 PM »

I know this was Mike's idea, and he bragged about it in the Goldmine interview, but mercifully it ended when and why?
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HeyJude
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« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2020, 01:26:40 PM »

My best guess based on extant video/pics is that the cheerleaders were dropped in 1995 or 96.

Here’s a 1995 summer gig where the cheerleaders are still there:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yjpRHgAu_64

They only appeared on select songs; one was "Kokomo", and while there isn't much footage of "regular" shows from 1996 or 97 (meaning not TV shows or the Nashville Fan Fair gig, etc.), here's a late 1997 show, November (after Carl left the road, with Al and Dave both still in the band), and there aren't any cheerleaders during "Kokomo":

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ddS3mFpoMFY

As for why they were dropped, I don’t think there’s any firm indication. I would assume it was a cost-saving measure more than anything else (as opposed to Mike all of a sudden realizing it was tacky).
« Last Edit: January 07, 2020, 01:27:47 PM by HeyJude » Logged

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« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2020, 01:46:35 PM »

It was in the first half of 1996. They were gone by the time the BBs played Atlanta in May.
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« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2020, 02:00:23 PM »

EmdeeH is right. The first time I saw the Beach Boys was the summer of 1996, and I was dreading the tackiness of cheerleaders. After they took the stage, the guy I bought the ticket from (he and his daughter still went) nudged me and said "Notice anything?" I said, "No, what?" He said, "No cheerleaders!" Aha!
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« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2020, 03:18:50 PM »

My best guess based on extant video/pics is that the cheerleaders were dropped in 1995 or 96.


As for why they were dropped, I don’t think there’s any firm indication. I would assume it was a cost-saving measure more than anything else (as opposed to Mike all of a sudden realizing it was tacky).

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Needleinthehay
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« Reply #5 on: January 07, 2020, 05:11:24 PM »

My best guess based on extant video/pics is that the cheerleaders were dropped in 1995 or 96.

Here’s a 1995 summer gig where the cheerleaders are still there:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yjpRHgAu_64

They only appeared on select songs; one was "Kokomo", and while there isn't much footage of "regular" shows from 1996 or 97 (meaning not TV shows or the Nashville Fan Fair gig, etc.), here's a late 1997 show, November (after Carl left the road, with Al and Dave both still in the band), and there aren't any cheerleaders during "Kokomo":

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ddS3mFpoMFY

As for why they were dropped, I don’t think there’s any firm indication. I would assume it was a cost-saving measure more than anything else (as opposed to Mike all of a sudden realizing it was tacky).

Interesting in the 1995 gig you linked to  theres only 2 cheerleaders. If you look at this show from 1988 in mesa AZ theres i dunno, 6 or 7? (around 52 minutes in)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CHIFY0M6qn0

Another good question is when did they start? They were from 1988 -1995? Originally with 6 or 8 and then paired down to 2 by 1995 then 0 by 1996?

If they did start in 1988 i wonder if they figured they were flush with cash from Kokomo and thats why the added them?

also, another question, did they tour with them? Or did they just hire local girls for every show? It'd obviously be a lot cheaper to hire them in every city instead of paying for hotels, etc. My gf plays violin profesionally and most of the time she plays with a big band in town (josh groban, micahel buble, etc) they just hire local people like her since its a lot cheaper and they just read the music and no one even knows theyre local
« Last Edit: January 07, 2020, 05:14:13 PM by Needleinthehay » Logged
Tony S
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« Reply #6 on: January 08, 2020, 03:52:59 AM »

They were definitely the same cheerleaders on the tour. In fact I believe Mike's wife started as one of the cheerleaders. I know she was in several of the videos I saw around Kokomo time when they first appeared
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« Reply #7 on: January 08, 2020, 08:18:18 AM »

Funny, it had been so long since I watched most of those mid 90s concert videos that I had forgotten that they indeed appeared to slash the cheerleader budget prior to removing them, paring it down to two by 1995.

There's the Philadelphia 4th of July 1995 video from a TV airing, and it does indeed appear they only had two cheerleaders at that gig.

Don't know when it was pared back. Here's a show from Europe in 1993 where it appears to be the larger contingent of cheerleaders:

https://youtu.be/Szg9j1fLDc8?t=1111

Here's St. Louis from July 4, 1994, and it still seems to be the full group of dancers:

https://youtu.be/Dn905_69mKk?t=160
« Last Edit: January 08, 2020, 08:37:55 AM by HeyJude » Logged

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« Reply #8 on: January 08, 2020, 08:22:28 AM »


Interesting in the 1995 gig you linked to  theres only 2 cheerleaders. If you look at this show from 1988 in mesa AZ theres i dunno, 6 or 7? (around 52 minutes in)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CHIFY0M6qn0

Another good question is when did they start? They were from 1988 -1995? Originally with 6 or 8 and then paired down to 2 by 1995 then 0 by 1996?

