04 September 2009

Beach Boys' Mike Love recharges at The Raj



September 4, 2009

By SOPHIA AHMAD
sahmad@dmreg.com

With its tight falsetto harmonies and sunny lyrics, the Beach Boys' sound is immediately recognizable to both young fans - who consider it a retro band - and to older fans who grew up on hits such as "California Girls" and "Surfin' USA."

The legendary ensemble that has been entertaining audiences since 1961 will perform Monday in Fairfield - a quick return trip to Iowa after a recent show Aug. 14 at Meskwaki Bingo-Casino-Hotel in Tama. But Monday's outdoor concert on Labor Day at a middle school in Fairfield also will deliver a different "vibration" for singer Mike Love.

"My main place for rest and relaxation and recharging has been the Raj and meditating in the domes," Love said last month during a stopover in Fairfield. The Raj is a Fairfield spa that integrates holistic practices into its treatments.

And Love routinely practices transcendental meditation (T.M.) inside the domes of Maharishi University of Management, founded by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.

Love, one of the remaining 1960s members of the Beach Boys, will be named Energy Czar for the day by Fairfield Mayor Ed Malloy. He will also help unveil the city's 40-point Green Sustainability Plan, funded by an $80,000 grant from Iowa's Office of Energy Independence. The plan calls for energy conservation and support of local farms, among other initiatives.

"Energy independence is something that is close to my children and grandchildren and their children's heart," Love said.

Proceeds from Monday's concert also will benefit the David Lynch Foundation, which supports T.M. education, and the Fairfield Arts and Convention Center.

Love is a longtime fan of the eastern Iowa city.

"I've been going to Fairfield for a few decades," he said. "One time I came here for three weeks and did treatments every day, and that was fantastic. I never felt better."

Transcendental meditation is so important to Love that he wrote a song about its founder: "Cool Head, Warm Heart."

"Maharishi said once in a meeting, 'You need a cool head and a warm heart,' so I made a little sound out of it," Love said about his inspiration for the song.

Love, who performs nearly 150 concerts per year, said he has a special connection to Iowa and its "small-town environment." He recalled a recent memory of the "little gem in the heartland" when he landed at a Tuscon airport.

"This woman that drove me from the airport said she heard us at the Dance-land Ballroom in Cedar Rapids ... Now how ironic is that?"

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