40 years later with The Beach Boys
If you asked me me 40 years ago what I’d be doing when I turned 60, I would never have guessed it would be the same thing. It’s ironic, and fitting, that I’d be in front of The Beach Boys.
I can tell you one thing, I never imagined I’d be advertising that I was turning 60. I probably said that about 30, 40, and 50 too. When it came down to it, I was always confident in my turning another decade. This time is there was a different reason for the public announcement.. Given my health issues over the last 10 years, I was happy to be around.
That’s why I was excited when I heard The Beach Boys were playing at the Champaign County Fair on my the eve of my 60th birthday. I had seen them three times before, but my mind was going to that very first time.
Those Were The Days
I was finishing my B.A. in Journalism at C.W. Post, a part of Long Island University. I was only 19 years old and covering entertainment for a publication that didn’t last too long. New York’s Nightlife Magazine did give me access to a lot of celebrity events and encounters that a teenager in college would never have normally had.
Writers and photographers were able to stand right in front of the stage at that time. I remained at the end of the concert, hoping to get to talk to The Beach Boys. Luck was on my side that night as Bruce Johnston spotted me and ushered me backstage.
Face to Face with The Beach Boys
It turned out Bruce Johnston was looking for publicity for another act he was working with, Peter Noone formally of Herman’s Hermits, but it didn’t matter, it got me backstage with The Beach Boys.
This was the early 80s and backstage (and on stage) was filled with a lot more partying then you’ll visibly see today. I declined the bottles of vodka and other offerings and managed to get some frank conversation about the band’s 25 years together. It was a great…