ST. GEORGE – The California lifestyle is making its way to Southern Utah. The Beach Boys will take to the stage at Tuacahn Amphitheatre at 1100 Tuacahn Drive in Ivins May 9-10.
This is not the first time the Beach Boys have performed in the St. George area.
“We have always done one show there but this year we will be doing two, Friday night and Saturday night, which is great,” Mike Love, lead singer and founding Beach Boy said.
The thought of Southern Utah evokes memories for Love of vacations in Zion National Park.
“When I was a kid, my dad and mom would take us on vacations, and that’s one of the places I remember going to when I was just a little guy,” Love said. “It would be kind of cool to go back there.”
That is not the only memory of Utah Love has. In regards to his professional and performing career, Utah has embraced the Beach Boys and vise versa.
Love and the Beach Boys received recognition in Utah when they frequently performed at the amusement park, Lagoon, just outside of Salt Lake City several times a year.
“We had a great time coming to Salt Lake City to the point that we made a song called Salt Lake City,” Love said, “That was our first introduction to Utah.”
Love said he enjoys performing in Utah because of the great fans.
“For some reason we’ve always had a really great amount of success and a lot of great fans in the state of Utah,” he said.
California Surfing Culture
When Love wrote the hit “Surfin” in 1961, he had no idea that he would currently be in his fifth decade touring with the group.
“We never could foretell the level of success the Beach Boys would achieve, and world wide recognition,” he said.
In the ’60s, Southern California had it’s own culture, and the Beach Boys attempted to capture it through music.
“There’s a whole thing going on in terms of dress, in the way of speaking and just the attitude and lifestyle that has to do with surfing,” Love said, “and yet there was no song about it.”
Although surf bands did exist at the time they were mainly instrumental. They realized that not everyone surfed or had an ocean Love said. They came up with a strategy that would help them appeal to more listeners.
“We used to do 45s, single records were printed up as 45s,” Love said “One side we put Surfin Safari, that was our first big hit, and the flip side was 409 which is about a car.”
“My cousin Dennis had a 409,” he said, “We recorded the sound of him burning rubber out on the street, than we put that sound onto the record.”
In a few short years, The Beach Boys had what was referred to as multiple double-sided hits.
“They played the one side which was a surfing song, turned it over and it would be the other side which was the car songs,” Love said, “That’s how we really got a lot of recognition really fast.”
The main idea and strategy was really simple, yet effective.
“It was real basic, we just said, OK here’s surfing, nobody sang about it, lets do some songs about it,” Love said, “It just caught on.”
Continuing the Legacy
Love and the Beach Boys still perform 100-120 shows a year, and they show no sign of stopping.
“As long as you have your health and your ability to sing and the people want to come and hear you, then there is no reason to completely curtail it,” Love said, “You might limit it a little bit as you go.”
Although performing takes up the majority of Love’s time, he still finds time to enjoy the surf.
“When I am in Hawaii and the waves are kinder and gentler, yeah we’ll do that,” Love said, “My daughter who’s 18, she surfs, and she’s better than I am.”
In addition to founding Beach Boy Mike Love and long time Beach Boy Bruce Johnston; Christian Love, Randell Kirsch, Tim Bonhomme, John Cowsill and Scott Totten continue the legacy of the iconic surf music.
Friday’s and Saturday’s concert will not feature Brian Wilson, Al Jardine or David Marks.
Event details and ticket information
- When: Friday and Saturday, May 9-10, 8 p.m.
- Where: Tuacahn Amphitheatre
- Tickets: $39.50 to $69.50| Tuacahn Amphitheatre Box Office | Telephone: 800.746.9882
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