Brian Wilson didn’t think the Beach Boys would get together and do it again.
He said last October, at his Beverly Hills canyon home, he didn’t think a Beach Boys 50th anniversary tour would be much of a challenge.
“A little bit of nostalgia and sentimental,” said the part-time Indian Wells resident. “But I don’t think I’m going to do it with them.”
But Wilson and the reunited Beach Boys — including Wilson, original members Mike Love and Al Jardine; David Marks, who filled in for Jardine in 1962; and Bruce Johnston, who replaced Wilson in the touring group in the mid-’60s — will ride a wave of nostalgia into Fantasy Springs Resort Casino Saturday with Wilson and his music director, Rancho Mirage resident Jeffrey Foskett, at the helm.
Jardine and Johnston said in separate telephone interviews they never doubted it would happen.
“It was our 50th anniversary and I knew the politics behind the band are so complicated it would be difficult for them to talk about it publicly,” Jardine said. “So I just kept pushing them publicly until we got our political differences ironed out. I just figured it would be too big of an opportunity not to happen. The fans deserve it more than we deserve not doing it.”
“You can’t turn your back on this kind of an anniversary,” said Johnston. “So, one thing led to another. I’d say the hardest part about this tour is the massive amount of interviews. It’s certainly not the music.”
Jardine hadn’t toured with Johnston and Love in the Beach Boys since founding member Carl Wilson died in 1998. He hadn’t toured with Brian Wilson and the Beach Boys since before 1988, when Wilson began a solo career and the Beach Boys scored a hit recording with “Kokomo” without him.
The other original Beach Boy, drummer Dennis Wilson, drowned in 1983.
Jardine sang with Johnston and Love at last year’s Ronald Reagan centennial at the Reagan Library and he joined Brian Wilson in his 2006 for his “Pet Sounds” 40th anniversary tour.
But even Jardine was surprised by how good their harmonies were when they reunited. Love is 71. Jardine, Johnston and Wilson will turn 70 this year.
“It had a nice resonance and a nice memory for me,” said Jardine. “I really had almost goose bumps singing some of those tighter harmonies, like ‘Please Let Me Wonder’ (a 1965 “B” side). It was really nice.”
Johnston said they perform around 40 songs a night on tour, including four tracks songs from “Pet Sounds,” “Sail On Sailor” from “Holland,” “Heroes and Villains” from “SMiLE,” and Johnston’s favorite Beach Boys tune, “The Warmth of the Sun,” the “B” side of their 1964 hit, “Dance, Dance, Dance,” written the night of John F. Kennedy’s assassination.
They also do two video tributes to the departed Beach Boys, using clips of Carl singing “God Only Knows” from “Pet Sounds” and Dennis singing “Forever” (from the 1970′s “Sunflower”), album, said Jardine, and do live harmonies with them.
They sing lesser-known Beach Boys songs, such as “Kiss Me, Baby,” “Disney Girls” and “Ballad of Ole Betsy,” plus tunes from their new album due out June 5, including the title track, “That’s Why God Made the Radio,” which Johnston said is No. 4 on the British charts.
Remarkably, they don’t condense any of their massive number of hits into medleys, Johnston said.
“Some of them sound like medleys,” he said, “(but) some of the songs are only two minutes or two-and-a-half minutes. So rather stop-and-start, stop-and-start, we’ll thematically throw the surf songs in and thematically throw the car songs in. It’s like freeze-dried food. You just fix a little water, you boil it and it’s back. That’s what this tour is like.”
If you go
The Beach Boys in concert
When: 8 p.m. Saturday
Where: Fantasy Springs Resort Casino, 84245 Indio Springs Parkway, Indio
Information: (800) 827-2946