Are they really still The Beach Boys without Brian Wilson?

With the aid of YouTube, Vevo and Spotify, I’ve recently reignited my appreciation of The Beach Boys, which first started in the early 1980s courtesy of my sixth-form college friend Nick Jarvis.

Thursday, 28th March 2019, 5:30 pm
Updated Thursday, 28th March 2019, 5:31 pm
Brighton Centre

The word ‘genius’ is often bandied about incorrectly, but founding Beach Boy Brian Wilson is without doubt an artist who can have that particular adjective attached to his name.

So when I saw details of an upcoming Brighton Centre date, I was certainly interested. I wasn’t even deterred by the near £70 ticket price – can you put a price on seeing genuine music legends?

However, on further investigation, and fuelled by the aforementioned musical offerings online, I looked into the current line up of the group further. From the original five-man line up, brothers Dennis and Carl Wilson passed away in 1983 and 1998 respectively, and when the band take to the stage at the centre in the summer, both Al Jardine and Brian Wilson will also be missing. Only Mike Love, backed up by long-time member Bruce Johnstone, will perform in Sussex.

Which does beg the question, whether it’s £7 or £70 pounds, is it really The Beach Boys or a top-end tribute act?

The same question was recently posed in Worthing, when both The Animals and The Troggs performed.

However, there was no Eric Burdon or Alan Price in the Animals, while Reg Presley clearly couldn’t be leading The Troggs, on account of the fact that he passed away in February, 2013.

Hypothetically, if Ringo Starr went on tour with a backing band and did a set exclusively containing Lennon and McCartney songs, could or would he bill the show as The Beatles?

Almost certainly not, but surely it would be no different to the examples above, and no doubt countless others?

Obviously ‘you pays your money and you takes your choice’, and a real positive side to the internet is I’ll be able to stick to watching The Beach Boys’ nostalgic videos, as I believe, regardless of the cost, I would leave the Brighton Centre in the summer somewhat disappointed.


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