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Author Topic: Rolling Stone - 12/1999 - Lawyer: "Mike has maybe five years of touring left"  (Read 1016 times)
HeyJude
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« on: August 02, 2017, 12:03:56 PM »

Rolling Stone Online – December 8, 1999

“Beach Boy vs. Beach Boy”

While the Beach Boys were once musically illustrious, in the Nineties they’ve
spent more time in the courtroom than the recording studio. Lead singer Mike
Love sued his cousin Brian Wilson over composer credits. Carl Wilson led a
conservatorship to separate Brian from his controversial therapist Eugene Landy,
while the entire band sued Brian over statements in his biography. Now, the
band’s management is suing guitarist Al Jardine over his new band’s name “The
Beach Boys Family and Friends.”


The case comes to a head next Monday (Dec. 13) when Brother Records International
(BRI), the owner and administrator of the band’s trademark, will enter a Los
Angeles courtroom and attempt to permanently enjoin founding member Jardine,
57, from using any variation of the Beach Boys’ name. The action is directed
at a New Year’s Eve show in Huntington Station, NY,
and is the third time this year that BRI has filed a similar claim. (The others were dismissed.)


Jardine has filed his own lengthy counterclaim, and has insisted that he is taking
considerable pains to differentiate his touring outfit from that headed by Love, 58.
Jardine, was one of five founding Beach Boys, along with Love and the three
Wilson brothers -- Brian, Dennis and Carl. He did not play on the band’s earliest
Capitol albums, having left to attend school, but rejoined just before the Beach
Boys’ peak in the mid-Sixties.


He was not as well known as Love or the Wilsons, but was essential nonetheless.
He sang lead on “Help Me, Rhonda” and subsequently suggested that Brian
Wilson record the folk song “Sloop John B.” He also sang many of Brian’s
lead vocal parts onstage after Brian quit the road in 1965. BRI defines the Beach Boys
in legal terms as “smooth four-part harmonies, with all four males at the front of
the stage”; up until ‘98, Jardine was always one of those voices.


Love’s outfit is now billed as “The Beach Boys” while Jardine travels as “The
Beach Boys Family and Friends.” BRI now objects to Jardine using the Beach Boys
name in any format, and has awarded an “exclusive license” to Love for use of the
name -- even though each band has only one original member.


“Mike is the Beach Boys,” said BRI attorney Michael Flynn. “He sang and wrote
many of the original songs, and is recognizable to audiences as the band’s leader.
To have Al out there touring as the Beach Boys dilutes the trademark, but worst of
all it confuses the public.” Jardine’s lawyer, Vincent Chieffo, counters, “Alan is as
much of a Beach Boy as Mike, and it is deceptive for Mike to represent himself as
‘The Beach Boys.’ Mike is touring as he has for years, but is keeping the profits
once claimed by Carl and Alan for himself.”


Expectations notwithstanding, there is no confusion once you’ve entered the
venue. Love’s lieutenants are singer-keyboardist Bruce Johnston and guitarist David
Marks, both peripheral players in the band’s long history. Jardine brings along
his two sons, along with Carnie and Wendy Wilson (Brian Wilson’s daughters, formerly with Wilson
Phillips). This is a major bone of contention, as BRI objects strenuously
to including “girls” in a Beach Boys context. Jardine disagrees, saying that
the female voices provide a boost that the music needs.

Love presents a fast-paced thirty songs, drawn predominantly
from the surf years, in ninety minutes. Jardine has worked some of the more
artistically heralded, yet less commercially successful material from Pet Sounds
to Holland into the set with the surf/car/fun songs. In doing this, Jardine has run
afoul of the corporation. From the complaint: “Much of Jardine’s repertoire with
Beach Boys Family and Friends include many songs that the Beach Boys do not
regularly play in concert, songs [that] are about many issues that are not traditionally
associated with the Beach Boys, i.e. cars, surf, girls and fun.” Here, Love may be
flouting his own rules, as some of the songs on his set list -- “In My Room,”
“God Only Knows” -- don’t exactly fit the criteria. Love has also turned much of
the set into an all-purpose oldies show, including such classics as “Duke of Earl”
and “Why Do Fools Fall In Love?”

