Legal deal restores good vibrations to Beach Boys

Thu Mar 20, 2008 10:47pm EDT
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By Steve Gorman

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The settlement of a long legal dispute over rights to the Beach Boys' name has restored good vibrations among the three surviving original members of the famed group, attorneys in the case said on Thursday.

The agreement, reached on Wednesday after two days of talks mediated by a Los Angeles Superior Court judge, put to rest years of litigation that strained relations among members of the group that defined the California surf sound of the 1960s.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. But lawyers suggested the amicable nature of the settlement could pave the way for a long-awaited reunion of the band's three surviving co-founders -- Brian Wilson, cousin Mike Love and Al Jardine.

"Certainly everybody would love it, but we're taking it a day at a time," Jardine's attorney, Lawrence Noble, told Reuters. "We've cleared out a lot of negative history, we're looking forward to the future, and hopefully a lot of good things will happen."

The years-long court battle grew out of use of the band's name by Jardine, who had been touring under such billings as "Beach Boys Family & Friends" until a federal judge ruled in 2000 he was engaging in trademark infringement.

The decision affirmed Love's claim as the sole licensee of the "Beach Boys" name under a deal he negotiated with the band's corporate entity, Brother Records Inc, in 1998.

A U.S. appeals court upheld that ruling in 2003, again siding against Jardine in the case brought by Love, Wilson and the estate of his brother, Carl, who died of cancer in 1998. A fifth founding member, brother Dennis Wilson, drowned in 1983.

Love and the Carl Wilson estate sued Jardine again on behalf of Brother Records in 2004 seeking $2.2 million in legal fees spent in the original litigation against him.   Continued...

<p>Al Jardine (L), Mike Love (C) and Brian Wilson, the surviving founding members of The Beach Boys, appear together for the first time in ten years on the rooftop of Capitol Records in Los Angeles, June 13, 2006. REUTERS/Chris Pizzello</p>