As the sun-kissed shores of Redondo Beach played host to the highly anticipated BeachLife Festival 2023, an extraordinary opportunity presented itself—the chance to sit down and have an interview with none other than Mike Love, a founding member of the iconic Beach Boys. Amidst the vibrant atmosphere of the festival, this conversation with Mike Love provided a glimpse into his latest venture, Club Kokomo Spirits, and allowed for reflections on a remarkable musical journey.
The presence of John Stamos, renowned actor and musician, added an extra touch of excitement to the interview. Stamos, known for his close connection with the Beach Boys, made a memorable appearance throughout this years festival, further emphasizing the enduring camaraderie shared by these musical legends.
Together, we delved into the story behind Club Kokomo Spirits, a project that emerged as a delightful fusion of Mike Love’s passion for mojitos and his desire to contribute positively to the world. This captivating endeavor highlights his ability to transcend the boundaries of their musical legacy and venture into the realms of the beverage industry, all while upholding their unwavering commitment to spreading joy and promoting peace.
From grandparents to parents and grandchildren, the Beach Boys’ timeless melodies have formed a bond that spans across time, connecting people of all ages through the power of music.
With the interview set in picturesque Redondo Beach, where waves crashed against the shore and a sense of nostalgia hung in the air, Mike Love unveiled the story behind Club Kokomo Spirits and his enduring passion for creating positive change. This interview, conducted at BeachLife Festival 2023, captures a unique moment in time, a celebration of the Beach Boys’ legendary status and their everlasting impact on music and generations to come. The band will also be kicking off a tour this summer, and it’s one you won’t want to miss.
Can you tell us more about Club Kokomo Spirits and how you got involved with it?
It’s a development that we’ve been working on since last year, and it started with my idea of having a Koko mojito. If I were to go out to have a drink, I would probably order a mojito. A rum-based drink with lemongrass and mint. They’re delicious. And I’ve always loved those things. So, we created a ready-to-drink Koko mojito. We have a great partner, and he’s the one that creates lemongrass-infused rum, and other flavors. They’re all delicious.
And we have four flavors. Three rums and one gin, but I have to say that the Koko mojitos are near and dear to my heart. The name of course is because our song “Kokomo” was number one in 1988 and has been featured on Full House with John Stamos, who is with us today. And of course, he comes out and plays with us whenever he can. He loves to play the drums, and we back him up on the song “Forever,” which was played by ‘Uncle Jesse’ when he got married.
But anyway, it’s about a vacation in a can, ready to drink, ‘RTD.’ And you know everyone’s had their margaritas, and they’ve had their tequilas and their vodkas, but I think rum has been underpromoted. So me being a mojito aficionado gave birth to Koko Mojito.
And what made you get interested in the beverage industry?
I think the beverage industry is an industry to make a fortune in, and I would like to donate what I make to the cause of World Peace, which I think is much needed in this day and age.
I think it’s just too late in the game to be involved in a war such as the Ukraine war. And with my personal feelings, I did a song called “Make Love Not War.” What in the world is all the fighting for? Give peace a chance. The earth could use an evolutionary advance.
I absolutely agree. The worries that parents have today with their kids are not really the worries that our parents had.
Well, I mean we did have some worries ourselves because we used to have to duck under our desk because we thought the Russians were going to A-bomb us. And now there are more bombs which are far more devastating, so I think it’s time that humanity gets hip to peace. Give peace a chance, like John Lennon said.
So this is a way for you to give back and put more positive energy into the world.
Yes. For me personally, yes, but also in this material world, nothing happens without being successful and making money. And if you make money, you are successful and you hope to be that, and I think you can give more. It may be a circuitous way, but that’s the way of the world, isn’t it?
Yeah. Will the Club Kokomo Spirits be available during your tour this summer?
I hope so. In fact, with things like after parties where there’s tasting. There are three rums and one gin. And I personally never tasted gin, but when I tried our gin called Excitation, it was really nice! And I’ve converted. They are 10%, so you can’t drink many of them. Maybe one, maybe two, but they are just so nice.
For me, it might be just a sip! And are you guys excited to get back on the road this summer?
Yes. We’re always excited to go out and do performances. We did a show last night at St. Thomas in Houston. There were people in their 70s and 80s, and there were kids in college singing along, and they were all having a great time. It’s so great to be six decades into your career and have multiple generations appreciate your music.
It is. It’s great to see grandparents with their kids and their grandkids. The Beach Boys have transcended multiple generations.
Yes. And as I always say, it beats a real job. (laughing)
Well, I would say touring can be a real hard job!
It can be arduous at times, yeah.
But if you’re having fun, and if you’re having your Kokomo Mojito, its got to be great!
We do have ‘fun fun fun’ to be redundant! But yeah, we have a good time. But everything gets set up, and we have very little to do. And meditation on my part, I’ve done since ’67, which has been really beneficial. It’s really good stuff.
Is that something you feel that helped you keep moving forward?
Yeah, I absolutely know it is.
Because this can be a very rough industry.
It is. And people can be seduced into doing too much alcohol or drugs. But with transcendental meditation, there are no negative effects. It’s a wonderful thing and just 20 minutes. So, I’ve been doing that since December of 1967.
So that’s why Mike Love is still going stronger than most of us kids at the shows these days.
(laughing) Well now you see you make lifestyle choices, and those are important. If you don’t smoke or don’t drink too much or you don’t take any drugs. Unless you have something that you need prescribed for an affliction like pneumonia or something. Then it’s probably a good idea to take some drugs! Taking what the doctor orders. But those recreational things, not as good as meditating.
And would you also say that’s why The Beach Boys have been together for so long? You all lead positive lifestyles?
That’s it. Accentuate the positive. For the music, my cousin Brian is brilliant at music, with chord progression and melodies harmonies. He’s a genius at it. But I was the one who was always more into the concepts and the lyrics. Like ‘fun fun fun.’
And I’m very proud to say that The Beach Boys were my very first rock concert.
No kidding? Where?
Pine Knob in Michigan.
Pine Knob, which became DTE, and is now back to Pine Knob.
Yeah. I saw you guys. I was in the 9th row, and John Stamos was hanging out on stage.
And there was another actor on stage there, Rob Lowe, was he there?
I don’t think so. I don’t know because I was checking out John Stamos, and my mom was checking out you guys.
That’s great! Theses guys are great, and that was back when Rob got out of some situation with a girl.
He has stopped aging.
Yeah, and John Stamos gets better looking every year, it’s disgusting.
Well, you know, you don’t look much older than you did when I saw you 30 years ago.
It’s the diet and the meditation.
And are excited to see you back out on tour in Michigan?
It’s beautiful there. And we’re going to be in Meadowbrook and Grand Rapids this year.
We can’t wait to see you there. Thanks for speaking with me today. Is there anything else you’d like to share with your fans?
My Kokomo mojito! Thank you.