The Beach Boys
as a group came to an end with the death of Carl Wilson
in February 1998.The three remaining members of the touring group, Al Jardine
, Mike Love
and Bruce Johnston
, along with former member Dave Marks
, who had been drafted in to take Carl Wilson
's place for shows where Wilson was too ill to attend, performed two more shows as The Beach Boys
to fulfill previous obligations, and then the band split up.
Love, Johnston and Marks continued to tour during summer 1998 as The Endless Summer Beach Band and America's Band, names which Love had used previously for corporate events. However, bookings were slow and attendance was low, so Love sought and gained approval from Brother Records Incorporated to use the name 'The Beach Boys' for this band for live purposes. Originally this licence was granted to all three living original band members (Love, Jardine, and Brian Wilson) on an equal basis, but after various lawsuits Love is now the only licensee.
The band in 1998 consisted of Love, Johnston and Marks, along with Frankie Valli impersonator Adrian Baker, surf music veterans Chris Farmer (bass) and Phil Bardowell (guitar) - both former backing musicians for Jan And Dean, keyboardist Tim Bonhomme and long-term Beach Boy sidemen Mike Meros (keyboards) and Mike Kowalski (drums). Marks left in 1999, and Bardowell and Meros in 2001. The current line-up of the band is Love, Johnston, Baker, Farmer, Kowalski, Scott Totten (guitar) and John Cowsill (keyboards/vocals).
The band present a competent, enjoyable presentation of the Beach Boys' surf hits, and have recently, in response to fan pressure, started adding several rarities to the set list. Love and Johnston between them take less than half the lead vocals, so there is no way this band can legitimately be called 'The Beach Boys', but they do fine performances of some classic songs, and should definitely be seen given a chance. For more info see www.beachboysband.com (run by Baker)