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Author Topic: Beach Boys studio disasters and screwups?  (Read 4592 times)
Debbie KL
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« Reply #50 on: September 25, 2018, 09:08:35 AM »

^Agreed CD

Debbie, as usual thank you so much for sharing your recollections!

You're so welcome. That's pretty much all I have to share here since I'm not a musician, nor a producer, so I'm happy to do it.

To add to my vague memory (after about 40 years) of the lyrics to "Passing By," the chorus (maybe it was a bridge, the song was so short?) was something close to

"soft/long(?) nights, quiet nights,
nights of living dreams,
so close you were to being all I ever needed"

I sort of etched the song into my memory because I knew once I handed the tape over, I'd probably never hear it again.

Maybe someone who actually has a copy of the tape can correct me?
« Last Edit: September 25, 2018, 09:10:06 AM by Debbie KL » Logged
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« Reply #51 on: September 25, 2018, 09:34:03 AM »

I think, from what I understood from Brian, he wanted a place to get away and record what he wanted to do without being overruled.


If *anyone* deserved this (total creative control/freedom from agenda-driven bandmates/politics), it's Brian. 

That he had to go through all sorts of hoops to attain that freedom bugs me and should bug everyone too. It's beyond ridiculous the crap he had to go through and egos he had to put up with. Urgh.

</rant>

(thanks again Debbie for your amazing stories and recollections).

I have to say the story about Bruce and Terry at the time was that they gave Brian $50K to record, but the money was "found out" and removed from the account. I've heard other stories since. I have no idea which is true, particularly since I can't remember who told me this. Oh, well. I do remember Terry coming over to Brian's, and he couldn't stop smiling when he saw Brian. I think he really was in awe and adored Brian at that time, by his expression. That's why I feel a bit guilty when I talk about the production on SIP, but I can't help what it sounds like to me.

This has turned into a terrific discussion, thanks to all involved and thanks Debbie and Stephen especially for the firsthand memories!

We were discussing Jack Rieley in another recent thread, and it was good to get more information and perspective on the table, especially for newer fans reading this stuff who may have only heard *one* version of events, and perhaps had opinions shaped on people like Jack based on one perspective. We need to look at and weigh all sides. Whether it's Jack, or Terry Melcher, or the way Brian had to go elsewhere to record his ideas (seriously...add me to the chorus of those wondering WTF was going on within the band to cause this).

More on that to come. But discussing Terry brought up more of the story with him in particular. Debbie, I agree 100% that Terry in particular was very influenced by and in awe of what Brian could do even as early as when they first connected. You hear Terry during the Party! sessions, where he was already cutting hit records on his own as performer and producer, including one which has gone on to be one of the most important records of the modern era, Mr. Tambourine Man...as well as cutting sides for the Raiders, who people might not realize were one of the hottest bands in the US during the mid 60's and basically had their own network TV show.

Yet here was Terry happy to hit a tambourine at Brian's Party sessions, and who would appear in the studio to hang out and watch as Brian was making Pet Sounds and beyond. Yes, Terry was a big fan, no doubt, but you hit on the aspect that doesn't get said as much: Terry admired Brian and what he could do. No doubt.

What is lost too is how Terry would devote his career to his mom Doris Day and her various musical and TV/film projects instead of continuing to cut rock and roll records. Who knows how much more he would have done in the rock world had he not made the decision to work for his mom and build her career. And, doing so at a time when Doris Day was no stranger to the scandal sheets and Hollywood gossip, some of which was blatantly racist and unfair...again, topic of other discussions.

What Terry did with SIP, I feel, is do what he was hired to do. *Terry* was the one who got the band back on the charts in the 80's with Kokomo. It was Terry who produced California Dreamin and got Roger McGuinn in on the session to add some cool 12-string guitar to the track - It gave the Boys an AC hit when they couldn't buy one. It was also Terry who called Papa John Phillips and asked if he had any songs available for the Beach Boys to record, with what was yet another drought of songwriting within the band. Papa John sent Terry demos of Kokomo and Somewhere Near Japan, and obviously we know what happened to Kokomo. Major credit to Terry, despite some attempts to undercredit him in favor of other band members' involvement in that track.

SIP - Mike's baby through and through. That's not bashing, that's what it was. Let's recapture the winning Kokomo formula, and cut an entire album with this "new" sound. It was an ill-conceived attempt. Terry produced, yes - But read the credits in full. I have to think Terry was doing exactly what he was hired and told to do. The saying goes "you can't make chicken salad out of chicken sh*t".


The story of the "remote" studio and 4-track and Terry and Bruce's involvement in other ventures really makes you wonder about how things played out up to the present, and which loyalties carried over into the band's inner politics. Much more can be added to this aspect of the discussion, but I rambled enough already.

I just thought it was great to hear some more about Terry and Brian especially in this time period, and get more details and info on the table for fans to see how everything was not as cut and dry and clean-cut as other versions of events have tried to suggest.
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Debbie KL
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« Reply #52 on: September 25, 2018, 11:21:58 AM »

I think, from what I understood from Brian, he wanted a place to get away and record what he wanted to do without being overruled.


If *anyone* deserved this (total creative control/freedom from agenda-driven bandmates/politics), it's Brian. 

That he had to go through all sorts of hoops to attain that freedom bugs me and should bug everyone too. It's beyond ridiculous the crap he had to go through and egos he had to put up with. Urgh.

</rant>

(thanks again Debbie for your amazing stories and recollections).

I have to say the story about Bruce and Terry at the time was that they gave Brian $50K to record, but the money was "found out" and removed from the account. I've heard other stories since. I have no idea which is true, particularly since I can't remember who told me this. Oh, well. I do remember Terry coming over to Brian's, and he couldn't stop smiling when he saw Brian. I think he really was in awe and adored Brian at that time, by his expression. That's why I feel a bit guilty when I talk about the production on SIP, but I can't help what it sounds like to me.

This has turned into a terrific discussion, thanks to all involved and thanks Debbie and Stephen especially for the firsthand memories!

We were discussing Jack Rieley in another recent thread, and it was good to get more information and perspective on the table, especially for newer fans reading this stuff who may have only heard *one* version of events, and perhaps had opinions shaped on people like Jack based on one perspective. We need to look at and weigh all sides. Whether it's Jack, or Terry Melcher, or the way Brian had to go elsewhere to record his ideas (seriously...add me to the chorus of those wondering WTF was going on within the band to cause this).

More on that to come. But discussing Terry brought up more of the story with him in particular. Debbie, I agree 100% that Terry in particular was very influenced by and in awe of what Brian could do even as early as when they first connected. You hear Terry during the Party! sessions, where he was already cutting hit records on his own as performer and producer, including one which has gone on to be one of the most important records of the modern era, Mr. Tambourine Man...as well as cutting sides for the Raiders, who people might not realize were one of the hottest bands in the US during the mid 60's and basically had their own network TV show.

Yet here was Terry happy to hit a tambourine at Brian's Party sessions, and who would appear in the studio to hang out and watch as Brian was making Pet Sounds and beyond. Yes, Terry was a big fan, no doubt, but you hit on the aspect that doesn't get said as much: Terry admired Brian and what he could do. No doubt.

What is lost too is how Terry would devote his career to his mom Doris Day and her various musical and TV/film projects instead of continuing to cut rock and roll records. Who knows how much more he would have done in the rock world had he not made the decision to work for his mom and build her career. And, doing so at a time when Doris Day was no stranger to the scandal sheets and Hollywood gossip, some of which was blatantly racist and unfair...again, topic of other discussions.

What Terry did with SIP, I feel, is do what he was hired to do. *Terry* was the one who got the band back on the charts in the 80's with Kokomo. It was Terry who produced California Dreamin and got Roger McGuinn in on the session to add some cool 12-string guitar to the track - It gave the Boys an AC hit when they couldn't buy one. It was also Terry who called Papa John Phillips and asked if he had any songs available for the Beach Boys to record, with what was yet another drought of songwriting within the band. Papa John sent Terry demos of Kokomo and Somewhere Near Japan, and obviously we know what happened to Kokomo. Major credit to Terry, despite some attempts to undercredit him in favor of other band members' involvement in that track.