If they did start in 1988 i wonder if they figured they were flush with cash from Kokomo and thats why the added them?

also, another question, did they tour with them? Or did they just hire local girls for every show? It'd obviously be a lot cheaper to hire them in every city instead of paying for hotels, etc. My gf plays violin profesionally and most of the time she plays with a big band in town (josh groban, micahel buble, etc) they just hire local people like her since its a lot cheaper and they just read the music and no one even knows theyre local

I don't think that Mesa, AZ 1988 show features the touring contingent of cheerleaders/dancers. That '88 show appears to be something they were doing years prior and still doing to this day, which was to have a local cheerleading group come out to dance to "Be True to Your School."

I think it was by 1989 that they started touring with a group of cheerleaders. Here's an '89 show from the "Endless Summer" TV show:

https://youtu.be/JmYGkglcpNQ?t=113

I believe they did travel with the cheerleaders once they started using them regularly. There are some stories about them in Mike's autobiography and other books.

Not sure precisely when they were added, but just after "Kokomo" becoming a hit sounds about right. Not only would they theoretically have a bit more touring revenue to spread around, but "Kokomo" was one of only a hand full of songs during the show that actually used the dancers, so that may have been an impetus to travel with them.

Which brings me to one of the puzzling aspects of traveling with dancers. Really, how many songs featured them? The show opener "California Girls", the "Dance Dance Dance/Do You Wanna Dance" medley, "Be True To Your School", and "Kokomo." What else?
« Last Edit: January 08, 2020, 08:28:02 AM by HeyJude » Logged

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« Reply #9 on: January 08, 2020, 08:30:40 AM »

More curios with the dancers. Here's a 1993 Sweden clip that features Mike's wife when she was a dancer:

https://youtu.be/CsWm-JLMsUQ?t=26

Here is a later example, from 1994, from that weird short bit of a St. Louis show released on DVD years ago:

https://youtu.be/Dn905_69mKk?t=160

Carl-less Spain tour from 1990:

https://youtu.be/pC5yLO33qPE?t=1562
« Last Edit: January 08, 2020, 08:33:25 AM by HeyJude » Logged

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« Reply #10 on: January 08, 2020, 12:28:57 PM »

I found this story from August 1986 and I suspect the idea came from its success.

https://www.mcall.com/news/mc-xpm-1986-08-31-2536308-story.html

They twisted and shouted in the Farmerama Theater yesterday afternoon, stomping their saddle sneakers and swinging their hips as dozens of high school cheerleaders competed for the chance to take the stage with the Beach Boys at the Allentown Fair today.

As part of the legendary surf band's 25th anniversary concert tour, the Beach Boys have been asking the communities in which they perform to provide them with 12 cheerleaders. Cheerleaders are taking stages across the country when the band plays "Barbara Ann," a bopping song that rarely fails to bring audiences from their seats.....
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« Reply #11 on: January 09, 2020, 06:12:12 AM »

The band had been using cheerleaders in various iterations years prior to adding them to the tour around 1989. Even before 1986, they had cheerleaders fronting the stage for gigs like the after-game gigs they did at baseball stadiums in the early 80s.

Certainly, having used cheerleaders on a song here and there would have informed their decision to start touring with dancers.

But I wonder if *this* from 1988 may have been a more specific impetus as far as having a prepared group of dancers that they could start touring with:





I'm not sure how much Mike ended up doing with this "Girls of Kokomo" group, but it looks like its original intention was to attend promotional events and whatnot. I'd be curious to know if this in any way morphed into the dancing group that toured with the band.
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« Reply #12 on: January 09, 2020, 12:10:46 PM »

Most here probably know this, but Al Jardine said - during his anti-Mike years - in an interview ( I believe in ESQ) that  Mike said that a contingent of college cheerleaders who would tour with the band would provide great BJs. 
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« Reply #13 on: January 09, 2020, 01:52:52 PM »

Most here probably know this, but Al Jardine said - during his anti-Mike years - in an interview ( I believe in ESQ) that  Mike said that a contingent of college cheerleaders who would tour with the band would provide great BJs. 

And that would probably back-up my theory that Jacqueline Love put a stop to the cheerleaders. God bless her!  Wink
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« Reply #14 on: January 09, 2020, 04:39:41 PM »

That's pretty funny because she was one of the original cheerleaders and after she hooked up with Mike love probably the main 1.
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« Reply #15 on: January 09, 2020, 04:48:25 PM »

Pretty sure she wasn’t a cheerleader when they first met. Would have to check his book.

