Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Bad, bad, bad, bad vibrations

I was surprised to see a recent article about Brian Wilson and Al Jardine getting fired from the Beach Boys. (Admittedly, part of my surprise was finding out the Brian Wilson is still alive.)

After all, how can you get fired from something that you not only belong to, but are.

But fired they were, along with David Marks, an early-on Beach Boy who was with the group for a couple of years in the early 1960’s.

The boys (formerly known as the Beach Boys) were unceremoniously dumped by Love, who  owns/has licensed use of the Beach Boys name and brand.

How unceremoniously were they dumped?

Well, they were still on the Beach Boys’ 50th Anniversary Tour when they got word. And the word they got was through a public statement made by Love. Talk about fun, fun, fun….

Help me, Rhonda, wouldn’t it be nice if Love – who is first cousin to Brian Wilson (and the other two now-dead original Beach Boy bros, Carl and Dennis) – had at least given the guys a head’s up before he released the info?

Wilson was blindsided.

"I'm disappointed and can't understand why he (Love) doesn't want to tour with Al, David and me," he told CNN. "We are out here having so much fun. After all, we are the real Beach Boys." (Source: Huffington Post.)

You don’t have to have  gone on surfin’ safari with this crew to recognize that Brian Wilson was the creative force behind the Beach Boys from the beginning. Those tunes that even casual BB fans will blast on oldies radio when they come on, singing along with the windows rolled down, well, a lot of them sprang from Brian Wilson’s head. Which makes Love’s dastardly deed, well, pretty dastardly.

And, apparently, financially motivated.

Love was concerned that, if the echt Beach Boys are out there too much, they’d suffer from overexposure. Love said:

“…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."

So while Love has ticked off Brian Wilson et al. by giving them the heave ho, his comment on the Eagles’ ticket prices wasn’t given the Eagles a peaceful, easy feeling. And they expressed their annoyance. Love’s response, through a spokesman, was that he was being “flippant”, not “venomous.” (Source: LA Times.)

Love is pretty much an equal opportunity insulter. When the Beach Boys were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Love’s acceptance speech included shots at Paul McCartney, Mick Jagger, and Bruce Springsteen. (Great and glorious as the Beach Boys are, I’m guessing that 100 years from now, more people will be familiar with – and entertainers covering - the oeuvres of McCartney, Jagger, and The Boss than with the pleasant and ethereal harmonizing of the Beach Boys.)

Meanwhile, the band that will be touring in the name of the Beach Boys will include Love’s son, Christian.

Hmmmmm. I’m thinking if overexposure of the original, authentic Beach Boys drives ticket prices down, how is it going to help to have a “real fake” Beach Boys act on the road. Is this an “absence makes the heart grow fonder” tour, where Love takes a short term hit ($5 tickets, anyone?) so that when he next goes out with the real deal, he can jack the prices up?

Anyway, Wilson (70), Jardine (70), and Marks (64) may want to think about an age discrimination suit here. You may not be able to fight nepotism in court, but presumably in ousting the alter kockers and replacing them with a “kid”, Love (at 70, a fellow alter kocker) may be opening himself up for legal action.

Don’t worry, babies, every thing will work out alright.

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