The Beach Boys Battling Mike Love Over Staying Together
Things are getting sticky as the Beach Boys wrap up their 50th anniversary trek in London this week. The bottom line is that aside from this current tour, which features the surviving co-founders of the band -- Brian Wilson, Mike Love, Al Jardine, David Marks, and longtime member Bruce Johnston -- Mike Love holds license to tour as the Beach Boys, which he's done since 1998 with Johnston and a scaled back band. He's granted that license by a company owned by him, his cousin Brian Wilson, Jardine, and the sons of his late cousin Carl Wilson. Seven days after the blockbuster dream-come-true beyond expectation reunion tour ends -- Love will be back on the road without Wilson, Jardine, or Marks -- despite the sold-out crowds, despite the Top Three new studio album -- and despite promoters begging the original band to stay on the road.
Al Jardine, who was forced out of the band in the late-'90s by Love, is eager to have the "true" Beach Boys continue to tour as the high class unit that's played around the world this spring and summer. He posted a message on his Facebook page and on iPetitions, which read: "To: Mike Love, In order to preserve the validity of 'The Beach Boys' as a whole, and not as a 'money saving, stripped down version' that only contains 1 original member, and 1 member that joined in 1965, we ask you to re-instate the 3 other members to the touring group for your final years performing. It's the right thing to do, and it's what the fans want!"
Brian Wilson, who returned to the band after a 16-year absence told CNN: "I'm disappointed and can't understand why (Love) doesn't want to tour with Al, David and me. We are out here having so much fun. After all, we are the real Beach Boys."
Wilson's co-manager Jean Sievers told The Los Angeles Times: "Brian is very bummed."
Love is open to recording a new studio set with the group, and said so publicly during the band's appearance last week at the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles -- which came one day after his announcement that the scaled back Beach Boys were adding fall dates without the other co-founders.
He spoke about the touring status of the group: "The 50th anniversary tour was designed to go for a year and then end . . . You've got to be careful not to get overexposed. There are promoters who are interested (in more shows by the reunited lineup), but they've said, 'Give it a rest for a year.' The Eagles found out the hard way when they went out for a second year and wound up selling tickets for $5."
Despite the political tensions between Love and Jardine -- which have been brewing for decades -- Love told us that it's been nothing but a pleasure to perform with Jardine, night after night: "He sings his ass off, he sounds so good, so, y'know, I am really happy to be there with him. His hiatus from the group and all that, has made him a better contributor. Yeah, he's more straight ahead and really does a great job. On this tour it's fantastic having him with us."