Good Vibrations: My Life as a Beach Boy

As a co-founding member of the Beach Boys in the 1960s, Mike Love offers readers an insider's look at the magic and mania of being a vital part of that volatile, iconic and enduring musical group with Good Vibrations. In 1962, Love, his teenage cousins Brian, Carl and Dennis Wilson, and high school pal Al Jardine went from recording a two-song demo to signing with Capitol Records. Their intoxicating sound mixed driving surf music and angelic harmonies. Capitol pushed out 10 albums during the group's first four years. While Brian Wilson composed the music, Love penned the lyrics to classic songs like "California Girls," "Help Me, Rhonda," "I Get Around" and "Good Vibrations."

The Beach Boys began to fracture as the group's carefree sound began to play at odds to the turbulent mid-'60s landscape of protests, war and assassinations. Mental illness, alcoholism and an abundance of drugs fueled the group's decline. Over the decades, members quit, were fired, filed lawsuits and often returned, while still managing to tour and produce albums for six decades.

Good Vibrations is a gripping, clear-eyed saga of success, ego, debauchery and murder (Dennis Wilson fell under the spell of Charles Manson, and housed him and his followers and even recorded one of his songs). Love and co-writer James S. Hirsch skillfully surf the perilous waters of the troubled band's history with candor and perspective. Love's devotion to making music is unmistakable throughout, as is his loyalty to his troubled bandmates, whom he refuses to cast as simply heroes or villains. --Kevin Howell, independent reviewer and marketing consultant

Powered by: Xtenit