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After reunion, the Beach Boys are back to business as usual

@graffonmusic, Facebook.com/Gary Graff on Music

Posted: Thursday, August 1, 2013

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The Beach Boys are still having fun, fun, fun at 51. But it's a lot different than it was at 50.

Last summer the iconic American pop group celebrated its 50th anniversary with a reunion tour featuring all five living members, which also produced "That's Why God Made the Radio," the group's first new album in 20 years. But after it wrapped in September Mike Love opted to return to continue to the incarnation of the group he leads, and which includes keyboardist Bruce Johnston, rather than to continue with the reunited lineup.

"It was always to be (just for) the 50th anniversary," explains Love, 72. "We started off with the agreement to do 50 shows in honor of the 50 years, but then it expanded into about 73, I believe, and I have talked to various promoters who've said 'Hey, this is really great. You guys sold out, and it would be good to have you back in a couple of years.'

"The amount of production and the amount of band members on stage and everything was just not the kind of thing that can continue on ad infinitum. There are many, many venues that can't even afford the cost of the band and the production and all that kind of stuff. So by doing that kind of tour, with that many people and that expensive, it kind of precludes you from doing a lot of these places we've always enjoyed doing.

"So those are a coupel of the reasons why -- in addition to the fact we agreed to do X amount of dates -- we're back to doing how we do things or how we've done things for a decade and a half."

Love helped to curate the upcoming Beach Boys box set "Made in California 1962-2012, which comes out on August 27. And he sounds potentially amenable to another reunion tour, although after last year's go-round he says there will be some conditions before he gets involved again.

"Only if I can do it with people who I trust and like and are honorable," Love says. "It was great to be in the studio again and listen to those harmonies coming back, but I had serious issues with the people who were running everything. I have no problem with just Brian and I in a room together with a piano, writing music, but unfortunately it's not that uncomplicated, so I can't promise anything right now other than doing this show that we know people love and come out to see every summer."

The Beach Boys and Dave Mason perform at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 2, at the Freedom Hill Amphitheatre, 14900 Metropolitan Parkway, Sterling Heights. Tickets are $44-$75 pavilion, $16 lawn. Call 586-268-5100 or visit www.freedomhill.net.

Web Site: www.freedomhill.net

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