America’s Summer Dream – The Beach Boys Before Dealey Plaza

by Shaun Kelly

When John F. Kennedy flew to Texas to begin his reelection campaign for the presidency on Thursday morning, November 21, 1963, the number-one band in the US consisted of five teens from Southern California called, appropriately enough, The Beach Boys. A heady mixture of cousins, siblings, and neighbors ranging in age from 17 to 23, the fledgling band had already released four long-playing records between 1962 and ’63, with their latest album release, Little Deuce Coupe, establishing itself as one of rock’s first “concept albums.” Within 18 months of their arrival onto the pop musical scene The Beach Boys had already manifested themselves as quintessentially American in style, concept, and sound.

Why then did such an improbable collection of kids from a working-class suburb of Los Angeles grab hold of the imaginations of millions in such a short time? It’s fairly simple, really: The Beach Boys’ were blessed to be led by the group’s lead vocalist, bass player, and primary composer, Brian Wilson. A musical wunderkind whose tastes ranged from Beethoven to The Kingston Trio, Wilson had been influenced by such disparate composers as George Gershwin, Jerome Kern, Chuck Berry, and the R&B songwriting duo of Mike Leiber and Jerry Stoller…

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Beach Boy Father/Manager Murry Wilson Tries to Ruin Up “Help Me Rhonda” Session

From early 1965. As the Beach Boys record what would become their second #1 hit, a drunken Murry Wilson (father of Brian, Carl and Dennis) offers the kind of unsolicited input that eventually led to the Boys purchasing a fake mixing console that he could man harmlessly.

murryMurry’s “help” mostly seems to take the form of taunts, put-downs, muzzy musical advice, and morale-crushing references to how much better they used to sing–and includes his infamous “I’m a genius too” at 2:09.

Notorious head case Brian comes across as the clear-headed one here. And despite Murry’s request to stop recording, Brian makes sure the tape keeps rolling to preserve their exchange. As a result, we have this audio document of the relationship between the band and the father they ultimately had to fire as manager.

Murry’s presence so marred the recording of  “Rhonda” that the Beach Boys recorded a new version weeks later.

Incidentally, in a vindictive attempt to top his own sons’ act Murry Wilson began managing a cover band called the Renegades, changing their name to the Sunrays. They hit #51 with “I Live for the Sun”.

Beautiful Dreamer – Brian Wilson and the Story of ‘SMiLE’

Brian Wilson’s Girl-Powered New LP


(via Rolling Stone)
July 18, 2014 10:00 AM ET

Brian Wilson was deep into writing songs for a new Beach Boys album when Mike Love pulled the plug on the group’s 2012 reunion tour. “It was a shock,” Wilson says. “I was so proud of how the Boys were singing. Then it just ended.”

For a while, Wilson let the music go: “I was writing for the Boys, so I thought, ‘What am I gonna do without them?'”

But last year he got the idea to bring in guest singers to finish the songs. Wilson had loved working with female vocalists since his early Beach Boys days, when he’d moonlight producing tracks for girl groups like the Honeys, which featured his first wife, Marilyn Rovell. He invited some of his favorite young singers to Ocean Way studios in Hollywood, including Lana Del Rey, Kacey Musgraves and Zooey Deschanel. Frank Ocean rapped on “Special Love,” though the track remains unfinished and may not make the album. A track with Nate Ruess from fun. was more successful: He “sounds a little like my brother Carl,” Wilson says…

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Breaking News: Mike Love is Still a Giant Ass Clown

(Reprinted from Reverb music blog)

Apparently, the 50th anniversary reunion tour of the surviving members of the original Beach Boys will be the last we see of that line-up, at least until the 100th anniversary rolls around. Founding members Brian Wilson (who wrote/co-wrote most of the Beach Boys songs that anyone knows and loves), Al Jardine and David Marks were informed by an e-mail that lead singer/notorious rock and roll jerk Mike Love won’t be requiring their services any longer—he intends to go back to what he’s been doing for the past few decades: touring as The Beach Boys at casinos and resorts (oh, and the Reagan White House) backed by a hired band of minimum-wage ringers. You have to give Love credit for consistency, I suppose…
(Huffington Post picks up the story…)
Beach Boys Dump Three Founding Members Without Telling Them
The Beach Boys might still be Keepin’ the Summer Alive with their U.K. tour, but for three members it will be a cold harsh winter.

The band’s frontman Mike Love announced that the group will split after this week in the U.K. and three members — Brian Wilson, Al Jardine and David Marks — have been dropped from the group. The three did not find out they had been dropped until Love and Bruce Johnston released a public statement.

The statement announcing the big shake up reads: “The post-50th anniversary configuration will not include Brian Wilson, Al Jardine and David Marks. The 50th Reunion Tour was designed to be a set tour with a beginning and an end to mark a special 50-year milestone for the band.”

The exiting Beach Boys will be replaced by the group’s long-time backing band, which includes Love’s son Christian, according to the Telegraph. Love added that the decision to drop the three members was financially motivated. “You’ve got to be careful not to get overexposed. There are promoters who are interested [in more shows by the reunited line-up], but they’ve said, ‘Give it a rest for a year’. The Eagles found out the hard way when they went out for a second year and wound up selling tickets for $5.”

Wilson was blindsided.

“I’m disappointed and can’t understand why he (Love) doesn’t want to tour with Al, David and me,” he told CNN. “We are out here having so much fun. After all, we are the real Beach Boys.”

If the five members of the Beach Boys do not rekindle their bond, the September 28 concert at Wembley Stadium may be the last show they play together, CNN noted.

There is already a petition on asking for Love, who owns the rights to the band’s name, to rethink the decision to break up the original Beach Boys.

The petition, addressed to Love, reads: “In order to preserve the validity of ‘The Beach Boys’ as a whole, and not as a ‘money saving, stripped down version’ that only contains 1 original member, and 1 member that joined in 1965, we ask you to re-instate the 3 other members to the touring group for your final years performing.”

“It’s the right thing to do, and it’s what the fans want,” the message concludes.

Jardine linked to the petition in a tweet. As of Wednesday morning, it had over 2,000 signatures.

In December 2011, the Beach Boys confirmed 50 shows to celebrate their 50th anniversary, Rolling Stone previously reported. The band formed in California in 1961. The reunion tour marks the first time the Boys have toured together in more than two decades.

Although the group had problems in the past, like nasty comments in the press and numerous lawsuits, Love swore that all the negativity was behind them. “All that stuff is long forgotten,” he told Rolling Stone.

Back in June, Rolling Stone had reported that Love booked shows for his version of the Beach Boys without consulting the other members.


In retrospect I’m glad I missed this tour. As much as it would have meant to me to see one of my top two or three living musical idols in Brian Wilson, I really don’t want one more dollar to change hands between me and Mike Love. The ego of the man defies belief. Seriously, when the band’s resident genius, muse and living legend is up to touring and they’re fortunate enough to have a fiftieth anniversary to celebrate, who the hell is Love to disband them and tour with an imposter band under the Beach Boys name–for financial reasons, no less? Haven’t you made enough money in the last fifty years, Mike?

It should make their long time fans nauseous. Rock and Roll has a lot of villians, creeps and douchebags, but for my money Mike Love is number one.

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