It’s summer and nothing spreads the spirit of the season like a round of golf and really good beach music. Both will be delivered at Mohegan Sun beginning July 28 when NFL All-Pro, Emmy Award-winning sportscaster and college football Hall of Famer Ahmad Rashad kicks off his 2013 Ahmad Rashad Celebrity Classic at Mohegan Sun. Opening night will feature “The REACH Foundation and The Ahmad Rashad Celebrity Classic Present The BEACH BOYS” concert. The lone original member performing that night will be Mike Love, the main lyricist for the iconic group that has been performing the quintessential sounds of summer for more than five decades. Currently on a successful national tour with the Beach Boys that now includes his son Christian, Love was on tour with the group in Austin when he Spilled the Beans with Java.
Q: How does it feel to be part of the Beach Boys and still be a draw after more than half a century?
A: It feels fantastic. We are always pleased when we look out and see the crowds; it is very rewarding to us. We do see our songs as being appreciated by people and we see a range of emotions from the audience when we perform. Songs like “In My Room,” or “Surfer Girl” or “The Warmth of the Sun,” are a little more sentimental for people while songs like “Surfin’ USA” and “Fun, Fun, Fun” are euphoric. And you look out in the crowd and it’s not just adults who are singing along, we see children singing “409.”
Q: Do you ever pinch yourself and think ‘I can’t believe we are still performing for audiences?” did you ever imagine as a kid 50 some odd years ago the Beach boys would still be so popular?
A: We never imagined a career spanning five decades. Although I know that when I wrote lyrics to a lot of our songs, I was not just writing for that moment or day or my age, but rather used a thought process that was all encompassing. I wanted the songs to be timeless. And sometimes that meant just tweaking some of the words and the result was lyrics that were a bit more universal.
Q: You’re coming back in CT again. And it sure is summer here. What will you be bringing with you?
A: Everything from our first song “Surfin” and “Surfin’ Safari” to “Kokomo” and an old song that never got recorded, “Going to the Beach.”
Q: The concert will be benefiting the REACH Foundation. What are some of your favorite charities?
A: The REACH Foundation is a really great organization that does so much for kids. We’ve been involved in raising money for several schools, environmental concerns, health initiatives, all kinds of charities. If you can use your celebrity to raise money and promote awareness for a multitude of causes need in society, that is a great use of your talent and time.
Q: So many people here were so excited about last year’s Beach Boys 50th reunion tour with your cousins Brian Wilson and Al Jardine, and Bruce Johnston and David Marks. Would you ever do another or perhaps hook up again and do what I believe would be the 30th Beach Boys album?
A: the 50th reunion with my cousin has come and gone and it was a great thing for fans. There probably would not be another reunion tour but with different people and different circumstances, I’d personally enjoy writing with my cousin Brian again. We complement each other, he because of his musicality and me with lyrics and concepts. Is a 30th Beach Boys album possible?
Q: Do you still surf?
A: Only if I am in Hawaii where the waves are kinder and gentler.
Q: If you could only listen to five Beach Boy songs the rest of your life which ones would they be?
A: That would not be a good thing. That would be like asking which five of your children or grandchildren are your favorites. But if I were in a melancholy mood I would want to listen to “Help Me Rhonda” or “Barbara Ann” or “Fun, Fun, Fun” because they are uplifting. “Good Vibrations” is one of my favorites and so is “California Girls.” I wrote the lyrics for those. Brian did an amazing job on the tracks for those and the songs have stood the test of time. “Kokomo” I liked, I was told it was our largest selling single. And “Surfin’ USA,” although Uncle Murray (Brian Wilson’s father) didn’t give me the credit for writing the lyrics for that or some others. “I Get Around” and “The Warmth of the sun” are favorites, too. Is that five yet?
Q: I understand there is a book you are planning to write. Want to share?
A: We are finalizing a deal. It will be about the chronology of the group and our success, the challenges both professionally and personally. I also plan to address some misconceptions about us in the book.
I will also write about my transcendental meditation experience with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. It was a huge benefit to my life. It gives me energy and clarity.
Q: You are 72.When does retirement happen?
A: Ask Tony Bennett when he is retiring. He is 86 and on top of his game.
Q: What is something no one knows about you?
A: That through my meditation, I am sure that if there is going to be peace, all individuals have to think and act that way to feel and be peaceful from within. The world is so fraught with challenges. There is so much pain and misery and suffering. Ultimately life on this planet has to get better. I hope that evolution will take place and things will get better.
Tickets range from $30 to $75 for the show. Go to mohegansun.com for information.