When he had the chance to work with a couple of buddies, the Beach Boys’ Mike Love had no hesitation about re-recording the group’s 1968 hit “Do It Again.”
The new version of the nostalgic, harmony-heavy song features Love singing with Sugar Ray’s Mark McGrath, while longtime Beach Boys pal and adjunct member John Stamos, who directed the video, premiering below, plays drums. The recording was released in conjunction with the Beach Boys’ performance on PBS’ A Capitol Fourth on July 4 in Washington, D.C., while the video was filmed during the afternoon in the group’s hotel.
“The whole song’s about getting together with old friends and sharing good times and talking about the old times,” says Love, who co-wrote “Do It Again” with Brian Wilson, his cousin. “That fact that here we are decades later, recreating it with old friends, having a great time — it doesn’t get much more organic and perfect and fantastic than that.” Love, in fact, considers the new “Do It Again” “a reincaration” of the song. “It’s been born again,” he tells Billboard. “I couldn’t be happier. We just had the greatest time and neatest time together doing this whole thing.”
Stamos, meanwhile, made sure that there was a tie to the song’s past by including historical footage of Love performing it at various junctures in the Beach Boys’ career.
“That was John’s idea to intersperse some iconic footage of me doing the leads to ‘Do It Again’ and give some historical rock n’ roll value to it, which gives it a total variety in breadth and span of years,” Love notes. “Sometimes it’s embarrassing to see myself with a beard as long as ZZ Top’s or looking like Duck Dynasty or jumping around with my shirt off and rockin’, but, hey, it was the ’60s and the ’70s and it was rock n’ roll and there’s a whole lot of history there.”
The Beach Boys — who, as usual, are on a seemingly endless all-seasons tour — last released new material with That’s Why God Made The Radio in conjunction with the group’s 50th anniversary in 2012, and there’s no plans for more at the moment. In fact, Love says he prefers the idea of re-recording the group’s old favorites now. “Recreating a Beach Boys classic like ‘Do It Again’ is something I really enjoyed doing,” he explains, “so I’m hoping there’s more of that to come.” There’s always plenty of archival material as well, and Love gives a thumbs-up to the new 1967 — Sunshine Tomorrow, which focuses on recordings from around the time of Smiley Smile and Wild Honey with plenty of rare and unreleased material.
“We’ve been celebrating those anniversaries as we did last year, celebrating [the 50th anniversaries of] Pet Sounds and ‘Good Vibrations’ and ‘Barbara Ann,'” Love says. “Wild Honey was a chance to get together with Brian; He went off on a tangent with Smile and shelved it, but we got back in the studio in his home [with Wild Honey]. It was a chance to get together and practice our songwriting together again. It was a lot of fun.”
The Beach Boys had a capital time with A Capitol Fourth this year, but the previously outspoken Love declines to talk about what else is going on in Washington these days. “People have asked us, obviously, about Donald Trump and stuff, but he’s been nothing but nice to us,” Love says. “We’ve known him for decades because we’ve played at the venues that carried his name…but this is a whole different situation of him being President and such. That’s a rough job. But we have fans and friends of all different political affiliations, so I don’t use our stage as a place to deal with all that stuff. Not that I don’t care about things; I’m very much into the environment and against war. But the Beach Boys is about having fun and getting away from all of that for a while, so I don’t use it as a pulpit to express my views.”