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Good, Good, Good Good Vibrations: The Beach Boys visit to Abilene was a Hit

By Floyd Miller



I had the privilege of attending the V.I.P. meet and greet for the Beach Boy’s. The gathering was held prior to the concert that evening both of which were hosted and put on by the company Creative Eventz . Beach Boy Mike Love spoke to and visited with those in attendance. {{more}} He shared a lot about his personal/family life and about what life has been like for him as one of The Beach Boys. His sense of humor quickly became evident as photographer and business owner Stan West engaged him with questions. While a soft-spoken man, Love had lots to share. He was extremely humble in his interactions and made the crow feel at ease. Mike Love shared that part of the proceeds from this tour would be going towards prevention, research and finding a cure for Alzheimer’s. The highlight of the Mike Love’s V.I.P engagement was that he received a Lifetime Achievement Award presented to him by Stan West. It was a moment that made you feel special to have been a part of. After dining and mingling with the other movers and shakers, I made my way around to speak with several fans of the Beach Boys. They openly shared what it meant for them to be able to meet Mike Love up close and in person. V.I.P. attendee, Dana Henderson shared how special it was for her to be in the presence of someone who’s been in the music industry for such a long time and has such a rich history. “It’s just really exciting to be a part of it!” she says while smiling. When asked what part she was most excited about, Dana had no hesitation in expressing that she had a thing for a certain drummer to be on the stage that night. “Tonight, we are on the fourth row and I am most excited about being able to see John Stamos!” she adds. Recalling the first time that she ever saw him on the soap opera “General Hospital”, she reminisced about what that was like. “I’m just ready to rock out with John Stamos tonight!” Henderson was accompanied by one of her good friends who sat nearby and also shared in her smiles and giggles as she spoke about her excitement to see Stamos. The Beach Boys concert not only brought together so many beautiful people, each person had their own unique story and meaning of what brought them to this epic event. Surprisingly enough it was the not the first time that the next two people I spoke with had attended a Beach Boys concert, together. However, it was their first opportunity to meet and greet Mike Love up-close. Mother Shelley Atherton and her son Kris Anaya have always shared both a love and a history for music. Kris also a musician remembers attending his first concert with his mother as a child and Five years ago, he began to pay it forward by returning the favor. As an adult Anaya mentions their tradition actually began when he was just a kid. “When I got old enough to start buying concert tickets, I started bringing my mom to different concerts.” Says Anaya. He shares how being introduced to such great music by his mother at a young age has impacted his musical interest and career. “We’ve seen Three Dog Night, BTO and ZZ Top. “adds Kris. Being a part of the V.I.P had deeper meanings for the two. Anaya says that after getting older he wanted to see and meet the musicians that have personally impacted his musical career. This is just a part, of what brought them to the Beach Boys meet and greet that day. When asked, he is not quite sure just where he’d be today if it weren’t for them and artists alike. “It’s surreal for me because if it wasn’t for my Mom listening to the Beach Boys and listening to the Beatles…My music career I mean the Beach Boys and the Beatles is what sparked my music career.” Anaya says with joy. About their tradition, Mother Shelley Atherton says “I look forward to our little mama/son time every year and it’s just our weekend of getting together and just to talk.” It’s just a really fun time for them she adds. Concerning her son’s music career Atherton says that she is really proud of all of the accomplishments that he has made. ‘He’s a wonderful songwriter” she adds. She notes that her son’s music has brought tears to her eyes on more than one occasion and that these have been tears of joy. Recalling one of those times Shelley shares with me, “In fact when he got married to his wife, he sang to her while she walked down the aisle and it’s just those things that have meant so much to him and make him who he is, that make me love this. and being able to see the people that influenced him.” Atherton adds as tears begin to come to her eyes. Thinking back on her years in school as a teenager growing up Shelley recalls listening to the Beach Boys and how it made her feel. She goes on to say that while she listened to their music, “It’s just a whole different world coming out here to the music and anybody who loves music would understand that it’s just wonderful.” As epic as the Beach Boys Tour featuring John Stamos was it also became legendary. A bit of history was made here in Abilene on the night of March 6th, 2016. After having received the news of Nancy Reagan’s death just hours before they were set to perform these guys paid their respects in a major way. The Beach Boys put together a tribute honoring the wife of our late President Mr. Ronald Reagan. This was a moment that will forever be etched in the hearts and on the minds of those present inside of The Taylor County Coliseum that night. The late Nancy Reagan was honored with an acapella version of the same song that The Beach Boys performed at The Reagan’s 1985 Inaugural Banquet. That song was one of the “Four Freshmen’s” Their Hearts Were Full of Spring” On the following day after the Beach Boys had graced Abilene’s presence; their tribute to Nancy Reagan was featured in The “Rolling Stone” referencing their concert held in Abilene, TX. Epic, legendary, exciting, or fun, call it what you may; I believe that Creative Eventz can call it another time that they have made history in a little West Texas town called Abilene and have once again placed all of us here, on the map.

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