Mike Love had heard of North Central Washington long before the area came to know him as frontman of the Beach Boys.
As a teenager, Love worked at a Standard gas station in southern California where his boss — a biker from Wenatchee — sometimes invited him out for a few weekend beers in Tijuana, Mexico.
“He’d probably driven off the road at 80 miles an hour one too many times,” Love said with a chuckle. “He was a pretty neat guy. We had a good time.”
The 72-year-old Beach Boy will meet the rest of us party animals along the shores of Lake Chelan Saturday. The Beach Boys’ show is expected to be one of the most successful concerts of the summer at Mill Bay Casino’s Deep Water Amphitheater. The 1,640-seat venue sold more than 1,000 tickets as of Monday, said Bill Black, Mill Bay’s marketing manager.
Only Love and keyboardist Bruce Johnston remain of the Beach Boys’ hey day, when they made their name as the inventors of California rock.
The band formed in 1961 with The Wilson brothers — Brian, Carl and Dennis — their cousin Mike Love and schoolmate Al Jardine. A year later, they signed with Capitol Records. Johnston joined the band in 1965. Throughout the 60s, the Beach Boys established themselves as a pop legend with hits like “Surfin’ USA,” “I Get Around,” “Help Me, Rhonda,” and “Good Vibrations.”
They continued releasing records over the next 30 years, through the absence of Brian Wilson and the deaths of Dennis and Carl Wilson. They hit a second wave of commercial success with their 1988 single, “Kokomo.”
Last year, the band celebrated its 50th anniversary with a new album and world tour with all the surviving founders — Love, Johnston, Marks, Jardine and Brian Wilson. The record, “That’s Why God Made the Radio” debuted at number three on the U.S. charts — the group’s highest charting album since “Endless Summer in 1974.
“It was good to do on a special occasion, and for our fans who wanted to see us back together,” Love said.
The original lineup disbanded after the anniversary run last year. Love’s new version of the Beach Boys hit the road on smaller-scale tour this summer featuring Love, Johnston, guitarists Christian Love (Mike Love’s son) and Scott Totten, bassist Randell Kirsch, keyboardist Tim Bonhomme and drummer John Cowsill.
“With what we’re doing now, I like the flexibility of performing at places large and small,” Love said. “We’re not relegated to do massive places with tons of production and huge ticket prices. It precludes you from reaching a lot of people.”
Most of Saturday’s setlist are the band’s original hits and a few lesser-known songs, too, Love said.
“Since I’m the lead singer on so many songs there’s definitely an element of authenticity there,” Love said. “If you close your eyes during ‘California Girls’ it sounds like 1965 again.”
Rachel Hansen: 664-7139
If you go
What: The Beach Boys
When: 7 p.m. Saturday
Where: Deep Water Amphitheater, Manson
Information: 687-6911, colvillecasinos.com/deepwater-amphitheater