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Will The Real Beach Boys Please Stand Up [SURVEY]

Brian Wilson and Mike Love at 2012 Grammy Awards
(Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

Would you eat strawberry shortcake without the strawberries? Would it still be considered strawberry shortcake? What about a pizza that had no sauce and no cheese? Would you eat it? When removing elements from it’s production, at what point does it cease being a pizza? So, what about the Beach Boys. Without Brian Wilson and Al Jardine are they still the Beach Boys? How many original (or near original) members can you remove and still consider them to be the Beach Boys?Mike Love, the original lead singer of the Beach Boys,  is busy touring  the world with his Beach Boys band, which features keyboardist Bruce Johnston, who joined the band in 1965 and who is, for all intents and purposes can be considered an original member. Meanwhile, founding members Brian Wilson and Al Jardine are planning  some summer concerts of their own, along with David Marks, who in the early 60s replaced Jardine for a year.  Last year at this time, the guys were embarking  together on their 50th Anniversary Tour. It truly was the Beach Boys. But, now, can either of these groups truly justify using the Beach Boys name to promote their concerts?

Mike Love is the original lead singer. Brian Wilson is  the primary song-writer and the master mind behind the Beach Boys amazing arrangements,and did sing lead vocals on hits like Don’t Worry Baby, Dance  Dance Dance, and Barbara Ann. Al Jardine sings lead on Help Me, Rhonda, while Bruce Johnston carries the vocals on God Only Knows.

Al Jardine and Mike Love in 2012
(Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images)

Obviously, there are many rock and roll bands from the 60s and  70s that tour with only one or two original members.For example,  Jim Kale and Garry Peterson, neither of which ever sang lead vocals, still tour as the Guess Who. The Doobie Brothers still tour with two original members, Tom Johnston and Patrick Simmons. And there are others. But can you imagine the Eagles without Don Henley and Glen Frey? What if Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr went out on tour and promoted themselves as the Beatles? Never mind the legal issues that could be connected with using a band’s moniker, but the performance would be but a mere shadow of the real Beatles.

Now back to the Beach Boys. I think I would have a hard time paying money to see either one of the groups. Neither one would seem very much like the Beach Boys we know and love and hear on the radio. Maybe I would feel differently about it if only two of the four members were active. Maybe I would take the approach, “something is better than nothing.”  Or would I? I certainly wouldn’t feel that way about my pizza. You take away the cheese and the sauce and I no longer think I’m eating pizza and I’m probably reaching for something else.

Take our survey and tell us what you think. You can check out their North American tour on line at the Beach Boys.com

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