Beach Boys Launch Olympic Gigs

By | February 11, 2002 at 12:00 AM

An outdoor Beach Boys concert before thousands Saturday launched a series of musical concerts intended to entertain visitors and athletes at the Olympic Games.

“Salt Lake City has been a tradition for the Beach Boys,” founding member Mike Love said in an interview with Reuters prior to the concert.

Love, now 60, wrote the lyrics to the band’s first song, ‘Surfin’, released in 1961 and followed that by co-authoring eleven U.S. top 10 singles with cousin Brian Wilson.

Crowds endured long lines, cold temperatures and laborious security checks before entering Washington Square where the City government complex is housed and where the concert was held.

Dressed in his Olympic Torch relay uniform Love bantered with the crowd about the 1960’s and memories from earlier concerts in the state.

Love carried the Olympic Flame on January 19 in Concord, California.

“We used to come here three times a year to open an amusement park,” Love said. “We even made up a song called ‘Salt Lake City, which we’re going to perform.”

“California Girls” was the first song the Beach Boys played and then they played ‘Salt Lake City’ prompting the audience, a mix of young and old, to erupt into cheers and applause.

The special Olympic concert was the first of the year for the group that performed 120 concerts last year throughout the Americas, Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia.

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