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Mike Love Biography: Talents, Friendship With Brian Wilson, Marriage and Career Achievements

Michael Edward Love (aka Mike Love) is an American singer, songwriter. He co-founded the hit Beach Boys with his cousins Brian, Dennis, Carl Wilson and their friend Aljardine.

Throughout the course of his entire career, Love was characterized by his nasal tenor and occasional bass baritone singing. Contributing his quota as one of the band’s vocalist and lyricists for their entire career, Mike Love served as their front man for live performances.

Mike Love on blue clothes

Mike Love

By the mid 1960’s, he was a main collaborator co-writing hit records such as, “I Get Around”, “Fun Fun Fun”, “Good Vibrations” and “California Girls”

Mike Love Early Life

The California born singer and songwriter, Michael Edward Love was born on March 15, 1941.

His father owned a sheet metal company; his mother’s family have long been residents of LA since the 1920’s.

Mike Love and a woman

Mike Love

Mike Love graduated Dorsey High School in 1959. Not quite sure about his life’s direction and future carer, he chose to work at his father’s company. By the late 1950’s , the company had declined in its wealth.

The Love Family were quite close and often socialized with Love mother’s brother, Murry Wilson and his family. Their sons became close friends.

In particular, one of Wilson’s Brian had taught himself to play the piano – he contributed majorly to the group. When the Love business endured some losses, the family chose to live closer to the Wilson’s.

Mike Love Wiki

Living close to the Wilson’s who at the time were into music as a lifestyle may have contributed a lot to Mike Love‘s appreciation and interest in music. In the new found garage, a new band was born, the Pedletones.

The Beach Boys

The Beach Boys

Mike Love played the saxophones, as one of the original composers of the band’s songs, the band was renamed Beach Boys and all members contributed a part in it’s vocals.

By the 1970’s, co-founder of the Beach Boys Brian Wilson mental health and stability was deteriorating fast.

During this time, the band continued to tour and hold concerts as usual. But this time, most of the musical compositions were handled and written by Love.

Their 1988 Kokomo became a hit and Brian Wilson wasn’t a part of it. At the same time, the Beach Boys were nominated for the Grammy Awards, excluding, Wilson – this added a tad to the strain already on their relationship.

But, this did not stop them, the band continued to tour despite their deteriorating relationships.

Mike Love Profile

Date of birth: March 15, 1941

Place of birth: Los Angeles

Country: United States

Profession: Pop, rock singer

Horoscope: Pisces

Known for: Song writing

Music style: Contemporary, AM pop, Sunshine pop, Surf, Rock & Roll, Pop/Rock

Member: The Beach Boys, Celebration

Labels: Capitol, Brother, EM, Boardwalk, Creole, Epic

Mike Love Family

Mike Love was married to Jacqueline Piesen since 1994. Before this, Love was married 5 times and has a total of 8 children.

Brian Wilson

Brian Wilson

Mike Love is also a cousin to the Wilson brothers; Carl, Brian and Dennis – who are also members of the band ‘Beach Boys’

In addition to that, Mike Love is the brother of former NBA basketball player Stan Love and Pink Martini harpist Maureen Love.

Love is also uncle to Kevin Love, a basketball player of the popular Cleveland Cavaliers.

Mike Love Career; Achievements, Professional Path

In the early days of his career, he played the saxophone – Love was mainly a co-lead singer, alongside cousin Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys.

Mike was the lead vocalist championing some of the Beach Boys popular hits, including, “Little Deuce Coupe”, “Surfin’ Safari”, “Be True to Your School”, “I Get Around” and “Fun Fun Fun”

As time went on, he slowly lost his role as the lead vocal as other members voices got noticed by the public.

Still, he remained one of the most prominent and recognized voices in the band, mostly due to his nasal and bass sounds on songs such as “I Can Hear Music” and “Do It Again”

It’s fair to say that Mike Love has always frontlined the Beach Boys introducing each song and group members.

Mike Love Achievements

Many of the Beach Boys’ songs have lyrics written or co-written by Love, typically about surfing, cars, or love, but also classic ballads like “The Warmth of the Sun.” He started and won a legal battle in the 1990s to get co-authorship credit for many of the Beach Boys’ singles. He continues to co-write songs and has written some of his own throughout his career.

