Posts Tagged ‘Mike Love’

Ledger’s Andy Hallman reports on Greg Reitman’s documentary playing in Fairfield, Iowa on Sunday

August 1, 2015

Documentary filmed partially in Fairfield to play Sunday

By ANDY HALLMAN Ledger news editor | Jul 31, 2015

t1200-Donovan, Greg Reitman, and students at tree planting ceremony

During his visit to Fairfield, film producer Greg Reitman planted a tree with MUM students outside the university’s library. Reitman is the man in the center with the necklace. The man to the right is the singer Donovan, whom Reitman interviewed for his film “Rooted in Peace,” which will be shown at 7 p.m. Sunday at the Stephen Sondheim Center for the Performing Arts. Photo by: Nicole Hester-Williams/Ledger

A documentary that was filmed partially in Fairfield will make its Iowa debut at 7 p.m. Sunday at the Steven Sondheim Center for the Performing Arts.

The film, “Rooted in Peace,” is a product of Greg Reitman, founder of Blue Water Entertainment, Inc. In a press release, Reitman said the film challenges viewers to examine their values as Americans and human beings.

“Today we are at war within ourselves, with our environment, and with the world,” reads the press release. “Director and award-winning filmmaker Greg Reitman invites viewers on a film journey to take notice of the world we live in, proactively seek ways to find personal and ecological peace, and stop the cycle of violence.”

Reitman interviewed numerous celebrities for the film such as author Deepak Chopra, film director David Lynch, musicians Donovan, Mike Love and Pete Seeger, media mogul Ted Turner, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and more.

He also interviewed Fred Travis, professor of Maharishi Vedic Science at Maharishi University of Management.

The press release states that Reitman learned kernels of wisdom from all those he interviewed.

“Reitman’s journey is an example of transformation — how one person can learn to make the necessary changes to enjoy a better life — and in so doing inspire others to want to improve their own lives, and society as a whole,” reads the press release.

Reitman said he became interested in documentaries while studying abroad in Florence, Italy, where he took a class on Italian cinema. He would go on to produce the 2008 SUNDANCE Audience Award-winning feature documentary “FUEL.”

After that, he started thinking about doing a film about all the violence in the world. An experience at JFK Airport in New York City opened his eyes to a whole new world.

“I almost got arrested for not giving up a bottle of water,” he said. “I was seeing racial profiling going on. It made me start thinking about our rights, and about what fear can do. It mirrored a world that I had lived in at age 19, when I was living in Israel during the first Gulf War.”

Reitman got in touch with Ken Chawkin, who was then the public relations officer at MUM. Chawkin encouraged him to visit Fairfield, and mentioned that the Beach Boys were going to be in town for a concert. Reitman’s wife is from Iowa, so the two decided to attend the concert.

Reitman came back a second time with Donovan for the David Lynch Film Weekend. During his second trip to Fairfield, he interviewed Donovan, David Lynch and Bob Roth.

After the film, Reitman will hold a question-and-answer session with the audience.

One of the common questions Reitman has received in his other Q and As is, “Why did the film take so long to make?” The film took five years in all, which Reitman said is not too far out of the ordinary for documentaries.

“The reason it took me so long was that I had to find peace first,” he said. “When I talked to Ken, he said, ‘Greg, you’re not going to understand peace until you come to Fairfield.’”

Reitman said he greatly enjoyed his time in Fairfield. It reminded him of another small town he filmed in, Carbondale, Colorado, with a population of just over 6,000.

Part of the film is autobiographical, where Reitman shares his person story of living in Israel and visiting Hiroshima, Japan. That said, he feels it’s more an inspirational film than a dry, descriptive documentary.

“It’s one man’s quest to seek inner peace and coming upon the roadblocks that lead him to enlightenment,” he said. “It’s about him having to unlock each of those pearls of wisdom, to understand the concept of a healthy heart and a healthy body. Then you can understand what a healthy world looks like.”

