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679050 Posts in 27464 Topics by 4045 Members - Latest Member: reecemorgan June 05, 2023, 10:50:27 AM
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Author Topic: Scott Totten and John Cowsill depart Beach Boys band  (Read 6639 times)
HeyJude
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« Reply #25 on: May 09, 2023, 10:15:43 AM »

There's video floating around of the new guys in Mike's band. While it has been apparent for some time what Mike is aiming at when he adds/replaces members, it's very clear here in my opinion that he's swapping members out for younger members. They're obviously not fresh out of high school or anything, but a bunch of guys in Mike's band all kind of look the same now. I swear, Eichenberger, the sax player, the bass player, and now the new guitarist all look like they fit that same demographic; they all look really similar. 40-50-ish with that same hairdo with the frosted/slightly gray hair.

The new drummer appears to be one of those players that plays a really low-to-the-ground kit on a high stool, so it kind of looks like he's playing a kid's drum set, or that he's standing while playing.

I'm seeing some YouTube comments and comments in other places that truly seem to think Totten and Cowsill just retired. C'mon people. This isn't rocket science. When two guys are gone at the *exact same time*, that's doesn't sound like an organic decision to retire. As with the vast, vast majority of backing band changes over the years, I don't believe this was a voluntary exit.

I'm guessing that getting younger guys at a cheaper price hit two of the main goals that could have motivated Mike in this decision.

All just my opinion of course....
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« Reply #26 on: May 09, 2023, 05:31:02 PM »

I saw the video you're referring to from May 6th. Looks like Eichelberger has replaced Totten on guitar and in his spot on stage next to Mike son Christian love. Looks like the new guitar player on the opposite side of the stage don't know who he is. And you're right the new Drummer looks like he's actually either standing or playing a kid's drum set. Looks really strange. Would be nice if they were announced as to who they were and what their backgrounds were but knowing Mike love we may or may not get that. And PS I have to continue to say after all these years I still don't care for Christian love voice it sounds extremely Bland and toneless
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All Summer Long
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« Reply #27 on: May 09, 2023, 11:04:35 PM »

There's video floating around of the new guys in Mike's band. While it has been apparent for some time what Mike is aiming at when he adds/replaces members, it's very clear here in my opinion that he's swapping members out for younger members.

The new drummer appears to be one of those players that plays a really low-to-the-ground kit on a high stool, so it kind of looks like he's playing a kid's drum set, or that he's standing while playing.

I'm seeing some YouTube comments and comments in other places that truly seem to think Totten and Cowsill just retired. C'mon people. This isn't rocket science. When two guys are gone at the *exact same time*, that's doesn't sound like an organic decision to retire. As with the vast, vast majority of backing band changes over the years, I don't believe this was a voluntary exit.

I'm guessing that getting younger guys at a cheaper price hit two of the main goals that could have motivated Mike in this decision.

All just my opinion of course....

Are Scott Totten and John Cowsill that much older than some of the newer additions (their replacements, the bassist, and the saxophonist), though? I donít mean to doubt your expertise, HeyJude, but I really doubt Scott would have given Mike such a pleasant Facebook post if he and Cowsill were canned. I just FB friended Scott; while I donít plan to ask him about this, I have to say I am tempted.  Wink

I saw the video you're referring to from May. Looks like the new guitar player on the opposite side of the stage don't know who he is. Would be nice if they were announced as to who they were and what their backgrounds were but knowing Mike love we may or may not get that. And PS I have to continue to say after all these years I still don't care for Christian love voice it sounds extremely Bland and toneless

Iíll have to look around for this video. From lurking on the other board, there was a rumor that the lead guitarist might have worked with The Righteous Brothers before jumping over to Mike and Bruce. Agreed with you 100%, Tony, on Christian Loveís voice. While I was lurking over there, someone said Christian doesnít even like the bandís music; I think that explains a bit of what we donít like about his voice. I donít understand how those who praise him genuinely like his voice; he sounds nothing like Carl to me.
« Last Edit: May 09, 2023, 11:05:27 PM by All Summer Long » Logged
HeyJude
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« Reply #28 on: May 10, 2023, 06:39:04 AM »

Others tracked down the names of the new members. Jon Bolton is the new drummer apparently. John Wedemeyer is the guitarist.