SIP - Mike's baby through and through. That's not bashing, that's what it was. Let's recapture the winning Kokomo formula, and cut an entire album with this "new" sound. It was an ill-conceived attempt. Terry produced, yes - But read the credits in full. I have to think Terry was doing exactly what he was hired and told to do. The saying goes "you can't make chicken salad out of chicken sh*t".


The story of the "remote" studio and 4-track and Terry and Bruce's involvement in other ventures really makes you wonder about how things played out up to the present, and which loyalties carried over into the band's inner politics. Much more can be added to this aspect of the discussion, but I rambled enough already.

I just thought it was great to hear some more about Terry and Brian especially in this time period, and get more details and info on the table for fans to see how everything was not as cut and dry and clean-cut as other versions of events have tried to suggest.

Thanks so much, Craig, for expanding on Terry, whom I really liked a lot. He was very successful on his own, obviously. Thanks for noting the SIP credits. I feel certain he was doing what he was hired to do. It certainly wasn't his "sound."

It's funny when you mention the band's politics, in that when I was with Brian, he did everything to protect me from it all. His words were, "I want to keep you separate from all that." I didn't really understand, but it was fine with me. He knew I was innocent at the time - naive might be a better word. He may have seen his own innocence in my love of the music and people involved. He truly is a sweet soul with a certain "wicked" wit.
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« Reply #53 on: September 25, 2018, 12:23:31 PM »

I think, from what I understood from Brian, he wanted a place to get away and record what he wanted to do without being overruled.


If *anyone* deserved this (total creative control/freedom from agenda-driven bandmates/politics), it's Brian. 

That he had to go through all sorts of hoops to attain that freedom bugs me and should bug everyone too. It's beyond ridiculous the crap he had to go through and egos he had to put up with. Urgh.

</rant>

(thanks again Debbie for your amazing stories and recollections).

I have to say the story about Bruce and Terry at the time was that they gave Brian $50K to record, but the money was "found out" and removed from the account. I've heard other stories since. I have no idea which is true, particularly since I can't remember who told me this. Oh, well. I do remember Terry coming over to Brian's, and he couldn't stop smiling when he saw Brian. I think he really was in awe and adored Brian at that time, by his expression. That's why I feel a bit guilty when I talk about the production on SIP, but I can't help what it sounds like to me.

This has turned into a terrific discussion, thanks to all involved and thanks Debbie and Stephen especially for the firsthand memories!

We were discussing Jack Rieley in another recent thread, and it was good to get more information and perspective on the table, especially for newer fans reading this stuff who may have only heard *one* version of events, and perhaps had opinions shaped on people like Jack based on one perspective. We need to look at and weigh all sides. Whether it's Jack, or Terry Melcher, or the way Brian had to go elsewhere to record his ideas (seriously...add me to the chorus of those wondering WTF was going on within the band to cause this).

More on that to come. But discussing Terry brought up more of the story with him in particular. Debbie, I agree 100% that Terry in particular was very influenced by and in awe of what Brian could do even as early as when they first connected. You hear Terry during the Party! sessions, where he was already cutting hit records on his own as performer and producer, including one which has gone on to be one of the most important records of the modern era, Mr. Tambourine Man...as well as cutting sides for the Raiders, who people might not realize were one of the hottest bands in the US during the mid 60's and basically had their own network TV show.

Yet here was Terry happy to hit a tambourine at Brian's Party sessions, and who would appear in the studio to hang out and watch as Brian was making Pet Sounds and beyond. Yes, Terry was a big fan, no doubt, but you hit on the aspect that doesn't get said as much: Terry admired Brian and what he could do. No doubt.

What is lost too is how Terry would devote his career to his mom Doris Day and her various musical and TV/film projects instead of continuing to cut rock and roll records. Who knows how much more he would have done in the rock world had he not made the decision to work for his mom and build her career. And, doing so at a time when Doris Day was no stranger to the scandal sheets and Hollywood gossip, some of which was blatantly racist and unfair...again, topic of other discussions.

What Terry did with SIP, I feel, is do what he was hired to do. *Terry* was the one who got the band back on the charts in the 80's with Kokomo. It was Terry who produced California Dreamin and got Roger McGuinn in on the session to add some cool 12-string guitar to the track - It gave the Boys an AC hit when they couldn't buy one. It was also Terry who called Papa John Phillips and asked if he had any songs available for the Beach Boys to record, with what was yet another drought of songwriting within the band. Papa John sent Terry demos of Kokomo and Somewhere Near Japan, and obviously we know what happened to Kokomo. Major credit to Terry, despite some attempts to undercredit him in favor of other band members' involvement in that track.

SIP - Mike's baby through and through. That's not bashing, that's what it was. Let's recapture the winning Kokomo formula, and cut an entire album with this "new" sound. It was an ill-conceived attempt. Terry produced, yes - But read the credits in full. I have to think Terry was doing exactly what he was hired and told to do. The saying goes "you can't make chicken salad out of chicken sh*t".


The story of the "remote" studio and 4-track and Terry and Bruce's involvement in other ventures really makes you wonder about how things played out up to the present, and which loyalties carried over into the band's inner politics. Much more can be added to this aspect of the discussion, but I rambled enough already.

I just thought it was great to hear some more about Terry and Brian especially in this time period, and get more details and info on the table for fans to see how everything was not as cut and dry and clean-cut as other versions of events have tried to suggest.

Thanks so much, Craig, for expanding on Terry, whom I really liked a lot. He was very successful on his own, obviously. Thanks for noting the SIP credits. I feel certain he was doing what he was hired to do. It certainly wasn't his "sound."

It's funny when you mention the band's politics, in that when I was with Brian, he did everything to protect me from it all. His words were, "I want to keep you separate from all that." I didn't really understand, but it was fine with me. He knew I was innocent at the time - naive might be a better word. He may have seen his own innocence in my love of the music and people involved. He truly is a sweet soul with a certain "wicked" wit.

I think if Brian had his wish, he himself would have been separated from the band's politics and just made music. Can't say I blame him one bit. I'll never understand how a band that made such beautiful healing music can be surrounded by so much negative energy. But then I remember that it's a family band, and nobody can f*** someone over like family. Lord knows I've been there
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« Reply #54 on: September 25, 2018, 01:19:45 PM »

I think, from what I understood from Brian, he wanted a place to get away and record what he wanted to do without being overruled.


If *anyone* deserved this (total creative control/freedom from agenda-driven bandmates/politics), it's Brian. 

That he had to go through all sorts of hoops to attain that freedom bugs me and should bug everyone too. It's beyond ridiculous the crap he had to go through and egos he had to put up with. Urgh.

</rant>

(thanks again Debbie for your amazing stories and recollections).

I have to say the story about Bruce and Terry at the time was that they gave Brian $50K to record, but the money was "found out" and removed from the account. I've heard other stories since. I have no idea which is true, particularly since I can't remember who told me this. Oh, well. I do remember Terry coming over to Brian's, and he couldn't stop smiling when he saw Brian. I think he really was in awe and adored Brian at that time, by his expression. That's why I feel a bit guilty when I talk about the production on SIP, but I can't help what it sounds like to me.

Going back to the original topic, I wonder if the very early nature of digital ProTools that was used when recording SIP could have hypothetically resulted in a potential studio disaster such as an entirely different (better?) version of the album being accidentally erased or corrupted, due to Terry or an engineer not backing up the data, and the final album that was released being a quickie re-record. I wonder how susceptible the recordings were to something like that happening, even if only for one song or two.

(Not saying this actually happened, and it probably didn't, but then again one has to wonder what studio limitations Terry was dealing with in 1992 trying to record an album on an early beta version of software). I wonder what decision(s) drove Terry to choose to record the album this way (early non-linear editing).  Was it done to accommodate the nonstop touring of The BBs, and somehow it was decided that it'd be easier to squeeze in occasional recordings in this manner as opposed to recording the band in a more traditional and tried-and-tested method? (Side note, how was Kokomo recorded? I'm assuming on tape and not digitally? There's definitely more warmth to the Kokomo sound compared to SIP)

Side side note: Somewhere, I'd think there'd have to be a Hi8 video of somebody in 1992 visiting the studio and documenting some of the recording or editing of SIP, right? I'd think it must exist among some insider or family member's personal collection, I find it near impossible to believe that nothing like that exists (even if it never sees the light of day).
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« Reply #55 on: September 25, 2018, 01:24:39 PM »

I think, from what I understood from Brian, he wanted a place to get away and record what he wanted to do without being overruled.