This three-column cover story with large photo carries over to a page 7 three-column section with two photos, one of Greg Reitman with Donovan playing guitar, the other of Mike Love singing on stage from the Beach Boys concert. This article is republished here with permission from The Fairfield Ledger. Click FF Ledger Documentary 7-31-2015 to see a PDF of the whole 2-page article with photos.

See other news about the film here.

Radio Iowa’s Matt Kelley interviews Greg Reitman about his documentary film ROOTED in PEACE

July 30, 2015

Documentary on the meaning of peace premieres in Iowa Sunday

Greg ReitmanA documentary that aims to define the meaning of “peace” will premiere in Iowa this weekend and the filmmaker will attend the debut. Six years in the making, Greg Reitman says “Rooted in Peace” is the story of his personal quest which took him around the planet, with a few stops in southeast Iowa.

“I go on a journey asking the question, ‘Why are we so violent?’ and why we don’t connect with ourselves and with nature,” Reitman says. “Along the way, I’m guided by some incredible people.” The list includes: Archbishop Desmond Tutu, spiritualist Deepak Chopra, film director David Lynch, media mogul Ted Turner, and music legends Donovan, Pete Seeger and Mike Love.

Reitman first met Love, one of the founders of the Beach Boys, at a 2009 concert in Fairfield. Reitman is a New York native who now lives in southern California and the process of making this film took him to several continents.

The documentary had its beginnings more than two decades ago when he visited Japan and saw the ruins of first city that was wiped out by an atomic bomb. “When I was in Hiroshima and I saw the devastation, I didn’t cry and learned a little about PTSD,” Reitman says. “I came up with this idea when I was 19 in college at UMass-Amherst that I was going to save the world by planting trees. I created this tree-planting initiative called The Giving Tree-Rooted in Peace.”

Now in his 40s, he shows himself in the documentary carrying a tiny potted tree through places like Times Square in New York City. “Essentially, I come back 20 years later with the bonsai tree as a symbol of hope, looking at the tree as a symbol for all of us and our connection with humanity and how we want to connect with nature,” he says. “That really becomes the unfolding story.”

The documentary “Rooted in Peace” will be shown Sunday at 7 P.M. at the Sondheim Center for the Performing Arts in Fairfield. Reitman will do a question-and-answer session afterwards. His 2008 film, “Fuel,” won the Sundance Audience Choice Award.

Audio: Matt Kelley interview with Greg Reitman. 5:06.

Another radio interview coming up is with James Moore on KRUU LP 100.1 FM today at 7:30pm Thursday, to replay on 3:00pm Friday, and 11am Saturday. You can listen if you’re in the Fairfield, Iowa area or online streaming live. James said he may replay Dennis Raimondi’s interview with Prudence Farrow at 2pm before Friday’s 3:00pm interview with Greg. She discusses a book she wrote, Dear Prudence: The Story Behind The Song, which I am enjoying reading. More on that in a future post. Both interviews involve Maharishi and Transcendental Meditation, appropriate to air together tomorrow on Guru Purnima Day!

See ROOTED in PEACE to play Martha’s Vineyard and an Iowa premiere at Fairfield’s Sondheim Center.

ROOTED in PEACE to play Martha’s Vineyard and an Iowa premiere at Fairfield’s Sondheim Center

July 10, 2015

ROOTED-V.10js_r3More screenings are coming up this summer for Hollywood director Greg Reitman’s documentary feature film.

Martha’s Vineyard Film Society

This month, Martha’s Vineyard Film Society will present ROOTED in PEACE on Wednesday, July 15, 2015, at 7:30pm. There will be a special post-screening Q&A with director Greg Reitman.

Read this interesting interview with Zip Creative’s Joanne Zippel on her blog: Fast Forward Friday with Greg Reitman, published today in advance of the MVFS showing.

Iowa Premiere in Sondheim Center

In early August the film will premiere in Fairfield, Iowa. Read how this Hollywood filmmaker came to Fairfield for a Beach Boys concert, returned for a David Lynch Weekend at MUM, learned TM and more, in the July issue of the Iowa Source in their All About FAIRFIELD section: Getting Rooted In PeaceGreen Producer Greg Reitman Brings New Documentary to Sondheim for Iowa Premiere. Here is a PDF of the print version.

