||This article needs additional citations for verification. (December 2006)|
Mike Love performing at a Beach Boys 50th anniversary reunion concert in 2012.
|Birth name||Michael Edward Love|
|Born||March 15, 1941|
|Origin||Los Angeles, California, United States|
|Genres||Surf rock, rock, pop, rock and roll|
|Instruments||Vocals, saxophone, guitar, electro-theremin, sequencer, accordion|
|Associated acts||The Beach Boys|
Michael Edward "Mike" Love (born March 15, 1941) is an American singer/songwriter musician with The Beach Boys. He is a founding member of the band along with his cousins Brian, Carl, and Dennis Wilson, and their friend Al Jardine, and continues to write, record and perform with the band to the present day. For most of the Beach Boys' career Love has been the primary lyricist, holding writing contributions to each of the band's studio albums and four number-one singles. In 1988, he, along with the other founding members of the Beach Boys, was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Early years 
Mike Love's mother, Emily (known as "Glee") Wilson was the sister of Mary and Murry Wilson, a family resident in Los Angeles since the early 1920s. Glee married Edward Milton Love, the son of the founder of the Love Sheet Metal Company, in 1938. Michael Edward, the first of six children, was born in the suburb of Baldwin Hills, Los Angeles, in 1941; thereafter the family moved to the upmarket View Park area. Mike attended Dorsey High School, graduating in 1959. Unsure of a career direction, he pumped gas and briefly joined his father's company, whose fortunes dramatically declined in the late 1950s. Both Milt and Glee Love were active in sports, and Glee was distinctively artistically-orientated, taking an interest in painting and the arts. Like her brother, Murry, however, she was also strong-willed and, according to her husband, a dominant personality. The family was close-knit and regularly socialized with Murry and Audree Wilson and their sons. Murry Wilson was a part-time songwriter whose main achievement was placing a song on the Lawrence Welk radio show in 1952. Mike Love befriended the Wilson sons and often sang at family get-togethers, especially at Christmas, at the Wilson's home in nearby Hawthorne. It was here, under the vocal harmony guidance of Brian Wilson, that the root of the Beach Boys' sound was established, predominantly influenced by Brian's devotion to the Four Freshmen's arrangements. Musical accompaniment during this formative phase was solely Brian's self-taught piano, but this was quickly expanded by the guitar contributions of Brian's college friend Al Jardine (whose fundamental interest was folk music) and Carl Wilson (whose idol was Chuck Berry). With the failure of Love Sheet Metal and the family's enforced move to a modest two-bedroom house in Inglewood, closer to the Wilsons, Mike Love turned his ambitions toward forming a pop band in emulation of local acts like Jan and Dean, whose music he admired.
Role in The Beach Boys 
Though Mike Love played rudimentary saxophone in the first years of the fledgling garage band that evolved from the Pendletones to the Beach Boys, he quickly established himself as co-lead singer with Brian Wilson, trademarking the band's vocal sound with a strong baritone counterpoint to Wilson's falsetto. He also established himself, along with neighbor Gary Usher, local DJ Roger Christian and others, as a collaborator with Brian Wilson in the band's original compositions. Mike Love went on to sing lead vocal on many of the Beach Boys' template hits, specializing in fast-paced rock'n'rollers, while Brian's voice dominated moodier tracks and the major ballads, like "Surfer Girl". Love's notable leads in the early to mid-1960s include "Surfin' U.S.A.", "Little Deuce Coupe", "Be True to Your School", "Little Saint Nick", "Fun, Fun, Fun", "I Get Around", "When I Grow Up (To Be a Man)", "California Girls" and "That's Not Me". As the Beach Boys' career developed, all members contributed lead vocals to hit songs; but Mike Love remained the central vocal focus on songs like "Do It Again". On stage and on tour over five decades with the Beach Boys, Mike Love has served as the Beach Boys' MC, introducing songs and band members and bantering with the audience.
As a writer, Love's lyrical growth is evident from "The Warmth of the Sun", a song written on November 22, 1963, in response to the assassination of President John F Kennedy. His consistent partnership with Wilson stalled over Christmas 1965 when the Beach Boys' intense touring schedule clashed with the pressure on Brian Wilson to keep writing and producing new records for the band. Love's absence was largely (but not entirely) filled by Tony Asher for Pet Sounds, and then by Van Dyke Parks for the Smile project. After the Wilson/Parks partnership ended (allegedly due in part to Love's antagonism towards Parks's lyrics), he quickly returned to focused writing with Wilson on Smiley Smile, Wild Honey and subsequent Beach Boys' albums.
Mike Love was among the first pop musicians to become involved in the practice of the Transcendental Meditation technique, through his meeting with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. Having commenced Transcendental Meditation studies in December 1967, he accompanied The Beatles, Donovan, Prudence Farrow, and Mia Farrow on their famous trip to the guru's ashram at Rishikesh in India in early 1968. The 1968 Beach Boys album Friends has some of the first Mike Love lyric compositions relating to his experiences in India and Transcendental Meditation; themes he continues to write about in his lyrics to the current day.
