Mike Love on Band's Future, Label Reaction & the 'Only Drawback' of the Reunion
Though the Beach Boys' 50th anniversary reunion tour comes to an end on Sept. 28 in London, Mike Love says the quintet may, well, do it again, both on the road and in the recording studio.
"There's only one 50th anniversary, obviously, but... there's talk of us going and doing a return to the Grammys next year, and there's talk about doing another album together," Love -- who recently announced some fall dates in South America for the edition of the Beach Boys he and the group's Bruce Johnston take on the road -- tells Billboard.com. "There's nothing in stone, but there's a lot of ideas being floated around. So after this year, after completing the 50th anniversary reunion, we'll entertain doing some more studio work and see what we can come up with and can do in the future."
Both Love and Joe Thomas, a longtime cohort of Brian Wilson's who co-wrote 11 of the 12 tracks on the Beach Boys' reunion album, "That's Why God Made the Radio," say that there's plenty of other material for the Beach Boys to draw from. Thomas says he and Wilson had "about 80 hours worth of tape," much of it culled from material they were working on around the time of Wilson's 1998 "Imagination" album that "were always songs he had earmarked for the Beach Boys." Some are on "That's Why God Made the Radio," but others include demos with the late Carl Wilson's vocals and an unreleased Dennis Wilson composition, as well as songs that were part of a suite from which the new album's "Pacific Coast Highway" and "Summer's Gone" (co-written with Jon Bon Jovi) were drawn.
"Some day Brian would like to reveal to the public what the original 'Summer's Gone' was going to be. It just wasn't it's time yet," Thomas says. "The public will dictate how much Beach Boys product is going to come out. If the public has an appetite for this record" -- which debuted at No. 3 on the Billboard 200 -- and it's successful and (the Beach Boys) can feel that, there's no reason these guys won't continue."
Love adds that Capitol/EMI, the Beach Boys' label, is "completely stoked about how well this whole project has gone, so they're very open to and enthusiastic about seeing what else we can come up with." And, he says, concert promoters are also pushing for more of the reunion lineup.
Some things are already certain for the future. "Isn't It Time" appears locked as the album's next single; "We actually did a little bit of extra work on the bridge to make it more of a four-part (harmony) thing and changed the lyric a little bit as well," Love says. He also notes that the tour will "definitely" spawn a live album and DVD, while Capitol's catalog division is planning a new greatest hits set for the fall. The Beach Boys star on a new, Thomas-directed episode of PBS' "Front Row Center" series -- "The Beach Boys: Doin' It Again," which debuts this week -- and a network concert special is expected this fall.
"There's a lot of positivity involved in us all being together, and obviously the audience is responding beautifully to it. It's great to have everyone together," Love says. But, he adds, the reunion tour has been something of an adjustment from the way he and Johnston have done things with their Beach Boys since 1998.
"It's ridiculously expensive and intense," Love says of the reunion tour. "The thing I like about how we ordinarily do things is it's very streamlined and we sound great and have a good time performing at all sizes of venues. This one you're limited to the larger venues. That's just how it is, the kind of tour it is. That's the only drawback as far as I can see."