The Beach Boys

Beach Boys

Branson, Missouri April 30, 2004

The Beach Boys have been around for a long long time (thank God!). Brian Wilson, Carl Wilson, Dennis Wilson, Al Jardine and Mike Love started the group as The Pendletons. On December 8, 1961, with the changed named group, The Beach Boys released "Surfin" on Candix Records.

The Cowsills first connection with The Beach Boys came in 1966 when both were on the bill for Soundblast '66.

Next, we all remember The Cowsills recording a Beach Boys song, "Good Vibrations," on their In Concert LP in 1969.

Then, when Brian Wilson decided to take some time off touring and concentrate on writing in the early 1970's, Bill Cowsill was approached by Carl about taking his place. Bill was known to have hung around with Brian (in fact, I ask Brian if he remembered Bill in an AOL chat once (late 1990's ???) and he said yes he remembered hanging out with him).

Bill once told this story of, during a stroll in the garden, Brian suddenly turned to him and said, “Can I ask you something, Bill?” Frightened and flattered Bill nervously said "Sure." As Brian looked Billy in the eye he asked with dead seriousness, “Do you think there is enough bass in “I Get Around”?”

The story also goes that when Bill was ask to replace Brian, he decided to ask Brian's opinion of the idea. "Oh, Billy, don't do it," was Brian's response. "It'll drive you crazy. It'll get you nuts." Bill followed his idol's advice. "I looked at him and thought . . . obviously this guy knows what he's talking about," Bill said. I also think I remember reading somewhere that Bill said part of Brian's response was "It'd be like jumping out of the frying pan into the fire."

The Beach Boys have remained a mainstay of Americian pop history since those early day. It was in July 2001 that our own John Cowsill became a full time member. But that wasn't his first gig with The Beach Boys. quotes John as saying, "Chris Farmer, the Beach Boys' bass player, called me one night — midnight, to be closer to the truth — asking if I would hop on a plane the next morning to fill in at the last minute for Mike Kowalski. Mike had developed an inner-ear infection and couldn't go back up into the high elevation where the band was going to play. So, I did a couple of gigs on drums and sang a little with them.

Following those gigs, the Beach Boys asked me if I was available to substitute for Adrian Baker after Christmas (2000), and on into the New Year (2001). I came prepared to play guitar and sing, but when I got there, I found that Scott Totten had also been asked to fill in for Adrian. Well, it was a good thing Scott was there, because he plays the hell out of that guitar! Compared to him, I suck on the guitar, so I just played percussion and sang back-up.

Next, I got a call from the Beach Boys to play at President Bush's inauguration. I played guitar and percussion for that gig, then went home.

In July 2001, they called me to sub for Beach Boys band member Philip Bardowell, who suggested I fill in for him while he was taking some time off during the Beach Boys European tour. While I was learning all of Philip's parts, the Beach Boys’ management called to ask if I played piano. When I said, "Why yes I do," they told me I would be playing piano for the rest of the tour. Then, I “crammed for exams,” learning everything on piano!

During that tour, I was hired full-time… and I'm still learning how to play that dang piano!"
And learn he has and more. He baffles me at his ability to play one rhythm on the keys with one hand while playing another on the bongos with the other hand. John continued on keyboards until September 13, 2007 when he took over drums full time.

And we can't forget that Paul Cowsill substituted for his little brother in November 2005. Also Bob and Susan have both joined in on stage with John. And remember there was the July 31, 2009 show in Springfield, Missoui, when all The Cowsills joined The Beach Boys onstage for "Barbara Ann."

Brian Wilson - Keyboards, bass and vocals
Carl Wilson - Guitar
Dennis Wilson - Drums and vocals
Mike Love - vocals
Al Jardine - guitar and vocals
Bruce Johnston - bass, keyboards and vocals

Current touring members:
Tim Bonhomme - keyboards and vocals
John Cowsill - keyboards, guitar, drums and vocals
Scott Totten - guitar and vocals
Randell Kirsch - guitar and vocals
Christian Love - guitar and vocals

Other past members:
Adrian Baker - guitar and vocals
Philip Bardowell - guitar and vocals
Glen Campbell - bass and vocals
Richie Cannata - Keyboards
Ed Carter - guitar
Blondie Chaplin - guitar and vocals
Joe Chemay - bass
Luther Coffee - bass
Dennis Dragon - keyboards and vocal
Chris Farmer - bass and vocals
Ricky Fataar - drums
Bobby Figueroa - drums
Jeffery Foskett - guitar and vocals
Garry Griffin - keyboards and vocals
Billy Hinsche - keyboard, bass, guitar and vocals
Igor Horoshevsky - cello
Mark Isham - Trumpeter/synth
Robert Kenyatta - drums and percussion
Ernie Knapp - bass
Matt Jardine - percussion and vocals
Mike Kowalski - drums
Tony Leo - guitar
Charles Lloyd - saxophone
David Marks - guitar and vocals
Dale Martel - guitar
Terry Melcher - percussion and vocals
Mike Meros - keyboards
Carli Munoz - keyboards
Elmo Peeler - keyboards
Joel Peskin - saxophone
Joe Pollard - drums
John Renner - saxophone
Joe Sample - keyboards
Ernie Small - saxophone
Putter Smith - bass
Sterling Smith - harpsichord
John Stamos - drums, guitar
Ed Teduri - drums


That's Why God Made The Radio - June 5, 2012
The Beach Boys Live 50th Anniversary - May 21, 2013
Osaka 2nd Show - March 26, 2016

I thought I'd put together a run of John parts of various BB songs. Here we go.

Beach Boy John

Here are chords for a couple songs John sings lead on.


Help Me Rhonda

I Can Hear Music

Email Me 10/7/10 Recordings added 3/1/21 Home