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Beach Boys Band Drama Still Lingers On

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The drama between the three surviving Beach Boys — partners Brian Wilson, Mike Love, and Al Jardine — continues. With the recent critically acclaimed movie of Wilson’s life, Love & Mercy, garnering rave reviews and Oscar buzz, Mike Love has seemingly stepped up his profile with the press giving a handful of new interviews, which have him denigrating Wilson by bringing up his decades old mental and drug issues. Wilson fans have recently been up in arms over Love snagging Wilson’s longtime guitarist and right-hand man, former Beach Boys sideman, Jeff Foskett, who worked with Wilson for 16 years — as well as Love’s band hiring away Wilson’s newly added member, former Four Freshman Brian Eichenberger.

Love, who controls the license to tour under the band’s moniker with side musicians and longtime member Bruce Johnston, broke the hearts of the bands’ legions of die-hard fans when after the Beach Boys’ massively successful 2012 reunion tour and first Top Three new album in 47 years, he decided to take the license and hit the road — without Wilson, Jardine and co-founder David Marks — for smaller gigs in secondary markets. The success of Love & Mercy — which Love maintains he’s still not seen — has brought forth a handful of new interviews with local newspapers and fanzine-based publications.

Love, who felt comfortable and confident enough to co-write three songs with his first cousin Brian Wilson on the 2012 hit That’s Why God Made The Radio album, spoke candidly to Once again, Love took the time to underline the personal problems from years past that don’t really play a part in the current life of the solo Grammy Award-winning, father of seven, saying, “Brian did himself a lot of damage and that was a horrible thing for me to witness as the years went by. When we started out he was doing great music but then got into drugs and that didn’t do him any favors. All I can say is that love transcends all the bull because we are family and grew up together. We went to high school football games together, loved the Everly Brothers together, and sang doo-wop before the band was formed. We wrote all the great songs together and were successful together. As far as performing with Brian again, I have nothing but love for that cousin of mine and would love to get into the studio with him again.”

Love went on the defensive about his troubled relationship with Wilson, which is touched upon in Love & Mercy — a film he’s still not seen — telling “What has been promulgated is just not real. It’s annoying to me. I know my relationship with Brian — no one has been involved with Brian Wilson longer than I have. We’ve been together since childhood. So no one can tell me how my relationship is with Brian.”
Brian Wilson has taken the high road over the past few years regarding Love — who has literally chosen not to work with him — by praising his legendary work over the decades, now has “tersely” told “I don’t talk to the Beach Boys. I don’t talk to Mike Love.”

During the Beach Boys’ 2012 reunion tour, Mike Love was thrilled by the sound of the band, but clearly was uncomfortable with the cost of traveling with such a high end spectacle night after night at such high profile venues as L.A.’s Hollywood Bowl and London’s Wembley Arena: “It’s also very expensive to do, the way it’s being done with all the production and stuff, it’s ridiculously expensive and intense. So, it limits you as to where you can go — which size of venues. Y’know, that’s the drawback as far as I can see.

The thing I like about how we ordinarily do things is (it’s) very streamlined and we sound great and have a good time performing at all kind of venues, all size of venues — this one, you’re limited to the larger venues alone.” at Moline, Illinois’ iWireless Center.

Brian Wilson with Al Jardine will next perform on September 11th at San Francisco’s Louise M. Davies Symphony Hall.

Photo Courtesy of Annie Liebovitz

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