Rock Flashback: The Beach Boys’ Mike Love

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mike love Rock Flashback: The Beach Boys Mike Love

Mike Love (Getty Images/Kristian Dowling)

On Tuesday, [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Mike Love[/lastfm] of the Beach Boys turned 70. Love is the only member of the band who’s been part of it from its beginnings to the present day, although it hasn’t always been a smooth ride. In recent years he has sued bandmate [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Brian Wilson[/lastfm] over royalties he claimed he deserved for songwriting contributions he never got credited for — a suit he won — and for Wilson’s alleged misuse of the Beach Boys’ name in promoting his Smile album — a suit Love lost. He also sued bandmate [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Al Jardine[/lastfm], unsuccessfully, for similar misuse of the Beach Boys’ name.

As early as the 1960s, Love earned the enmity of some Beach Boys fans by criticizing Brian Wilson’s ornate experiments as “avant-garde s**t.” In the 1980s, citing concern over the lyric content of pop music, he contributed $5000 through his philanthropic foundation to help found the Parents Music Resource Council.

And when the Beach Boys were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988, Love’s rambling acceptance speech featured some incendiary barbs aimed at fellow inductees. He criticized [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Paul McCartney[/lastfm] for skipping the ceremonies “because he’s in a lawsuit with Ringo and Yoko,” which was true at the time, but irrelevant. And of [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Mick Jagger[/lastfm] he said, “He’s always been chickens**t to get on stage with the Beach Boys.”

Here’s the whole speech if you’re curious.

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