Mike's Love Xexagon



Studio was a hexagon (2)
Old member sat on one side 
Opposite three bald triplets (3)
I stood in the middle
Fumbling with two tin packets

Listen while I tell this tale of woe
The worm in the bacon of BB (4)
His name was Love
But how were they to know
Mike's gift was only poison

When I died - love was all around
When I died - love was in the air
When I died - love was everywhere
When I died - captain, aye, peculiar wind  (5)

So hoist the cats away
And the mouse he did play
The plots came thick and fast
Satanic meditations, shadowy missions
So hoist his music on the mast
So look at the worm in the bacon
Good vibrations, man (6)

When I died - love was all around
When I died - love was in the air
When I died - love was everywhere
When I died - captain, aye, peculiar wind

Well then I died
Turned the beat to the brink
To post his name high
Thick and fast on the mast
Sail is all broken

The story of Love
The story of Love
The story of Love

When I died - love was all around
When I died - love was in the air
When I died - love was everywhere
When I died - captain, aye, peculiar wind

When I died - love was all around
When I died - love was in the air
When I died - love was everywhere
When I died - captain, aye, peculiar wind



1. The song apparently refers to Mike Love of the Beach Boys, whose creative differences with Brian Wilson have been the subject of much controversy. The backing vocals on the track are Beach Boys-ish. There is also a pulp romance novel called The Love Hexagon.  

This was purportedly co-written with the late Dave Luff (see also  "Oswald Defence Lawyer"), as Luff explained in a 2004 post to the Fall Online Forum (thanks to MandrakeAnthrax):


i am cog sinister.....met mark in 83 in The Loft Berlin we became v.close friends ever since. i brought out a newspaper..Sinister Times with marks lyrics
i designed record label for palace of swords reversed..the thumb print is mine...
wrote two songs with m e s ....oswald defence lawyer...and mike love xexagon.
starred as a cardinal using a cell phone in Hey!Luciani at the riverside...
I also published The Fall Lyrics......
why am i telling you this ? well..i shall be working on the second fall lyrics book over
the winter...provisional title ...V2....
something to look forward to next year....so watch this space with mince pies to be informed up to date.....
respectfully yours
cog sin.

There is some evidence that MES appreciates the Beach Boys. From the November 3, 2000 Washington Post:

"Famously, Boy met Mark E. Smith when the Fall guy got in Boy's car one night outside a pub, mistaking it for a cab. "I got him to the cab rank, and he stepped out the door and collapsed," Boy recalls. "So I just hung around for a minute to see if anyone was going to help him out. He looked like he was going to die in the gutter. So I said, 'Get back in, I'll give you a lift.' "

Before the night was over, Boy traded his copy of "Pet Sounds" to Smith in exchange for a chance to record with the Fall."

I wish that was from the New York Times, because they would have had to call him "Mr. Boy"...


2. This may refer to the hexagonal studio at Maida Vale, although Jim Watts has said that this is just a coincidence. I'm not sure how he knows that MES isn't thinking of Maida Vale, but there you have it (see More Information below for Watts's full remark).


3. The "triplets" may be Brian, Dennis and Carl Wilson.


4. BB=Beach Boys. I'm not aware of an expression "worm in the bacon," but apparently there is a rumor that pouring soda on bacon induces worms to wriggle out.


5. Csonic: "In a lot of mid-60's BB vids, Mike Love would often dress as a stereotyped "skipper" , with Cap and pipe to boot. Always thought he looked creepy." 

"Let the WInd Blow" from Wild Honey, by Brian Wilson and Mike Love: 

Let the wind blow
Let the grass grow
But don't let her go


6. "Sloop John B" contains the lyrics "Hoist up the John B's sail..." Brian Wilson and Mike Love trade verses on the Beach Boys version of this folk song. There is also a reference here to one of the Beach Boys most famous songs, "Good Vibrations" (see harleyr's comment below).  

"Satanic Meditations" could refer to the Beach Boys' connection with Charles Manson or Anton Lavey, or be pre-cog, as we shall see in what follows.

