The Beach Boys’ Mike Love recently stopped by Build Series in New York City to discuss a variety of topics, including his new solo album, Unleash the Love (released Nov. 17). In an untimely twist, Charles Manson, whom Love detailed meeting in his 2016 memoir Good Vibrations, died the night before the interview. Build asked Love for his thoughts on the infamous cult killer in the immediate aftermath of his passing.
“I only met the guy one time, and that was enough. Let’s put it this way: I didn’t send flowers,” said Love, adding that the connection is not between Manson and the Beach Boys as a whole, as widely reported, but rather only with his late cousin Dennis Wilson. “[Dennis] picked up a couple girls hitchhiking and took them to his home. And then, the next thing you know, the girls invited their leader, Charles Manson, to live with Dennis.”
When asked to elaborate, Love demurred. “Dennis did tell me some things that he never spoke of to anybody else, other than one or two people, and it was not pleasant. I prefer not to speak of it,” he replied. “Suffice it to say that his roommate Charlie — there are many terms that could be said about him — but it was interesting that we had learned meditation just a few months before from Maharishi, and then there you have Charlie Manson. So you have the diabolical and the divine.
“Couldn’t be a much more diverse kind of dynamic going on in the late ’60s. … There was a lot [going on]. A bit too much.”
Love’s latest project is a two-CD set split between original songs and rearranged/rerecorded Beach Boys classics. Guests include John Stamos, Mark McGrath, Dave Koz, daughter Ambha Love, and John Cowsill.