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2 Beach Boys founders keep good vibrations going

| Thursday, April 4, 2013, 8:55 p.m.
Beach Boys
Mike Love of the Beach Boys
Beach Boys
Bruce Johnston (front, left) and Mike Love (front, right) head up the current incarnation of the Beach Boys

The Beach Boys international 50th anniversary concert tour ended last fall, but for two long-time members of the California-based rock band, the “Fun, Fun, Fun” continues.

Founding member Mike Love and Bruce Johnston, who has been with the Beach Boys since 1965 — four years after the original band was formed — are keeping the tunes alive in their current tour, which stops in Greensburg on Monday night for one performance at The Palace Theatre.

Love says their fans can expect the same hand-clapping hits, including their popular surfing and car songs — “Little Deuce Coupe,” “Surfin' USA,” “I Get Around,” “California Girls” and many more — that topped the music charts in the'60s. Backing up the duo will be a new generation of surfer boys, including Tim Bonhomme, John Cowsill, Randell Kirsch, Scott Totten and Mike Love's son, Christian Love, who sings lead in “Good Vibrations,” “Kokomo” and other Beach Boys favorites.

“Christian sounds remarkably similar in range and tone to (former Beach Boys vocalist) Carl Wilson, who passed away in 1998,” Love says.

At age 72, Love's energy is endless. When asked when he thinks he'll retire from touring, his reply makes it clear that he's not hanging up his surfboard or parking his hot rod any time soon.

“They asked Tony Bennett the same thing. He's 86, and he's at the top of his game. He has performed with Amy Winehouse and Lady Gaga, he still sings great and he's enjoying life,” he says.

Love says that, although he is still known as the funny front man who engages the audience when performing onstage, he and his band take their music seriously.

“We have a lot of fans out there and we are one of the most successful groups in rock music. Our songs are the most performed '60s hits on oldies radio, along with the Beatles and the Supremes. Overall, from a 50-year perspective, we are blessed to still be doing what we love.”

The Beach Boys continue to entertain legions of followers, in the United States and in other countries. Love says their tour will take them to London and Paris, among other destinations, this summer. They just performed shows in Tokyo and Shanghai, the last week of March.

“We have had hit music from Sweden to South Africa, from Alaska to Australia,” he says. “What's really hard to figure out is we are popular even in countries where they don't know what we're singing. Audiences love the beat, our sound, our harmonies — and that we're from America.”

Candy Williams is a contributing writer for Trib Total Media.

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