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676412 Posts in 27291 Topics by 4032 Members - Latest Member: theangel August 10, 2022, 04:36:45 PM
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Author Topic: Mike Love and Carl's last tour  (Read 3170 times)
juliansuess
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« on: August 01, 2021, 11:05:04 AM »

Recently I've read on the internet that Mike Love didn't want Carl Wilson play concerts with the Beach Boys while Carl was undergoing cancer treatment. I forgot where I read this and how credible this is, so delete this entry if it isn't.

However, if Mike Love indeed made such a statement then IMHO this shows what a callous, narcissistic person Mike Love really is. For me it is clear that he didn't want Carl on stage with the Beach Boys because as a gravely ill man Carl didn't fit the "Fun Fun Fun Happy Surf Mentality" anymore that Mike thought the Beach Boys should convey. Nothing wrong with that, as the Beach Boys are also about surfing and fun, but you don't tell a terminally ill band member to go home and quietly die there when it was Carl's wish to perform with the Beach Boys as long as he could, a band he had played in his whole life. 

I'm glad that he was granted the wish to play with the band as long as he could by the rest of the Beach Boys.
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« Reply #1 on: August 01, 2021, 11:28:34 AM »

Recently I've read on the internet that Mike Love didn't want Carl Wilson play concerts with the Beach Boys while Carl was undergoing cancer treatment. I forgot where I read this and how credible this is, so delete this entry if it isn't.

However, if Mike Love indeed made such a statement then IMHO this shows what a callous, narcissistic person Mike Love really is. For me it is clear that he didn't want Carl on stage with the Beach Boys because as a gravely ill man Carl didn't fit the "Fun Fun Fun Happy Surf Mentality" anymore that Mike thought the Beach Boys should convey. Nothing wrong with that, as the Beach Boys are also about surfing and fun, but you don't tell a terminally ill band member to go home and quietly die there when it was Carl's wish to perform with the Beach Boys as long as he could, a band he had played in his whole life. 

I'm glad that he was granted the wish to play with the band as long as he could by the rest of the Beach Boys.


‘about surfing and fun’ ??     Have you listened to any of their albums!?


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Rob Dean
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« Reply #2 on: August 01, 2021, 02:37:37 PM »

Recently I've read on the internet that Mike Love didn't want Carl Wilson play concerts with the Beach Boys while Carl was undergoing cancer treatment. I forgot where I read this and how credible this is, so delete this entry if it isn't.

However, if Mike Love indeed made such a statement then IMHO this shows what a callous, narcissistic person Mike Love really is. For me it is clear that he didn't want Carl on stage with the Beach Boys because as a gravely ill man Carl didn't fit the "Fun Fun Fun Happy Surf Mentality" anymore that Mike thought the Beach Boys should convey. Nothing wrong with that, as the Beach Boys are also about surfing and fun, but you don't tell a terminally ill band member to go home and quietly die there when it was Carl's wish to perform with the Beach Boys as long as he could, a band he had played in his whole life. 

I'm glad that he was granted the wish to play with the band as long as he could by the rest of the Beach Boys.


‘about surfing and fun’ ??     Have you listened to any of their albums!?




Sorry but you have contradicted yourself in your assumption of such events AND again it turns into another bash at Mike Love
Your 'FACTS' are rather way off the mark, you really need to do a little research
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Third Coast
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« Reply #3 on: August 01, 2021, 04:06:21 PM »

I've never heard that. And if it's true, Mike didn't show it. He pointed to banners in the audience that encouraged Carl and mentioned them to him on stage, for one thing. "Hey, do you see that? It says 'Sail on, Carl,'" he said at one concert. "Yes, thank you," Carl replied.
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« Reply #4 on: August 01, 2021, 06:28:52 PM »

I’ll probably be knocked for quoting Mikes book, but he does cover that period.

“Carl was heroic, but if he was going to survive, he wasn’t going to do it by trooping through airports and riding buses. Toward the end of the summer, a blood clot developed in his leg, and I finally told him, You need to devote all your attention to healing.
Yes, he said, but I’ve been the backbone of this coup onstage.
That’s true, I said. But that backbone needs a chiropractor.
He nodded with a grin.”

