Good Vibrations: My Life as a Beach Boy

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Penguin, Sep 13, 2016 - Biography & Autobiography - 448 pages
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." The eBook edition includes 85 additional photos.

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.

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User Review  - DeltaQueen50 - LibraryThing

Before I fell in love with the Beatles, I remember listening to the Beach Boys and have been a fan since their first record hit the radio airwaves in the early 1960s. I remember when they were cool ... Read full review

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User Review  - dariazeoli - LibraryThing

My opinion of this book is biased by my admiration of Brian Wilson, I admit that. Still, Love's story did nothing to convince me that my view of him as a pompous blowhard is wrong. "For those who ... Read full review



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About the author (2016)

Mike Love is a founding member of the Beach Boys, who began in 1961 and stand as the most popular American group in history, with thirteen Gold albums, fifty-five Top 100 singles, and four No. 1 hits. Love continues as the Beach Boys’ lead singer and is the lyricist of their biggest hits. He has received an Ella Award for his songwriting, and, as part of the Beach Boys, he is a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame; the Vocal Group Hall of Fame; and has received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.

James S. Hirsch is a journalist and New York Times bestselling author whose books include biographies of Willie Mays and Rubin "Hurricane" Carter and examinations of military issues, the health care system, and global philanthropy. Hirsch won the Christopher Award for Walk in Their Shoes: Can One Person Change the World?

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