Mike Love apparently surprised his fellow Beach Boys co-founders Brian Wilson and Al Jardine, plus guitarist David Marks, when he announced on Sunday that all three were fired from the band. After the Boys wrap two London stops on their current 50th anniversary tour, Love will carry on with his own lineup. He cited greed, essentially, as the reason.
"You've got to be careful not to get overexposed," said Love in a statement issued the day the band's Grammy Museum exhibit opened. "There are promoters who are interested [in the o.g. lineup], 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."
Love can do this because he has owned the Beach Boys name since 1998, after a series of hard-fought legal battles following the death of Carl Wilson that same year. Since then, Love has toured with his own version of the Beach Boys, featuring longtime member Bruce Johnston and a backing band including Love's son, Christian.
"I'm disappointed and can't understand why he doesn't want to tour with Al, David, and me," said Wilson, Love's cousin and the group's defining singer-songwriter. to CNN. "We are out here having so much fun. After all, we are the real Beach Boys."
As Rolling Stone reports, Jardine has gone as far as to petition his Facebook followers for signatures beneath a letter that reads:
"To Mike Love. In order to preserve the validity of 'The Beach Boys' as a whole, and not as a 'money saving, stripped down version' that only contains one original member, and one member that joined in 1965, we ask you to reinstate the three other members to the touring group for your final years performing. It's the right thing to do, and it's what the fans want!"
With the number of signees at 2,700 and growing, it'd seem that Jardine is right about what the fans want. And yet, Love insists, in the most codger-y voice we can muster up in our minds, that "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." Well, harrumph to you too, sir.