Sunday, September 30, 2012
Mike Love: You Rat Bastard...
When I heard, earlier this week, that Mike Love had effectively "fired" Brian Wilson, Al Jardine and David Marks from the 50th Anniversary Beach Boys, and their tour, I tried to keep an open mind.
Maybe, thought I, the three in question were trying to reshape the band as a grindcore group, intent on some sort of bloodcircus/gore show that might alienate at least some of their core audeince.
I'm told this is not the case.
Maybe, thought I, about a thousand other scenarios that might make at least a little sense of this metaphoric machine gun in a geek's nightmare of a record store tragedy.
Believe me, people, I have run every realistic, and unrealistic, scenario I could possibly envision.
Trust me when I say that NONE of those test situations made ANY sense.
At fucking all.
(Yes, my use of all caps in certain moments is entirely-- ENTIRELY-- with merit. This is that kind of time...)
It should be noted that I think Mike Love one of the greatest voices in the history of music. I say this without a bit of qualification. To call his voice, and the words he wrote for the Beach Boys, merely "iconic" is to do Mr. Love a grave disservice.
Dismiss the contributions of Mr. Love to the Beach Boys in particular, and music in general if you must; but, do so at your own peril.
You will be wrong.
The Beach Boys would not have been what we know them to be without the voice, savvy and some key words from Mike Love. His contributions to not only the Beach Boys, but music in general, should be held well aloft-- and viewed as nothing less than monumental and legendary, as they are nothing less than that.
And possibly more.
However, in his firing of Brian Wilson, Al Jardine and David Marks (the American Pete Best...), Mike Love fucking well overstepped the bounds of everything that makes music sacred to us fucktards who have given our lives over to the sounds we first heard off Mom and Dad's vinyl way the hell back when....
Yes, it is understood that Mike Love somehow owns the Beach Boys' name/branding/etc.-- and that's all fine and well. Those of us long time fans GET IT that he's still (rightfully) pissed that Murry Wilson (father of Brian; and Carl and Dennis-- both of whom died way too young) sold their Sea Of Tunes catalogue to Irving/Almo Music in 1969 for the paltry sum of $700,000.
We get it, Mike Love! You were ripped off by Brian/Carl/Dennis' dad (your uncle)! We get what it is like to carry a grudge, and all that!
You got something of the short stick, Mike; and we've always known how much you've hated the idea that Brian was lauded as the damaged genius, while you were always deemed the commercial prick mercenary.
Guess what, Mike? Same thing has been said of Paul McCartney, in the shadow of John Lennon. While, again, not denying your contributions to the Beach Boys, Mike; Paul McCartney pretty much played every instrument he could lay his hands on, wrote/co-wrote a good half of the greatest back catalogue music will ever see, and...
He's never been nearly the vindictive cunt you're being right now!
While Paul McCartney will never be able to get out from under the hagiographic portrayal of John Lennon as some sort of guitar-wielding Christ figure; he's cool with it. Why?
Because he knows who he is, where he was, and what he did. He was there, and lets the records speak for themselves.
On the other hand, Mike, you've seemed to let your rage go slowly bitter and curdle up good over the last 45 or so years. No one has ever doubted your vocal prowess on the early hits; or the crucial passes on "Good Vibrations"-- but this was never enough for you, was it?
As Brian's mind and body went all fat and well to shit during the crucial "Pet Sounds"/"Smile" era, you seemed to focus only on your star in what you saw as it's descending period. Right?
From every tome us Beach boys fans have read, there have always been a number of us who have long tried to rally in your favor. We've tried to, somehow, put ourselves in your shoes/sandals in seeing what it must be like to have tangible talent in the studio rated against intangibles when it comes to seeing a fragile, fat man-- made seemingly of spun sugar, somehow lionized as that thing you could never be.
And now, in the twilight of your careers/lives, somehow the Beach Boys get back together. Yes, Carl and Dennis are sorely missed; but, still, it's Brian, Mike, Al, Bruce Johnston and David Marks-- which, in it's own way makes the world seem right, if only for a moment.
So, why blow it up, Mike? Why play the "I own the name!" card when the fans are finally getting a real good look at the genius they've only heard through their headphones these past several decades?
Why kill the last chance any of us remaining true believers have to experience the sound and feeling that's been inside us since our earliest memories? Just what the fuck satisfaction do you get from that, Mike Love? What purpose is served, other than your insufferable ego, your sense of spite, and the dictator-like boner you get from burning down our memories?
Fuck you Mike Love. I know this was your big middle finger to Brian; but, in reality, you flipped us all off, all in the name of your pompous and petty arrogance.
Just goes to show that 45 years of Transcendental Meditation cannot erase a lifetime of being an insufferable narcissistic asshole...