...just saying.
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juliansuess
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« Reply #5 on: August 02, 2021, 04:11:35 AM »

@Aomdiddlywalla: As far as I know Mike Love preferred the older songs like "Fun Fun Fun" and "Surfin' USA". That's why he said to Brian: "Don't mess with the formula".

@Pretty Funky: Why do you think you will be knocked for quoting Mike Love's book?

"That backbone needs a chiropractor" LOL Thank you for this quote.


Seems like Mike Love was concerend about Carl's health and Carl agreed that he "needed a chiropractor". However, all of this shows how dedicated Carl was to the Beach Boys. Performing despite having lung cancer. So if Mike meant to say that Carl didn't NEED to perform with the Beach Boys, thereby allowing him to rest if he wanted to, then this was very nice of him.

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HeyJude
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« Reply #6 on: August 02, 2021, 07:02:53 AM »

The original poster is clearly a new fan and I absolutely *do* advise a lot more reading and research into all of this (there are 16 years worth of posts on this board).

That being said, yes, there does appear to be some validity to the reports that, in 1997, Mike wanted Carl to stop touring. For what reasons or how long, and for what purpose he felt this way, well, that's open to some debate.

But here's what we do know.

This is from a December 8, 1999 Rolling Stone Online article (full article here: http://smileysmile.net/board/index.php/topic,25340.0.html )

These struggles came to a head in 1997, when Love stated he would not appear
with either Jardine or Carl Wilson. BRI president (and Beach Boys manager) Elliott
Lott acknowledged the line was drawn, but defined it as an example of tough
love. “You need to put this into perspective,” he said. “Carl was very sick. He’d
lost his hair and had to wear a wig. He needed oxygen after every song. Mike
didn’t want to appear with Carl out of love for him.”


For many years, the bit above was the only reference I had ever seen to Mike saying he refused to appear with Carl on stage (I believe this same article was referenced in Peter Ames Carlin's book as well). Then finally, some 15-plus years later, Ray Lawlor was able to add some information that he posted on this board: (Full post here: http://smileysmile.net/board/index.php/topic,18436.msg481404.html#msg481404 )

The crux of Hey Jude's question , I believe, is what was Elliott Lott referring to in Carlin's book and the Rolling Stone article; i.e. Mike's stating he would not appear with Carl ; with Carl being very ill , wearing a wig  and requiring oxygen in between songs ect.  What Elliott Lott was defending, was the letter that Mike had sent to BRI effectively demanding that Carl should step down from touring ; if not , then he (Mike) was going to quit. I remember that Brian's reponse to the letter was that he felt Carl should tour as long as he felt like he could, and that it should be up to Carl when he stops. Elliott was attempting to define it as tough love from Mike in getting Carl to step down.

Now, it's worth noting that, as far as we can tell, this ultimatum never ended up coming to a head, because by August of 1997, Carl had some issues and ended up needing to leave the tour anyway. It was obviously hoped it was not permanent at that time. What would have happened had Carl returned at some point while still ill to some degree, we can't say of course.
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« Reply #7 on: August 02, 2021, 07:15:45 AM »

Mike sent a letter to BRI with an ultimatum that either Carl steps down or Mike quits. That's a fact, and that is what Lott was referring to if you trace that thread back for the information.

Now does it make more sense why Mike's book makes no mention of that letter at all, and why there were efforts in that original thread to spin and twist and parse both the Lott comments and the purpose of Mike's letter?

I'm glad the cooler heads prevailed in 1997, and Brian's reply - that Carl should be able to tour as a Beach Boy as long as he feels he can and it's his decision and NOT Mike's via an ultimatum - was the way to proceed.
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« Reply #8 on: August 02, 2021, 08:01:12 AM »

Anyone know the approximate date of the letter?  Whether it dates from May or August 1997 could tell a lot about its intentions...
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juliansuess
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« Reply #9 on: August 02, 2021, 08:04:06 AM »

Whether it dates from May or August 1997 could tell a lot about its intentions...

