Let’s make this very clear, Mike Love — you’re in a cover band.
That’s right. You are in a Brian Wilson song cover band.
Sure, you happen to have had the good fortune of being related (a cousin.. we all have them) to one of the best rock music composers of all time (perhaps the best), and that gave you the opportunity to be there as his genius took form. But don’t for one second start to think that any of us music fans out here actually think that YOU are the Beach Boys.
Maybe YOU think so. You definitely act as if that’s the case, because now you’ve kicked everybody else back out of the band after the latest reunion tour (to the complete surprise of Wilson and Al Jardine, another founding member, who both thought things were going just fine).
Where does this power come from? Who do you think you are?
You know who you are? You’re Mitt Romney.
Yeah. You’re a businessman. You’re corporate America. But you’re not the self-starter. You come from family money. Sure, you can’t help that. But you could at least give the slightest bit of acknowledgement as to the gift you were born into. What’s with this self-righteous, self-serving attitude that grows upon you like a too-dark, self-applied tan? You, Mike Love, were given something — given a lot — given ten times what even the next most fortunate person was– and you found a way to make it into even more.
That part is great, man. Wonderful. It’s wonderful that you live in a time and a place where your talent is needed. A time when people don’t care much for musicianship or to see the people who actually wrote the songs perform them. And a place where a few people with enough surplus income still go to concerts to watch you sing falsetto karaoke in a new Hawaiian shirt. It’s also fortunate that you released so many different Greatest Hits albums during a time when people had no better option than to buy $18 dollar CDs from the mall (remember that? Give Napster credit — it stopped that).
But where’s the new music, Mike Love? When are you going to blow our minds again? Where is understanding what the people like and where we all came from? Where’s the empathy for the worker? Be it Brian Wilson, Al Jardine or ourselves?
Maybe you’ve realized that you don’t need it anymore? That the catalog you work from is so vast that you can do without the genius behind the show? That you can now outsource — like Mitt Romney — the job of harmonizing on stage to a guy who’ll be happy to take a tenth of what Brian Wilson does? (Because Brian Wilson, as we all know, is the real Beach Boys.)
(And all this time you’ve been on auto-pilot — just to interject a salient point — Brian went ahead and released that album you never liked — Smile. Remember? In 2004 it won a Grammy, went gold and was voted into numerous “best of..” lists — year and decade. Yes. Of course you recall that because you sued him over it.)
You’re a carnival barker, Mike Love. The jackass kind who whips elephants and pulls into town with 30 hungry clowns in the back of a van to play the crowd “Kokomo” over and over because that’s the one song you helped write.
I’d like to fight you.
I’m open to the place and time. That’s your call, Mike Love. Though I’d prefer not to fly. In fact, somewhere near the general Chicagoland area would be good. Actually, go ahead and make it all of Illinois and southern Wisconsin. For that, I’m game.
An ultimate fight.
But no cage. I don’t know where they get those.
So unless one of us finds one, like, at Goodwill or something within the next week. Actually, don’t worry about it. Really. Unless you happen to see one.
As for weapons, I don’t think we’ll need any. I say that because I’m almost completely untrained in just about everything. I was a pretty solid bowler about five years ago, but… you know what, that won’t help. So scratch weapons. Bare knuckles.
That’s right, take off all those rings, Liberace. What’s up with that anyway? You gonna tell me my future? I’ll tell you yours — we’re going to do this just like in Every Which Way But Loose. Seen it? Yeah. Like that with no monkeys. You could also glean the basic idea from the sequel. It wasn’t that bad.
Freaking Clint Eastwood, Mike Love? Why even bring that up?! Now you’re making me angry.
This is starting to ruin listening to the old albums for me. I just can’t accept that. “Don’t Worry Baby” makes me want to hit somebody. And it has to be you.
It’s on, Mike Love.
Anytime. Any place (preferably Illinois). No weapons. Monkeys optional.
We’re gonna fight.
If you win, the reward will be my begrudging respect (but only because you’re like 70 and that would be crazy).
But if I win… you get a cover band name. That’s right: you tour with a goofy Beach Boys cover band name.
How does The Good Vibrations work for you? The Deuce Coupes?