Why I hate Mike Love
A few weeks ago on Jay’s message board, Matt asked me who my favorite Beach Boy is. (He claims his is John Stamos.) From there, it wasn’t hard for him to prod me into discussing my least favorite Beach Boy, Mike Love. Yesterday, I was talking to a co-worker, and wouldn’t you know it, but the subject of Mike Love came up again. I’ve touched on my dislike for Mike Love on this blog in the past, but if this is going to keep coming up, what I clearly need is a fact sheet on why I hate Mike Love to which I can simply refer people when needed. So, since I was pretty thorough on Jay’s forum, I’m reprinting my comments below to fit the bill. Now watch the litigious asshole sue me.
My favorite Beach Boy is obviously Brian because he’s the genius. Next comes Dennis because he was the coolest by far, emerged as a late-blooming significant talent in his own right, and once beat the living shit out of Charles Manson and reduced him to a blubbering mess in front of the Family. And then comes Al, because he’s basically the Ringo or the Michael Anthony — the friendly, funny-looking goof who just can’t believe his good fortune at being allowed to be in the band. Mike comes way down at the bottom after John Stamos.
There should be a Wikipedia page on Reasons People Hate Mike Love. My two primary ones are these: First, he hassled Brian so much that he had a breakdown and abandoned his masterpiece, Smile, thus leaving Mike free to take control of the Beach Boys and turn them into their own cover band, a corny travelling jukebox endlessly belching out their beach and car songs for the next 40 years. And second, when Brian finally got it together enough to release Smile as a solo album, Mike had the gall to sue him for promoting it in a way that, to quote, “shamelessly misappropriated Mike Love’s songs, likeness and the Beach Boys trademark, as well as the Smile album itself.”
Other reasons to hate Mike Love:
- He apparently beat his wife.
- He rewrote the Leiber/Stoller song “Riot in Cell Block 9″ into the song “Student Demonstration Time”, which sucks ass, yet somehow made it onto the Surf’s Up album while excellent songs by Dennis such as “4th of July” and “Fallin’ in Love” stayed in the can. (Of course, Dennis got the ultimate revenge agains his longtime foe by marrying Mike’s illegitimate daughter and giving him a grandson just to piss him off.)
- His cousin Stan, along with Rocky Pamplin, kicked down Dennis’ door and beat the shit out of him, messing up his larnyx and ruining his voice.
- He really got into transcendental meditation, and just wouldn’t stop writing shitty songs about it.
- He pushed a very obviously mentally ill and terrified Brian onstage as part of the “Brian’s Back!” campaign, and even wrote a song called “Brian’s Back” in which he pretended to like him.
- He’s an alleged racist.
- He’s a right-wing Republican, but he did give $5000 in start-up capital to Tipper Gore to start up the PMRC to censor pop music.
- He thinks no one will notice he’s bald if he just keeps wearing a hat.
- He created a TV miniseries full of revisionist history to glorify his own contributions to the band and take credit for a lot of things he never actually did. He also used it to give the impression that John Lennon wanted to jam with him, although Lennon is quoted as calling him a “jerk”.
- He sued Brian over songwriting credits he claimed he never received, which might have been due to his not actually having done the songwriting he claims to have done.
- He did do a little songwriting, which used all kinds of hip slang that didn’t age well at all and sounds retarded years later. And his onstage patter was lame and unfunny.
- He keeps suing poor Al every time he tries to tour.
- He was a real dick to lyricist Van Dyke Parks during the Smile era, and even 20 years later, took a cheap shot at him on the “Wipeout” single the Beach Boys did with the Fat Boys.
- He introduced himself to Sean O’Hagan of the High Llamas, a huge Beach Boys fan who Bruce Johnston brought in to produce an album for them, by saying, as soon as he met him at the airport, “You’re English, right? Aren’t all you English guys fags?”
- He went on a drunken, bizarre, classless rant when the band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, calling out the Beatles, Mick Jagger, Billy Joel, Bruce Springsteen, the Supremes, and possibly the MC5, for no discernible reason.
- His solo albums suck, even for Beach Boys solo albums, which mostly kind of suck to start with.
- He is responsible for “Kokomo”. And he’s proud of it.
- He just plain has one of those thin-lipped humourless-asshole-looking faces you want to punch.
- He’s still alive, while Dennis and Carl are dead.
Matt, for his part, was very satisfied with my vigorous dislike of the man, and responded to my call for a Wikipedia page on Reasons People Hate Mike Love by writing an introductory paragraph of one that I quite liked:
“Michael Edward Love (born March 15, 1941 in Los Angeles, California) is an American singer and songwriter who was one of the lead singers and lyric writers of The Beach Boys. He formed the band along with Brian Wilson, Carl Wilson, Dennis Wilson, and a school friend Al Jardine. He is an asshole.”
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