I don't know their ages. But to the point above regarding age, I think age is at least one of the general factors. Not so much like there's a specific age where you "age out" of the band. But according to Wikipedia, John Cowsill is 67 years old. I don't know how old that Jon Bolton guy is, but he appears to be quite a bit younger.

The Wedemeyer guy is, I'm guessing, younger than Totten, though perhaps not as much of a gap there.

I think the age factor is more like maintaining an overall sort of median age for the band. And yes, I've also had it theorized to me from folks over the years that there is a less professional/artistic reason Mike would want younger guys in the band around him, similar to why he seems to be so enthusiastic about getting John Stamos on stage as much as possible.

As for Totten's pleasant Facebook message, I think that's a case of being professional and understanding. I'm not saying Totten and Cowsill's departure was necessarily epically acrimonious. I'm just saying my take on it is that it's not voluntary. I think it's difficult to draw an exact analogy between this type of job and other "regular" jobs. When there is a subjective nature to the sound and look and presentation of a band, you might see changes made that you wouldn't in other "fields." That could dictate that someone who is "let go" might be more understanding on some level (and be well aware that no place in the backing band is ever permanent), but wouldn't really be exactly *happy* about it.

While a dual member change like this screamed "probably not voluntary" from the get go in my opinion, I've also had multiple other folks indicate to me that their understanding is that this was not a case of two guys simply concurrently choosing to "move on to other things."

As for Mike announcing personnel changes, we may or may not see something. In the past, Mike has sometimes announced members leaving or joining, and other times not said anything. I recall he did a double posting back to back announcing Randell Kirsch's departure and Eichenberger joining (the first time he joined). Whereas, I don't believe he announced Christian Love returning when he last rejoined.

I think it's more likely that Mike at least says *something* when it's someone who has been in the band for a long time, as Kirsch, Totten, and Cowsill were.
« Last Edit: May 12, 2023, 09:31:48 AM by HeyJude » Logged

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« Reply #29 on: May 10, 2023, 09:30:34 AM »

There's video floating around of the new guys in Mike's band. While it has been apparent for some time what Mike is aiming at when he adds/replaces members, it's very clear here in my opinion that he's swapping members out for younger members.

The new drummer appears to be one of those players that plays a really low-to-the-ground kit on a high stool, so it kind of looks like he's playing a kid's drum set, or that he's standing while playing.

I'm seeing some YouTube comments and comments in other places that truly seem to think Totten and Cowsill just retired. C'mon people. This isn't rocket science. When two guys are gone at the *exact same time*, that's doesn't sound like an organic decision to retire. As with the vast, vast majority of backing band changes over the years, I don't believe this was a voluntary exit.

I'm guessing that getting younger guys at a cheaper price hit two of the main goals that could have motivated Mike in this decision.

All just my opinion of course....

Are Scott Totten and John Cowsill that much older than some of the newer additions (their replacements, the bassist, and the saxophonist), though? I donít mean to doubt your expertise, HeyJude, but I really doubt Scott would have given Mike such a pleasant Facebook post if he and Cowsill were canned. I just FB friended Scott; while I donít plan to ask him about this, I have to say I am tempted.  Wink

I saw the video you're referring to from May. Looks like the new guitar player on the opposite side of the stage don't know who he is. Would be nice if they were announced as to who they were and what their backgrounds were but knowing Mike love we may or may not get that. And PS I have to continue to say after all these years I still don't care for Christian love voice it sounds extremely Bland and toneless

Iíll have to look around for this video.



