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The Beach Boys: Tried & True

The Beach Boys formed in 1961 and are considered one of the most influential bands in American pop music history. They have dozens of top 40 hits, several best-selling albums, and were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988. Lead singer Mike Love was recently in Washington, D.C. VOA's Larry London had a chance to talk with him about the legacy and current standing of the group.

The Beach Boys have been performing and making music for more than 40 years. Lead singer Mike Love says their fans have been very loyal.

“We see it every night in concert when we're performing. People sing along. It's amazing. Children, grandparents, I mean, you name it, every generation sings along to the Beach Boys' stuff.

Mike says that although not everyone in the world surfs, most people understand the songs.

“Surfing is huge all over the place. You find that whether it's sailboarding, or windsurfing, or surfing itself, it's all over the world,” he says.

Mike and the other members of the Beach Boys grew up in homes with music. Mike's aunt Audrey and Uncle Murray were musicians as well.

“I grew up with a grand piano, an organ, and a harp in my living room. And Audrey taught piano and Murray was an aspiring songwriter. So music was always a part of our lives growing up. It was just natural for us.”

The Beach Boys also were influenced by the musicians of the 1950s. “That influenced me in songs like "Fun Fun Fun" and "Surfin' USA" and, you know, quite a few songs. So, Chuck Berry was a big influence for me, conceptually and lyrically. The doo-wop groups, though, were a fascination.”

After all this time spent making music, Mike says that practice does make perfect.

“Whether we're at a very beautiful opera house or symphony hall, or theater, or in an arena, we just try to do the best we can on every song. But we've been doing this for 45 years, so some of the songs we've got down pretty darn good.”