Mike Love autobio

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by ajsmith, Dec 27, 2016.

  1. ajsmith

    ajsmith Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Glasgow
    I've been trying to look for a thread on shtv about Mike Love's autobio from this year - I'm sure there was one, but it no longer seems to be accessible. Assuming it was closed down because the very mention of the man's name usually summons a toxic battleground between BB enthusiast factions. A shame if so.

    I'm halfway through reading it (at 1968 just now) and am enjoying it's perspective on the BBs story. So far he's imo largely very fair about the rest of the band; only his care to emphasise exactly what he wrote on each song veers towards self parody, but it's obvious this is a very sensitive subject for him.

    Anyway don't want to get bogged down in that stuff: what's really been interesting about the book is the aspects of the BBs story and Love's own life that have been brushed over in passing or described from other perspectives in 45 plus years of retellings. For instance, Mike's desription of the Indian retreat in 1968 was very interesting as this is always told from the Beatles perspective. Mike's presence is often referred to in passing, but when you see it from his pov and realise he made the journey solo, without the other Beach Boys or even his family, you see what an important personal quest it was for him, and one he got a more positive and lasting experience from than the Beatles did.
     
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  2. PretzelLogic

    PretzelLogic Forum Resident

    Location:
    London, England
    It's very good, and certainly has made me re-evaluate any negative opinion I had about the man (which was very little) and really appreciate his contribution to an incredible legacy. Sure, he's flawed, but so is everyone.
     
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  3. Chemguy

    Chemguy Forum Resident

    Just finished reading this one last week and I am a quarter of the way through Brian Wilson's latest autobiography. I highly recommend reading both back to back; Mike Love does a great job of filling in the gaps that Brian glosses over.

    I didn't think I would like Mike Love's autobiography as much as I did. It was informative and I believe quite honest.
     
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  4. ajsmith

    ajsmith Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Glasgow
    Just finished it, a good read: people who want to believe in the ******* Mike of legend won't recognise the fair and generous account of the bands history given here.
     
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  5. sixtiesstereo

    sixtiesstereo Forum Resident

    Location:
    Wisconsin
    I agree, I'm about a third of the way through (Pet Sounds) and it's a great read. I've got many
    bios on the group, but it's great to read Mike's views and get a new first hand account
    of the group's history. Plus, I like that he gave several pages to the writing and recording of "Warmth Of The Sun", my favorite group recording.
     
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  6. alchemy

    alchemy Forum Resident

    Location:
    Sterling, VA
    There is another thread here on the book, but I couldn't find it either, about a month ago.

    Nice read, of course it's Mike's take on the Beach Boys.

    Interesting when he contrasts The Beach Boys and how they dressed compared to the Beatles. I sort of got the feeling like once they Beach Boys got there stage act together they never really tweaked it. Sort of the old stage adage if it works, why change it.
    Which when the hippy age hit they seemed out of it, and not really with the changing times. Look at the arc if the Beatles and Stones. Dylan even retreated in to Woodstock image.

    Seems like when Murray Wilson has de-throne as manager they really had a strong hand on the tiller.

    I already knew Murray was a piece of work, but what a sad F%*k he was to his sons. You read all the time how Bands goy screwed in the 1960's, but to have your Dad, Uncle do it ...is just sick.
     
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  7. Bill

    Bill Forum Resident

    Location:
    Eastern Shore
    Interesting that, in his book that cries from every page that his integral involvement in the creation of the Beach Boys' classic recordings has been cruelly overlooked for over 50 years, Mike Love reveals, at page 116, that he thinks that Leon Russell and Russell Bridges are two separate people. I'm sure it wasn't ALL Brian, but, c'mon.
     
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  8. ajsmith

    ajsmith Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Glasgow
    I fail to see how reproducing an error in a session personnel listing for a recording session which he himself admits he wasn't there for has any bearing on the veracity of his claims to have co-written songs he was there for the writing of. So he doesn't recognise Leon Russell's birth name, so what? Does that instantly invalidate his memory of writing the Good Vibrations lyric?

    Really, if that minuscule error is the worst that can be dug up from the book, it pretty much proves that it's much fairer and better book than people were expecting.
     
  9. Bill

    Bill Forum Resident

    Location:
    Eastern Shore
    I disagree, but have no desire to get into one of those Cassius Love vs. Sonny Wilson debates. Having read both of their autobiographies, I suspect that the truth is somewhere in the middle. Happy new year!
     
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  10. 905

    905 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Southern IL
    Probably my favorite music related biography or autobiography I've read in 2016.
    Brian's was good, I got a kick out of things like when he talks about the angle for his TV. (I come from a certain angled TV family.)
     
