Music lovers can start the holiday season in perfect harmony and good vibrations, with “The Beach Boys Holiday, Harmonies and Hits,” on Dec. 2 at the Lancaster Performing Arts Center.
The Beach Boys, led by Mike Love and Bruce Johnston, continue the legacy of the iconic American group along with Tim Bonhomme, John Cowsill, Keith Hubacher, Christian Love, Brian Eichenberger, Randy Leago and Scott Totten.
“It’s a fun show,” Beach Boys co-founder Mike Love said in a telephone interview.
He co-wrote many of The Beach Boys’ hits. He released a new album, “12 Sides of Summer,” in July and will perform a couple of songs from the album. He also released the album “Reason for the Season” last Christmas, that he recorded with four of his children. The album includes Christmas classics such as “Away in a Manger” and “Do You Hear What I Hear,” as well as new holiday songs.
“One of them will be there with me — Christian, he sings with us,” Mike Love said. “And so we’re doing a combination of holiday songs, as well as all our hits you’d ever recognize from The Beach Boys, and a couple of newer offerings.”
His “12 Sides of Summer” album includes his version of “Here Comes the Sun,” a song written by the late George Harrison, that appeared on The Beatles’ “Abbey Road” album.
“I knew George Harrison from the time we both spent in India,” Mike Love said. “In fact, we both had our birthdays in 1968, in the spring, in India. I’ve always loved that song. We got a chance to record it last year and it came out in the summer. We like doing that in our show.”
He said it is a meaningful part of the show for him.
“It’s really great to be able to do other people’s songs that you really like,” Mike Love said. “‘Barbara Ann’ was somebody else’s song, but we did it and it became a huge hit for us.”
The Beach Boys also covered “Sloop John B.,” which appeared on “Pet Sounds,” released in 1966.
“I heard it first when I was in middle school,” he said. “I think it was, like ninth grade, or something. It was by The Kingston Trio, but we made our own arrangement of it. We’ve always loved other people’s music. In fact, when you start out, that’s mostly what you do.”
Mike Love co-wrote “Kokomo,” The Beach Boys’ hit ’80s single, with John Phillips, Terry Melcher and Scott McKenzie. The song appeared on the soundtrack to “Cocktail,” the 1988 Tom Cruise film.
“We played it on ‘Full House,’ too, with John Stamos and the rest of the cast,” he said. “We get recognized from being on ‘Full House’ all the time.”
The Beach Boys’ concerts often include audience members from two or three generations of the same family.
“We’re very blessed to be able to do our music five decades after we started,” Mike Love said.
His son Christian joins him on stage and sings “God Only Knows” in the show.
Mike Love’s late cousin Carl Wilson originally sang lead vocals on the song.
“We lost him to lung cancer over 20 years ago,” he said. “But he did that so beautifully. Christian sounds fantastic on it. He does such a beautiful job on that song.”
Christian Love also sings the lead on “Good Vibrations.”
“It’s fantastic because he sings and blends so well,” Mike Love said. “I stand back and listen to him sing ‘God Only Knows’ every night. It’s so wonderful that he can sing that, it’s so suited to him; it’s beautiful.”
Bruce Johnston joined The Beach Boys after Mike Love’s cousin Brian Wilson decided, around 1964, that he didn’t want to tour anymore.
“Glen Campbell substituted for him for a little while and then Bruce Johnston joined us in 1965,” Mike Love said. “The first song Bruce sang with us was ‘California Girls.’ That was a pretty good beginning. And then we did the ‘Pet Sounds’ album, then we did ‘Good Vibrations’ in 1966, also.”
There will be holiday classics in addition to the Beach Boys’ hits such as “Good Vibrations,” “Surfin’ USA,” “Surfer Girl,” “I Get Around,” “Help Me Rhonda,” “Fun, Fun, Fun,” “California Girls,” “Barbara Ann” and “Sloop John B.”
“You know, the origins of Beach Boys,” Mike Love said. “I remember it being at Christmas parties. My mom was such a music fan that she would invite everybody, the entire family to come over. She was one of eight children so we had lots of cousins. We’d all get together and we’d sing Christmas carols and go around the neighborhood caroling.”
His last visit to the Antelope Valley was in 2010, when The Beach Boys performed at the Antelope Valley Fair. They also played the AV Fair in 2009 and the Palmdale Amphitheater in 2006. This will be the Beach Boys’ first visit to the Lancaster Performing Arts Center.
“We do an hour of music with a 20-minute intermission, followed by another hour,” Mike Love said. “So it will be two hours worth of music, a few holiday specials and every hit you might associate with The Beach Boys.”
They will be on stage at 7 p.m., Dec. 2. Tickets cost $114 each for orchestra and $109 each for balcony. For details, visit www.lpac.org, call 661-723-5950, or visit the LPAC box office at 750 West Lancaster Blvd.