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Author: Subject: Mike Love, "Good Vibrations: My Life As A Beach Boy"

Maximum Peach





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  posted on 10/30/2016 at 11:37 AM
Before you say "Mike Love is an assh*le", you might want to read this book, which I finished two weeks ago.

Yeah, I know, I know, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame incident. Mike addresses it, and he's certainly not proud of it. Remember, it was ONE night in his life, and as he says, he was not in a good place when it happened. I saw Dan Rather's "The Big Interview" as well, and Love was quite ashamed, and said when asked, that yes, he's apologized to McCartney, Jagger and others who he may have offended that evening. Have you ever had a bad night in your life? The difference is, you're not a public figure and it wasn't publicized, was it?

If you've always had a view of Brian Wilson as saint and Mike Love as villain, you may rearrange your opinion a bit after reading this book. And try and remember that for many years while Brian was eating and drugging himself into oblivion, Love was out there on the road keeping the Beach Boys brand vibrant. Other than alcohol and marijuana, Love never went down that road. His biggest drug was transcendental meditation. Love sued Brian Wilson twice, and won BOTH. That ought to tell you something. Love does NOT disparage Brian's standing as the musical genius of the group: "All of us knew at a very young age that Brian was very gifted."

The book is around 420 pages so I feel I can give some excerpts without spoiling it for anyone, because I feel many here would be interested.

On psychiatrist Eugene Landy:

"Landy, however, had minimal contact with Brian thereafter, but the psychotropic drugs may have caused Brian greater neurological damage than the illegal drugs. Brian struggled for the next several years with shakiness, slurred speech, and mini-seizures. Dr. Eugene Landy had achieved the near impossible: He saved Brian's life but left him in worse shape than when he found him."

What Landy's personal secretary, who lasted three weeks at the job, tells about him in the book will surprise and shake you, and it's worse than the above paragraph. I'll leave that one alone.

Love goes into detail on Dennis Wilson's involvement with Charles Manson and his "family". I won't say more other than Dennis was in deeper and saw more than most ever imagined. It shook him to the core. Love also states that Dennis, like his brothers, had enormous musical talent.

On Brian Wilson's 1988 biography, "Wouldn't It Be Nice":

"Over the years, I've told many people, including reporters, that 'Wouldn't It Be Nice' is 'my favorite book I've never read' because HarperCollins settled the suit for a good deal of money. But that flippant remark deflected my true feelings. I read as much of Brian's book as I could stomach and was stung by the false attacks against me, some of which were recycled from the 1970's. Describing me as 'smarmy', 'creepy' and 'flashing an evil grin,' the memoir falsely claimed that I 'hated everything' about Pet Sounds, alleged that I had cost Brother Records 'millions of dollars in lost royalties' in bad business decisions, and blamed me for Brian's descent into 'booze, drugs and food.' Writing songs with cousin Mike, Brian wrote, 'had nearly killed me several times over.'

"What was most irritating was Brian's disparagement of me and virtually everyone in The Beach Boys as musical incompetents. 'The proper thing', Brian wrote, 'would've been to remind Mike that if not for me, he'd still be pumping gas, Al (Jardine) that he'd be medical supply salesman, and Carl (Wilson) that he'd be running errands for me."

"HarperCollins also settled defamation lawsuits from Carl and Brother Records."

"In his depositions, Brian said he had only skimmed the manuscripts and couldn't account for the falsehoods. 'I don't recall nothing', he said. We assumed that Landy wrote the actual lies, but as far as I'm concerned, that doesn't exonerate Brian. It's his book, and if you find it online or at a used bookstore, it doesn't come with a cover sticker that reads 'Warning: False and Defamatory Statements Included.' "

"The most despicable section was the attack on the person who loved Brian the most - his Mother. According to the book, Brian often saw his Mom 'pour a drink in the afternoon and continue sipping through the evening', a bystander to Murry's (Brian's father) abuse. She once 'looked on as my Dad tied me to a tree as punishment', and after Murry caught Brian masturbating in his bedroom, Murry demanded that Audree (Brian's Mom) deny their son dinner for two nights. 'My Mom complied', Brian wrote.

"Aunt Audree sued HarperCollins, but the judge threw out that case. I don't know if Brian ever apologized to his Mom."