Edit. On vacation in Hawaii with her fiancé at the time and was asked to enter a beauty pageant where Mike was a judge. (1987 and she was a registered nurse working as an immunologist).
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« Reply #16 on: January 09, 2020, 05:03:37 PM »

I went to a 1993 or 1994 BB show and took my new wife.

She did not know much about the Beach Boys but had really become a big fan of Pet Sounds.

The show started and those cheerleaders came out (California Girls, maybe) and she said "What the fork is this?" and made a beeline for the exit. I convinced her to stay and I'm so glad we did.

This ended up being one of the shows where they did an "unplugged" set in the middle of the show to promote the box set.
 
We are still married and we have enjoyed a couple of Brian Wilson shows since!  Cheesy
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« Reply #17 on: January 10, 2020, 06:13:01 AM »

Pretty sure she wasn’t a cheerleader when they first met. Would have to check his book.

Edit. On vacation in Hawaii with her fiancé at the time and was asked to enter a beauty pageant where Mike was a judge. (1987 and she was a registered nurse working as an immunologist).

If she met Mike, then after that the band started traveling with dancers, and then *after that* his wife joined the dancers, that would indicate she likely didn't disapprove of the band using the dancers and would be unlikely to have been a part of putting a stop to them.

And let's be real; if a spouse was concerned about stuff going on while their spouse was out on tour, getting rid of traveling dancers would not eliminate probably the most common potential source of consternation.

I'd have to imagine getting rid of the dancers was a budgetary concern above all else. By 1995/96, the band was far removed from the success of "Kokomo". They were still getting plenty of bookings, but I don't think there was anything going on by 1995 that was *increasing* the demand for tickets.

And, unless someone has an interview with Mike where he expresses that he all of a sudden decided it was a good idea to not have a tacky stage presentation, I have no reason to believe Mike decided in 1996 that having dancers was artistically/stylistically no longer desirable. Indeed, to this day he still has them on for "Be True..." at some gigs, and he still invites fans on stage to dance; Totten still does the weird bit where he puts a female fan between himself and his guitar and then plays the guitar, etc. It's not like in 1996 the band went formal and stopped playing fairs and got more serious. I think they just cut an extra expense that obviously wasn't needed.
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« Reply #18 on: January 10, 2020, 12:03:11 PM »

Not an interview with Mike, but Al does say in the Goldmine interview Mike eventually came around....

It saddened me that the Beach Boys' live shows were cheapened by the cheerleaders.

Yeah, I actually got in trouble in an interview I did for a big magazine. I said virtually the same things and Mike got quite upset because I characterized the band that way. But I'm only telling the truth. It began to be a sideshow. Mike reluctantly gave into that eventually. But then I think he was so embittered by that that maybe that's when he began to reinvent the band.



As far as Jacqueline goes, it’s a big step from being a girlfriend in her 20s (possibly one of several) to being a wife in her 30s. Reading the RS interview Mike did a couple of years ago it’s obvious she is pretty formidable and I suspect doesn’t take sh!t from Mike or anyone else. In his book he says she got his finances in order so I would think she had a pretty good idea what the cheerleaders cost and the ‘distractions’ they might cause. We won’t ever know I guess.
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« Reply #19 on: January 17, 2020, 07:04:36 PM »

The Lovester has done his absolute best to destroy the legacy of the band over the decades.
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« Reply #20 on: January 18, 2020, 06:47:45 AM »

Funny, it had been so long since I watched most of those mid 90s concert videos that I had forgotten that they indeed appeared to slash the cheerleader budget prior to removing them, paring it down to two by 1995.

There's the Philadelphia 4th of July 1995 video from a TV airing, and it does indeed appear they only had two cheerleaders at that gig.

Don't know when it was pared back. Here's a show from Europe in 1993 where it appears to be the larger contingent of cheerleaders:

https://youtu.be/Szg9j1fLDc8?t=1111

Here's St. Louis from July 4, 1994, and it still seems to be the full group of dancers:

https://youtu.be/Dn905_69mKk?t=160

Check the clip from Europe! Carl has 3 guys helping him changing guitar after Cal Girls. Pretty obvious it was a much bigger party over all.
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« Reply #21 on: January 18, 2020, 12:32:43 PM »

If they played Cottonfields any slower they’d be going in reverse .
The 1990 Carl less concert is interesting . They did a version of Cal Saga there and Bruce on GOK.
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