Love became increasingly problematic in the Beach Boys’ career in the late 1960s, as co-founder Brian Wilson was sidelined by mental illness and drug difficulties. According to most accounts, Love was the most vocal among the group members in his objections to the Pet Sounds’ lyrical content and avant-garde methods.

Through his interaction with the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, Love was one of the first pop performers to become immersed in the practice of Transcendental Meditation. As a result, in early 1968, he accompanied The Beatles, Donovan, Prudence Farrow, and Mia Farrow on their well-known trip to the guru’s ashram in Rishikesh, India. Love continues to promote the benefits of TM to this day. Love went on to become a Transcendental Meditation instructor.

Carl Wilson took over leadership of the band in the late 1960s, when Brian was no longer touring (contracts stated that venues hired “Carl Wilson plus four other musicians”), but by the late 1970s, Love had reasserted his dominance over the band; setlists were often limited to the hit catalog and a few songs from the most recent album.

This approach eliminated the need for the Wilson brothers, particularly Dennis, who had assumed co frontman responsibilities following a hand accident, but this capitalized directly on the first wave of late 1950s/early 1960s rock and roll nostalgia (probably spurred on by the success of American Graffiti and Happy Days) and kept the group’s business interests afloat. With the release of the compilation Endless in 1974, the success of this method was confirmed.

Mike Love Professional Path

Mike was expected to take over his father’s steel business before pursuing a musical career with his three cousins. He co-wrote songs with Brian Wilson that became staples of the Californian music scene, with themes such as summer, hot rods, and love.

He’s also known for his on-stage antics, which earned him the title of “showman” for the band. In comparison to other founding members who came and went, he was the most reliable Beach Boy, rarely missing a live event.

The Beach Boys’ “Kokomo” was a US number-one success in 1988, and it was the band’s only number-one song without Brian Wilson’s involvement. Mike Love was nominated for a Golden Globe Award in the Original Song category in 1988, as well as a Grammy Award.

He co-wrote “Kokomo” with Scott McKenzie, Terry Melcher, and John Phillips.

Mike Love is still touring with The Beach Boys, along with Bruce Johnston and a new backing band, as of 2009. He has mentioned that he is open to a reunion, and he is working on something with Al Jardine.

Love has attempted to pursue a career outside of the Beach Boys on multiple occasions. He recorded and released two albums with his side band Celebration in the mid-1970s, including the top 30 smash single “Almost Summer” (co-written with Brian Wilson and Jardine) and songwriting contributions to the band’s third (unreleased) album “Disco Celebration.” He also recorded two unreleased solo albums in the late 1970s, First Love and Country Love.

Some of the songs from First Love appeared on Beach Boys albums.

Looking Back With Love, his first solo album, was released in 1981. The album, which largely consisted of cover versions, was neither critically nor commercially successful.

How Much Money Does Mike Love Make; Income, Salary

Born on the 15th of March in Baldwin hills, Los Angeles county in the United States has been valued by many sources to be worth around $90 million.

He is well known as one of the founding members of the famous 90’s rock band The Beach Boys, releasing various hit classic albums, including “Catch a Wave” (1996), “Surfer Girl” (1963)

Composer, song writer, guitarist, he began his professional career in 1961 and continues even till this day.

Mike Love Net Worth

Here’s the updated 2022 Mike Love Net Worth Income Salary

(This information was collected from various sources across the web)

Mike Love’s Income/Salary

Per year: $4 000 000

Per Month: $32 000

Per Week: $8 000

Per Day: $1140

Per Hour: $19

Per Minute: $0.3

From the figures above, one can only help but wonder, how did Mike Love get so rich? It’s safe to assume he makes these from sales of his albums, tours and others.

Mike Love Life and Achievements

In the 1970s, the band’s fame diminished considerably, mostly due to their experimenting with different music genres, and Brian Wilson’s departure.

However, two albums stood out – ‘Holland’ (1973), and ’15 Big Ones’ (1976). At this point, his net worth was still rising.

The 1980s didn’t bring much change, as only one album was in the spotlight, “Still Cruisin” (1989), which claimed platinum certification.

Also in 1988 the single “Kokomo” – written for the film “Cocktail” – reached #1 on the Billboard Chart, increasing Mike’s net worth further.

