I recently noticed that The Beach Boys will be in Schenectady at Proctors Theatre on Sunday, November 17, 2023, at 3 pm. While I am not planning to attend, it renewed that long-time debate about the legitimacy of that band, or ultimately any band, to use the name.
Yes, I understand that Mike Love has the legal right to the group name. But the last Beach Boys album I bought was 2012’s That’s Why God Made the Radio. It featured Love, Brian Wilson, Al Jardine (all original members), David Marks (who replaced Jardine briefly early on), and Bruce Johnston (a long-time member who replaced Brian on the road early on.) That group’s tour was presented on the album Live: The 50th Anniversary Tour in 2013.
These guys, with Brian, Mike, and Al, are the Beach Boys, to my mind.
That’s Why God Made The Radio – the Beach Boys Bandsintown notes the band members as Love, Ricky Fataar, Marks, Blondie Chaplin, Carl Wilson, Dennis Wilson, Brian Wilson, Jardine, and Johnston, all of whom were in the group at one point, although Dennis and Carl are deceased.
The Proctors site notes: ” The Beach Boys are led by Mike Love, who, along with longtime member Bruce Johnston, musical director Brian Eichenberger, Christian Love, Tim Bonhomme, Jon Bolton, Keith Hubacher, Randy Leago, and John Wedemeyer, continue the legacy of the iconic band.”
I guess the Rolling Stones, without the late Charlie Watts but with the Glimmer Twins and long-timer Ronnie Wood, are. Wait, Bill Wyman is on the new album Hackney Diamonds!
Angry – the Rolling Stones
But Paul and Ringo, reportedly also playing on the Stones’ album, couldn’t front their old group. When people speculated about Lennon, Harrison, and Starr playing with Billy Preston and Klaus Voorrman, they wouldn’t have been accepted as the Beatles.
Real Love – The Beatles
The Who are Daltrey and Townshend? I guess so.
All This Music Must Fade – the Who
I’ve long insisted that The Temptations are a lineage group. David Ruffin replaced Elbridge Bryant, Dennis Edwards replaced Ruffin, Ricky Owens then Damon Harris replaced Eddie Kendrick, et al. When Otis Williams, the remaining original member, retires, it’ll still be The Temptations, unless the group ends. Otis and the estate of Melvin Franklin control the group. Oddly, I think of them like the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Or maybe Menudo.
When We Were Kings – The Temptations
It appears that any group with Chrissie Hynde can be The Pretenders, with or without co-founder Martin Chambers.
A Love – the Pretenders
Frankie Valli has a quartet that might as well be Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter.
What are your criteria for whether a group is still “the group”?