It’s been buzzed about for some time so in effect, the official announcement only confirms what we knew, that the Beach Boys will reunite in 2012 for a 50th anniversary tour and a new Capitol album. The tour dates, as yet not announced, will include an appearance at this spring’s New Orleans Jazz & Heritage festival.
Brian Wilson said: “This anniversary is special to me
because I miss the boys and it will be a thrill for me to make a new record and
be on stage with them again.”
His cousin and former nemesis, Mike Love said: “We got together at Capitol Records and re-recorded ‘Do It Again.’ Brian and I wrote that song which went to number 1 in Great Britain, Australia and elsewhere some 44 years ago. Brian paid me a compliment saying, ‘How can a guy sound that great so many years later?’
“Later on, while working out some harmonies on a new song Brian had written, I got a chance to return the compliment. It was a thrill to be around a piano again
with Brian, Alan and Bruce and experience firsthand the brilliance of Cousin
Brian’s gift for vocal arrangements. I am very much looking forward to David Marks joining us and thrilling with his surf guitar licks. Music has been the
unifying and harmonizing fact of life in our family since childhood. It has been
a huge blessing that we have been able to share with the world. Wouldn’t It Be
Nice to Do It Again? Absolutely!”
If Van Halen can reunite, anything’s possible, right? But consider the long history of the Beach Boys, whose members were linked not only by music, but by blood, with Love a first cousin of the Wilson brothers.
Thus the bad blood that erupted after Brian left the group and he and Love started sparring publicly was particularly intense. Add alcoholism, drug abuse and issues relating to emotional abuse allegedly suffered by Brian at the hands of his father, and you have what amounted to a decades-long soap opera.
Although Carl Wilson’s angelic tenor (“God Only Knows” is perhaps the Beach Boys’ chef d’oeuvre) and lead guitar won’t be heard again, and drummer Dennis Wilson died years ago, it’s intriguing that one of the original Beach Boys, guitarist David Marks, has been pressed into service for the album and tour, which will be a historic sight for longtime fans. Marks toured with the Mike Love Beach Boys a few years back, but I didn’t see it, so for me, the image I have of him with the group, they’re all teenagers wearing Pendleton shirts, standing on a California beach.
I had one of the most memorable interviews of my Detroit News career with Brian Wilson some years ago, when he was still under the influence of Dr. Eugene Landy, the controversial psychologist who’d supposedly helped him become functional again. Brian was like a brilliant 16 year old boy, chatty and engaging, but charmingly goofy at times. At his suggestion we took an unauthorized (by Landy) walk around the Dearborn Hyatt Regency and ended up in a bar, which gave me pause until I realized he just wanted to chug down the largest quantity of diet Coke I’ve ever seen a human drink in a matter of seconds.
My encounter with Dennis Wilson when he was in Detroit to promote one of his solo albums was equally memorable, but I’ll save that for a later story.
More quotes on the pending reunion from the survivors:
Al Jardine: “…As brothers, cousins and friends, we have been honored to sing the praises of California, and I’m really excited for our fans to be able to see us again in concert on the world stage, and to celebrate our 50th anniversary together with a new studio album.”
Bruce Johnston: “I will be looking forward to singing Brian Wilson’s melodies and Mike Love’s lyrics once again in concert with many of the original band members, but imagine what we all could come up with vocally in a recording studio atmosphere under Brian’s musical direction.”
David Marks: “I’m really looking forward to celebrating this important milestone in The Beach Boys’ history with the other guys, and with Capitol Records – where it all began 50 years ago. It means a lot to me that we can all reunite and pay tribute to the fans who have kept the music alive.”