Last week the internet was in a tizzy when a few unscrupulous websites that cared more about driving traffic than getting the story right claimed Mike Love “fired” his Beach Boys band mates Al Jardine, Brian Wilson and David Marks. As much as it pained me to defend Love, I did it for the sake of the truth. I’ve since received a few notes, most telling me Love’s an asshole and that I should chill out on the defending him bit – fair enough. The Beach Boys went on to close out their 50th Anniversary Tour last week and today the L.A. Times has published an interesting letter by Love about the reunion and the issues brought up last week that discusses a few points I mentioned.
Mike Love did his best to keep it positive while still giving his side of the story. He makes it clear he didn’t “fire” anybody and responds to allegations that the press release he issued causing the ruckus was a shock to Brian Wilson and Al Jardine. In fact, Love claims Brian’s representative asked him to issue the press release last month to make sure there was no confusion about which version of the Beach Boys would be performing at this month’s shows.
Initially, there was to be plenty of space between the two tours, but then we added 25 more dates and the two tours bumped up against each other. To avoid public confusion, and at the request of Brian’s representative, we had a press release sent out detailing the differences between the two Beach Boys tours and its varying lineups. I was surprised that Brian and Al said they were surprised by this announcement. Some media outlets interpreted all of this as me firing the band.
Mike also brings up a point that we made, that the small markets to which Love’s version of The Beach Boys were booked couldn’t exactly handle the reunited bands “logistically and economically.”
Like any good party, no one wanted it to end. However, that was impossible, given that we had already set up shows in smaller cities with a different configuration of the band — the configuration that had been touring together every year for the last 13 years. Brian and Al would not be joining for these small market dates, as was long agreed upon.
It is not feasible, both logistically and economically, for the 50th anniversary tour to play these markets. It’s vitally important for the smaller markets to experience our live shows, as this is how we’ve maintained a loyal fan base for 50 years. You can’t sustain a fan base on a great catalog alone. You must take your music directly to the people.
Love’s letter is a fascinating read and whether you believe everything he says or not is up to you.
[Hat Tip - Julie Blore-Bizot]