[invocation] tell of the birth, tell how war appeared on earth
(from War, Moore/Blegvad, 1975)
Mike Love: (angrily) do it for WORLD PEACE and LOVE and HARMONY! YEAH!
(from The Beach Boys Rock’n’Roll Hall Of Fame induction, 20th January 1988)
The way you live, structure and market what you do should be as well thought out as a government coup. It’s a campaign; it has nothing to do with Art.
(Genesis P.Orridge, on Throbbing Gristle’s Heathen Earth, 1980)
Mike Love has attempted several times to have a career outside the Beach Boys. In the mid 1970s, he recorded and released two albums with side band Celebration, including the top 30 hit single Almost Summer (co-written with Brian Wilson and Jardine), along with further songwriting contributions to the band’s third (unreleased) album Disco Celebration. In the late 1970s, he also recorded two unreleased solo albums, First Love and Country Love. Some tracks from First Love were used on later Beach Boys releases.
In 1981, he released a solo album, Looking Back With Love. Consisting mostly of cover versions, the album was neither critically nor commercially successful.
Also, in 2003, he announced plans for a new solo album. This album, which has been announced under the working titles Unleash The Love and Mike Love, Not War (not to be confused with the Beach Boys bootleg of the same name), is still a work in progress (although bootleg recordings have appeared) and, to date, one new track from these sessions, Cool Head, Warm Heart, has appeared on an official Beach Boys–related collection.
It’s fairly easy to reach a conclusion about Mike Love’s personal role in Brian Wilson’s career so it’s not worth dwelling further on this here (I’ve already said enough here here and here. Mike himself elaborates further via here).
Mike Love with his cousin Brian Wilson
Mike’s personal opinions about anyone or anything can contribute to an accumulative understanding of the kind of person he might be – but only an inner circle of Beach Boys fans have ever had any real contact with the man himself.
He seems willing to share anecdotes about aspects of his band’s history ‘through the ages’ (c/o VDP). But, as lesser mortals may never meet him, any conclusions could easily be spurious. Assessments of his seeming boorish philistinism, from a listener’s point of view, can only ultimately be supposition.
He could actually be a nice guy. Who is to know?
And so, as his opinions about music, art and spirituality have more than a little bearing on a critical perception of The Beach Boys – especially the entity he will be leading in 2012, their half-century Celebration – it would be fairer to judge the man on his own art, ideas and beliefs, rather than any imagined personality based upon confirmation bias.
For the sake of fairness, I plan an overview of some of his own music, away from The Beach Boys. As this is solo work, one has to assume that this would be an outlet for creativity ‘not suitable for The Beach Boys’ (to use a term that was applied to some of Brian Wilson’s own post-Smile work).
The 2012 Beach Boys, anticipating their Celebration
And this should hopefully function as a counterbalance to the previous stuff about Van Dyke Parks (wherein it should be apparent that I think everything Mr. Parks has ever said or done ever is without peer). This was based upon a familiarity with Parks over a quarter of a century; I wasn’t even aware that Mike Love had been so prolific until recently.
Beach Boys fandom is way more familiar with Mike’s solo career than I am – not having heard Mike Love’s quartet of albums, intention is to exercise a little more objectivity towards The Works of Mike Love.
I plan to immerse myself in his oeuvre peripheral to The Beach Boys – and I have to admit that no money changed hands in obtaining it…but, as his four solo albums are Not Available (one is deleted, the other three unreleased), I’m grateful that the Beach Boys fan community has kept them in circulation online.
The unreleased albums have bypassed standard modes of distribution completely – which, if sanctioned by Love, is an astute realisation that fan-support matters more than record company approval.
You can find First Love and Country Love as a nice twofer (the price of none) zip file, as well as Unleash the Love/Mike Love Not War (its title in limbo), and Looking Back With Love is dotted about filesharing sites (having missed the Compact Disc revolution completely). I had little luck finding the more obscure Celebration albums (a few odd tracks from one album turned up – and I ended up with a very different Disco Celebration).
First stop for musical guidance is beachboys.com, which is ‘an unofficial site and has no connections with either the Beach Boys or their agents‘ (and not to be confused with beachboysband.net – is this the official site?!? No, it must be thebeachboys.com). Here you can find out just about everything you need to know about The Beach Boys’ music: discographies of all official releases, extensive bootleg information, plus solo projects – incredibly useful if all you know is the good stuff. There is also a useful discography here, with some rare labels and sleeves.
Mike Love’s solo work is all covered here, including informed reviews. I wanted to know what to expect of Looking Back With Love – and
here it is, the nuclear waste of Beach Boys product. Sinking lower than any other album (with the exception of perhaps Summer In Paradise which was also virtually a Mike Love solo album), Looking Back With Love may be the worst record ever.
Well this doesn’t bode well. Star ratings are used throughout; this has ZERO STARS (caps in original).
Well that’s all Mike’s released solo work covered.
First Love and Country Love both predate this 1981 release,
two albums which Mike recorded at Santa Barbara Sound recorders during 1978…both were reportedly refused by record labels for release.
The version reviewed at beachboys.com is thus a bootleg, and its cover image is also not officially sanctioned – but it does have (in common with Looking Back With Love) a smiling Mike Love: knee-deep in snow, wearing a casual jacket and a hat, it looks cold – but he appears unconcerned.
The reviewer says ‘Now, I’m not a big fan of Mike Love’s solo works‘ – so this is not the objective introduction I was hoping for – and continues
his own particular talents have always seemed to worked best within the group dynamic of the Beach Boys particular sound; he has always been more comfortable writing songs about cars and girls than more adult themes, and his talent has always paled next to his cousin’s. But here, if you can track them down, are two more prime examples of the paucity of Mike’s writing talent
but finds a couple of tracks to like. However
surrounding these two songs are truly wretched compositions, with horribly contrived lyrics, stilted melodies and some insipid instrumentation
Lord. Can it really be this bad?
Country Love is much worse – a epic disastrous attempt by Mike to tap into the country music market, but if some poor record company had been foolish enough to release it to the market, there probably would’ve been a lynching.
These are strong words indeed – and from a fan of The Beach Boys. This is an alternate cover for the latter
which seems a little more applicable than a winter scene.
The beachboys.com overview continues with some other peripheral stuff, including the 1979 Celebration albums (the re-recording of Smiley Smile‘s Gettin’ Hungry is dealt with here), but as I do not have these to refer to in full, I will leave them out of the equation. There is also the fact that Celebration are a band, and seemingly-not a vanity project (their eponymous album is on Mike Nesmith’s Pacific Arts label, who also released the incredible Kaleidoscope‘s When Scopes Collide reunion album in ’76). Mike does not write all the material, nor take all the vocal leads in Celebration; there is a democracy at work here.
