I have wanted to write about this for a while. Now I have a reason.
The latest in a long line of questionable behavior for Beach Boys singer Mike Love involves him kicking out original members Brian Wilson and Al Jardine. Wilson, of course, is the musical genius whose presence gave the band’s 50th anniversary reunion any real validity.
But because of Love, Jardine, and Wilson are no longer a part of the “Beach Boys” that will be touring the world in the coming months, despite a desire to do so. “I’m disappointed and can’t understand why he [Love] doesn’t want to tour with Al, and me,” Wilson told CNN in frustration. “We are out here having so much fun. After all, we are the real Beach Boys.” Love, on the other hand, explained in a tersely worded release that the Beach Boys reunion was always “designed to be a set tour with a beginning and an end.”
In the wake of Love coldly giving the boot to his (superior) band mates, we have to wonder: Is Mike Love the biggest A-Hole in the music world? Let’s explore Love’s legacy of… indiscretions and less-than-favorable attributes that suggest that it is a disticnt possibility. .
-He seems nothing but greedy.
Love’s concerts have been billed as the Beach Boys since 1998, when he acquired the sole licensing rights to the name following Carl Wilson’s death. This is why he even has the ability to tour without Jardine, and Wilson. He, along with member Bruce Johnston and hired musicians including his son Christian, have set out on numerous “Beach Boys” tours through the years, often doing it on the cheap and performing the band’s biggest “surfing” hits almost exclusively.
Regarding the end of the reunion, he revealed himself once more in his press statements: “You’ve got to be careful not to get overexposed. There are promoters who are interested [in more shows by the reunited line-up], but they’ve said, ‘Give it a rest for a year’. The Eagles found out the hard way when they went out for a second year and wound up selling tickets for $5.”
Really? When? Did I miss a $5 Eagles ticket?
-He has sued Brian Wilson, his cousin, numerous times. Al Jardine, too.
Love sued Wilson for millions in 1992, claiming that Wilson’s father had not properly credited him on songs he helped write during the band’s early career.
Then, in 2004, Love Filed another lawsuit against Wilson, accusing him of promoting his album ‘SMiLE’ in a manner that “shamelessly misappropriated Mike Love’s songs, likeness and the Beach Boys trademark, as well as the ‘SMiLE’ album itself.” The case was dismissed. This was on top of years of bullying Brian, as chronicled in Wilson’s autobiography, ‘Wouldn’t it be Nice’. Read it.
Love also sued founding member Jardine in 2001 for touring under the following names: “Beach Boys Family & Friends,” “Al Jardine, Beach Boy” and “Al Jardine of the Beach Boys.” Apparently “Beach” and “Boy” are not usable words for original member Al Jardine. Al apparently can only say he’s going to the “coast” for a vacation.
-He made fun of ‘Pet Sounds’, now considered one of the greatest albums of all-time.
As the magazine ‘Rolling Stone’ points out in their praise of Pet Sounds as the second-greatest album of all-time, Wilson essentially wrote the album all by himself. Back then Love had the nerve to criticize him over the whole album, reportedly asking Wilson when he played him his new songs, “Who’s gonna hear this s***? The ears of a dog?” And thus, the name Pet Sounds was born. Even in the liner notes of the album’s re-release, Love calls Wilson a “slave driver” during recording sessions. Yet Love likes to bring up the genius of the album now that it’s become as undeniably successful both commercially and critically.
-He thinks the reason people perceive him as a villain is because he didn’t do drugs, only proving he is the only member NEEDING drugs.
From an interview he gave to Atlanta’s ‘Creative Loafing’ recently, when asked directly why he’s been pegged as “the bad guy”: “Back in the ’60s, there were two camps in the Beach Boys: the Wilson Brothers, who were into drugs, and [Al] Jardine, Love and [Bruce] Johnston, who were not. I never appreciated the effects that LSD and other drugs had on our cousins. Dennis went to an early grave because of his excesses and I’d be full of s*** if I said I had a fond opinion of the people who brought drugs around and the effects that those drugs had on Brian, Dennis and, to a certain extent, Carl. I’m an outspoken person and I called people out. I can be a very spiritual, loving guy, but if I see someone destroying people’s minds by plying them with drugs because it’s cool — well, I don’t think it’s cool.” One word, Mike: Prozac.
He dissed both the Beatles and the Rolling Stones in his Rock and Roll Hall of Fame acceptance speech.
During his 1988 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame acceptance speech, he called Mick Jagger a “chicken s***,” chided Paul McCartney over his legal feuds with band mates (like he’s never done that), and challenged Billy Joel:
“And I think it’s wonderful to be here tonight, but I also think it’s sad that there are other people who aren’t here tonight. And, uh, those are the people who have passed away, those are the obvious ones. But the other not-so-obvious ones are people like Paul McCartney, who couldn’t be here tonight because he’s in a lawsuit with Ringo and Yoko. That’s what he sent a telegram to some, uh, high-priced attorney in this room, you know. And that’s a bummer, because we’re talking about harmony, right, and the world. If we can’t get it together in America and in England, and harmony within our groups. I mean, believe it, you can believe it the Beach Boys have their own “interstescene” (not sure what Mike is trying to say here, and neither does Mike) “or whatever you call it, squabbles. But that’s a bummer when Ms. Ross can’t make it, you know?” (Referring to Diana Ross, who was having legal battles with the other Supremes) “The Beach Boys have continued to do, about, we did about 180 performances last year. I’d like to see the Mop-Tops match that! I’d like to see Mick Jagger get out on this stage and do ‘I Get Around’ versus ‘Jumpin’ Jack Flash’, any day now. And I’d like to see some people kick out the jams, and I challenge the Boss to get up on stage and jam. I wanna see Billy Joel, see if he can still tickle ivories, lemmee see. I know Mick Jagger won’t be here tonight, he’s gonna have to stay in England. But I’d like to see us in the Coliseum and he at Wembley Stadium because he’s always been chickens*** to get on stage with the Beach Boys.”
Later in the ceremony, Bob Dylan spoke for everyone in expressing his lack of amusement over the speech. He thanked Love for “not mentioning me” and said “peace love and harmony are important, but so is forgiveness.”
Bless you Bob. Screw you Mike.