(Artwork care of Karen Ramsay (www.karenramsay.com), profile photo care of brianlackeyphotography.com)

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Commentary - Golden Summer

This seems to be the year for Golden Anniversaries. The Rolling Stones unveiled their new logo for the occasion. Shephard Fairey's design decorates a version of the classic tongue logo.

The other big 50th is the Beach Boys reunion tour. Remaining founders Brian Wilson, Mike Love, and Al Jardine, along with longtime member Bruce Johnston, got back together to release That's Why God Made the Radio, which released last month. 1985's The Beach Boys was the last time Wilson recorded with the band.

Given the history of confrontations between Wilson and Love over the years -- Wilson's deterioration from drug use and mental problems, Love's sense of ownership of the Beach Boys name and legacy, and the several lawsuits between them -- it's a pleasant surprise to see them get back together again. Brian Wilson has already demonstrated his recovery with a return to recording and performing over the last decade or so. And Love is...

Well, Mike Love is much the same. He's happy to be performing with Wilson again and the boost it offers, but the business side of the Beach Boys looms large for him, too. He's talked about the ridiculous cost and logistics of the reunion tour and he's also continued to book his more streamlined version of the Beach Boys for fall shows. This has led to some confusion about which band is getting booked, with at least one venue canceling a show because it wasn't the reunion tour.

Wilson is staying above it all, focusing on the fun of connecting again. This is really why anyone still cares about the Beach Boys. Wilson played the delicate artist with a gift for emotional connection, in thrall to his love of the music. Love kept the band together and in focus, to create a legacy for Wilson to rejoin. The magic was a joint effort.

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