Music by Turner: Expect Beach Boys to bring fun, fun, fun for Augusta audience

The Beach Boys concert is July 13 at Bell Auditorium.

It’s “Surf’s Up” for the first time in Augusta in more than 30 years as the legendary Beach Boys visit Bell Auditorium on Sunday, July 13.


The 7 p.m. show is presented by the American Red Cross of Augusta as part of their longtime concert series Hot Summer Nights. Tickets start at $49 and can be purchased at the James Brown Arena box office, by phone at (877) 4AUGTIX, and online at

Mike Love is the only original member remaining in the group. Love sang lead and co-wrote (with Brian Wilson) dozens of Beach Boys classics such as I Get Around, California Girls, Fun Fun Fun, Surfin’ USA, and Be True to Your School.

Also in this version of the group is longtime member Bruce Johnston, who took Wilson’s place on the road almost 50 years ago. John Cowsill, formerly in the “family pop” band The Cowsills (known best for their ’60s hits The Rain, the Park, and Other Things; Indian Lake; and Hair) and musician/actor John Stamos (of Full House and ER) fame are among the backing musicians in the band.


SHUT DOWN 2014 DEPT. Longtime Beach Boys fans were thrilled two years ago when founding members Brian Wilson, Alan Jardine, and David Marks joined Love and Johnston to celebrate their 50th anniversary. The very successful 73-date tour included a very memorable stop at Atlanta’s Chastain Park.

Accompanied by a stellar new album That’s Why God Made the Radio, the band was in fine form but after the reunion tour concluded, Love and Johnston announced they would go back to fronting the band by themselves again. Wilson especially was not pleased about that decision and now tours under his own name with Jardine as part of his band.


WOULDN’T IT BE NICE DEPT. As a longtime Beach Boys fan, I personally would rather see the 2012 lineup with Wilson, Jardine and Marks, but Augusta probably could not support a show that costly to produce.

The Beach Boys concert you will see in Augusta is not designed for the jaded purists, but rather for the casual fans that just want to relive their youth by hearing hit after hit about surfing, cars and Good Vibrations.

Other than Love’s lead vocals, the rest of the hits will be competently performed and sung by stellar musicians who know the material note for note.

The Beach Boys were really never the same after the deaths of Brian Wilson’s brothers (and fellow founding members) Carl Wilson and Dennis Wilson in 1983 and 1998 respectively, so don’t expect much material from their groundbreaking Pet Sounds and Smile-era recordings.


FUN FUN FUN ALL SUMMER LONG DEPT. It’s difficult to imagine just how influential the Beach Boys’ music has been over the past half-century. Any band that has over 50 hits must have done something right, and for the Beach Boys it will always be about the original recordings and the genius of Brian Wilson’s astounding melodies paired with Mike Love’s lyrics.

The surf will always be up for great endless harmonies that are as timeless and relentless as the waves that wash ashore in Hawaii, California, and yes, even Kokomo.

The Beach Boys in Augusta? It will be a party!

  1. Mike Love’s nephew is three-time NBA All Star Kevin Love, who plays with the Minnesota Timberwolves.
  2. Bruce Johnston wrote the Grammy Award-winning song “I Write the Songs” for The Captain and Tennille for their 1975 album “Love Will Keep Us Together.” It, of course, was later a world-wide smash for Barry Manilow.
  3. Yes, The Beach Boys, especially drummer Dennis Wilson, were friends with Charles Manson. The band actually recorded Manson’s song “Cease to Exist” in 1969, renaming it “Never Learn Not to Love” for their excellent “20-20” album.
  4. The first voice you hear singing on their 1965 hit “Barbara Ann” is actually that of Dean Torrance of Jan and Dean fame.
  5. “Kokomo,” the last major hit from the group from 1988, was written by the quartet of Mike Love, John Phillips of the Mamas and Papas, Terry Melcher (the son of actress Doris Day), and Scott McKenzie, who recorded the “Summer of Love” anthem “San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Some Flowers in Your Hair).”
  6. Brian Wilson did not participate in the recording, production, or writing of “Kokomo.”
  7. Brian Wilson is deaf in one ear, which explains why so many of his compositions were recorded and released in mono rather than stereo.
  8. Carnie and Wendy Wilson of Wilson-Phillips fame are the daughters of Brian Wilson.
  9. In 1983, the last time the Beach Boys performed in Augusta, Mike Love dedicated “Be True to Your School” to all grads and students from the Academy of Richmond County. A multitude of boos and hisses ensued. Of course, I “loved” it!

- Ed Turner