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Author Topic: 1448 Laurel Way  (Read 9509 times)
Jameswilliam
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« on: October 08, 2011, 09:02:10 AM »

Hey all, just wondering how many people have visited brians house.  I live in NY, and on my last trip to cali a month ago, I visited the Wilson home site, and I went to brian's laurel way house.  It was absolutely awesome, driving all the way up the hill to the top where his house was.  It was surreal being there, i was tryin to tell my friend a lil background of the great things that were written there between Pet Sounds/SMiLE.  It was so great, I really felt like i could picture the mid sixties L.A., the fun going on at the house, all the SMiLE crew comin and hangin out, Brians Steinway in the sandbox, him and Van Dyke writing Surf's Up.. brian driving down the massive hill to head to the studios to record.  It was absolutely surreal, so has anyone else been there?  And had similar thoughts, or am i just crazy.  Grin
« Last Edit: October 08, 2011, 09:03:03 AM by Jameswilliam » Logged
Mikie
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« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2011, 09:12:26 AM »

In the mid-1970's, I went by the house at 3701 W. 119th St., the house at 1448 Laurel Way, and the house at 10452 Bellagio Rd. 
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I, I love the colorful clothes she wears, and she's already working on my brain. I only looked in her eyes, but I picked up something I just can't explain. I, I bet I know what she’s like, and I can feel how right she’d be for me. It’s weird how she comes in so strong, and I wonder what she’s picking up from me. I hope it’s good, good, good, good vibrations, yeah!!
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« Reply #2 on: October 08, 2011, 09:28:41 AM »

I've been in the room where Mozart was born, and in the room where Queen Elizabeth I died.

But seriously, visiting 1448 Laurel Way would be the best, especially if I could time travel...............

Oh yes, armed with my trusty micro-recorder, I'd be there as part of the Vosse Posse, and what a bootleg I'd have on my return. You'd all luuuuurve me!!!!
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PS
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« Reply #3 on: October 08, 2011, 10:02:56 AM »

Look at my avatar pic. That stick-signed cement slab, dated 8/27/66, came from Brian and Marilyn's pool at 1448, when the owner at the time (2000) came out of her house and wrote down my license plate number (I was taking photos and she presumed either a Beach Boys fan or a stakeout, or both). We chatted for a bit, and I told her I was on my honeymoon visiting friends in the LA area. She was from Iran and had purchased the house from lawyers, not from Bri-Mar directly, and she was renovating the pool area and had the autographed slab removed and it sat at the side of the house where she led me to look at it. She asked for 1K, and I told her that I was happy to have seen it, but really didn't want it that badly. Long story short, I came back the next day with $500.00 cash and made an offer, and then threw out my back (and my honeymoon) trying to get it into my car trunk with one of her workers.

So now it sits in my living room, with a little piano light on top of it, in homage to 1448 (alas, the wife has moved on...). One could easily imagine Brian and the Posse getting high in the heated pool and SMiLE dreamin'...it overlooks the Valley and the twinkling lights of LA at night, and you could imagine them feeling above the fray and in their own world...What was unexpected, however, was how really accessible it was, right on the cul-de-sac, directly on the street, you could have walked right to the door in 1966 and stepped into the sandbox. One could imagine (see Lewis Shiner's GLIMPSES for a dramatization) that this was a happy home for a time for the young couple and Banana and Louie, full of creativity and promise. Seemed oddly normal and (upscale, yes, but not yet Bel-Air) suburban, not that hard to imagine the leap from growing up in Hawthorne. The more secluded and gated Edgar Rice Burroughs mansion on Bellagio seems to have eventually brought out the Kane in Brian, much more of a solipsistic lair, one imagines...