Disco Celebration gets only two stars, but, as
The Beach Boys may have never made a bigger mis-step in the eyes of their fans than their one and only foray into disco music, on 1979’s L.A. (Light Album)
to read on and discover that, on Disco Celebration,
the production is actually very good, the songs are strong, the melodies are memorable, and the singing is top-notch
is a surprise. As is the inclusion of a version of California Girls, which
is transformed into something from, oh, say, Xanadu. It’s a surreal listening experience like no other, and for the duration of the song, my mouth was hanging open like the proverbial slack-jawed yokel.
I do not want to rely solely upon someone else’s opinions, so please forgive quotations used so far; you can read it all in context here. There are also other releases reviewed (compilations mainly) that are unknown to me. However the other significant recording (if not release) is Unleash The Love (or Mike Love Not War), which was bootlegged ‘c.2005’. It might be unfair to offer any definitive judgement, as it appears to be a ‘work in progress’. Some tracks might change substantially before they get an official release.
Treating all Mike’s solo stuff as an overall ‘work in progress’ might make sense, as, looking over the various tracklists, it would appear that certain songs have been recorded and rerecorded, having been either released previously in earlier versions, or recorded for other unreleased projects.
Without any knowledge of what these albums might sound like, and with Mike’s own adherence to a spiritual discipline like Transcendental Meditation, these recurring themes might (superficially) remind a disinterested party of Florian Fricke’s use of the ‘song of the earth’ musical phrase that Popol Vuh revisited again and again across their discography. Maybe.
In 1982, Penn Jillette (later of Penn and Teller fame) was offered a curious challenge:
In February [of that year], Ralph Records contacted Mr. Jillette, a nationally known entertainer and announcer, to see if he were interested in involvement in Ralph’s 10th Anniversary Radio Special. The format of the special, as specified in Mr. Jillette’s contract, was unusual, but the salary was sufficient, so Mr. Jillette agreed.
At 8:00 AM on Monday, March 1, Mr. Jillette entered Room 312 of the Bentley Motor Inn at 465 Grove Street (directly across the street from the, then, Ralph Headquarters) in San Francisco. The door was locked behind him.
Mr. Jillette was to spend the next six days alone in this room. Each day he received a package of records from Ralph. His job was to listen and comment on these recordings.
The Ralph Records 10th Anniversary Radio Special was compiled from more than 60 hours of tape recorded while Mr. Jillette was alone in his motel room.
(from here, with streaming audio of the 10th Anniversary Special).
I thought that this approach might work for me with The Love – not to be locked in a room by him, obviously, but rather, to (voluntarily) spend an entire day listening to The Love Quartet exclusively. To go about my daily routine, but soundtracked by First Love, Country Love, Looking Back With Love and Unleash The Love. On repeat. Make mental notes, jot down any impressions, see which hooks, riffs, lyrics and themes recur.
This shouldn’t be as problematic as it might seem; I have a high tolerance for genuinely ‘bad music’…well, if not a tolerance, then at least a curiosity. I’m not talking a Primal Scream-level of mediocrity here – rather, something much, much worse.
One outpost of ‘bad music’ can be found in Irwin Chusid’s book Songs In The Key Of Z: The Curious Universe of Outsider Music:
music “so wrong it’s right,” and if you’re drawn to sounds that make you wonder just what the musician was thinking, this collection is for you. The compilation is enthusiastically, if not always respectfully, annotated by Chusid. His selections range from the output of blissfully un-self-aware but basically functional individuals to the certifiably insane.
Genius? Forget it. Talent? Beside the point.
Sometimes ‘outsider music’ is an entertaining counterbalance to the staggering genius of Smile. Some of Chusid’s book is hilarious (his Jandek essay is a personal favourite), though a few of his subjects seem a bit out of place (Harry Partch specifically).
(from here – what is a “song-poem”?)
The song-poem world can become quite engrossing, and there is an excellent documentary, Off The Charts (sample IMBD review: ‘Probably the best movie you’ve never seen‘ – whole thing is on youtube), which treats this parallel ‘music industry’ with great respect and compassion (a compassion sometimes lacking in Chusid’s own writing).
I am thus quite comfortable listening to music that others might consider unlistenable. If, as beachboys.com tells me, ‘Looking Back With Love may the be worst record ever’, I’m ready. I’m sure I’ve heard worse.
So. Unlike Penn Jillette, I will not need to be constrained, in something resembling ‘extraordinary rendition’ (that polite new euphemism for arrest and torture). I make these sacrifices willingly. And via this experiment, Mike Love’s solo work, whether unworthy of release or not, will undoubtedly become familiar enough that I can offer some objective insights.
Well this experiment didn’t really go to plan.
I had the kind assistance of a disinterested neighbour to help out, and to offer observations – and observations were offered quite soon into First Love.
Musically, there is nothing here that can hold a listener’s attention for long. A few tracks in, we were discussing more interesting records, and Mike’s first solo album just went by, occasionally catching our ear. Yeah, this music is bad – but worse, it’s dull, nondescript, bland, and only offensive when it aspires to transcend the quotidian.
Is it worth mentioning individual tracks? The beachboys.com reviews have said everything interesting there is to be said about this album. And what they say is probably way funnier than anything I could write.
However, Brian’s Back works well as a personal propaganda exercise – lyrically, it contains the seeds of every claim of caring for Brian Wilson that Mike has made since 1976 – and might have succeeded (and convinced) better were it not either so trite or so limp.
Brian’s Back would not sound entirely out of place on Do You Know The Difference Between Big Wood And Brush, if it was an imagined celebration of a distant pop star’s life, written by, say, a carpenter in Minnesota, rather than its subject’s cousin. Does this lyric really encapsulate Mike’s genuine emotion for Brian Wilson?
Country Love is ‘much worse’ only by degrees; it’s only ‘country music’ by default, its bloodless backing squeezed out of a faux-Nashville muzak machine. This album was less and more interesting than First Love, and again because of its resemblance to the ‘shadow world’ of song poems – but, in that universe, an individual’s postal-lyric was written for some reason, and the studio producing its recording do their utmost (with the hour available to them) to set it to music.
