‘Timeless’ Beach Boys Look Forward To Space Coast Gig
By Maria Sonnenberg, Space Coast Medicine & Active Living // January 3, 2015
ABOVE VIDEO: The Beach Boys will rock Port Canaveral January 10, 2015.
John Stamos To Join The Beach Boys As They Perform At Port Canaveral On January 10
BREVARD COUNTY • PORT CANAVERAL, FLORIDA – Every so often, people ask 72-year-old Bruce Johnston of the Beach Boys what his retirement plans are.
“I tell them we are going to get some advice on that from our friend Tony Bennett, who is 88 and just had a Number One album with Lady Gaga,” said Johnston.
“Tony is our hero because he is still doing what he wants to do.”
Johnston and buddy Mike Love and the rest of the legendary Beach Boys are, like Bennett, still having fun, fun, fun, doing what they most love to do, delighting audiences.
America’s first pop band to reach the half-century milestone continues to enthrall the young and old of the world with an endless summer of music.
In 1961, Mike Love joined his cousins, Brian, Carl and Dennis Wilson, in what was to become one of the world’s longest runs of musical hits.
In 1965, Johnston joined the band, replacing Glen Campbell.
The group isn’t just a band anymore, it’s an institution. In one single day in 1985, they performed to 1.5 million people in a single day during two Fourth of July concerts in Philadelphia and Washington, DC.
The iconic group – the singers whose songs defined the California dream we all at least subconsciously pursue – will visit Brevard for a Saturday, January 10, concert at Port Canaveral Exploration Tower.
Like Johnston, Love has entered his eighth decade of life. At 73, Love, also like Johnston, maintains a concert schedule that would exhaust many much younger folks.
The Beach Boys perform approximately 150 concerts per year around the world.
“I’m still trying to impersonate a rock star, a senior rock star,” joked Love.
Everyone knows he doesn’t have to impersonate a rock star, he is rock royalty, the Grammy winning and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame lyricist behind such “little ditties” such as “California Girls,” “Fun, Fun, Fun” and “Kokomo,” and the singer who served lead in legendary tunes that include “Surfin’ U.S.A.,” “I Get Around,” “Be True to Your School” and “Little Deuce Coupe.”
For most of the Beach Boys’ 52-year career, Love has contributed lyrics to the group’s studio albums.
LIVING A HEALTHY LIFESTYLE
In 1965, when Bruce Johnston joined the Boys, one of the first recordings he made as a member of the group was “California Girls.” During a hiatus from the Beach Boys from 1972 to 1977, Johnston wrote Barry Manilow’s “I Write the Songs,” which earned him a Grammy for Song of the Year. The song has been recorded by more than 200 artists, including Frank Sinatra.
Although he left the Beach Boys for five years, Johnston knew in his heart that once a Beach Boy always a Beach Boy, and he and Love now tour annually with the rest of the group.
For Love and Johnston, touring is a piece of cake.
“I consider my town to be America, so I never feel I’m out of town,” said Johnston. “You’re also never out of touch with Skype.”
In 1967, Love discovered transcendental meditation, which, along with friend George Harrison, he honed in India from the great source himself, the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. The singer was so interested in this technique that he became a certified teacher.
Love continues to practice T.M. twice daily, regardless of what part of the world he may be visiting. Although 20 minutes is the recommended time to engage in this form of mantra-based meditation, Love often stretches his sessions.
“That is integral to my life,” he said.
“If I don’t do it, in very short order, I have less energy and clarity. I get up in the morning, do some yoga and then T.M. Right after sound checks before a show, I do T.M. In planes, trains and buses, you name it, I do T.M.”
He also works hard to eat right, even while on the road.
“I’m a vegetarian, but not 100 percent vegetarian, because I enjoy fish now and then,” he said.
There is also the Haagen-Dazs and Cold Stone Creamery weakness.
“I love the coffee ice cream shake,” said Love.
In fact, he appreciates the cold treat so much he has a mental directory of the gate number where Haagen-Dazs shops are located in major airports.
Alas, his ice cream phase may be history, for his physician has asked him to give up caffeine, sugar and milk products, and Love is listening to her.
For his part, Johnston keeps in shape by eschewing meat and sugar.
“For breakfast, I’ll order oatmeal with fruit,” he said. “That’s enough sugar.”
He’ll skip lunch and opt for an all-vegetarian dinner.
“As much as I hate salad, I always have some, and I drink lots of water,” he added.
Taking a cue from Love, Johnston also depends on transcendental meditation to ease any stress.
“At the end of the day, T.M. is very health oriented,” he said.
Exercise is not an issue for the singers.
“You run around all over the stage, so you do get some exercise there,” said Johnston. “The show is also the protein. It always rescues me.”
While on tour, Johnston also depends on hotel gyms to keep fit.
“Never turn your nose down at those chain hotels,” he said. “There is always a gym at these hotels.”
At home, Johnston still has plenty of surfing opportunities right in front of his house in Santa Barbara.
“It’s the same spot I surfed at in high school,” he said.
SURFRIDER FOUNDING MEMBERS
Performing in Brevard is not new to the Beach Boys, whose concerts rocked the Space Coast four times in the past. They know the local waves and are familiar with its surf culture.
Both Love and Johnston are founding members of the Surfrider Foundation, the international nonprofit that works to protect oceans and beaches.
Way back 50-plus years ago, if someone had asked Love and Johnston whether their music would transcend generations, the surfing boys would probably have laughed.
“We had a really cool natural career, but we never thought of being timeless,” said Johnston.
As to retirement, why would they?
“We get plenty of enjoyment from the music,” said Love.
“Nobody is making us do it.”
THE BEACH BOYS will perform at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 10, at the Port Canaveral Exploration Tower. For ticket information call 1-855-386-3836.