LIMA — Missing summer already? Grab your suntan lotion, surf board and best girl, and head to downtown Lima on Sunday; The Beach Boys will provide the mood music for a walk down memory lane of summers gone by.
The Beach Boys will play Veterans Memorial Civic Center Sunday. Keyboard player/vocalist Bruce Johnston, 73, said he doesn’t mind that the band’s music is forever linked to girls, surfing, going to the beach, and high school.
“Do you mind that America runs on a Constitution that was written in the 1780s?” he said. “I rest my case.”
Johnston wasn’t an original member of the band, but he’s been around long enough to seem like one. He teamed up with brothers Brian, Carl and Dennis Wilson, Mike Love and Lima native Al Jardine in 1965 for live performances, after Brian wanted to spend more time in the studio. Johnston said that decision provided Brian with the creative freedom that led to a groundbreaking shift for the band.
“You wouldn’t have had ‘Pet Sounds,’ you wouldn’t have had ‘Good Vibrations,’” he said. “A lot of these songs you’d hear later on, [Brian] wouldn’t have had time to write.”
Today, Johnston and Love form the core of The Beach Boys. Brian Wilson and Al Jardine no longer tour with the band. Dennis Wilson drowned in L.A. in 1983 and Carl Wilson died of cancer in 1998.
Johnston said that, by the end of the year, The Beach Boys will have played 175 gigs. He said he never tires of touring, or of playing 40-year-old songs like “Surfin’ USA,” “Surfer Girl,” “Little Deuce Coupe,” “I Get Around,” “God Only Knows” and “Wouldn’t it Be Nice.”
“It’s a mixture of great songwriting, a great lifestyle, really beautiful arrangements for the vocals and the tracks, and it’s all in a big blender and pops out every night you play,” he said. “Our set is like the perfect See’s Candy sampler box. It will have all the best chocolates.”