Mike Love's book is a fascinating look at the triumphs and tragedies of The Beach Boys. Love struggles to get credit for a lot of the songs he wrote and details his fight to escape Brian Wilson's shadow. It's also about trying to find peace and the joy of performing music. Even the casual Beach Boys fan will enjoy this book.
— Len, Chicago ORD
Mike Love tells the story of his legendary, raucous, and ultimately triumphant five-decade career as the front man of The Beach Boys, the most popular American band in history -- timed to coincide with the 50th anniversary of "Good Vibrations." As a founding member of The Beach Boys, Mike Love has spent an extraordinary fifty-five years, and counting, as the group's lead singer and one of its principal lyricists. The Beach Boys, from their California roots to their international fame, are a unique American story -- one of overnight success and age-defying longevity; of musical genius and reckless self-destruction; of spirituality, betrayal, and forgiveness -- and Love is the only band member to be part of it each and every step. His own story has never been fully told, of how a sheet-metal apprentice became the quintessential front man for America's most successful rock band, singing in more than 5,600 concerts in 26 countries. Love describes the stories behind his lyrics for pop classics such as "Good Vibrations," "California Girls," "Surfin' USA," and "Kokomo," while providing vivid portraits of the turbulent lives of his three gifted cousins, Brian, Dennis, and Carl Wilson. His partnership with Brian has few equals in American pop music, though Mike has carved out a legacy of his own -- he co-wrote the lyrics to eleven of the twelve original Beach Boy songs that were top 10 hits while providing the lead vocals on ten of them. The band's unprecedented durability also provides a glimpse into America's changing cultural mores over the past half century, while Love himself has experienced both the diabolical and the divine -- from Charles Manson's "family" threatening his life to Maharishi instilling it with peace. A husband, a father, and an avid environmentalist, Love has written a book that is as rich and layered as the Beach Boy harmonies themselves.
About the Author
Mike Love is a founding member of The Beach Boys, considered to be the most popular American band in history, with 13 Gold Albums, 55 top-100 singles, and four #1 hits. Love has been the lead singer of the group one of its principal lyricists since its inception in 1961. His credits include such pop classics as "Good Vibrations," "California Girls," "I Get Around," "Fun Fun Fun," and "Kokomo." Love has received an Ella Award for his song writing, and, as part of The Beach Boys, he is a member of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame; the Vocal Group Hall of Fame; and has received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.
James S. Hirsch is a journalist and "New York Times" bestselling author whose books include biographies of Willie Mays and Rubin "Hurricane" Carter and examinations of military issues, the health care system, and global philanthropy. Hirsch won the Christopher Award for "Walk in Their Shoes: Can One Person Change the World."