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Author Topic: Article: WME signs the Beach Boys  (Read 577 times)
Eric Aniversario
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« on: May 29, 2019, 12:24:58 AM »

Confusing Billboard article:

https://www.billboard.com/articles/business/8513452/wme-signs-the-beach-boys-mike-love-bruce-johnston

Is this a recording contract?
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leoleoleoleo
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« Reply #1 on: May 29, 2019, 02:38:25 AM »

No, WME is a talent agency not a record label.
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Emdeeh
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« Reply #2 on: May 29, 2019, 05:11:02 AM »

Gig bookings, I think.
« Last Edit: May 29, 2019, 05:12:47 AM by Emdeeh » Logged
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« Reply #3 on: May 29, 2019, 06:59:54 AM »

Mike only has the license to use the Beach Boys' name as a touring group. He couldn't, even if he'd want, record under that name. I don't think anything has changed about that.
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« Reply #4 on: May 29, 2019, 07:04:47 AM »

Yeah, this is just industry inside baseball stuff. The article actually doesn't even do Mike's band a ton of favors, because it spends much of its duration running down the lack of legitimacy of Mike's band in terms of core members, etc.

It's arguable whether it's even accurate to say "WME Signs The Beach Boys", because this only pertains to concert bookings for Mike's tour. I would imagine it's more likely (I obviously don't actually know the precise ins and outs of the contracts) WME has signed Mike's company that runs the tour (Meleco), a company which has an exclusive license to use the Beach Boys name solely for touring.

Again, because of the somewhat odd licensing/trademark set up the Beach Boys have where its touring band is separate from "THE BAND" itself (still controlled by BRI), this creates these scenarios where, while a "band" would normally sign with an agency for *all* facets of their ongoing career, this is basically a production company signing with an agency to exploit the exclusive license it has.
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guitarfool2002
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« Reply #5 on: May 29, 2019, 07:07:25 AM »

>>>> The iconic band is led by founding member Mike Love.

The Beach Boys, led by founding member Mike Love, has signed with WME in all areas, worldwide.

One of the most famous pop bands of all time with more than 100 million records sold, the group that now tours as the Beach Boys includes neither founding songwriter, co-lead vocalist and former band leader Brian Wilson -- who now tours solo and recently headlined the Beachlife Festival in Southern California -- nor founding member Al Jardine, who also tours on his own. Founding member Carl Wilson died of cancer in 1998 and brother Dennis Wilson drowned in 1983.

Today, Love is the sole licensee of the "Beach Boys" name under a deal he negotiated with the band's corporate entity, Brother Records Inc, in 1998 requiring him to pay a fee to the label, only use male vocalists and do shows that feature the band's most popular songs. In 2012, Brother Records licensed the name to company called 50 Big Ones owned by Love, Wilson and producer Joe Thomas to use on their 50th reunion tour.

After a final London date on the 2012 tour, Love left to lead a different configuration of the band without Wilson, Marks and Jardine. The founding members have since played together, telling SiriusXM in 2018 that they had mostly resolved their disagreements.

The Beach Boys were awarded The Recording Academy’s Lifetime Achievement Grammy Award and inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988, the same year Love co-wrote the group’s No. 1 hit “Kokomo.” The band plays about 150 shows per year. In November 2017, Love released a special double album through BMG titled Unleash the Love with 13 previously unreleased songs and 14 re-recordings of Beach Boys classics.<<<<


Ok, the underlined excerpts...

First, it's either awkward wording or a mistake (most likely the former), but the founding members have absolutely NOT played together with Mike since the C50 folded in Fall 2012. The only one who played with Mike was Marks.

Second, about the license: For all the previous 6-nearly-7 years' worth of bleating and finger-wagging about what Mike's license really entails, this says there are stipulations as to having only male vocalists and also what kind of songs he has to play. Is this a mistake too?

So for all of those who have been arguing Mike's "right" under the license to play and choose to play whatever songs he wants, apparently he has to do shows that feature the band's most popular songs. So yes, Virginia, there is a condition in the contract about what Mike plays and who he puts on stage. Told 'ya.  Wink
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« Reply #6 on: May 29, 2019, 07:46:58 AM »

Second, about the license: For all the previous 6-nearly-7 years' worth of bleating and finger-wagging about what Mike's license really entails, this says there are stipulations as to having only male vocalists and also what kind of songs he has to play. Is this a mistake too?

So for all of those who have been arguing Mike's "right" under the license to play and choose to play whatever songs he wants, apparently he has to do shows that feature the band's most popular songs. So yes, Virginia, there is a condition in the contract about what Mike plays and who he puts on stage. Told 'ya.  Wink

I don't know where that article gets that info or how accurate it might be. I've only seen two or so references to these two alleged criteria in the past. One is a 1999 Rolling Stone article that focused on the BRI/Jardine naming issues/injunctions.

The pertinent excerpt from Rolling Stone Online, December 8, 1999:

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?”


The second reference comes from a rather surly 2005 interview with Al from the Sacramento Bee:

Q: Are Brian's daughters, Wendy and Carnie, still with the Endless Summer Band?

A: No, they were intimidated out. They were told women may not sing Beach Boys songs. That's Mike's and Brian's lawyers saying that. (The corporation voted) that my band did not have the look and feel of the Beach Boys because it had women in it. These are Brian Wilson's daughters, who sound better than he does. It's corporate America run amok.


Both of these full articles are fascinating. The '99 Rolling Stone article has a bunch of interesting and comical stuff. It rather infamously has one lawyer contending, in 1999, that “Mike has maybe five years of touring left."

Full 1999 Rolling Stone article: http://smileysmile.net/board/index.php/topic,25340.0.html

Full 2005 Sacramento Bee article: https://forums.stevehoffman.tv/threads/interesting-al-jardine-interview.60741/
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