Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Al Jardine Challenges Mike Love to Battle of the Bands (Not Really, Well, Sort Of...)

A few months ago, Mike Love gave a series of relatively telling interviews which finally revealed some of his reasons for not carrying on with the reunion. Brian mentioned in the recent Rolling Stone piece on his new albums that he was initially upset about Mike nixing more shows and recording, but he’s now apparently over it and hot on his own solo material.
Now it’s Al Jardine’s turn, and in a recent interview to promote his upcoming gigs with Brian in July, offers no particularly new information about the disintegration of the reunion, but uses more direct, harsh language to characterize what happened. The relevant exchange from the interview follows:
The Ticker: After the 50th anniversary tour last year, Mike Love (who legally owns the name The Beach Boys) generated a significant amount of controversy when he announced he and Bruce Johnston would continue touring as The Beach Boys – without you, Brian or David. What was your reaction to that decision?
Al Jardine: We were just shocked. After all the momentum we created, that he would want to continue on alone – we didn't understand it. We had a second single (from 2012's “That's Why God Made the Radio”) and a DVD and a follow-up album ready to go. I can understand wanting to tour with your own people, but this was our legacy as a band. To be short-sighted enough to abandon that to do your own thing – it's a shame.
However, Brian and I decided that, heck – we're the heart and soul of this thing anyway, we're going to continue to perform the legacy. We have the voices, we have the creative material, and we have a wonderful backing band that Brian has been using for years. You know – we ought to do a contest between the two lineups. (laughs). It could be fun for fans. It would be illuminating.
The Ticker: Are the dual lineups creating confusion among fans? Do you think it's possible The Beach Boys will reunite at some point?
Al Jardine: Oh, it's very confusing for fans. Some of the photos from our 50th anniversary tour have been used to promote the new Beach Boys shows, which makes it even more confusing. Brian and I don't want to mislead fans, since we're not going to be at those shows. But look – The Beach Boys is just a name. The music is what's important, not the messenger. If Mike wants to come back, it'd be wonderful and we'd love to have him. But I don't think at this point it looks like it's going to happen.
As I said, there’s no new insight into why the reunion fell apart (and the interviewer’s reference to Mike owning the Beach Boys name is incorrect of course; he only licenses the use of the name), other than Mike didn’t want to do it. But Al’s tone suggests a somewhat less amicable situation between some of the members, and also doesn’t seem to bode well for future reunion tours or recording.

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