While baby boomers come in all political stripes, many of those of us who grew up in the 1960s and 1970s were horrified to discover that The Beach Boys — the All-American surf band that developed into a major artistic force in the development of rock music after the group’s creative genius Brian Wilson discovered psychedelics and went on to pen masterpieces like the Pet Sounds album, Good Vibrations, and Surf’s Up — were performing today at a fundraiser for Donald Trump in Newport Beach, California.
President Trump will visit Newport Beach today to raise money for his cash-strapped campaign.
The event will feature a live performance by the Beach Boys and tickets start at $2,800 per person, up to $150,000 per couple for co-chair status. https://t.co/Nx3kAZe3a8
— Los Angeles Times (@latimes) October 18, 2020
If you count yourself among that group, don’t worry, you are not alone.
Even the Beach Boys’ primary songwriter, Brian Wilson himself, is massively upset that the group that he helped found in the early days of the 1960s with his brothers Carl and Dennis and their cousin Mike Love is now associated with the worst president in American history.
Unfortunately, for the last remaining Wilson brother still alive, there is little he can do about the association since he no longer tours with the group for whom he wrote the impeccable catalog of rock and roll standards from Help Me Rhonda to I Get Around to California Girls.
Instead, the band currently touring as The Beach Boys is led by his cousin Mike Love under a licensing arrangement and plays a feel-good greatest hits selection far removed from the creative heights that the band reached before Wilson stopped working with them due to his struggles with mental illness.
When Brian Wilson goes on the road in recent years, he prefers to perform under his own name, often accompanied by another founding member of the original band, childhood friend Al Jardine.
While Mike Love has somehow managed to betray the promise of his last name by becoming an unashamed supporter of Donald Trump, both Brian Wilson and Al Jardine have plenty of shame to feel on his behalf.
Contractually unable to prevent Love from accepting the gig at Trump’s fundraiser, they did the only thing that was available to them, making sure that the world knew that they did not approve of the appearance and had no part in arranging it.
“We have absolutely nothing to do with the Trump benefit today in Newport Beach. Zero,” Wilson and Jardine told Variety magazine through a spokesperson. “We didn’t even know about it and were very surprised to read about it in the Los Angeles Times.”
Both Wilson and Jardine have made their objections to gigs accepted by the ersatz version of The Beach Boys led by Love before.
Back in February, they both signed a Change.org petition urging fans to boycott the Mike Love edition of the band after they headlined a show at the Safari Club International Convention in Reno, Nevada, where noted innocent animal killer Donald Trump Jr. was the keynote speaker.
“This organization supports trophy hunting, which both Al and I are emphatically opposed to,” Brian Wilson said in a statement he released at the time. “There’s nothing we can do personally to stop the show, so please join us in signing the petition.”
While Wilson may currently be in the same powerless position to prevent the group — one that wouldn’t exist today without his early songwriting skills — from aiding Donald Trump in his re-election bid, we can help reflect his dismay over the hijacking of his legacy by ensuring that Joe Biden defeats him at the polls in just a few short weeks.
Now Trump’s defeat, that would be sure the cause of some extremely good vibrations!
Wouldn’t it be nice to vote Donald Trump out of office and prove to him that he just wasn’t made for these times?
God only knows that would be fun, fun, fun! so much so that all the heroes and villains will want to get together and do it again!
Enough with the wordplay! Get out and make Brian Wilson happy just to pay him back for all the great music he provided as the soundtrack to our lives. Vote for Joe Biden.
Original reporting by Chris Willman at Variety.
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Vinnie Longobardo is the Managing Editor of Occupy Democrats. He's a 35-year veteran of the TV, mobile & internet industries, specializing in start-ups and the international media business. His passions are politics, music, and art.