The Beach Boys Announce 50th Anniversary Tour

The Beach Boys Announce 50th Anniversary Tour

For smiles and giggles, I once compiled a playlist of all the number one songs of the 1960s. It was a musical exercise made possible by the internet and iTunes; hitherto it would have been an exercise in juggling compact discs (or cassette tapes).

In listening to the 230-plus song playlist there were a couple of things I noticed. First and foremost, being a number one song doesn’t necessarily make you a good song (“Moody River,” “Harper Valley PTA,” “In the Year 2525 (Exordium and Terminus)”).

The second thing I notice was how dull the number one songs were until the arrival of two bands. Obviously, one of those bands is The Beatles but the second might surprise you. It’s the Beach Boys.

While they failed to reach the legendary status of the Fab Four, The Beach Boys did make it into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The band released a bevy of hit songs in the 1960s including “Good Vibrations,” ”I Get Around” and “California Girls.” They defined the West Coast beach sound and more than solidified themselves as 1960s musical icons.

The Beach Boys released a lot of music through the years but they never matched their creative output of the 1960s. From the 1980s onward, the band was embroiled in legal battles and cheesy reunion shows. They did release their best-selling single, “Kokomo,” in 1988.

In 2012, the relics of your grandfather’s record collection are jumping off the vinyl and coming to a venue near you.

That’s right, the Beach Boys have announced plans for a 50-date tour to celebrate their 50th anniversary.

[Insert your joke about old musicians touring here].

The three original members of the group—Brian Wilson (69), Mike Love (70), and Al Jardine (69)—along with two longtime members—Bruce Johnston (63) and David Marks(69)—are reuniting for a world tour and a new album. The first Beach Boys concert on the schedule is set for April 27 at the renowned New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival.

Before laying your hands on some primo Beach Boys tickets, you can always watch them at the Grammy Awards on Feb. 12. They are scheduled to make an appearance and from what I can tell it’s going to be a big production number featuring a lot of current bands so as to make the California geezers relevant to a younger audience.

I’m not a huge fan of the Beach Boys but I’ve always appreciated their contribution to popular music. As the years have gone by I’ve enjoyed their music more and more. Perhaps the best summation of their place in rock and roll history is this: “The Beatles transcend the 1960s, the Beach Boys do not.”

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