In what way?
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Greg Parry
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« Reply #10 on: August 02, 2021, 08:26:43 AM »

What would the reaction have been if Mike had sent a letter demanding that Carl continue touring?

Whilst I ultimately agree with Brian's statement, it seems clear to me that Mike was acting in what he saw as Carl's best interests here. Whilst he has unquestionably done some crappy things over the years, I don't think trying to get his extremely ill cousin to slow it down a bit is one of them. He just went about it in his typically bullish fashion.
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« Reply #11 on: August 02, 2021, 08:40:32 AM »

What would the reaction have been if Mike had sent a letter demanding that Carl continue touring?

Whilst I ultimately agree with Brian's statement, it seems clear to me that Mike was acting in what he saw as Carl's best interests here. Whilst he has unquestionably done some crappy things over the years, I don't think trying to get his extremely ill cousin to slow it down a bit is one of them. He just went about it in his typically bullish fashion.

Demanding that someone *continue* touring would be a completely hollow threat; one can't be forced to work.

I think the situation with having Carl on tour would have undoubtedly been difficult for everyone for many reasons. But ultimately, I think approaching Carl and really probing as to whether he felt he should be on the road would be a fair and appropriate thing to do, both for Carl's sake and yes, for the sake of the touring operation. But if Carl wanted to tour and felt he could (which clearly was the case up until some point in August '97), and he wasn't singing or playing in a notably sub-par fashion, then that's where that discussion should end.

I doubt we'll ever know Mike's precise motives. I have no reason to doubt he was concerned for Carl, and probably wanted him with the band if he was up to full strength. (Heck, we know from the Marks/Stebbins book that when Mike was seeking out David Marks in 1997, he was looking into Dave replacing *Al*, not Carl). But it is possible Mike was embarrassed with Carl's condition on stage as the '97 tour wore on, and/or perhaps he felt something not even as strong as *embarrassment*, but just a sense that this was not an appropriate stage presentation? I think that's possible.

Really, out of all the allegations against Mike over the years, both legit and not, even the more nefarious interpretation of his wanting Carl off the tour is not like the *most heinous* allegation lobbed at Mike. Such a position, given the right tact, would not be completely indefensible even if the motive was beyond simply "tough love" for Carl.

Over all these years trying to get the bottom of this (and then finally getting more an answer from Ray Lawlor) was, for me, not about another thing to knock Mike about. I just wanted to get the bottom of the historical record on that. To be clear, I'm well aware that many readings of the situation based on what we know certainly don't make Mike look great either, but for me I think it's just important to document and study what we can find. 
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« Reply #12 on: August 02, 2021, 09:20:52 AM »

What would the reaction have been if Mike had sent a letter demanding that Carl continue touring?

Whilst I ultimately agree with Brian's statement, it seems clear to me that Mike was acting in what he saw as Carl's best interests here. Whilst he has unquestionably done some crappy things over the years, I don't think trying to get his extremely ill cousin to slow it down a bit is one of them. He just went about it in his typically bullish fashion.

Demanding that someone *continue* touring would be a completely hollow threat; one can't be forced to work.

I think the situation with having Carl on tour would have undoubtedly been difficult for everyone for many reasons. But ultimately, I think approaching Carl and really probing as to whether he felt he should be on the road would be a fair and appropriate thing to do, both for Carl's sake and yes, for the sake of the touring operation. But if Carl wanted to tour and felt he could (which clearly was the case up until some point in August '97), and he wasn't singing or playing in a notably sub-par fashion, then that's where that discussion should end.

I doubt we'll ever know Mike's precise motives. I have no reason to doubt he was concerned for Carl, and probably wanted him with the band if he was up to full strength. (Heck, we know from the Marks/Stebbins book that when Mike was seeking out David Marks in 1997, he was looking into Dave replacing *Al*, not Carl). But it is possible Mike was embarrassed with Carl's condition on stage as the '97 tour wore on, and/or perhaps he felt something not even as strong as *embarrassment*, but just a sense that this was not an appropriate stage presentation? I think that's possible.

