Sunday, April 7, 2013

Recent Articles & Interviews Discussing the "50th" Tour and Future Plans......

Mike Love has given at least a pair of interviews that have popped up recently, discussing last year's reunion as well as future plans. By future plans, I mean doing exactly what occured in 2011 and 2010 and so on. Mike and Bruce are back in full swing with their "Beach Boys" tour, and Mike is apparently still facing questions concerning the awkward ending to last year's reunion tour.
In this first article from the Montgomery News, Love basically just restates his "the reunion ended because it ended" argument:
“I maintain the attitude that there was an agreed-upon amount of shows that we were to do on the anniversary celebration,” he said. “Those shows were accomplished and I think a lot of fans got a lot of pleasure out of it and we had a good time doing it.

“But I’m not opposed to any future involvement. It’s just that those agreed-upon dates came and went and now we’re off to do what we do with our group. Al has his group and Brian has his group.”
As already discussed at length by fans, this reasoning explains in the most functional sense why there aren't more reunion shows (e.g. the tour ended because it ended), but doesn't explain at all why Love didn't take an option to continue the reunion. It sounds like he needs to just tell us that he doesn't want to play with the other guys, perhaps for financial reasons, perhaps because of politics in the business organization, etc.
Love then dug himself a bit of a hole by semi-incorrectly stating:

“If you’ve looked at Al’s website recently, there’s so much ‘Hate Mike Love’ stuff going on. You would wonder why he’d entertain that stuff on his website,” said Love. “I’d never post anything or allow anybody to say anything bad about anybody on mine. I wish people would understand."
This resulted in a swift correction from Love and his camp, pointing out that Al's website had nothing of the sort, and Love was actually referring to Facebook-type stuff, which as we all know houses all sorts of crap from every type of fan in the world. As some fans also pointed out, Love's own internet hubs including Facebook feature negative comments about him.
An additional article and interview from Lancaster Online sheds a bit more light on Love's true reasons for being hesistant about more reunion shows:

Though he had some reservations, Love says he did enjoy working with Wilson during the tour last year."If it was just Brian, it would be great," he says, "but it's not just Brian. That's all I care to say about that." And, again with some reservations, he says he was happy with the music and the presentation of the Beach Boys' catalog of songs.

"I think there were too many guitarists and too many voices competing for parts for my taste, but it was a good experience musically," he says. "Brian has a good band and there were some good musicians there. We had a good time."

Asked about the possibility of working with Wilson in the future, Love says, "I'm not negative on it but there are no plans at this moment in time to do anything more. But Ian Fleming taught us to 'never say never.'"

The comment concerning Brian seems to indicate the political machine surrounding Brian. While it might be easy to think Mike means Al, or the backing band, one would venture to guess it is Brian's "camp" that Mike is referring to, a camp that Mike's "camp" had to closely worth with (along with Joe Thomas) to make the reunion tour and album happen.

Also interesting is Love's characterization of the touring band, largely made up of Brian's long-time touring band. Love was effusive in his praise for this band when the tour started, and that was bizarre to begin with considering he had spent that last 14 years going out of his way to not discuss Brian's solo success much, and that he was ditching all but two of his touring musicians to let Brian's band lay claim to the "Beach Boys" touring band role. But early in the tour, Love was already making very small references to feeling the band was larger than he preferred.

The reason the new comments from Love are interesting is that they suggest that Love has some musical reason for having misgivings about the band. But you'd be hard pressed to find a fan or commentator that would suggest anything terribly negative about Brian's band. They have been praised by other musicians, stars, and so on. No, I think the evidence suggests it's the admittedly bloated budget that such a contingent of musicians would likely dictate that is at the heart of Love's misgivings. It's also true that a huge band probably isn't needed for some of his "meat and potatoes" numbers. But I find it hard to believe that he didn't hear the fullest arrangements he had ever head playing behind him on the mid 60's material that requires the huge band.

As I haven't posted for quite awhile, a likely unneeded update to the current touring situation can be found by simply perusing the Beach Boys Fan Club tour schedule, which shows that the Mike/Bruce "Beach Boys" band has a typical full year of touring currently being booked. Meanwhile, the Brian/Al/David lineup has a few more dates booked together, so hopefully they can swing by more cities and give us the closest approximation to the 50th tour.

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