Mike Love

Born Michael Edward Love on March 15, 1941, he was the son of Milton Love and his wife, Emily Wilson, whose brother, Murry Wilson, was father to the three Wilson brothers - Brian, Dennis and Carl - who would form the backbone of the Beach Boys. As a high schooler, Love was an ardent sports player, but also deeply enamored of the black vocal groups of the late 1950s, and would provide the bass lines in several impromptu groups at Hawthorne High School. Family get-togethers at the Wilson home were also filled with music, where Love forged a relationship with cousin Brian Wilson based on their mutual love for multi-part harmonies. Wilson began to toy with the idea of forming a rock group. While conducting sessions with his brothers in their bedroom, he also included Love on vocals and school friend, Al Jardine, on guitar and harmony. Love provided the embryonic band with its initial moniker, the Pendletones - inspired by the Pendleton shirts favored by South Bay surfers - and encouraged his cousin to begin writing original material. After Dennis Wilson suggested that they write a song about surfing, Wilson and Love cobbled together a rudimentary tribute to the sport called "Surfin'," which, in 1961, became the newly christened Beach Boys' first single.