Really, out of all the allegations against Mike over the years, both legit and not, even the more nefarious interpretation of his wanting Carl off the tour is not like the *most heinous* allegation lobbed at Mike. Such a position, given the right tact, would not be completely indefensible even if the motive was beyond simply "tough love" for Carl.

Over all these years trying to get the bottom of this (and then finally getting more an answer from Ray Lawlor) was, for me, not about another thing to knock Mike about. I just wanted to get the bottom of the historical record on that. To be clear, I'm well aware that many readings of the situation based on what we know certainly don't make Mike look great either, but for me I think it's just important to document and study what we can find. 

You're right, and you clearly know a lot more about this period than I do. I'm neither a 'Mike knocker' or a 'Mike defender'. I do however believe strongly that if everyone's family and / or spousal arguments were played out in a public arena, then most of us would come across quite questionably at times. I try to see the good in people as much as I can, and that is perhaps influencing my take on Mike's motives in '97. If it were true that Mile had, as you say more nefarious motives beyond concern for his cousin, then that's just really sad.

My point about what the reaction would be if Mike had demanded Carl continue touring, was just to show he was in a 'damned if you do, damned if you don't' situation. I'm more than willing to retract that though if further evidence as to his motives were to surface.
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juliansuess
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« Reply #13 on: August 02, 2021, 12:07:29 PM »

"But it is possible Mike was embarrassed with Carl's condition on stage as the '97 tour wore on, and/or perhaps he felt something not even as strong as *embarrassment*, but just a sense that this was not an appropriate stage presentation? I think that's possible."

I'm sure that this embarassment about how Carl looked on stage was the reason why Mike wanted him out, which to me is outrageous. Who does he think he is that he alone can give ultimatums about a band member? He should have discussed this with Al, Brian, and Bruce first before putting pressure on Carl in such way. As long as he could play the notes on his guitar and remember the words of the songs there should have been no discussion if he should be on stage or not.

I also think it is not very honest by Mike that he writes about this topic in his book in a funny and concerned way ("The backbone needs a chiropractor") whereas in reality he gave the band an ultimatum: if Carl doesn't leave I will leave. If Mike came to the conclusion that the touring wasn't good for Carl, ok. If he wants to tell Carl that "the backbone needs a chiropractor", ok, even funny. Mike could tell him Carl that he was concerned about his health. However, if he was really concerned about how touring would affect Carl's health he should have said: "Carl, I think touring is not good for your health." And then let Carl decide, because only Carl knew if it was too much or not. However, he shouldn't have given an ultimatum and thereby basically saying "I know touring is not good for you and so I will pressure you to leave."

If you asked the Beach Boys fans who attended these Beach Boys concerts that included Carl in 1997 the majority probably will say that they were glad that Carl was there, that they had the highest respect for this man who gave it all despite his illness. I'm sure they didn't care that he wore a hairpiece, that he sat down, and that he received oxygen. Instead they probably felt honored that they were among the last who could hear him sing "God Only Knows" in concert.




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« Reply #14 on: August 02, 2021, 01:25:17 PM »

Instead they probably felt honored that they were among the last who could hear him sing "God Only Knows" in concert.

More than you will ever know. GOK was a lovefest between the audience and Carl during that last tour.
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« Reply #15 on: August 02, 2021, 01:40:39 PM »

