Bizarre Beach Boys, Monkees Cruise: Questions We Have - Rolling Stone
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We Have Some Questions About the Beach Boys and Monkees ‘Good Vibrations’ Cruise

From “special guest” Mark McGrath to an ongoing pandemic, there’s a lot to unpack here

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Chris Pizzello/AP; Daniel Knighton/Getty Images

Hours after Brian Wilson performed at the Capitol Theater in Port Chester, New York, on Wednesday, his lifetime adversary, Mike Love announced a Beach Boys “Good Vibrations” cruise. It sets sail on March 25th, 2022, departing in Miami and heading to Nassau, Bahamas.

But that’s not all: In addition to the Beach Boys, the trip to Kokomo will also feature the Monkees, the Temptations, the Yacht Rock Revue, and, um, Mark McGrath. Needless to say, we have some questions.

What happened to the possible Beach Boys 60th-anniversary tour?
The surviving members of the band have been touring as two separate entities following their 2012 50th-anniversary reunion tour. This year marks their 60th anniversary (they debuted with “Surfin’” in December 1961 and released Surfin’ Safari in the fall of 1962) and rumors have been circulating about whether the groups will put aside their differences and reunite.

Al Jardine even confirmed to us back in January that they’re open to exploring the possibility. “It’s always good to be able to look forward to something positive now, especially coming out of this horrendous year, to bring some beautiful, fresh, positive music to the world again,” he said.

But Love gave a statement on Thursday to accompany the cruise announcement, writing, “I can’t wait to celebrate 60 years of the Beach Boys’ music on the Good Vibrations Cruise, setting sail this March.”

Has the idea for a full band reunion been scrapped, and this is how Love is going to commemorate? Only time will tell.

If Brian Wilson’s band is not involved, can Blondie Chaplin still join?
Chaplin — a former touring guitarist with the Rolling Stones — has been part of Wilson’s camp since 2016, when he began taking the lead on songs like “Sail on Sailor,” “Feel Flows,” and “Wild Honey.” It would be too perfect if he sings the former on a cruise — a track Love’s Beach Boys haven’t performed since the 2012 reunion.

Didn’t the Monkees just announce a farewell tour?
Correct. The two remaining members of the pioneering pop group — Micky Dolenz and Michael Nesmith — kicked off a farewell tour last month, which concludes on November 14th in Los Angeles. This cruise is slated for spring of 2022, so that isn’t technically their final show. If you miss the last train to Clarksville, you can still catch them by water.

What the hell is Mark McGrath doing here?
It might seem a little random that McGrath is joining a bunch of veteran rockers on a cruise, but not when you consider that McGrath has a somewhat similar role to John Stamos, who has been touring with Love, off and on, for decades. In fact, the three of them joined together in 2017 for an updated take on the Beach Boys’ 1968 single “Do It Again.” Still, it’s wild that in 2021 it makes more sense for Love’s “special guest” to be the guy from Sugar Ray and not the person who made Pet Sounds.

Where are the Doobie Brothers?
We mean no disrespect to the Yacht Rock Revue, but the band who had a hand in creating the genre are currently touring for their 50th anniversary, following their induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Surely they would have been game to party at sea.

Isn’t there, like, an ongoing pandemic?
It’s questionable how many fans will be willing to board a ship (in Florida, no less) and head to the Bahamas just so they can take photos with Bruce Johnston. But the band has been touring regularly since last year, and Mike Love has been itching to get back to regular life. “I heard about a surfer being handcuffed on the beach in Southern California,” he told us last year. “Now there’s nothing healthier than going surfing; that’s social distancing at its finest. And with the sunlight and the saltwater, no virus is gonna live through that. So I think it’s just overreacting in that way. I look forward to getting back to more normalcy and rationality.” So sail on, sailors, Covid be damned.


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