Included in the film are interviews from those visits with filmmaker David Lynch; musicians Donovan and Mike Love; Bob Roth, executive director of the David Lynch Foundation; and Fred Travis, director of Maharishi University’s Center for Brain, Consciousness, and Cognition; as well as historical footage of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, founder of the Transcendental Meditation® technique, and Maharishi University of Management.

Blue Water Entertainment and the David Lynch Foundation are presenting the Iowa premiere of this inspirational documentary feature film, Sunday, August 2nd at 7pm in the Sondheim Center for the Performing Arts. There will be a Q&A following the showing with Sundance award-winning Director Greg Reitman and Executive Producer Joanna Plafsky. Joanna is an established international film producer and distributor, and member of the DLF Board of Directors.

Visit the Fairfield Arts and Convention Center website to find out more about Greg and his film, including production stills and the movie trailer, and if you’ll be in town at that time, to purchase tickets. Here is a PDF of the ROOTED in PEACE poster for Fairfield with affordable ticket prices.

The Fairfield Weekly Reader will publish an article on the event July 23rd.

Previous posts about the film can be seen here.

Arrangements are being finalized for the first international premiere, to be announced in the next film post.

22nd Annual Massachusetts Multicultural Film Festival ‏@UMassFilm Spotlight Amherst Alum @GREGREITMAN’s @ROOTEDinPEACE

March 24, 2015

mmff-201522nd Annual Massachusetts Multicultural Film Festival
IN THE SPOTLIGHT: ROOTED IN PEACE
A Greg Reitman Film

rooted-peace

UMass Amherst alum Greg Reitman (’93) presents a personal journey of discovery, seeking answers to humanity’s self-destructive cycles of waste, war, and violence in this fascinating documentary. Seeking counsel from famous luminaries and activists, the film asks us how we want to live on this planet and challenges us to examine our own values.

Reitman interviews physician and author Deepak Chopra, music legends Donovan, Mike Love, and Pete Seeger, film director David Lynch, Noble Peace Laureate Mairead Maguire, media mogul Ted Turner, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, green architect William McDonough, neuroscientists Dan Siegel, Fred Travis, and many others. Greg also returned to his alma mater to show where he first came up with the idea of planting trees for peace. [official site | event poster | MMFF site | Rooted in Peace showing]

This 2015 documentary film premiered at the 21st Annual Sedona International Film Festival, February 21–March 1, 2015. See previous blog post on this Sundance Alum: Greg Reitman’s film, ROOTED in PEACE, inspires us to change from within to transform the world. See the trailer. More news: ROOTED in PEACE to play Martha’s Vineyard and an Iowa premiere at Fairfield’s Sondheim Center.

The Amherst-Maharishi-TM-Connection

Amherst is home to the Transcendentalists, Emerson and Thoreau, and Emily Dickinson. So it seemed fitting for the UMass Amherst campus to be selected as the site for a meditation course and symposium in the summer of 1971.

I was one of hundreds who had attended that one-month Transcendental Meditation Teacher Training Course taught by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. Another course followed on the West Coast at Humboldt State College, now University, in Arcata, California. Over two thousand of us would continue with the next step in our Teacher Training Course with Maharishi the following year in Mallorca, Spain and Fuiggi Fonte, Italy for six months, from January to June, 1972.

One of the Amherst course participants was Beach Boy Mike Love. I was introduced to him by Charles Lloyd, a jazz musician on the course who became a friend. I used to give them lifts to and from the dining hall. I would meet Donovan years later, and David Lynch, decades later. You can imagine my surprise when Greg told me he had graduated from UMass Amherst! It was great to arrange for Greg to interview Donovan and Mike Love on how they met Maharishi and learned TM, and David Lynch and Bob Roth, director of the David Lynch Foundation, about the transformational value of TM in schools and for at-risk populations. Small world! Full circle!

Wednesday, March 25th, tomorrow night’s showing of ROOTED IN PEACE, should be fulfilling for Greg, as he brings it all back home. He’s worked hard on this film and deserves all the kudos for manifesting this vision of personal and global transformation.