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  11. PretzelLogic

    PretzelLogic Forum Resident

    Location:
    London, England
    I've just ploughed through to the end, and it's reinforced my positive view of the man; even if it's only 50% true (the allusion that David Anderle helped swindle Brian out of Sea Of Tunes is slightly far-fetched), Mike isn't half the villain he's been painted as, and he's easily justified some of what have been presented as greedy or malicious actions (the lawsuit for co-composition against Brian, the end of the reunion tour).

    Also, more power to him for enduring all the stuff (including death threats!) that those misguided 'real fans' of Brian throw at him. Provided he steers clear of this January gig that's being considered (which will undo a hell of a lot of goodwill, regardless of his actual political affiliation) hopefully his reputation will be reassessed.
     
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  12. RMP1967

    RMP1967 Forum Resident

    Agreed with most of the comments above. It's a good read; and Mike's book, as well as recently seeing the currently BB band live, has definitely elevated my opinion of him. As far as that January gig, I will only say that pretty much whatever Mike does, there will always be a line-up of folks waiting to slam him.

    I mean, I wouldn't want to hang out and and be buddies with him, but to be honest, I wouldn't with most of my musical heroes. His book does seems fairly balanced. If anyone is cast as the villain in this telling, it's definitely Uncle Murry.
     
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  13. head_unit

    head_unit Forum Resident

    Location:
    Los Angeles CA USA
    No, I gotta go with "Brian has a lot of mental problems and been stuffed full of drugs, so we should take anything he says or claims to remember with huge grains of salt"! Brian's autobiography was interesting to read as a kind of semi-fantasy. Mike's is interesting to read because it gives a very different view of his personality.
    Amazing he has kept with the meditation so much for so many years.
    Shocking that The Beach Boys played ONE HUNDRED SEVENTY FIVE shows in 2015. (By comparison, Iron Maiden's World Slavery Tour did 187 shows, in a similar time frame, but they were in their late 20's)
     
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  14. head_unit

    head_unit Forum Resident

    Location:
    Los Angeles CA USA
    Reading through to the end Brian seems just as complicit with some fraud as Murry.

    Most of all the book spurred me to listen to more Beach Boys-turns out there is a 1966 University of Michigan show, quite interesting. Stripped down compared to my reference, the 1973 In Concert, but still good. Then I put on the reunion tour, and decided I had made a mistake not extending more effort to get my mom to come out to the Hollywood Bowl to see that. (The first rock concert she ever went to was when I took her to see The Beach Boys for her birthday in Chicago. She attended high school near San Diego, and kept asking "Do you think they'll play "California Girls"?!?!?!" every 10 minutes. When the band walked out and hit the first chords of that very song she went nuts. I was SO happy for her (and I love the song too).
     
  15. Bill

    Bill Forum Resident

    Location:
    Eastern Shore
    Actually, I don't think you can believe either. Great music, but I'll see your Brian's a drugged out guy with mental problems and raise you with a Mike is an egotistical bully who can't compose his way out of a paper bag. I think they all deserved each other. Gotta keep those good vibrations happening with you....
     
  16. stereoguy

    stereoguy Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brooklyn
    I just finished Mike's book today. I have to say that while I was a bit "on the fence" about Mr Love while others were slamming him, reading this book has educated me and now I have a much more positive opinion. Like many other 60s songwriters, Mike was screwed out of his rightful share of royalties thanks to his uncle Murray, who (according to Mikes dad) did not have it out for Mike, for for his Dad. I fully believe that Mike wrote the words to what he says he did.
    He's entitled to his due.

    Also, there can be no argument to the fact that its been Mike who has been the most responsible for keeping The Beach Boys name alive thru that last, lets say 20 years, playing gig after gig after gig, which is not easy for a guy his age.

    The most interesting thing I got from the book is this:

    So many of the things that caused people to tag Mike with the label of "Arrogant A-Hole" were situations in which Mike was actually right, but the facts were not known to the general public.

    I'd recommend that EVERYONE here on SH read Mikes book, even if only to get a fresh perspective on the whole Beach Boys vs Mike "thing". In fact, its the folks that "hate" Mike the most that should read it!! For a few bucks on Amazon, theres no reason not to.
     
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  17. The Elephant Man

    The Elephant Man Forum Resident

    I hope he addresses some of his terrible clothing choices over the years.
     
  18. alchemy

    alchemy Forum Resident

    Location:
    Sterling, VA
    I've read the bio. Got it out of my public library.

    Mike comes out much better than I expected, but then again it is him tell his side of the story.

