The Beach Boys‘ public battle continues this week with a written retort by founding member and musical mastermind Brian Wilson.
The current feud began at the end of September with announcement by Mike Love (who owns the rights to the Beach Boys name) that the “post-50th anniversary configuration [of the Beach Boys] will not include Brian Wilson, Al Jardine and David Marks.” After much criticism from the public and from the three “fired” band members, Love attempted to set the record straight last Friday with a letter published in the Los Angeles Times, which addressed the reason he and Bruce Johnston decided to book Beach Boys shows without Wilson, Jardine and Marks. “I did not fire Brian Wilson from the Beach Boys,” wrote Love. “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.”
Wilson’s wrote a response to Love this week, again published in the L.A. Times, which reads as follows: “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 [Marks] and me tour with the band, it sort of feels like we’re being fired.
“What’s a bummer to Al and me is that we have numerous offers to continue, so why wouldn’t we want to? We all poured our hearts and souls into that album and the fans rewarded us by giving us a Number Three debut on the Billboard charts and selling out our shows. We were blown away by the response.”
Wilson went on to write, “Al and I just assumed based on everyone’s enthusiasm we would at least want to take those offers into consideration since we all knew about them. I mean, who wouldn’t want to play the Hollywood Bowl again, Madison Square Garden and Wrigley Field? And what better way to celebrate New Year’s Eve than with the 50th band? That would have blown the lid off things.
“There were also offers for more shows in the U.K. and markets we weren’t able to play during the tour. As I said before, it’s my opinion that we should all go out together as the Beach Boys in support of all our new releases. We really weren’t out on the road that long for an anniversary of this magnitude and I actually think we should make one last record together.
“It’s Al and my opinion that all of us together makes for a great representation of the Beach Boys.”
What a disappointment for fans.
Read the full text of Wilson’s letter here.