Don’t Believe The Hype, Original Beach Boys Weren’t Fired

Last week we reported on the fracture that developed between Beach Boys Mike Love and his longtime band mates Al Jardine and Brian Wilson. We were surprised the story didn’t blow up more considering the drama involved, but after the U.K.’s Telegraph posted an article with the inflammatory headline “Beach Boys founders sacked in middle of the reunion tour” dozens of outlets picked up the item complete with “Beach Boys Fired” headlines. The articles claim Wilson and Jardine were “blindsided,” yet that’s bullshit and we’ll explain why.

Let’s step back for a second and think about the recent history of Beach Boys tours. Ever since 1998 Mike Love has licensed the “Beach Boys” name and has played hundreds of shows under the moniker. Love agreed to do the reunion tour but as he says, it was intended to have a start and a finish. Mike continued to book shows for his version of the Beach Boys and since back in June has been making it clear which version of the band would play the shows booked in October – his.

For instance, Mike Love’s Beach Boys are set to perform in Waco, Texas next week at the Heart O’ Texas Fair & Rodeo. Press releases for the event have included word that Love and Bruce Johnston’s Beach Boys will appear NOT Jardine, Wilson and David Marks. We don’t have the figures, but you’ve got to expect that the event’s promoters paid way less to get Love’s version of the band than the reunited Beach Boys that played theaters and large amphitheaters this year. Jardine, Wilson and Marks were never set to perform at the upcoming Beach Boys shows. To say they were “fired” or “sacked” just isn’t accurate.

Some would ask why wouldn’t Love want to keep the reunion going? Let’s remember he’s been involved with dozens of lawsuits with Brian Wilson and Al Jardine, he signed up for a plan in which they’d record an album and tour together for about six months. For over a decade Love hasn’t had anyone to answer to and was the guy everyone came to see at pre-reunion Beach Boys shows. With the reunited band he’s got to make sure Wilson and Jardine are onboard musically and is supported by a backing band that is mostly filled with musicians from Brian Wilson’s band. For his own Beach Boys gigs, Love only performs with six other musicians who were picked by him and include his son Christian.

Perhaps Jardine and Wilson see their opportunity to take advantage of the situation which is why they are feigning surprise at the deal they agreed to coming to its scheduled conclusion. They know the public would rather see a Beach Boys with three original (Johnston and Marks actually aren’t original members, they joined in ’65 and ’62 respectively) members than one – I know I would, but it’s Love’s prerogative to stick to the original terms of the reunion in which he continued touring under the name after a few legs of touring with the reunited band.

[Mike Love's version of the Beach Boys]

Look, Love doesn’t help his cause by telling the Telegraph, ”You’ve got to be careful not to get overexposed. There are promoters who are interested [in more shows by the reunited line-up], 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.” But he’s kinda got a point. The Beach Boys were everywhere the past six months. It’s not like fans haven’t had plenty of opportunity to see them.

Personally, I’m not a huge Mike Love fan. I just think he’s getting thrown under the bus by Jardine and Wilson which shows exactly why he wasn’t looking to continue ceding control to them for any longer than agreed to. These guys just can’t avoid drama, it’s in their blood. The Beach Boys 50th Anniversary Tour comes to a close on Friday at Wembley Arena in London.

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45 thoughts on “Don’t Believe The Hype, Original Beach Boys Weren’t Fired

  1. Robert Reply

    Not to nitpick here but David Marks was in the Beach Boys and recorded on the FIRST 5 Beach Boys records. To say he’s not an “original” member would be like calling Ringo not an original Beatle because Pete Best was there before him. When Al Jardine came back into the band, he replaced Brian Wilson on bass- thus Al and David Marks were actually in the Beach Boys at the same time…

  2. Les Hastings Reply

    Cmon, I love Mike and the band equally, but this is excuse making 101. Sometimes just because you have the right to do something, doesn’t make it right.

    It’s either the Beach Boys are back together or theyre not. If it was a 6 month only thing, then the whole thing was disingenuous and a fraud. is that what youre saying?

    Plus ive never seen brian happier, and al is NOT a drama queen, hes the one whos been trying to get the two of them back together for years.

    It’s wrong, whether he has the right or not. BOO!

  3. Chuck Kirkpatrick Reply

    I wonder how Mike would react if Wilson, Jardine, and Marks decided to continue touring WITHOUT Mike, under a different band name, but sub-billing themselves by each of their names on all promotional materials. The kicker would be if they’d invite Bruce to come along and he accepted. Let’s see how Mike does then…..

  4. Zach Reply

    Frankly I don’t care whether they were fired or not, I would just much prefer if they continued as they were. I think Mike is an excellent singer and a valuable part of the band but I’d see a Brian, Al and David Beach Boys (or even just Brian) way before a Mike and Bruce Beach Boys.

  5. mike Reply

    like obama’s preacher had said when he was running for the 1st prez candidacy…the world is becoming less and less civil. u should see the utter vile alleged beach boy “fans” have said about mike love. a lot of it has to do with the young white kids/young white adults listening to rap and dance/disco/techno music in addition to wholesome rock music–and how white men who listened to the beach boys when they 1st came out in the early 60′s have now turned into angry old sometimes racist white men. if u must be angry be angry at actions not at the man. his legacy is being trashed on a daily basis by selfish beach boy fans who childishly and unrealistically want ALL original beach boy members to continue to perform ad infinitum. my message to them–grow up–be realistic and mature and respectful of a legend who has given so much joy through his music over the years. you’re acting disloyally and childish. how many different variations of the Grateful Dead have their been without their fans disrespecting them?! did Bill Wyman receive such vile comments when he quit The Rolling Stones?! No he didn’t. Learn some f ng manners people!

