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Brian Wilson denounces Beach Boys performance at Trump fundraiser: ‘We didn’t even know about it’

Click to play video 'Trump visits Newport Beach for private fundraiser' Trump visits Newport Beach for private fundraiser
Trump visits Newport Beach for private fundraiser – Oct 19, 2020

Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys was surprised to discover his band played at a Los Angeles Donald Trump fundraiser — without his even knowing until after the fact.

Al Jardine, another member of the Beach Boys, joined Wilson, 77, in his condemnation of the performance.

After the Beach Boys celebrated their 50th anniversary during a 2012 tour, the surviving members of the band have performed in various iterations. Mike Love, the current lead singer of the band that has toured as “the Beach Boys” since the anniversary tour, owns the legal rights to use the name for concert purposes.

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Love performed at the fundraiser on Sunday night as the Beach Boys despite the other band members’ lack of involvement. (Wilson and Jardine have recently toured together as well, but performing Beach Boys music under Wilson’s name.)

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“We have absolutely nothing to do with the Trump benefit in Newport Beach. Zero,” Wilson and Jardine said via a spokesperson. “We didn’t even know about it and were very surprised to read about it in the Los Angeles Times.”

In the LA Times article, the Beach Boys were listed as the main attraction performing for Trump and his supporters at the campaign event.

Tickets ranged from US$2,800 per donor to US$150,000 per couple, according to the article.

In the past, band cofounder Love hasn’t been shy about his support for Trump. Love and longtime band member Bruce Johnston performed at a trophy-hunting convention at the Safari Club in Reno, Nev., in February, at which Donald Trump Jr. was the keynote speaker.

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At the time of the convention, Wilson crafted an online petition against the performance.

“This organization 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,” Wilson said.

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Beach Boys’ Mike Love says Trump tried to save Whitney Houston’s life – Oct 11, 2018

In a 2017 Uncut magazine interview, Love defended his stance on Trump, stating: “I don’t have anything negative to say about the President of the USA. We did attend the inauguration… that was a moving experience.”

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Donald Trump, Mike Love
Donald Trump poses with musician Mike Love of the Beach Boys at Mar-a-Lago in March 1997. Davidoff Studios/Getty Images

“I understand there are so many factions and fractious things going on — the chips will fall where they may,” he continued. “But Donald Trump has never been anything but kind to us. We have known him for many a year. We’ve performed at some of his venues at fundraisers and so on.”

Beach Boys fans took to social media to point out that the Beach Boys playing at the Trump campaign fundraiser weren’t the “real” Beach Boys.

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The Love version of the Beach Boys, also featuring Johnston, has been performing drive-in concerts during COVID-19, with Full House star John Stamos as a musical guest.

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