Love also later sued Brian for fraud and was only able to do that because of attorney Mike Flynn. The two bonded over transcendental meditation, which Flynn had also practiced since 1974. This was a complex lawsuit which investigated the fact that Love never received writing credit for a huge portion of The Beach Boys catalogue which he co-wrote with Brian. It also delved into the sale of the publishing rights to The Beach Boys catalogue in the late 60's which was engineered by Brian's father and Beach Boys manager Murry Wilson. Thanks to Mike Flynn, it was discovered that Brian had to have been knowledgeable regarding this sale when it occurred. It was done without the knowledge of any other Beach Boys.

"Brian was facing potential damages of between $58 million and $342 million - almost certainly the largest case of fraud in music history. Brian's lawyers and friends understood his exposure, and some of them called Mike Flynn, reminding him of Brian's financial commitments to his children and to Marilyn (Brian's wife), and the costs of his own medical care. They asked him to convince me to settle, but Mike (Flynn) didn't need to. I had no interest in crushing my cousin, and it wasn't about the money anyway. It was about getting credit for my songs. Brian had settled his suit with Irving Music for $10 million, so I proposed he give me $5 million and we move on. Brian agreed."

"By accepting a fraction of what I could have collected, I cost Mike Flynn millions of dollars in contingency fees, every penny of which he had earned. But he never pushed me to get more money, nor did he ever waver in a case that became a three year crusade. With all due respect to Bobby Hatfield and Bill Medley, Mike Flynn is the ultimate Righteous Brother."

Final comments on the sale of The Beach Boys catalogue:

"So in summary.......The Beach Boy lawyer who engineered the fraudulent sale of our catalogue was introduced to us by a man who ended up working at the very company that bought the catalogue - a scam that enriched that company mightily and, indirectly, all of it's employees, including David Anderle, who, everyone agreed, had a smashing twenty-six year career at A&M Records.

What a town."















[Edited on 10/30/2016 by robslob]

 

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Extreme Peach



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  posted on 11/2/2016 at 12:42 PM
Nice comprehensive review, Rob. Definitely one of the better rock bios. As much as I appreciate the work of Brian Wilson and his return to some degree of normalcy, he has been an utterly lax and irresponsible in his dealings with Mike Love. Prior to reading the bio I was not a Mike Love fan. Much more sympathetic after reading his side of the Beach Boys' story, including his explanation about how the 50th Anniversary Tour ended (not his fault that the larger band could not continue performing and that he did not fire Brian Wilson).

His speech at the Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame induction was probably the one event that will negatively affect his reputation forever. He certainly deeply regrets it, and as Rob mentioned, has apologized to all those he directly offended.

 

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  posted on 11/2/2016 at 06:43 PM
I got the chance to interview Mike over the summer. Leading up to it i had read all the stories saying he was a jerk, etc, so had prepared for it, and he couldn't possibly have been more of the opposite. We talked for about 25 minutes-he even called right on time, which is rare for most musicians, much less someone of his stature. He was probably my favorite interview i've done in my career. He truly seemed grateful for the fans who still come out to the shows. I got to go to the show too, and that was just as impressive. There was no opening act or anything, just them and they played from about 8:15 to 11 with a 20 minute intermission. The show was incredible, they did a bunch of the car and surfing songs in the first set, then did 6 songs from Pet Sounds to open the second and a bunch more hits after til Good Vibrations and Fun Fun Fun.
Here's the story i did from the interview. http://www.abc12.com/content/news/The-Beach-Boys-celebrate-50-years-of-Good -Vibrations-in-Saginaw-Friday-387045191.html

 

Maximum Peach



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  posted on 11/3/2016 at 12:31 AM
quote:

I got the chance to interview Mike over the summer. Leading up to it i had read all the stories saying he was a jerk, etc, so had prepared for it, and he couldn't possibly have been more of the opposite. We talked for about 25 minutes-he even called right on time, which is rare for most musicians, much less someone of his stature. He was probably my favorite interview i've done in my career. He truly seemed grateful for the fans who still come out to the shows. I got to go to the show too, and that was just as impressive. There was no opening act or anything, just them and they played from about 8:15 to 11 with a 20 minute intermission. The show was incredible, they did a bunch of the car and surfing songs in the first set, then did 6 songs from Pet Sounds to open the second and a bunch more hits after til Good Vibrations and Fun Fun Fun.
Here's the story i did from the interview. http://www.abc12.com/content/news/The-Beach-Boys-celebrate-50-years-of-Good -Vibrations-in-Saginaw-Friday-387045191.html


Very nice review.

 

____________________
Don't let the sounds of your own wheels

Drive you crazy

Lighten up while you still can

Don't even try to understand

Just find a place to take your stand

And TAKE IT EASY

 
 


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