Mike Love is clearly tired of being perceived as the villain in the Beach Boys' saga. Love, who controls the license to the Beach Boys name, has been criticized for exercising his option to tour with his usual side musicians under the Beach Boys moniker following the group's 2012 tour, which featured all the surviving founders onstage -- Love, fellow co-founders Brian Wilson, Al Jardine, and David Marks -- along with longtime veteran and Love's sidekick on the road, Bruce Johnston.
Mike Love spoke to England's Daily Star and took Brian Wilson to task for his piece in The Los Angles Times, which insinuated that he, Jardine, and Marks felt as though Love fired them from being Beach Boys when Love chose his road band to represent the living legends on tour: "I don't know how that (firing) controversy started. I'd love to work with Brian again. The anniversary tour was originally 50 dates, and got extended to 73. At that point, Brian said: 'No more dates for us, please.' So once we finished those 73 shows we went back to the line-up of the band before he rejoined. . ."
Love, who served as Wilson's primary lyricist on most of the Beach Boys' legendary hits, was only allowed to rewrite one of Wilson's collaborations with producer Joe Thomas on last year's Top Three comeback album, That's Why God Made The Radio. Love still maintains that the "Wilson/Love" magic could work for the pair, who haven't written together since 1985: "I'd very much like to get in a room, just him and I, to write more songs. We've always had a special chemistry, which has helped craft some fantastic music and given us a tremendous amount of success. We didn't write together on last year's album, and I'd like to do that more than anything."
He went on to explain to The Guardian: "I was hoping to get together with Brian on. . . That's Why God Made The Radio, but a guy who was involved in the production of that album engineered it otherwise. Which was a drag because I have that history of co-writing with Brian, and he and I love each other going back to childhood. Given the opportunity, I would definitely write with Brian."
Love went on to say that although he loved being in the studio once again with Wilson, hitting the road with him was more for the audience than for the band: "Touring was more for the fans. Brian has a great band and he does his own thing, and Bruce and I have a fabulous band and we enjoy going places, big and small. But that configuration that happened last year you can only do in so many places and so often. So it was an agreed 50 shows that grew to 73 because of demand. But there was always a term, then we were always going back to what we do. Brian is in the studio again. He loves the studio. It was a great experience, it had a term to it, and now everyone's going on with their ways of doing things."
Mike Love was initially not credited for the numerous Beach Boys classics he wrote with cousin Brian Wilson. Wilson's father -- who was the band's song publisher -- deliberately kept Love's name off the publishing and copyrights to the legendary tunes. The matter that was finally settled in 1993 when Love's name was rightly added to dozens of songs and a cash settlement was made for his share of the profits: "Yeah, there were other songs which my Uncle Murry did not include me on, which I completely wrote, like every word of 'California Girls, y'know, and 'I Get Around,' as well; the majority of the words there. And that was unfortunate, but (has) since been rectified. But with 'Good Vibrations' I absolutely wrote the words and came up with the chorus: 'I'm picking up Good Vibrations/She's giving me the excitations.' I wrote the words on the way to the studio."
The Beach Boys -- featuring Mike Love and Bruce Johnston -- perform tomorrow night (July 10th) in Oxfordshire, England.
The band will be back in the States on July 12th when they play the Delaware County Fair in Manchester, Iowa.
Brian Wilson with Al Jardine and David Marks kick off their summer dates on July 20th in Atlantic City, New Jersey at The Grand.
Photo Courtesy of PRPhotos.com