Al Jardine, an original member of the Beach Boys, has hit his former bandmates with a lawsuit amounting to at least $4 million. Jardine, 58, named Brian Wilson, Mike Love, the Carl Wilson Trust and Brother Records Inc. (BRI) as defendants in a suit filed Friday (June 29) in Los Angeles Superior Court, according to Jeffrey Benice, his attorney.
The only Beach Boy not related to the Wilson brothers claims his bandmates, the co-shareholders and directors of BRI, voted to give Mike Love, their cousin, the exclusive right to tour under the Beach Boys name.
BRI is the Beach Boys' corporate entity. The Carl Wilson Trust manages the business holdings of Carl Wilson, a founding member of the Beach Boys who died of lung cancer in 1998.
"Al's position is that no one Beach Boy could vote to exclude another Beach Boy from touring and using the Beach Boy name," Benice said. "He's been wrongfully excluded from touring with the Beach Boys. He's a Beach Boy, always has been. He's a 25-percent shareholder of Brother Records Inc., and he's been wrongfully excluded by virtue of BRI giving Mike Love instead of Mike Love and Al Jardine the exclusive right to tour as the Beach Boys."
Benice also noted that the $4 million figure is a low-end number, and the suit could amount to much more once the receipts from Love's tour, which grossed $18-20 million by his estimation, are calculated.
Jardine claims he was given license to tour under the Beach Boys name in 1998, when he embarked on the "Beach Boys Family and Friends" tour. BRI disputed that, however, and has a pending lawsuit in federal court against Jardine for trademark infringement.
Love, meanwhile, has shows scheduled throughout the summer as the Beach Boys, though he is the only original member in the group.
Spokespersons for the defendants didn't return calls by press time.