Following the course was the First International Symposium on the Science of Creative Intelligence. Maharishi interacted with many leading scientists and thinkers in all areas of life, including Buckminster Fuller. His presentations were so impressive that Maharishi kept interjecting his Vedic perspective in agreement. At a certain point, Fuller turned towards Maharishi and spoke only to him since he felt he was the only one who truly understood what he was saying. At the end he went over to Maharishi who had stood up to greet him and they held hands together. Everyone rose on their feet and applauded for a good ten to fifteen minutes. Those were very heady days! There also was a special press conference with both Fuller and Maharishi following his talk. It’s posted on the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi Channel in 3 parts. I’ll post links here. Very much worth watching!

1/3. Buckminster Fuller and Maharishi Mahesh Yogi Part One of Press
2/3. Buckminster Fuller and Maharishi Mahesh Yogi Part Two of Press
3/3. Buckminster Fuller and Maharishi Mahesh Yogi Part Three of Press

Watch a CBC film of Maharishi at Lake Louise, and a later A&E biography.

I enjoyed reading a fictional story about a young couple who meet at UMass Amherst, learn to meditate and later attend Maharishi’s Transcendental Meditation Teacher Training Course at his Swiss headquarters. Given a mission, they return to live and work in Amherst where a dramatic and inspiring story unfolds. Read more and listen to author B. Steven Verney on Writers’ Voices talk about his enlightening novel, “The Best of All Possible Worlds.”

UPDATE

I tweeted Greg Reitman today about last night’s showing of ROOTED in PEACE and he replied: Full house, engaged audience, lots of questions afterwards … Yes lots of people wanted to buy the DVD which will be available in the fall … That would be the plan and will have 20 minutes of extra scenes on the DVD. … Replying to a tweet I sent out a few days later about the film, Greg replied: It was a real homecoming I was truly surprised how the students responded and for some there were tears.

Ted Henry interviews “Dear Prudence” Farrow Bruns about her life with TM and Maharishi

June 9, 2013

This wonderful interview is also available from on Vimeo. Retired TV journalist Ted Henry conducts interviews with spiritual people for Souljourns. Last month he interviewed Prudence Bruns Farrow. You can also see the interview on their Vimeo channel: http://vimeo.com/67166559. Here is their introduction to the video:

From the very beginning Prudence Farrow Bruns recognized an added layer or texture to her life, a spiritual dimension that would take her deep within.

She was among the first in the West to become initiated into Transcendental Meditation and in the mid sixties she traveled to Rishikesh, India to learn to become a TM teacher. Her own teacher in India, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi who is credited for bringing TM to the world.

In India with her at this time, her sister and acclaimed actress, Mia Farrow, The Beatles, Mike Love of the Beach Boys, Donovan and others.

Prudence and her husband, Albert Bruns who is also a TM instructor, live in Seagrove along the Gulf of Mexico in Northwest Florida.

The interview was recorded in Seagrove, Florida in May, 2013.

See this related BBC news item: Prudence Farrow — subject of the Beatles song Dear Prudence — visits India’s Kumbh Mela. And this video: The Beatles “Dear Prudence”: A Portrait of Prudence Farrow Bruns, Maharishi and TM.

Who was Dear Prudence the Beatles sang to in India? What happened to her? Here is her story.

Prudence Farrow — subject of the Beatles song Dear Prudence — visits India’s Kumbh Mela

February 23, 2013

Beatles song muse visits India’s Kumbh Mela
By Amitava Sanyal, Allahabad, for BBC News India
February 21, 2013 | Last updated at 06:37 ET

Prudence Farrow at Kumbh Mela
Prudence Farrow says the Beatles were “real people”

The subject of a Beatles song is among the many foreign pilgrims visiting India’s Kumbh Mela festival.

Prudence Farrow, about whom John Lennon wrote the song Dear Prudence, is also sister of Hollywood actor Mia Farrow.

The Kumbh Mela, which is held every 12 years, is billed as the world’s biggest gathering of humanity.

