BY Christina Fuoco-Karasinski
The Beach Boys’ Mike Love knows the formula for a perfect concert—play the hits. The iconic band will do just that when it performs a drive-in concert at the Arizona State Fairgrounds.
“We don’t like to disappoint,” he says. “‘California Girls’ is an iconic song. ‘Good Vibrations’ is an iconic song. ‘Kokomo’ is our biggest-selling single. It came out 32 years ago in the movie ‘Cocktail.’ ‘Fun, Fun, Fun’ comes to mind. ‘Surfin’ USA’ comes to mind. ‘I Get Around.’ We’ll be doing all of them.”
The “Concerts in Your Car” performance will also include new material, like Love’s latest single, ‘This Too Shall Pass,” which he released at the start of the pandemic to encourage positivity. All royalties from the song, which features John Stamos on drums, go to Feeding America’s COVID-19 Response Fund.
“It’s a brand-new song I wrote after being at home for a couple weeks,” Love says. “If you purchase it on Amazon or anything else, the proceeds go to Feeding America, which is a nationwide food bank organization that does a fantastic job.”
The Beach Boys have sold more than 100 million records worldwide and have received over 33 RIAA platinum and gold record awards. The Rock and Roll Hall of Famers were also honored at the 2001 Grammy Awards with the Lifetime Achievement Award. With more than five decades of touring under their belts, the Beach Boys have performed more concerts than any major rock band.
“Sounds of Summer: The Very Best of the Beach Boys,” Capitol/EMI’s 30-track collection of the band’s biggest hits, has achieved triple-platinum success with sales of more than 3 million copies in the Unites States since its release.
At the Arizona State Fairgrounds, Love will be joined by longtime member Bruce Johnston, musical director Scott Totten, Brian Eichenberger, Christian Love, Tim Bonhomme, John Cowsill, Keith Hubacher and Randy Leago. This concert will not feature Brian Wilson, Al Jardine or David Marks.
“We are more than rested,” he says about the forced break from touring the Beach Boys took due to the pandemic. “We’re all energized and really looking forward to doing the drive-in shows.
“We had the biggest year of our career planned, and it all disappeared due to the pandemic. About 90% of the shows were postponed until next year, and 10% are gone because they were date specific.”
The year was the Beach Boys’ biggest because of the extensive tour it had planned in North America and Europe.
“Our music has carried us around the world,” he says. “Basically, we had the attendance records for the nation of Australia, which is one big surfin’ country.”
Love says the drive-in shows are a perfect fit for the Beach Boys.
“I think the Beach Boys became famous because of car radios,” Love adds. “Yes, we did ‘Ed Sullivan’ and ‘Johnny Carson’ and other things. We performed with Bob Hope and Jack Benny in a show in 1965. That was intimidating. Bob Hope—he was an icon.
“Other than that, the majority of our music was heard by all the kids tuning into their car radios, and ones at home, of course.”
The “Concerts in Your Car” events are designed to comply with official restrictions. The shows are in the round with four oversized screens.
“This is awesome doing these drive-in concerts,” he says. “They’re not proper drive-ins. They’re setting up the stage and the video. We’ll do our performance and show our videos. There are going to be great songs—a whole cross-section of songs from the Beach Boys from ‘Surfin’ Safari’ in 1962 to ‘Kokomo’ in 1988.”
“Concerts in Your Car”
with the Beach Boys
8 p.m. Sunday, October 25
Arizona State Fairgrounds,
1826 W. McDowell Road, Phoenix
Tickets, in advance only,
start at $99 per car