Fifty Years Of “Fun, Fun, Fun.”
It’s cliché, but it’s also accurate.
That’s what the music of The Beach Boys has been doing now for over 50 years; bringing longtime fans loads of fun. The kind of fun where you just can’t sit down…you have to dance, or at least tap your foot…and smile.
Just over 50 years ago (February 3, 1964) The Beach Boys released their Top 5 hit, “Fun, Fun, Fun.” The lead track for the Beach Boys’ fifth studio album, Shut Down Volume 2 album; it is, to this day, one of the most recognizable songs by the group. It is also one of the most enjoyable guilty pleasures next to the group’s first number #1 song, “I Get Around” (released as a single on May 11, 1964). This chart topper was the lead track for the group’s sixth studio album All Summer Long (released July 13, 1964).
After 52 years of touring, it is by no surprise that Mike Love is still leading the charge with musical cohort Bruce Johnston. As a part of the current Fifty Years Of “Fun, Fun, Fun” Tour, Love and company are working with Live Nation to bring fans some very cool exclusives. We cover that in this interview, but I thought we should begin with the basics.
What does summer mean to you?
Mike Love: The Beach Boys, because of the subject matter of surfing taking place at the beach, identified us with the beach; nothing’s more desirable than going to the beach on a warm summer day. The beach has the waves, the sand, the sun, surfing (body or board), and all the girls as well. I think, because we were identified with the summer from the beginning, and that’s not a bad identification. During the summer, everyone goes on vacations, they go on their own little surfin’ safaris, a time to shed the gloom of winter, and the weather challenges of spring; it’s the most treasured time of year for a lot of us.
Back in 1974, Capitol Records was getting ready to call the album Best of The Best Boys Volume Four (or something like that). I said, “Best of The Beach Boys, Volume Four? There is no such thing,” so I suggested the title Endless Summer. Lo and behold the record-buying public, which was a new generation of fans…gravitated to that release like it was a whole new album, even though it was a compilation of albums cuts and hits.
In 2003, when Capitol released Sounds of Summer, it just reinforced the theme of summer…and I think that’s been good because, when we go out every year and perform at amphitheaters, county & state fairs, and festivals…and other events that are specific to summer…you know, we’re the “Boys of Summer.”
Will David Marks will be joining you for Jones Beach Theater concert on Saturday, July 5?
Mike: We’re planning on it, that’s for sure. David and I have had a long friendship. There was one time – when we were in Hawaii in the early days – David was sitting on a balcony, and was getting ready to fall off, and I grabbed his ankle as he was on his way down. He attributes that act as saving his life. Literally. David is a bright and witty person…a lot of fun to be around. I care about David a lot, and we always have had a great relationship.
What can you tell me about the Club Kokomo VIP Experience, and the new – very cool – Autographed USB laminate loaded with two albums worth of The Beach Boys music?
Mike: There’s a fellow that we’ve known for many years who does USB-type things, and he got in touch with us. (My wife) Jacquelyne has worked very hard, and worked very long hours…in putting together this VIP Experience so it’s enriched. The USB autographed laminate includes the 1964 Shut Down Volume 2 and All Summer Long albums, as well as an abridged version of the new tour book…and “Club Kokomo” is a place to hang out, experience some of the music, etc. During soundcheck we are probably going to perform some esoteric songs that will not make the setlist for the show, so it makes it exclusive and special for those who are really avid fans who would appreciate those songs. There has been a lot of attention put into the VIP meet & greet over the last few months…to make it into something truly special and unique, and a bit more of a richer experience.
That’s like getting to see two concerts.
Mike: It’s exclusive…special.
There are still millions of casual fans who come to see you perform @ every show.
Mike: I have to keep in mind that people who come to our shows might be coming with a person who is only a casual fan. My challenge is to make everyone fans as best we can. For the casual fans / listeners, we will play the songs that they know from The Beach Boys, and they hope to hear…We never want to let the fans down. We are trying to replicate the songs, so that people are coming out (after the show) saying, “Wow, those guys sounded great!”
THE BEACH BOYS “CLUB KOKOMO” VIP EVENT (selected dates)
Front Row Seats
One Hour Club Kokomo Lounge pass
Access to the intimate VIP-only Soundcheck
Photograph with The Beach Boys
Q&A with The Beach Boys
Look for an exclusive track by track interview with Mike Love in the Summer 2014 edition of Endless Summer Quarterly.
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