Country Love lacks any of that idiosyncratic lyrical vision. For all the collections of song-poem music available, these are cherry-picked from (presumably) hundreds-upon-hundreds of similar recordings. A great deal of nondescript rubbish would have been excluded from the The Beat Of The Traps. If First Love and Country Love had originated in that ‘shadow world’, not one track would be worthy of anthologising – unless the Beach Boys-parodic style Love occasionally lapses into raised a smile. That Mike is actually a member (if not the leader) of the Beach Boys, while making music this pitiful, is almost tragic (though it’s not clear that Mike even knows what real pity is).
Looking Back With Love shares the same overall lack of ambition, but does at least have better production values. It isn’t ‘the worst record ever‘, not by any stretch – heard without context (ie. not knowing its Beach Boys connection), it sounds like a thousand other dull American albums recorded at the same time.
Its title track does, in its favour, have the feel of a lost 70s US sitcom theme, with TV-music key changes. Looking Back With Love, as a title, even sounds like a sitcom, ‘filmed live in front of a studio audience’ (even if the laughter sounds canned). And cancelled after one season.
And where the rest of the album consists of cover versions which add nothing, as interpretations, to whatever was attractive about the originals, the decision to record Spector’s Be My Baby stands out. For a number of different reasons: 1) it’s awful; 2) Brian Wilson was in some way involved in its recording; and 3) hang on, isn’t this Brian Wilson’s all-time favourite song (and production)? Mike Love’s own musical sensibilities (as sketched above) can surely only negate its power…
Think about that for a moment, as we skip forward to 2004, and Mike’s still-unleashed solo masterpiece, Unleash The Love.
This got irritating real quick; my listening companion became quite angry at this point. Why? Because here Mike does attempt to ‘transcend the quotidian’: there is a modicum of ambition at work on Unleash The Love/Mike Love Not War.
There is a nice track-by-track breakdown here – and, despite all of the good intentions about ‘objectivity’ mentioned above, I’d rather rely on this guy’s descriptions than have to waste yet more words on my own:
It’s no wonder that Mike Love has been unable to find a label willing to release this album. Mike Love, Not War is mediocre at best; certainly not great, but not completely awful, either. The lyrics are fairly banal. Given the fact that Love has been in the music business for over forty years, it’s surprising how pedestrian the lyrics sound. Any first year composer could do just as well. Unless you are a huge Mike Love fan, you need not worry about tracking down a copy of this disappointment of an album.
It’s only a ‘disappointment’ if you had any hope of it being better than it is. As First Love, Country Love and Looking Back With Love have nothing to offer musically, why should this album be any different? However, where the Uncanny blogger says it ‘has a demo feel throughout’, this is a more expansive demo than First/Country – there are well-recorded harmonies, some modern electronic percussive quirks, even dynamics (the latter singularly lacking throughout the earlier records).
Where the ambition of Unleash The Love really comes to the fore is the use of a montage/segue (an effect which, by Mike Love production standards, is as radical as Cabinessence). Tracks 3 and 4 are of a piece: Thank You is actually ‘Spiritual Regeneration’, a ‘track’ that Mike has been touting around since the mid-70s. Check the credits: yes, it’s an unreleased Lennon & McCartney song, performed by them both, in India, with a Beach Boys sound – and is itself a medley, becoming ‘Happy Birthday’ to Mike Love, sung by The Beatles. This must have been recorded around the 15th of March.
Were this album commercially available, this track would certainly be a selling point on the CD cover sticker – but the sticker’s blurb would be as honest about its content as Looking Back With Love, of which,
strangely, some copies came with stickers promoting the album as “the first solo album by a Beach Boys member”, despite the release of Dennis Wilson’s Pacific Ocean Blue four years earlier, Carl Wilson’s self-titled album earlier in 1981, and Bruce Johnston recording solo albums before he even joined the band, in addition to his 1977 album Going Public.
Thank You (where John and Paul give thanks to ‘Guru Dev’, and then to Mike for having a birthday) sounds like a ‘field recording’, and is, I think, sourced from a film made at the time The Beatles and Mike were with the Maharishi in India. Hear it from a Beatles bootleg (as Spiritual Regeneration/ Happy Birthday Mike Love) here.
This audio snapshot from March 1968 is then followed by Mike’s masterpiece, Pisces Brothers, recorded after the death of George Harrison. It’s a ‘tribute’ of some kind, but here Mike’s concept comes into its own. This song would work perfectly on a 21st century Beat Of The Traps.
Here is a verse:
on the darkest of lonely nights
the heavens shine with one more light
and while the world below you sleeps
some say your guitar gently weeps
(from here – every other Harrison tribute is transcribed in full)
Mike Love’s 34 year spiritual bond with George Harrison has only this song as documentation. Hear it here.
The rest of the album is more broadly ‘philosophical’ (and Mike expounds further on these philosophies later on, in this already overlong post).
Some technical notes from the uncanny blog:
Unleash The Love (4:04) – a jaunty little rocker featuring a decent acapella outro. The theme of the lyrics focuses on fighting injustice and pitching in to help other people.
Everyone’s In Love With You (4:23) – another slow ballad about “divine love.” The opening lyric is: “Everyone’s in love with you, but you can’t fall in love with anyone.” The track features some decent pedal steel guitar playing.
Glow Crescent Glow (3:32) – sounds of waves crash against acoustic guitar strums. Yet another slow ballad, but this one has some congas…a child sings the final lyric, “Love like in fairytales.”
And so on.
And of course there is a retread of the immortal Brian’s Back, dredged from the same emotional pool as Pisces Brothers.
And here the experiment failed. I cannot listen to these albums on repeat, because, despite gaining a familiarity through overexposure, if there’s anything to ‘get’, you get it the first time around. There are few hooks, and reason why three quarters of this body of work remains unreleased is that, as pop music of any stripe, it is ultimately unmemorable, and thus unsaleable. And where it it isn’t unmemorable, the sentiments expressed are so superficial as to cast doubt on the sincerity of purpose of any of these recordings.
(And apologies to my reader if this lack of objectivity disappointed. We tried; we failed)
So, any interim questions raised here, before moving away from a study of the music, and onto the aesthetic that informs it?
Well, firstly: if Mike Love’s music is so obviously bereft of worth, so creatively redundant, how has he maintained his position as the leader of ‘America’s Band’?
Mike Love’s solo recordings were presumably made during breaks in The Beach Boys otherwise Endless touring schedule. There must be an underlying reason why he took the time out to make these albums (rather than meditate or just rest), which may not be apparent from listening to them.
