Mike Love is suing his cousin and former Beach Boys bandmate Brian Wilson, but Love’s lawyer hopes the lawsuit won’t mar their good vibrations.
Love filed the lawsuit in federal court yesterday, accusing Wilson of promoting his 2004 album, Smile, in a manner that “shamelessly misappropriated Mike Love’s songs, likeness and the Beach Boys trademark, as well as the Smile album itself.”
Love’s lawyer says it’s nothing personal.
“Mike has a lot of affection for Brian and they have a good relationship and cordial relations,” said Phil Stillman, who has represented Love since 1992.
“There’s obviously some problem with the way Brian’s (associates) have promoted the albums.”
Stillman added: “They remain family and the co-founders of a very important band in rock ’n’ roll history.”
The Beach Boys never completed Smile, and it was regarded as a lost classic until Wilson opted to finish it himself.
The album earned international acclaim and marked a dramatic return for the 63-year-old singer-songwriter, who had kept a low profile for years.
Love objected to a promotion in which 2.6 million copies of a Beach Boys compilation CD were given away to readers of The Daily Mail on Sunday newspaper. The lawsuit said the giveaway undercut the band’s sales.
The lawsuit seeks damages, including “millions of dollars in illicit profits,” and seeks at least £500,000 for international advertising “to correct the effects of ... unfair competition and infringing uses.”
Love formed the group in 1961 with Wilson, Wilson’s brothers Carl and Denns, and Wilson’s friend Al Jardine.
They went on to record hits such as Good Vibrations, Wouldn’t It Be Nice and California Girls.
Wilson’s brothers have died, and he split acrimoniously with Love and Jardine years ago.
In an interview earlier this year, he refused to discuss them in the present tense, but talked about their early years with apparent fondness. His new album is What I Really Want for Christmas.
Love has the exclusive legal right to tour under the Beach Boys name.