Millions of Hindu ascetics and pilgrims take a dip at Sangam, the confluence of the Ganges and Yamuna rivers in Allahabad city.

Ms Farrow says she waited for four decades to come to the Kumbh Mela.

She had first visited India in 1968 as a student of meditation and met the Beatles at Indian guru Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s retreat in Rishikesh.

“I wanted to come to the Kumbh with the Maharishi, but that never happened,” she told the BBC. Her guru died in 2008.

This year Ms Farrow finally made it to the Kumbh Mela with her husband Albert Bruns.

‘Exotic’

“India has changed so much since I first came here,” says Ms Farrow, 65, sitting in the brightly-painted porch of her rented flat in Allahabad.

“Back then it was exotic. We were staying in the forest outside Rishikesh. Life was quite agricultural even in the cities.

“There were animals on the road, there were very few telephones and there was hardly any electricity where we were staying.”

Ms Farrow says she was in for a shock when she first arrived at the festival ground last month.

At first, she insisted on staying in one of the tens of thousands of tents that have been put up on the banks of the river.

Ms Farrow, who has a doctoral degree in South Asian studies and runs foundations to promote meditation, says she was in search of “an inner silence”.

But, ironically, the blare of three loudspeakers every morning at the festival grounds shattered her peace and she shifted into the city.

This was, she says, in sharp contrast to the peaceful times she spent with her sister Mia at her guru’s retreat in Rishikesh in 1968.

At the retreat, the Farrow sisters met the Beatles.

“Because of Mia there were too many people coming in and out of our block,” says Ms Farrow.

“And then in the evenings George Harrison would jam with John Lennon and others would join in. I wasn’t getting the silence.

“People said: ‘You are being too fanatical, you should come out.’ Yes, I was extreme because I thought it was a privileged time. I still think it was the most important time in my life.”

So while the rest of the students partied, Ms Farrow says she locked herself up in her room and practised meditation.

That is when, she says, Lennon, wrote the song Dear Prudence, which appears on the band’s White Album.

DEAR PRUDENCE

Dear Prudence, won’t you come out to play

Dear Prudence, greet the brand new day

The sun is up, the sky is blue

It’s beautiful and so are you

Opening verses of Dear Prudence, written by John Lennon

The song’s hand-written lyrics, lined with doodles, sold at a Sotheby’s auction in 1987 for $19,500 (£12,800).

“The reason he wrote I was beautiful – and there were much more beautiful people around – was because I was so much like George,” says Ms Farrow.

“George and I were there for very much the same reasons – we were both very spiritual and we wanted to find a solution for ourselves and the world. George would say that through his music he wanted to help people become more settled, more quiet and more sensitive.”

Ms Farrow says she did not want to meet the Beatles as “great people never lived up to their image”.

Did they disappoint her?

“What didn’t disappoint me was that they were still real people. They weren’t more important than anybody else,” says Ms Farrow.

“Fame has that quality – it corrupts you. You begin to feel that you’re separate from other people, you’re more powerful. But they didn’t have that.

“They were going through the same things as we were. That’s why they were the voice of the times.”

Article URL: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-india-21530477

See the Dear Prudence Foundation http://dearprudencefoundation.org

For information on Maharishi and his Transcendental Meditation technique visit: http://www.tm.org/maharishi

Also see Maharishi Mahesh Yogi on History International Channel (November 2007)

See: Who was Dear Prudence the Beatles sang to in India? What happened to her? Here is her story.

Here is a related post: Varanasi by Mary Oliver in A Thousand Mornings.

See Ted Henry interviews “Dear Prudence” Farrow Bruns about her life with TM and Maharishi, and an interview with PRUDENCE FARROW BRUNS by MicCameraAction after her return from the Kumbh Mela. She talks about her time with Maharishi and the Beatles in India and her new Dear Prudence Foundation to make Transcendental Meditation available to those who want it but need a scholarship to help pay for it. And this video: The Beatles “Dear Prudence”: A Portrait of Prudence Farrow Bruns, Maharishi and TM.

This is a funny video of Prudence’s sister, Mia Farrow: Dear Prudence.

Prudence’s memoir is now out: Dear Prudence: The Story Behind the Song.

