Photo: Robert MatheuLast month, The Beach Boys' Mike Love and Bruce Johnston upset many fans when they issued a statement explaining that, after the last dates of the group's lauded 50th anniversary reunion trek, the surf-rock legends would start touring without longtime members Brian Wilson, Al Jardine and David Marks. While some media outlets and fans suggested that the announcement meant that, in effect, Wilson, Jardine and Marks were being fired from the band, Love has penned a lengthy article for the Los Angeles Times he hopes will "set the record straight" about the lineup change.
"Let me get right to it: I did not fire Brian Wilson from the Beach Boys," the singer insists. "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."
He adds, "I love Brian Wilson. We are partners. He's my cousin by birth and my brother in music."
Love goes on to explain that the 50th anniversary reunion tour "was always envisioned as a limited run." He points out that the pre-reunion configuration of The Beach Boys he fronts already had booked dates this month before the anniversary festivities had been finalized. Love also notes that the reunion outing initially was only supposed to consist of 50 dates, and when an additional 25 shows were added, it meant that the trek would be running right up until the concerts he'd locked in for his version of the group.
He admits that Wilson and Jardine -- who, prior to 2012, hadn't toured with The Beach Boys for many years -- did want the reunion outing to keep going. However, insists Love, "That was impossible, given that we had already set up shows in smaller cities with a different configuration of the band." As for the statement he and Johnston issued, Love says it was something Wilson's management requested them to release "to avoid pubic confusion."
In the article, Love also expresses great pride with how the reunited version of the group performed during the anniversary trek, declaring, "We didn't just show up for this tour like some museum act. We sang well. We played well. We moved people and we touched a lot of hearts. And it was beautiful."
In a number of recent interviews, Wilson has said that he'd like to continue to play and record with all of the band's longtime members. Time will tell if we've seen the last of The Beach Boys as they appeared during their 50th anniversary tour.
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