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Top Stories - California

Love Releases Smile Album!
Tue Jun 16, 9:49 AM ET

By Murray Sanders

The cover of the new Mike Love CD

Photo courtesy of TM Records

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA (Reuters) - In an effort to beat Brian Wilson to the punch, Mike Love has unveiled his own version of the legendary Beach Boys Smile album. The record will be released on Love's own TRANSCENDENTAL MEDITATION record label, with all proceed going to the MAHARISHI VEGAS CASINO fund.

Love, a co-founding member of the Beach Boys, has long been misaligned as one of the prime reasons that the Smile album was not released by the band. Brian Wilson has released two live albums recently, LIVE AT THE ROXY and PET SOUNDS LIVE.

"I'm here to set the record straight," said Love in a morning press conference. "Brian has said many times that he has no intention of releasing Smile. I want the world to know that I am not the holdup. It was brilliant, revolutionary music for its time and I am proud to have been a major player in the album."

Here is a transcript of the question/answer portion of the press conference:

QUESTION: Why not release the original album? Why a live version?

Mike: Since Brian holds the original tapes and can't seem to remember the order of the album, I've decided to record a live version of Smile with THE BEACH BOYS. Bruce [Johnston] had several original acetates of the Smile recordings and we used those as a reference.

QUESTION: Aren't you just copying Brian's recent PET SOUNDS LIVE CD?

Mike: Not at all! I've had this CD planned for many years. I was just waiting for the right time. Brian kept holding up the PET SOUNDS SESSIONS BOX SET and I just knew that would happen to the SMILE SESSIONS BOX SET.

QUESTION: But the cover looks amazing like Brian's LIVE AT THE ROXY CD?

Mike: As far as the ROXY album goes, I've had this artwork for 5 years now and I seem to recall one dinner party where I showed the original proofs to Brian. Next thing you know, his ROXY album comes out. Make your own conclusions.

QUESTION: Why was Vegas picked for the recording of the album?

Mike: Well, because I have a mission in Vegas. All the proceeds will go to fund the MAHARISHI VEGAS CASINO. One of the features of this casino will be a SMILE MUSEUM, where people can see all the memorabilia from the Smile era. I've got tons of pictures and homemade recordings which will really change people's view of Smile. For instance, not many people know that Van Dyke Parks and I were big buds during the recording of Smile.

QUESTION: Come on, Mr. Love, you can't be serious? Rock history shows that you and Van Dyke Parks hated each other!

Mike: Everybody always points to our argument about the lyrics to Cabinessence, supposedly that I hated the lyrics 'over and over the crow cries uncover the cornfield'. Actually I had come up with some better lyrics, in my mind, which would fit the song. My lyrics were, 'over and over the buffalo cries the railroad is blocking our range here.' You see, I thought it fit better with the railroad-theme of the song. PLUS, I was always environmentally conscious, way before it was hip. I was one of the first to rally to the aid of the American buffalo. That's why we are including the original lyrics in our live version.

QUESTION: Will Brian have any input on the Smile museum?

Mike: Brian is pretty much content to leave the legacy of the Beach Boys to me. I mean, it is ME that owns the name? He'll get a percentage of couse, from the Smile merchandise that we will sell.

QUESTION: Merchandise? Mike: There is no 'official' place to buy Smile merchandise. Before, if you wanted a Smile shirt, you had to pay exhorbinant prices for it. Right after this press conference, I'm meeting with a man to discuss Smile souvineers. For example, Smile bobblehead dolls. And the same thing goes for bootlegs. That's another reason we are doing this CD, the fan can finally buy a version officially.

QUESTION: Are there any more revelations in your live Smile album?

Mike: You'll just have to buy the CD to see! But I will say that there will be many surprises. I have reinstated an original segment of the Barnyard Suite, which I wrote with Van Dyke. Barnyard Billy's faithful dog develops rabies and Billy has to put him down.

QUESTION: Wait! Isn't that 'Old Yeller'?

Mike: The Disney film? No, not at all! The dog in ours is a Bull Mastif. And he saves Marguaritte from an Indian attack before he developes rabies. Very emotional. But Brian insisted on a saloon brawl, so my original idea got dropped. I always thought, 'you could do them BOTH.'

QUESTION: What about Al Jardine? He is one of the original surviving Beach Boys. Have you discussed your project with him?

Mike: As a matter of fact, Al is currently working on a live CD of his own. The tentative title is AL JARDINE AND THE HEROES AND VILLAINS BAND PRESENTS SMILEY SMILE LIVE. We are on good terms now, now that he has agreed not to use the Beach Boys name, which is trademarked by me by the way. Did I mention that? Anyway, Al's CD will even be released on my TM label. Since he pretty much only has a captive audience at Vegas, we decided to record his live album here. He is going to be one of the artists performing at the grand opening of the MAHARISHI CASINO.

QUESTION: When is the groundbreaking for the casino?

Mike: Actually, we are shooting for an early 2003 move-in date. In fact, I need to end the press conference to go meet the Maharishi at the airport. Thank you!

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