WASHINGTON -- The Beach Boys have been banned from the annual July 4 celebration at the Washington Monument again, this time because the National Park Service wants a more 'family-oriented' program, a spokeswoman said Wednesday.
Park Service spokeswoman Sandra Alley said the action had no relation to the 1983 decision by former Secretary of the Interior James Watt to replace the group with Las Vegas singer Wayne Newton.
The Beach Boys did not appear at the 1983 celebration after Watt said the group drew the 'wrong element' to annual Fourth of July festivities on the Washington Mall.
Alley said the decision to replace the group is part of a ban on Independence Day rock concerts on the Mall and had nothing to do with the Beach Boys' talent.
'We definitely want a more family-oriented, traditional-type program,' Alley said. 'I've had letters from people saying they used to come down to the Mall all the time but they can't bring their children anymore.'
Alley said she hoped Beach Boys' fans would not be as outraged by the ban as they were when Watt made his comment.
The Independence Day program for next year has not yet been chosen, but the Park Service is looking into the possibility of having either a military band perform or just having the annual fireworks display.
The estimated 550,000 people who attended the Beach Boys' 1985 concert left behind 206 tons of trash. More than 1,000 people needed medical attention, with ailments ranging from a headache to cuts from broken glass, Alley said.
'We're not talking about their talent at all,' she said. 'We're talking about the appropriateness of the program. We want a more patriotic-type ceremony in keeping with the holiday.
'I'm sure there's going to be a backlash from the decision but hopefully this year's show will be one many of the citizenry can also enjoy,' she said.
The Beach Boys performed in front of huge, largely young crowds on the Mall in 1981 and 1982. In 1983, Newton was the highlight attraction before the Beach Boys returned in 1984 and 1985.
The concerts also featured several country bands, such as the Oak Ridge Boys, but those also will be canceled.
Alley said plans were being made to have the National Symphony Orchestra perform its annual July 4 concert on the west lawn of the Capitol.
'The family-type concert will probably help to ease the impact on the public transportation system,' she said, referring to the annual crush on buses and the subway following the festivities.