Beach Boys co-founding genius Brian Wilson has once again publicly distanced himself from one of Mike Love's Trump-sponsored benefit shows. Love's touring revue of the Beach Boys performed yesterday (October 18th) in Newport Beach, California at a Trump fundraiser. The Los Angeles Times reported Love and the band "would be the main attraction performing for the president and his supporters at the Orange Country campaign event, with tickets ranging from $2,800 per donor to $150,000 a couple for co-chair status."
Brian Wilson along with fellow Beach Boy Al Jardine no longer appears with Love — who through the legal approval of the pair — holds the exclusive license perform under the group's moniker. The two band co-founders enlisted their spokesperson to tell Variety: "We have absolutely nothing to do with the Trump benefit today in Newport Beach. Zero. We didn’t even know about it and were very surprised to read about it in The Los Angeles Times.”
Back in February, Mike Love garnered a heap of negative press after Wilson and Jardine urged fans to sign a Change.org petition against his Beach Boys touring revue playing at a trophy hunting private event. Love headlined February 5th's Safari Club International Convention in Reno, Nevada, at which Donald Trump Jr. was the keynote speaker. The Change.org petition called on a boycott of the Beach Boys until they cancelled their performance, as well as undertaking public protest at the group's shows.
At the time, Mike Love doubled down on his decision issuing a statement to Variety, saying: "We look forward to a night of great music in Reno and, as always, support freedom of thought and expression as a fundamental tenet of our rights as Americans. Peace & Love, Mike Love."
Back in 2017, Mike Love spoke about his old friend Donald Trump, telling Uncut, "I don’t have anything negative to say about the president of the USA. We did attend the inauguration. That was a moving experience. I understand there are so many factions and fractious things going on — the chips will fall where they may. But Donald Trump has never been anything but kind to us. We have known him for many a year. We’ve performed at some of his venues at fundraisers and so on."
Bruce Johnston — the lone member of the group's classic lineup who still performs with Mike Love — says that fans who have pegged Love as a villain over the years don't understand what a positive influence he really was for the band: ["They're always angry at Mike Love, y'know (and think) all the Wilsons are gods and they're angry at Mike Love. Mike wrote some amazing lyrics that probably paved the way on many levels — including having enough money to finance Pet Sounds and all kinds of other projects."] SOUNDCUE (:19 OC: . . . of other projects)