It's well known that I am not fond of Mike Love. I consider him to be no better than trash. There has always been jealousy between the Wilsons and Mike Love. They sang better, absolutely looked better and were far more talented than Mike Love. This hit Mike Love hard in the ego department and we all know he never and still hasn't gotten over it. My take is that it was always Mike's desire to "own" the band and with Dennis sadly gone and Carl on his way out, all Mike Love had to do was fire Al and BINGO, his plan started to fall into place. With the Wilsons out of his way, he could start to build around himself and create an entity that, in his warped delusional mind, he thought he could fine tune into what he thought the Beach Boys should be. With Mike Love's path cleared of obstacles, he could bend, shake and reform a once incredible band into a vehicle that suited his moronic vision. With his insidious behavior over the last few decades, he has watered down a fine legacy and has created an incredibly embarrassing picture of what used to be. Mike Love is 80 and looks and sounds every bit of 80. My hope for this ungrateful creep is that he loses whatever voice he now has, that he loses the license, and is soon asked to not perform on stage because he can't sing and hopefully being in a wheelchair, his image would not go over well with the public. I believe that he wants to die while on stage (he's doing a fairly good job of it as we speak) but my hope is that he'll be asked to leave before that might happen. Whatever the case may be, I'm hoping he goes out as the turd that he is and it's not the way HE wants it to be.
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« Reply #16 on: August 02, 2021, 02:02:30 PM »

My issue with the way things were handled by Mike is that he and Carl were equals in the band, period. If Mike were concerned about Carl's health while touring, he and Carl could have had a sit down meeting and hashed it out. But instead, Mike went around Carl and instead wrote an ultimatum letter to BRI, essentially saying it's Carl or me. And issues of Carl's appearance were at play, which is even more shitty of a way to issue an ultimatum to the parent corporation. No wonder Lott was doing damage control.

Bottom line, it wasn't Mike's call, other than to meet with Carl and hash it out.

Bottom line, Brian's comment and reply on the issue is the right one, and was common sense and courtesy toward an original member and family too. CARL earned the right to decide when it was time for him to quit the road, not Mike or anyone else.

Bottom line, it speaks volumes that Mike's book completely ignores the ultimatum letter to BRI and instead paints a much different picture. Which is why Mike's book is not gospel truth, and not the Rosetta Stone of band history.
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« Reply #17 on: August 02, 2021, 06:30:57 PM »

Mr Peace and Harmony would never say such things. His name is Love for crying out loud.
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« Reply #18 on: August 02, 2021, 07:06:21 PM »

It's well known that I am not fond of Mike Love. I consider him to be no better than trash. There has always been jealousy between the Wilsons and Mike Love. They sang better, absolutely looked better and were far more talented than Mike Love. This hit Mike Love hard in the ego department and we all know he never and still hasn't gotten over it. My take is that it was always Mike's desire to "own" the band and with Dennis sadly gone and Carl on his way out, all Mike Love had to do was fire Al and BINGO, his plan started to fall into place. With the Wilsons out of his way, he could start to build around himself and create an entity that, in his warped delusional mind, he thought he could fine tune into what he thought the Beach Boys should be. With Mike Love's path cleared of obstacles, he could bend, shake and reform a once incredible band into a vehicle that suited his moronic vision. With his insidious behavior over the last few decades, he has watered down a fine legacy and has created an incredibly embarrassing picture of what used to be. Mike Love is 80 and looks and sounds every bit of 80. My hope for this ungrateful creep is that he loses whatever voice he now has, that he loses the license, and is soon asked to not perform on stage because he can't sing and hopefully being in a wheelchair, his image would not go over well with the public. I believe that he wants to die while on stage (he's doing a fairly good job of it as we speak) but my hope is that he'll be asked to leave before that might happen. Whatever the case may be, I'm hoping he goes out as the turd that he is and it's not the way HE wants it to be.
I don't think Mike needed to get Carl and Al out of the way to get his way with the band. I would say Mike basically got full leadership of the band with Summer In Paradise. The success of Kokomo convinced him that he was the one that knew the way to future fame and fortune for the Beach Boys, even though none of his attempts at followups to Kokomo were able to repeat its success. Still Cruisin? Flop. Somewhere Near Japan? Flop. Problem Child? Flop. Crocodile Rock? Flop. So we can blame Carl and Al for stepping aside, and handing over the reins to Mike Love.
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« Reply #19 on: August 03, 2021, 05:05:18 AM »