In credits to his successful career in the music industry, Mike Love as well as the other Beach Boys, was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame by Elton John .

Other than that, he is also the recipient of the distinguished 2014 Society of Singers Lifetime Achievement Award.

Talking about Mike Love’s personal life, he has married five times, the fifth and presently Jacquelyne Piesen (m.1994)

their marriage is blessed with two children plus six from previous marriages, and one out of wedlock.

He is a vegetarian, and he is known also as a teacher of Transcendental Meditation.

In his spare time Mike devotes himself to charity work, founding “The Love Foundation” which has donated over $100,000 to the American Red Cross amongst others.

Because of his generosity, he was awarded with City Year’s “Seven Generation Award”.

Does Mike Love Have Any Talents; The Good and The Bad

It’s definitely the best time to bring up something no one’s pretty much talked about but always wondered about Mike Love.

To our knowledge, despite having been a full time musician, Mike Love has never played a single instrument, other then the occasional tambourine or Kazoo.

But Mike is pretty damn good at singing and dancing and fancies himself as the “American Mick Jagger”.

No true musician would not want to pick up an instrument they know even just for pleasure if they had the time. What does Mike Love do with his free time? Maybe it’s safe to assume, Mike Love does not have a whole lot of musical talent.

The Good

Throwback 1978, Mike Love made one of his first standing gestures towards a solo career. He got teamed up with some members of the band ‘King Harvest’ to form the new group ‘Celebration’.

Kicking off their debut for the year, they had several songs written and recorded for the movie ‘Almost summer’.

They would go on to produce 2 more albums, 1978’s Celebration and 1979’s Disco Celebration, the latter would include a disco reworking of ‘California Girls’.

Mike Love kept up a busy schedule with the Beach Boys despite this – releasing the new albums, L.A. (Light Album) in 1979 and ‘Keepin the summer Alive in 1980.

1981 October led to the birth of Love’s first solo album, “Looking Back with Love”; the album was released by Boardwalk Records, and when the label went out of business in 1982, the LP went out of print.

Following the famous 1985 album “The Beach Boys”, Love’s cousin Brian Wilson stopped working with the band and launched a solo career with his self-titled album for Sire Records in 1988.

That same year, a Beach Boys lineup led by Love recorded “Kokomo” for the soundtrack of the film Cocktail; the song was issued as a single and rapidly became a radio hit, reaching number one on the sales charts and selling more than a million copies.

After the triumph of “Kokomo,” the Beach Boys’ bread and butter remained touring, with Love as the group’s leader and Carl Wilson as its musical director. Following Carl Wilson’s death in 1998, Love and Bruce Johnston took over as proprietors of the Beach Boys, who continued to tour each summer, attracting a sizable audience.

The Bad 

Wilson is the source of Love’s resentment, and it isn’t just about money.

He’s as bad-tempered as a toddler when it comes to his creative contribution to the Beach Boys (or his pal Donald Trump). Love focuses solely on the Beach Boys songs he created and the band’s achievements.

When he spins practically every conversation made around whatever joke made to them, like in the celebrity tales, this keyhole focus can become boring. The Beatles, Marlon Brando, Muhammad Ali, Chuck Berry, and Richard Pryor, according to Love, all admired his humor reverently.

When it comes to the Beach Boys’ achievements, however, Love is heedlessly unorthodox. Wilson’s genius reputation, according to him, is the consequence of a clever public relations operation, not the harmonic depth and orchestral grandeur he developed.

Carl and Dennis Wilson, two of the band’s most important and gifted members, are constantly disparaged, and their tragic deaths are casually referenced. And any song not written by Love is rejected, so the band’s most popular and successful songs are reduced to footnotes—though he goes into excruciating length about composing the beautiful yet empirically simple lyrics for “California Girls” and “Be True to Your School.”

Love founded Love Songs Records with collaborators Ron Altbach and jazz saxophonist Charles Lloyd in 1976–77. This was supposed to be the vehicle for Love’s solo albums, as well as the band Celebration and other ventures. At Loves’ home in Santa Barbara, California, the company had its own recording studio and publishing facility.

He fronted the band Celebration in the mid-1970s, which had the top 30 hit track Almost Summer (co-written with Brian Wilson and Jardine).