  6. David Reply

    Being a huge Beach Boys fan most of my life I couldn’t hate any one of them whatever they chose to do whether I liked it or not so, whatever Mike chooses is really up to him I know and, who am to judge but, like most of the fans I would really like to see him continue on with Brian for many reasons.Primarily of all this reason.When Brian & Mike were together at their peaks they wrote & created amazing songs which changed the music industry forever but they did this together.Mike still has a great voice & talent & Brian is still great musical genius.When Mike worked with Brian they made magical songs.Now ‘wouldn’t it be nice’ if in the final chapter of The Beach Boys & Mike’s career it became about bringing back that partnership he once had writing with Brian & singing new creations instead of singing the old songs over & over.I think the decision really is in Mike’s hand so I hope he does whats right.

  7. Gary Platz Reply

    I’m a Beach Boys fanatic and have been so for over 45 years and have seen and heard about all the turmoil the group has dealt with. Mike has always been the promoter / business person and I respect what he has done with the group. I’ve been to numerous concerts over 4 decades and have seen some great and not so great shows. But, mike’s performance and the music he and Brian nver falter. Mike is a showman and interjects some corny humor in his concerts and the audience always responds to it.I had the opportunity to see the reunion show July 3rd in Virginia Beach and it was by far the best Beach Boys concert I’ve seen in my humble opinion. I thoroughly enjoyed hearing some of the not so big hits such as “Marcella” and “Sail On Salor” as well as the other 48 songs.Despite that the media loves to dwell on the negative, the Beach Boys music always personified fun and positivity. Their voices are still good and their stage presence is still great.So, all that read this, please take to heart all the “Good Vibrations” this group has and still puts out should be embraced and cherished while we have them.

    Gary Platz

  8. Max Reply

    First of all, I am far from a Mike Love enthusiast or defender. I can think of very few instances where I’d go see the Mike-Bruce Beach Boys (free tickets, a ballgame where the show was included, etc).

    That having been said, you nailed it perfectly with this article. The post-reunion Mike-Bruce gigs were announced in June. This means that the other members of the band had THREE MONTHS to discuss this, raise objections, negotiate, beg, plead, whatever. The fact that they didn’t do this leads me to believe that they simply weren’t interested… which is why I find the uproar so curious.

    I’m less upset about Mike and Bruce continuing to tour than I am about the uproar and feigned outrage, which has really put a damper on the good feelings that the reunion created among fans.

    As a fan (“Leif Rocker”) put it on Facebook, “All this petition and facebook crap gives the whole reunion a bad taste. It was clear from the beginning that Mike and Bruce would tour on their own again. If Brian, Al and David want to continue I say talk with each other about it and don’t make it such a open “battle” like now, trying to heat up the fans. It’s really not the right time to start a “Mike Love”-war. But stop this online bullshit. That only hurts the fans that hoped they were – finally – given something tasteful and honest by the Beach Boys.”


  9. Rich Paschall Reply

    It is hard to consider them over exposed when they only played 50 shows and not even 50 cities worldwide. Some cities had more than one show. As for financial considerations, perhaps Mike can claim he really needed the cash to support his family, or some other BS. No, I think they did rather well this year.

  10. Frank Reply

    I’d rather Brian cut loose from the entire group and create/play with his own band. He’s more able to be more creative. Plus, Brian and his band sound much better than the 50th BB tour. Brian can control the QUALITY much better. I saw them in Bethlehem, Pa this spring and was disappointed. It sounded like a Mike Live concert. The music was too rushed, too loud and the sound quality suffered. Harmonies were missing big time.

  11. Mike Reply

    Mike has kept the Beach Boys moniker alive all these years. White Brian and Al toured with their bands and enjoyed the work, so does Mike. Many of the smaller venues such as Waco and Biloxi could not support the Reunion tour. They can afford Mike’s band. Fans in those smaller cities would not come out to see Brian or Al’s shows. The will come to see Mike because you get the ORIGINAL Beach Boys sound.

  12. RC Reply

    Scott Bernstein AND Mike Love are total idiots! I have never seen such a Mike Love brown noser in my life as the “writer” of this “article” is! The reunion tour was absolutely magical and to have Mike act like this now, or even if it was June, doesn’t matter since it was still during the 50th Tour when he should’ve been only concentrating on that!

    Brian, Al and ORIGINAL Beach Boy David (again the “writer” here is clueless as to BB history) should just tour w/o Mike and his puppet Bruce. Those 3 are the Real Beach Boys!

  13. Rich Reising Reply

    I am sure it all comes down to $$$$ in the end…and Mike probably stands to make more with his own troup.RR

  14. Amanda Miller/Johnston Reply

    Never Been Fire Before Please Bruce Is Still Member Beach Boys
    Michael Too!! Brian Never Been Fire Before.

  15. Bernie Reply

    Mike LOVE…….. Mike MONEY …….. still ‘HANGING ON TO HIS EGO’. Either transcend or grow up. The Beach Boys didn’t NEED you the Wilsons and friends would have made it happen anyway. That’s no to say your small contribution isn’t still appreciated. Take care!

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