Later years 
Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, as Brian Wilson's health declined and revived, Mike Love continued to tour, effectively leading the Beach Boys on stage, with Carl Wilson as de facto musical director of the band. Love's songs became increasingly solo compositions (words and music) such as "Big Sur" (1973), "Everyone's in Love With You" (1976) and "Sumahama" (1978).
In 1988, the Beach Boys had a US number 1 hit with "Kokomo", the only Number 1 the band achieved without Brian Wilson's involvement. Mike Love (along with "Kokomo" co-writers Scott McKenzie, Terry Melcher, and John Phillips) was nominated for a Golden Globe Award (1988) in the Original Song category, and was also nominated for a Grammy Award for "Kokomo".
Also in 1988, he, along with the other founding members of the Beach Boys, was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, where he made an infamous hostile speech. After the death of Carl Wilson in 1998, Mike Love continued to tour with the Beach Boys, along with Bruce Johnston and a supporting band of new musicians, occasionally including actor John Stamos. He legally leased exclusive rights to tour under the Beach Boys name, in a boardroom settlement with Brother Records, the Beach Boys' company.
Love has faced criticism from a contingent of Beach Boys fans, as well as from fellow musicians and music journalists, much of it stemming from his alleged resistance to Brian Wilson's growth as a songwriter during the Pet Sounds and Smile sessions, a claim which Love has repeatedly dismissed as hyperbole.
Beach Boys reunion 
On December 16, 2011, it was announced that Love would reunite with Brian Wilson, Al Jardine, Bruce Johnston and David Marks for a new Beach Boys album and 50th anniversary tour in 2012. The group appeared at the 2012 Grammy Awards on February 12, followed by a 50-date tour that began in Tucson, AZ in April. Love commented on working with Marks once again, stating, "David rocks...When he does those leads on "Surfin'," "Surfin' Safari" and "Fun, Fun, Fun" it's so authentic. He and Carl committed on playing guitar since they were ten years old and...neighbors with each other from across the street in Hawthorne. He's a fantastic musician and a really fantastic guy...It's going to be really great to be with him.".
On June 5, 2012, That's Why God Made the Radio, the first new all-original Beach Boys album to feature the core Brian Wilson-Mike Love-Al Jardine reunion since 1985's Steve Levine-produced work, was released. Time magazine in its celebratory review likened it to the two-tone 1965 album, Today!, with one side of upbeat songs and one of mellow, reflective numbers. Eleven tracks were co-written by Brian Wilson (mostly with Joe Thomas). The Love-composed track "Daybreak Over the Ocean" features Love's children Christian and Hayleigh on backing vocals, augmented by Jeff Foskett and the remaining original Beach Boys.
Historically there is much debate about the stalled Beach Boys' project, Smile, which Brian Wilson commenced in the autumn of 1966 and abandoned in May 1967 just weeks before the Beatles' release of Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. (The almost-complete album was finally released by Capitol Records, the band's first label, in November 2011). Though Love is reported to have objected to Van Dyke Parks' oblique lyrics, particularly on the song "Cabin Essence", he has repeatedly asserted these claims are overstated. During an argument, Love asked Parks to explain the meaning of the line, "Over and over the crow cries uncover the cornfields"; Parks demurred, walking out of the recording session and terminating his partnership with Wilson. Love is on record stating he had nothing personal against Parks; instead he feared the lyrics were too abstract for a relatable Beach Boys record.
In director-writer Michael Feeney Callan's 1993 documentary The Beach Boys Today, Love emphasised his fondness for Pet Sounds. He states that his concerns about the Smile project refer only to the more obscure lyrics. Van Dyke Parks countered Love's recollection. In a letter to UK music magazine Mojo, Parks described Love's views as "revisionism", and stated his belief that Love's hostility to Smile was one of the major factors in Brian's decision to abandon the project.
Mike Love has been a longtime supporter of environmental causes and was among speakers at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992 and Earth Day 2000 on the Mall in Washington, DC. He also created the Love Foundation, which supports national environmental and educational initiatives. Love personally donated $100,000 to the American Red Cross to benefit the victims of Hurricane Katrina. He has served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Lake Tahoe School in Incline Village, Nevada, and was responsible for raising over $1 million to benefit the school. In 2010, Mike Love contributed to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation's More Hope For The Holidays album with vocals on "Closing of the Year" as well as contributing his self-penned "Santa's Goin' To Kokomo". On the album he appears alongside Weezer, Brandi Carlile, and Creedence Clearwater Revisited. Proceeds benefit the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
In a 1994 lawsuit against Brian Wilson, the jury's verdict established Love deserved co-authorship credit of many of the The Beach Boys' songs. Love stated that Murry Wilson, his uncle and first manager of The Beach Boys fraudulently sold a catalog of the band's songs in which Love was excluded from royalties.