And unlike Y. Bhekhirst, Mr. Love is available for interview (even if certain criteria need to be fulfilled in advance). Music journalists might ask some rather probing questions; they might even have done research in advance, or even favour the more Mike Love-light/Brian Wilson-heavy Beach Boys records. Mike’s own suspicion of music journalists can make him reticent and guarded; but, away from the world of fandom and pop hacks, maybe he has been more open…
Even in the mid-70s, an audience with him could be brief: Kingsley Abbott’s Back To The Beach reprints a John Tobler piece from UK rock mag Zig Zag in ’76, 14 Mins With A Beach Boy, a lively discussion cut short by Mike’s minder Warren Duffy:
WD: Gentlemen I’m afraid I have to interrupt
To Mike’s credit he offers to fill some cassettes with responses to ‘a million other trivial questions‘ from Tobler (his own words), including ‘the Van Dyke Parks question‘, but it is not known if this happened. I’ll come back to this Q&A later.
Did you know that there is a David Lynch Foundation (For Consciousness-Based Education and World Peace), set up by the film director to further the work of His Holiness The Maharishi and his teachings in Transcendental Meditation? Did you know that Lynch was even a practitioner of TM? TLF does good work for ‘“at-risk populations” including veterans with PTSD, inner city students, American Indians, homeless and incarcerated men‘.
Lynch’s book Catching The Big Fish: Meditation, Consciousness, and Creativity attempts to explain how TM has also aided his creative work:
Ideas are like fish.
If you want to catch little fish, you can stay in the shallow water. But if you want to catch the big fish, you’ve got to go deeper.
Down deep, the fish are more powerful and more pure. They’re huge and abstract. And they’re very beautiful.
I look for a certain kind of fish that is important to me, one that can translate to cinema. But there are all kinds of fish swimming down there. There are fish for business, fish for sports. There are fish for everything.
Everything, anything that is a thing, comes up from the deepest level. Modern physics calls that level the Unified Field. The more your consciousness-your awareness-is expanded, the deeper you go toward this source, and the bigger the fish you can catch.
It’s a really odd little book. And I do like his ‘little fish/big fish‘ analogy. But if you’re familiar with Lynch’s work, even if his explications seem superficial, his work isn’t. His films go very deep indeed. Too deep for some people (I knew a girl once that told me that Fire Walk With Me was her life on the screen, which even doesn’t bear thinking about). Some people find the book itself too shallow.
But that’s fine – Lynch’s work speaks far better than his writing about his work does; and if Transcendental Meditation is what has facilitated the work (since Eraserhead‘s production in the mid-70s), isn’t the work more important than its inspiration?
So what has this to do with Mike Love?
Well firstly, as another famous Transcendental Meditator (if not the most well-known), even if his work has no artistic merit (as observed above), shouldn’t what he says about his inspiration, um, inspire?
And secondly, like Lynch, Mike has his own ‘Love Foundation’, ‘which supports national environmental and educational initiatives‘. A Google search for “mike+love”+”love+foundation” doesn’t take you directly to their website however. While there is a Love Foundation here, ‘a nonprofit organization with the mission of inspiring people to love unconditionally‘, following the link to ‘our founder’s site‘ has nothing whatsoever to do with Mike Love. ‘Our founder’ is some other guy entirely (who, admirably, wants everyone to love each, unconditionally).
Where Google does take us however, is right back to beachboys.com, and the song of that title on Unleash The Love/Mike Love Not War. Bizarre. Where is The Love Foundation’s online presence? Where is The Love?
The first page of the same Google search does yield some extra information. First there is Mike’s Facebook page (better I don’t link to it). Be his friend:
He likes Dennis; conspicuously, he doesn’t like Brian. John Stamos is his second favourite.
He likes The Beatles best.
But most revealing are two interviews, years apart, and seemingly with two different Mike Loves. One is extremely bitter (edited from Goldmine Magazine, Sept. 1992), the other almost beatific (Healthy Wealthy ‘n’ Wise, Feb. 2006). The former is a music magazine, but the latter is an ‘inspirational’ publication.
This interview took place just prior to the lawsuit Mike pursued against Brian Wilson, immediately after Brian won back unpaid royalties of $10 million, due to him after the entire Beach Boys’ publishing catalogue was sold by Brian’s father outright in 1968 (for $700,000). This is one of Mike’s most successful lawsuits (there have been a few), where his unacknowledged co-authorship of many Beach Boys classics was rewarded with $5 million of the settlement Brian received, plus claims on any future sales.
GM: What are some of the songs you co-wrote but didn’t receive credit for?
ML: Okay, “Little Saint Nick.” Brian Wilson is credited with writing 100 percent of that. Well, guess who wrote the words? Mike Love, that’s who wrote the words. “Don’t Back Down.” It’s very well known that Brian Wilson did not surf. I wrote “Catch A Wave” and “Don’t Back Down.” He’s credited 100 percent. He didn’t give me any credit.
GM: How did that happen?
ML: Because he didn’t put my name down. Murry Wilson was the publisher of Sea of Tunes and and put in for this stuff. The same thing with “The Man With All The Toys,” “Santa’s Beard,” “Merry Christmas Baby.” There’s “Good To My Baby.” Brian Wilson is listed as writing it completely, guess who wrote the words? Doctor Love, that’s who. “When I Grow Up (To Be A Man).” I participated in that and didn’t get a stitch of recognition. “Help Me Rhonda,” I wrote, “Since you put me down I’ve been out doing in my head.” That’s my fucking line, thank you very much. Things like “Dance Dance Dance,” I asked Carl if he wrote any lyrics for the song and he said no. He just came up with the guitar line.
I wrote a lot of words to that and wasn’t credited. Like I said, “Help Me Rhonda.” It would have been nice if I was credited with “Catch A Wave.” “South Bay Surfer.” I wrote the words to “Hawaii.” “Be True To Your School.” The line [recites lyrics], “When some loud braggart tries to put you down and says his school is great, I tell him right away what’s the matter buddy ain’t you heard of my school it’s number one in the state.”
“I Get Around,” he put in for 100 percent of it. I came up, Dr. Love, got witnesses, Al Jardine will testify in a court of law. I came up with “round round get around,” and if that’s not a hook I don’t know what the fuck is. That was a chickenshit move to credit himself with a hundred percent. Virtually all the songs that were chart records I had a hand in writing some if not all of the lyrics.
GM: How about “All Summer Long”?
ML: Yeah, I wrote, “Remember when you spilled Coke all over your blouse.” I wrote that with him. To the best of my recollections I wrote 50 percent of of the words on that. In “I Get Around,” Brian had “I get around from town to town, I’m a real cool head, I’m making real good bread.” I wrote the verses through, and the “round round get around” part.
