Las Vegas Sun

July 24, 2014

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After all these years, good vibrations arrive at Luxor

What: Beach Boys

When: 8 p.m. today -Saturday

Where: Luxor

Tickets: $50 to $85; 262-4400

The Beach Boys, who have been surfin' a wave of musical success for 45 years, play the Luxor for the first time this weekend.

The band found a sound that defined summer and, for a time, rivaled the Beatles in popularity. The Beach Boys had No. 1 hits from 1964 ("I Get Around") to 1988 ("Kokomo"). Want to feel old? This is the 40th anniversary of the classic album "Pet Sounds" and of "Good Vibrations."

"That particular brand of music that we came up with has happened to remain popular and appreciated for over four decades now," says Mike Love, who helped found the band with his cousins, Brian, Carl and Dennis Wilson, and their childhood friend Al Jardine back in Southern California in 1961. "When you get that kind of response, it feels good emotionally to you as an artist to have your work recognized that well, and the fact that the music is so well-known keeps generating new offers to come do this state fair or that amphitheater. It's a good deal."

Love, who was taking a break from 170-plus days of touring, recently talked to the Sun from his home in Incline Village at Lake Tahoe :

On Las Vegas

We get people from all over the country. Instead of our chasing them down, they come to us. We like Vegas a lot. There's so much going on, so much to do, so much to see. When we aren't performing, we'll be just like regular folks and go out and see some of the shows. The last time we were in town we saw "Love" (Cirque du Soleil's Beatles tribute). Our lead guitarist made a point of going. He used to be George Harrison in a Beatles tribute band.

On a reunion with Brian Wilson

Maybe. There's been a little bit of talk about that. It really got going when we got together early this summer to be honored by Capitol Records ... I've always felt the success in our recording came from Brian Wilson and I - my cousin and I - getting together and writing. What I would look forward most to is he and I getting together and doing some writing and some recording. I think what would make (a reunion) special is if we went into the studio and did some brand new creations.

On good vibrations from fans

It's special. No matter where we are, whether it's Germany or Nevada, we get a tremendous audience response. People love our songs, and have since we began, starting with our first big hit, "Surfin' Safari" in 1962, and then "Help Me, Rhonda" and "I Get Around" and "California Girls" and "Good Vibrations" and "Kokomo." Those songs are played on the radio every day. There's an oldies radio station in almost every city playing our songs. It's like we have 10 hits every day being played everywhere, so we are constantly getting new fans.

John Stamos, our actor friend, had us on "Full House" three or four times, and so now people see us in reruns ... Successive generations have been introduced to Beach Boys music, and we see that in our concerts. We see young people singing along, and we see our older fans who started out with us enjoying our songs, but who are now perhaps enjoying it from a nostalgic point of view ... When you have that kind of response - with all that positivity and happiness that is so evident in the audience - it's not hard to want to keep doing this.

On the early years

We started out singing not because we were making a fortune but because we liked creating harmonies. My cousin Brian and I started out singing Everly Brothers songs and learning their great blend and two-part harmony. Add a little mix of Chuck Berry, which was a great influence on my songwriting, the lyrics anyway. We derived a lot of our inspiration from what we grew up knowing locally in Southern California - the beaches, our school life, the great cars of the day.

On whether he gets bored after all these years

No, because the harmonies are challenging ... I would have to attribute most of that to my cousin Brian. He was a genius at vocal arrangements. We all can sing harmony, but when the harmonies are structured such as they are with the chord progressions, it makes it really interesting to sing. It's not something you do just by rote, you have to concentrate, you have to be engaged in, involved in re-creation of those songs making that sound - of all the harmonies together with the beat and the lead and all that stuff and the various instruments. It all comes together and you have a sense of accomplishment and a sense of fulfillment and enjoyment in re-creating it so it's not boring and it's not dull. I've never had that attitude.

Some (entertainers) want to do just their hits. I never felt like that was the way to go because people want to see you based on what they've heard and what they like, and in our case, they like a heck of a lot of songs, and we don't want to disappoint them.

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