Here’s a photo of Prudence and Albert getting ready to bathe in the Ganges at the Kumbh Mela. I’ve never seen them looking so happy!

Prudence and Albert getting ready to bathe in the Ganges at the Kumbh Mela

Mike Love of the Beach Boys on Stories of Success

May 31, 2012

Here’s a good Interview With Mike Love of the Beach Boys posted May 29, 2012 on Stories of Success. He discusses how the band was formed, his creative output as a singer/songwriter, their stages of success, the impact of drugs and alcohol on their lives and careers, and more.

At about the 9:55 mark, Mike is asked the question of what kept him from getting caught up in drugs and alcohol, and the responsibility he had of acting as a role model. He answers by talking about his TM practice, how he was personally instructed by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and later invited to join The Beatles and Donovan in Rishikesh. He continued with a discussion on karma and the results of our actions, why people choose to abuse drink and drugs and how different people react, finding one’s dharma or what you’re meant to do and enjoy doing the most, and persevering to fulfill your chosen career path. The video is posted on Vimeo: http://vimeo.com/43009744.

See this great article, Mike Love, Not War, written by Virginia McEvilley for the Iowa Source when The Beach Boys came to Fairfield, Iowa for an outdoor Labor Day concert, sponsored by the David Lynch Foundation, on Monday, September 7, 2009.

Related stories: Beach Boys’ Mike Love recharges at The Raj, Beach Boy found life saving cure in Fairfield, Beach Boys concert ‘fun, fun, fun’ for all, Q & A with Mike Love, and Maharishi Mahesh Yogi on History International Channel (November 2007).

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi on History International Channel (November 2007)

June 2, 2010

For those of you who missed the A&E biopic on Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, aired on their History International Channel, November 28, 2007, it has been posted in its entirety on blip.tv by Raja Felix http://rajafelix.blip.tv: GOOD NEWS – Indications of rising global consciousness. : Maharishi on History Channel. A French translation in 5 parts is available on YouTube: Maharishi Mahesh Yogi – Documentaire – 1/5 2/5, 3/5, 4/5, 5/5.

ITN Factual, a production company based in London, UK, was commissioned by A&E, Arts and Entertainment channels, to do a film biography on Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. Producer/Director Fiona Procter came to Fairfield, Iowa in October 2007 and the show was aired on the History International Channel on Nov 28, 2007. Interviews included Drs. Bevan Morris and John Hagelin, David Lynch, Donovan, Mike Love, Teresa Olson, Jerry Jarvis, Alan Waite, Deepak Chopra, and others, with footage of students meditating at Maharishi School, Yogic Flying at Maharishi University, and visuals of the Tower of Invincibility, the Golden Dome, MUM Campus, and Maharishi Vedic City. There was historical footage of the Beatles. Segments from Alan Waite’s documentary on Maharishi, Sage for a new Generation, were amply used, and precious early personal footage from Eileen Learoyd’s private collection in Canada were found and portions sent to the producer, which appeared throughout the film. Enjoy! About seven years later Raja Felix Kaegi posted the film on YouTube, which is how we can now play it here.

Also Watch the 1968 film of Maharishi at Lake Louise. See New film shows David Lynch retracing Maharishi’s footsteps from North to South India and the start of the TM movement.

For more information on Maharishi’s Transcendental Meditation Program here is a list of some country websites: United States: http://www.tm.org | Canada: http://www.maharishi.ca | Latin America: http://www.meditacion.org | Brazil: http://www.meditacaotranscendental.com.br | England: http://www.t-m.org.uk | France: http://www.mt-maharishi.com | Germany: http://www.meditation.de | Australia: http://meditationsydney.org.au | New Zealand: http://www.tm.org.nz | Africa: http://www.tm-africa.org | South Africa: http://tm.org.za | India: http://www.maharishi-india.org/programmes/p1tm.html | Japan: http://www.maharishi.co.jp | China: http://www.tmchina.org. Find out where you can learn Transcendental Meditation in other parts of the world:  http://intl.tm.org/choose-your-country.