There’s interesting things like “409” where I came up with “She’s real fine my 409” and “giddy up, giddy up, 409,” and was not credited, but Brian Wilson did give credit to Gary Usher for his contribution. So it was weird. It was like directly against me. He wouldn’t fuck with anybody else but he screwed me over royally.
Putting aside the legitimacy of these claims (they are of course unquestionable because they have been proven in a court of law), a lot of these songs have very little currency in the 21st century: Santa’s Beard, The Man With All The Toys and Little Saint Nick would only have value once a year; others rarely appear on Beach Boys Best Ofs; the Capitol reissue campaign in the early 90s were quite big sellers – but Mike is oblivious to these:
GM: Capitol’s treatment of the Beach Boys’ catalog on CD has been fabulous. What was your impression of the slew of two-fer Beach Boys CDs?
ML: I don’t even know. I don’t know.
GM: Have you seen them?
ML: No. I don’t know. You find that amusing?
GM: Yeah, it’s hard to believe that being a Beach Boy you haven’t seen something like that.
ML: It is hard to believe. I find it hard to believe too.
GM: Why is that?
ML: Why is that? Because I’m a Pisces, is that a good answer [uproarious laughter]?
And, asked about Brian,
GM: Did you like his first solo album?
GM: You didn’t like it?
ML: Fuck no.
GM: What didn’t you like about it?
ML: First of all the lyrics. Second of all the arrangements weren’t commercial enough. Third of all it sounded like shit compared to what he could sound like.
Putting aside the merits of Brian Wilson (Sire, 1988) for a moment, as well as its demerits (Dr. Eugene Landy’s co-credit for everything – all eradicated when the album was reissued by Rhino Records in 2000) – there is a strange lack of compassion, or empathy, for his cousin’s return to creating music. Mike appears to be as critically unforgiving of Melt Away and Rio Grande as he was with Surf’s Up, decades earlier.
There is a lot said in this interview – Mike’s guard appears to be down. And, for all the bitterness, the man is no fool. If he were, it’s unlikely he would have won those lawsuits.
Spirituality comes up in conversation:
GM: Do you meditate every day?
ML: Yeah. I have since December 1967. I do it in the morning before you start your day’s activities and in late afternoon or early evening. There’s a distinctively different level of consciousness that is waking, dreaming and sleeping. And then there’s a fourth level of consciousness unlike the others, metabolically. Your metabolism goes to a level of rest twice as deep as sleep. And you think about how profound that rest would be being twice as deep as sleep; it’s very restful.
and later in the interview
GM: For the uninitiated what are the benefits of Transcendental Meditation?
ML: If you learn TM and you’re over 40 and you practice TM regularly, you have 90 percent less health care utilization when it comes to heart disease. The quality of thoughts and the quality of our mind influences our physical well-being so dramatically that the little bit of investment of a few minutes in the morning and the evening to meditate can clear the stress out. Stress weakens the organism which leads to disease, deterioration and ultimately death. You can reverse the aging process and all kind of negative things by regular practice of TM…
Putting aside the fact that some of the methods he has used to ‘reverse the aging process’ appear, at least on the surface, to be rather less transcendental than he describes here (if this recent videograb is anything to go by)
his application of TM seems a little, um, self-serving maybe? I understand enough about spiritual disciplines to know that one’s own personal struggle is personal – but, with the influence that The Beach Boys have with their music, surely there is something more important than just success? And commercial success at that? And, to borrow David Lynch’s creative analogy: has Mike been using TM to catch any fish, big or small? His extant body of work, with or without The Beach Boys, suggests not. However,
ML: …in the practice of the TM city programs there’s sutras, where you develop the ability to levitate.
GM: Have you ever levitated?
ML: Yeah, I practiced doing this as part of my TM city programs.
GM: And it’s worked?
ML: Yeah, well, I mean we’re fledging hoppers. But the idea is with perfection of the mind and the body you can actually defy gravity. So it actually showed up in the song “Kokomo.” A hundred years from now people will be defying gravity as a normal course.
See, there’s a thing called survival of the fittest where evolution marches forward and people who are ignorant and violate the laws of nature, then their societies pass out of existence. People who are more in tune and in harmony with nature are gonna be those who survive. I want people who survive one hundred years from now to realize we were relevant now.
Who needs to catch fish when you can float above the ground?
Forward to 2006, and Healthy, Wealthy ‘n’ Wise.
This interview seems only intermittently accessible, as the Healthy Wealthy n Wise (hereafter HWnW) site regularly suffers from downtime and server errors – I saved the interview itself the one time I could get it to load, but it’s now down again. You can read the Google cached version here.
Goldmine is a magazine most Beach Boys fans are fairly familiar with; HWnW‘s ‘About Us’ would have helped contextualise its aims, because it’s probably not a resource that Beach Boys fans would generally use. I thought I had gleaned (between each ‘500 – Internal server error’) that this inspirational and informational online journal was set up by a Dr. Wayne Dyer, who is a guest on an Ellen clip on youtube, and that Ellen herself reads him and listens to him every day (and gives every audience member a copy his book, to their audible delight).
Dr. Dyer spends most of this Ellen interview dismissing the worth of the ego, and ultimately concurring with what the lyrics of Hang On To Your Ego said in 1966 (“you’re gonna lose the fight”, or rather, you should wanna lost the fight), and as was rejected by Mike Love at the time.
I’ve since discovered that this guru guy is just another motivational speaker, spouting West Coast psycho-cosmic fluff, who had personal testimony posted on HWnW. I therefore watched 10 minutes of Ellen for no reason. However, what was said is your standard stuff: do not attach too much value to The Self.
Hang On To Your Ego comes up in the Goldmine interview:
GM: With the numerous Beach Boys books that have been published, have you thought about writing your own?
ML: I don’t think my ego is that strong in that kind of department. I mean, I have a strong ego in terms of competition and creativity and I’m proud of the contribution I made.
GM: That brings up the song “Hang On To Your Ego,” which was going to be on Pet Sounds.
That used to be “Hang On To Your Ego” and then it became “I Know There’s An Answer.” I changed the lyrics because I thought it was too acid for me. That was those guys doing acid, Van Dyke Parks, and Brian and Tony Asher.
