Bob Marley sang about one love, but when referring to Mike Love, there are at least two of them.
There is the Mike Love who plays with the Beach Boys and lives at Incline Village, and there is Mike Love the Hawaiian reggae artist who’s brought his “Beginning of Days Tour to Lake Tahoe on Friday, June 9.
Love is influenced by classic roots-rock reggae.
“The reggae music that resonates with me is the spiritual classic music of Bob Marley and the Wailers, the Abyssinians, the Congos and Israel Vibrations,” he said. “They are singing about spiritual things about separation and triumphs and revolution and about love.”
A native of O’ahu, Hawaii, where reggae sounds are ubiquitous, Love hails from a family of musicians. Like most islanders, his first instrument was ukulele. He started piano lessons at age 5, and played steel drum before picking up guitar.
With a beard and dreadlocks that hang beneath his knees, he certainly looks like a reggae artist. However, there is more to it than appearance, he said.
“I don’t consider myself a religious person but I do consider myself a spiritual person,” he said. “Even to hold the idea of Rastafari, you don’t need to have dreadlocks or grow your beard or any of these physical things. It’s a mental state of being of positivity and that quest for oneness and unity to be connected with all living creatures. In that sense it has nothing to do with physical appearance. That’s really what I’m focused on.”
Love appreciates a humanist philosophy.
“To say humanist, yeah, I care about every human being and every living creature on this planet,” he said. “I want to see a return of harmony to nature with every living being to respect each other’s boundaries and unique qualities and to allow each other to breathe and to thrive and to celebrate the qualities that we have that are different and the qualities that we have at our core that make us the same.”
Here is a video of Mike Love playing his song “Permanent Holiday”