Mike Love

Last updated

Mike Love
Mike Love 2018.jpg
Love live in concert, 2018.
Background information
Birth nameMichael Edward Love
Born (1941-03-15) March 15, 1941 (age 77)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Origin Hawthorne, California, U.S.
Genres
Occupation(s)
  • Singer
  • songwriter
InstrumentsVocals
Years active1961–present
Labels
Associated acts

Michael Edward Love (born March 15, 1941) is an American singer and songwriter who co-founded the Beach Boys. Characterized by his nasal and sometimes baritone singing, Love has been one of the band's vocalists and lyricists for their entire career, contributing to each of their studio albums and serving as their frontman for live performances. He is often regarded as a malign figure in the band's history, a reputation he acknowledges: "For those who believe that Brian [Wilson] walks on water, I will always be the Antichrist." [1]

The Beach Boys Rock band from Hawthorne, California

The Beach Boys are an American rock band formed in Hawthorne, California, in 1961. The group's original lineup consisted of brothers Brian, Dennis, and Carl Wilson, their cousin Mike Love, and their friend Al Jardine. Distinguished by their vocal harmonies and early surf songs, they are one of the most influential acts of the rock era. The band drew on the music of jazz-based vocal groups, 1950s rock and roll, and black R&B to create their unique sound. With Brian as composer, arranger, producer, and de facto leader, they often incorporated classical elements and unconventional recording techniques in innovative ways.

A baritone is a type of classical male singing voice whose vocal range lies between the bass and the tenor voice types. Originally from the Greek βαρύτονος (barýtonos), meaning heavy sounding, music for this voice is typically written in the range from the second F below middle C to the F above middle C (i.e. F2–F4) in choral music, and from the second A below middle C to the A above middle C (A2 to A4) in operatic music, but can be extended at either end. The baritone voice type is generally divided into the baryton-Martin baritone (light baritone), lyric baritone, Kavalierbariton, Verdi baritone, dramatic baritone, baryton-noble baritone, and the bass-baritone.

Brian Wilson American musician, singer, songwriter and record producer

Brian Douglas Wilson is an American musician, singer, songwriter, and record producer who co-founded the Beach Boys. After signing with Capitol Records in 1962, Wilson wrote or co-wrote more than two dozen Top 40 hits for the group. In addition to his unorthodox approaches to pop composition and mastery of recording techniques, Wilson is known for his lifelong struggles with mental illness. He is often referred to as a genius and is widely acknowledged as one of the most innovative and significant songwriters of the late 20th century.

Contents

Love was one of Wilson's collaborators during the Beach Boys' peak in the 1960s. Among the band's US Top 10 hits were the Wilson–Love songs "Fun, Fun, Fun" (1964), "California Girls" (1965), and "Good Vibrations" (1966). Love's lyrics primarily reflected the youth culture of surfing, cars, and romance, which helped fashion pop culture's perception of the "California Dream". [2] Starting in 1968, Love was a student of Transcendental Meditation (TM) under Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, and became a TM teacher in 1971. The experience influenced his lyrics to take on themes of astrology, meditation, politics and ecology. In the late 1970s, Love began working on solo albums, releasing his first in 1981: Looking Back with Love . In 1988, Love was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, along with the other founding members of the Beach Boys. In the same year, the song, "Kokomo", co-written by Love, reached number one in the United States and was nominated for a Grammy.

Fun, Fun, Fun Single by the Beach Boys

"Fun, Fun, Fun" is a song written by Brian Wilson and Mike Love for American rock band the Beach Boys. It was released in 1964 as a single backed with "Why Do Fools Fall in Love", both later appearing on the band's album Shut Down Volume 2.

California Girls song by the Beach Boys

"California Girls" is a song written by Brian Wilson and Mike Love for the American rock band the Beach Boys, featured on their 1965 album Summer Days . Wilson conceived the song during his first acid trip, later arranging and producing the song's recording, and incorporating an orchestral prelude plus contrasting verse-chorus form. Upon its release as a single, "California Girls" reached No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100. It was backed with "Let Him Run Wild", another track from Summer Days.

