More than a year after a California court ruled that he couldn't tour under the moniker "The Beach Boys' Family and Friends," Beach Boys founding member Alan Jardine has sued his former bandmates for $4 million, claiming that he has been excluded from recent concerts.
The defendants in the suit are Mike Love, Brian Wilson, the Carl Wilson Trust and Brother Records Inc., the owner and administrator of the Beach Boys trademark. An initial ruling is expected on July 23rd.
"This is frivolous harassment, where Alan is trying to get money that he does not deserve," said Brother Records attorney Michael Flynn.
"The entire premise of the Beach Boys has been to promote love, harmony and music," Jardine said as he prepared for a show at an Indian casino in Bow, Washington. "But right now the 'Beach Boys' are taking the financial rather than the creative route, and Mike is making an end run to grab all of the income. This is a moral issue."
Jardine had no desire to bill himself as "The Beach Boys," instead opting for "The Beach Boys' Family and Friends." But in granting a license to Love, Brother Records prevented any use of the name by Jardine, a decision that was upheld by a California court in December 1999. Jardine claims that he was offered use of the name in 1998, but the offer was withdrawn.
Currently, the band formerly known as the Beach Boys can be seen in three performing ensembles, each with one original band member: The licensed version with Love and touring replacement Bruce Johnston, Brian Wilson's touring band and Jardine's Family and Friends, which includes Brian Wilson's daughters Carnie and Wendy.
That Jardine has filed suit against his former band mates has not affected what he calls the "wonderful spiritual connection" that occurs onstage. Says Billy Hinsche, the music director of Jardine's band, "the topic never comes up. It's only business and has nothing to do with anything personal."
Upon returning to California from this week's show, Jardine plans to do the final mixing for Live in Las Vegas, a recording of a 1999 concert to be sold on his Web site (www.aljardine.com). While the album has many of the expected hits played by the other iterations it also includes more obscure selections like "Breakaway" and "Wild Honey."
Despite all the ill feeling, Jardine said he would play with Love and/or Wilson if they could bury their differences. "These guys are my lifelong partners," he said.