Jardine’s inability to convince either Brian Wilson or Carl Wilson’s estate -- the
other shareholders -- to vote with him cripples his position (to convince either
would bring about a deadlock). According to Flynn, the Wilsons’ position has
little to do with family or friendship. “Mike has maybe five years of touring left,
and he generates a lot of income. Having Al out there threatens this income and
dilutes the trademark. So the Wilsons are only protecting their own interests.”
Does this mean that a profit motive has eclipsed friendship? “I don’t think there’s
been any friendship there for a while,” he said.

These struggles came to a head in 1997, when Love stated he would not appear
with either Jardine or Carl Wilson. BRI president (and Beach Boys manager) Elliott
Lott acknowledged the line was drawn, but defined it as an example of tough
love. “You need to put this into perspective,” he said. “Carl was very sick. He’d
lost his hair and had to wear a wig. He needed oxygen after every song. Mike
didn’t want to appear with Carl out of love for him.”

Carl Wilson died in February 1998. As the band’s longtime mediator, he had held
a balance between its arguing factions, and, according to several sources, his
death allowed these situations to become fractious.

If this band has become a corporation, it is also an institution. “I think the Beach
Boys should go on even if only Mike Love is in it,” said former Byrds leader
Roger McGuinn in an e-mail to Rolling Stone. “It would be sad for the world not
to have a Beach Boys band. I wouldn’t be in a band like that myself, but if Mike
wants to do it, it’s okay with me.”

At this point in the band’s history, it’s sad that the two men who collaborated on
the lyric “omnipresent love surrounds you/Wisdom warming as the sun/You and
I are truly one” (from 1972’s “All This Is That”) can now only snarl at each other
from across a courtroom.

« Last Edit: August 02, 2017, 12:22:42 PM by HeyJude » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: August 02, 2017, 01:37:32 PM »

It's interesting that back in 1992 in one interview Mike mentioned he didn't envision continuing to tour for too much longer, and we see here that a lawyers suggested in 1999 Mike had maybe five years left. Obviously, a very convenient argument to make when you're trying to scare people about losing profits. But I'm curious if Mike really felt in the 90s like he wasn't going to be doing it forever.

It was, ironically, Carl in that translated 1989 interview who correctly predicted that Mike would be the last one still standing and touring after everybody else was gone for one reason or another.
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« Reply #2 on: August 03, 2017, 01:29:37 PM »

Again, I feel like crying. After Carl died, everything went to hell. Granted, it was already headed there before his death. But still....Carl, RIP.
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lostbeachboy
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« Reply #3 on: August 03, 2017, 01:54:04 PM »

Didn't want to appear with him out of love??  Weren't they both on stage together during  that time?...
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Pretty Funky
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« Reply #4 on: August 03, 2017, 02:33:15 PM »

It's interesting that back in 1992 in one interview Mike mentioned he didn't envision continuing to tour for too much longer, and we see here that a lawyers suggested in 1999 Mike had maybe five years left. Obviously, a very convenient argument to make when you're trying to scare people about losing profits. But I'm curious if Mike really felt in the 90s like he wasn't going to be doing it forever.



I remember that story as well. Didn't Mike also say in the same story he was going to go full time into TM as a teacher or instructor?
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HeyJude
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« Reply #5 on: August 03, 2017, 03:46:21 PM »

It's interesting that back in 1992 in one interview Mike mentioned he didn't envision continuing to tour for too much longer, and we see here that a lawyers suggested in 1999 Mike had maybe five years left. Obviously, a very convenient argument to make when you're trying to scare people about losing profits. But I'm curious if Mike really felt in the 90s like he wasn't going to be doing it forever.



I remember that story as well. Didn't Mike also say in the same story he was going to go full time into TM as a teacher or instructor?

Yeah, I think that's the comment I was thinking of. As I recall this was also the interview where Mike insisted he would never write an autobiography!
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« Reply #6 on: August 03, 2017, 03:48:05 PM »

Didn't want to appear with him out of love??  Weren't they both on stage together during  that time?...

To give it more perspective, Ray Lawlor offered some key information regarding this confusing period of time, confirming that Mike essentially threatened to quit if Carl continued to tour:

http://smileysmile.net/board/index.php/topic,18436.msg481404.html#msg481404
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« Reply #7 on: August 04, 2017, 05:57:53 AM »

It was, ironically, Carl in that translated 1989 interview who correctly predicted that Mike would be the last one still standing and touring after everybody else was gone for one reason or another.