Good Vibrations The Beach Boys song

"Good Vibrations" is a song composed by Brian Wilson with lyrics by Mike Love for the American rock band the Beach Boys, of which both were members. Released on October 10, 1966, the single was an immediate critical and commercial hit, topping record charts in several countries including the US and UK. Characterized by its complex soundscapes, episodic structure and subversions of pop music formula, it was the costliest single ever recorded at the time of its release. "Good Vibrations" later became widely acclaimed as one of the finest and most important works of the rock era.

Many of Love's contributions to the group's hits were not officially recognized until the 1990s, when he successfully sued for writing credits on 35 songs. He remains uncredited for another 44 Beach Boys songs he alleged to have co-written. In 1998, following the death of cousin Carl Wilson, Love was given an exclusive license to tour under the name the Beach Boys. His surviving bandmates, Brian Wilson and Al Jardine, embarked on solo endeavors. In 2011, the group reunited to produce a new album and embark on a tour for their 50th anniversary. Following the 50th anniversary reunion shows, Love resumed touring only with Bruce Johnston.

Carl Wilson American musician; original member of The Beach Boys

Carl Dean Wilson was an American musician, singer, and songwriter who co-founded the Beach Boys. He is best remembered as their lead guitarist, as the youngest brother of bandmates Brian and Dennis Wilson, and as the group's de facto leader in the early 1970s. He was also the band's musical director on stage from 1965 until his death.

The Beach Boys live performances

The Beach Boys were an American rock band formed in Hawthorne, California, in 1961. Since then, the band has undergone many variations in composition, with representation by fill-ins onstage. As of 2019, the only principal members included in the Beach Boys' touring band are co-founder Mike Love and 1965 addition Bruce Johnston.

Al Jardine American musician

Alan Charles Jardine is an American musician, singer, and songwriter who co-founded the Beach Boys. He is best known as the band's rhythm guitarist and for occasionally singing lead vocals on songs such as "Help Me, Rhonda" (1965), "Then I Kissed Her" (1965), and "Come Go with Me" (1978). He has released one solo studio album, A Postcard from California (2010).

Early life

Love's mother, Emily (known as "Glee") Wilson, was the sister of Mary and Murry Wilson, a family resident in Los Angeles since the early 1920s. Glee married Edward Milton Love, the son of the founder of the Love Sheet Metal Company, in 1938. Michael Edward, the first of six children, was born in the Baldwin Hills district of Los Angeles, in 1941; thereafter the family moved to the upmarket View Park area. Mike attended Dorsey High School and graduated in 1959. Unsure of a career direction, he pumped gas and briefly joined his father's company, whose fortunes dramatically declined in the late 1950s. Both Milt and Glee Love were active in sports, and Glee had a distinct interest in painting and the arts. Like her brother, Murry, however, she was also strong-willed and, according to her husband, a dominant personality. The family was close-knit and regularly socialized with Murry and Audree Wilson and their sons. Murry Wilson was a part-time songwriter. [3]

Murry Wilson American musician

Murry Gage Wilson was an American musician, record producer, and businessman who acted as the first manager of the Beach Boys, a rock band formed by his sons Brian, Dennis, and Carl Wilson, his nephew Mike Love, and their friend Al Jardine. For most of the 1960s, Murry also worked as a music publisher for the band.

Los Angeles City in California

Los Angeles, officially the City of Los Angeles and often known by its initials L.A., is the most populous city in California and the second most populous city in the United States, after New York City. With an estimated population of four million, Los Angeles is the cultural, financial, and commercial center of Southern California. The city is known for its Mediterranean climate, ethnic diversity, Hollywood and the entertainment industry, and its sprawling metropolis.

Baldwin Hills, Los Angeles Neighborhood of Los Angeles in California, United States

Baldwin Hills is a neighborhood within the South Los Angeles region of Los Angeles California. It is home to Kenneth Hahn State Regional Park and to Village Green, a National Historic Landmark.

