NEW YORK (Billboard) - The Beach Boys record label is going after Katy Perry for using the lyrics to their classic song, “California Girls,” on her new summer anthem, “California Gurls.”
Beach Boys members Mike Love and Brian Wilson co-wrote “California Girls,” which reached No. 3 on the Hot 100 in 1965.
The New York Post reported that the veteran pop group’s label, Rondor Records, was threatening to file a lawsuit against Perry’s Capitol Records.
However, a spokesperson for the label confirmed to Billboard.com that “there is no lawsuit against the writers or publishers of ‘California Gurls.’ We have established diminutive claim. It is up to the six writers and various publishers of ‘California Gurls’ to decide whether they honor the claim or not.”
“Using the words or melody in a new song taken from an original work is not appropriate under any circumstances, particularly from one as well known and iconic as ‘California Girls,’” said the spokesperson.
“Rondor Music, who publishes the works of Brian Wilson and Mike Love, is committed to protecting the rights of its artists and songwriters,” the label spokesperson continued. “With the support of the writers, that is exactly what we are doing.”
Last week, Love told Billboard.com that he liked “California Gurls,” and also indicated that he heard similarities between Perry’s track and the Beach Boys’ original.
“I think the part she did is pretty cool,” Love told Billboard.com. “There are a lot of writers on it, and I think it’s probably a stroke of genius to have the king of canine cool, Mr. Dogg, do his thing. But I think her creative part, her musical part, is pretty hooky. I think it brings the Beach Boys’ 1965 classic to mind, that’s for sure.”
A spokesperson for Love told the Post that “Mike and Brian wrote the song...but any legal action is up to Rondor.”
Wilson’s rep said, “Rondor owns the track and called Brian and Mike, saying they were going to complain. Brian likes Katy’s record and doesn’t know where the situation stands.”
The Beach Boys’ “California Girls” features the famous refrain, “I wish they all could be California girls.” At the end of “California Gurls,” guest artist Snoop Dogg says, “I really wish you all could be California girls.”
Editing by Bob Tourtellotte