Saturday, July 9, 2011

The Beach Boys Brian Wilson surfs into Clearwater

By Ray Shasho

The Beach Boys brilliant Composer, Singer, Musician, Producer and Arranger Brian Wilson will be performing at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater on Saturday August 6th.  Get ready for a night of Beach Boys classics and critically acclaimed solo accomplishments.

Wilson, besides being the catalyst for The Beach Boys foundation, was also the bands keyboardist, bass player, and provided lead and backing vocals (harmonizing in falsetto). Brian demonstrated a remarkable gift for harmonic invention and complex vocal and instrumental arrangements.

In 1961, the three brothers – The oldest Brian, Carl and Dennis Wilson - were joined by their cousin, Mike Love, and schoolmate, Alan Jardine (who was replaced by David Marks, before rejoining). The Pendletones changed their name to The Beach Boys and celebrated their first hit song called “Surfin’” on the local airwaves in their home state of California.

Surfin’ Safari their first album with Capitol Records reached #32 on the Billboard Album’s chart the following year. “Surfin’ Safari” became their first Top 20 hit.

In 1963, “Surfin’U.S.A.” became the Beach Boys’ first top 5 hit. The Surfin’ U.S.A. album became their first Gold-certified album hitting #2 on the Billboard charts.
The Beach Boys released two more albums that same year (Surfer Girl, Little Deuce Coupe) again reaching Gold- certified status.

After President Kennedy was assassinated on November 22nd, Brian Wilson and Mike Love wrote “The Warmth of the Sun” as a musical reaction to the tragedy on the following day.

The Beach Boys began touring outside the United States in January of 1964. The Beatles first shows in America were on February 9th at The Ed Sullivan Theater and first live appearance at the Washington Coliseum in DC on February 11th of 1964.

Also in 1964, “I Get Around” became The Beach Boys first #1 hit song Beach Boys Concert (live) became their first #1 album.

In 1965, “Help Me Rhonda” became the group’s second #1 hit.
On May 16th of 1966, The Beach Boys masterpiece- Pet Sounds was released, spawning the Top 40 hits “Wouldn’t It Be Nice” and“God Only Knows.” The album is still considered one of the most influential records in popular music history.
Also in 1966,one of the most expensive productions for that era, “Good Vibrations” was completed. The single became their third #1 hit and first Platinum-certified million selling single.

After going to England, The Beach Boys were declared as the only true rivals to The Beatles.
Throughout the 70’s, The Beach Boys solidified themselves as America’s number one- fun and favorite band, giving us unprecedented releases like The Beach Boys In Concert and the double album compilation Endless Summer.

Throughout the 80’s and 90’s, The Beach Boys headlined (4) Independence Day shows on the Washington Monument grounds. On July 4, 1985, they played to an afternoon crowd of an estimated one million in Philadelphia and that evening they performed for over 750,000 people on the Mall in Washington DC. The Beach Boys also played at the Live Aid Concert, Farm Aid concerts, the Statue of Liberty’s 100th Anniversary Salute and the Super Bowl.

The Beach Boys were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988.
Brian Wilson returned to the studio in 1988 to release his first solo album called Brian Wilson.
In 1997, Wilson collaborated with his two daughters  Carnie  and Wendy and released the album The Wilsons.

In 1998, Brian Wilson released a second solo project with mostly newer material called Imagination.
Getting’ in Over My Head was released in 2004. The album featured legendary performers Paul McCartney, Eric Clapton, Elton John, and deceased brother Carl.

Brian’s release of Smile was the return to an earlier state of brilliance. The critics hailed the project. And in 2005, the track “Mrs. O’Leary’s Cow (Fire)” won a Grammy Award for Best Rock Instrumental.
Brian’s most recent endeavors are the release of That Lucky Old Sun in 2008 and most recently Brian Wilson Reimagines Gershwin  featuring the classic songs of George and Ira Gershwin – "reimagined" by Brian in his inimitable style.

Brian Wilson’s show at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater should not be missed. It’s a rare opportunity to catch a glimpse of a legendary songwriter and a genuine pioneer of popular music.
Tickets for the August 6th show can be purchased right here.

Please don’t forget to order my new book called Check the GsThe True Story of an Eclectic American Family and Their Wacky Family Business. Order your copy NOW at

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