Brian Wilson wants fans to boycott Beach Boys over show at hunting event with Donald Trump Jr.

The touring group is set to perform this week at Safari Club International's annual convention in Nevada.
Image: Brian Wilson
Brian Wilson performs the Beach Boys' 'Pet Sounds' at Lulworth Castle in Wareham, England, on July 30, 2017.Rob Ball / Getty Images file

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By Tim Stelloh

Beach Boys co-founder Brian Wilson is asking fans to boycott the band he helped start because of a coming performance at a hunting event in Nevada.

In a tweet Monday, Wilson said there was nothing he could do to stop the concert Wednesday at Safari Club International's annual convention in Reno, Nevada, which will feature the touring group led by co-founder Mike Love. The group's convention will also include a keynote speech Saturday by Donald Trump Jr.

Wilson linked to an online petition calling on fans to stop buying the group's music and attending shows because of Safari Club's support of trophy hunting, which he said he and Al Jardine, another co-founder of the band, are "emphatically opposed" to.

Safari Club has made the contested claim that trophy hunting is the "solution" to conserving Africa's wildlife.

Animal rights activists have described the group's annual convention as one of the world's largest gatherings for trophy hunters and a celebration of the "senseless killing" of hundreds of animals.

Representatives for Love did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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Trump Jr. — as well as his brother Eric Trump — are well-known hunters. Photos from 2012 showed the pair posing over the carcasses of several animals in Zimbabwe. In December, ProPublica reported that he traveled to Mongolia to hunt an endangered argali sheep.

According to a convention program, tickets to Trump's speech cost $135 per person. Tickets for the Beach Boys are $115 each.

Wilson founded the Beach Boys in 1961 with two brothers and Love, his cousin. Before suffering a breakdown in 1964, he wrote such iconic hits as "Surfin' USA" and "I Get Around." He later wrote the band's celebrated album "Pet Sounds" but struggled for decades with drugs and mental illness.

Wilson toured with the group sporadically from the 1960s to the 1990s, but the original surviving members have toured together only once since 1965, to celebrate their 50th anniversary in 2012. Wilson has released several albums as a solo artist.