The Beach Boys returning to Lucerna

The band will be at the same Prague venue where they played in 1969

The American rock group the Beach Boys will be at Lucerna's Velký sál on June 16, almost exactly half a century after they previously appeared there. Tickets are already on sale. The band currently features only one original member, lead vocalist Mike Love, and longtime member Bruce Johnston on keyboards and vocals.

The band, with a different lineup, was in Prague on June 17, 1969, as one of the very few Western acts to visit Czechoslovakia during the period of so-called normalization between the 1968 Soviet-led invasion and the Velvet Revolution in 1989.

They played two shows at Lucerna's Velký sál and also had concerts in Brno and Bratislava, but that was as far as they ventured into Central and Eastern Europe.

A clip of one of the Lucerna shows can be found on Youtube. The Beach Boys dedicated the song “Break Away” to the spirit of Prague Spring.

When the band was in Prague in 2017 at the Congress Center, Mike Love reminisced a bit about the 1969 show.

They current lineup is a little different than the one that here two years ago. Touring musicians, aside from Mike Love and Brian Johnston, including Jeffrey Foskett, Tim Bonhomme, John Cowsill, Keith Hubacher, Scott Totten and Christian Love. The latter is the son of founding member Mike Love. John Cowsill was in the band The Cowsills.

The band that will play in Prague does not include Brian Wilson, Al Jardine or David Marks.

The current formation has been playing over 35 songs in a show that has two sets and an encore. This sounds like a lot, but when the band had its biggest hits, songs tended to be rather short. Classic 1960s songs “Surfin' Safari,” “California Girls,” “Help Me, Rhonda,” “Good Vibrations” and “Sloop John B” plus their 1988 hit “Kokomo” make up the bulk of the show.

The group first got together in 1961 in California and became associated with the surf sound, but with more complex vocal harmonies. They expanded beyond generic surfing and hot rod themes in 1966 with the album Pet Sounds and the single “Good Vibrations,” which had highly complex studio production for its time.

The band fell out of public favor a bit in the 1970s, as musical trends such as punk and disco left the Beach Boys behind. They toured mostly as an oldies act, relying on their back catalog of hits.

Original member Dennis Wilson died in 1983 in a diving accident, and Carl Wilson died in 1998 of lung cancer. Brian Wilson performed live with the band only sporadically after 1964.

The remaining longtime members — Brian Wilson, Mike Love, Al Jardine and Bruce Johnston plus David Marks —got back together in 2012 briefly for a 50th-anniversary tour and recording session that resulted in That's Why God Made the Radio. This was the group's 29th studio album and was released in June 2012. This formation split up after the tour, and no new material has been released since then.

The five basic members of the band — Al Jardine, Mike Love, Brian Wilson, Carl Wilson, and Dennis Wilson — were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988. Despite their success of having 36 sings in the US Top 40 charts, they only earned one Grammy Award, for The Smile Sessions in 2011. They also received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Recording Academy, which gives out Grammy Awards, in 2001.

For more information on the Beach Boys tour, visit www.facebook.com/events.

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