Those who need a refresher course in why Mike Love deserves every poke from every voodoo doll fashioned from an old dog toy because the resemblance is already uncanny need only know that, though they've both made and lost multiple fortunes and both live in nice houses, the mention of one's name seems to make the soul glow while the other's is rarely spoken without a sex-related verb in front of it.
And THAT is the important part. Mike Love has fought tooth and nail for shit that was coming his way anyhow. After all, he'd had a hand in writing a handful of hugely successful mega-hits ("Fun, Fun, Fun" and "California Girls") that not only stormed the charts, but provided the very soundtrack, dress code, and operator's manual for an entire generation hooked on the California Dream of sun, fun, and surf!
But when Brian Wilson was hitting his artistic stride while also moving in a decidedly psychedelic direction, Mike Love immediately stepped in to brow-beat Wilson into writing more songs about fun in the sun, but Wilson proceeded to write, record and produce the one album we Americans can hang our hats on that is every bit the equal of the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.
Yet it would take another 40 years for the album that could and should have joined those albums on the Mount Everest of Rock back then because Mike Love and only Mike Love blocked its release because he didn't agree with any change in musical direction, to which Wilson replied famously, "If you don't want to grow, you shouldn't live."
|"Will you have your picture taken with me over there by the water?"\|
I remember reading that Love was "confused" by Pet Sounds, going so far as to lead the resistance against its release. The idea of being "confused" by genius...or discovery. If Mike Love had been there when fire was discovered, he'd have surely led the resistance against that, too.
Those not convinced need only watch the above clip of Mike Love's acceptance speech at their Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction presentation. Love's speech starts at the 3:50 mark.
For those who just simply refuse to click because, admittedly, he is tough to watch...here are some highlights:
He begins by explaining what makes the Beach Boys special: "harmony". That's right, the one guy who has taken it upon himself to create endless rifts between the creative genius behind the band and the rest of the band, dividing brother against brother, has the stone cold audacity to say it's all about "harmony".
|"Sweet, can't wait to throw this up on my Facebook page."|
"We did about 180 performances last year, I'd like to see the Mop Tops match that" he retorts dismissively. Bonus points to the camera man who found Julian Lennon in the crowd and caught his reaction at the 5:50 mark.
He's not done.
"I'd like to see Mick Jagger get out on the stage and do 'I Get Around' vs. 'Jumpin' Jack Flash' any day now."
Love then explains that that's not why he's here tonight. "Forget this room, the United States is 6% of the population of the world that's why I cam here tonight with Muhammad Ali."
By now, your probably starting to note a few similarities between Mr. Love (and harmony) and a certain GOP Orange Julius Dispenser of verbal gibberish.
He ends by challenging Bruce Springsteen and Nilly Joel to get up onstage with them and professes that Mick Jagger has always been, and I quote, "chicken shit to get onstage with the Beach Boys."