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The Beach Boys at Freedom Hill, 5 Things To Know

By Gary Graff
ggraff@digitalfirstmedia.com, @GraffonMusic on Twi

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In case you haven’t noticed, surf’s never been anything but up for the Beach Boys.

The group has been going since 1961, and co-founder Mike Love and longtime member Bruce Johnston have been keeping the band alive over the years, playing its litany of hits for fans wanting nothing but fun, fun, fun. It’s also along the way celebrated key anniversaries -- a 50th for the group, last year’s 50th for the landmark “Pet Sounds” album, this year’s celebration of the “Smiley Smile” and “Wild Honey” sets.

Last year Love, 76, published a memoir, “Good Vibrations: My Life As A Beach Boy,” but it’s clear that, as far as he’s concerned the story is a long way from over...

• Earlier this month Love released a new version of the Beach Boys’ 1968 hit do it again that was recorded with longtime Beach Boys pal and adjunct member John Stamos and Mark McGrath of the band Sugar Ray. “The whole song’s about getting together with old friends and sharing good times and talking about the old times,” Love, who co-wrote “Do It Again” with Brian Wilson, his cousin, says by phone. “That fact that here we are decades later, recreating it with old friends, having a great time -- it doesn’t get much more organic and perfect and fantastic than that.”

• Love, in fact, considers the new “Do It Again” “a reincarnation” of the song rather than a cover. “It’s been born again,” he says. “I couldn’t be happier. We just had the greatest time and neatest time together doing this whole thing.”

• Stamos directed a video for the new “Do It Again,” which features the three men clowning around against a white backdrop as well as historical footage of Love performing the song at various junctures of the Beach Boys’ career. “That was John’s idea to intersperse some iconic footage of me doing the leads to ‘Do It Again’ and give some historical rock ‘n’ roll value to it, which gives it a total variety in breadth and span of years,” Love explains. “Sometimes it’s embarrassing to see myself with a beard as long as ZZ Top’s or looking like Duck Dynasty or jumping around with my shirt off and rockin’, but, hey, it was the 60s and the 70s and it was rock ‘n’ roll and there’s a whole lot of history there. So, yeah, some of it’s kind of embarrassing but kinda cool, too, and fun.”

• The Beach Boys last released new material with “That’s Why God Made The Radio” in conjunction with the group’s 50th anniversary in 2012. There are no plans for more at the moment, and Love says he prefers the idea of re-recording the group’s old favorites as an alternative. “Recreating a Beach Boys classic like ‘Do It Again’ is something I really enjoyed doing,” he notes, “so I’m hoping there’s more of that to come.”

• The group did release an archival package this year, however. “1967 -- Sunshine Tomorrow,” focuses on 50th anniversary albums “Smiley Smile” and “Wild Honey,” along with plenty of rare and unreleased material. “We’ve been celebrating those anniversaries as we did last year, celebrating (the 50th anniversaries of) ‘Pet Sounds’ and ‘Good Vibrations’ and ‘Barbara Ann,’” Love says. “’Wild Honey’ was a chance to get together with Brian; He went off on a tangent with ‘Smile’ and shelved it, but we got back in the studio in his home and...It was a chance to get together and practice our songwriting together again. It was a lot of fun.”

If You Go

• The Beach Boys and the Righteous Brothers

• 7 p.m. Thursday, July 27

• Michigan Lottery Amphitheatre at Freedom Hill, 14900 Metropolitan Parkway. Sterling Heights.

• Tickets are $25-$89 pavilion, $15 lawn.

• Call 586-268-9700 or visit palacenet.com.

Web Site: www.palacenet.com

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