So, putting aside this small inconsistency, Mike’s own spirituality and creativity gets substantial support from the HWnW interviewer:
HWnW: Our guest is a living legend and a founding member of the band which has been called “An American Musical Institution.” The Beach Boys’ Mike Love has made music history as lead singer and co-author of many of the band’s top hits. The Beach Boys’ exquisite harmonies and unique sound have led writers to call them “America’s first, best rock band.”
Recognizing their incredible achievements, Mike, along with the other Beach Boys, were inducted into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame in 1988. Mike wrote the band’s first hit Surfin’ and along with his cousin, Brian Wilson, co-authored 11 of The Beach Boys’ top 10 hits during a five-year period, and also co-authored their number-one hit Kokomo in 1988. I want to break into song, but I won’t.
It was Mike’s idea for the band to do a free concert during Independence Day in 1980. After its initial controversy, this concert became an annual tradition. On July 4, 1985, The Beach Boys performed before a million people in Philadelphia, then flew to Washington, D.C., where they performed before 750,000—a feat recorded in the Guinness Book of World Records.
Mike has been a major supporter of environmental causes for many years, and was among speakers at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, and Earth Day 2000 on the Mall in Washington, D.C. He is the founder of The Love Foundation, which supports national, environmental and educational initiatives.
Mike has also studied personally with His Holiness, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, and has practiced Maharishi’s ” Transcendental Meditation Technique™ ” for more than 35 years.
Putting aside the fact that this biog seems sourced from the same pool of partial history as another “mike+love”+”love+foundation” search hit, entitled Mike Love propaganda on the Capitol Records site, (a “revisionalist-history” piece [which] ran from 11-18-02 to 11-21-02 [three days] when it was mysteriously removed from the Capitol Records site”) – or that TM (or more specifically Transcendental Meditation Technique) here is a ™ (like The Beach Boys brand),
HWnW: Mike, we are so honored to have you with us. Thank you for being here.
Mike, as you know, our focus in these interviews is on passion. Would you share how your passions, the things which are important to you, that mean the most to you in your life, have given rise to the saga of your life with The Beach Boys?
The first few responses are the usual stuff: family, music, harmony, “our reality in Southern California” and its inspiration upon the music of The Beach Boys, followed by comments about the band’s now-ubiquitous “stock in trade…from South Africa and Australia to Norway and Japan, all over the place”. I’ve reformatted the following responses slightly to highlight titles and lyrics.
HWnW: You are the “Love man,” so what are some thoughts about romance, love, passion and fulfillment—some things that can inspire our readers in the month of love?
ML: There are all different types of love. I wrote a song in 1975 called Everyone’s In Love with You, and it was a song observing people around Maharishi who really admired and loved him. But the song could fit for Mother Teresa, Jesus or anybody who devotes their life to others out of love—whether it’s a cause or humanity.
There’s another song on there [Glow Crescent Glow] that has to do with love, but it’s about having a spiritual connection with somebody. It goes:
glow crescent glow
on that moon ship i want to go
billowing clouds like swollen sails
take me where there’s love
like in fairy tales
if earthly love is to ever last
I know that i must find
one to share reflections
of a love that is divine
i know until i find her
i will seek her everywhere
and Venus, it’s to you
i sing my prayer
glow crescent glow
on that moon ship i want to go
billowing clouds like swollen sails
take me where there’s love
like in fairy tales
HWnW: That’s beautiful.
Isn’t it just?
Mike explicates further:
ML: My new CD [Unleash The Love] has a lot of philosophy on there, meaning philosophical point of view, not overbearingly I hope, but just little hints…That is going to come out on that CD that Hallmark is coming out with. They’re planning a huge campaign and they’re going to have it out in the stores apparently for Father’s Day, so I’m hoping that concurrent with that, I can get my CD out as well.
HWnW: You actually could say you’re a modern bard in that way; using your songs to communicate knowledge. It seems like that is one of your passions, isn’t it?
ML: Absolutely. I’ve always been fond of literature, for instance. I once wrote a poem that takes 12 minutes to read—it’s in iambic heptameter—and it’s quite a fantastic poem. In fact, I’m going to make part of it into a song. I used to do really well in school—not well in math and sciences—but extremely well in literature, history and languages.
Whatever hemisphere of the brain that’s coming from, that part of my brain was developed. It was more fun for me. I really got into the language and literature—literally old English literature. Language and words were my passion, and understanding the origin of those words, how Latin influenced so many languages, how Greek played a part in it and how Sanskrit plays a part in all of it.
I’m fascinated by all of that and my passion was always poetry and literature. There are little poems that we made up…It’s not rocket science, but it’s fun and it relates to a lot of people.
and Mike then uses Fun Fun Fun as an example of one of these inspirational “little poems”.
And then, kind of unprompted, a familiar plaint to Smileheads appears:
ML: That’s another thing. I’ve always felt like if you’re going to be esoteric, that’s okay if you’re introducing some concept, but let’s have it connect with people intellectually, emotionally or both, hopefully. Let’s not make it just for the time period that we’re dealing in now; let’s make it be more universal.
The interviewer explains to Mike that “your music touched deep chords in people. That’s one of the reasons why it was so popular“, and
this is why I say you’re a study in contrasts. Many people may not be so familiar with the spiritual aspect of your background. You have talked about it a few times. I know you and The Beach Boys met Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in the late ‘60s.
ML: In December of ’67, we were initiated in Paris—most of us.
[Brian Wilson had obviously not accompanied The Beach Boys on that tour of Europe, which eventually took them to their collective initiation in Paris. Keith Badman’s Definitive Diary has almost no information about what Brian Wilson was doing at home in Los Angeles while these momentous events took place. Maybe he was ‘deep in thought, dreaming up one of his groovy songs’ (to paraphrase the photo caption from page 1 of Look! Listen! Vibrate! Smile!). Maybe he was doing further solo work on Can’t Wait Too Long, or Cool Cool Water, or some other since-lost piece…who knows?]
HWnW: What drew you to this spiritual master, and why are you so passionate about meditation?
ML: First of all, I used to read philosophy, history and literature, but a lot of poetry is quite spiritual. Philosophy, where there’s Zoroastrianism or Hindu or Buddhist philosophy, Christianity, Judaism—all those “isms” and philosophies—I was very fascinated by and read them.
You glean information from where it comes and it’s wonderful stuff. I felt badly that, even though there are these various saints and great traditions that expounded these great, virtuous things, humanity couldn’t live in harmony together. The history of humanity is the history of war.
So when Maharishi talked about “for the forest to be green, every tree must be green,” and talked about how there is a way in which the world could evolve, do better and become more prosperous and more peaceful and happier and healthier—all those things have a tremendous amount of appeal.