The section of Dennis Wilson's WIkipedia page accounting for his association with Charles Manson must be quoted in full:

In 1968, Dennis was driving through Malibu when he noticed two female hitchhikers, Patricia Krenwinkel and Ella Jo Bailey. He picked them up and dropped them off at their destination. Later on, Dennis noticed the same two girls hitchhiking again. This time he took them to his home at 14400 Sunset Boulevard near Will Rogers Park. Dennis then went to a recording session. When he returned at around 3 a.m., he was met in his driveway by a stranger, Charles Manson. When Wilson walked into his home, about a dozen people were occupying the premises, most of them female. Dennis became fascinated by Manson and his followers; the "Manson Family" lived with Dennis for a period of time afterwards at his expense. In late 1968, Dennis reported to journalists,

I told them [the girls] about our involvement with the Maharishi and they told me they too had a guru, a guy named Charlie who'd recently come out of jail after 12 years. ... He drifted into crime, but when I met him I found he had great musical ideas. We're writing together now. He's dumb, in some ways, but I accept his approach and have learnt from him.

Initially impressed by Manson's songwriting talent, Dennis introduced him to a few friends in the music business, including Terry Melcher (the son of Doris Day), whose home at 10050 Cielo Drive would later be rented by director Roman Polanski and his wife, actress Sharon Tate, and Manson family members would later murder Tate and several others at the home. Manson held recording sessions at Brian's home studio. Those recordings, if they exist, have never been released. The Beach Boys released a Manson song, originally titled "Cease To Exist" but reworked as "Never Learn Not to Love", as a single B-side and on the album 20/20.

According to Beach Boys collaborator Van Dyke Parks: "One day, Charles Manson brought a bullet out and showed it to Dennis, who asked, 'What's this?' And Manson replied, 'It's a bullet. Every time you look at it, I want you to think how nice it is your kids are still safe.' Well, Dennis grabbed Manson by the head and threw him to the ground and began pummeling him until Charlie said, 'Ouch!' He beat the living shit out of him. 'How dare you!' was Dennis' reaction. Charlie Manson was weeping openly in front of a lot of hip people. I heard about it, but I wasn't there. The point is, though, Dennis Wilson wasn't afraid of anybody!"

As Dennis became increasingly aware of Manson's volatile nature and growing tendency to violence, he finally made a break from the friendship by simply moving out of the house and leaving Manson there. When Manson subsequently sought further contact (and money), he left a bullet with Dennis' housekeeper to be delivered with a cryptic message, which Dennis perceived as a threat. In August 1969, Manson Family members perpetrated the Tate/LaBianca murders. Dennis rarely discussed his involvement with the Manson Family.

The connection with Lavey is harder to document, and that brings us to the pre-cog: a 2008 documentary under the title The Beach Boys and The [sic] Satan, which neither I nor any sane person has seen, purports to reveal the connections between the Boys and Lavey, among other wicked demonic folk (particularly Manson; this plurality makes the title of the documentary even more odd). All sorts of claims of this nature are made on the internet; in fact, the problem is too much evidence, as most of the sources are fundamentalist Christians whose grasp on how to verify facts, or even check quotes, seems to be seriuously compromised. Let the Googler Google, and I will leave off with that.

In general, many Beach Boys fans consider Mike Love to be evil, and although there is a tongue-in-cheek aspect to this, a Google search for "Mike Love is Satan" is very revealing.


7. Here is a transcription of the version on Country on the Click (I am leaving it down here because it is full of errors):

The room was a hexagon?
Old member sat on one side
Opposite three bald triplets?
I stood in the middle?
Fumbling with two tin packets
Then I died
When I died

When I died
When I died?
When I died
When I died 

My left shoulder was exploding
I noticed in the corner
Three exes with new lovers
Their hair was sticky-up
Like some old Fame Academy 

Then I died
When I died
When I died
When I died 

When I died
When I died 

It is the end of a cycle
The angry bits last too long
I did makes a lot of noise
Peace is dying fast
But it better die quick 

Copious red and grey orb
Once was was
And only twice separated
On his stone in the grey people all rest 