If *anyone* deserved this (total creative control/freedom from agenda-driven bandmates/politics), it's Brian.  

That he had to go through all sorts of hoops to attain that freedom bugs me and should bug everyone too. It's beyond ridiculous the crap he had to go through and egos he had to put up with. Urgh.

</rant>

(thanks again Debbie for your amazing stories and recollections).

I have to say the story about Bruce and Terry at the time was that they gave Brian $50K to record, but the money was "found out" and removed from the account. I've heard other stories since. I have no idea which is true, particularly since I can't remember who told me this. Oh, well. I do remember Terry coming over to Brian's, and he couldn't stop smiling when he saw Brian. I think he really was in awe and adored Brian at that time, by his expression. That's why I feel a bit guilty when I talk about the production on SIP, but I can't help what it sounds like to me.

This has turned into a terrific discussion, thanks to all involved and thanks Debbie and Stephen especially for the firsthand memories!

We were discussing Jack Rieley in another recent thread, and it was good to get more information and perspective on the table, especially for newer fans reading this stuff who may have only heard *one* version of events, and perhaps had opinions shaped on people like Jack based on one perspective. We need to look at and weigh all sides. Whether it's Jack, or Terry Melcher, or the way Brian had to go elsewhere to record his ideas (seriously...add me to the chorus of those wondering WTF was going on within the band to cause this).

More on that to come. But discussing Terry brought up more of the story with him in particular. Debbie, I agree 100% that Terry in particular was very influenced by and in awe of what Brian could do even as early as when they first connected. You hear Terry during the Party! sessions, where he was already cutting hit records on his own as performer and producer, including one which has gone on to be one of the most important records of the modern era, Mr. Tambourine Man...as well as cutting sides for the Raiders, who people might not realize were one of the hottest bands in the US during the mid 60's and basically had their own network TV show.

Yet here was Terry happy to hit a tambourine at Brian's Party sessions, and who would appear in the studio to hang out and watch as Brian was making Pet Sounds and beyond. Yes, Terry was a big fan, no doubt, but you hit on the aspect that doesn't get said as much: Terry admired Brian and what he could do. No doubt.

What is lost too is how Terry would devote his career to his mom Doris Day and her various musical and TV/film projects instead of continuing to cut rock and roll records. Who knows how much more he would have done in the rock world had he not made the decision to work for his mom and build her career. And, doing so at a time when Doris Day was no stranger to the scandal sheets and Hollywood gossip, some of which was blatantly racist and unfair...again, topic of other discussions.

What Terry did with SIP, I feel, is do what he was hired to do. *Terry* was the one who got the band back on the charts in the 80's with Kokomo. It was Terry who produced California Dreamin and got Roger McGuinn in on the session to add some cool 12-string guitar to the track - It gave the Boys an AC hit when they couldn't buy one. It was also Terry who called Papa John Phillips and asked if he had any songs available for the Beach Boys to record, with what was yet another drought of songwriting within the band. Papa John sent Terry demos of Kokomo and Somewhere Near Japan, and obviously we know what happened to Kokomo. Major credit to Terry, despite some attempts to undercredit him in favor of other band members' involvement in that track.

SIP - Mike's baby through and through. That's not bashing, that's what it was. Let's recapture the winning Kokomo formula, and cut an entire album with this "new" sound. It was an ill-conceived attempt. Terry produced, yes - But read the credits in full. I have to think Terry was doing exactly what he was hired and told to do. The saying goes "you can't make chicken salad out of chicken sh*t".


The story of the "remote" studio and 4-track and Terry and Bruce's involvement in other ventures really makes you wonder about how things played out up to the present, and which loyalties carried over into the band's inner politics. Much more can be added to this aspect of the discussion, but I rambled enough already.

I just thought it was great to hear some more about Terry and Brian especially in this time period, and get more details and info on the table for fans to see how everything was not as cut and dry and clean-cut as other versions of events have tried to suggest.

Thanks so much, Craig, for expanding on Terry, whom I really liked a lot. He was very successful on his own, obviously. Thanks for noting the SIP credits. I feel certain he was doing what he was hired to do. It certainly wasn't his "sound."

It's funny when you mention the band's politics, in that when I was with Brian, he did everything to protect me from it all. His words were, "I want to keep you separate from all that." I didn't really understand, but it was fine with me. He knew I was innocent at the time - naive might be a better word. He may have seen his own innocence in my love of the music and people involved. He truly is a sweet soul with a certain "wicked" wit.

I think if Brian had his wish, he himself would have been separated from the band's politics and just made music. Can't say I blame him one bit. I'll never understand how a band that made such beautiful healing music can be surrounded by so much negative energy. But then I remember that it's a family band, and nobody can f*** someone over like family. Lord knows I've been there


Totally. And I'm having a hard time seeing Carl, Denny, or Al - however they might have had feelings about direction of the band's music that might have differed from Brian's - pulling any sort of longterm guilt tripping or other psychological warfare aimed at Brian that would have made Brian feel like he had to "get away and record what he wanted to do without being overruled"... in other words, I feel like when the term "band politics" is uttered in relation to The BBs, it's safe to say this in a nutshell means Brian's cousin. Remove Mike from the band in the late 60s/early 70s, I just don't see Brian having to resort to essentially sneaking around peoples' backs just to record stuff with having creative control. Maybe I'm offbase, this is just how it seems to me as an outsider. That said, I know things are nevertheless complex and nuanced.
« Last Edit: September 25, 2018, 01:34:04 PM by CenturyDeprived » Logged
Debbie KL
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« Reply #56 on: September 25, 2018, 03:10:19 PM »

I think, from what I understood from Brian, he wanted a place to get away and record what he wanted to do without being overruled.


If *anyone* deserved this (total creative control/freedom from agenda-driven bandmates/politics), it's Brian.  

That he had to go through all sorts of hoops to attain that freedom bugs me and should bug everyone too. It's beyond ridiculous the crap he had to go through and egos he had to put up with. Urgh.

</rant>

(thanks again Debbie for your amazing stories and recollections).

I have to say the story about Bruce and Terry at the time was that they gave Brian $50K to record, but the money was "found out" and removed from the account. I've heard other stories since. I have no idea which is true, particularly since I can't remember who told me this. Oh, well. I do remember Terry coming over to Brian's, and he couldn't stop smiling when he saw Brian. I think he really was in awe and adored Brian at that time, by his expression. That's why I feel a bit guilty when I talk about the production on SIP, but I can't help what it sounds like to me.

This has turned into a terrific discussion, thanks to all involved and thanks Debbie and Stephen especially for the firsthand memories!

We were discussing Jack Rieley in another recent thread, and it was good to get more information and perspective on the table, especially for newer fans reading this stuff who may have only heard *one* version of events, and perhaps had opinions shaped on people like Jack based on one perspective. We need to look at and weigh all sides. Whether it's Jack, or Terry Melcher, or the way Brian had to go elsewhere to record his ideas (seriously...add me to the chorus of those wondering WTF was going on within the band to cause this).

More on that to come. But discussing Terry brought up more of the story with him in particular. Debbie, I agree 100% that Terry in particular was very influenced by and in awe of what Brian could do even as early as when they first connected. You hear Terry during the Party! sessions, where he was already cutting hit records on his own as performer and producer, including one which has gone on to be one of the most important records of the modern era, Mr. Tambourine Man...as well as cutting sides for the Raiders, who people might not realize were one of the hottest bands in the US during the mid 60's and basically had their own network TV show.

Yet here was Terry happy to hit a tambourine at Brian's Party sessions, and who would appear in the studio to hang out and watch as Brian was making Pet Sounds and beyond. Yes, Terry was a big fan, no doubt, but you hit on the aspect that doesn't get said as much: Terry admired Brian and what he could do. No doubt.

