Seriously, Are They Really “The Beach Boys” Without All the “Boys”?

by T+B Blog Team on October 3, 2012

First it was the J. Geils Band touring without J. Geils, now it’s The Beach Boys without all of the “Boys.”

It seemed almost magical — five of the original Beach Boys touring together to celebrate the group’s 50th anniversary. The tour ended in London last week with two concerts that featured all of the remaining members: Mike Love, Brian Wilson, Al Jardine, David Marks, and Bruce Johnston. And now it seems that moving forward, the touring group will include only two of the original Beach Boys: Mike Love and Bruce Johnston.

What happened to the other three “Boys”? (BTW, they’re all aged 70+ now, except for Marks, who’s 64.) Headlines around the world say Love fired them. Wilson says he was blindsided by the announcement. He told CNN, “I’m disappointed and can’t understand why he [Love] doesn’t want to tour with Al, David and me. We are out having so much fun. After all, we are the real Beach Boys.”

It turns out that “The Beach Boys” trademark is owned by Brother Records Inc., which is co-owned by Brian Wilson, Mike Love, Al Jardine, and the estate of late band member Carl Wilson. After Carl Wilson’s death, his brother Brian wasn’t interested in touring and Love and Jardine didn’t want to tour together. So, Love was granted a license to use “The Beach Boys” trademark, giving him the right to tour as “The Beach Boys” and agreed to pay Brother Records Inc. royalties on gross concert revenues. Jardine later ended up touring under the “Beach Boys Family and Friends” name. (Check out IP Counselor’s post about the different Beach Boys-related names used by group members over the years.)

Concert-goers: be forewarned. Like J. Geils performing without Mr. Geils, that next Beach Boys concert you were planning to go to is going to feature only two original group members and … some other people.

What’s your favorite Beach Boys song? This one might make you a little nostalgic:

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