Mike Love often sang at family get-togethers at his cousins, the Wilsons', home in nearby Hawthorne, especially at Christmas. It was here, under the vocal harmony guidance of Brian Wilson, that the Beach Boys sound was established, predominantly influenced by Brian's devotion to the Four Freshmen's arrangements. Musical accompaniment during this formative phase was solely Brian's self-taught piano, but this was quickly expanded by the guitar contributions of Brian's college friend Al Jardine (whose fundamental interest was folk music) and Carl Wilson (whose idol was Chuck Berry). [4] With the failure of Love Sheet Metal, the family was forced to move to a modest two-bedroom house in Inglewood, closer to the Wilsons. [5]

Hawthorne, California City in California, United States

Hawthorne is a city in southwestern Los Angeles County, California, United States. As of 2010 it had a population of 84,293, up from 84,112 in 2000. In 2016 the population was 88,032.

Folk music musical and poetic creativity of the people

Folk music includes traditional folk music and the genre that evolved from it during the 20th-century folk revival. Some types of folk music may be called world music. Traditional folk music has been defined in several ways: as music transmitted orally, music with unknown composers, or music performed by custom over a long period of time. It has been contrasted with commercial and classical styles. The term originated in the 19th century, but folk music extends beyond that.

Chuck Berry American rock-and-roll guitarist, singer, songwriter

Charles Edward Anderson Berry was an American singer, songwriter, and one of the pioneers of rock and roll music. With songs such as "Maybellene" (1955), "Roll Over Beethoven" (1956), "Rock and Roll Music" (1957) and "Johnny B. Goode" (1958), Berry refined and developed rhythm and blues into the major elements that made rock and roll distinctive. Writing lyrics that focused on teen life and consumerism, and developing a music style that included guitar solos and showmanship, Berry was a major influence on subsequent rock music.

Career

1960s

Love (left) performing with the Beach Boys, 1964 The Beach Boys TV (Mike and Brian).jpg
Love (left) performing with the Beach Boys, 1964

Love played rudimentary saxophone in the first years of the fledgling garage band that evolved from the Pendletones to the Beach Boys. [6] He also established himself, along with neighbor Gary Usher, [7] local DJ Roger Christian, and others, as a collaborator with Brian Wilson in the band's original compositions. [8] Carl Wilson commented that "It's not widely known, but Michael had a hand in a lot of the arrangements. He would bring out the funkier approaches, whether to go shoo-boo-bop or bom-bom-did-di-did-did. It makes a big difference, because it can change the whole rhythm, the whole color and tone of it." [9] He also credited Love, an avid fan of doo-wop combos, with influencing Brian to listen to black R&B records. Writer Geoffrey Himes stated that without "Mike's R&B influence ... Brian couldn’t have possibly become 'Brian Wilson.'" [10] To write many of the Beach Boys songs, Love drew inspiration from the lyrics of Chuck Berry along with Felice and Boudleaux Bryant, who wrote many of the Everly Brothers' songs including "Devoted to You" and "All I Have to Do is Dream". He explained, "They were both the fun, descriptive pictorial vignettes as well as the more sweet, romantic and devotional lyrics. ... Even before that and more fundamental than that, I was always into poetry." [11]

Gary Usher was an American rock musician, songwriter, and record producer.

Roger "Hot Dog Rog" Christian was a radio personality and lyricist who co-wrote several songs for The Beach Boys, mostly about cars, including "Ballad of Ole' Betsy", "Car Crazy Cutie", "Cherry, Cherry Coupe", "Don’t Worry Baby", "In the Parkin' Lot", "Little Deuce Coupe", "No-Go Showboat", "Shut Down", and "Spirit of America", all with Brian Wilson.

Doo-wop style of rhythm & blues

Doo-wop is a genre of rhythm and blues music developed in the 1940s by African American youth, mainly in the large cities of the upper east coast including New York. It features vocal group harmony that carries an engaging melodic line to a simple beat with little or no instrumentation. Lyrics are simple, usually about love, ornamented with nonsense syllables, and often featuring, in the bridge, a melodramatically heartfelt recitative addressed to the beloved. Gaining popularity in the 1950s, doo-wop enjoyed its peak successes in the early 1960s, but continued to influence performers in other genres.