Not anymore:



University of St Thomas Beach Boy Concert, 6 May 2023


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xztUf5-DFBg
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To sum it up, they blew it, they blew it consistently, they continue to blow it, it is tragic and this pathological problem caused The Beach Boys' greatest music to be so underrated by the general public.

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« Reply #30 on: May 10, 2023, 10:19:51 PM »

There's video floating around of the new guys in Mike's band. While it has been apparent for some time what Mike is aiming at when he adds/replaces members, it's very clear here in my opinion that he's swapping members out for younger members.

The new drummer appears to be one of those players that plays a really low-to-the-ground kit on a high stool, so it kind of looks like he's playing a kid's drum set, or that he's standing while playing.

I'm seeing some YouTube comments and comments in other places that truly seem to think Totten and Cowsill just retired. C'mon people. This isn't rocket science. When two guys are gone at the *exact same time*, that's doesn't sound like an organic decision to retire. As with the vast, vast majority of backing band changes over the years, I don't believe this was a voluntary exit.

I'm guessing that getting younger guys at a cheaper price hit two of the main goals that could have motivated Mike in this decision.

All just my opinion of course....

Are Scott Totten and John Cowsill that much older than some of the newer additions (their replacements, the bassist, and the saxophonist), though? I donít mean to doubt your expertise, HeyJude, but I really doubt Scott would have given Mike such a pleasant Facebook post if he and Cowsill were canned. I just FB friended Scott; while I donít plan to ask him about this, I have to say I am tempted.  Wink

I saw the video you're referring to from May. Looks like the new guitar player on the opposite side of the stage don't know who he is. Would be nice if they were announced as to who they were and what their backgrounds were but knowing Mike love we may or may not get that. And PS I have to continue to say after all these years I still don't care for Christian love voice it sounds extremely Bland and toneless

Iíll have to look around for this video.



Not anymore:



University of St Thomas Beach Boy Concert, 6 May 2023


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xztUf5-DFBg

Hi Rocker, thanks for posting the link.
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« Reply #31 on: May 11, 2023, 01:38:51 AM »

Not too much to draw from that clip and honestly, it doesn't sound vastly different. Only two major differences I'd note is tempos feeling rushed, particularly on "Good Vibrations" and Christian's lead vocal on "Darlin'"  Roll Eyes
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« Reply #32 on: May 11, 2023, 06:25:01 AM »

That looks like a typical in-between-tour-legs private-ish gig that Mike has been doing for years. It's like doing an off-Broadway show; I'm sure the perfect place to give the new players a dry run. A University Gala audience is like the last place you'll see audience members noticing anything amiss musically.

Yes, I'd agree that one of the only possible takeaways from these short clips is that the tempo does feel a bit rushed. That's what you sometimes get with a younger drummer. The new guitarist is neither here nor there. I still find it kind of weird that Mike has a non-vocalist (more or less) bass player and *three* guitarists, instead of just having Eichenberger play bass as he used to, and then you could eliminate the bass player. I'm not trying to advocate for the guy not having a job. It's just ironic, as we've mentioned in recent years, that Mike seemed to find the larger 50th anniversary tour band to be anathema to his mode of running a lean touring band and operation, yet after the anniversary tour he added *two* extra members (an extra bass/guitar and the sax guy).

Let's be frank. Mike's band struggled in the aftermath of the Carl and Al being gone in the late 90s, and it was clearly Totten who, as one noted commentator said some time back, probably saved Mike's reputation as a touring act by improving the whole thing on multiple fronts. If anyone didn't already know that, it was clear when Totten (and Cowsill) were the only two players brought into Brian's band for the reunion. With those two gone, as well as Foskett, I think the band is kind of plateauing into more of a blandness. It kind of feels like it's Mike and Bruce and like 6 Keith Hubachers.

