Beach Boys Reunion line-up

For those who, like me, are interested but haven’t seen it yet, there’s a list of who’ll be playing on the Beach Boys’ reunion tour at the Beach Boys Band website. Incidentally, the rumour at the moment is that the tour dates will be announced the day after the Grammys, about two weeks from now. The site announces the band as:

featuring Original Members:
Mike Love, Brian Wilson, Al Jardine, Dave Marks & Bruce Johnston
* John Cowsill, Jeffrey Foskett, Scott Totten, Darian Sahanaja, Paul Von Mertens, Scott Bennett, Probyn Gregory

All dates are subject to change without notice. Most shows go on sale 90 days before concert.
*Backing band subject to changes.

For those who don’t know who these people are, as some of the people reading this won’t:
Mike Love – nasal-voiced frontman, wrote the lyrics for some of the biggest hits, has been the only consistent member of the band.
Brian Wilson – used to sing the falsetto parts but doesn’t any more. Wrote, arranged and produced nearly everything the band did that was any good. One of the two or three greatest living songwriters.
Al Jardine – rhythm guitarist, and strongest vocalist of the living members. Sang lead on Help Me, Rhonda, Cottonfields, Then I Kissed Her and Lady Lynda
David Marks – guitarist, played on the band’s first four albums before leaving in late 1963. Rejoined briefly in 1997-99 and toured with the band in 2008.
Bruce Johnston – joined the band in 1965, and is the only Beach Boy other than Mike Love to be in the currently-touring ‘Beach Boys’ band. Most audible on backing vocals on California Girls and God Only Knows. Also wrote I Write The Songs, for Barry Manilow.
John Cowsill – wonderful drummer and very good singer. Currently tours with the Mike/Bruce Beach Boys, but used to play with his family band The Cowsills, famous for hits like The Rain, The Park And Other Things. The best drummer ever to play with any version of the band, and a genuinely lovely bloke too.
Jeffrey Foskett – onstage band-leader, falsetto vocalist and rhythm guitarist with Brian Wilson’s band. Great singer, but also something of a security blanket for Brian Wilson.
Scott Totten – lead guitarist, musical director and one of two falsetto vocalists for the Mike/Bruce Beach Boys. Very talented man who has improved the touring Beach Boys a great deal since he became musical director.
Darian Sahanaja – Musical director of Brian Wilson’s band and keyboardist. Will probably be in charge of rehearsing the band and ensuring they sound as close to the record as possible. Also a hugely talented songwriter in his own right, with his band the Wondermints.
Paul Von Mertens – Woodwind player with Brian Wilson’s band, also provides all the string and horn arrangements for Wilson’s recent records and live shows. If there are any additional strings on stage he’ll conduct them.
Scott Bennett – keyboardist and vocalist with Brian Wilson’s band. Also co-wrote much of Wilson’s most recent album of original material with him.
Probyn Gregory – insanely talented multi-instrumentalist. Can play guitar, but given the number of guitarists on stage will probably mostly play trumpet and French horn, with maybe a bit of banjo, keyboards, tannerin or glockenspiel thrown in. Member of the Wondermints with Sahanaja.

This is pretty much exactly the band I’d have chosen. I’d maybe have chosen Matt Jardine in place of Foskett, and I’d add Nelson Bragg or Mike D’Amico on percussion and Nick Walusko on guitar, but this is a band that knows and respects the music and can play it well. It’s also a band that wouldn’t have been put together just to go through the hits – though they can play those.

This will be good.

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9 Responses to Beach Boys Reunion line-up

  1. Elle says:

    Nelson Bragg is touring with them.

  2. Troy says:

    That is NOT the beach boys official website! Did you take the time to look at the credits page?!? It’s run by ousted member Adrian Baker. It is pure speculation! Besides, there is no bass player. Who is playing bass?!?

    • Andrew Hickey says:

      It’s not the official Beach Boys website, but it *is* the official website of the Beach Boys touring band. Adrian Baker kept the job of running that site when he left the band.
      And the list there is the same one that later appeared on the Grammys, with the addition of Nelson Bragg (as Elle in the comments here said) and Brett Simons on bass. Probyn Gregory and Al Jardine have also said that both Michael D’Amico and Nick Walusko will also be in the band, but that hasn’t been announced officially yet.

      • Troy says:

        I think this whole supporting musician debate is ridiculous! Its the same war that’s happening on wikipedia. Sourceless/baseless speculation on the who’s who in the band.

        We need to be realistic for a second based on the facts we currently have. The Beach Boys have announced that Cowsill is officially on drums, released in a Feb 14 facebook post that Stamos is coming aboard part time, and the photo with Nelson Bragg rehearsing behind Al Jardine. Where could there possibly be room for another percussionist in Michael D’Amico? It’s the same with Nicky Walusko. They already have David Marks, Scott Totten, Al Jardine, Jeff Foskett, Stamos part time confirmed. Where is there room for Walusko? Probyn Gregory I could see because of his multitude of instruments but fact of the matter is, we will have to see tonight at the first show.

        • Andrew Hickey says:

          Which all makes sense, and is why I haven’t edited the post with those names. But the fact remains that Probyn and Al Jardine have both said there will be two drummers *plus* percussion, and Probyn specifically stated that Mike and Nick would be involved (and Nick Walusko played on at least one reunion track — he’s in the Do It Again video). Al said in an interview that theyre would be sixteen people on stage, which would correspond well with the five BBs, the seven named in the post, Bragg, Simons, Walusko and D’Amico. The ones I named in the post are just the ones that there’s been anything like official announcements about. We’ll see for sure tonight.

          (Also, I suspect that Al will just be singing, not playing guitar — certainly at the two single-song performances we’ve seen so far, David and Brian are the only two who’ve been seen to play an instrument. I imagine we’ll have Mike, Bruce and Al only on vocals, with Brian at a keyboard and David on guitar. But that’s just speculation).

  3. Joey P says:

    Sure was…..No Simons. Jardine playing guitar..bruce on keyboards…In response to your do it again remark, gary griffin was in the do it again video as well and he’s no where to be seen…

  4. Eduardo Victoria says:

    Gary Griffin played accordion at the concert at the Hollywood Bowl. The bass player for the tour was Mike D’Amico, drummer for Brian’s band. Also, a correction to the article, the musical directors for the tour were Paul Von Mertens and Scott Totten. I know because Paul is a friend of mine and fellow woodwind player.

    • Andrew Hickey says:

      Thanks — this post was one before the line-up was finalised, and was based on what we knew then. I’ve given Mertens and Totten full credit on my reviews of the three excellent shows I saw.

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