The Beach Boys show in Sarasota should feature Brian Wilson, but probably won't: commentary

October 14, 2012 

It's money that matters.

And everybody knows.

But sometimes, especially when it comes to getting bands to stay together, I still get angry about the pursuit of the almighty dollar.

This rant could be aimed at numerous rock stars, but today I'm talking about The Beach Boys.

Well, a certain Beach Boy.

The Van Wezel has known since before announcing its season back in August that the Beach Boys show on Feb. 17 would not feature creative leader Brian Wilson.

The website for the Sarasota venue says "Beach Boys Feat. Mike Love & Bruce Johnston."

This, however, was apparently news to Wilson.

Here's what happened.

The reunited Beach Boys elated fans with a global 50th anniversary tour earlier this year that brought the band to the Straz Center for the Performing Arts in Tampa in May.

The previously feuding chief songwriter/pianist/singer Wilson and his cousin, lead singer/lyricist Mike Love, plus Al Jardine, Bruce Johnston and David Marks, played together for the first time in more than two decades.

The tour was going great, with glowing reviews largely focusing on the reemergence of Wilson.

Near the end of the tour, though, in London, Love announced that he and Johnston would continue touring under the Beach Boys' name in Love's pre-anniversary edition of the band.

Wilson, Jardine and Marks would no longer be part of the group they brought to prominence.

It's been a war of the words ever since.

Love responded to the harsh media reaction by publishing a letter in the Los Angeles Times stating, among other things, that he never fired Wilson and does not have the authority to do so.

Love added that even if he did have the authority, he wouldn't fire the group's mastermind.

Wilson and Jardine submitted a joint re

sponse to Love's letter. Wilson's words first ran Tuesday on the L.A. Times' music blog.

"The negativity surrounding all the comments bummed me out," Wilson's statement reads. "What's confusing is that by Mike not wanting or letting Al, David and me tour with the band, it sort of feels like we're being fired."

Wilson goes on to state that he and Jardine would like to be included in the promotion of the Beach Boys' new, favorably reviewed album, "That's Why God Made The Radio."

"While I appreciate the nice cool things Mike said about me in his letter, and I do and always will love him as my cousin and bandmate, at the same time I'm still left wondering why he doesn't want to continue this great trip we're on," Wilson wrote. "Al and I want to keep going because we believe we owe it to the music."

So, what's the problem?

Having spoken with concert promoters about the subject over the years, it basically boils down to this:

Mike Love is greedy.

He owns the rights to the Beach Boys name and can make more money with nameless hired guns than sharing profits with Wilson, Jardine and Marks.

But wouldn't be nice if Love had a change of heart.

And we could see him on stage with Wilson and the rest of the reunion lineup when the Beach Boys come to the Van Wezel.

Tickets are $30-$70.There should be plenty of money to go around.

Wade Tatangelo, features writer, can be reached at 941-745-7057. Follow Twitter.com/wtatangelo.

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