As someone also noted in the first few years after the reunion, when Foskett was poached for Mike's band, Brian (who at that point was very actively touring) should have poached Totten and Cowsill. Especially once Brian lost a few members to a variety of circumstances.
« Last Edit: May 12, 2023, 09:31:30 AM by HeyJude » Logged

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« Reply #33 on: May 11, 2023, 06:52:54 AM »

Are we sure Totten and Cowsill would have happily moved from M&B to Brian?
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« Reply #34 on: May 11, 2023, 09:04:07 AM »

Are we sure Totten and Cowsill would have happily moved from M&B to Brian?

As in getting the right type of offer? Who knows? I'm sure it would have probably required a pretty good offer. But Brian was very actively touring in the 2016-ish timeframe, such that for a year or two, Brian's tour outgrossed Mike's.

If we're asking if Totten and Cowsill would have had so much allegiance to Mike that they never would have considered moving to Brian's band? I think all of these guys know the gig is never a forever gig. So I think most anybody in their position would at least entertain it under the right circumstances.

Foskett jumping from Brian to Mike was a thousand times more political than Totten or Cowsill jumping to Brian's band would have been, though that still obviously wouldn't *not* also be seen as a bit of upheaval in the BB touring sphere.

A ton of guys that have exited Mike's band have ended up playing with Al and/or Brian subsequently. And some of the guys that ended up in Mike's band had *previously* played with Brian or Al (Eichenberger of course, and also Randell Kirsch had done gigs with Al prior to joining Mike).  There is a large pool of ex backing band members. You can end up seeing combinations of oldtimers (Carter, Figueroa), ex-Mike guys (Farmer, Baker, Kirsch), Al guys (Matt) and even Brian guys (Probyn) all playing in the same band.

As I've mentioned previously, it will be interesting to see if Totten or Cowsill end up doing gigs with any of these off-shoot/tribute bands. Cowsill would seem more likely, as he was sort of doing that circuit prior to playing with Mike, having toured with Jan & Dean as I recall.
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« Reply #35 on: May 11, 2023, 05:57:37 PM »

It will be interesting to see if there are any set list changes . I always believed Totten had a lot to do with Mikes set lists becoming more creative .
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« Reply #36 on: May 14, 2023, 03:11:21 PM »

It will be interesting to see if there are any set list changes . I always believed Totten had a lot to do with Mikes set lists becoming more creative .

I've been wondering the same thing. I've watched Totten interject songs that were "maybes" on the setlist, to Mike's chagrin at times, that were deeper cuts. I recall him tallking Mike into/pushing the band into songs like "Good To My Babye", "Please Let Me Wonder", "All This is That"...at various shows I've seen, when they weren't printed on the set.
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« Reply #37 on: May 17, 2023, 02:22:44 PM »

It seems there is no thread for Mike&Bruce's tours of this year, so I post this here:


Your chance to see the Beach Boys like never before

Don't miss a chance to see the Beach Boys perform with the Nashville Symphony. For more information, please visit nashvillesymphony.org/beachboys


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a9kjfXIIVqw


There's a promo video on the nashvillesymphony link. Interestingly you obviously see Mike in that video, you never hear him. It's like someone deliberately only used songs that feature Brian clear and front (apart from "Kokomo", but they only use the chorus of that).


« Last Edit: May 17, 2023, 02:29:02 PM by Rocker » Logged

a diseased bunch of mo'fos if there ever was oneÖ their beauty is so awesome that listening to them at their best is like being in some vast dream cathedral decorated with a thousand gleaming American pop culture icons.

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To sum it up, they blew it, they blew it consistently, they continue to blow it, it is tragic and this pathological problem caused The Beach Boys' greatest music to be so underrated by the general public.

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« Reply #38 on: May 17, 2023, 05:30:54 PM »

That's hysterical. That's been a nearly annual stop for them for well over a decade.
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« Reply #39 on: May 21, 2023, 09:04:13 AM »

Meanwhile there are more recent videos of Mike & Bruce online, this is one of them:


Live in Montgomery, Alabama (May 17, 2023)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TEJjMtbARTc
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a diseased bunch of mo'fos if there ever was oneÖ their beauty is so awesome that listening to them at their best is like being in some vast dream cathedral decorated with a thousand gleaming American pop culture icons.