    What struck me was what a mom & pop family operation it was. Even after Murray was forced out.

    Early on Mike sees how "cool" The Beatles are in how they dress and even the logo on Ringo's bass drum.

    But he seemed be happy for them dressing in their matching Pendleton's.

    He does think much of the Rolling Stones early on or Mick Jagger.

    I've always knew that there were two Beach Boys: the touring and studio contingent. As lead singer of touring unit it is natural that that part of the material is most important to him. Brian off the road is on his head and that sort of music.

    I can see now why the Stones and Beatles got off the road to focus on the studio LPs.
    I wonder if the Beach Boys could have done that, what if any change in their studio output could have been.

    Mike seems very eager to claim all the credit, he felt was deserved for all the Beach Boys catalog. Good for him.
    He feels he had a oblique help in the Beatles Back In The USSR. Hum.

    Biggest take away to me seemed how the Beach Boys were shsckled with Golden Handcuffs for the band. So many interpersonal squabbles, total mismanagement. Mike seems to have constant cash flow problems.
    Too bad early on they couldn't have figured out how to go their separate ways to follow their muse.

    Their greatest strength it seems to me is the value of the live act with that wonderful early run of hits.

    Just my opinion.
     
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  19. Edwin Hawley

    Edwin Hawley Forum Resident

    Location:
    Okobojo, SD
    Mike is a jerk. Don't f*** with the formula. ;)

    Seriously though, Mike's points about SMiLE are well taken. They sang their hearts out and the proof is in the recordings. The music itself was the product of a fractured mind. Brian's drug use and bizarre behavior were the real reasons it was scrapped.

    I enjoyed learning about the publishing lawsuits as well as the reasons for the 2012 reunion falling apart. (Keep Melinda away from the microphones.) I also didn't know that David Marks lost a fortune in royalties in the 60s because he was still technically under contract.
     
  20. Bill

    Bill Forum Resident

    Location:
    Eastern Shore
    Read The Lost Beach Boy to learn all about David Marks and his time with the Wilson Circus. I love the music, but the more I learn about the individuals, the more I find them both despicable and somewhat pathetic.
     
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  21. alchemy

    alchemy Forum Resident

    Location:
    Sterling, VA
    I pretty much agree with your comments.

    In Mike Love's autobiography, I recall him mentioning that when David Marks family pulled him out or was it Murray forcing him out, because David's parents asked to many management questions (maybe someone can clarify this) that David had an option to own part of the Beach Boys that would have paid out big $$$ down the road, but they chose the quick cash.

    Sorted of reminded me about Ringo talking in the early Beatles days, that if the Beatles folded he would own a Beauty Parlor. I don't think they really had any idea at the time of how big a wave culturally and musically they were riding.
     
  22. stereoguy

    stereoguy Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brooklyn

    LOL!!! he does mention this briefly. To be fair tho, his choices of clothing did mirror the times , pretty much.
     
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  23. stereoguy

    stereoguy Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brooklyn


    Al, from my reading, I dont recall anything about David being given any ownership option at all. David was a hired hand like Al Jardine was (until 1971). In the book, its explained that Murray was upset at the guys behavior on one of their tours, and was bereating them in the car on the way to a show, when David started screaming back at Murray. This developed into David saying "I Quit" and Murray jumped on that and pushed him out. Prior to this, David's parents wanted to be part of the Beach Boys management team, and Murray was totally closed to that idea. So the fight with David gave Murray the opening to end those issues. I believe thats when Alan Jardine came back. Alan, like David, was a hired hand and didnt become a true partner until 1971, I believe.

    I also read Davids book awhile back, but I dont remember many specifics about this. Lucky for David, who by all accounts is a really nice guy, he was able to rejoin the band and participate in the 50th reunion. I'm happy for him, as he went thru some very rough times.
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2017
  24. PretzelLogic

    PretzelLogic Forum Resident

    Location:
    London, England
    I think it's that David was still a legal member of Beach Boys Inc. (and entitled to the proceeds of their earnings) or whatever it was they were until 1967, but Murry 'forgot' to tell him or his parents (or presumably the other band members), so he didn't find out until decades later. It's a sign of his magnanimity that he didn't sue, and earned his pay with them when he came back.

    Equally it's a positive sign that Mike (as is mentioned in David's autobiog) is still keeping his promise to Mr & Mrs. Marks from the early 60s that he'd look out for David.
     
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  25. dumangl

    dumangl Forum Resident

    I'm looking forward to reading Mike's book when I get it from my daughter. She asked me what I wanted for my birthday and mentioned Brian's new "autobiography". I told her I'd rather have Mike's since he can still make a coherent sentence.
     
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