Yes, I listened to the (reverse) instructions encoded in Busy Doin' Nothing in my car on the way down the hill, imagining him going down to Sunset, Western, and Gold Star, etc. I could mindscreen Van driving up, or Jules bringing over Thomas Pynchon, or David Anderle talking Brother and big dreams, or Mark Volman driving over on Sunset from Laurel Canyon to play spoons, etc. You can see where the slab comes from in the somewhat awkward home movie/promo films shot at the pool. A memorable adventure for me too, James.
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PS
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« Reply #4 on: October 08, 2011, 10:25:30 AM »

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pixletwin
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« Reply #5 on: October 08, 2011, 10:35:15 AM »

That is a really nice piece of history right there PS. Thanks for sharing it.
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Aum Bop Diddit
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« Reply #6 on: October 08, 2011, 10:40:02 AM »

Cool.
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« Reply #7 on: October 08, 2011, 11:04:27 AM »

Very cool! Too bad somebody told the Iranian lady that one of the Beach Boys once lived there and that the slab might be worth something! Trying to get 1000 bucks for it though, and then parting with it the next day for 500? Sheesh!

I think Brian had already moved from Laurel Way to Bel Air about a year prior to recording "Busy Doin' Nothing" in 1968, right? I never thought that song was about the Laurel Way house, but I could be wrong.....

Nice one-of-a-kind piece for the collection, though, PS!   I'd like to see Brian's reaction if he saw it.  Wouldn't like to see Melinda's face.  Grin
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I, I love the colorful clothes she wears, and she's already working on my brain. I only looked in her eyes, but I picked up something I just can't explain. I, I bet I know what she’s like, and I can feel how right she’d be for me. It’s weird how she comes in so strong, and I wonder what she’s picking up from me. I hope it’s good, good, good, good vibrations, yeah!!
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« Reply #8 on: October 08, 2011, 11:41:53 AM »

Very cool! Too bad somebody told the Iranian lady that one of the Beach Boys once lived there and that the slab might be worth something!

Perhaps she would have just thrown it out had she not known Shocked
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Indeed, great story! And thanks for posting a bigger picture of the slab!
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@ mods, I think we should start a special sub-forum dedicated to sharing our experiences with The Beach Boys - there are so many great stories here (like the one above) but they're scattered around in so many different threads - personally I love reading these stories and I think we should post them in one dedicated spot. Just an idea.
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« Reply #9 on: October 08, 2011, 11:42:00 AM »

Very cool! Too bad somebody told the Iranian lady that one of the Beach Boys once lived there and that the slab might be worth something! Trying to get 1000 bucks for it though, and then parting with it the next day for 500? Sheesh!

I think Brian had already moved from Laurel Way to Bel Air about a year prior to recording "Busy Doin' Nothing" in 1968, right? I never thought that song was about the Laurel Way house, but I could be wrong.....

Nice one-of-a-kind piece for the collection, though, PS!   I'd like to see Brian's reaction if he saw it.  Wouldn't like to see Melinda's face.  Grin

Actually, you are right on both counts, Mikie- Busy Doin' Nothing IS about Bellagio. But I was mistaken, then and now, in thinking it was about Laurel for some reason... The owner of the house (who signed a piece of paper for me stating legitimacy) told me that she knew about the house's previous owners, of course, and that many people have come up the hill and hassled her to see the house. She also told me that it cost her about $500.00 just to have the slab removed intact, and I believe her (its incredibly heavy and in perfect condition). Her son did not want her to sell it at that price, but she was charmed by my sincerity and my honeymoon story.

Funny, I had a chance to show Brian a picture of it in 2004 when I hung out during the SMILE DVD shoot for a week, but I was too reticent to do anything that might upset or weird him out. My few interactions with him were predictably awkward and my friend was the producer and I wanted to make sure I was cool with Brian throughout the week and not overstep my boundaries. I did, however, talk about it with David Anderle, who clearly remembered it in the backyard by the fence area.

Should I leave it (eventually, thank you) to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? Do you think they would be interested?
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PS
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« Reply #10 on: October 08, 2011, 11:46:03 AM »

Am I correct in noting two different handwritings and pressures, as Brian's name is clearly in Brian's hand (note the giveaway 66 slant)? Clearly Marilyn signed her own name, yes?

