Fat, sick and overwhelmed by the voices in his head, Brian Wilson was fired from the Beach Boys on November 25,, 1982 with a formal note from Brother Records, Inc. stating, "...Your services as an employee...are hereby terminated effective immediately," as outlined in Wilson's 1992 autobiography, Wouldn't It Be Nice. The original Beach Boys held a vote on the future of the band, in fear of Wilson's overall health, and Mike Love delivered the letter at a band meeting by saying, "You're fired."
Fast forward to 2012.
Amid the band's biggest tour in years featuring on-again-off-again touring member, Brian Wilson, U.K.'s Telegraph has set the catalyst to a massive media frenzy with the headline "Beach Boys founders sacked in middle of reunion tour." Following the initial article, various media outlets picked up the story with headlines like, "Brian Wilson fired from the Beach Boys" and "The Mike Love master class in how to sack the Beach Boys."
Years of lawsuits over money and credits between cousins Mike Love and Wilson are supposedly in the past. Yet, multiple media outlets are claiming that Love has fired all the original members. It's simply not true.
"I'm disappointed and can't understand why [Love] doesn't want to tour with Al, David and me," Wilson told CNN. "... After all we are the real Beach Boys."
It's easy to believe Love has fired original members if background isn't provided. A misconception is that Love owns the rights to the band's name and has the power to fire members. However, in the history of the band, a vote must take place and the label gets involved if a member is ousted as in Wilson's autobiography. Love has simply licensed the Beach Boys name for years while touring with his band at venues like county fairs and Disneyland. In fact, the only other member of the Beach Boys that appears in the Love's band is Bruce Johnston. Instead, the licensed Beach Boys band is comprised of John Stamos (yeah, really!) and Love's son among others.
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"You've got to be careful not to get overexposed," said Love in an interview with the Telegraph, "...The Eagles found out the hard way when they went out for a second year and wound up selling tickets for $5."
Perhaps, Love is looking out for the future of the band, but in reality the band isn't going anywhere. In fact, just last week Wilson announced at the Grammy Museum that the Beach Boys planned to get back into the studio and record another album in early 2013.
Rest assured, whatever Mike Love chooses to do with his licensed band, it seems to be irrelevant to the future of the Beach boys.