Founding Beach Boys member Al Jardine has won an appeal against ex-bandmate Mike Love, clearing the way for a breach-of-fiduciary-duty lawsuit against Love. “This is the first step in a long journey,” Jardine tells Billboard.
Love became the sole licensee to perform under the Beach Boys name in 1998, when bandmate Carl Wilson died. In 2001, Love sued Jardine in California superior court to prevent Jardine from using the band’s name when he toured. According to the complaint, Jardine had been touring under the names “Beach Boys Family & Friends,” “Al Jardine, Beach Boy” and “Al Jardine of the Beach Boys.”
At the time, the lower court ruled in Love’s favor, denying Jardine use of the name. Jardine then appealed the decision, seeking $4 million in damages. By now, the damage amount has ballooned to “something in the tens of millions of dollars,” says Jardine. “But it’s about much more than just the money. I want to be able to tour again, and to be able to identify myself as a Beach Boy again.”
In the latest decision, the California Court of Appeal on Oct. 29 ruled that Love acted wrongfully in freezing Jardine out of touring under the Beach Boys name. Other defendants in the appeal included Brian Wilson; Wilson’s wife, Melinda Wilson; the trust of the late Carl Wilson and Brother Records, Inc.
A trial date is expected in mid-2004.