Art Object Of The Day 6/19/2016: Andre Perkowski – “Eugene Landy and Mike Love Blues” (from “Endless Syncopation: The Rising Fall of The Beach Boys and The California Myth”)
Last night I finally got a chance to watch the Brian Wilson biopic Love & Mercy and completely loved it. There's never been a better biographical rock movie that I can recall, although admittedly I avoid a lot of them for fear that they won't turn out like Love & Mercy did. It weaved in and out of two storylines that occurred in the life of the Beach Boys genius. One centered on Wilson's explosion of creativity that resulted in the Pet Sounds and SMiLE session, and the other on his late '80s reclamation of his life with the assistance of a new love interest. Each narrative featured characters (possibly caricatures) of two of the historically denounced opposing influences against Wilson experiencing creative and personal liberty: fellow, commercially-obsessed Beach Boy Mike Love in the first, and quack shrink Eugene Landy, the most expensive hanger-on in music history, in the second. (Brief snippets of the third bastard, Brian's abusive father Murry Wilson, also find their way into the movie.)
I have gone on before about my contempt for Love. Whenever I travel down to Olympia to visit some of my musician friends, especially my good friend Scott Taylor, it's always only a matter of time until we start spouting off about how much we despise Mike Love. It's like Tourette's for music nerds. You never know what'll set it off. "Hey, can you pass the salt?" "MIKE LOVE WAS A HEARTLESS BITCH!" "Yeah, Paul, you explained this to us at Thanksgiving." "IT BEARS REPEATING!"
I couldn't even keep this under control while I watched Love & Mercy with my wife Kate, in the scenes where Love tried to talk Wilson out of exploring his artistic ambitions: "Fuck Mike Love! Fuck the actor playing Mike Love! Fuck the screenwriter who wrote Mike Love's lines! Fuck the costumer designer who put that stupid hat on the actor playing Mike Love, because how do we know that costume designer didn't spend so much time looking at pictures of Mike Love that he or she didn't contract the evil poltergeist-like spirit of Mike Love and absorb it into his or her bloodstream merely by association?! Hey, FUCK YOU, Mike Love!"
I should probably have that looked at. Anyway, while hunting around for supportive information to bolster my findings, I came upon a multi-part YouTube project by a guy named Andre Perkowski called Endless Syncopation: The Rising Fall of The Beach Boys and The California Myth. This project is billed as "a Beach Boys movie made out of all the other Beach Boys movies" and was apparently unleashed in 2012. It largely covers the father Wilson's abuse, but also covers Love's dickishness and Landy's consumptive, psychologically unsound takeover of Wilson's 24-hour life. The segment entitled "Eugene Landy and Mike Love Blues" rang true to me, but the whole thing, presented as a YouTube playlist, is recommended. If you're like me, wear a muzzle.