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Trump’s “Beach Boys” Fundraiser Had One Boy of the Beach Variety

Meanwhile, Biden got the BEASTIE boys.

Donald Trump yells with his eyes closed.

News surfaced online yesterday that Donald Trump was in Newport Beach, California to host a high-priced private fundraiser that would feature “The Beach Boys” as the headliners of the event. Donors shelled out from $2,800 to $150,00 to greet the president and be serenaded by rock legends. And fans of the group whose sound defined the 60s scratched their heads. Except … the band playing was not technically the Beach Boys and the performance was a big surprise to the at least two members of the iconic group.

Beach Boys musical mastermind Brian Wilson told Variety that he, along with his former bandmate Al Jardine were surprised to hear that “The Beach Boys” were playing at a Trump benefit. “We have absolutely nothing to do with the Trump benefit today in Newport Beach. Zero,” the musicians 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 only Beach Boy at Trump’s event was Mike Love.

The Beach Boys have had many members over the years, but the group was started by Brian, Carl, and Dennis Wilson, along with Love and Jardine. The line up for the band has changed many times over the years, with the addition and departure of other members: David Marks, Ricky Fataar, Blondie Chaplin, and Bruce Johnston. Of these later members, only Johnson still remains a member of the band. Carl and Dennis Wilson are both dead. No more than two members of the band have performed together since 2012.

Mike Love currently makes a living traveling the country with a cover band that bills itself as “The Beach Boys” but is, in reality, just Love and some other musicians playing old hits. Love owns the name for touring and licensing purposes. (I’ve actually seen them play at a county fair. They’re a decent cover band that taps into boomer nostalgia but that’s it).

Wilson and Jardine have criticized Love’s political gigs in the past. Just last February they objected to Love and his “Beach Boys” playing at a Reno convention for Safari Club International where Donald Trump Jr. was a keynote speaker. Love’s version of the band also headlined Trump’s inaugural Ball and Love himself has been nothing but supportive of the President.

This is disappointing and unfortunate, and you would think that Love would know better when it comes to getting the band involved with a dangerous, racist psychopath who ended up responsible for the deaths of a lot of people, given the Beach Boy’s infamous involvement with Charles Mason and the Manson family. Love apparently had the good sense to distance himself from that monster, too bad he can’t get away from this one.

On the other side of the political spectrum, Joe Biden has had no such problems getting iconic musicians to flock to his cause. Given that Joe Biden is the only decent human being running for President at this point it’s not surprising. But it’s very ironic that Trump could only muster a single Beach Boy, while Biden got the Beastie Boys to license a song for an advertisement for the first time ever to help his campaign. Does that count as “Sabotage?”

(via: Variety, image: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

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Jessica Mason (she/her) is a writer based in Portland, Oregon with a focus on fandom, queer representation, and amazing women in film and television. She's a trained lawyer and opera singer as well as a mom and author.