A look into the life of Mike Love
Grammy® Winner and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Member, Michael Edward Love, grew up under the Southern California sun where he soaked up a life of music, surf, sand and sport. Beginning their singing careers as teenagers, Mike and his cousin, Brian Wilson, frequently sang at family get-togethers and holiday gatherings. These early influences served as the inspiration to form the legendary group, The Beach Boys, which first consisted of Mike and his cousins, Brian, Dennis, and Carl Wilson along with neighbor David Marks and High School friend Alan Jardine.
On April 30th 2016, Mike kicked off his 50 Years of Good Vibrations tour. The hit “Good Vibrations,” which is widely considered one of the greatest masterpieces in the history of rock and roll, celebrates its 50th anniversary on October 10 th of this year. In honor of this prolific time in the life of the Beach Boys, Mike will release his highly-anticipated memoir titled GOOD VIBRATIONS: My Life as a Beach Boy, on September 13th. The book will be published by Blue Rider Press, a member of Penguin Group (USA).
In the fall of 1961, Mike wrote the lyrics and melody to The Beach Boys’ first song, “Surfin’,” along with Brian Wilson. This led to the signing of the band by Capitol Records. Following the song’s debut, Mike and his cousin Brian went on to co-author numerous tracks, which included eleven Top 10 singles in the first five years of the band. Hit after hit, Mike created many of the concepts, and wrote or co-wrote the lyrics and hooks to several of the most performed songs in pop music history including: “Good Vibrations,” “Fun, Fun, Fun,” “I Get Around,” “Surfin’ Safari,” “Help Me Rhonda,” “Do It Again,” “Kokomo” and the incomparable “California Girls,” which featured Bruce Johnston’s debut vocal recording as a member of The Beach Boys.
For more than fifty years, Mike Love has been the lead singer and front man of The Beach Boys, taking the sounds of America’s band to every corner of the globe. His distinctive and iconic vocal range is synonymous with fast-paced rock ‘n’ roll tracks, as well as many of the band’s softer ballads. Mike’s vocal versatility is central to many of the bands signature hits including: “Surfin’ U.S.A.,” “I Get Around,” “California Girls,” “Little Deuce Coupe,” “Be True to Your School,” “Little Saint Nick,” “When I Grow Up (To Be a Man),” “Fun, Fun, Fun,” “That’s Not Me,” the bridge on “Sloop John B” and “Wouldn’t It Be Nice” which is featured on the iconic Pet Sounds album. Beyond his unique persona and sound as the lead singer, Mike’s dynamic bass vocals provided the foundation of the group and anchored the legendary Beach Boys harmonies. Love’s voice is a style of its own. He combines his steady bass/baritone with a whimsical intonation— indicative of the ultra-cool, self-confidence and innocence of the early 1960s.
In December of 1967, The Beach Boys were invited to Paris to perform at a benefit for UNICEF. The curtain opened to a very distinguished front row including Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, George Harrison and John Lennon. At Maharishi’s invitation, Mike, along with Carl, Alan and Dennis were initiated into the practice of Transcendental Meditation. Mike was profoundly affected by the first meditation experience, stating, “If enough people were to practice TM, the world would be a better place.” He continues to practice TM today and supports organizations such as the David Lynch Foundation, which promote the vast benefits of Transcendental Meditation.
In 1979, Mike’s idea to celebrate July 4th with a free concert annually culminated into two shows in 1985 where The Beach Boys would play Philadelphia during the day and the Washington D.C. Mall later that evening. This resulted in record- breaking attendance— with The Beach Boys performing live for over 1.5 million people in a single day.
In 1988, Mike and the other members of The Beach Boys were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. That same year, Mike co-wrote the #1 hit “Kokomo,” with John Phillips of the Mamas and Papas, and producer Terry Melcher. This was 22 years after Mike co-authored the Beach Boys’ #1 hit of the 60’s, “Good Vibrations,”— marking the longest span of time between number one records of any artist in music history. Both “Good Vibrations” and “Kokomo” were nominated for Grammy® awards. “Kokomo” was also nominated for a Golden Globe ® Award.
In 2001, the band was the recipient of the Grammy® Lifetime Achievement Award.
In 1990, Mike was the first artist to respond to President George H. W. Bush’s call for service as part of the Thousand Points of Light Initiative. Mike began StarServe, as part of The Thousand Points of Light “Students Taking Action and Responsibility to Serve,” enlisting high profile celebrities and athletes to inspire young people to serve their communities. More than twenty years later, Mike continues his commitment to young people. For his work in continued education, Mike was the recipient of the 2013 Seven Generations Award by City Year, a national education organization that identifies at risk students and encourages them to reach their full potential through mentorship. Mike is also an Advisory Board Member of the Surfrider Foundation, and a longtime supporter of environmental causes. In 1992, Mike was a speaker at the Earth Summit in Rio De Janeiro, and again on Earth Day 2000 on the Mall in Washington, D.C. In 2002, Love proudly carried the Olympic torch for the Salt Lake City, UT Olympic Games.
In 2012, Mike Love, Brian Wilson, Al Jardine, Bruce Johnston, and David Marks reunited for their 29th studio album, That’s Why God Made The Radio, and The Beach Boys’ 50th Anniversary Tour.
In 2013, The Beach Boys released a career-spanning, six-CD collection titled Made In California, which chronicled the band’s 50-year storied career from their earliest demos to their most recent recordings. Love executive-produced the new box set, which showcased more than seven and a half hours of Beach Boys classics and more than 60 previously unreleased gems including home demos, alternate takes and mixes and live concert, television and radio performances. The box set also featured an original, previously unreleased Beach Boys track “Goin’ To The Beach,” written by Love.
In 2014, Mike debuted a solo single “Pisces Brothers” in tribute to The Beatles singer and fellow Piscean, George Harrison. The track, which was released on George’s birthday, was inspired by the time the two spent together in India in 1968.
In 2014, Mike received The Ella Award, a lifetime achievement award by the Society of Singers. He joined a prestigious array of honorees including Ella Fitzgerald, Smokey Robinson, Elton John, Tony Bennett and Frank Sinatra. The night was filled with one-of- a-kind performances and tributes from a host of legendary performers and artists, including Mike’s fellow Beach Boys (Al Jardine, David Marks and Bruce Johnston) and the children of The Beach Boys (including Carnie and Wendy Wilson), as well as music legends, Bill Medley, Dean Torrence, Micky Dolenz, Christopher Cross, America, Rita Wilson and David Lee Roth.
Throughout his career, Mike has co-authored more than a dozen Top 10 Singles, cementing The Beach Boys legacy, alongside The Beatles and Michael Jackson, as the only artists to have produced twelve Top 10 Singles, within 5 years.
Today, Mike is happily married to Jacquelyne, and is the proud father of eight children. Mike primarily resides on the North Shore of Lake Tahoe. He continues to enjoy life on the road, performing over 150 sold-out shows a year all over the world. The endless Summer Tour will continue in 2016 as The Beach Boys celebrate fifty years of Good Vibrations and Pet Sounds…