Aug. 06, 2012 - 03:40PM JST
The Beach Boys, one of the world’s most legendary bands, will stage three concerts in Japan next week as part of their global 50th anniversary tour.
It is be the group’s first tour of Japan since 1979, although some of them played at the Fuji Rock Festival in Niigata in 2005.
Brian Wilson, Mike Love, Al Jardine, Bruce Johnston and David Marks are touring together for the first time in more than two decades. They kicked off their anniversary year in April with a 40-plus city tour of North America.
In Japan, they will perform at QVC Marine Field in Chiba on Aug 16, Osaka Prefectural Gymnasium on Aug 17 and Nihon Gaishi Hall in Nagoya on Aug 19.
The Beach Boys continue to hold Billboard / Nielsen SoundScan’s record as the top-selling American band for albums and singles, and they are also the American group with the most Billboard Top 40 chart hits with 36. “Sounds Of Summer: The Very Best Of The Beach Boys” is fast approaching triple-Platinum sales status, and “The SMiLE Sessions,” released to worldwide critical acclaim in November, has been heralded as 2011’s #1 Reissue of the Year by Rolling Stone magazine.
Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988 and recipients of The Recording Academy’s Lifetime Achievement GRAMMY Award, The Beach Boys are an American institution that is iconic around the world.
When the Beach Boys formed in 1961, it was mostly a family affair: school pal Jardine established the group with Wilson and his late brothers, Carl and Dennis, and their cousin, Love. Their breezy harmonic tunes and embodiment of freewheeling West Coast sensibilities captured the nation’s attention just before the Beatles invaded the United States, and continued for much of the 1960s with timeless songs like “I Get Around” ”Surfin’ USA” and many more.
Following the 1998 death of Carl Wilson, the group fractured and began moving in different directions. Over the past 20 years, the Beach Boys’ legacy has been mired in messy conflicts that the group’s members agreed to squash in honor of their fans and the band’s 50th anniversary, a hallmark occasion even in this jaded age of reboots and comebacks.
“They sense that we love each other and that we really want to share that love with them (the fans),” said 69-year-old Wilson, the visionary songwriter of such classics as “Help Me Rhonda,” ”Surfin’ USA” and “California Girls.”
Wilson, who has released solo albums in recent years and now speaks with a slight slur, had a turbulent tenure with the Beach Boys, notoriously leaving then returning to the band at one point as he battled mental illness and drug abuse.
When it comes to the music, all the pretensions are aside,” said 71-year-old Love (a sometimes Incline Village resident), who reached a settlement with Jardine in 2008 after launching a lawsuit against him in 2003 over his usage of the Beach Boys name (he also has sued Wilson on more than one occasion, most recently in 2005).
“All the egos are aside. It’s just all about those group harmonies,” he added. “The effect that it has on ourselves and other people is just fantastic.”
Love said that the Beach Boys, who will be supported by a backing band composed of members from the group’s various touring entities, have rehearsed more than 50 songs spanning all their albums, including “Pet Sounds” and “Smile.” The band noted the biggest challenge has been figuring out who is singing lead on which songs, not recapturing their chemistry.
“The chemistry is there,” said 63-year-old Marks, who recorded four Beach Boys albums and has moved between the band’s camps. “We pick up right where we left off, especially the five of us together. The magic bubble comes around us. It’s the chemistry that’s behind all successful bands, like the Beatles and the Stones. It has to be there. It’s special for us.”