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PRO SHOT BEACH BOYS CONCERTS - LIST


To sum it up, they blew it, they blew it consistently, they continue to blow it, it is tragic and this pathological problem caused The Beach Boys' greatest music to be so underrated by the general public.

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« Reply #40 on: May 24, 2023, 06:48:12 AM »

John Cowsill is a smart guy. He recently posted this on Facebook. As is usually the case, I suppose *someone* out there will miss the not-at-all subtle subtext (well, in this case it's literally not subtext but actual text) explaining A) At least some of the impetus behind why, or whom, made the decision to change drummers and B) Whether this was voluntary or not:

"Hi you guys and gals. I wanna say I love your loyalties and fandom/friendship over the decades. Iím an elusive private type of person. Still working on that! Lol but I need you all, if you can, to support the change by The Beach Boys, Jon Bolton is a sweet kind and solid drummer. Heís gonna bring some flash and fun to the music. Itís his turn to take the throne! And thatís the new direction John Stamos has in mind for his friends The Beach Boys. Itís all good. If you Love The Beach Boys music, I guarantee itís still the same songs and itíll be entertaining! Iím gonna see them in Nashville when they get there. I miss my crew bus family. Love to all of you! Now help me spead that around!!! XOXOXOXO"

In case anybody needs extra emphasis, here it is:

"Hi you guys and gals. I wanna say I love your loyalties and fandom/friendship over the decades. Iím an elusive private type of person. Still working on that! Lol but I need you all, if you can, to support the change by The Beach Boys, Jon Bolton is a sweet kind and solid drummer. Heís gonna bring some flash and fun to the music. Itís his turn to take the throne! And thatís the new direction John Stamos has in mind for his friends The Beach Boys. Itís all good. If you Love The Beach Boys music, I guarantee itís still the same songs and itíll be entertaining! Iím gonna see them in Nashville when they get there. I miss my crew bus family. Love to all of you! Now help me spead that around!!! XOXOXOXO"

I'm not denying he's trying to be positive and professional, just as Totten was. Just as pretty much every backing band member who has rotated through, either because they're genuinely trying to be kind and professional, or because they signed NDAs, or whatever. But this seemingly polite, amicable statement I think gets the points across that the author wants to get across.

In past years we all wondered if someone like Jeff Foskett was angling at the BB license once Mike was no longer using it. But what if John Stamos is the one angling at it? I'm genuinely just barfing that open question out there.
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« Reply #41 on: May 24, 2023, 07:15:22 AM »

Okay so the mentioning of Stamos sure is odd. What on earth would he have to do with changes in the Mike & Bruce show? Legally, none I would think, unless Mike signed something off to him (which I canít imagine).
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« Reply #42 on: May 24, 2023, 07:35:17 AM »

To repeat my post on Endless Harmony:

Was Nelson Bragg looking over John C's shoulder whilst that statement was being typed?
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« Reply #43 on: May 24, 2023, 08:47:35 AM »

Okay so the mentioning of Stamos sure is odd. What on earth would he have to do with changes in the Mike & Bruce show? Legally, none I would think, unless Mike signed something off to him (which I canít imagine).

Yyyyeahh, I don't think the implication is that Stamos is literally the manager of the touring band with direct firing authority. I'm not trying to be snarky, but I'm not sure how much more clear the implication could be.

I guess, imagine one of the other Beatles saying in 1970 "Let's all support John in his solo career. Leaving the Beatles was the new direction Yoko had in mind for her friend John Lennon."
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« Reply #44 on: May 24, 2023, 11:26:41 AM »

The new drummer posted on Facebook that Stamos got him the gig:

https://fb.watch/kK41X1tTk_/
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« Reply #45 on: May 24, 2023, 12:11:32 PM »

Yeah, that statement by Cowsill is a bit painful. Ouch. Sad

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« Reply #46 on: May 24, 2023, 01:39:10 PM »

Yeah, I think when one doesn't want to (or can't, perhaps due to NDAs) really give a long detailed interview about everything, this is about the best way to get the main gist of what went down across (meaning addressing whether it was voluntary or not) and letting people have a bit of insight into the current feelings about the situation.

