Still rockin’

Woonsocket Call - - Front Page - By JOSEPH FITZGER­ALD jfitzger­ald@woonsock­et­

40 years af­ter play­ing a mem­o­rable show in Pawtucket, the iconic Beach Boys re­turn to the area to play a con­cert in E.P. on Aug. 9.

EAST PROV­I­DENCE — Forty years ago, Joseph A. Botelho, Jr. was 19 when Carl Wil­son, Mike Love, Brian Wil­son, Den­nis Wil­son and Al Jar­dine of the Beach Boys played be­fore a crowd of more than 40,000 fans at the Narragansett Race­way in Pawtucket – the largest con­cert at­ten­dance ever in the state of Rhode Is­land. Botelho re­mem­bers that Fri­day night con­cert on Sept. 2, 1977, like it was yes­ter­day.

“I was at that con­cert 40 years ago and there were lit­er­ally that many peo­ple there,” says Botelho, a lo­cal re­al­tor and mem­ber of the East Prov­i­dence City Coun­cil.

More than 100 po­lice of­fi­cers from Pawtucket, East Prov­i­dence and other com­mu­ni­ties watched over the mas­sive crowd gath­ered on the in­field grass at the track. Be­fore the con­cert, which was hosted by Pawtucket and East Prov­i­dence, traf­fic to the race track was backed from the in­ter­sec­tion along New­port Av­enue and Cot­tage Street onto the New­port Av­enue exit of Route 95.

“My car was parked right at the tri­an­gle where the two signs were ad­ver­tis­ing the horse rac­ing and I didn’t get out of there un­til 2 in the morn­ing,” says Botelho.

Ac­cord­ing to news­pa­per ac­counts at the time, the Beach Boys ar­rived 40 min­utes late, which caused the night­time con- cert to run past 11 o’clock.

“I have to say it was a blast,” the 58year-old Botelho says to­day. “It felt like Wood­stock. It’s a fond mem­ory I will al­ways have.”

Forty years later, East Prov­i­dence will be the host city once again as the Beach Boys, who are cel­e­brat­ing their 50th an­niver­sary this year, kick off the firstever con­cert at the brand new out­door mu­sic venue at Bold Point Park Pav­il­ion on Wed­nes­day, Aug. 9. Bold Point Park is an open-air sea­sonal event cen­ter with a ca­pac­ity for 3,500 peo­ple. Lo­cated off Vet­er­ans Memo­rial Park­way on Wa­ter­front Drive next to Tock­wot­ton on the Wa­ter­front, the venue is lo­cated di­rectly across the river from In­dia Point Park in Prov­i­dence, with views of up­per Narragansett Bay and the Prov­i­dence and Seekonk Rivers.

Wa­ter­front Pro­duc­tions and part­ner Live Na­tion se­cured fi­nal ap­provals in Fe­bru­ary for a three-year lease of land at Bold Point Park. The East Prov­i­dence City Coun­cil ini­tially ap­proved the venue for the prop­erty in Novem­ber 2016.

To com­mem­o­rate the 40th an­niver­sary of the 1977 con­cert and its record­break­ing to­tal of more than 40,000 fans, the City Coun­cil, led by Mayor James Bri­den, will be at the con­cert on Aug. 9 to present the Beach Boys with a procla­ma­tion and keys to the city.

The city is also des­ig­nat­ing Aug. 9 as “Beach Boys Day.”

Form­ing in Hawthorne, Cal­i­for­nia, in 1961, the Beach Boys and their distinc­tive har­monies be­came syn­ony­mous with the “Cal­i­for­nia Sound” which cel­e­brated a youth cul­ture of surf­ing, cars and ro­mance.

Photo cour­tesy of event­cen­

The Beach Boys are sched­uled to play a con­cert at Bold Point Park on Aug. 9.

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