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Brian Wilson and Al Jardine distance themselves for Beach Boys performance at Trump fundraiser

By | Published on Monday 19 October 2020

Mike Love

Brian Wilson and Al Jardine have distanced themselves from a fundraising event for Donald Trump’s re-election bid, after it emerged that it was being headlined by Mike Love’s Beach Boys.

With the fundraiser taking place yesterday in Newport Beach, California, it came to wider attention yesterday morning that the Mike Love-fronted iteration of the band was set to perform at the event following a report in the LA Times. Tickets to the fundraiser cost between $2,800 and $150,000.

Asked for comment by Variety, Wilson and Jardine said in a statement: “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”.

Love has toured his version of The Beach Boys – of which he is the only original member – for many years, of course. He did join Wilson and Jardine for a 50th anniversary tour in 2012, although he subsequently returned to his other version of the band without his fellow original members. Leading to a dispute over whether or not he’d fired Wilson and Jardine.

It was generally agreed that he hadn’t, with Wilson saying: “As far as I know I can’t be fired – that wouldn’t be cool”. However, Wilson also said, “what’s confusing is that, by Mike not wanting or letting [us] tour with the band, it sort of feels like we’re being fired”.

This is not the first time Jardine and Wilson have clashed with Love over the events he chooses to align the Beach Boys name with. In February this year, they protested over a performance at the Safari Club International’s annual convention, with Wilson saying in a statement: “This organisation supports trophy hunting, which both Al and I are emphatically opposed to. There’s nothing we can do personally to stop the show, so please join us in signing the petition [against it]”.

Love has lent his support to Trump a number of times in the past, including performing at one of his presidential inauguration balls in 2017.