When I first learned him, the very first lesson where we were initiated and taught the technique—we were in Paris in December of 1967, doing a UNICEF show. We were there along with Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, Victor Borge, the Turkish Ballet and the Russian Red Army Choir.
It was Paris, so there were a lot of French entertainers and a huge orchestra. A curtain opened up and there was George Harrison on one side of Maharishi and John Lennon—they were both there because Maharishi was lecturing in Paris at the time, so we were invited to meet with Maharishi and he offered to teach us TM, which we did.
That very first meditation, I remember being more relaxed than I ever could remember being, and there are reasons for that. I was also thinking, “Hey, if this is so relaxing and if everybody could do it, then the world would be entirely changed,” and I still believe that.
That’s my direct experience, and my first thought was, “This is so simple to do that anyone can do it, and if everyone did it, the world would be a completely different place.” Starting with that initial response to learning the technique, two months later, I was in India at the invitation of Maharishi.
I was there with The Beatles and that was a lot of fun. I talked to Paul McCartney quite a bit. We lived in the same little block of rooms in this little compound there, and we had some very interesting talks. George Harrison and I both had our birthdays that year—he in late February, me in mid March.
I wrote a song that’s reminiscent of that time. It’s called Pisces Brothers because we’re both Pisces. It’s a beautiful song about the sweetness of being in that environment at that time.
The Pisces Brothers
HWnW: In another area of your life, you have been passionate about the environment. You have been a big supporter of environmental causes over the years. What has made the environment such an important issue to you?
Mike doesn’t mention The Love Foundation (either the institute or the song of the same name), but does talk about the band’s involvement with the Surfrider Foundation, who are, in 2012, currently campaigning to Urge the Obama Administration and the EPA to Restore Money for Beach Monitoring and Strengthen Water Quality Standards – understandable, in the light of the Gulf Oil Spill in April 2010, and the Fukushima earthquake/tsunami/nuclear meltdown in March 2011. Obviously neither of these cataclysmic events had yet taken place at the time of this interview, so Mike continues:
We’re members of that and have raised some money for them from time to time. We have done a few songs, like Summer in Paradise,
way back when
our master plan
was having fun fun fun
as america’s band
came out rocking
with rhonda and barbara ann
singin’ of surf and sand
That song, Summer in Paradise, deals with things like deforestation and the ravaging of the earth by the commercial interests that are out there. I think things like organic agriculture and Ayurvedic, healthful things… I’m a big fan of Ayurvedic medicines or health regimens, particularly Maharishi Ayurved.
That’s how I came to know about that, and this is from ancient Indian times. The doctors from India have this knowledge of herbs and various treatments that are so helpful and so incredibly great, and have nothing to do with animal testing, nothing to do with pharmaceuticals and everything, and everything to do with strengthening the immune system, making the person healthy at whatever age, sex ,and level of life.
Its’ brilliant and so comprehensive. That’s all from the environment, all in harmony with the environment when you’re growing things organically. You’re not spraying things, you’re not irradiating things, you’re not poisoning yourselves through the food you’re eating, like in so many places in the world these days.
So I’m very much in favor of promoting any alternative to anything to do with the type of agriculture that leads people right down the road to cancer, heart disease and diabetes, or whatever it may be. My hope is that these types of things get more promoted and I’m happy to help promote them to the degree that I can.
HWnW: Mike, what single idea would you like to leave us with?
ML: I have a song on my CD called Unleash The Love.
unleash the love
and do it with dedication
unleash the love
and set it free
unleash the love
and spread it through every nation
for the greatest power on earth
lies in the heart of you and me
ML: So I think “unleash the love” is a good thought.
Healthy Wealthy n Wise says at the end of the piece that ‘This cover story is an abridged version of the full 1-hour-plus interview with Mike Love conducted in front of a live Tele-Audience’, but the full interview is for subscribers only – don’t rush to sign up however because, as I said, their hosting server seems pretty unreliable.
This HWnW promotional interview for Unleash The Love will probably remain available (server allowing), but the album itself still has no official release date. We can hear it (we have heard it), but its Hallmark Fathers Day tie-in campaign has yet to come to fruition.
And Unleash The Love is probably currently less of a priority, despite its inspirational message, because 2012 has this Beach Boys 50 Year Anniversary Celebration of Endless Summer And Harmony, which has yet to fully unfold. First stirrings are discussed here and here. Maybe one or two of Unleash The Love‘s more inspirational songs will appear on 2012’s forthcoming Celebration album. No, not the band Celebration, the Beach Boys album called Celebration. Keep up!
A few comments on all of the above, if it all doesn’t already speak for itself.
Putting aside all of the inconsistencies temporarily excused in both interviews, there still seems to be a few major disconnects: between art, spirituality, transcendence, creativity and the need for ‘success’. If TM™ is Mike Love’s engine, its ‘success’ should presumably aspire to more than either ‘defying gravity’, or selling pop records and concert tickets. True, he is ‘passionate about the environment‘ – but is he really in tune with the infinite?
The John Tobler 14 Mins With A Beach Boy Zigzag piece mentioned above, and conducted while Mike was ‘recently in London’ features a pretty sprightly Mike Love (it’s 1976, he was still a youngish man then) – frisky almost:
ML: (pre-empting Tobler) OK what is your first question? My first question is where are all those beautiful Oriental girls who walk around the streets here?
ZZ: What is this thing that Americans have about Chinese people?
ML: I don’t know about other Americans but I love Oriental girls
ZZ: You’re not the only one. Ray Manzarek is married to one I believe.
ML: Is he really? Dirty dog! That’s it – if I marry one that’ll probably break the fixation.
ZZ: I would imagine so…
In the HWnW interview he refers to the ‘boy/girl attraction’ theme he used in 1966 to bring Good Vibrations back down to earth, making its message clearer for an otherwise bamboozled audience:
ML: So yes, there’s male/female, boy/girl attraction, there’s romance and everything, but for it to ever last, meaning be everlasting, you have to find that spiritual connection with that other person. It can’t just be the mundane, it can’t be just the physical, although those are delightful and all that. So there is a different kind of love.
That ‘mundane…physical’ love mattered in ’76, despite having TM and its higher purpose in his life; marrying an Oriental girl ‘to break the fixation’ does not suggest ‘a different kind of love’. And at the Beach Boys 25th Anniversary Beach Party, there is an undercurrent of predatory lust that Mike feels is intrinsic to The Beach Boys:
Mike: Well, it’s been 25 years have been singing about the California Dream, and for us that dream has always included one MAIN ingredient:
(more softly) girls…so we want to dedicate this song to the Californian spirit
and girls everywhere.
