I still hate Mike Love


Today is the fifth anniversary of what is easily my most read post, “Why I Hate Mike Love”. Not only does this post continue to draw traffic, but it’s actually been viewed more times so far in July 2011 than in any other month. The daily average number of views this month is 150% of that for the past four months, which were previously this post’s busiest months. The post is more popular than ever.

I have no real clue as why this is the case. At the moment, WordPress doesn’t show any new incoming links to this blog, let alone to any particular post. As far as I can tell, people get here purely as a result of Google searches such as (to pick examples from the last seven days) “mike love jerk“, “mike love prick“, “mike love is a douchebag“, “mike love is an asshole“, “mike love bald“, “screw mike love“, “fuck mike love“, “mike love sucks“, “mike love hate“, “does anyone like mike love“, “why does everyone hate mike love” and “is mike love a republican“.

Why is Mike on so many minds recently? Is it that the Beach Boys’ version of Smile is set to come out this year and new stories are being written about Mike’s role in scuttling the original project? Or is it simply that Mike’s out on the road again with his traveling jukebox show, playing county fairs and pretending to be the real, authentic Beach Boys, thus opening the eyes of a fresh cohort of youngsters to his loathsomeness? Is it the case that summer means new hate?

I want to be clear: There are good things to say about Mike Love’s legacy with the Beach Boys. Without him, you might never have even heard of them at all. He’s written and performed some songs I like, even without Brian Wilson’s help. He’s not even the biggest jerk ever to contribute to a Beach Boys song; he’s probably in third place, behind Murry Wilson and Charles Manson, in whatever order you want to put them in.

Mike Love is seventy years old, and he’s not going to be around forever. When he’s gone, I won’t be glad. In fact, I’ll mourn his loss. But at the same time, screw that jerk.

24 Responses to “I still hate Mike Love”

  1. 1 Keith

    Mike Love can eat it.

  2. 2 Tom Shaw

    The Beach Boys are very much unknowns to us just as any entertainers are to their fans. We don’t really know the man that pitches for the Yankees. We don’t really know that woman playing grand slam tennis. We don’t know that comedian, we don’t that kid singing on the Disney Channel, we don’t know that actor and on and on. We often know only a public persona, a veneer built by media, agents and publicists to make people that are sometimes loathsome palatable.

    I think there are slightly more loathsome people that are entertainers than there are loathsome people in the rest of the population. Why would I say that? First, I think there are a high percentage of entertainers with overblown egos. You would likely agree this goes with the territory as it takes a person with extreme confidence to step out on whatever stage they perform. Second, I think it’s an easy call to say that entertainers are directly exposed to an array of vices the rest of us only ever encounter at a distance through entertainment media. I think that’s a volatile mix. People with extreme confidence but not necessarily extreme will power being exposed to a ready supply of temptation.

    It is my opinion that most of us “Mike Love haters” don’t hate Mike Love for his talent or lack-there-of. I’ve read the comments regarding his voice and lame lyrics. I’d like to tackle that if you’ll allow me. I am a musician, songwriter and singer with some professional experience, I’ll say that much for myself. Like most of you I have a longtime relationship with the Beach Boys music. I’ve performed their songs in front of audiences hundreds if not thousands of times. I’ve sung the Love parts. When it comes to the Beach Boys and their trademark vocals, the nasality of Love was an important counterpoint to the rather hypnotic and ethereal background vocals. I believe it might have been encouraged early on in their formation. Like a trumpet cutting through a string arrangement if you will. Later on in their journey I think Love’s trademark nasality became entrenched and a fallback due to runaway ego. I think he could have reigned it in and chose not to. I think this choice of Love’s was not the root of our hatred but it gives us another place in which to vent. Another example of his runaway ego.

    And so on to the root of the problem. Our target happened to be the most outgoing of this group of dweebs at their start. The group needed a point man and he was the best and logical choice. All of these “boys” reacted to their success in some way and for almost all of them that way was self-destructive. I needn’t review their various character flaws here, they were/are mere people after all. I think what makes Mike Love so much the target is that his choices and flaws were so divisive to this group of people we thought we knew. In my opinion he clearly rates more resentment than Yoko for the Beatles break-up. The Beach Boys legacy will always be intact with our ability to revisit their recordings. Our resentment quickly fades while listening for just a few minutes, even when the Love vocals come cutting through, I think you will agree.

