Jun 062019
mike love ramones cover

No one knows Mike Love’s place in rock n’ roll history better than Mike Love himself. In his 2016 memoir Good Vibrations: My Life as a Beach Boy, Love summed up his legacy perfectly, writing: “For those who believe that Brian [Wilson] walks on water, I will always be the Antichrist.” In a move sure to send the legions of “Love-haters” into fits of online rage, he recently recorded a cover of the Ramones’ “Rockaway Beach.” The track was released as a single in advance of Love’s upcoming solo record 12 Sides of Summer.

Love is not the first one to connect his music with the sounds of the denim-and-leather-clad punks from Queens. In 2009, a group calling themselves the Rämouns released an album of Beach Boys covers performed in the style of the Ramones, aptly called Rockaway Beach Boys. Joey Ramone’s brother Mickey Leigh recently told Billboard that they were fans of the Beach Boys as kids. “Growing up in Forest Hills, Joey and I bought every single and every album of theirs, which led to buying every record by Jan and Dean and the Trashmen, and on and on,” he said. “That’s all reflected in the Ramones’ music.”

Clocking in at nearly three minutes, Love’s cover is 33 percent longer than the Ramones’ original. At age 78, Love’s voice does not have the same range as it once did, but one doesn’t need to be Frank Sinatra to take on Joey Ramone. On the recording, Love is ably backed by current members of the Beach Boys’ touring band, who provide Beach Boys-inspired guitar licks and harmonies. The group, who have a relentless touring schedule that puts many younger acts to shame, have already added “Rockaway Beach” to their live repertoire. It has even been given the seal of approval by drummer Marky Ramone, who joined Love and the Beach Boys for a performance on Long Island last week. Listen to both versions below:

Click here to listen to more Ramones’ covers

Cover Me is now on Patreon! If you love cover songs, we hope you will consider supporting us there with a small monthly subscription. There are a bunch of exclusive perks only for patrons: playlists, newsletters, downloads, discussions, polls - hell, tell us what song you would like to hear covered and we will make it happen. Learn more at Patreon.

  2 Responses to “Mike Love Trolls His Critics with Cover of The Ramones’ “Rockaway Beach””

Comments (2)
  1. Wow, where to start…back in the 70s when I was a college newspaper reporter (and a lonely black Beach Boys fan…) I attended a concert of theirs at Central Park. The press entrance was backstage. Entering, I saw the Beach Boys waiting. I walked over to Mike “Love”, extended my hand and said “Liked you guys’ work on 20/20”. Love looked at my hand like I handed him a dog turd then looked back at me. Just then Dennis Wilson elbowed him aside, delivered a bone-crushing hand shake and said “Fuck him, he’s just an asshole”. Pretty much says it all.

    • Ramon, I’m a member of the Facebook group Mike Love is a Douchebag. I’m sorry that happened to you, but at the same time, I have to say, I *never* get tired of this story. Thanks for sharing.

 Leave a Reply

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>