David Marks found himself on the outside looking in when Mike Love continued with a scaled-down version of the Beach Boys after their 50th anniversary tour.
The singer/guitarist has since joined a separate tour featuring Brian Wilson and Al Jardine in the wake of this latest split.
Yet Marks takes up for the oft-maligned Love in a talk with Rock Cellar magazine, crediting Love with key elements of their core sound — and with keeping the Beach Boys going through a series of personnel shifts.
The latest followed a celebrated reunion in 2012 featuring Wilson, Love, Jardine, Marks and Bruce Johnston, including a well-received new studio effort and smash tour. Marks had been part of the Beach Boys’ first four albums between 1962-63, and returned for a stint in 1997-99, as well.
When the originally scheduled dates ended last year, however, Love found himself at the center of a firestorm for continuing with a smaller unit — featuring only Johnston — that’s been playing smaller venues.
Marks counters with his own take on Love’s contributions over the years.
“Mike doesn’t get the credit that he deserves because he’s not a virtuoso on an instrument,” Marks says, “but when he sings the bass parts to those Four Freshman harmonies, that’s so hard to do. You have to be a really talented musician with a great ear to sing those interval spreads and keep them on pitch with three other people doing three other harmony parts. The guy deserves a lot of credit for that alone not to mention the hooks and the lyrics that he came up with for Brian’s songs. Mike also kept the band together through a lot of crises. As far as being the villain, people need a villain and he got chosen.”