    We have the ability to put our anger aside. We only wish that Mike Love could have contained his ego in a like manner. The Beach Boys pie was and is still enormous. There was plenty to go ’round. There should have been a way for them all to ride their success to the sunset. Playing state fairs, Vegas hotels and gin joints if they so wanted. We would have and have for the most part accepted them all separately. But it should have been kinder and gentler. The “Boys” were not unlike all the other groups that came and crumbled and went their separate ways but they were family and that was part of their attraction. We all wanted a happy ending for all of them after what they gave to us. We still want the Beach Boys and not the Beach Boy. Mike Love stole the happy ending and that will forever be his legacy.

    Shame on you Mike Love.

    • 3 Tom Shaw

      For what it’s worth, here’s a bit of trivia I found on Mike Love. He was born on the Ides of March.

      “Et tu, Mikey?”

  3. 5 Patrick

    Charles Manson is a bigger jerk than Mike Love? I suggest you do more research. Manson may be convicted of a crime, but that doesn’t mean he’s guilty of a crime. Dennis and Neal Young, among others, were friends with him because he was an eccentric who did actually make good music. Whether or not you believe he’s innocent of such crimes or not is your business, but I’m afraid comparing him to Mike Love in such a way is a little uncalled for.

    Mike Love inhibited Brian and the Beach Boys; Wilson is a genius, and Mike is not. Charles Manson wrote a song he never got proper credit for, and asked Dennis not the change the lyrics at all. Dennis betrayed their friendship, changed the lyrics, took the credit, and when Charlie went to stand up for himself, Dennis beat the hell out of him. Yes, he was such an evil man, that Chuck guy. He never did anything to harm Brian, Carl, Al, or even Bruce. I kinda Dennis would have used him against Mike – Not to murder him, though.

    • 6 C/C Rosie

      I find it disgusting to rate Mike Love with Manson. Let’s face it, he has been convicted of murders and it is no damn secret his is guilty as charged. Now, to put Love up there with Murry Wilson, that I can see. A horrible man. My cousin went to school with the Wilson’s and said they lived a life of pure hell. an abusive, monster of a father and a mother who let it happen. Apparently Mike Love was less than a great son and he shows himself to be a real jerk in his constant lawsuits. If it weren’t for the Wilson’s he would have still been nothing but a pump jockey in a gas station. Yes, he inhibited the musical growth of the Beach Boys. he called “Pet sounds” Brian’s ego music. Ha! Only the greatest album of all time. Beautiful and heart wrenching. I would like to see Mike Love write and produce an album of such magnitude. Impossible. Unfortunately Mr. Love is motivated by a love of money and a love of himself. All of the Wilson’s have had serious drug and alcohol problems. Did Love ever have any sympathy or try to understand? No he has Dennis beat up. A real solver of drug and alcohol abuse. I am willing to bet Mike also came from a dysfunctional family but nothing compared to the Wilsons. Manson is absolute evil, plain and simple. Love, greedy, plain and simple. But you know, life is a circle and some day, Mr. Love will answer to his greed. And by the way, his voice still is plain awful. he added nothing to the gorgeous harmonies except his nasal whine.

  4. 7 bruce

    If you ever ask yourself why you hate Mike Love just watch the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Induction of the Beach boys 🙂

    • 8 C/C Rosie

      Amen! How any one could be so damn insulting is beyond me. What a damn jerk. He made a total ass of himself that night. Not one bit of humility or gratitude for such an honor.

    • 9 Tom Shaw

      Seeing that R&RHOF induction made me want to grab the Rolling Stones by the legs and beat Mike Love over the head with them. Yes, all of the Rolling Stones by the legs and beating Mike Love over the head. Even though that might be a huge waste of a perfectly good blues band. While shouting rhythmically “I’ll take you to Ko-ko-mo you prematurely bald, tone-deaf, douche bag, mor-on.” Or something to that effect.

      My apologies to all prematurely bald, tone-deaf, douche bag, mor-ons. That was not very nice of me and I am ashamed. Somewhat.

  5. In my opinion, Mike Love has/had a place in the creation of the “Beach Boys Sound” and to be respected for some lyrics and certain musical ideas, but obviously, Brian Wilson is the true legendary musical genius for the creation of such music.
    With regard to “Live” performances, Mike Love had sole rights to use the name “The Beach Boys” for many years and because Mike Love is known for putting his head in the sand, maybe some focus should be put upon his latest wife (Jackie Love) whom ML has allowed to make such ridiculous major decisions in the production of the Live Beach Boys Show that has for many years supposed to represent the Legendary sound of The Beach Boys.
    I have my own personal reasons for disliking Mike and particularly Jackie Love in so much that I find it interesting that throughout the world there are so many people who find so many reasons to hate them both.
    One thing to say that is interesting … Mike Love believes so much in Karma.

