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OCT
3
2 YEARS

Beach Boys Close Tour With 55-Song Set, but Will They Make a Rock 'n' Roll Album?

The Beach Boys' 50th anniversary reunion tour goes out with a 55-tune bang in London, but Mike Love adds a discordant note to the band's triumph.

Beach Boys Performing (Close Up) - H 2012
Becky Sapp
From left: Brian Wilson, Mike Love and Bruce Johnston onstage at the Grammy Museum at L.A. Live.

The Beach Boys played 42 songs at their 50th anniversary tour kickoff in Tucson on April 24, grew the set list to 46 at the Hollywood Bowl on June 2 and saved the big show for last: an amazing 55 songs at London's Wembley Arena on Sept. 28. The entire tour won raves, as fans seized their first chance in decades to watch Brian Wilson, Mike Love and Al Jardine (plus David Marks, Bruce Johnston and Jeffrey Foskett) perform surftastic hits they never thought they'd hear the Boys do live.

Will they get back together and do it again? Not right away. Before the final concert, Love shocked bandmates and fans by announcing his own plan to tour as The Beach Boys, with Johnston but without Wilson, Jardine or Marks.

CONCERT REVIEW: The Beach Boys at the Hollywood Bowl

"I'm actually surprised they held it together long enough to produce such a strong album and then pull off a tour," Peter Ames Carlin, author of the Brian Wilson bio Catch a Wave, tells The Hollywood Reporter. "The internal conflicts within The Beach Boys are really a function of twisty DNA and related family bullshit that has poisoned relationships in the Wilson/Love family for generations. Mike has done a lot of inexplicably hostile things over the years, but I actually still feel sympathy for the guy. If you take the long view of that family, you can see the origins of his rage in other faces in long-ago times. In some ways, it's not even his fault."

Despite more than 50 years of bad blood under the bridge, Wilson -- virtually AWOL from Beach Boys tours since 1965 -- has said he wants to tour more with the reunited band survivors, and at their Sept. 18 appearance at the Grammy Museum, he said, "I wouldn't mind getting together with Mike and the guys and recording an exciting rock 'n' roll album."

A new Beach Boys tour and record would require a triumph of diplomacy. Reps have no news on any such plans. Still, it could happen. The current Beach Boys reunion album of new material, That's Why God Made the Radio, beat The Beatles' record for duration on Billboard's top 10 chart (the Fabs' top 10 hits spanned 47 years, seven months and three weeks, versus the Boys' 49 years and one week).

STORY: The Beach Boys' 'God Only Knows' Tops New List of Greatest Songs Ever

Since nobody likes beating The Beatles more than Love does -- he often points out that his band was voted the No. 1 group of 1966 in England -- perhaps after he's done touring his own version of The Beach Boys, he will find it irresistible to extend his current winning streak with Wilson. A harder-rocking album is precisely the smart career move now.

But as long as Love is touring without them, here is a set list suggestion: Without Jardine in the lineup, Love is not likely to play oddball tunes like "Cotton Fields," a Jardine favorite during the reunion tour. But maybe he should revive a weird oldie with a true Beach Boys feel -- like "My World Fell Down," sung in 1967 by Johnston and Glen Campbell (who sang and played with The Beach Boys on tour in 1964-65) and produced by Gary Usher (the co-writer of "In My Room" and "409"). If Campbell, now on his Goodbye Tour, could be talked into reprising his highly uncharacteristic, Wilson-ish lead vocal on the tune, that would be psychedelic.

And so was the set list at the 50th anniversary reunion tour finale in London: 

Set 1

  • Do It Again
  • Little Honda
  • Catch a Wave
  • Hawaii
  • Don't Back Down
  • Surfin' Safari
  • Surfer Girl
  • Please Let Me Wonder
  • This Whole World
  • Wendy
  • Getcha Back
  • Then I Kissed Her
  • You're So Good to Me
  • Kiss Me, Baby
  • Isn't It Time
  • Come Go With Me
  • Why Do Fools Fall in Love
  • When I Grow Up (to Be a Man)
  • Dance, Dance, Dance
  • Darlin'
  • Disney Girls
  • It's OK
  • Cotton Fields
  • Be True to Your School
  • Ballad of Ol' Betsy
  • Don't Worry Baby
  • Little Deuce Coupe
  • 409
  • Shut Down
  • I Get Around

Set 2

  • Pet Sounds
  • Add Some Music To Your Day
  • Sail On, Sailor
  • Heroes and Villains
  • I Just Wasn't Made For These Times
  • California Dreamin'
  • California Saga: California
  • In My Room
  • All This is That
  • That's Why God Made the Radio
  • Summer's Gone
  • Forever
  • God Only Knows
  • Sloop John B
  • Wouldn't It Be Nice
  • Good Vibrations
  • California Girls
  • All Summer Long
  • Help Me, Rhonda
  • Rock and Roll Music
  • Do You Wanna Dance?
  • Surfin' U.S.A.

Encore

  • Kokomo
  • Barbara Ann
  • Fun, Fun, Fun