What is lost too is how Terry would devote his career to his mom Doris Day and her various musical and TV/film projects instead of continuing to cut rock and roll records. Who knows how much more he would have done in the rock world had he not made the decision to work for his mom and build her career. And, doing so at a time when Doris Day was no stranger to the scandal sheets and Hollywood gossip, some of which was blatantly racist and unfair...again, topic of other discussions.

What Terry did with SIP, I feel, is do what he was hired to do. *Terry* was the one who got the band back on the charts in the 80's with Kokomo. It was Terry who produced California Dreamin and got Roger McGuinn in on the session to add some cool 12-string guitar to the track - It gave the Boys an AC hit when they couldn't buy one. It was also Terry who called Papa John Phillips and asked if he had any songs available for the Beach Boys to record, with what was yet another drought of songwriting within the band. Papa John sent Terry demos of Kokomo and Somewhere Near Japan, and obviously we know what happened to Kokomo. Major credit to Terry, despite some attempts to undercredit him in favor of other band members' involvement in that track.

SIP - Mike's baby through and through. That's not bashing, that's what it was. Let's recapture the winning Kokomo formula, and cut an entire album with this "new" sound. It was an ill-conceived attempt. Terry produced, yes - But read the credits in full. I have to think Terry was doing exactly what he was hired and told to do. The saying goes "you can't make chicken salad out of chicken sh*t".


The story of the "remote" studio and 4-track and Terry and Bruce's involvement in other ventures really makes you wonder about how things played out up to the present, and which loyalties carried over into the band's inner politics. Much more can be added to this aspect of the discussion, but I rambled enough already.

I just thought it was great to hear some more about Terry and Brian especially in this time period, and get more details and info on the table for fans to see how everything was not as cut and dry and clean-cut as other versions of events have tried to suggest.

Thanks so much, Craig, for expanding on Terry, whom I really liked a lot. He was very successful on his own, obviously. Thanks for noting the SIP credits. I feel certain he was doing what he was hired to do. It certainly wasn't his "sound."

It's funny when you mention the band's politics, in that when I was with Brian, he did everything to protect me from it all. His words were, "I want to keep you separate from all that." I didn't really understand, but it was fine with me. He knew I was innocent at the time - naive might be a better word. He may have seen his own innocence in my love of the music and people involved. He truly is a sweet soul with a certain "wicked" wit.

I think if Brian had his wish, he himself would have been separated from the band's politics and just made music. Can't say I blame him one bit. I'll never understand how a band that made such beautiful healing music can be surrounded by so much negative energy. But then I remember that it's a family band, and nobody can f*** someone over like family. Lord knows I've been there


Totally. And I'm having a hard time seeing Carl, Denny, or Al - however they might have had feelings about direction of the band's music that might have differed from Brian's - pulling any sort of longterm guilt tripping or other psychological warfare aimed at Brian that would have made Brian feel like he had to "get away and record what he wanted to do without being overruled"... in other words, I feel like when the term "band politics" is uttered in relation to The BBs, it's safe to say this in a nutshell means Brian's cousin. Remove Mike from the band in the late 60s/early 70s, I just don't see Brian having to resort to essentially sneaking around peoples' backs just to record stuff with having creative control. Maybe I'm offbase, this is just how it seems to me as an outsider. That said, I know things are nevertheless complex and nuanced.

"Complex and nuanced" might be the final word on this. People I loved and admired disappointed me, but then I disappoint myself a lot, so...

Clearly, Brian wasn't easy and his vision was probably difficult to follow, especially when he reached beyond everyone's comfort zone (including the fans, at times). I think there was panic when they had been flying high to find that not all the music was going to hit #1.  I'm sure everyone made bad decisions at different times, including the good guys who really loved Brian as they tried to hold it all together after Brian had become disenchanted by all the resistance. We all do our best. 

Imagine the band members trying to impress him with their solo efforts, after they denied him his own.

I saw it. It was sad.

I don't know that I could say Brian was bitter, but he - understandably - wasn't happy. He didn't say anything, at least when I was there, but he made his displeasure known with his expressions and his silence. One time I did see Brian slam his hand down on a vinyl that was playing so hard that the music stopped. The band member hoping to impress him said, "Okay Brian. I guess you've heard enough, Brian," as he scampered out of the room. It was 3 songs in to the record.

It was complicated.
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« Reply #57 on: September 25, 2018, 03:21:13 PM »

COMMENT on 4-Track:

I think you should consider looking at this another way.

1 )  Brian wanted to "brain-storm."  That is, be and think by himself, i.e., be alone. We all want or need that from time to time.

2 ) Brian needed technology (a recorder) to facilitate his brain-storming.

3 ) Brian could have rented a studio, used the house studio, or use a 4-track recorder. All he needed were four tracks and to be his own engineer.

4 ) Brian was not secretly recording seperate songs or something clandestine like that. First off, several contracts control Brian's creative output.

5 ) Brian was working by himself or with someone, recording parts. These would later be accepted or abandon (recorded or erased) as part of the song, undoubtedly recorded in segments. The whole thing is together in Brian's head, but some ideas must be heard by the ear rather then in the mind. And that's what I think Brian was doing. He needed to hear the harmonies in playback.

6 ) The House Studio was in place. It would be very much out of character, but Brian could have easily told everyone to stay out, and they would. Brian is not that selfish, and with an album production going on every day, the delay would not be well received.  Renting a downtown studio would have been costly and probably not that private. Nor could he just retire to his bedroom to brain-storm, as he could hear the control room monitors through the floor. And going to another part of his house only attracted the children wanting attention.

7 ) The problem here is booking. Brian wanted a place he could go when he felt like it, no booking required. When he felt inspired he wanted some place to brain-storm. You don't turn creativity on or off like a faucet. When you book a studio to be creative in, then you're under pressure to be creative - and that is not how Brian's brain operates.

8 )  So Brian found refuge among his creative friends -- in their cribs -- with their drugs -- and a 4-track, which evidently, yielded a bucket of tapes . . . being the genesis of Brian's genius captured in magnetic oxide.  
~swd

 
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« Reply #58 on: September 25, 2018, 03:40:52 PM »

COMMENT:

Excerpt from my book Part one page 12.  Of interest.

"When Brian started recording bits and pieces, song fragments, musical experiments, and later assembled many into what became known as Pet Sounds, the rest of the group was touring. Travel did not agree with Brian who was content staying home, cutting tracks. Vocal parts were added under Brian’s direction when the ‘Boys were in town between touring breaks – and after most of the production was finished. Brian mixed the final MASTER TAPES while the rest of the ‘Boys entertained on tour. After Pet Sounds’ release, numerous “tonal ideas” of Brian’s existed on tape, unfinished and unpolished. Only Brian knew how each sonic snippet could fit together to form a finished song. In addition to original material, many of these short pieces would later be used as building blocks or as bridges bringing together the work of Brian with new material and tracks added by various group members. Sunflower required, and received, much effort from every member of the group and their supporting cast. But these were times filled with tribulation and adversity.

"As Brian yielded to the temptation of hallucinogenic and other powerful drugs of fashion for the time, and floundered under the pressure of celebrity to produce another successful hit, business reality set in. Contracts with Capitol Records required The Beach Boys to supply management with a certain number of finished albums per year. Adding to the ‘Boys’ creative pressure was their contractual need to complete MASTER TAPES by a specified date in order to receive income.

"Although delays in Brian’s productivity were mounting, the record company continued advancing funds to the ‘Boys, expecting a finished product to be delivered soon. However, much to everyone’s concern, Brian was unfocused and becoming more reclusive. Drugs were certainly playing their role in his waning as a functioning member, but other behind-the-scenes factors were at play that threatened Brian’s recording style and position as leader of the group. The Beach Boys themselves were maturing musically, each becoming his own master of the studio and capable composer. Brian was losing domination of the music production technique he had crafted, and authority over the group he had fostered. Because each group member wished to contribute his own musical ideas, less time and money were available for Brian’s sole creativity to find expression in Beach Boy productions. It also meant Brian would need to give up space on the LP record to accommodate new songs written and recorded by other group members, a direct influence on his income and celebrity status.

