So what exactly is the makeup of The Beach Boys — not some facsimile, oldies-tourin’, county fair headlinin’ Beach Boys, but the DNA that constitutes that which we intrinsically consider to be The Beach Boys? Most would say the Wilson Brothers, Al Jardine, and sure, let’s be magnanimous and include Mike Love in as well. This past week, the most ironically-named member of the group gave his own description, which was: Mike Love and whoever the hell he felt like.
And so it was that Love unceremoniously dumped Al Jardine, David Marks, and the guy who wrote all the damned songs in the first place, Brian Wilson. It was, to strain the analogy to incredulity, like Andrew Ridgely kicking George Michael out of Wham!
This was, to be sure, a heartbreaking event and the backlash of it reverberated throughout Popdose Headquarters. Large swaths of the staff were absolutely thrilled by the reunion disc That’s Why God Made The Radio, which debuted this year alongside the mostly-completed reunion tour. They felt this was not some cash-in karaoke jam meant to milk the fandom and have something to hawk at the merch table. They felt it was a real expression of Wilson doing what Wilson does best, but what did Love think about this?
Love claims that all the principals knew what they were signing up for, that this was a short-term marriage and when the road played out, they were off it and he was back on the road with his chosen selection. Such a statement sounds an awful lot like the one-night-stand that thought they found true love at last, only to realize they had been used for the other’s brief satisfaction.
Popdose HQ has long had a hashtag that encapsulated our displeasure with Cousin Mike’s behavior. Can you guess it, boys and girls?
Longtime staffer Matthew Bolin recently hung up his semi-regular contribution titled When Good Albums Happen To Bad People, probably for the best. As entertaining and annotated (for factual information) as his posts were, he would always incur the wrath of a fan who vociferously defend why Musician X was well within their right to screw over Musician Y. This can be wearying on the soul. One should at least give him the benefit of an apology insofar as Mr. Love is concerned, for while you can stand up for Roger Waters, Don Henley, Jackson Browne, or whoever, this situation is so much farther beyond the palest pale. This is some kind of masterpiece of crap. But considering all this tortured band and family has been through down this dark, sticky path, the redemption story of all the remaining members burying the hatchet was emotionally rewarding and gave people a reason to believe…reason enough to go out and buy the album.
But once that was done, Mr. Love chose to rob the grave, retrieve the hatchet, and give his bandmates the ax. Some things never change, and the most cynical among us (okay, it was Dunphy) saw it coming and were, initially, glad to be proven wrong. We are now left to tout some sick Pyhrric victory. With that cynicism comes my belief that what I speak of next may not have much of an impact.
A petition has been created to support the re-reunion, to get Wilson, Jardine and Marks re-instituted into the tour. Will it change Mike Love’s emotional orbit? Not likely since he is the sole inhabitant in his one-man universe, but it might be the sign of support Wilson needs right now (and Jardine and Marks as well; let’s not forget). But we lost Brian for nearly two decades. It would be tragic if we lost him again thanks to this nauseating display of arrogance, delusion and, yes, ingratitude. Wilson wrote the songs you sing every night while trying to score with drunken college girls behind the Tilt-A-Whirl with the fetid stench of PBR and stale funnel cake on your breath, you smarmy vampire. You should be thanking him every time you got a little bit because of your questionable fame. It was his talent that gave it to you. Try not to stab anyone else in the back on the way to the stage, will you?
Make your voice heard. Click here to sign the petition demanding Wilson, Jardine and Marks are brought back on the tour.