When I died
When I died
When I died
When I died



More Information

Mike's Love Xexagon: Fall Tracks A-Z

Jim Watts's comment on the Fall Online Forum:

It didnt actually. I always have my straps at full length. [the thread as it is on th forum starts like this, so it's not clear what the question was, but MES famously insisted all guitar players postition their instruments high on their chests] 

I think he said that at every single gig i did.
I'll tell you the funniest tale from there that is actually true.
We set up all the gear while Mark had a pint. Got everything ready to record. Mark comes in. "im not using that mic its got a dint in it. Havent you got any mics without dints in em?. It affects the sound you know." Slightly bemused engineer opens enormous cupboard with from what i could see about £50,000 of top mic's. Condensers, valve, everything you could dream of. 30 minutes later after going through every mic in the cupboard the haggard engineer settled on the mic with the least dented grill.
"Its a shame to see what the BBC has come to. You would never get a mic with a dint in it in the old days."

Also the bizzare parking feature of Maida Vale. You cant park there for more than 30 minutes. You have to go out and move the car every 30 minutes. Or even if you are there somehow they get a ticket on your car and you never once see an inspector. And they must shift as it is a long street with no turnoffs. I think one lives over the road watching to see cars that havent moved in 30 minutes.
Bear in mind that a peel session has to be finished by the end of the day and it takes at least 10 minutes to navigate through the labyrinthine corridors of the bbc to get to the studio. Fucking ludicrous. I think Dave got 2 tickets that day. And Mark offering the semi english literate security guard a tenner to keep an eye on the cars. Then echoing all our feelings by going berserk about it when he kept saying "i no can do that sir!". hehehe.

The room being a hexagon was just coincidence.
It was fun even though it was obvious Mark wanted me out of the band. And consistently slagging me off for hanging around Camden even though I repeatedly told him I was going to Shoreditch.
Still I think I went out with a suitable bang.

Comments (25)

  • 1. harleyr | 24/03/2013
'Good vibrations man' - Mike Love famously contributed the 'I'm talking 'bout good vibrations' lyric to the song, and has argued that it was the pop hook that was necessary to make Brian Wilson's far out song palatable to a mainstream audience.
William Ham
  • 2. William Ham | 24/11/2013
I wonder if the lyrics are being told from the point of view of Dennis Wilson, the Beach Boys' drummer (and incidentally the only member of the band who surfed) who drowned after a drunken leap from his yacht in 1983. Hence all the sailing references and the line "turned the beat to the brink."
  • 3. dannyno | 22/03/2014
"shadow emissions"

Or, I wonder, is it "shadowy missions", which would make more sense?

  • 4. Mark | 29/04/2014
The original version of this has completely different lyrics. Could you mention them on here too, please?
  • 5. bzfgt | 13/05/2014
Customer service is my middle name. There's a lot I had to guess at, though; if anyone can correct them (note 6) there are a lot of lines that I am certain are wrong.
  • 6. bzfgt | 13/05/2014
In the RNFLP one--"Turn the beat to the brink" is surely wrong, but--?
  • 7. dannyno | 18/04/2015
"Satanic meditations"

Might be worth exploring the connections between the Beach Boys and Anton LaVey.

  • 8. bzfgt | 05/06/2015
I did a little with that, Dan. Although it's irrelevant for the song, since it doesn't mention Love or any of the BB, you need to check this out:


I thought it was humorous fiction at first, but it seems this person has made claims, which he hasn't been able to substantiate apparently, to be Lavey's son.
  • 9. Zack (link) | 22/11/2016
I can think of only two other instances in which the Beach Boys came up in Fall Lore:

1. Several years ago on his website Tony Friel shared several letters from MES dating back to the earliest years of The Fall, and in one letter MES said he was oddly moved by a TV performance of "In My Room" by the brothers BB.

2. After sacking his entire band minutes before a scheduled gig in Belfast, MES proposed performing a set of Beach Boys songs with Terri Hooley (founder of the Good Vibrations record store and label). (See link above.)