"These factors along with tighter budgets, shrinking LP publishing time, deadlines, plus an old eardrum injury that made stereo production unknowable, pushed Brian into drug escape, depression and anxiety. Clearly the group knew its future was at risk. Somehow someone would need to step in and continue to generate songs produced in the Beach Boy style and vocal excellence if the group was to continue.

"Each Beach Boy wanted to continue and so . . . a plan was conceived. "


above Copyright 2018 Stephen W. Desper

~swd

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« Reply #59 on: September 25, 2018, 04:13:42 PM »

I think, from what I understood from Brian, he wanted a place to get away and record what he wanted to do without being overruled.


If *anyone* deserved this (total creative control/freedom from agenda-driven bandmates/politics), it's Brian.  

That he had to go through all sorts of hoops to attain that freedom bugs me and should bug everyone too. It's beyond ridiculous the crap he had to go through and egos he had to put up with. Urgh.

</rant>

(thanks again Debbie for your amazing stories and recollections).

I have to say the story about Bruce and Terry at the time was that they gave Brian $50K to record, but the money was "found out" and removed from the account. I've heard other stories since. I have no idea which is true, particularly since I can't remember who told me this. Oh, well. I do remember Terry coming over to Brian's, and he couldn't stop smiling when he saw Brian. I think he really was in awe and adored Brian at that time, by his expression. That's why I feel a bit guilty when I talk about the production on SIP, but I can't help what it sounds like to me.

This has turned into a terrific discussion, thanks to all involved and thanks Debbie and Stephen especially for the firsthand memories!

We were discussing Jack Rieley in another recent thread, and it was good to get more information and perspective on the table, especially for newer fans reading this stuff who may have only heard *one* version of events, and perhaps had opinions shaped on people like Jack based on one perspective. We need to look at and weigh all sides. Whether it's Jack, or Terry Melcher, or the way Brian had to go elsewhere to record his ideas (seriously...add me to the chorus of those wondering WTF was going on within the band to cause this).

More on that to come. But discussing Terry brought up more of the story with him in particular. Debbie, I agree 100% that Terry in particular was very influenced by and in awe of what Brian could do even as early as when they first connected. You hear Terry during the Party! sessions, where he was already cutting hit records on his own as performer and producer, including one which has gone on to be one of the most important records of the modern era, Mr. Tambourine Man...as well as cutting sides for the Raiders, who people might not realize were one of the hottest bands in the US during the mid 60's and basically had their own network TV show.

Yet here was Terry happy to hit a tambourine at Brian's Party sessions, and who would appear in the studio to hang out and watch as Brian was making Pet Sounds and beyond. Yes, Terry was a big fan, no doubt, but you hit on the aspect that doesn't get said as much: Terry admired Brian and what he could do. No doubt.

What is lost too is how Terry would devote his career to his mom Doris Day and her various musical and TV/film projects instead of continuing to cut rock and roll records. Who knows how much more he would have done in the rock world had he not made the decision to work for his mom and build her career. And, doing so at a time when Doris Day was no stranger to the scandal sheets and Hollywood gossip, some of which was blatantly racist and unfair...again, topic of other discussions.

What Terry did with SIP, I feel, is do what he was hired to do. *Terry* was the one who got the band back on the charts in the 80's with Kokomo. It was Terry who produced California Dreamin and got Roger McGuinn in on the session to add some cool 12-string guitar to the track - It gave the Boys an AC hit when they couldn't buy one. It was also Terry who called Papa John Phillips and asked if he had any songs available for the Beach Boys to record, with what was yet another drought of songwriting within the band. Papa John sent Terry demos of Kokomo and Somewhere Near Japan, and obviously we know what happened to Kokomo. Major credit to Terry, despite some attempts to undercredit him in favor of other band members' involvement in that track.

SIP - Mike's baby through and through. That's not bashing, that's what it was. Let's recapture the winning Kokomo formula, and cut an entire album with this "new" sound. It was an ill-conceived attempt. Terry produced, yes - But read the credits in full. I have to think Terry was doing exactly what he was hired and told to do. The saying goes "you can't make chicken salad out of chicken sh*t".


The story of the "remote" studio and 4-track and Terry and Bruce's involvement in other ventures really makes you wonder about how things played out up to the present, and which loyalties carried over into the band's inner politics. Much more can be added to this aspect of the discussion, but I rambled enough already.

I just thought it was great to hear some more about Terry and Brian especially in this time period, and get more details and info on the table for fans to see how everything was not as cut and dry and clean-cut as other versions of events have tried to suggest.

Thanks so much, Craig, for expanding on Terry, whom I really liked a lot. He was very successful on his own, obviously. Thanks for noting the SIP credits. I feel certain he was doing what he was hired to do. It certainly wasn't his "sound."

It's funny when you mention the band's politics, in that when I was with Brian, he did everything to protect me from it all. His words were, "I want to keep you separate from all that." I didn't really understand, but it was fine with me. He knew I was innocent at the time - naive might be a better word. He may have seen his own innocence in my love of the music and people involved. He truly is a sweet soul with a certain "wicked" wit.

I think if Brian had his wish, he himself would have been separated from the band's politics and just made music. Can't say I blame him one bit. I'll never understand how a band that made such beautiful healing music can be surrounded by so much negative energy. But then I remember that it's a family band, and nobody can f*** someone over like family. Lord knows I've been there


Totally. And I'm having a hard time seeing Carl, Denny, or Al - however they might have had feelings about direction of the band's music that might have differed from Brian's - pulling any sort of longterm guilt tripping or other psychological warfare aimed at Brian that would have made Brian feel like he had to "get away and record what he wanted to do without being overruled"... in other words, I feel like when the term "band politics" is uttered in relation to The BBs, it's safe to say this in a nutshell means Brian's cousin. Remove Mike from the band in the late 60s/early 70s, I just don't see Brian having to resort to essentially sneaking around peoples' backs just to record stuff with having creative control. Maybe I'm offbase, this is just how it seems to me as an outsider. That said, I know things are nevertheless complex and nuanced.

"Complex and nuanced" might be the final word on this. People I loved and admired disappointed me, but then I disappoint myself a lot, so...

Clearly, Brian wasn't easy and his vision was probably difficult to follow, especially when he reached beyond everyone's comfort zone (including the fans, at times). I think there was panic when they had been flying high to find that not all the music was going to hit #1.  I'm sure everyone made bad decisions at different times, including the good guys who really loved Brian as they tried to hold it all together after Brian had become disenchanted by all the resistance. We all do our best. 

Imagine the band members trying to impress him with their solo efforts, after they denied him his own.

I saw it. It was sad.

I don't know that I could say Brian was bitter, but he - understandably - wasn't happy. He didn't say anything, at least when I was there, but he made his displeasure known with his expressions and his silence. One time I did see Brian slam his hand down on a vinyl that was playing so hard that the music stopped. The band member hoping to impress him said, "Okay Brian. I guess you've heard enough, Brian," as he scampered out of the room. It was 3 songs in to the record.

It was complicated.

Thanks Debbie. I appreciate your thoughts and I certainly admit to my thoughts being nothing but outsider observations which are certainly not impervious to flaws or blindspots, as I was not there. Things are often nuanced, and I suppose I just give more of the benefit of the doubt to the principal players (like Al) who, unlike some others, have expressed some regret in hindsight about perhaps not supporting the creativity of their bandmembers as much as they might have wished they'd done in hindsight. A person's ability to reflect on things like that (or lack thereof) is everything to me in terms of how much slack I cut them, personally speaking.
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« Reply #60 on: September 25, 2018, 05:10:35 PM »

COMMENT on 4-Track:

I think you should consider looking at this another way.

1 )  Brian wanted to "brain-storm."  That is, be and think by himself, i.e., be alone. We all want or need that from time to time.

2 ) Brian needed technology (a recorder) to facilitate his brain-storming.

3 ) Brian could have rented a studio, used the house studio, or use a 4-track recorder. All he needed were four tracks and to be his own engineer.

4 ) Brian was not secretly recording seperate songs or something clandestine like that. First off, several contracts control Brian's creative output.

5 ) Brian was working by himself or with someone, recording parts. These would later be accepted or abandon (recorded or erased) as part of the song, undoubtedly recorded in segments. The whole thing is together in Brian's head, but some ideas must be heard by the ear rather then in the mind. And that's what I think Brian was doing. He needed to hear the harmonies in playback.