On November 3, 2005, Love sued Brian Wilson and the Mail On Sunday newspaper, arguing that both misused Love's contributions, likeness and The Beach Boys' name in a promotional CD that was given free with the paper to promote the 2004 Smile release. Love's case argued that the free CD resulted in loss of income and potential future sales for the band and damaged its reputation. The lawsuit was dismissed on May 16, 2007 on the grounds that it was without merit.
Solo career 
Mike Love has released a number of recordings independent of the Beach Boys. In the mid-1970s, he fronted the band Celebration, which achieved the top 30 hit single Almost Summer (co-written with Brian Wilson and Jardine). In the late 1970s, while almost all of the band were recording abandoned solo projects, he also recorded two unreleased solo albums, First Love and Country Love.
In 1981, Love's first and only official-release solo album, Looking Back With Love included versions of pop standards like Neil Sedaka's "Calendar Girl" as well as self-penned numbers like the moody idyll, "Paradise Found".
Love worked with Dean Torrence in the early '80s and worked on singles and on the compilation Rock 'n' Roll City . He also re-recorded a number of classic Beach Boys' hits, released on the collections Catch a Wave, Salute NASCAR, and Summertime Cruisin'. In 1998, Love and his closest ally in the Beach Boys, Bruce Johnston, recorded the album Symphonic Sounds: Music of the Beach Boys, with London's Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at Abbey Road Studios, London. Featured on the disc were newly arranged versions of songs like Johnston's "Disney Girls (1957)" and "Darlin'" featuring Matt Jardine. More recently Love contributed one track to the 2003 Bruce Springsteen tribute CD (singing "Hungry Heart"), and also lent his voice to a Bruce Johnston–produced album for the Kings Singers.
In 2003, Love announced plans for a new solo album, variously reported as Unleash The Love and Mike Love, Not War (not to be confused with the Beach Boys bootleg of the same name). Two conspicuous tracks off the work-in-progress are "Cool Head, Warm Heart", which appeared on an official Beach Boys–related collection, and "Pisces Brothers", a reminiscence of his time in India with George Harrison.
Studio albums 
- 1981: Looking Back With Love
- 1996: Catch a Wave
- 1998: Salute NASCAR (with Bruce Johnston and David Marks)
- 2001: Summertime Cruisin (with Bruce Johnston)
- 1967: "Gettin' Hungry" (with Brian Wilson)
- 1981: "Looking Back With Love"
- 1981: "Runnin' Around The World"
- 1982: "Be My Baby"
- 1982: "Be True To Your Bud" (with Dean Torrence)
- 1982: "Da Doo Ron Ron"
- 1983: "Jingle Bell Rock"
- 2006: "Santa's Goin' To Kokomo"
- 2007: "Hungry Heart"
In addition to being cousin to the Wilson brothers, Love is the brother of former NBA basketball player Stan Love and of Pink Martini harpist Maureen Love, and is the uncle of Minnesota Timberwolves basketball player Kevin Love. Love's son, Christian Love, toured with The Beach Boys in their backing band from 2008.
Love has been married five times:
- Francie StMartin (1961 - 1964), divorced, two children
- Suzanne Belcher (October 14, 1965 – 1969), divorced, two children
- Tamara Fitch (October 18, 1971 – 1974) divorced, one child
- Catherine Linda "Cathy" Martinez (September 17, 1981 – July 30, 1984) divorced, one child
- Jacqueline Piesen (1994 - current), two children.
See also 
- Badman, Keith (2004). The Beach Boys:The Definitive Diary of America's Greatest Band on Stage and in the Studio. Backstreet Books. pp. 10–11. ISBN 0-87930-818-4.
- "Mike Love interview". Archived from the original on 2012-03-06. Retrieved 7 March 2012.
- "500 Greatest Albums of All Time: The Beach Boys, 'Pet Sounds'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2012-08-12.
- November 02, 2004 (1997-08-12). "Can Mike Love crack a grin about 'Smile'? - Los Angeles Times". Articles.latimes.com. Retrieved 2012-08-12. Text "Randy Lewis " ignored (help)
- Patrick Doyle (2011-12-19). "Exclusive: Mike Love 'Looking Forward' to Beach Boys 50th Anniversary Tour | Music News". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2012-07-25.
- "Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation". Itunes.apple.com. 2010-11-09. Retrieved 2012-07-25.
- "Tony Asher Interview". Surfermoon.com. 1996-04-04. Retrieved 2012-08-12.
- "Company Town : Beach Boys' Mike Love Wins His Case..." Los Angeles Times December 13, 1994
- Lewis, Randy; “Beach Boys Lawsuit Dismissed" Los Angeles Times May 16, 2007;
- classicbands.com, "The Beach Boys"
- Gellar, Wendy "Mike Love Sprinkles Some Bad Vibrations On Beach Boys’ Reunion Tour" Yahoo News, September 27, 2012
- "Michael Edward Love". Retrieved 2 February 2013.
- Beach Boys Band – Current Touring Band
- Mike Love at the Internet Movie Database
- Mike Love interviewed on the Pop Chronicles (1969).