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:
THE BEACH BOYS
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.