Shows & Sessions 1961- 2023
From the early years of their career until relatively recently, The Beach Boys have done two things almost to excess: tour and record. In these 21st century times of a tour maybe every three years and five years between albums from leading artists, it's all but impossible to grasp that back in the mid sixties, The Beach Boys not only toured on a monthly, sometimes weekly, basis but also spent a goodly portion of their spare time in the studio (or in Brian's case post 1964, most of his waking hours). This section of the Bellagio 10452 site attempts to chronicle, as extensively and accurately as possible, those tours and sessions. The first 55 years of the band's career are covered. Up to and including 1998 the listings are almost exclusively for The Beach Boys: thereafter, each touring aggregation is noted by a self-explanatory code - BB, BW and AJ, the only exception being the 'reunion' tour of 2012.
So, how many shows have the band played since December 23rd, 1961 ? The honest answer is, we don't know, exactly: there are undoubtedly undocumented or overlooked shows, from 1962 in particular but also from, well, pretty much any given year, and as these are unearthed they'll naturally be added to the lists. Equally, ongoing research may remove shows from the lists. So, while the honest answer is, there's no 100% accurate answer, it's possible to make a very accurate informed guess. Thus, give or take maybe 20-25 shows, since December 1961 a band billed as The Beach Boys (but not The Endless Summer Beach Band or The California Beach Band) has, to the end of February 2023, played the following number of shows:
In answer to those who have asked "exactly what defines a "show" ?", the answer (as far as this archive is concerned) is very simple: a live performance before an audience in which the band play at least one number: this includes private shows. Thus, this covers the gamut from the single acapella song they did for Ronald Regan before an invited White House audience to the 50 song plus setlist for the 2012 50th anniversary tour. This also includes television interviews where songs are performed, but not a standalone interview: the key element is that at least one song is performed. Although listed, lip-synched TV shows are not included in the total above.|
The genesis of these pages grew out of one man's increasing frustration with a 2004 publication, Keith Badman's The Beach Boys: The Definitive Diary of America's Greatest Band on Stage and in the Studio. Laid out in a daily diary format, the initial impression was one of no little research and scholarship… that is until fans started posting on various message boards across the BB cyber world that such an such a show was wrongly dated, or not included. Most would have shrugged and left it at that, and most did, except for Ian Rusten. A history teacher by profession, an historian by inclination, he began researching Beach Boys concert dates and posting the results on the major BB/BW message boards. However, postson MBs are by their very nature transient, and I thought that such a labor of love demanded a more permanent repository. I offered Ian a home for his research, he graciously accepted, and that's why you're here, reading this. At the same time, the notion of chronicling the recording sessions of Brian Wilson & The Beach Boys occurred to me: there's a lot of information out there, but not all of it is easily accessible. Hopefully this section of my site goes some way to remedying this situation. One thing I wish to make abundantly clear - neither the concert information nor that for the sessions has more than the smallest amount of original research from me. The live listings are almost entirely the work of Ian Rusten, based on the groundwork of Keith Badman and his researchers, while the bulk of the primary work on sessions was conducted by Stephen McParland, Brad Elliott and the researchers of the 1990 Capitol 2fer releases, Dennis Diken & Ron Furmanek. This primary work has been immesurably enhanced by the current and continuing researches of Craig Slowinski.
A few notes: the touring info is close to 99% accurate and is hopefully sufficient to convey the sheer relentlessness of the live schedule The Beach Boys embarked on very early in their careers. An
explanation of the notations not explained on the relevant page itself:
* (to end 1976) concerts not listed in Badman's Diary or corrections to shows noted, both courtesy of
Ian's researches. If a concert is listed in Badman, but not here, the former is in error.
# shows discovered since the publication of the outstanding 2013 book The Beach Boys in Concert!:
The Complete History of America's Band On Tour and Onstage, by Ian Rusten & Jon Stebbins.
Ian has his own website - https://www.beachboysgigs.com/ - with more detail on gigs up to (thus
† shows added or revised following the publication of the equally outstanding Becoming The Beach
Boys 1961-1963 by James B. Murphy. For more detail on gigs 1961-63 - considerably more detail
- head on over to Jim's essential website Becoming The Beach Boys 1961-1963.
Where possible, for each year there will be links from individual concerts to Eric Anniversario's excellent setlist archive, to illustrate how the touring shows developed over the years (just click on the underlined show): grateful thanks to Eric for allowing us to do this.
The background colours of the relevant entries relates to the nature of the information, as follows:
|Concert played in the USA and Puerto Rico|
|Concert played in Canada or Mexico|
|Concert played overseas|
|Album or single release|
|Taping or air date of TV/radio show (USA/overseas)|
Wherever possible, the session information is derived from the AFM (American Federation of Musicians) contract sheets (and in this area, both Ian Rusten & Craig Slowinski have done excellent recent work in unearthing new information), but it must be noted that these are not invariably 100% accurate as in at least one case it has been established that the contract in question was drawn up some time after the actual session (and notably some of the AFM dates ascribed to the Holland sessions are, frankly, impossible). Further, as they are contracts for musicians, they are of course no help at all in dating The Beach Boys vocal sessions. In addition to documenting Beach Boys sessions, Brian Wilson's extracurricular production work for the likes of The Honeys, Glen Campbell and Sharon Marie are also included, to illustrate just how much he was doing when the band were on the road. From the initial Hite Morgan sessions through to the Sunflower album of 1970, The Beach Boys sessions are generally well documented: thereafter, as the band recorded mainly in their own Brother Studio (initially at Brian's house, later in Santa Monica), the details are more sketchy. Some, but by no means all, of the post-60s session information is taken from the tape boxes (and here it must be pointed out that tape box dates are not infallible either) . One thing that has become clear is that some of the session dates listed in the Diary are highly suspect as the band were either on tour at the time or played a show several time zones away on the same day. Therefore, a session listing in italics denotes a session that might well be incorrectly dated, or even didn't happen at all, but is included as this is what the documentation says (a concert date in italics denotes a cancelled show). Finally, there are of course songs for which we have (for whatever reason) no documentation or information whatsoever, e.g. most of the new titles on Still Cruisin': for these, no listing is made. Finally, the usual appeal for help: any corrections and/or additions to either sessions or live dates will be welcomed with open arms, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Don't be shy, now, even if it's just one show or session - it all helps.
For their tireless work in assembling this material, my thanks, admiration and respect go to: Ian Rusten, Craig Slowinski, Jon Stebbins, Alan Boyd, Stephen McParland, Jim Murphy, Eric Anniversario, Will Crerar, John Brode and Brad Elliott. Thanks are also due to Mark A. Moore (for the Jan & Dean/BB connection), Dennis Diken, Ron Furmanek, Peter Reum, Lou Shenk (for Smile), Don Cunningham, the late Trish Campo, the varied BB/BW fanzines 1977 to date, websites and message boards (and the contributors thereunto), David & Carrie Marks, Bruce Johnston, Mike Love, Michael Osterkamp, Keith Badman (yes, really), Chris Woods, Tim Bonhomme, Scott Totten, Steve Eidem, Domenic Priore, Margaret Dowdle-Head, James Allan, Mark Kennedy, Julio Pelayo, Dave Barson, Vern Morrison, Greg Renoff, Scott McCarl, Bert Gangl, Ashley Wood and others who prefer to remain nameless. A special word of thanks to to Pete "Mr. Poster" Howard of Poster Central.
Brian, Carl, Dennis, Mike, Alan,
Ricky & Blondie:
Last updated March 1st 2023