Love recorded two unreleased solo albums in the late 1970s, First Love and Country Love. Looking Back with Love (1981), Love’s first and only official solo album, featured covers of pop staples like Neil Sedaka’s “Calendar Girl” as well as a self-penned song called “Paradise Found.”

Is Brian Wilson Still Friends With Mike; Beach Boys Feud

The Beach Boys, the definition of an iconic band of all time. They defined their different harmonies as well as personalities, endearing them to fans all around the world.

Brian Wilson and Mike Love

Brian Wilson and Mike Love

As they do bring that classic California bit of sunshine on whatever radio or speaker they get played on.

Formed way back in 1961 with mastermind as Brian Wilson, alongside his brothers Carl and Dennis, cousin Mike Love and Aljardine.

In total, the Beach Boys have sold over a 100 million records worldwide adding to their commercial brilliance.

Although widely known, due to their mastery in psychedelic avant garde, it was their 1966 deeply introspective Pet sounds that led to their status as gods of rock.

It really has not been a smooth ride for the California troupe.

For sure, they aren’t a stranger to bad blood, misunderstandings and creative differences. The most impactive feature of the dark side of the band’s rivalry is the Shakespearean tragedy between Brian Wilson and Mike Love. There is something very deeply entrenched about their rivalry, to the point there’s almost zero possibility of reconciling.

Brian Wilson on the other hand has been particularly vocal on his disdain for his former close band mate.

In Vanity Fair, Mike Love acknowledged that : “For those who believe that Brian walks on water, I will always be the Antichrist.

Airing their dirty linens in public, Brian Wilson has publicly mocked Love’s singing voice even going as far as declaring his distaste for Mike Love – in his words, “I don’t like Mike Love at all. I don’t like his attitude. He’s too egoistical.”

Fans can’t help but wonder about these statements.

Why does Brian Wilson hate Mike Love so much?

It turns out there are a few credible reasons starting as far back as 1966 with the recording for Pet sounds.

Almost entirely composed by Wilson, Pet Sounds was clearly close to his heart, given it was such a momentous time in his personal life. Progressive pop at its finest; – it was groundbreaking in so many ways, and even now, over 50 years since its release, it is hailed as a game-changer.

Recording techniques, structure and chords were broken down and reworked by Wilson, who at that point was suffering from severe mental health problems owing to the effects of LSD.

The fact that it was almost entirely composed by Brian Wilson, – pet sounds was close to his heart, holding such undeniable presence in his personal life. This was progressive pop at perhaps its finest , it was earth shattering in so many ways.

Even now, over 50 years later, it is a still ground-breaker.

Musical structure, recording technique, chords were shattered and reworked by Wilson who at the time was suffering from severe health problems owing to the effects of LSD.

Though the album pretty much spelled Wilson, widely hailed as a piece from an ingenious – Wilson himself. One man wasn’t pleased, who but Mike Love.

Allegedly by sources, when Love first played Brian’s album, he said, “Who’s gonna hear this shit? The ears of a dog?

Love no doubt denied this quote.

It was further claimed that Love was in discord about Wilson’s next work.

Wilson in the end would leave the album unfinished until finally releasing it in 2004.

Love’s opinion would effect Wilson’s decision to shelve ‘Pet sounds’ successor – this has always been debated amongst many.

In actuality, Love said: “A lot of that stuff is skewed by the crazies.”

However, he clearly did admit:”I might have complained about some of the lyrics on smile, calling them acid alliteration.”

Hopefully this joke wasn’t all it took to make Wilson hate Love, or at least make him shelve the album.

Additionally, there is the issue of who wrote all the songs. Love is known to have taken Wilson to court several times.

Throw back 1994, he won a suit that authorized him retroactive songwriting credits on 35 Beach Boys songs, including the popular hit song, “I Get Around.”

Love acclaimed Wilson’s accreditation on a majority of their songs as “almost certainly the largest case of fraud in music history.”

In essence, Wilson was ordered by the court to hand Mike Love a $5 million settlement in lost royalties.

The Beach Boys Feud

In 1967, owing to numerous health and drug issues, Brian was absent from the band, there’s also the major dispute they had over the band’s name.

Due to different complications, some how Mike Love ended up with total control over the band’s name.Misconceptions and bad blood grew further.

