The road to the Beach Boys’ 50th anniversary has been paved with speculation, tentative plans, denials and retractions.
But as the clock ticks down to the group’s golden anniversary, its surviving members have finalized and unanimously confirmed their celebration plans. In addition to a new album and commemorative catalogue releases, the iconic American surf-rockers will complete a 50-date international tour.
The Beach Boys will launch their 2012 reunion tour with an April 27 headline set during the first weekend of the annual New Orleans Jazz Fest, according to a December 16 statement. The remainder of the 2012 itinerary is forthcoming.
Brothers Brian, Dennis and Carl Wilson founded the Beach Boys in 1961 along with their cousin Mike Love and friend Al Jardine. The 50th anniversary celebrations commemorate the 1962 release of their debut album, “Surfin’ Safari.”
The band’s three surviving founders — Brian Wilson, Love and Jardine — have all signed on to participate in the 2012 reunion. Joining them will be long-time members David Marks, who joined the group in 1962 and helped record its first albums, and Bruce Johnston, who began touring in Brian Wilson’s stead in 1965.
For anyone who has followed the ins and outs of the Beach Boys’ reunion talks, the finalization of the 50th anniversary plans may come as a bit of a surprise.
As early as 2010, published reports surfaced regarding a Beach Boys’ reunion with Wilson participating, perhaps in the form of a single one-off concert. However, even with that limited scope, Wilson’s reactions ran the gambit from hesitation to full denial.
In May 2011, Wilson commented to BBC 6 Music that he was “considering” a possible reunion, but had his reservations. “Nothing’s really holding me back. I just don’t know if I want to be around those guys, you know?” Wilson said in the BBC interview. “They’re zany guys. They’re crazy.”
Even as recent as this October, the surviving Beach Boys seemed to have different ideas about what their upcoming reunion would entail — touring, recording or both — and whether it should happen at all.
In the October 13 print edition of Rolling Stone, Jardine discussed concert plans for “maybe 50 amphitheaters here [in North America] and 50 or 60 overseas,” while Wilson seemed only lukewarm to the idea.
“I don’t really like working with the guys, but it all depends on how we feel and how much money’s involved,” Wilson was quoted in the same Rolling Stone article. “Money’s not the only reason I made records, but it does hold a place in our lives.”
Whatever the obstacles, Wilson and the other Beach Boys seemed to have surmounted them and agreed to their reunion terms. Even as such, many of the reunion details are yet to be released.
The new studio album, yet untitled, is still in the recording process and has no set release date. Tour updates, when they come, will be available on the official Web sites for the Beach Boys and Brian Wilson.