Through the news release issued by the Beach Boys tried to portray their latest split as a planned event following a celebrated 50th anniversary album and tour, new comments from ousted leader Brian Wilson tell a different story.
Mike Love, it’s now clear, has decided to retake a central role in the Beach Boys, having led an offshoot group that only includes second-generation member Bruce Johnston for the last 14 years. Wilson, in new comments to CNN, says Love told him in no uncertain terms that Wilson, Al Jardine and David Marks — the only other surviving original members of the Beach Boys — were not welcome. Seems Love thinks too many shows with them will dilute the reunion concept’s impact.
This, after Wilson had said just weeks before that he was hopeful for a quick return to the studio for the Beach Boys, who released That’s Why God Made the Radio earlier this year to rapturous praise and then embarked on a record-smashing tour. That concert series — and, apparently, the dream of a long-hoped-for end to these squabbles — draws to a close on September 28, 2012, at London’s Wembley Stadium.
[SOMETHING ELSE! REWIND: The Beach Boys have seen their share of career lows — from Mike Love’s pervy come-ons, to attempts at rap, to (yes) disco mixes. And that’s not even the worst of it.]
Love, who is Wilson’s cousin, was granted legal control of the Beach Boys name when Wilson drifted out of the band years ago. Love has since sued both Wilson and Jardine, even as all three toured with separate groups. The Brian Wilson Band has been recording and making concert appearances since 1999. Jardine’s group is called the Endless Summer Band. Love and Johnston appear with a lineup that also includes Scott Totten and John Cowsill.
“I’m disappointed and can’t understand why he (Love) doesn’t want to tour with Al, David and me,” Wilson told Denise Quan of CNN. “We are out here having so much fun. After all, we are the real Beach Boys.”
Contrast that image of Wilson pleading to remain with the way the split had been portrayed earlier in the week. Just before the reunited Beach Boys participated in a celebration at the Grammy Museum, Love and Johnston issued an official release that said: “The post-50th anniversary configuration will not include Brian Wilson, Al Jardine and David Marks. The 50th Reunion Tour was designed to be a set tour with a beginning and an end to mark a special 50-year milestone for the band.”
Then there’s Jardine, who has posted a link on his Facebook wall to a petition titled: “To Mike Love: We want Al, Brian, and David to stay touring with you and Bruce!” Love is encouraged, in that petition, to bring them back “in order to preserve the validity of ‘The Beach Boys’ as a whole, and not as a ‘money saving, stripped down version.'”
Here’s a look back at our recent thoughts on the Beach Boys. Click through the titles for complete reviews …
BEACH BOYS – THAT’S WHY GOD MADE THE RADIO (2012): Who would have guessed, after decades of awful public squabbling, that the battling Beach Boys would return at all — must less in perfect harmony? The first new album in forever to feature founders Al Jardine, Mike Love and Brian Wilson, along with legacy members David Marks and Bruce Johnston, is highlighted by stirring finale suite of songs, very much in the style and substance of Pet Sounds and SMiLE. If some — or, maybe all – of it feels steeps on sun-drenched nostalgia, well, that’s also part of the magic of their return. After all, Wilson was waxing poetic about things like transistor radios, beach bunnies and hot rods back when they were all shiny and brand new.
‘FIFTY SIDES’ SHEDS NEW LIGHT ON BEACH BOYS LEGEND: Coinciding with this rewarding recording from founding or former bandmates Brian Wilson, Mike Love, Al Jardine, Bruce Johnston and David Marks, and coming close to doing full justice — your subjectivity may vary too, after all — journalist Mark Dillon has engineered, in what must of been a labor of love, a page-turning heaven in Fifty Sides of the Beach Boys: The Songs That Tell Their Story. Garnering more than four dozen hits and hidden gems and infusing them with exclusive commentary by an array of collaborators, fellow musicians, and famous fans (from Al Kooper to Zooey Deschanel, the simplicity of “Surfin’” to the artistry of “Surf’s Up”) this treasure trove runs the golden anniversary gamut from giddy fun, fun, fun to a sense of misty melancholy — signature sounds still of the once-troubled but reemergent guiding light Brian Wilson.
SOMETHING ELSE! FEATURED ARTIST: THE BEACH BOYS: As the Beach Boys prepared to celebrate their 50th anniversary with the 2011 release of The SMiLE Sessions, an updated version of the 1968 track “Do It Again” and a proposed world tour, we took a look back at some fun, fun, fun old favorites — including tracks from Surfer Girl, Pet Sounds, Holland, Smiley Smile and Sunflower.
THE BEACH BOYS – THE SMILE SESSIONS (2011): Wilson’s long-awaited mythical masterpiece was issued in expanded form as The SMiLE Sessions, nearly 45 years after its conception. Be warned, though: While the original album has been referred to as the Beach Boys’ Holy Grail, this massive collection of studio recordings will probably be more well received by musicians and the serious music fan. Novice passersby need not apply. That said, despite the newly recorded version of this project released by Wilson in 2004, no one could have expected what depth and quality Sessions would bring to the table.