But on Waikiki, Patrick Duffy is as guilty, the dirty dog.
‘The Love Man’ has been married many times, but doesn’t seem to have found ‘that spiritual connection with that other person‘ yet, despite a series of ‘soul mates’. In Nick Kent’s Last Beach Movie articles from’75, Derek Taylor is asked about touring with The Beach Boys in the mid-60s:
Mike Love by then was tough as hell and was taking care of things. A worldly fellow, Mike. Marriages and all that. There was no God in his life then, I can tell you that!
Does the 2006 HWnW interview intimate that Mike might at last be reaching his spiritual goal? And if so, what is this goal? Putting aside the urge to levitate, his spirituality only informs his art via platitudinous and mawkish representations of some Hallmark version of ‘enlightenment’:
glow, crescent glow
on that moon ship I want to go
billowing clouds like swollen sails
take me where there’s love
like in fairy tales
Maybe Mike has always been disappointed by Earthly Love.
His interviewer thinks the words above, and what they mean, are ‘beautiful’. In no artistic universe are they anything but doggerel (and the track itself, consistent with his other solo recordings, ‘sounds like shit‘ – to use his own terminology); that Hallmark were being considered as a distributor for his music shows only that its author knows his audience. I think it unlikely that coded spiritual messages hidden in musical greeting cards are going to raise any listener’s consciousness.
He tells HWnW
I’ve always been fond of literature…I used to do really well in school—not well in math and sciences—but extremely well in literature, history and languages… I really got into the language and literature—literally old English literature. Language and words were my passion, and understanding the origin of those words, how Latin influenced so many languages, how Greek played a part in it and how Sanskrit plays a part in all of it. I’m fascinated by all of that and my passion was always poetry and literature.
But if, as he says,
I used to read philosophy, history and literature, but a lot of poetry is quite spiritual. Philosophy, where there’s Zoroastrianism or Hindu or Buddhist philosophy, Christianity, Judaism—all those “isms” and philosophies—I was very fascinated by and read them
why does the 1976 Mike, when asked about some Beach Boys detail by John Tobler, respond
ML: Where did you hear that?
ZZ: In Rock Marketplace
ML: In that case it couldn’t be wrong. That and Roget’s Thesaurus…I must say I’ve never read Rock Marketplace …I don’t read a lot of rock press. I read very little. (emphasis is mine)
In which period of his long life (he is 71 this year) did he ‘read philosophy, history and literature‘?
Mike, with a book from his extensive library
So. Finally. A few questions:
Is the art, The Music Of Love, all a fraud? If there is no artistry that informs any of it, and certainly little craft (this is music led by a man who doesn’t even play an instrument), why persist in producing music? The Beach Boys, as directed by Mike Love, have made records that have no worth, on any level; even Beach Boys fans concur with this conclusion (see this Beginners’ Guide to The Beach Boys for some sound opinion about their lesser works).
And are the beliefs that inform it likewise fraudulent? TM still has its practitioners, and the work of The Lynch Foundation aims to use meditative practices to help people, in the same way that Lynch, as an artist, uses it to ‘catch the big fish’. What does Mike use TM for? Is it actually just a form of cosmic anger management, which only occasionally works?
Example: HWnW, in introducing Mike to its readers, mentions one moment of Beach Boys glory:
Recognizing their incredible achievements, Mike, along with the other Beach Boys, were inducted into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame in 1988
This event is of course now legendary – Mike seems angry with everyone in attendance. And even before his tirade, as Brian Wilson reads from a prepared text (and is touched strangely on the neck by Mike as he reads – video here), Mike interrupts Brian at 01:40, seemingly to adjust Brian’s microphone, which has been functioning fine up to that point.
Brian eventually regains his composure, finishes his speech, and thanks the Hall Of Fame. Carl makes a speech on behalf of Dennis. And then Mike starts his own speech at 03:50.
Mike Love: …the reason why people like The Beach Boys is because we LOVE HARMONY..and we love all people too…
and then goes on to berate his music contemporaries as ‘chickenshit’. Mike himself is without fear:
Mike Love: (angrily) do it for WORLD PEACE and LOVE and HARMONY! YEAH!
And, for all the talk of spiritual love, why pursue so many earthbound vendettas against his former friends, bandmates, and, in Brian’s case, family – and with such bitter public vituperation? Does TM acknowledge ‘turning the other cheek’ and ‘doing unto others’? I’m sure it must, in some form or another – but maybe that part isn’t applicable to Mike Love’s own personal goal.
If, however, the spiritually-centred being that is interviewed by Healthy Wealthy n Wise is a new, more enlightened ‘Dr. Love’ – why not, in 2011 and 2012, finally embrace Brian’s greatest work, as documented on the 2011 Smile Sessions – rather than offer a snotty little sleevenote that only reiterates a four-decade dislike of its co-creator’s ‘acid illiteration’?
Genius? Forget it. Talent? Beside the point. In reality, is his entire public persona a campaign, with a structure and a marketing strategy, and as well thought out as a government coup? It certainly has nothing to do with Art.
Brian Wilson has lost so much over the past 50 years – Smile is probably the least of it. What does Mike hope to gain in reforming A Beach Boys for 2012, and so soon after the significantly-more momentous release of The Smile Sessions in 2011? It’s as if each of Mike Love’s attacks upon the other Beach Boys (some stuff about another ‘ridiculous lawsuit’ is here) are battles, with territory gained. Now that Brian is back™ with The Beach Boys™, was this the result of another battle? Has Mike Love finally won the war?
One key to transcendental meditation is the personal mantra.
A mantra, which is a short, simple power-phrase to invoke your Higher Self, can be in your own language or in Sanskrit, Latin, or even a musical phrase
(says a random search hit).
The mantra is
repeated silently in the breast in much the same way as the prayer of the heart of the Russian Orthodox monks. It is a condition of the initiation one undertakes not to reveal the mantra.
(from A Spiritual Psychology by J.G. Bennett, p.32, 1964)
Mike has never revealed his mantra, as given to him by His Holiness Maharishi in 1967.
Brian Wilson, along with the rest of The Beach Boys, also practiced TM, at least for a while.
If, hypothetically, you could choose your own mantra, what do you suppose Brian Wilson would pick?
(all Mike pics sourced from Top 22 Pictures of Mike Love Looking Like a Douche unless stated otherwise)