Mike Love is deserving of a beer for his hat/shirt combinations, but even beyond that he was, whether you like it or not, an integral part of the early Beach Boys. Unfortunately for Mr. Love the world of rock criticism is constantly giving Brian Wilson a handjob. As the anti-“genius,” Mr. Love is forever doomed to be chastised by the type of rock fan who thinks talking about records is more important than listening to them. Just try typing “Mike Love Hate” into google and see what happens. Every asshole with a blog has written something or other alerting us to the fact that Pet Sounds is a phenomenal album, much more than songs about surfing, (thanks, Lester Bangs, we had no idea) and that Mike Love is Hitler. Should we really be praising a man who made an updated version (complete with a Casio generated horn section and vocals way out of the range of a 60 something beach bum/coke head) of an album he was too crazy to complete 40 years ago? What we fail to understand is why filling your house with sand and dropping a piano in the middle of it to ‘get closer to the beach’ is not absolute bullshit but rather the sign of a genius at work. And yet deriding many of the biggest stars of the 80’s at a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction speech somehow makes Mr. Love unfit to be around children rather than simply a cranky old man.
We would certainly be foolish to say that Mr. Love should have had his way in stopping Pet Sounds from becoming the album it did, but the disintegration of the SMILE project probably had more to do with Brian Wilson losing the script than Mr. Love not wanting to “fuck with the formula.” And who among us can blame a man for questioning the validity of line such as “over and over, the crow cries uncover the cornfield.” Let us not forget that before Tony Asher and Van Dyke Parks Mr. Love was Brian Wilson’s co-writer and even the lead vocalist (he can hit the high notes). Hell, he even wrote Kokomo. Perhaps it is a sympathy vote, but we would love to buy this man a beer. He deserves it.