6 ) The House Studio was in place. It would be very much out of character, but Brian could have easily told everyone to stay out, and they would. Brian is not that selfish, and with an album production going on every day, the delay would not be well received.  Renting a downtown studio would have been costly and probably not that private. Nor could he just retire to his bedroom to brain-storm, as he could hear the control room monitors through the floor. And going to another part of his house only attracted the children wanting attention.

7 ) The problem here is booking. Brian wanted a place he could go when he felt like it, no booking required. When he felt inspired he wanted some place to brain-storm. You don't turn creativity on or off like a faucet. When you book a studio to be creative in, then you're under pressure to be creative - and that is not how Brian's brain operates.

8 )  So Brian found refuge among his creative friends -- in their cribs -- with their drugs -- and a 4-track, which evidently, yielded a bucket of tapes . . . being the genesis of Brian's genius captured in magnetic oxide.  
~swd

 

That sounds quite right, Stephen. He really did want comfortable places to go and you summed it up perfectly.

If there were drugs at Billy Elder's, I was unaware of them. He seemed pretty straight - he probably smoked weed, most people did, but not when I was around. I was allergic and would get nauseous just being around the smoke. Tandyn was another story, but I doubt he shared any drugs. He was in pretty bad shape by the time I met him. He was acting pretty crazy by then - way too much street speed. I don't think Brian was interested. They did drink far too much Vandermint together (rich chocolate liqueur --gagging at the thought). Terry? I have no idea. He didn't seem the type. I didn't even drink then, so I didn't know what was going on after I went home.
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« Reply #61 on: September 25, 2018, 06:55:53 PM »

Imagine the band members trying to impress him with their solo efforts, after they denied him his own.

I saw it. It was sad.

I don't know that I could say Brian was bitter, but he - understandably - wasn't happy. He didn't say anything, at least when I was there, but he made his displeasure known with his expressions and his silence. One time I did see Brian slam his hand down on a vinyl that was playing so hard that the music stopped. The band member hoping to impress him said, "Okay Brian. I guess you've heard enough, Brian," as he scampered out of the room. It was 3 songs in to the record.

It was complicated.

Sad, indeed. Please tell me it wasn't POB.
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« Reply #62 on: September 25, 2018, 11:57:57 PM »

This has become one of the greatest threads we've ever had here. Huge thanks to Debbie and Mr Desper for the great contributions to this thread. Now, we need to track down that Passing By tape.  Grin
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« Reply #63 on: September 26, 2018, 09:06:33 AM »

Tandyn was another story, but I doubt he shared any drugs.
COMMENT to Debbbie KL:  Don't doubt it. More than a few times, I've gone over there by myself, but usually with Steve Korthof to bring Brian back home. It took two of us because at that time Brian had put on a lot of weight. Many times he was in a stupor -- a drug induced stupor -- a mixing of drugs stupor.  You know Brian's drug problem was not that he over-indulged in hallucinogens, rather that he didn't stick to just one drug at a time. Those with whom he indulged in these escapades would do one drug, then someone would bring another drug to the party and that would be consumed. And this smorgasbord of mind-bending, mind-altering and mind-less dispensation would go on all night, or until someone passed out. So when the two Steve's would show up for Brian, we could hardly "walk" him out to the waiting transportation. And while there, I would look around and see what was going on. I'm not naive to the drug scene -- and having lived through the 60s and 70s I've done a few varieties myself, but I had the sense to use restraint when offered a variety of trips. Too dangerous. So I'll repeat -- the real culprit was the mixing of drugs that were never intended to be in the body at the same time. Drinking only dilutes your sense of judgment. A few alcoholic beverages, an LSD tab here together with a little of that mescaline there, and you have a recipe for scrambled brains. Dealing with a drunk and drugged man of over 300 pounds is not a fun time, it's a sad time. Indeed, if we knew that Brian needed to add a part of be part of a group vocal sweetening track -- and he wasn't around -- we went to Tandyn's place first and usually found Brian there. If we went early enough, we could "rescue" Brian back to the session and sensibility, but if it was late into the evening, Brian might refuse to come or just be passed out. Eventually this prompted an alarmed management to hire a caretaker or two to keep an eye on Brian. But that's another story.  ~swd
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« Reply #64 on: September 26, 2018, 09:41:12 AM »

Given these stories of all the mixing occurring, it's remarkable (and very fortunate) that Brian didn't experience a serious or even fatal overdose during this period. Although he was clearly affected by all this drug taking, the man clearly has the constitution of an ox.
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« Reply #65 on: September 26, 2018, 11:10:06 AM »

As is the case with Jack Rieley, insider opinons of Tandyn Almer vary widely - just read pages 153-154 of David Leaf's book, where we learn that on the one hand, Tandyn "sincerely felt that Brian needed help. One friend of both Tandyn's and Brian's remembered that Tandyn 'encouraged Brian to see a physchiatrist. The family wouldn't hear of it'", and another friend pointed out that Brian's friends (chiefly Tandyn, Danny Hutton, and Van Dyke) "got Brian actively interested in creating, thinking, writing. They could make Brian sane sometimes, but everybody resented them." However, Leaf goes on to claim that "That resentment didn't center around the creative area", but apparently drug use; he quotes one observer as saying, "Brian and Tandyn explored new realms of eccentricity together", and another of Brian's close friends as calling Tandyn "evil" and saying "on balance 'I think he damaged Brian." Note that these last two quotes come apparently not from family or band members. So perhaps it was as much a case of Brian and Tandyn being forced to work on their musical ideas elsewhere because of the dislike Brian's family and other friends held for Tandyn, as it was to do with the content of the work itself, regardless of how Brian may have explained it at the time.
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« Reply #66 on: September 26, 2018, 11:23:44 AM »

COMMENT on 4-Track:

I think you should consider looking at this another way.

1 )  Brian wanted to "brain-storm."  That is, be and think by himself, i.e., be alone. We all want or need that from time to time.

2 ) Brian needed technology (a recorder) to facilitate his brain-storming.

3 ) Brian could have rented a studio, used the house studio, or use a 4-track recorder. All he needed were four tracks and to be his own engineer.

4 ) Brian was not secretly recording seperate songs or something clandestine like that. First off, several contracts control Brian's creative output.

5 ) Brian was working by himself or with someone, recording parts. These would later be accepted or abandon (recorded or erased) as part of the song, undoubtedly recorded in segments. The whole thing is together in Brian's head, but some ideas must be heard by the ear rather then in the mind. And that's what I think Brian was doing. He needed to hear the harmonies in playback.

6 ) The House Studio was in place. It would be very much out of character, but Brian could have easily told everyone to stay out, and they would. Brian is not that selfish, and with an album production going on every day, the delay would not be well received.  Renting a downtown studio would have been costly and probably not that private. Nor could he just retire to his bedroom to brain-storm, as he could hear the control room monitors through the floor. And going to another part of his house only attracted the children wanting attention.

7 ) The problem here is booking. Brian wanted a place he could go when he felt like it, no booking required. When he felt inspired he wanted some place to brain-storm. You don't turn creativity on or off like a faucet. When you book a studio to be creative in, then you're under pressure to be creative - and that is not how Brian's brain operates.

8 )  So Brian found refuge among his creative friends -- in their cribs -- with their drugs -- and a 4-track, which evidently, yielded a bucket of tapes . . . being the genesis of Brian's genius captured in magnetic oxide.  
~swd

 

Stephen, after reading your comments above I thought about an aspect of this which doesn't get discussed as much. That is the regular everyday lives of the people involved at this time, along with a sense of irony on how it played out.

The irony is that in late May or June 1967, after the band returned from the European tour, there were a lot of issues on the table facing them and which would decide how work would proceed on whatever would be the next album. According to an article from this period, it was Nick Grillo who suggested bringing the studio to Brian, via setting up a workable studio in his house. Booking studio time had become a major issue for Brian going into 1967, as his favorite rooms were not available when inspiration struck and Brian wanted to record. This issue of booking studio time led to first the Smiley Smile studio with the Gates Dualux and all of that, and of course transitioned into the more permanent setup as it went into 1968 with Friends and beyond.

