Rock And Rules: The Beach Boys' Mike Love

Rock And Rules: The Beach Boys' Mike Love

The guide to surviving a life in music, by those who know best...

Mike Love, co-founder and lead vocalist of The Beach Boys, on positive experiences and excitations...

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LOOK AFTER YOUR INSTRUMENT

We learned very early on that if The Beach Boys was going to be a vocal group, we could not do things that were maybe fun to do, like drink too much or smoke - your voice would suffer. Through trial and error, we learned that if we were going to sound great and be able to do great shows, we had to live a sensible lifestyle.

REFLECT REAL LIFE

We grew up in Southern California, just a few miles from the beach, and our first song was called ‘Surfin’’, then we did ‘Surfin’ Safari’, but its B-side was ‘409’. That was a car song.

We knew that not everybody had an ocean, so we had a series of what they called double-sided hits there in the very early-Sixties like that - we had surfing and cars.

We were a product of our society. It was just the subculture in Southern California that we were part of and in touch with, and we dressed like, and we talked like. Were we ever great surfers? Not really, but we sang great about it.

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LEARN ABOUT THE MUSIC BUSINESS

Study it. There are books now that can make you aware of what the value of the publishing is, and what you need to do to copyright a song to protect yourself.

My Uncle Murry [The Beach Boys’ manager] sold our publishing for a pittance back in the late-’60s. Because we’re starting as young guys who were full of energy and creative thoughts, we were just obsessed with getting our music played and hearing it on the radio, so other people can take advantage of that naiveté.

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SELL RECORDS

The record companies exist to promote music and to make a profit. It’s a business. The artist is the creator. If you didn’t come up with things that are commercially successful and do sell you get dropped from the record label. So there is a pressure to become both artistically and commercially successful.

I think a good example of that from our side was ‘Good Vibrations’. It was as avant-garde as we could possibly be, it was extremely creative and unique, but it was also commercially successful: it went to Number One.

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LOOK TO THE SOURCE

Transcendental meditation has been of tremendous benefit to my life. It’s given me the ability to undertake a lot of activity - we’ll do 175 shows this year - and it gives you energy and clarity in a positive way. It goes beyond thinking and meditating to the source of thought, and mentally it’s very expansive.

There is infinite energy and creativity and intelligence at the source of creation, and the way to access it through your mind is a simple technique, and just a little bit of exposure to that every day is very profoundly helpful and relaxing and healthful as well.

MAKE POSITIVE CHOICES

Whatever you do, keep a positive attitude and make helpful, positive choices.

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Mike Love's new double album ‘Unleash The Love’ is out now via BMG.

Interview: Simon Harper

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