Have mercy! When PBS airs its annual Fourth of July concert, A Capitol Fourth, on Independence Day, Fuller House star John Stamos will be serving double duty as performer and host. The actor and musician has had a steady gig as a drummer for the Beach Boys since 1985 (that’s him slapping the skins in the “Kokomo” video), and he’ll be playing with the iconic rock group again on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol on July 4. According to Stamos, his role as a drummer preceded his role as the evening’s host. “Mike [Love] asked me to come play drums, and then [the Capitol Fourth producers] were like ‘As long as you’re there, we need a host!’ The Fourth of July is a big day to play with America’s band. The only way you can get more American is firing apple pies out of a T-shirt cannon.”
Delicious as that sounds, apple pies probably won’t be bursting in the air during Stamos’s inaugural appearance on the Capitol Fourth stage; after all, the skies need be kept clear for the dazzling fireworks show over the National Mall that always closes the live telecast. But the first-time host is excited to emcee an evening that features two other legendary rock bands: The Four Tops and The Blues Brothers. He’s even got a song request for Dan Aykroyd, one-half of the current Blues Brothers alongside Jim Belushi. “I always like it when Dan does ‘Rubber Biscuit.'” And while Stamos is keeping mum about which tunes he and the Beach Boys, including guest vocalist Mark McGrath, will be performing, he does reveal that he always gets a kick out of performing the drum solo for “Be True to Your School.” “The beauty of this band is that you don’t have to think about this music — you just feel it.”
Among the other performers appearing to ring in America’s 241st birthday, and A Capitol Fourth‘s 37th year, are Tony-nominated Hamilton star, Phillipa Soo, recent winner of The Voice, Chris Blue, Disney Channel favorite Sofia Carson, the National Symphony Orchestra conducted by Jack Everly, and Trace Adkins whose performance of “Still a Soldier” will be dedicated to active soldiers and veterans. “It’s a good year to be talking about patriotism and what our freedom means to us,” Stamos says. “It feels like decency is at an all-time low right now and discord an all-time high. So we need music; we need to watch a show like this and sing and laugh and open our hearts.”
A Capitol Fourth airs Tuesday, July 4 at 8 p.m. on PBS.
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