Founding Beach Boys stage first performance in over 20 years

LOS ANGELES Mon Feb 13, 2012 8:16am EST

1 of 2. Mike Love (3rd R) and David Marks (R) of The Beach Boys perform with Adam Levine of Maroon 5 (2nd R) at the 54th annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles, California February 12, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Mario Anzuoni

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The Beach Boys, led by the band's three surviving co-founders, played their landmark hit "Good Vibrations" on the stage of the Grammy Awards on Sunday in their first performance together in more than two decades.

The rendition of their landmark single by original Beach Boys Brian Wilson, Mike Love and Al Jardine, along with newer members Bruce Johnston and David Marks, was an upbeat highlight of a show shadowed by the death of pop star Whitney Houston on Saturday.

The band played on a stage bedecked with surfboards and large video screens displaying psychedelic patterns of color, with Wilson, 69, at the keyboards and Love, 70, fronting the group, trading lead vocals and sharing in the band's signature harmonies.

The five musicians, who were all involved in various line-ups of the Beach Boys during their 1960s heyday, announced in December that they planned to release a new album this year and launch a world tour to celebrate the group's 50th anniversary.

Backstage after their appearance, Wilson enthused about the experience of playing live with his Beach Boys cohorts for the first time in more than 20 years.

"With all the guys together we were supporting each other. It was a different experience, and it was a thrill for me," Wilson said. "Just being on stage together gives us a chance to express ourselves vocally and instrumentally."

The Beach Boys' appearance was introduced by performances of two other hits from the group's body of work, reproduced in their California surf-sound style by two contemporary bands -- "Surfer Girl" covered by Maroon 5 and "Wouldn't It Be Nice" by Foster the People.

The Beach Boys struck their first chords in Hawthorne, California, in 1961, with brothers Brian, Carl and Dennis Wilson, their cousin Mike Love and school friend Al Jardin.

Johnston and Marks joined later versions of the band to fill in for departing members. Dennis and Carl Wilson died in 1983 and 1998, respectively.

The Beach Boys hold the title for America's top-selling band, according to Nielsen SoundScan figures, and also hold the record for the most Billboard Top 40 chart hits with 36 songs.

They have received numerous accolades, including the Grammy Lifetime Achievement award and an induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988.

(Additional reporting by Sue Zeidler; Editing by Doina Chiacu)

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