The music of the Beach Boys captured the Southern California scene of cars, surfing, and romance. Now after 50 years, the music may be coming to an end after Friday night’s reunion concert in London.
The reunion was never expected to happen. The Beach Boys had been divided by feuds for decades and had even filed lawsuits against each other. But somehow a special occasion inspired them to bury the hatchet - albeit briefly.
“CBS This Morning”: The Beach Boys: Back catching another wave
For one more summer, the sound of summer went on tour again. The five surviving members of the Beach Boys - Brian Wilson, Mike Love, Al Jardine, Bruce Johnston, and David Marks - celebrated a golden anniversary this year with a new album and reunion shows on four continents.
Asked why the group decided to get back together, Love said, “It’s the 50th anniversary of our group. So it makes a lot of sense, don’t you think? It’s a remarkable milestone.”
They’ve made a career of setting milestones. No American rock band has more top 40 hits. But for all the high notes and harmonies, a discordant history hangs over the Beach Boys.
In an interview on “CBS Sunday Morning” earlier this year, Love admitted drugs long ago divided the band.
“There was myself and Bruce and Alan who didn’t partake,” Love said. “And then the Wilsons and other people around them were into anything and everything.”
When asked how long a period that was, Love replied, “Long enough. Long enough to do some damage.”
The damage was enduring. Disputes over writing credits, royalties and publishing rights slowly drove the Beach Boys apart. In recent years, the three founding members were each leading separate touring groups.
Wilson, long considered the group’s creative mastermind, couldn’t seem to co-exist with his cousin, Love. Wilson said, “We just got tired of, you know, what we were doing. So we thought we’d try different, different trips.”
Asked if he just wanted to go his own way, Wilson replied, “Right.”
And after tonight’s reunion concert in London, the Beach Boys will go their separate ways again.
Love - who owns the rights to the band’s name - and keyboardist Bruce Johnston start a new tour next week without Wilson, Jardine and Marks.
In a statement to CBS News, a representative for Love said, “The 50th anniversary tour (with all five members) was always planned to end with the shows in London. The tour always had a mutually agreed beginning and end.”
But Wilson in statement said, “I’m disappointed and can’t understand why (Love) doesn’t want to tour with Al, David and me.” He added, “We are out here having so much fun. After all, we are the real Beach Boys.”
But it looks as if Wilson’s hopes for an endless summer for the reunited Beach Boys have come to an end. With all five members now in their seventies, Friday in London could well be the last time they perform together.