Good Vibrations

My Life as a Beach Boy

Publisher: Blue Rider Press
The New York Times Bestseller

Mike Love tells the story of his legendary, raucous, and ultimately triumphant five-decade career as the front man of The Beach Boys, the most popular American band in history -- timed to coincide with the 50th anniversary of "Good Vibrations."


As a founding member of The Beach Boys, Mike Love has spent an extraordinary fifty-five years, and counting, as the group's lead singer and one of its principal lyricists. The Beach Boys, from their California roots to their international fame, are a unique American story -- one of overnight success and age-defying longevity; of musical genius and reckless self-destruction; of spirituality, betrayal, and forgiveness -- and Love is the only band member to be part of it each and every step. His own story has never been fully told, of how a sheet-metal apprentice became the quintessential front man for America's most successful rock band, singing in more than 5,600 concerts in 26 countries.

Love describes the stories behind his lyrics for pop classics such as "Good Vibrations," "California Girls," "Surfin' USA," and "Kokomo," while providing vivid portraits of the turbulent lives of his three gifted cousins, Brian, Dennis, and Carl Wilson. His partnership with Brian has few equals in American pop music, though Mike has carved out a legacy of his own -- he co-wrote the lyrics to eleven of the twelve original Beach Boy songs that were top 10 hits while providing the lead vocals on ten of them. The band's unprecedented durability also provides a glimpse into America's changing cultural mores over the past half century, while Love himself has experienced both the diabolical and the divine -- from Charles Manson's "family" threatening his life to Maharishi instilling it with peace. A husband, a father, and an avid environmentalist, Love has written a book that is as rich and layered as the Beach Boy harmonies themselves.

PRAISE FOR

“More than a half-century’s worth of inside information about the Beach Boys.” The New York Times
 
“[Good Vibrations] is rich with Beach Boys info . . . some meaty insights, new stories even the most diehard Beach Boys fan has never heard, and Love’s own take on much-told tales . . . a crucial addition to the library shelf.”—Bob Ruggerio, Houston Press

“Riveting...fascinating...how the music transcended the story and spread California sunshine around the globe.... Love is able to articulate the depth of his feelings for the music in a way that will send fans back to their stereos to crank up ‘Surfin’ U.S.A.’ and ‘Wouldn’t It Be Nice’ and ‘The Warmth of the Sun’ whether they have an ocean handy or not.” —Sarah Rodman, Los Angeles Times

“If it’s the jumbo popcorn bag of Beach Boys lore you saltily crave, then Love’s Good Vibrations should hold you the length of the circus. In the battle of the Beach Boys memoirs, it’s the better read: lively, informative, thumbtacked with crazy specifics... It’s all here and then some.” —James Wolcott, Vanity Fair 

“Love transfixes readers with his stories of the rise and fall of the band, his own work as a songwriter, and his deep engagement with spirituality and the ways that it has influenced his music.... [a] sobering look at the ups and downs of a rock and roll band...ends on a note of hope that music can provide harmony in word and spirit for a struggling world.” —Publishers Weekly