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Jammin' With The Beach Boys
by Chuck Ritenour
October 6, 2010
Winchester, Virginia

I wasn't sure I wanted to go. I usually avoid these kind of things, but I was invited to a "invitation only" jam session with members of the world famous Beach Boys and members of their road band. The event was being held at Sweet Caroline's, a very nice, upscale night spot in Winchester, Virginia. I have been a close friend of their sound tech, John Bracken for many years. The Beach Boys were playing a concert in Winchester the following day. John had made arrangements with the club owner. John invited musician friends that he knew could hold their own in such lofty company. I felt honored to be included, but was a bit leary of being in a room with so many monster egos. I have been accused in the past of acting as if I was above jamming. The truth is I don't really enjoy playing unrehearsed shows.

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Scott Totten played lead guitar and sang. Scott is about five foot six inches tall and has medium length light brown hair. Randall Kirsch played bass guitar at this point and also sang though at times his microphone stand slipped down to his knee causing a great deal of laughter. Randall is thin and very tall. John Cowsill played drums and sang. John had been a member of the Cowsills, a seventies pop band. He had medium length dark hair and very little body fat. Christian Love, son of Beach Boy, Mike Love played guitar and sang. He was also thin and about five foot eight inches tall. They had a very excellent keyboardist, Tim Bonhomme who shared keyboard duties and at times keyboards with Donnie Walton. They played classic rock covers and a few of Christian Love's original songs.

Soon other guitar players and drummers began taking the stage and playing with different combinations of the Beach Boys band. A young blues guitarist, Paul Pfau played "Red House". At the end of the song, he and Scott Totten traded guitar licks. This went on for about two minutes prompting John Cowsill to say "ladies, ladies the song is officially over!" If Paul and Scott had been gun slingers, you couldn't have lived on the difference.

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