Mike Love 'Upset' Over Direction of Beach Boys Reunion Album, Tour
Singer says he and Brian Wilson were "supposed to be allowed to get together to write songs from scratch like we did in the 60s, but that was never to be, and that wasn't because of me."
Though the Beach Boys are divided rather than conquering a year after their triumphant 50th anniversary reunion tour, Mike Love is not ruling out the possibility of it happening again. But he has some stipulations.
"It depends, because the way it was run and the people who were running it I have serious issues with," Love -- who's currently leading his version of the Beach Boys with keyboardist Bruce Johnston -- tells Billboard. "It will happen only if I can do it with people who I trusted and liked and were honorable. I have no problem with my cousin Brian (Wilson) and I in a room with a piano, but it's not that uncomplicated."
Love doesn't get too specific about his issues with the consortium that managed the Beach Boys' reunion, but he says one point of contention is that he feels plans for him to do some songwriting with Wilson were derailed as part of the process that led to the 2012 studio album That's Why God Made the Radio.
"I talked to Brian about a year before we even started doing any of the recording for (the album)," Love explains. "He and I talked about doing a project and he was excited about doing it, but it never came to fruition at all. It was given another direction -- not by me and not by Brian but by others. We were supposed to be allowed to get together to write songs from scratch like we did in the 60s, but that was never to be, and that wasn't because of me. So I think there are issues related to that whole thing. It was great to be in the studio and listen to those harmonies coming back, but it wasn't the opportunity it was supposed to be, which I'm upset about."
Wilson says he'd still like to pursue some more writing with Wilson, who's played some shows with original Beach Boys Al Jardine and David Marks this summer. That might have to wait, however; Wilson has a new solo album coming this fall, as well as a tour with Jeff Beck. The Beach Boys, meanwhile, will be releasing a career-spanning box set "Made In California (1962-2012)" on Aug. 27 that features more than 60 previously unreleased tracks.
"I was pretty involved in the sequencing and the song selection and the overall concept," says Love, adding that summarizing the Beach Boys, even on a set this size, is challenging. "Everybody has their own appreciation of the Beach Boys depending on where they're coming from with their musical tastes, so we tried to be representative of all eras and of everybody in the band and their contributions," he explains. "Of course it's never going to be the whole story, but it's a pretty extensive one. There may be a couple of things missing that I would have liked to have seen in there, but then everybody else would probably have the same point of view."
The Love-Johnston Beach Boys have U.S. dates booked into mid-October.