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Mike Love Plans to Tell His Side of Beach Boys Story in New Book

Cindy Ord, Getty Images
Cindy Ord, Getty Images

Mike Love is still battling for his share of Beach Boys credit, even after all these years. The last remaining original member and sole licensee of the Beach Boys name, Love said he always had more to do with the group’s success than most people give him credit for. His cousin Brian Wilson, who’s no longer in the group, tends to get the lion’s share of accolades.

That’s led to a series of lawsuits, some seeking royalties for songs Love said he wrote but was never given credit for, and others like the one involving Wilson’s 1992 autobiography, which doesn’t portray Love in the best of lights.

“It was like I hardly did anything and Brian did everything,” Love told Rolling Stone. “It’s like kind of trying to erase somebody from history or create another reality.”

Publisher HarperCollins eventually settled Love’s suit involving the Wilson memoir for $1.5 million. In 1994, another legal action resulted in the addition of Love’s name as co-composer on 35 Beach Boys songs and another $2 million or so in back royalties.

None of it, though, has brought Love any closer to the adulation reserved for Wilson, he noted. Pointed comments at the Beach Boys’ 1988 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and a controversial end to the band’s 2012 reunion tour didn’t help matters. “I’ve been ostracized,” he said. “Vilified. In other words, f—ed with.”

Love – who still plays more than 170 Beach Boys dates a year – now has his own autobiography set to arrive in the fall, something he hopes will correct a few misconceptions about what happened back in the day. Maybe, he said, people will see him differently after reading his side of the story.

“The fable is that I’m such an a–hole, but a lot of that stuff is skewed by the crazies,” Love said. “I never said half the s— that’s attributed to me. I mean, I must be pretty prolific in a–hole-type things to say, like, I get up in the morning thinking, ‘I’ve got a job to do. How can I be a total jerk today?'”

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