Mike Love has started the promotion behind his upcoming memoir, called Good Vibrations: My Life As A Beach Boy, which is due out in October. During an in-depth chat with Rolling Stone, Love once again took numerous pot shots at his cousin, Beach Boys co-founder, writer and producer, Brian Wilson, for issues most people — and several courts of law — thought were long resolved. Love has always been a decisive figure in the Beach Boys’ world due to his frequent lawsuits against bandmates and family members. He faced the brunt of ill will from fans and the group following the Beach Boys’ 50th anniversary reunion, which resulted in a sold out international tour and first original Top Three album in 47 years. Instead, after 75 shows, Love, who controls the license to tour under the group’s moniker, opted out of carrying on with the group’s actual members — Wilson, Al Jardine, and David Marks — preferring instead to tour in primarily secondary markets with his own band, which includes Beach Boy veteran Bruce Johnston.
In the 1994, Love won a $5 million lawsuit against Brian Wilson, claiming that his name was left off most of the songs he co-wrote with Wilson in the ’60s. Wilson’s infamously brutish father, Murry Wilson, cheated Love out of many of the song’s copyrights. Wilson, easily cowed by his father and too busy with the business of keeping the group on the charts to straighten out Love’s publishing issues, has been essentially been blamed by Love as being an accomplice to robbing him of his credits.
Love is quoted in the article dredging up the long solved publishing dilemma regarding his Beach Boys song credits: “I wrote every last syllable of the words to ‘California Girls,’ and when the record came out, it said, ‘Brian Wilson’ — there was no ‘Mike Love.’ The only thing I didn’t write was ‘I wish they all could be California girls.’ ‘Surfin’ USA,’ too, the big shaftola. Same thing with ‘I Get Around.’ I came up with ‘Round, round, round, get around, I get around’ and redid Brian’s lyrics. And nowhere was my name mentioned on the record. Thank you, Brian. Thank you, Murry. . . And, OK, so then what do I say? My only recourse was legal. But if I stick up for myself, Mike’s an ass****. I mean, Brian wanted to settle, but he was in a conservatorship that wouldn’t let him. I give him credit for that. But I was cheated and stolen from by my uncle and my cousin, and I don’t think it’s ever going to be resolved. I mean, how you gonna resolve it?”
Love went on to rant about Wilson’s original, ghostwritten memoir, Wouldn’t It Be Nice: My Own Story, which was entirely orchestrated by Wilson’s then-Svengali-like psychologist Eugene Landy, to discredit nearly everyone in Wilson’s life but himself. Love spoke about the $1.5 million settlement he received after suing the publishers of the book, saying, “They disparaged me. It was like I hardly did anything and Brian did everything. It’s like kind of trying to erase somebody from history or create another reality. At the risk of being facetious, it’s my favorite book I never read, because what books have you ever read that paid you a million dollars?”
Love blamed the public for not understanding his sense of humor, adding: “I guess a lot of people don’t understand I have a sense of humor that’s kind of wack, or different, or sometimes bratty, so I get labeled with that and there goes my image, right down the toilet.”
When pressed as to whether he and Brian Wilson — who has never bashed Love publicly — will ever find peace, Love explained: “When somebody in your family suffers from a mental illness, sometimes it’s gone past the opportunity to have a normal relationship. I mean, there may be a feeling that, ideally, you would like to see peace in the family. And I have nothing but sympathy for Brian. But when you say ‘peace,’ that would presuppose everything is peaceful. Well, when somebody has chosen a path or direction in life that has led to some pretty unhappy situations, everything isn’t all right.”
According to many sources, Mike Love openly disdained Brian Wilson’s more progressive mid-’60 work, including 1966’s Pet Sounds and its long unreleased 1967 follow-up, Smile. Love was reportedly unhappy with Wilson’s constant search for new sounds and breaking away from their light and positive teen-based formula. Love defended himself against detractors, saying, “It was a crazy time, people f***ed up out of their minds on stuff. You do a lot of pot, LSD, cocaine, you name it, paranoia runs rampant, so, yes, Brian could have become extra, ultra sensitive to attitudes, you know, body language, or whatever. My psyche is mainly. . . except for the, maybe, moments of true frustration or anger or whatever, saying things in a way that’s been misconstrued. Maybe I’m cast in that light, which is unfortunate but maybe deserving. But can I be responsible? Should Mike Love take a beating for Brian’s paranoid schizophrenia?”
Back in 2007, Love was ordered to pay Wilson $518,000 in legal fees after filing suit against Wilson and his team regarding a “freebie” CD that was briefly given out to British newspapers, featuring Wilson’s recent live versions of Beach Boys classics. Love’s suit dealt with the specific fact that his image, along with the other Beach Boys, was used on the promotional CD.
In the decision, the court found that three of Love’s claims against Wilson and his co-defendants for copyright infringement “were groundless and unreasonable” and noted that defendants were forced to defend themselves against “an over-pled complaint packed with a barrage of convoluted allegations.”
Love maintains that he was never offered the chance to screen the recent Wilson biopic Love & Mercy and was told by unnamed representatives, quote, “Oh, go pay to watch it in the theater.” Love added: “I don’t really need to see it. I’ve lived it.” According to our sources, there were a dozen pre-release, private screenings for VIP’s, family, and press held in Los Angeles and New York City.
Al Jardine, who now tours with Brian Wilson — along with early 1970’s era Beach Boy Blondie Chaplin told Rolling Stone: “Mike has his own vision of what the Beach Boys are, and he doesn’t need us anymore. It’s like, ‘Wow, that hurts.’ I mean, he’s obviously a terrific singer, and, oh, gosh, he’s just so clever with lyrics, but his strength was his ties to Brian, who is, let’s face it, the golden goose of all time. I think he really just wants to be back in the locker room at (L.A.’s) Dorsey High, being that guy who threw the most touchdowns — he has to have that recognition.”
A while back, Mike Love told us that his issues have always been with Brian Wilson’s managers and advisors — and not with Brian himself: “You see, Brian is manipulated. He has his mental issues and he’s very easily manipulated because he’s paranoid-schizophrenic. I mean he’s afraid. He takes medication, he has what they call ‘auditory delusions,’ so he has his issues, and the poor guy is manipulated.” at Virginia Beach, Virginia’s Sandler Center for Performing Arts.
Brian Wilson, with Al Jardine and Blondie Chaplin, kick off their North American dates on April 28th in Jackson, Mississippi at Thalia Mara Hall with a benefit for Alzheimer’s research.
Photo Courtesy of MikeLove.com