Both bands bring an almost indefinable appeal that won them the hearts and smiles of Baby Boomers 50 years ago, and they add new generations to their fan bases wherever they appear.
“It’s amazing,” Beach Boys lead singer Mike Love said during a recent phone interview. The band is on the American leg of a tour greeted with great enthusiasm in Europe and Great Britain earlier this year. “It’s a real blessing for us. It allows us to do what we love to do, remain active and not, you know, look at it as a hobby.”
The Beach Boys arrived during rock and roll’s coming of age in 1961, riding on the wave of earlier greats such as the Everly Brothers, the Four Freshman and Chuck Berry. During the next few years, The Beach Boys, The Beatles and the Motown sound ruled the airwaves.
Synonymous with the California lifestyle, the band has had a string of chart-topping songs and albums starting with the first hit, “Surfin’” and followed by the iconic “Surfin’ USA,” “Surfer Girl,” “Fun, Fun, Fun,” “I Get Around,” “California Girls,” “Help Me Rhonda” and “Barbara Ann.”
The release of the rock classic “Pet Sounds” in 1966 solidified The Beach Boys’ ranking in rock’s world history. That year, a poll of popular groups in Great Britain placed the band at No. 1 — ahead of The Beatles and The Rolling Stones.
Their legacy is due to the musical chops of the group, which combined carefree California fun-in-the-sun lyrics with energetic tunes and solid four-part harmonies.
“That (harmony) is not as easy as it seems,” said Love, who co-wrote many of the bands’ hits, along with his cousin and the group’s founder, Brian Wilson.
Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988, the band has sold 100 million records worldwide and have received more than 33 RIAA platinum and gold record awards. During the 2001 Grammy Awards, they received a Lifetime Achievement Award.
And they have performed more concerts than any major rock band, with performances that bring the crowds to their feet and a noteworthy showman in Love.
“Well, I’d look pretty silly, just standing there singing like I was waiting for a bus,” he said, laughing.
Love credits the daily practice of transcendental meditation for keeping him going strong 52 years after the band first surfed the airwaves. It also helped him avoid the drug-and-alcohol-related tragedies that have beset other members of the band.
“It’s kept me grounded,” he said. “I am blessed and fortunate.”
The Beach Boys, led by Love and Bruce Johnston, include musicians Christian Love, Randell Kirsch, Tim Bonhomme, John Cowsill and Scott Totten. (Unlike last year’s 50th anniversary tour, this concert will not feature Brian Wilson, Al Jardine or David Marks.)
It’s time for some fun, fun, fun with — or without — the T-Bird.
“We’re contributing something to millions of people’s lives,” Love said. “It’s exhilarating. Entertainment is a big, huge deal.”
Joining the Beach Boys — perennial favorites at Tag’s — will be Peter Noone’s Herman’s Hermits.
A hugely popular part of rock’s British Invasion in the mid-1960s, Herman’s Hermits produced 23 Top 20 hits, including “I'm Henry the Eighth, I Am,” “Mrs. Brown You’ve Got A Lovely Daughter,” “Silhouettes” and “Dandy.” They were the highest-grossing act and biggest record-sellers in the world in 1965 and 1966.
Since then, Noone and company have played every major venue in every country, on every continent in the world, and sold more than 52 million records.
Noone also has appeared frequently on major television shows, and hosted VH1’s highest-rated show, “My Generation,” for three years.
Written by Perham Correspondent