A Totally Subjective Round-Up of Brian Wilson/Beach Boys News, Gossip & Trivia

Friday, December 16, 2005

Interesting, If Wrong-Headed, Editorial

Where's the 'Love' for Mike?
Lone Beach Boy drives critics mad
by WADE TATANGELO Herald Staff Writer

Music critics, snobs and hipsters typically despise the current incarnation of the Beach Boys. The whippings started to inundate music publications in the early 1970s. The harassment peaked with the cheesy 1988 hit "Kokomo" and the flames of hate were rekindled for the online era courtesy of the Beach Boys 1996 lame-o country effort "Stars and Stripes, Vol. 1."

And Mike Love is all to blame. At least that's what those cruel critics say. Because the only other original B-Boy still alive, Brian Wilson, can do no wrong.

The pop music police agree that the Beach Boys album "Pet Sounds" is a masterpiece; the single "Good Vibrations" is hailed as three and a half minutes of sunny pop magic; and "California Girls" is regularly classified as one of the catchiest ditties to ever pour from a convertible.

However, them nasty critics have serious abhorrence for the B-Boys assemblage that will perform in Sarasota at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall on Sunday. You see, these pundits, who write about pop tunes with the passion evangelicals save for Darwinists, and Susan Sarandon think it is wrong, wrong, wrong that Mike Love calls his current band the Beach Boys, which is ruining the group's good name.

Alas, original Beach Boys Dennis and Carl Wilson are dead. Fortunately, their brother Brian Wilson, the band's main composer/musical director during the glory days, is back from a self-imposed exile and blowing audiences away as a solo act. However, lawsuit-happy cousin Love (he's currently trying to take Brian back to court) bills his solo act as the Beach Boys.

The musicians who will be at the Wezel backing him Sunday on oldies like "Surfer Girl" and such are just replacement players. So, couldn't the show be marketed as "The Beach Boy and Friends?" Or "Beach Boy Mike Love and Band?" How about "For the Love of Mike, play 'Kokomo'?"

Because it seems Wilson has just as much right to tour as the Beach Boys as Love? Right? Right?

On the flip side, Love has his fans and perhaps deserves a little more respect than he gets. He's been the Beach Boys lead singer since the group first made teenyboppers squeal in 1961. And the 64-year-old flaxen vocalist did co-write many of the Boys' biggies, like "Surfin' Safari" and "Be True to Your School." Plus, the gig is being promoted as a "holiday show" - which means gems like "Little Saint Nick," from the Beach Boys beloved 1964 "Christmas Album," should be on display. And how could this music critic blast a holiday show?