Mike Love of the Beach Boys
Mike Love of The Beach Boys performs at Schermerhorn Symphony Center on May 25, 2023 in Nashville, Tennessee.
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No, Mike Love, the FBI Doesn’t Care If the Beach Boys Play “Surfer Girl”

Love's onstage banter took a deeply unfunny turn

The Beach Boys’ Mike Love has a history of making, shall we say, contentious statements on stage, including a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame acceptance speech in which he opted to mock the likes of Billy Joel and Mick Jagger. Love has also maintained cordial relationships with a number of conservative politicians — notably Donald Trump, which led the Love-led iteration of the Beach Boys to play a Trump fundraiser.

All of that seems like the makings of a perfect storm of a cringe-worthy onstage moment or two, and Love appears to have delivered just that. As reported by the Twitter account Crazy Ass Moments in Beach Boys History, Love recently introduced the song “Surfer Girl” with a bit of onstage banter that sounds more like a list of various reactionary grievances than anything remotely connected to reality.

“This next song — I’m a little concerned about doing, on account of…it’s gender-specific,” Love said. “I hope there’s nobody from Budweiser here. Or the FBI.”

Love seems to be playing to his audience, given the generally positive reaction to his comments. But it also feels like he’s making the most shameless kind of pandering to the “anti-woke” crowd. And while it’s never too clear how seriously to take Love, the concept of the FBI — much less a crack team from Anheuser-Busch InBev — shutting down a performance of “Surfer Girl” is laughable.

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There’s also something genuinely bizarre about Love attempting to get his version of the Beach Boys some sort of outlaw cred. Again, law enforcement is not going to persecute the Beach Boys over a song that is literally 60 years old. “Kokomo,” on the other hand…no, no. As bad as “Kokomo” is, that’s also unlikely to draw the attention of the FBI, or even a rapid-response team from a large beer company.

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