Saturday, September 22, 2012

"..And, Of Course, Let's Not Forget The Delightful Irony That Their Own Label, Years Ago, Was 'Brother Records'..."

First, a suggestion that might save you some time.

One Direction.

All Time Low.

If either or both are instantly recognizable to you, do yourself a favor and move along with your day without taking time to read the rest of this piece.

If on the other hand, you instantly recognize this...

"I'm gettin bugged drivin' up and down / the same old strip..."

Please continue.

(CNN) -- The Beach Boys were all smiles this week when they unveiled their exhibit at the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles.

Earlier this year, they put aside their differences to reunite in a very public way: on-stage at "The 54th Annual Grammy Awards." That was followed by the release of their first album of new material in 20 years, and an extensive worldwide tour to celebrate their 50th anniversary.

All five members , Mike Love, Al Jardine, Bruce Johnston and David Marks -- seemed genuinely excited when talking about their reunion.

"The value of the music is so good," Love said. "Good vibrations, you might say."But good vibrations may now be a thing of the past. Just before the Grammy Museum celebration, Love and Johnston issued a press release announcing they would be hitting the road with their own incarnation of the Beach Boys. According to the tersely worded statement, "The post-50th anniversary configuration will not include Brian Wilson, Al Jardine and David Marks. The 50th Reunion Tour was designed to be a set tour with a beginning and an end to mark a special 50-year milestone for the band."

A blindsided Wilson said, "I'm disappointed and can't understand why he (Love) doesn't want to tour with Al, David and me. We are out here having so much fun. After all, we are the real Beach Boys."

The Brian Wilson-Mike Love version of the Beach Boys has just arrived in London for the final two dates of their reunion tour. If the splintered Beach Boy factions can't come to an agreement about their future, the September 28 concert at Wembley Stadium may be the last we see of this particular lineup.

Wilson has said he'd like his next project to be a rock 'n' roll album. Right now, he doesn't know who he'll be working with on the record, but adds that he'd like it to be the Beach Boys.

A few years ago, I did a phone interview with Mike Love on the morning show and found him to be a fairly pleasant, engaging fellow. He didn't come off as particularly swaggering or obnoxious, at least in terms of what one can gather about another from the sound of a voice on a ten minute phone call.

The Mike Love / Brian Wilson "feud", nevertheless, pretty much remains documented fact.

And, actually, "feud" might be too strong, or even cliche', a word since that implies there has been bad blood on both sides. The whole pissing match between these two through the years seems to have consisted of Love acting like an asshole and Wilson befuddlingly wondering why his cousin seems to want to keep acting like an asshole.

Then again, one never know what goes behind closed doors and, for all we know, Brian may hold his own in the battle.

Or "hole" his own, as the case may be.

All of that said, while it's disheartening to hear that this latest, for all appearances, burying of the family hatchet has come to a somehow both sad, and inevitable, conclusion, Mike and Brian not being able to keep it together comes as no surprise whatsoever to anyone who instantly recognized the earlier lyric line and don't have a clue about either One Direction or All Time Low.

Those of us/you who remember trying find a new place where the kids are hip.

Again, allowing for the fact that one never knows unless one actually knows, here's my impression from fifty plus years of listening and/or observing.

Brian Wilson is a certifiable musical prodigy who created some of the 1960's most memorable, and ultimately timeless, pop music.

Mike Love is an adequate pop music singer who has benefited beyond greatly from the talents of his prodigy cousin.

The Beach Boys have always been, and will always be, a family.


And while Mike and Brian are only cousins, their history reads like a classic tale of sibling rivalry.

And every time I read yet another sad, now almost wearying, story about Mike Love essentially telling Brian Wilson to fuck off while having no problem with his continuing cashing in on the talents of he whom he would have fuck off, I can't help but be reminded of a couple of less musical brothers from a long time ago who seemed to have some dysfunction riding up and down the same old strip of their own relationship.

I feel bad for Brian Wilson yet again being "bullied" by his "brother".

But Mike's jealousy of Brian, at least to date, consists of dissing him and denying him his proper props.

Cain, on the other hand, took his jealousy of Abel to whole different level.

So, chin up, Brian.

It could be worse.

God only knows.

1 comment:

  1. Mike Love really is an utter arsehole. Looks like my only chance to see the real Beach Boys live has now gone. and yes, you're spot on about Love using the group's name to cash in on Brian's superior talents.