If you love Beach Boys’ music, you won’t want to miss seeing California Surf, Inc. at The Talent Factory in Nevada.
Coming up Sunday, June 10, this five-man group that plays the songs of the famous Beach Boys, will be in Nevada for the last performance of a “mini run” of shows they are doing in both Iowa and Michigan.
“Because it’s the last stop on this tour, we’ll be all warmed up for it,” said band member Randell Kirsch, who does bass and vocals. “That (the last) show is always extra fun, because we’re appreciating the fact that here we are with our friends, playing the music we love.”
Kirsch, like the other members of California Surf, Inc., played with the Beach Boys periodically for over four decades. He even had a full time gig with the group for 11 years. He said it was 1983 when he had his first opportunity with them. “My college band friends and I had been backing up Mike Love,” he said, noting that they had a college band and Love, a co-founder of the Beach Boys, had heard them play. “I started going on the road with him for his solo album, ‘Looking Back with Love.’”
California Surf, Inc.’s agent, Cord G. Coslor, said Bobby Figueroa, who does drums and vocals, put this group together in 2011. In addition to Figueroa and Kirsch, the group includes Ed Carter, guitar and vocals; Sterling Smith, keyboard and vocals; and Probyn Gregory, guitar and vocals.
When asked about a little fun fact on each band member, Kirsch was happy to oblige. “Ed,” he said, “is a crack up. He used to sneak Brian Wilson out of the compound where they were recording … so Brian could get Coca Cola and cigarettes,” neither of which he was supposed to have.
Sterling, Kirsch said, is a master of puns. “He can turn any sentence into word play.”
“Bobby, he’s a prankster. You’ll see, he’ll be cracking the audience up.”
Before he could get to something about Probyn, we asked what the others would say about him. “Well, they love to call me Ran-DELL.” he said, putting the emphasis on the ‘dell,’ which is different from most spellings of the name. “They’d also call me a punster, as well as the world’s tallest midget.” At 6 feet, 6 inches, Kirsch said he likes to tell people his height is 3 feet, 42 inches.
Anyway, the members have fun, both with each other and with their audiences.
“We really enjoy what we’re doing, and I think people are at the shows because they enjoy the Beach Boys’ music… We are fans of it as well, so we (the audience and performers) share that (love of music). The records never get old to us,” Kirsch said.
The songs, Kirsch continued, “are really the star of the show, and we present them as best we can.” And they love it, he said, when the audience gets into the music by singing along, clapping their hands or moving to the music.
As for Iowa, California Surf Inc. has never performed in Iowa, but all its members have performed in Iowa at times with the Beach Boys. “We love Iowa,” Kirsch said. “The heartland! Everybody loves California, but Iowa … I have a soft spot in my heart for Iowa as a friend of mine, Steve Morris, who used to open shows for the Beach Boys, lives there.” He also said they all have loved coming to the Iowa State Fair. “It’s a gas.”
Coslor said, in his opinion, those who attend this show will appreciate the vast catalogue of Beach Boys’ hits that will be performed. “There are no recorded tracks or vocals in the show. All five of the guys play an instrument and sing vocals. All the classic hit songs are performed, and every Beach Boys’ era is represented in the setlist,” he said. He added that audience members will hear some great stories from the road, too. “I think following the show, the audience will appreciate how friendly and ‘down to earth’ all the guys are.”