So I found it ironic that this mid-1967 solution to the issue of Brian booking studio time whenever he wanted by having the studio located and available in his house eventually turned into a situation where Brian could not book studio time *in his own house* due to other sessions being booked (Beach Boys, Brother projects, etc) , and had to go elsewhere to record his own ideas when that inspiration struck.

It feels like the very purpose of having Brian living at the studio and not needing to worry about booking and availability turned into the same issue that led to the idea of a studio at the house in the first place. And other activity essentially shut Brian out of his own studio. An odd dynamic for sure.

Now the personal issues which haven't been discussed too much in depth.

After Brian had his daughters, there was a family living in the house. The studio was running in the house, where it could not be escaped as things were happening there.

Put anyone who has a new kid or kids, and a wife, and other major adult personal issues going on into that scenario, and it might start to feel not only claustrophobic, but it could soon feel like you're trapped. The work had to be done, the business had to keep running, yet all of this is happening in your own house which now has children and all of those concerns on top of having your own house to tend to.

Factor in the tensions within the band and the family at this time. If you're Brian, and you just had some kind of a blowup with the band or band members, the people who you might want to cool out from for a bit, and get away from to recharge, are regularly showing up at your house to do the required work to keep the band and the business afloat.

Where was Brian's escape hatch? As mentioned, everyone needs one. Everyone needs a place to get away from it all, and here is a guy with what were possibly some of the issues causing him his own personal issues showing up at his house regularly as part of the business. He had a house of his own yet he couldn't pull his hand out of the fire if it did get too hot...in the privacy of his own home.

It may help explain the how's and why's of Brian going elsewhere and looking elsewhere to escape it all when he needed to. Perhaps the idea of bringing the studio to Brian and avoiding the booking turned into a double-edged sword over time especially when we consider what position he was in within his own personal life, and how there were times when he was booked out of his own home studio and had to bail out to work on ideas elsewhere.
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« Reply #67 on: September 26, 2018, 11:34:18 AM »

As is the case with Jack Rieley, insider opinons of Tandyn Almer vary widely - just read pages 153-154 of David Leaf's book, where we learn that on the one hand, Tandyn "sincerely felt that Brian needed help. One friend of both Tandyn's and Brian's remembered that Tandyn 'encouraged Brian to see a physchiatrist. The family wouldn't hear of it'", and another friend pointed out that Brian's friends (chiefly Tandyn, Danny Hutton, and Van Dyke) "got Brian actively interested in creating, thinking, writing. They could make Brian sane sometimes, but everybody resented them." However, Leaf goes on to claim that "That resentment didn't center around the creative area", but apparently drug use; he quotes one observer as saying, "Brian and Tandyn explored new realms of eccentricity together", and another of Brian's close friends as calling Tandyn "evil" and saying "on balance 'I think he damaged Brian." Note that these last two quotes come apparently not from family or band members. So perhaps it was as much a case of Brian and Tandyn being forced to work on their musical ideas elsewhere because of the dislike Brian's family and other friends held for Tandyn, as it was to do with the content of the work itself, regardless of how Brian may have explained it at the time.

COMMENT to c-man:  I did not want to go so far as naming names. Other's can do that. Leaf's comments are via Tandyn himself, who I doubt would condemn his own actions. I hardly think that Mr. Almer is any hero of Brian's health.

I'm not going to get involved in conjecture or quotes of quotes of someone who heard something from someone. Let's not make this into a "Kavanaugh circus" hearing.

I could tell you activities I've seen over a Tandyn's you would not believe -- but to what point. Brian is not nominated for a court appointment. He's just a telented guy who got mixed up with the wrong crowd. IF YOU WANT THE TRUTH, ASK MARILYN. She had to put up with it all and was very concerned with her husband's mental health. Bull sh*t to anyone who says the family did not care for what they saw was happening to him. They were very concerned. Marilyn gave up her any normal home life and allowed an entire studio to be built to encourage Brian's creativity.

This thread is spinning a tail that is very distorted.
  ~swd
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« Reply #68 on: September 26, 2018, 12:22:03 PM »

Given these stories of all the mixing occurring, it's remarkable (and very fortunate) that Brian didn't experience a serious or even fatal overdose during this period. Although he was clearly affected by all this drug taking, the man clearly has the constitution of an ox.

No kidding. Yikes.
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« Reply #69 on: September 26, 2018, 12:22:45 PM »


MY COMMENTS ARE IN CAPS:

According to an article from this period, it was Nick Grillo who suggested bringing the studio to Brian, via setting up a workable studio in his house. IT WAS ALAN JARDINE'S IDEA.  Booking studio time had become a major issue for Brian going into 1967, as his favorite rooms were not available when inspiration struck and Brian wanted to record. THIS IS THE SAME REASON HE DID NOT TRAVEL OR LIKE TO DO CONCERTS.

So I found it ironic that this mid-1967 solution to the issue of Brian booking studio time whenever he wanted by having the studio located and available in his house eventually turned into a situation where Brian could not book studio time *in his own house* due to other sessions being booked (Beach Boys, Brother projects, etc) , and had to go elsewhere to record his own ideas when that inspiration struck. BRIAN IS PART OF A GROUP, THE BEACH BOYS. HE DOES NOT OWN THE BRAND. IT IS UNDER CONTRACT... OH, I'M JUST REPEATING MYSELF. READ WHAT I POSTED EARLIER.
BRIAN AND THE GROUP HAVE A SYNERGISTIC RELATIONSHIP. EVERYONE WAS OK WITH BOOKING STUDIOS FOR RECORDING, BUT BRIAN COULD NOT BE COUNTED ON TO ATTEND SESSIONS. THEREFORE THE SESSIONS WERE MOVED CLOSER TO BRIAN WHO THOUGHT IT A GOOD IDEA. READ MY BOOK EXCERPT, POSTED EARLIER. THE HOUSE STUDIO WAS FOR USE BY THE BEACH BOYS, THE GROUP. IT MAY HAVE BEEN LOCATED IN BRIAN'S HOUSE, BUT IT WAS FOR THE GROUP, THE BRAND. ALL OF THEM, ESPECIALLY BRIAN, HAD CONTRACTUAL OBLIGATIONS THAT HAD TO BE MET. IF HE WAS NOT GOING TO MAKE MUSIC, SOMEONE HAD TO FILL THE GAP. THIS IS NOT THE GROUP HATING BRIAN. THIS IS THEM HELPING HIM THROUGH A DIFFICULT TIME.

It feels like the very purpose of having Brian living at the studio and not needing to worry about booking and availability turned into the same issue that led to the idea of a studio at the house in the first place. NO IT DID NOT. THE STUDIO WAS THERE TO MAKE AN ALBUM -- TO MEET CONTRACTUAL OBLIGATIONS TO WHICH THEY WERE ALL -- EVERY BAND MEMBER -- OBLIGATED. And other activity essentially shut Brian out of his own studio. IT WAS NOT BRIAN'S STUDIO. IT WAS PAID FOR BY THE BRAND, NOT BRIAN. (MORE DISCUSSION IS IN PART TWO) An odd dynamic for sure.

Now the personal issues which haven't been discussed too much in depth.

After Brian had his daughters, there was a family living in the house. The studio was running in the house, where it could not be escaped as things were happening there.

Put anyone who has a new kid or kids, and a wife, and other major adult personal issues going on into that scenario, and it might start to feel not only claustrophobic, but it could soon feel like you're trapped. The work had to be done, the business had to keep running, yet all of this is happening in your own house which now has children and all of those concerns on top of having your own house to tend to.

Factor in the tensions within the band and the family at this time. If you're Brian, and you just had some kind of a blowup with the band or band members, the people who you might want to cool out from for a bit, and get away from to recharge, are regularly showing up at your house to do the required work to keep the band and the business afloat.

Where was Brian's escape hatch? As mentioned, everyone needs one. Everyone needs a place to get away from it all, and here is a guy with what were possibly some of the issues causing him his own personal issues showing up at his house regularly as part of the business. He had a house of his own yet he couldn't pull his hand out of the fire if it did get too hot...in the privacy of his own home.