After the death of Brian Wilson’s two brothers, Carl and Dennis – surviving members Mike Love, Brian Wilson and Al Jardine chose to let bygones be bygones

,embarking on a celebratory 50th anniversary tour in 2012.

This was to end abruptly considering rumours emerging that love had fired Wilson from the band. Leading to the Beach Boys version of order 66; following closely was Love touring under the name of ‘The Beach Boys’ and Wilson, Jardine and the third of the Beach Boys member David Marks touring as a trio.

In a few years, the band would again briefly get back together for a one-off Q&A session at the Capitol Records Tower in Los Angeles.

Following a successful performance, in December 2018, Mike Love would come on to claim that he “would love nothing more than to get together with Brian and do some music.”

However, this little reunion wasn’t to last. Fast forward February 2020, the tussles would resume again.

Touring once again under the Beach Boys name, Love and his new team would do a show for the Safari Club International Convention.

This show was to promote the group who were previously criticized for promoting the killing of wild animals.

Finding out this piece of truth, in opposition to everything the group stood for, Wilson was outraged.

He once again took to the media to share his two cents. Writing from Brooklyn, he said: “It has been brought to my attention that on Wednesday February 5, The Beach Boys touring group licensed by Mike Love are headlining at the Safari Club International in Reno, Nevada.”

He further continued: “This organization supports trophy hunting, which both Al and I are strongly opposed to. There’s nothing we can do personally to stop the show.”

Wilson later on, would share a link to a change.org petition, which at the time attracted nearly 80,000 signatures.

Classic Brian Wilson would go on to title the petition, “Wouldn’t it be nice if all the Beach Boys, stayed away from those who kill for fun?”

Not backing down, Love would later reply, “(We) support freedom of thought and expression as a fundamental tenet rights as Americans.”

This would further serve to widen the gap in their ideologies. Mike Love’s Beach Boys would go on to headline a California fundraiser for Donald Trump’s presidential re-election campaign.

Wilson and Jardine would later voice their opinion through a spokesperson declaring their lack of support for the performance.

They said: “We have absolutely nothing to do with the Trump benefit today in New Port Beach. Zero.”

No doubt that the ideological gap between Mike Love and Brian Wilson is deeply entrenched in disdain for one another, but it isn’t hard to see why it’s so difficult between them, as the love is long lost.

But realize, at this point, one could call it impossible.

So, who exactly is Brian Wilson’s Wife; The ‘Beach Boys’ wife

Brian Wilson, one of the musical pioneers of the popular 19’s ‘The Beach Boys’ band.

Best known for his songwriting prowess in the Beach Boys. But, who is his wife and does he have children?

Brian Wilson can be considered as one of the longest-serving member of the Beach Boys – and rightly so. As one who has performed alongside his band mates for years, at some point he worked as the main songwriter in the band, while also singing and playing the piano for several years.

Talking about Wilson’s private life, let’s just say it’s been a rollercoaster. But, is he married with children?

Brian Wilson has been married twice, and as of now is married to his second wife Melinda Ledbetter.

To say his personal life has been smooth sailing would be no truth, as he has struggled with mental health problems, which have led to significant challenges – As a member of the band, as well as in his relationships.

Before his wife Melinda, he was previously married to Marilyn Rovell, from 1964 to 1979.

With his ex-wife Marilyn, Brian has two beautiful daughters, Carrie and Wendy, both of who as at date are also in a band.

The Mental Issues Of Brian Wilson

In 1973, Brian Wilson lost his father. That period can be described as a particularly dreary one for Brian.

Secluding himself in the Chauffeur’s quarters of his, he spent most of his time sleeping, drinking, doing drugs and mostly, other self-destructive behavior.

He once attempted to drive his car off a cliff, demanding that he be pushed and buried in a grave he dug for himself.

In 1975, Wilson was put under the care of psychotherapist Eugene Landy.

Landy was soon later re-employed by Wilson as his therapist, executive producer, co-songwriter, business manager and business adviser.

Landy would go on to co-produce Wilson’s debut solo album in 1988 and soon after it’s unreleased follow up ‘Sweet Insanity’.

Allegedly, Landy was said to also have ghostwritten chapters of Wilson’s disowned memoir “Wouldn’t it Be Nice: My Own Story”.

