Beach Boys Brian Wilson and Al Jardine had “zero” to do with Donald Trump’s high-priced fundraiser in California on Sunday, despite the touring version of their group headlining the campaign benefit.
“We have absolutely nothing to do with the Trump benefit today in Newport Beach. Zero. We didn’t even know about it and were very surprised to read about it in the Los Angeles Times,” Wilson and Jardine said to Variety through a spokesperson.
The Los Angeles Times reported Sunday morning that the Beach Boys would be the main attraction performing for the president and his supporters at the Orange County event, with tickets ranging from $2,800 per donor to $150,000 a couple for co-chair status.
This event is the latest in a string of rallies that Trump has embarked on since recovering from COVID-19, where he has repeatedly declared himself “immune” and offered to kiss audience members. According to the Times, the Republican was expected to reel in huge amounts of money from the Orange County benefit, which would be important to the campaign as Democrat candidate Joe Biden currently has a significant lead in fundraising.
The Beach Boys booked for the fundraiser is a licensed touring version of the group led by original member Mike Love. The last time all the surviving members performed together as the Beach Boys was in 2012 for a 50th anniversary tour. At the close of that, Love chose to continue working under the Beach Boys name. Wilson and Jardine have also toured together in recent years, performing Beach Boys material under Wilson’s name.
This isn’t the first time Wilson and Jardine have distanced themselves from a controversial Trump-related gig booked by Love. In February, both Wilson and Jardine officially signed a Change.org petition urging a boycott of the touring Beach Boys, after the band booked a headlining gig at the Safari Club International Convention in Reno, Nevada, where noted safari hunting enthusiast Donald Trump Jr. was the keynote speaker.
“This organization supports trophy hunting, which both Al and I are emphatically opposed to. There’s nothing we can do personally to stop the show, so please join us in signing the petition,” Wilson said in a statement at the time.
In the past, Love has defended his support for Trump. His version of the Beach Boys headlined one of the president’s inaugural balls, and Love once famously posed for a thumbs-up photo with him in front of the Washington Monument.
“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,” Love said in a 2017 interview with Uncut magazine.
Love’s Beach Boys have recently been doing drive-in-style concerts with Full House actor John Stamos as a special guest. Bruce Johnston, who joined in 1965, has also been performing with Love.