Love, 1966 Dennis Wilson.gif
Love, 1966

In early 1964, Brian Wilson began shifting the Beach Boys away from beach-themed music. [12] That November, Love told a Melody Maker reporter that he and his bandmates wanted to look beyond surf music and avoid living in the past or resting on the band's laurels. [13] Love is also credited with naming their album Pet Sounds (1966). [14] However, he has also been reported as resisting the group's new direction. In a 1971 Rolling Stone article, business associate David Anderle quoted Love saying "don't fuck with the formula". Over the ensuing years, the quote was repeated in myriad books, articles, websites, and blogs. [15] In the description of music journalist Erik Hedegaard, Love gathered a reputation as "one of the biggest assholes in the history of rock & roll" due to such accusations. [16]

Anderle later said that his statement about "the formula" had been misinterpreted, explaining that the quote was in reference to affairs related to the band's management, not their artistic direction. [15] Love dismissed most of the reported claims as hyperbole: "I never said anything bad about any of the tracks. I admit to wanting to make a commercially successful pop record, so I might have complained about some of the lyrics on Smile ". [16] Brian said that the collapse of Smile was not due to Love's opposition to the lyrics. [17] Session musician Van Dyke Parks, who was hired by Brian as the album's lyricist, blamed Love with putting "a stop" on the album. [18]

Love returned to co-writing with Brian for the Beach Boys' 1967 album Wild Honey , the group's first foray into R&B. [19] That same year, Love became one of the many rock musicians who discovered the teachings of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi following the Beatles' public endorsement of his Transcendental Meditation (TM) technique in August 1967. In December, Love and his bandmates attended a lecture by the Maharishi at a UNICEF Variety Gala in Paris, [20] and were moved by the simplicity and effectiveness of his meditation process as a means to obtaining inner peace. [21] In January 1968, the Beach Boys attended the Maharishi's public appearances in New York [22] and Cambridge, Massachusetts, after which he invited Love to join the Beatles at his training seminar in Rishikesh in northern India. [23] Love stayed there from February 28 to March 15. [22] He later recalled helping Paul McCartney with the lyrics of "Back in the U.S.S.R.", recorded for the Beatles' White Album (1968). [24]

While in Rishikesh, Love planned a US concert tour that would feature the Beach Boys and the Maharishi as co-headliners. [25] [26] The tour begun in May 1968 ended abruptly after five shows due to the disappointing audience numbers and the Maharishi's subsequent withdrawal to fulfill film contracts. [27] In his 2016 autobiography, Love wrote: "I take responsibility for an idea that didn't work. But I don't regret it. I thought I could do some good for people who were lost, confused, or troubled, particularly those who were young and idealistic but also vulnerable, and I thought that was true for a whole bunch of us." [28] Despite the ignominy of the tour, the Beach Boys remained ardent supporters of the Maharishi and TM. [29] He became a TM initiator in 1972 and later progressed to more advanced levels such as the TM-Sidhi Course. [30]

1970s–1990s

Love (front-right) performing with the Beach Boys in 1971 Beach Boys Good Vibrations from Central Park 1971.jpg
Love (front-right) performing with the Beach Boys in 1971

Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, Love wrote the words and music of several Beach Boys songs, including "Big Sur" (1973), "Everyone's in Love With You" (1976) and "Sumahama" (1978).[ citation needed ] In 1978, he co-founded the band Celebration, which achieved the US top 30 hit single "Almost Summer" (co-written with Brian Wilson and Jardine). [31] In 1981, he released his first solo album, Looking Back with Love (1981), with production by Curt Boettcher.

