So much has been made of who is not touring with the Beach Boys — namely Brian Wilson, Al Jardine and David Marks — that one of the band’s special guests has been all but forgotten: Drummer-vocalist John Cowsill of the legendary family band the Cowsills.
Best known for their No. 2 1967 hit “The Rain, the Park and Other Things,” the Cowsills provided a launching pad for a series of signature musical moments for John — including, but not limited to, his time with the Beach Boys, which stretches back now to 2000.
“The Cowsills were a very successful group,” the Beach Boys’ Mike Love tells Matt Kazin in this clip. “In fact, I think the Partridge Family was patterned after them. John told us about it. He is an exceptional drummer, an exceptional drummer, and a great singer as well. He adds a lot to our show.”
John Cowsill previously served as a member of the Tommy Tutone band, singing back up on his 1980s one-hit wonder “867-5309.” Cowsill has also worked with Jan and Dean as well as Dwight Tilley and, in 2003, married Vicki Peterson — best known for her work with the Bangles. He first began performing with the Beach Boys touring band as a keyboardist, some 13 years ago. Cowsill switched to drums in 2008.
Wilson, Jardine and Marks — each featured with Love on the original Beach Boys recordings — were featured on a gala anniversary album and tour in 2012. Love has since returned to a pared-down lineup that includes Bruce Johnston (who joined in 1965), while the rest have started a parallel series of concert dates.
“We did the 50th anniversary last year, and we were originally going to do 50 shows — then it grew in to 73,” Love says. “Now, Brian is off doing his thing, Alan is going his thing, and now I and Bruce and our band are going out and doing what we do — the way we do it, and where we do it. It’s kind of cool: We got together, and fans got to see us all together, and now we’re back to doing what we did before the 50th came along. But we were able to do something that was pretty monumental, I think, last year. It’s all good.”