I think he was working on the Wonderful sessions at the time they signed the cement. Imagine that. Going for a swim, and then heading down the hill to work on Wonderful, with the promise of SMiLE still in the air, Sgt. Pepper almost a year away...
« Last Edit: October 08, 2011, 11:50:22 AM by PS » Logged
juggler
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« Reply #11 on: October 08, 2011, 12:09:53 PM »

Nice one-of-a-kind piece for the collection, though, PS!   I'd like to see Brian's reaction if he saw it.  Wouldn't like to see Melinda's face.  Grin

It'd probably freak Brian out.  For fans like us August 1966 is the "golden age" of sessions for Good Vibrations, Wonderful, Wind Chimes, etc.   For BW, there seem to be mixed feelings.  He's proud of his work but also somewhat ambivalent.  Understandably, there seem to be some regrets about a period when things began to spiral out of control.  

Also, his failings as a husband/father with Marilyn and his first two daughters is undoubtedly a sore subject.  I think the most animated I've ever seen Brian in an interview was on Larry King back in 2004 when Melinda made critical comments about Marilyn hiring Landy (i.e., "they were 10 minutes from UCLA and the best doctors in the world... why would you find the kookiest kook out there?").  Brian seemed quite irritated with those comments and interrupted to defend Marilyn, saying that she didn't know Landy was a "crazy man."
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« Reply #12 on: October 08, 2011, 01:17:41 PM »

Am I correct in noting two different handwritings and pressures, as Brian's name is clearly in Brian's hand (note the giveaway 66 slant)? Clearly Marilyn signed her own name, yes?

I think he was working on the Wonderful sessions at the time they signed the cement. Imagine that. Going for a swim, and then heading down the hill to work on Wonderful, with the promise of SMiLE still in the air, Sgt. Pepper almost a year away...

I see identical letters in an identical 'hand'. "Wonderful" was recorded 8/25/66 - no known session on the 27th, although it's possible there was one for "GV" around then.
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« Reply #13 on: October 08, 2011, 01:39:48 PM »

Quite a coup. I remember you telling me about it on the down low back in the day.
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« Reply #14 on: October 08, 2011, 02:26:55 PM »



1448 curb and proximity to the front door, from my honeymoon pix back in 2000.

(Nothing you can't see now on Google Maps...)

« Last Edit: October 08, 2011, 02:35:09 PM by PS » Logged
PS
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« Reply #15 on: October 08, 2011, 02:37:08 PM »



Front door, circa 2000. Looks pretty much the same today.

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« Reply #16 on: October 08, 2011, 02:38:55 PM »



down to the secluded Smiley Smile jungled pool area in the back...
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« Reply #17 on: October 08, 2011, 02:40:36 PM »



Garage and the view from the top.
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« Reply #18 on: October 08, 2011, 02:47:55 PM »


After a nice talk, the she took me around the side of the house to see something she thought I might be interested in.

I was.

After shopping down the hill at the Tower Records (why do I always think of Van in his hat, standing in the driveway, talkin' about SMiLE here?), I call her and tell her I have to look at it again and perhaps make an offer.

Wife supportive of new husband's 35 year Brian Wilson obsession, until the moment I tried to lift that Grauman's size slab of cement...
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« Reply #19 on: October 08, 2011, 02:55:25 PM »

wow,  fantastic..

Thanks for the pics PS
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« Reply #20 on: October 08, 2011, 04:02:30 PM »

This thread is awesome. I live on the east coast and was born too late for that amazing 66-67 music scene, but whenever I see photos from before and after like these of Brian's home, I get an incredible feeling of nostalgia even though I was never there.

There is a photo of Brian in his garage next to a Corvette which will be seen in the box set collection: I'm guessing that is the same garage.
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« Reply #21 on: October 08, 2011, 05:04:22 PM »

Great stuff, PS! Thanks for sharing.
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« Reply #22 on: October 08, 2011, 05:25:47 PM »

Great story and photos, PS!  Thanks for sharing.

Now it's time for Mikie, right here on the Smiley Smile message board, to officially recount his visit to 10452.   Smiley

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« Reply #23 on: October 08, 2011, 05:50:23 PM »

That slab would fetch a good price on ebay for sure. Great buy for $500 PS!
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Jameswilliam
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« Reply #24 on: October 08, 2011, 07:35:28 PM »

I wanna post a new pic of the house, but im having trouble it says you can only have attachments that are 192k? Its one of the pics i took it was July 2011.  I got a couple videos too. Grin
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