In 1988, the Beach Boys had a US number 1 hit with "Kokomo", the only number 1 the band achieved without Brian's involvement. [32] Love (along with "Kokomo" co-writers Scott McKenzie, Terry Melcher, and John Phillips) was nominated for a Golden Globe Award (1988) in the Original Song category, and was nominated for a Grammy Award for "Kokomo".[ citation needed ] Also in 1988, Love was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame along with the other founding members of the Beach Boys. At the induction ceremony Love delivered a hostile speech, criticizing, among others, Mick Jagger and Paul McCartney. [33] When asked in 2016 if he regretted anything about the night, Love said "Yeah, I regret that I didn't meditate [earlier that day]." [16]

In 1992, Love, along with Al Jardine and several of Wilson's family members, sued Brian for defamation regarding claims made in the 1991 memoir Wouldn't It Be Nice: My Own Story . The case was settled out of court by publisher HarperCollins, who awarded Love $1.5 million. It was the first of numerous lawsuits that Love would file against Brian. [16] Two years later, Love won a legal proceeding to establish what he considered to be proper authorship credit for many of the Beach Boys songs he co-wrote. Love successfully argued that Murry Wilson avoided crediting him with his early lyrical contributions to Brian's songs, denying Love accrued royalties. [16] He later called it "almost certainly the largest case of fraud in music history". [34]

2000s–2010s

The touring line-up of Mike Love and Bruce Johnston's "the Beach Boys Band", plus guest member David Marks, in 2008 The Beach Boys concierto.jpg
The touring line-up of Mike Love and Bruce Johnston's "the Beach Boys Band", plus guest member David Marks, in 2008

After the death of Carl Wilson in 1998, Love continued to tour with the Beach Boys, along with Bruce Johnston and a supporting band of new musicians, occasionally including actor John Stamos. He leased exclusive rights to tour under the Beach Boys name in a boardroom settlement with Brother Records, the Beach Boys' company.[ citation needed ]

In 2000, ABC-TV premiered a two-part television miniseries, The Beach Boys: An American Family , that dramatized the Beach Boys' story. It was produced by John Stamos, and was criticized for historical inaccuracies. Love was as an advisor to the film. Some critics accused him of having the film overstate his role in the group and portray negative depictions of Brian and Smile collaborator Van Dyke Parks. [18]

On November 3, 2005 Love sued Brian and The Mail On Sunday newspaper because the Beach Boys' name and Love's image were used in a promotional CD that was given free with the paper to promote the 2004 Brian Wilson presents Smile release. Love argued that the unauthorized (by Brother Records Inc.) free CD resulted in loss of income for the band. The lawsuit was dismissed on May 16, 2007 on the grounds that it was without merit. [35] [ clarification needed ]

In 2011, Love reunited with Brian, Jardine, Johnston and David Marks for a new Beach Boys album and 50th anniversary tour beginning in 2012. [36] In September 2012, Love and Johnston announced via a press release that following the end of the reunion tour the Beach Boys would revert to the Love/Johnston lineup, without Wilson, Jardine or Marks, all of whom expressed surprise. Although such dates were noted in a late June issue of Rolling Stone, it was widely reported that the three had been "fired". [37]

His autobiography, Good Vibrations: My Life as a Beach Boy , was published on September 13, 2016. Love wrote the book as a response to "many inaccuracies" that had been said about him over the decades. [38] It was published one month before the release of Wilson's autobiography, I Am Brian Wilson: A Memoir . When asked about the book's negative comments toward Love, Love responded: "He's not in charge of his life, like I am mine. His every move is orchestrated and a lot of things he's purported to say, there's not tape of it." [39] As of November 2016, he has not read Wilson's book. [39]

On November 17, 2017, Love released his second solo album Unleash the Love . On October 26, 2018, Love released his third solo album, Reason for the Season , featuring traditional and original Christmas music.

Personal life

Marriages and family

Love has been married to Jacquelyne Piesen since 1994 and has eight children: two with Piesen and six from his four previous marriages. [40] Love is a vegetarian who practices and teaches Transcendental Meditation, wears Indian Ayurveda rings and partakes in traditional Hindu ceremonies. [41] [42] He currently resides in Incline Village at Lake Tahoe, Nevada. [16]

In addition to being cousin to the Wilson brothers, Love is the brother of former NBA basketball player Stan Love and of Pink Martini harpist Maureen Love and is the uncle of Cleveland Cavaliers basketball player Kevin Love.