I am wondering if that was a dig.
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« Reply #8 on: August 04, 2017, 06:34:39 AM »

It was, ironically, Carl in that translated 1989 interview who correctly predicted that Mike would be the last one still standing and touring after everybody else was gone for one reason or another.

I am wondering if that was a dig.

I don't think Carl meant it as a dig, but one could certainly find a negative connotation to being the only one not willing to "move on" to something else and progress. In any event, here's the pertinent part of that 1989 interview with Carl:

LK: Will the Beach Boys see their 40th or 50th anniversary?

Carl: No, no. Michael will probably be there... (smiles). What I would like us to do in the future is get together from time to time for special occasions, like fund raising shows. I am certainly not willing to keep going at this level, playing 100 shows a year. I would like to produce other people, among other things.
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« Reply #9 on: August 04, 2017, 07:42:04 AM »

Still reminds me of getting together with your old group at a high school reunion, and one guy is still single (pretending to be happy) has not grown up and is almost exactly the same as he was 20 years ago, while the rest of the group has matured, married and raised a family.

The Wilson's could all move forward and do outside projects with other musicians. So could Dave and Bruce. Mike isolates his head and stays in his safety zone. (Hey, that should be a song lyric!)

As much as I like Al, he basically does the same thing and it is sad because some new music with his freakin' amazing voice would be cool.
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« Reply #10 on: August 04, 2017, 07:44:58 AM »

Still reminds me of getting together with your old group at a high school reunion, and one guy is still single (pretending to be happy) has not grown up and is almost exactly the same as he was 20 years ago, while the rest of the group has matured, married and raised a family.

The Wilson's could all move forward and do outside projects with other musicians. So could Dave and Bruce. Mike isolates his head and stays in his safety zone. (Hey, that should be a song lyric!)

As much as I like Al, he basically does the same thing and it is sad because some new music with his freakin' amazing voice would be cool.

At least we got plenty of Al vocals on Brian's latest album.  Considering the amount of remakes were on Al's solo album, I'd be surprised if we got another. 
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« Reply #11 on: August 04, 2017, 08:03:21 AM »

You are right! The whole is greater than the sum of its parts though, and it is so obvious to EVERYONE.

I wish they would put out an album of new music - nowadays they do not even have to be in the same room at the same time. Tour less, record more is my motto for the boys. It was magic to listen to them again on TWGMTR and despite the auto-tune, they sounded great, if not a little like a Brian Wilson solo album at times, but I mean that in a good way.
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« Reply #12 on: August 04, 2017, 08:07:32 AM »

You are right! The whole is greater than the sum of its parts though, and it is so obvious to EVERYONE.

I wish they would put out an album of new music - nowadays they do not even have to be in the same room at the same time. Tour less, record more is my motto for the boys. It was magic to listen to them again on TWGMTR and despite the auto-tune, they sounded great, if not a little like a Brian Wilson solo album at times, but I mean that in a good way.

It would be nice. 

But I couldn't imagine a better ending to The Beach Boys recording career than the closing trio on TWGMTR. 
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« Reply #13 on: August 04, 2017, 08:43:05 AM »

Still reminds me of getting together with your old group at a high school reunion, and one guy is still single (pretending to be happy) has not grown up and is almost exactly the same as he was 20 years ago, while the rest of the group has matured, married and raised a family.

The Wilson's could all move forward and do outside projects with other musicians. So could Dave and Bruce. Mike isolates his head and stays in his safety zone. (Hey, that should be a song lyric!)

As much as I like Al, he basically does the same thing and it is sad because some new music with his freakin' amazing voice would be cool.

Al has been plenty prolific, probably more than Bruce currently is or has been in years, and probably as much if not more than Carl was post-early 80s. He has tons of tracks in the can that he could release. I'm sure some are slight (e.g. "Crumple Car") and there are good ones there too.

I've always said what Al needs is an outside producer (really more of an A&R type person) to go through his stuff and pick good stuff out to release, perhaps with some additional recording to tidy things up.

I'm guessing Al added the cover versions to "Postcard" in large part because he *really* wanted to sell that album to an actual label rather than put it out himself. He obviously ended up initially putting it out himself, and then got wider distribution with the 2012 reissue.

