The Beach Boys confirmed to Billboard Thursday (Dec. 22) they have been asked to perform at President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration but have not yet made a decision to to do it, a spokesman for the band said.
“The Beach Boys have been asked to perform as part of the inauguration festivities. But no decision has been made at this point as to how or whether they will participate. We will let you know as soon as a decision is final,” the statement released by the band said.
The Beach Boys have performed in the past at events relating to Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton. (According to the New York Times, they performed at a $100-a-head fundraiser for Reagan during the 1984 Republican Convention that nominated him.)
In a now-famous incident in the 1980s, Nancy Reagan came to the defense of the band after then-Secretary of the Interior James Watts in April, 1983, opposed the Beach Boys and the Grass Roots from performing on the Washington Mall on the Fourth of July because they attracted an undesirable element. He instead wanted acts like the U.S. Army Blues Band and Wayne Newton to play, the Washington Post reported at the time. After Mrs. Reagan personally intervened and invited them, the band played in Washington, D.C., on July 4, 1984. That concert included a guest performance by Ringo Starr. Mrs. Reagan became a close friend of the band. The Beach Boys returned again to perform in Washington, D.C., in 1985.
Watt resigned from his Reagan Administration post in October, 1983, after being sharply criticized on both sides of the aisle for what he said was a “light-hearted” description of a coal advisory committee. “We have every kind of mixture you can have. I have a black, I have a woman, two Jews and a cripple. And we have talent.”