Political views

The Beach Boys with President Ronald Reagan and First Lady Nancy Reagan at the White House, June 12, 1983 Reagans with the Beach Boys.jpg
The Beach Boys with President Ronald Reagan and First Lady Nancy Reagan at the White House, June 12, 1983

Love describes himself as a progressive, although a photographed handshake between him and Ronald Reagan in the 1980s led many to label him as a political conservative. [43]

Charity

Love has been a longtime supporter of environmental causes and was among speakers at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992 and Earth Day 2000 on the Mall in Washington, DC. Love was instrumental in forming StarServe ("Students Taking Action and Responsibility to Serve") which enlisted high-profile celebrities to inspire America's youth to help serve their communities. [44] He also created the Love Foundation, which supports national environmental and educational initiatives.[ citation needed ] Love personally donated $100,000 to the American Red Cross to benefit the victims of Hurricane Katrina and helped the foundation raise an additional $250,000. He has served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Lake Tahoe School in Incline Village, Nevada,[ not in citation given ] and was responsible for raising over $1 million to benefit the school. [44]

In 2010, Mike Love contributed to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation's More Hope For The Holidays album with vocals on "Closing of the Year" as well as contributing his self-penned "Santa's Goin' To Kokomo". On the album he appears alongside Weezer, Brandi Carlile, and Creedence Clearwater Revisited. Proceeds benefit the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. [45] He performed a benefit concert for the foundation for the Children of the Californias which raised one million dollars to support the expansion of three new surgical suites. During the 50th Reunion Tour Love alongside the Beach Boys partnered with Operation Smile to raise funds for those in need of cleft lip and palate repair surgeries. In May 2013, Love was recognized for his decades of investment in education and national service by being awarded City Year's "Seven Generations Award". [44]

Awards and honors

Discography

Studio albums

With Celebration

Other albums

Singles

Related Research Articles

David Marks American songwriter and musician

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<i>Surfin Safari</i> 1962 studio album by The Beach Boys

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Kokomo (song) song

"Kokomo" is a song written by John Phillips, Scott McKenzie, Mike Love, and Terry Melcher and recorded by American rock band the Beach Boys. Its lyrics describe two lovers taking a trip to a relaxing place on Kokomo, an island off the Florida Keys. It was released as a single on July 18, 1988, by Elektra Records and became a No. 1 Hit in the United States, Japan, and Australia. The single was released to coincide with the release of Roger Donaldson's film Cocktail, and its subsequent soundtrack.

Help Me, Rhonda single

"Help Me, Rhonda" is a song written by Brian Wilson with additional lyrics by Mike Love for American rock band The Beach Boys, of which both were members. The song was first released as "Help Me, Ronda" in March 1965 on the album The Beach Boys Today!. A second recording with a different arrangement was issued as a single under the spelling "Help Me, Rhonda". The single reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100, making it their second chart-topping single since "I Get Around" in 1964. This version was included on the album Summer Days (1965). Both versions feature rhythm guitarist Al Jardine on lead vocals.

Add Some Music to Your Day

"Add Some Music to Your Day" is a song written by Brian Wilson, Joe Knott and Mike Love for the American rock band The Beach Boys. It was first released as a single in February 1970.

Everyones in Love with You

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"Still Cruisin'" is a song written by Mike Love and Terry Melcher for the American rock band The Beach Boys. It was released on their 1989 album Still Cruisin' and reached number 11 in Austria, number 28 in Australia and number 93 on the Billboard Hot 100.

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In May 1968, the American rock band the Beach Boys undertook a concert tour of the United States with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, their Indian meditation guru. The tour preceded the release of the Beach Boys' Friends album, which similarly reflected the influence of the Maharishi's Transcendental Meditation (TM) technique on the band, and was a commercial and artistic failure. The program comprised a set of songs by the Beach Boys, followed by a lecture from the Maharishi on the benefits of meditation. Twenty-nine concerts were originally scheduled, many of them in college venues, but the venture was abandoned after three days of low ticket sales and hostile audience reaction to the Maharishi's segment. The guru's commitment to making a documentary film about himself, for Four Star Television, was cited as a further impediment.

References

Citations

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  15. 1 2 Love 2016, p. 164.
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  22. 1 2 Badman 2004, p. 212.
  23. Shumsky 2018, p. 225.
  24. Love 2016, p. 186.
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