How an interview with the Beach Boys turned into an opportunity of a lifetime for KSAT reporter Courtney Friedman

The Beach Boys made ’Fun, Fun, Fun’ dream come true for KSAT’s ‘California Girl’

SAN ANTONIO – It’s the morning after and I’m still stunned! I can hardly believe I stood on the stage at the renowned Majestic Theatre and introduced The Beach Boys and John Stamos.

It’s a full-circle moment for me (and my family)! I grew up as a “California girl” in San Diego in a home where Beach Boys records were constantly playing. Road trips with family sing-alongs, and I even sang Surfer Girl as an audition for a play when I was young!

My dad has been going to Beach Boys shows for 50 years! Then back in the 90′s, my parents had a mutual friend of Al Jardine’s and they got to spend time with him at a number of shows backstage. They are lifelong fans.

My mom was also an actress on “All My Children” at the same time that John Stamos was on “General Hospital,” and she obviously loved him and the soap opera connection they had!

That’s why I was in disbelief when I got an email from our KSAT assignment manager Saturday, asking if I wanted to do a Zoom interview with Mike Love and John Stamos to preview their upcoming show in San Antonio.

Sunday evening at 5:00 p.m. — just 30 minutes before I got on set for our newscast — I hopped on a Zoom call with them. They had literally finished their show in Lubbock, and less than a minute later were on the phone with me.

We talked about their incredible bond. A lot of people don’t know John Stamos first played with The Beach Boys in 1985, and has played with them on and off since, when he’s had time.

John told me how nervous he was when The Beach Boys came on Full House to play. He was giddy talking about how he still cannot believe how lucky he is to play with the band all these years later.

Mike actually officiated the wedding for John and his wife. They just have an awesome friendship that was clear by the way they were joking and teasing each other. They were hilarious, gracious, kind, and thrilled about coming to San Antonio.

You can watch the full interview by clicking here.

They invited me to the show and to come backstage beforehand to say “hi.” I could not contain my excitement and the whole newsroom had to hear me freaking out about it.

Later that evening, I was in the middle of our Nightbeat newscast, and I got a text from the band’s public relations manager who had set up the interview. During Larry Ramirez’s sportscast, I glanced down and looked at the text. He said Mike Love called him and asked if I would introduce them ON STAGE before the show!!!!!

I think I stopped breathing for a minute and ran over to Meteorologist Mia Montgomery to show her. We silently screamed (Larry was still talking) and jumped up and down, leaving my co-anchor, Tim Gerber, very confused and prompting one of his loving eye rolls.

My husband and I got to the Majestic at 7 p.m. on Monday night and went backstage. There we met a KSAT viewer Lanie Rose Ortega, who is in stage 4 kidney failure and happens to be the world’s greatest John Stamos fan. She had emailed me Sunday asking if there was any way I could help her meet John. I talked to the awesome PR manager, Rick Fowler, and he immediately got her and her wife backstage passes!

KSAT's Courtney Friedman helped KSAT viewer Lanie Rose Ortega meet John Stamos and Mike Love during the Beach Boys concert at the Majestic Theatre on Sept. 25, 2023. (KSAT)

She showed up in earrings and badges with John’s pictures — and you should have seen his (and her) face when he walked in. He absolutely loved it. He and Mike came in to take pictures with all of us.

I also got to meet longtime Beach Boy, Bruce Johnston, who has a Grammy in songwriting. He is a legend and I had a hard time staying composed!

Then I talked with the tour manager asking if there was something specific she wanted me to say as the introduction. I planned on introducing myself, immediately introducing them, and quickly getting off the stage. She, however, said I had a couple of MINUTES to talk.

That was about five minutes before they walked me to the stage and handed me a microphone. I quickly came up with some things to say, but if I’m being honest, I barely remembered any of it until I saw the video later!

After that, we were shown to our amazing seats and we danced the night away watching one of the greatest bands of all time play music they still adore. It is a night I will never forget, and will always cherish.

Thank you to all the KSAT viewers who said hi at the show! I love that so many of them told me they saw my story and that’s why they bought tickets. That’s what KSAT is all about and it made me so so happy.

You can watch my on-stage Beach Boy introduction and see some snippets of their performance in the video player at the top of this article.

About the Author:

Courtney Friedman is a KSAT anchor and reporter. She has an ongoing series called Loving in Fear, confronting Bexar County’s domestic violence epidemic. She's also covered Hurricane Harvey, the shootings in Sutherland Springs and Santa Fe, and tornadoes throughout Texas. She’s a California native and proud Longhorn who loves calling SA home.