  6. 11 Tom Shaw

    Mike love believing in “Karma” has come up a number of times in the thread. If that’s so, he believes in something improvable, in the same class as God, Santa Claus and Big Foot. This man is also frequently accused of having a runaway ego. How should we think that those two idiosyncrasies intersect in the mind and life of Mike Love?

    My guess is that his huge ego allows him to believe that anything and everything he says and does is righteous and with that he inflicts only good Karmatic impact upon his life. I would think the “Kook of Kokomo” waltzes through this existence with rose colored goggles permanently affixed. (That would clearly jive with his on-stage wardrobe.) We’ve all seen how some repugnant people live with mostly good fortune. And some lovely people experience nothing but crap in life. Wishing it different doesn’t make it so. It’s not Karma, it’s dumb luck.

  7. 12 hitfan

    I bought my very first Beach Boys CD yesterday: “Smile”, just to say that I own their seminal work. It’s not my type of music, but I can see that some parts are quite brilliant.

    So having read about the history of the BB on the webs, I became curious about the whole Mike Love controversy. I am quite detached regarding why many BB fans love to hate him, but out of curiosity I watched his RnR hall of fame speech. My, what a chip on his shoulder.

    Mike Love is the Jar Jar Binks of the BB Universe 🙂

    • 14 Tom Shaw

      Thanks so much for sharing that frightening image Ellen. I’ve heard that since seeing that same photo of Love, that Rick Santorum has given away all of his sweater vests.

      Mike Love: Boldly dressing and proudly posing like no other sentient being.

  8. Thank your for sharing your post. Wow. I guess a quite a few consider Mike Love the ‘villain’ of the beach boys, wither or not he deserves that title is not mine to say.

  9. wow. I guess a lot of fans consider Mike Love the ‘villain’ of the Beach Boys. I’m not sure if he deserves that title or not. However suing your old band-mates usually is bad for your PR.

    • 17 J C Fox

      For those of us who loved the 2012 That’s Why God Made The Radio and were hoping for a followup, it was a bitter pill to swallow. I guess Mike prefers touring with his loser band version at the local carnivals and state fairs to returning to the national spotlight.

      • 18 Tom Shaw

        You are on to something there J C. With the other originals on stage, Mike is one of many. With his BB wanabees, he’s the main cog and gets all the attention and the lion’s hare of the money. He might actually make out better financially with his side-show act than he does with the big boys. Thus ego and economics likely rule the day for M Love. And a huge YES, That’s Why God Made The Radio was a pleasant but fleeting peek at “what might have been”.

  10. Mike is a great guy….
    “Of course, whether this really is the end for The Beach Boys is unclear. As Love told the Los Angeles Times, “There are promoters who are interested [in more shows by the reunited lineup], but they’ve said, ‘Give it a rest for a year.’ The Eagles found out the hard way when they went out for a second year and wound up selling tickets for $5.”

    Brian will be in Chicago soon. However, at tickets going for $300 (proceeds going to an inner city school) it is well beyond my means. Regardless, just shows us where little Mike’s bald head and ego are.

  11. 20 Glenn Aylett

    I think Mike Love is an integral part of the Beach Boys history, like him or hate him. He wrote many of the lyrics to their best known hits and kept the band alive whie Brian went into seclusion for years. Also he did allow the band to develop a more experimental sound in the late sixties on singles like Wild Honey. I know the Boys fortunes declined in America after 1967, but they always found a large market for their music in Europe and Australia.
    However, no way could I ever defend such drivel as MIU and the laziness of 15 Big Ones. Yet I have to raise a smile whenever I hear Kokomo or Good Timing, these are feel good songs. Also for anyone who wonders what the Beach Boys would have sounded like if Dennis took over the band, you have to get a copy of Pacific Ocean Blue.

  12. I was backstage at one of the 50th Anniversary tour dates. Everyone in the band was gracious and talked to anyone (Brian even managed to sign my copy of Wild Honey). Well, everyone in the band except one guy, who stayed in his dressing room until jumping on the bus just before it left. Identifying which guy that was is left as an exercise for the reader…

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