‘All of that is a natural cycle’: Mike Love takes a long view on the Beach Boys’ ups and downs

Mike Love, a founding member of the Beach Boys and the only one to have appeared in all of its many incarnations over the decades, tends to take the long view on their legacy.

“We persevered through the years,” he tells Matt Weinberger in the attached video. “There have been ups and downs — periods of time when the Beach Boys were great, and then the Beach Boys were has beens. The Beach Boys have sold great, then sold nothing. All of that is a natural cycle.”

If there is one thing he regrets, Love says it’s the way that the attendant drug culture in the late 1960s ultimately impacted the band.

“My cousin (and Beach Boys mastermind) Brian (Wilson) was really at the top of his game in ’66, ’67 — and then he took LSD, and that took him out of the game for a long time,” Love says. “He’s come back in, in recent years. But for a while there, he went from being very dynamic, and at the top of the music business — along with all of us — to being a virtual recluse for a while. That was because of drugs — LSD in particular, and other things, too.”

Love has recently returned to touring with a pared-down group after a celebrated reunion with Wilson that included a new album and 50th anniversary tour. He insists that those kind of ups and downs are just part of the process.

“You have to be happy with the fact that you gained this success,” Love says. “I’m still able to do this, still able to enjoy it. There are still a certain amount of people who enjoy what we do, and that’s great. That’s a fortunate life.”

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