As I've said before, as we all know, the gig is never a permanent one. Anybody who joins surely knows that. There's only one guy left in the backing band who played with Al and Carl (and he joined only shortly before Al and Carl left) and five guys who joined post-50th anniversary.

We don't have a great deal of detailed insight into how and why most backing members have come and gone. I'm sure this is a mixture of lack of interest from those who would conduct interviews, and also NDAs in some cases possibly as some have alluded to over the years.

Based on what we know, I think it's safe to say the vast majority of departures have not been voluntary. We have a few who have gone on record for interviews describing to some degree their departures (Foskett's first departure in 1990, Ernie Knapp, I think one if not several members have described an apparent short-term purge of members around 1977 of non-TM-practicing members, and a few other stories over the years).

I think it's also fair to say that dropping Cowsill and Totten is one of the more surprising and headscratch-inducing moves of the last couple decades, and probably the most so of the post-Al/Carl era of Mike's band.

From what I can tell, Mike used to see some value in having long-serving members in the backing band. I recall up until Kowalski's departure, Mike would often mention in interviews that his drummer had been with him since 1968. Clearly, he no longer sees a need to project that to audiences. Hence the band is being back-filled with (relatively) younger members, and is taking on a rather homogeneous look and sound as I've mentioned in past posts.
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« Reply #47 on: May 24, 2023, 07:50:09 PM »

I'll be honest, This whole thing makes no sense to me. I guess I don't follow the ins and outs of Beach Boys and Beach Boys adjacent backing groups. Can somebody spell this out for me? Mike is taking advice from John Stamos on how to run his group?
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« Reply #48 on: May 24, 2023, 09:44:43 PM »

For what itís worth, one small observation from me at aBeach Boys concert last year in Tilburg,The Netherlands. Stamos was present that night and doing his thing. At one point he took over on drums which was not to Cowsillís liking. I donít know ifStamos was supposed to play drums those particular songs, if it was planned, or not. John Cowsill made gestures and was saying things and from his body language and facial expression I could tell he was irritated. Stamos notuced this and tried to talk to Cowsill, while he was drumming. Cowsill did not make eye contact with Stamos and took a tambourine and remained on stage to sing harmonies.
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« Reply #49 on: May 25, 2023, 06:37:11 AM »

I'll be honest, This whole thing makes no sense to me. I guess I don't follow the ins and outs of Beach Boys and Beach Boys adjacent backing groups. Can somebody spell this out for me? Mike is taking advice from John Stamos on how to run his group?

Yes.

If you take even a cursory glance at how Mike interacts with Stamos versus how he interacts with almost anybody else, you can see that for whatever reason, he is literally a thousand times more happy and literally glowing when he's around Stamos. Look at him at a gig or in an interview with Stamos versus, say, Mike's demeanor during the 50th anniversary sitting next to Brian and Al for interviews.

As someone said many years ago, I personally have little doubt that Mike would boot his own kid off the tour if he could replace him with Stamos full time. Yes, Mike is truly *that* enamored with Stamos.

I literally cannot think of a time where I've seen or heard Mike happier than he is when he's around John Stamos. It's like every type of interaction/relationship rolled into one. They've got a dudebro friendship going on, they've got a mutual celebrity fistbump thing going on, and they both act towards the other as a kind of sycophantic fanboy. Mike literally namedrops Stamos at concerts and has for years, even when Stamos is not at the gig. Like, Mike is a guy who has co-written, sung, and performed literally some of the universally-recognized greatest music of all time. He's met, known, and performed alongside countless luminaries. Yet, what he wants everybody to know is that he's best friends with John Stamos.
« Last Edit: May 25, 2023, 06:37:45 AM by HeyJude » Logged

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