Ireland’s Edwin McGreal interviews Mike Love for The Mayo News

April 6, 2010

INTERVIEW Mike Love of The Beach Boys

The legendary Beach Boys singer on Pet Sounds, Paul McCartney, clean living, Brian Wilson, modern music and more.

Monday, 05 April 2010 14:28

The beach boys

Mike Love, not war

The Beach Boys will bring some welcome Californian sunshine to Castlebar this June. Edwin McGreal spoke to founding band member, music legend Mike Love last week.
Mike Love is not your typical rock’n’roll  star. No sordid tales of debauchery, very little evidence of skeletons in his closet and, nearly 50 years after The Beach Boys were formed, he’s still going strong, playing around 150 shows a year.
Love, now aged 69, is a very relaxed and positive person, which is not surprising when you listen to such upbeat songs as ‘Good Vibrations’ and ‘I Get Around’, summer anthems that have put a pep in the step of millions for over 40 years.
And he and The Beach Boys will bring their sounds of summer to the TF Royal Theatre on June 26 (albeit minus Brian Wilson and Al Jardine).
So, still going strong all these years later, where does he get his energy?
“We don’t burn the candle at both ends like we might have done in the early 60s,” Love explained, speaking from his southern California base last week. “The Beach Boys are primarily a vocal group, we always emphasise our harmonies, and you can’t sing those kind of harmonies if you’re going to destroy yourself. I personally learned transcendental meditation [from renowned Indian guru Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, who taught many celebrities, including the Beatles]. I keep doing that every day and it is profoundly relaxing and repairs a lot of wear and tear mentally, emotionally and physically. It gives you a really nice outlet for stress rather than taking to the bottle or smoking a lot of pot or other drugs.
“People in my own family like my cousin Dennis [Wilson, founding member] became addicted to alcohol and various types of drugs and he ended up drowning in 1983, long before he should have passed away. Then my cousin Carl [Wilson, founding member] passed away of lung cancer 12 years ago. But then he started smoking when he was 13 so these lifestyle choices we make can have a tremendous impact on your health and well-being.”
Musically, the ’60s was a roller-coaster journey for The Beach Boys. There was the outstanding success of their totemic album ‘Pet Sounds’ in 1966, but the release of ‘Good Vibrations’ the same year is one Love looks back on with particular fondness.
“I think, artistically, ‘Good Vibrations’ has to be right up there. It stands on its own. It is so unique. Also I wrote the words and I came up with the chorus – ‘I’m pickin up good vibrations/she’s giving me excitations’. It stands the test of time and is still an amazing song today, that is the song I was happiest to be involved with.”
Subsequent decades didn’t prove as successful, with the exception of ‘Kokomo’ reaching Number 1 in 1988. Love admits that Brian Wilson’s well-publicised problems did play a part, but it wasn’t all bad for the band to be minus their front man.
“Brian pretty much became a recluse for several years and he didn’t take as dynamic a part in the production of our recordings. My cousin Carl played a bigger part, Bruce Johnston played a bigger part. Instead of Brian being ‘the Stalin of the studio’ as I used to call him, it became a bit more democratic. I don’t think it was reasonable that the [early success] would keep up forever, but the ’60s did provide the foundation of our continued success to this day.”
Moving to modern day musicians, Love has no particular favourites, but he’s exposed to the full gamut by his children. Some good, some not so good.
“I unfortunately get exposed to some rap music from my 14-year-old daughter but I also get exposed to Leona Lewis, Beyonce and Alicia Keys, those are pleasant exposures. I don’t think I’m obsessed with any new artist but I’m not against them either. I’m just as likely if I’m driving around to throw on the oldies channel just out of morbid curiosity to see if they’re going to play a Beach Boys song,” admitted Love, laughing at the thought.
Love hints that talks have taken place of a touring reunion with Brian Wilson and Al Jardine to mark the 50th anniversary of the band. For now, it is Love, together with long-time member Bruce Johnston and others who tour under the Beach Boys name – but the dynamic is the same, according to Love.
“What we like to do every night is prove we can recreate those songs like they’re meant to be sung. We have got nothing but compliments recently on how fantastic the show sounds …The special part [of touring] is recreating those songs and doing the absolute best job we can and seeing the audience join in and have a great time with us.”
Still sending those good vibrations.