I think there are about three things Al could do, given the right circumstances, that would make him at this stage the post prolific, interesting, critically acclaimed Beach Boy at this stage:

1. Solo tour, probably mostly clubs, touching on mostly deep cuts, pulling in a lot of his own rarely-performed material, with possibly some segments focusing on great (and completely unperformed on the touring circuit) Dennis and Carl material. He could either pay for a hunk of Brian's band to accompany him, or do something more stripped-back like his NYC gig from a few years ago that was mostly acoustic. In other words, not just an "Endless Summer Beach Band" gig with a rare cut or two.

2. Solo album spearheaded by outside producer. I outlined this above. Someone else has to pick the songs (not that Al couldn't be involved too of course) based on Al's archive and whatever else he has lying around, and this same someone else has to produce the album. Cover versions wouldn't be out of the question, but it would at least need to *not* be stalwarts like "Rhonda."

3. A Brian album with all Al vocals. Essentially, the Brian-Al relationship on this project would be akin to the Van Dyke Parks-Brian relationship on "Orange Crate Art." Let Brian throw in all the songs, and have Al sing the leads. This will never happen, as I don't think *that* type of project is what Brian or his team are looking to do. But it would be great for Al *and* Brian.

Al touring as part of Brian's band is the best thing he can be doing outside of the things listed above. At least he's staying active, and people have had more chances to see Al live between 2013 and 2017 than they did between 1998 and 2011.

But I think the only way Al will do another album project of any sort is if someone kicks him in the ass to do it. It took him forever to do "Postcards", and I think he has even said in the last few years when asked about another album that he's not strongly looking at it.

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« Reply #14 on: August 04, 2017, 08:50:00 AM »

You are right! The whole is greater than the sum of its parts though, and it is so obvious to EVERYONE.

I wish they would put out an album of new music - nowadays they do not even have to be in the same room at the same time. Tour less, record more is my motto for the boys. It was magic to listen to them again on TWGMTR and despite the auto-tune, they sounded great, if not a little like a Brian Wilson solo album at times, but I mean that in a good way.

Tour less and record more is the exact opposite of Mike's motto, and really even Brian has been more active touring than recording in recent years.

Brian is the only member of the band who has really *ever* been particularly active in the studio.

As for the idea of an album where they don't have to be in the same room, I recall during the 2000s that some people pitched that sort of idea, that they all pitch in to a "Beach Boys" album where they don't have to even be there together. But I think that's unrealistic and would sound even more fragmented than TWGMTR, which at least at times sounds like *The* Beach Boys because Brian is arranging all of those voices and recording them.

On that Hallmark CD in 2006, they couldn't even stand to try overdubbing each other's songs and instead we got three literal *solo* tracks tacked onto a Beach Boys CD, as if they were trying to highlight in bold how fragmented and fractious the group had become.

Plus, the "band" can't do an album unless they can all promote it together. Remember, this was a big part of the whole C50 fallout. Brian even specifically mentioned this in his letter to the LA Times in 2012. It's what he does and what the band would and should do: Record an album, and then go out and promote it. What are they going to do if they don't *really* fully reunite but try to do a "group" album? Mike is going to have the two guys he poached from Brian's band sing a *new* Brian song off the new "Beach Boys" album without Brian there?
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« Reply #15 on: August 04, 2017, 09:32:38 PM »

I would love to hear new music from Al, or any of the guys, but sadly, recording is not  what pays  the bills these days. That's why they tour constantly. There are a few of us freaks that want to hear new music; Joe Public just wants the greatest hits and Pet Sounds played endlessly.
I like the idea of Al doing a tour of smaller venues, but the only BB to ever attempt that was Carl. Perhaps if he had lived longer, he would have tried that again. Maybe with Gerry Beckley and Robert Lamm, or some similar group. One of the best concerts I ever witnessed was Randy Meisner (Eagles, Poco), Billy Swan ("I Can Help") and Charlie Rich, Jr. They were playing an outdoor show at the local zoo, and it was a great mix of new stuff they had written together, along with highlights of their individual careers. Meisner singing "Take it to the Limit" and "Try and Love Again" got a huge ovation, as did Swan with a rollicking version of his #1 hit "I Can Help".
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