Due to accusations of patient misconduct and ethical violations, Landy would give in to the revoking of his professional license by the California state.

Wilson would later hand Landy a restraining order in 1992, stopping Landy from contacting him ever again.

By the 1990’s, Wilson would start receiving normal medical treatment.

Soon after, he would begin recording and performing once again as a solo artist.

He is diagnosed as Schizoaffective with mild manic depression.

This means he would regularly experience auditory hallucinations.

Related: Is Brian Wilson Still Friends With Mike Love; Beach Boys feud

Brian Wilson Marriages

Wilson was married to Marilyn Rovell from the year 1964 to 1979.

The marriage produced two daughters; Carrie and Wendy, who would go on to form two-thirds of Wilson Phillips.

By the year 1995, Wilson remarried – To a saleswoman and former model Melinda Kae Ledbetter.

They had met earlier in 1986, but Landy had put an end to their relationship.

1992 was the year they got reconnected and 3 years later they were married.

Soon after Landy was struck with a 1999 court order which indefinitely denied him from getting in contact Wilson.

Wilson and Ledbetter made new reconnections.

Ledbetter would go on to become Wilson’s manager in 1999, which according to her was a job full of bargains.

And she said, “It’s basically negotiations and that’s what I did every single day when I sold cars.”

According to Melinda, “I was in the right place at the right time to help him. It’s really like the concept that you can lead a horse to water but you can’t get him to drink.”

Brian’s missed out on an environment he feels safe. He obviously didn’t have that with his family, former wife and friends.

Now finally, he’s got that.

Ledbetter is known to have authored Wilson’s decision to get proper medical care, as well as inspire him to complete his unfinished album Smile.

Melinda Ledbetter is of German and Irish ancestry and grew up in Whittier, California.

She worked as a commercial model for 16 years, for designers such as Bob Mackie and Anne Klein, before becoming a sales representative for a Cadillac dealership in Los Angeles.

Ledbetter met Brian Wilson in 1986 while working at a car dealership. Wilson was a patient in Eugene Landy’s 24-hour therapy program at the time.

She reported Landy for ethical infractions to the state attorney general six months after meeting Wilson, but they told her that nothing could be done without Wilson’s family’s participation. In 1989, “when we [Brian and I] started to get serious,” Landy instructed Wilson to cut relations with her, according to Ledbetter.

The first half of the 2014 Brian Wilson biography Love & Mercy, starring Elizabeth Banks as Ledbetter, is set in the 1980s. Oren Moverman, the screenwriter for Love & Mercy, indicated that almost every occurrence in the film’s 1980s segments was based on talks he had with Ledbetter. After seeing the movie, she stated: “What Landy did to Brian was even worse, I remembered. It isn’t depicted in the film, but it occurred on a daily basis for years.”

Read Also: Dennis Wilson Net Worth: Funeral, Career, Marriage and Biography

Brian Wilson’s Marriage and Rumors

Numerous reports arose surrounding Brian Wilson’s comeback especially one which alleged that his close associates, including his wife Ledbetter had been actively exploiting Wilson with an undue pressure to maintain an active music career.

Throwback 1988, Wilson’s daughter from his former wife referred to wife Melinda as “Melandy” in reference to Landy and the control he had over Wilson’s affairs.

In an interview held in 2007, Wilson gave credits to his relationship with Ledbetter as an inspiration which allowed him resume his career as a musician and songwriter. The mid 1990’s led to a collaboration between multi-instrumentalist talent Andy Paley on a track earmarked for a potential Beach Boys comeback album.

In an accusation by Wilson’s cousin and former band mate Mike Love, the group’s 50th anniversary reunion tour was called off short – a tour which involved all original surviving members ended prematurely due to much unwanted interference on Ledbetter’s part.

He expressly described his disappointment and the refusal on Wilson’s part to collaborate for the album ‘Thats Why God Made The Radio’, as promised.

Also, during the performance Ledbetter had attempted to install an autotune unit in each of the band’s microphones.

This ultimately defined the beginning of an endless list of quarrels between Love and Ledbetter which ended that she be banned from attending rehearsals until the tour was officially over.

Ledbetter was credited by Wilson for her assistance with some of the production of his album, “No Pier Pressure”.

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