Entertainment And News

Love Acts: Beach Boys’ Mike Love Explains His New Song, 'This Too Shall Pass'

Photo: courtesy Mike Love / John Stamos
Exclusive With The Beach Boys' Mike Love And His New Song Release

YourTango is kicking off a series called #LoveActs to inspire you — and many others — to initiate heartfelt, caring acts of love, hope and generosity in an effort to help and heal each other during these unprecedented and difficult times.

We are reaching out to some of our favorite thought leaders, activists, musicians, writers, actors, artists and business leaders to learn about and trumpet their Love Acts.

At Your Tango, we always say that “love is an action word” and honor the immutable law of Karma. We know that we each get when we give.

We hope to inspire you to open your heart and minds, motivate your own “love acts” and create a positive cycle of help and healing.

Appropriately, our very first #LoveActs interview is with Mike Love, lead singer of The Beach Boys.

I caught up with Mike at his home in Lake Tahoe where he and his wife, Jacquelyne, are riding out the global pandemic, COVID-19, which has brought us all together in such unusual and unexpected ways. 

Mike and I have been friends for almost 35 years. 

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Back in the 80’s we worked together on a variety of issues, including national service projects for President George HW Bush. He offered to engage his friends in the entertainment community to rally around the call to national service among young people.

With the help of about 30 entertainment celebrities we created the very first Point of Light initiative called StarServe (Students Taking Action and Responsibility in Service). Before that, Mike and The Beach Boys helped Nancy Reagan bring attention to her Just Say No anti-drug campaign.

He has long used his voice and celebrity to highlight worthy causes. Every summer tour has a not-for-profit beneficiary for which they raise money and awareness. I should know, as they helped raise several hundred thousand dollars for a clean water initiative I was working on a few years ago.

So, it should come to no surprise that Mike, taking stock of the global pandemic and those affected by the novel coronavirus we have all come to know as COVID-19, went into creative overdrive and just released a new song, “This Too Shall Pass.”

“In 2020, we were poised to have our busiest concert tour year to date,” said Mike. That’s saying a lot from a guy who averages around 170 concerts a year in dozens of countries.

“We were on tour in Florida when the stay at home order came down,” he noted. “We flew back to our home in Lake Tahoe and that’s where we have been ever since. About a week into the quarantine, I was sitting around thinking about everything that people are going through in our country and in our world and I started to write a poem," he told me. 

The words of Mike Love's COVID-19 poem are powerful.

We all remember when school was out was a time for celebrations.
Nobody ever even thought about closing down entire nations.
Washing hands and wearing masks and it’s not even Halloween.
Shaking hands is a thing of the past due to social distancing.
People are wondering how long it’ll last, as the saying goes This To Shall Pass.
Well, I believe the best is yet to come so let’s get back to having Fun Fun Fun...in the sun.

“So, I wrote the poem/lyrics and then I picked the tempo and track,” he said. “I wanted something upbeat and positive, a similar affect to the mid-60’s vibe in the right key for my voice.”

In the meantime, people, there can be no doubt - lots of folks deserve a big shout out.
First responders and the national guard, doctors and nurses all working real hard.
It kinda like a viral super bowl - so do unto others, it good for the soul.
All fifty states with a unified goal - God Bless America, that’s how we roll!

“Usually, we record music in a studio and we are all together,” he said. “But, these are unusual times. "

So Mike called Tim Bonhomme, their keyboard player in Las Vegas, to get the tempo and melody.

"He forwarded it to our musical director, Scott Totten in Florida, who produced the basic track. He then sent it Brian Eichenberger and Randy Leago in Nashville who did vocals and saxophone respectively and Keith Hubacher who added bass from the East Coast. Onward it was sent to my son, Christian Love, in Santa Barbara who added vocals and the sent it to John Stamos in Los Angeles who recorded drums and vocals and did the editing."

Mike sums up life in the time of COVID perfectly when he says, "Eight different locations, one song, and we never even met once. Pretty amazing!”

We’re turning lemons into lemonade, just be cautious don’t be afraid.
Do what the doctors recommend, the sooner we do this pandemic will end.
People are wondering how long it’ll last, as the saying goes This Too Shall Pass.
Well, I believe the best is yet to come so let’s get back to having Fun Fun Fun...in the sun.

“So many Americans are out of work and having a hard time putting food on the table,” he lamented. “We decided to donate all the proceeds from the song to Feeding America.”

RELATED: To support Mike Love's #LoveActs and to help feed America donate here.

In the almost six decades The Beach Boys have been singing and touring, Mike said it is only the second time he has taken such a long break from his fans. “In 1977, I took off six months for a meditation course with the Maharishi,” he said. An avid practitioner of Transcendental Meditation since 1967, Mike practices twenty minutes of mindfulness twice a day for the last 53 years. He credits this to his ability to continue traveling and touring and performing at the age of 79.

On the day I chatted with him, he arose at 5am to begin radio and tv interviews promoting the new song. “Even though we can’t be on tour right now, I am doing interviews in all the cities where we were supposed to perform this summer,” he said. “They play the new song and some of the old standards. It’s a nice way to reach out to the fans.”
“I miss the audience,” he lamented. “Making a record, writing the lyrics, it’s all fun, but for me, the best part is the live performance. Not that I ever took it for granted, but when this is all over, I will savor it even more.”

Like all of us stuck at home, I asked Mike how he spends his days.

Binge-watching: Ozark
Wearing: Robes unless there is a video interview
Shaving: see reference to video interview
Mental Health: meditation and hot tub
Drinking: I must admit there are some bubbles involved.
Pleasant surprise: my wife, Jacquelyne, and I have had an opportunity to enjoy being at home and doing things together. We are taking advantage of the beautiful surroundings in Lake Tahoe. We have never had this kind of time together before.
Stressor: worrying about the band and crew

The Beach Boys employs close to twenty people including nine band members, an extensive road crew and drivers. When they are on the road, they stimulate the airline, hotel, hospitality, concert promoter and venue industry. Millions of dollars lost just from one band.

“I think reopening the country will vary from state to state,” he posited. “But, unless you can have full concert venues, the economics of performing just don’t work.”

Though Mike is looking forward to getting together again — at restaurants, football and baseball and basketball games when they're safe, he says.

“I think this will make us all more grateful and appreciate the freedom to enjoy life.”

People are wondering how long it’ll last, as the saying goes This Too Shall Pass.
Well, I believe the best is yet to come so let’s get back to having Fun Fun Fun...in the sun.

To download the song and support Feeding America, go to YouTube.

Check out the concert schedule here when things get back to normal.

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Jacqueline Lundquist is an author of several books, a former CBS entertainment reporter, former First Lady of the US in India where her husband served as the Ambassador. She is also the proud mother of a son who is a recent graduate of USC Film School. Follow her on Facebook and on Instagram, @jrlundquist.