The Beach Boys Were Originally Called Something Else

The Beach Boys are the musicians behind the surf rock soundtrack of the 1960s. Before writing “Kokomo” and even before appearing on Full House, this band created music with another name. Here are some of the band names the Beach Boys originally performed under. 

The Beach Boys released songs like ‘Kokomo,’ ‘Good Vibrations,’ and ‘God Only Knows’

The Beach Boys (L-R Carl Wilson, Bruce Johnston, Brian Wilson, Mike Love and Al Jardine) Pose for a portrait session
The Beach Boys (L-R Carl Wilson, Bruce Johnston, Brian Wilson, Mike Love and Al Jardine) Pose for a portrait session | Harry Langdon/Getty Images

Some listeners know them for “Kokomo,” others know them as the band DJ Tanner won tickets for on one episode of Full House. The Beach Boys made a name for themselves as the unique surf-rock group behind “Good Vibrations” and “God Only Knows.”

The group released The Beach Boys’ Christmas — complete with their adaptation of “Little Saint Nick.” One of their most popular songs is “Wouldn’t It Be Nice,” which currently holds over 390 million Spotify plays. Before they were the renowned rockers, The Beach Boys, these performers went by a different band name.

‘God Only Knows’ where this band would be if they weren’t the Beach Boys

According to American Songwriter, when Al Jardine, Mike Love, and brothers Brian, Carl, and Dennis Wilson first released music in the 1950s, they were known as “The Pendletones.” This name was a play on musical “tones” and Pendleton shirts, which were considered, at that time, to be the “surf uniform” for beachgoers. 

After partnering with Candix records, the group switched their band name. The record label initially landed on “The Surfers” — a not-so-fitting band name considering only one band member, Dennis Wilson, could surf

Thankfully, music executive Russ Regan discovered that name was already taken. That same music executive changed the band name a final time to the “Beach Boys” — a nod to the group’s love for California beaches and summer vibes.

“Russ was a promoter, and he changed our name to The Beach Boys,” Brian Wilson said in a 2018 Twitter statement. “We didn’t even know until we saw our first records pressed!”  

The Beach Boys appeared on ‘Full House’

Since debuting on the music scene, the Beach Boys became one of the most popular bands of their time. They earned several Grammy Award nominations, including nods in the Best Performance By A Vocal Group and Best Contemporary (R&R) Group Performance – Vocal Or Instrumental for “Good Vibrations.”

The group appeared on the “Beach Boy Bingo” episode of Full House, starring as themselves and spending time with the Tanner family. Some band members returned for later episodes of the show, including Mike Love for “Our Very First Telethon.”

Even years after the Beach Boys stopped performing as a group (with its original members), music by the band continues to be used in movies and on television. Recently, that included “California Dreamin,’” a welcome inclusion to the Netflix series Stranger Things. Music by the Beach Boys is available on most major streaming platforms.

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