When Carl Wilson died of cancer in 1998, his sons Jonah and Justyn became heirs to their father’s estate. That meant joining with surviving Beach Boys founders Mike Love, Brian Wilson, and Al Jardine to vote on key business decisions, from archival releases to commercials. It wasn’t easy. “The dynamic changed a lot after our father passed,” says Jonah, who was in his late twenties at the time. “Not to say it was all negative, but we had a lot of challenges.” Adds Justyn, “In the beginning, it was just trying to navigate a very complicated group of individuals.”
These days, Carl’s sons are more optimistic. They recently came together with the founding members to make a major decision: The band has sold a controlling interest in the Beach Boys’ intellectual property — including their master recordings, a portion of their publishing, the Beach Boys brand, and memorabilia — to Iconic Artists Group, a new company run by longtime music business power player Irving Azoff.