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Q & A with Mike Love

October 1, 2009

Arkansas Times

Q&A with Mike Love

Lindsey Millar
Updated: 10/1/2009

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Mike Love
MIKE LOVE

In advance of the Beach Boys’ performance with the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra on Sunday, I spoke by phone to original member Mike Love, 68, about the benefits of transcendental meditation, being cast as a bad guy in the Beach Boys’ story and “acid alliteration.”

You still practice transcendental meditation?

Yes, I do. I did it this morning. I do it, as it’s meant to be, twice a day, morning and evening. It’s been a huge help in my life in terms of combating stress, but also giving me that deeper rest. Transcendental meditation can lower your metabolism to the level of rest twice as deep as deep sleep. I learned from Maharishi in Paris in December of 1967, and I’ve been doing it ever since.

So many of your greatest songs were about teen-age life and high school concerns. Does it get harder to sing those songs the farther removed you get from those days?

I have a young daughter. She came home from school three or four years ago and said, “Hey Dad, my fourth grade class’ favorite songs is ‘Wouldn’t It Be Nice.’” For children, pre-teens, teens and young adults, “Wouldn’t It Be Nice” is relevant to their lives at the place where they are. For me and for people who started out as fans of the Beach Boys in the ’60s, it’s going to be nostalgic. The fact that we’re appreciated by multiple generations is a blessing.

The Beach Boys have their own little slice of Americana. My mom and Brian, Dennis and Carl Wilson’s father were sister and brother. Whenever we got together for a birthday party or Thanksgiving or Christmas, it was always music. We had a grand piano, an organ and a harp in my living room, and we’d have these family get-togethers with aunts and uncles and cousins. The Beach Boys becoming a career started out as a love of singing and making harmonies together.

Do you feel like you’ve been cast as the bad guy in the Beach Boys story?

In some places. I think it’s the result of my not getting credit for a lot of the songs I wrote with Brian. I co-wrote “California Girls” and “Help Me Rhonda” and “I Get Around,” but I was never credited. Brian was under a conservatorship, an attorney, who would not allow him to right those wrongs. Yet wanted to. I know he wanted to because he told me so, but he wasn’t in charge of his business affairs because of the issues he’s had, emotionally and mentally, over the years. I wasn’t thrilled about being cheated or not credited, but as far as my relationship with Brian, how he felt about things and that he always wanted to rectify things and subsequently things have been, for the most part, rectified.

What about the idea that you hampered the creative evolution of the band?

That’s another fabrication. We all worked on the “Pet Sounds” album as diligently as we could as humans. Brian was the producer and he did the great orchestrations, but we all worked on the vocals extremely hard. Brian and I both went to Capitol Records and presented them with the record. Any talk of me not being in favor of “Pet Sounds” is garbage. So there’s misinformation like that that has its own life on websites that’s not true. If something’s true, I’ll own up to it. For instance, we wrote “Good Vibrations” together, and it went to number one. The follow-up to that was “Heroes and Villains” and that was done with another co-writer.

Van Dyke Parks.

Right. And it went to number 48 or something. I asked Van Dyke, what does “over and over the crow cries uncover the cornfield” mean, or “have you seen the Grand Coulee working on the railroad?” I coined the term “acid alliteration.” That’s what I called it. It’s absolutely true that I have an issue with doing lyrics that are so obscure and oblique that they can’t be relatable to by most people. I mean they can be appreciated, and I do appreciate the art form itself. But I like art that relates to people to the point where a song has a chance to go to number one. So I am guilty of liking songs that are artistic as well as popular.

So all of the court battles have been resolved and you and Brian and Al are in a good place?

Yeah, there’s no outstanding legal fracases going on, which is a good thing because there’s been some dialogue between Brian and I getting together and seeing what we could come up with, and there’s a 50th anniversary of the Beach Boys coming up in a couple of years, and it would make a lot of sense to do something together.

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