Alibi V.18 No.47 • Nov 19-25, 2009 

Show Up!

Surfin’ U.S.A.

A chat with Mike Love of The Beach Boys

Mike Love
Mike Love

In 1968, Beatle Paul McCartney and Beach Boy Mike Love were at the breakfast table in India. McCartney had come to Love with a very rough form of “Back in the U.S.S.R.,” which he began writing on the trip. Over pancakes and fruit, McCartney started singing the chorus. “Paul sang me the verse. I told him he should talk about the Russian girls in Moscow,” Love explains. “He took my idea and incorporated it into the song.”

The two have stayed friends. Aside from writing music with a Beatle, Love fell in, um, love with transcendental meditation on that trip and has practiced it since. In April he attended a benefit organized by director David Lynch (Blue Velvet, “Twin Peaks”) in New York City. “Paul, Ringo, Donovan and I just had a reunion of sorts. We went to N.Y.C. to raise awareness for transcendental meditation for at-risk youth,” he says.

In addition to supporting spiritual movements, Love continues to tour the world. The Beach Boys has been an active touring band for the past five decades. While Brian Wilson and Al Jardine are off pursuing solo careers, remaining original members Love and Bruce Johnston continue to play Beach Boy hits. There is a chance, however, that the surviving members will reunite.

“There have been no specific dates or times when we will get together but the possibility is there,” Love says. “We have a 50th anniversary coming up, which is a landmark, so there is a lot of interest because of that.”

As for new material, Love is gearing up for another release to add to his already extensive catalog. “I’ve recorded a bunch of songs more recently and I have yet to put those out. I want to put out another solo album. I have about two album’s worth of stuff,” he says. “When we get together with Brian, maybe that’s the right time to put it out.”


The Beach Boys

Saturday, Nov. 21, 8 p.m.
Buffalo Thunder Resort & Casino
30 Buffalo Thunder Trail, Santa Fe
Tickets: $39 to $59 through tickets.com or (800) 905-3315