John Branca Speaks at Harvard about Being a Music Lawyer

Attorney John Branca discussing a story he told, while speaking at UCLA law, about learning what it was going to be like being a music lawyer.

John Branca: There’s a story that I told, I spoke at UCLA law recently, I… it was my first lesson on what it was going to be like to be a music lawyer. I think I was 26 or 27 and The Beach Boys were my first client. We had this big board meeting. And the brother of the lead singer was the manager of the group, Steve Love, and Michael was the lead singer. So, Mike Love and Alan Jardine wanted to renew this management contract. And Carl Wilson and Dennis Wilson wanted to fire of Steve Love. And it came down to a board of directors meeting with the Beach Boys, and Brian Wilson was laying there apparently asleep the whole time with his head on the table, and he was the deciding vote. So, as a general counsel, I said, “Brian, if you want to keep Steve, knock once. If you want to fire him, knock twice,” and he not three times. And that was like a lesson right at the start, like, “They don’t really teach this in law school.”