I cosign on William Ham's suggestion that "turned the beat to the brink" is about Dennis Wilson. A great lyric.
  • 10. bzfgt | 24/11/2016
Zack, there's a third, which is I read someone somewhere recently (but I have no idea whom or where) that had MES saying Pet Sounds is the greatest, maybe borrowing a copy or something...one for Dan?
  • 11. Zack (link) | 15/12/2016
Pet Sounds was one of Brix's favorites, as per the interview linked above which also gives us the following tidbit:

"No one likes Mike Love. I remember Mark Smith going to me, 'no one likes him!' Everyone hates Mike Love, the poor guy!"

So perhaps there's a note of pity in "Mike's Love Xexagon"?
  • 12. bzfgt | 27/12/2016
I wish I could figure out where I read it reported that MES was into Pet Sounds...I read it relatively recently I think, although that doesn't necessarily indicate that it was recent information. Like maybe the guy he mistook for a cabbie said he insisted on listening to Pet Sounds during the ride? Remember that, wasn't there a rock star he mistook (or pretended to mistake) for a cabbie and had him cart him home from a bar?
  • 13. dannyno | 28/12/2016
From the Washington Post, 3/11/2000, telling the story of MES's encounter with Badly Drawn Boy:

Before the night was over, Boy traded his copy of "Pet Sounds" to Smith in exchange for a chance to record with the Fall.
  • 14. junkman | 22/02/2018
If yer interested, the COTC version I always heard

"I noticed in the corner
Three exes with new lovers
Their hair was sticky-up
Like some old Fame Academy"

Don't know if you have/had Fame Academy in the states, was yet another X-Factor type show
  • 15. bzfgt (link) | 24/02/2018
Thanks junkman, I'm checking COTC now...
  • 16. bzfgt (link) | 24/02/2018
I like COTC of this much better, I always thought the RNFLP version was overcooked.
  • 17. bzfgt (link) | 24/02/2018
You are right, and "mule larva" was never a serious possibility anyway...I wonder if that was my transcription or someone else's? No idea, except usually they would be credited if it isn't me...
  • 18. Csonic | 26/02/2018
"Aye Captain, peculiar wind". In a lot of mid-60's BB vids, Mike Love would often dress as a stereotyped "skipper" , with Cap and pipe to boot. Always thought he looked creepy.
  • 19. Junkman | 26/02/2018
Not a favourite of mine full stop, the riff is a bit "My First Alt-Rock Song" obvious. I prefer the rework though, some so-so musical elements are taken out and the call and response chorus is an improvement
  • 20. bzfgt (link) | 10/03/2018
Huh, I think the rework is too gaudy and overcooked, I like the COTC version but not really the RNFLP one...
  • 21. dannyno | 11/11/2018
Note #2. Maida Vale.

According to Jim Watts, posting as sdOK on the Fall Forum:

The room being a hexagon was just coincidence.

  • 22. bzfgt (link) | 21/11/2018
I wonder what it coincides with--i.e. where MES envisages this session taking place, and how Watts knows it isn't Maida Vale.
Hexen Blumenthal
  • 23. Hexen Blumenthal | 03/02/2020
Brian WilsonLike Page
2 hrs ·
It has been brought to my attention that on Wednesday February 5, The Beach Boys touring group licensed by Mike Love are headlining at the Safari Club International Convention in Reno, Nevada. This organization supports trophy hunting, which Both Al and I are emphatically opposed to. There’s nothing we can do personally to stop the show, so please join us in signing the petition at https://www.change.org/p/beach-boys-stop-supporting-trophy-…
  • 24. bzfgt (link) | 14/03/2020
Hexen, what is that from?
  • 25. joincey | 16/01/2021
i can't see any mention of this in the comments above, but one of the very finest BEACH BOYS songs is called "till i die", from the SURF'S UP album. as well as the chorus of "xexagon" with its "WHEN i die(d) ... " refrain , i also the think of the BBs song, with its lines about a cork floating on the ocean , when i hear MES singing about " ... on the mast , the sail is broken " or whatever it is. Mike Love apparently didn't like the song too much as it was too ?miserable? and wanted to change the lyrics.

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