This week, Ira spoke with Mike Love.
Mike Love, lead singer and a founding member of The Beach Boys, is bringing the iconic group to Reynolds Hall at The Smith Center April 30. The Beach Boys have been part of the American musical experience for more than 50 years.
Love wrote the lyrics to The Beach Boys’ first song, “Surfin’,” released in 1961. He then co-authored eleven Top 10 singles in five years with cousin Brian Wilson, a string of hits including “Fun, Fun, Fun,” “I Get Around,” “Help Me Rhonda,” “California Girls” and “Good Vibrations.”
The period between “Good Vibrations” (1966) and The Beach Boys’ biggest selling hit “Kokomo” (1988) is one of the longest spans of time between number one records in history. Love is the co-author of both of these smash hits.
Love was among the first pop musicians to become involved in the practice of Transcendental Meditation. He began practicing TM in December 1967. He was among those who included The Beatles, Donovan, Prudence Farrow and Mia Farrow on their famous trip to Rishikesh in India in 1968. Love still maintains his practice of TM and participates with such organizations as the David Lynch Foundation to promote the benefits of Transcendental Meditation.
The Beach Boys annual tours have reached all of the Americas, Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia, with the result that Love has not had a summer off in 50 years in his role as lead singer.
It was his idea to perform free Independence Day concerts on the grounds of the Washington Monument in the nation’s capital beginning in 1980. After a national uproar following Secretary of Interior James Watt’s ban of The Beach Boys for this event, they returned on July 4, 1984, by a personal invitation from First Lady Nancy Reagan. On July 4, 1985, The Beach Boys played to an afternoon crowd of one million in Philadelphia and the same evening they performed for over 750,000 people on the Mall in Washington. The day’s historical achievement was recorded in the Guinness Book of World Records.
Love has been a longtime supporter of environmental causes and was among speakers at the Earth Summit in Rio De Janiero in 1992 and Earth Day 2000 on the Mall in Washington, D.C.. He created the Love Foundation, which supports national environmental and educational initiatives. He personally donated $100,000 to the American Red Cross to benefit the victims of Hurricane Katrina.
Love has served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Lake Tahoe School in Incline Village, Nevada, and has been responsible for raising over $1 million to benefit the school as well as numerous other schools.
In 2007, he spoke on environmental concerns at The National Press Club Luncheon in Washington, DC and was named as a member of Wolf Trap’s National Advisory council on the Arts and Environment. Love proudly carried the Olympic torch for the 2002 Salt Lake City, UT Olympic Games, just as he has proudly carried the torch for The Beach Boys for more than 50 years.