Brian Wilson and Al Jardine have disavowed Donald Trump’s Beach Boys campaign fundraiser, held on Sunday in Newport Beach, California, and headlined by fellow founding member Mike Love’s touring version of the band.
“We have absolutely nothing to do with the Trump benefit today in Newport Beach. Zero,” Wilson and Jardine told Variety through a spokesperson. “We didn’t even know about it and were very surprised to read about it in the Los Angeles Times.”
The last time all surviving members of the Beach Boys toured together was for their 50th-anniversary trek in 2012. After its conclusion, Love and Bruce Johnston, who joined the Beach Boys in 1965, chose to continue touring under the licensed Beach Boys name with new touring members of the group, which has performed for Trump events in the past. This past February, both Wilson and Jardine officially signed on to a Change.org petition urging a boycott of the touring Beach Boys after Love’s group booked a headlining gig at the Safari Club International Convention in Reno, Nevada, where the president’s son, Donald Trump Jr., was to be the keynote speaker.
“This organization supports trophy hunting, which both Al and I are emphatically opposed to,” Wilson said in a statement at the time. “There’s nothing we can do personally to stop the show, so please join us in signing the petition.”
Love defended his support of Trump in a 2017 interview with Uncut magazine, 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. I understand there are so many factions and fractious things going on — the chips will fall where they may. 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.”
Despite being held in an overwhelmingly blue state, the Orange County event could potentially pull in major funding for the Trump campaign, with ticket prices ranging from $2,800 per donor to $150,000 a couple for co-chair status. “Everyone assumes he’s going to go to battleground states,” Jon Fleischman, a former state GOP official, told the Los Angeles Times in their report on the benefit. “No one really thinks about how Orange County, California, is an ATM machine. So people are pretty excited.”