Donald Trump has divided the Beach Boys — politically, at least — as original band members Brian Wilson and Al Jardine have released a statement disavowing a performance under the band’s name at the president’s fundraiser in Newport Beach, California.
The performance is being led by the band’s original vocalist and Wilson’s cousin, Mike Love, who has been a vocal Trump supporter and who owns a license to perform with a touring band under the Beach Boys name. However, Wilson and Jardine told Variety in a statement that they had not been aware that Love’s band was performing at the fundraiser until they read about it in the Times and emphasized that they were not associated in any way.
Trump has been falling behind in both the polls and in fundraising to Joe Biden and has come to the conservative bastion in a largely liberal California coast in the hopes of finding funds for the final weeks of the campaign. The Los Angeles Times first reported the band’s performance at the event, where tickets start at $2,800.
“We have absolutely nothing to do with the Trump benefit today in Newport Beach. Zero,” Wilson and Jardine said.
This isn’t the first time Wilson has spoken out against Trump and against Love’s use of the band. This past February, Wilson urged fans to boycott Love’s version of the Beach Boys after they chose to perform at an annual convention for Safari Club International, an organization that supports trophy hunting. Trump’s son, Donald Trump Jr., was the keynote speaker at the convention in Reno, Nevada.
Love also performed at one of Trump’s inaugural balls in January 2017 and said in an interview with Uncut Magazine later that year that he did not “have anything negative to say” about the president.
“I understand there are so many factions and fractious things going on – the chips will fall where they may,” he said. “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.”