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When the Beach Boys reunited for their 50th anniversary tour and released the acclaimed That’s Why God Made The Radio, many fans hoped that they would have put their differences behind them. But that doesn’t appear to be the case, as Mike Love hopes to continue touring without founding members Al Jardine and Brian Wilson, going back to the status quo set before the reunion.
Last month, Love and Bruce Johnston announced that they were continuing the tour without Love, Jardine and guitarist David Marks. “I'm disappointed and can't understand why he (Love) doesn't want to tour with Al, David and me. We are out here having so much fun. After all, we are the real Beach Boys,” Wilson told CNN at the time.
In a letter to the Los Angeles Times, Love clarified the decision to tour without the other three members.
“Let me get right to it: I did not fire Brian Wilson from the Beach Boys,” Love, Wilson’s cousin, wrote, reports Entertainment Weekly. “I cannot fire Brian Wilson from the Beach Boys. I am not his employer. I do not have such authority. And even if I did, I would never fire Brian Wilson from the Beach Boys. I love Brian Wilson. We are partners. He’s my cousin by birth and my brother in music.”
Love said that the rest of the tour dates were set before the reunion tour, which he never expected to be so successful. “It is not feasible, both logistically and economically, for the 50th anniversary tour to play these markets,” he wrote. “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.”
On Tuesday, Wilson responded with a letter of his own to the LA Times, writing, “As far as I know I can't be fired--that wouldn't be cool. The negativity surrounding all the comments bummed me out. What's confusing is that by Mike not wanting or letting Al, David and me tour with the band, it sort of feels like we're being fired.”
Wilson added that Love made it sound as if the reunion tour could continue. He wrote that his attorney told Love’s attorney to let the markets for Love’s upcoming tour know that Wilson and Jardine wouldn’t be there, since the advertisements for these shows made it look as if they would all be there. However, when those advertisements weren’t changed, Wilson expected that he would be there.
“That’s why I was completely blindsided by his press release,” Wilson added. “I had no idea that it was coming out, since it was crafted by Mike's personal PR firm without my knowledge or approval. No one in my camp would have approved it or the timing.”
The Beach Boys are currently the subject of a Grammy Museum exhibition and released a new greatest hits compilation this week.