I don't know if Mike gained control of the Beach Boys in the early 90s as much as Carl just let go of his portion of control. Seems he was content with all that was going on in the Beach Boys wortld and his own personal world to seed the day-to-day business functions of the Beach Boys over to Mike. That included the direction that Mike wanted to take the band in. It just seemed like Carl was more resigned to the fact that the Beach Boys had become more or less an oldies group and wanted to make sure that the shows on stage were as professional as great as they could be. But it seemed like Carl had lost his interest in trying to keep the Beach Boys creative and current which of course fed mikes fire. Never quite understood why Carl was not more aggressive in his leadership of the band as much as he was with Beckley Lamm and Wilson
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« Reply #20 on: August 03, 2021, 06:32:27 AM »

I don't think Mike needed to get Carl and Al out of the way to get his way with the band. I would say Mike basically got full leadership of the band with Summer In Paradise. The success of Kokomo convinced him that he was the one that knew the way to future fame and fortune for the Beach Boys, even though none of his attempts at followups to Kokomo were able to repeat its success. Still Cruisin? Flop. Somewhere Near Japan? Flop. Problem Child? Flop. Crocodile Rock? Flop. So we can blame Carl and Al for stepping aside, and handing over the reins to Mike Love.

Members having various forms of "creative reins" as it pertained to things like the artistic direction of "Summer in Paradise", etc. are mostly a separate issue from what we're talking about as far as Mike vis-a-vis Al and Carl in 1997 and the *business* machinations going on.

Check out the Marks/Stebbins book, which goes into this to some degree. Mike wanted his company to take over production of Beach Boys shows/tours. This would basically entail the touring operation being run by Mike's company, which would in turn make everybody in the band employees of Mike's company. This is ultimately more or less what happened and how Mike operates his tours now. Al reportedly (very understandably) did not like the idea of such a setup, where he would essentially become an employee in a band he owned an equal stake in.

There were also, I would say, clear indications of a general attempt to marginalize Al in terms of the business/corporation. For being an "equal shareholder" in the corporation, Al was pretty marginalized and impotent by the late 90s. Nobody was supporting him (Carl and Brian apparently/supposedly were not interested in backing Al in his opposition to changing how to run the tours, and later on when Al was sued for touring with his own band, it doesn't appear that Brian or Carl's estate backed him there either).

Yes, it would appear the other members taking a passive approach in general in the 80s and 90s only served to embolden Mike in a number of ways. But I think Al being squeezed out was going to happen regardless of whether or not they let Mike be the creative force behind "Summer in Paradise." Indeed, Carlin's book reports there were attempts to oust Al as early as *1990*.
« Last Edit: August 03, 2021, 06:42:47 AM by HeyJude » Logged

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« Reply #21 on: August 03, 2021, 09:51:06 AM »

Mr Peace and Harmony would never say such things. His name is Love for crying out loud.

LOL, exactly: Mike Love not war!
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« Reply #22 on: August 03, 2021, 12:54:10 PM »

Some people just love to hate Mike no matter what..
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« Reply #23 on: August 03, 2021, 02:16:01 PM »

I think in his own way Mike was concerned about Carl’s health , human relations with others has never been Mike’s strong suit so it might seem weird the way he went about it. However I think he used the situation with Carl to manipulate Al out once and for all  and sort of kill two birds with one stone.  and it would have been interesting to see if they called his bluff because I don’t think he would ever actually quit .  Al was always Brian’s friend above all and tended to go as Brian did , the less Brian was involved the less clout Al has had. I think Brian was and is Al’s biggest champion in the group . Amazingly they (even Carl seemingly)  viewed him as expendable as early as 1990.
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« Reply #24 on: August 03, 2021, 06:48:04 PM »

When your cousin who you grew up with your entire life is battling cancer, and still wanting to perform as a Beach Boy as long as he could despite needing oxygen breaks during the shows, I DON'T think the way to show caring and concern involves sending your corporation a letter with an ultimatum saying essentially either he leaves or I leave. I'm guessing most normal, rational people wouldn't do that in similar circumstances. I'm sure the fans who saw Carl's last tour are glad Mike didn't get his way that time.

Interesting too how Mike's book makes no mention of his letter/ultimatum at all. If it were coming from a place of "tough love" or whatever Lott was calling it during damage control mode, I'd think Mike would have included it in his book.

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