It may help explain the how's and why's of Brian going elsewhere and looking elsewhere to escape it all when he needed to. Perhaps the idea of bringing the studio to Brian and avoiding the booking turned into a double-edged sword over time especially when we consider what position he was in within his own personal life, and how there were times when he was booked out of his own home studio IT WAS NOT HIS PRIVATE STUDIO and had to bail out to work on ideas elsewhere.  

BRIAN'S FAMILY LIFE WAS NOT ANYTHING OUTSIDE OF ANY NORMAL FAMILY LIFE. UPs AND DOWNs, ISSUES TO FACE, PROBLEMS TO SOLVE, MOMENTS TO ENJOY and EVENTS TO CELEBRATE.  PROBLEM IS, THERE WERE NO EASY DRUGS IN THE HOUSE STUDIO OR THE HOUSE. IF YOU WISH TO BE FRANK ABOUT IT, IT WAS ALL ABOUT DRUGS.

~SWD
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« Reply #70 on: September 26, 2018, 01:09:00 PM »


MY COMMENTS ARE IN CAPS:

According to an article from this period, it was Nick Grillo who suggested bringing the studio to Brian, via setting up a workable studio in his house. IT WAS ALAN JARDINE'S IDEA.  Booking studio time had become a major issue for Brian going into 1967, as his favorite rooms were not available when inspiration struck and Brian wanted to record. THIS IS THE SAME REASON HE DID NOT TRAVEL OR LIKE TO DO CONCERTS.

So I found it ironic that this mid-1967 solution to the issue of Brian booking studio time whenever he wanted by having the studio located and available in his house eventually turned into a situation where Brian could not book studio time *in his own house* due to other sessions being booked (Beach Boys, Brother projects, etc) , and had to go elsewhere to record his own ideas when that inspiration struck. BRIAN IS PART OF A GROUP, THE BEACH BOYS. HE DOES NOT OWN THE BRAND. IT IS UNDER CONTRACT... OH, I'M JUST REPEATING MYSELF. READ WHAT I POSTED EARLIER.
BRIAN AND THE GROUP HAVE A SYNERGISTIC RELATIONSHIP. EVERYONE WAS OK WITH BOOKING STUDIOS FOR RECORDING, BUT BRIAN COULD NOT BE COUNTED ON TO ATTEND SESSIONS. THEREFORE THE SESSIONS WERE MOVED CLOSER TO BRIAN WHO THOUGHT IT A GOOD IDEA. READ MY BOOK EXCERPT, POSTED EARLIER. THE HOUSE STUDIO WAS FOR USE BY THE BEACH BOYS, THE GROUP. IT MAY HAVE BEEN LOCATED IN BRIAN'S HOUSE, BUT IT WAS FOR THE GROUP, THE BRAND. ALL OF THEM, ESPECIALLY BRIAN, HAD CONTRACTUAL OBLIGATIONS THAT HAD TO BE MET. IF HE WAS NOT GOING TO MAKE MUSIC, SOMEONE HAD TO FILL THE GAP. THIS IS NOT THE GROUP HATING BRIAN. THIS IS THEM HELPING HIM THROUGH A DIFFICULT TIME.

It feels like the very purpose of having Brian living at the studio and not needing to worry about booking and availability turned into the same issue that led to the idea of a studio at the house in the first place. NO IT DID NOT. THE STUDIO WAS THERE TO MAKE AN ALBUM -- TO MEET CONTRACTUAL OBLIGATIONS TO WHICH THEY WERE ALL -- EVERY BAND MEMBER -- OBLIGATED. And other activity essentially shut Brian out of his own studio. IT WAS NOT BRIAN'S STUDIO. IT WAS PAID FOR BY THE BRAND, NOT BRIAN. (MORE DISCUSSION IS IN PART TWO) An odd dynamic for sure.

Now the personal issues which haven't been discussed too much in depth.

After Brian had his daughters, there was a family living in the house. The studio was running in the house, where it could not be escaped as things were happening there.

Put anyone who has a new kid or kids, and a wife, and other major adult personal issues going on into that scenario, and it might start to feel not only claustrophobic, but it could soon feel like you're trapped. The work had to be done, the business had to keep running, yet all of this is happening in your own house which now has children and all of those concerns on top of having your own house to tend to.

Factor in the tensions within the band and the family at this time. If you're Brian, and you just had some kind of a blowup with the band or band members, the people who you might want to cool out from for a bit, and get away from to recharge, are regularly showing up at your house to do the required work to keep the band and the business afloat.

Where was Brian's escape hatch? As mentioned, everyone needs one. Everyone needs a place to get away from it all, and here is a guy with what were possibly some of the issues causing him his own personal issues showing up at his house regularly as part of the business. He had a house of his own yet he couldn't pull his hand out of the fire if it did get too hot...in the privacy of his own home.

It may help explain the how's and why's of Brian going elsewhere and looking elsewhere to escape it all when he needed to. Perhaps the idea of bringing the studio to Brian and avoiding the booking turned into a double-edged sword over time especially when we consider what position he was in within his own personal life, and how there were times when he was booked out of his own home studio IT WAS NOT HIS PRIVATE STUDIO and had to bail out to work on ideas elsewhere.  

BRIAN'S FAMILY LIFE WAS NOT ANYTHING OUTSIDE OF ANY NORMAL FAMILY LIFE. UPs AND DOWNs, ISSUES TO FACE, PROBLEMS TO SOLVE, MOMENTS TO ENJOY and EVENTS TO CELEBRATE.  PROBLEM IS, THERE WERE NO EASY DRUGS IN THE HOUSE STUDIO OR THE HOUSE. IF YOU WISH TO BE FRANK ABOUT IT, IT WAS ALL ABOUT DRUGS.

~SWD


Stephen, I just want to copy and paste an earlier reference to the home studio's origins from an earlier post of mine. Quotes taken from Derek Taylor reporting in an article from July 1967, and an Al Jardine interview from July 2000:


Taylor also wrote in July '67:  "In one inspired decision, (Nick) Grillo and the Beach Boys were able to a. Make use of Brian Wilson's new house, b. restructure the attitude and atmosphere at recording sessions and c. remove the problem of availability of commercial studios. They built their own 8-track studio in the Spanish house."

Al Jardine - July 2000 interview - backed up that Grillo was behind the idea, but also mentioned a financial reason: "I'm trying to figure out how we went from United-Western and Columbia to Brian's living room. I'll have to ask [Steve] Desper, our engineer about that. It must have been a conception of his and Nick Grillo, our manager at the time. There must have been something related to costs. It was certainly costing an arm and a leg to record at these studios."


It sounds more like Al suggested Grillo and you had the idea, not that Al himself had the idea for a home studio unless he forgot how it all played out. I was going on information previously published like those excerpts above, if it has since been corrected in terms of Al's comments and his actual involvement, that's good to put on the record.

I can't get past the fact that even with the obligations and contracts and all else involved, it was still Brian's home. They could have built it at Carl's house, or Mike's, or anywhere else - And of course Brian agreed to the setup. But I'm thinking when it got later in the game, or when there were sessions with Charles Manson and other outsiders being held at the Beach Boys' studio, either with or without Brian's participation, it seemed to be getting outside of the original purpose, which was to have a place readily available so Brian could be there to cut records with and for the Beach Boys minus the hassles of booking studio time.

Maybe it's getting into aesthetics, but ultimately no matter what the inner workings were, it was still Brian's house. And the studio was put there instead of another member's house for a specific reason, namely to cut Beach Boys records without the hassles of outside studios. But there could be issues which would arise as soon as you introduce children and a home life into the mix. Along with other issues too.

A lot of what ran through my mind came from your post above, these items specifically:


6 ) The House Studio was in place. It would be very much out of character, but Brian could have easily told everyone to stay out, and they would. Brian is not that selfish, and with an album production going on every day, the delay would not be well received.  Renting a downtown studio would have been costly and probably not that private. Nor could he just retire to his bedroom to brain-storm, as he could hear the control room monitors through the floor. And going to another part of his house only attracted the children wanting attention.

7 ) The problem here is booking. Brian wanted a place he could go when he felt like it, no booking required. When he felt inspired he wanted some place to brain-storm. You don't turn creativity on or off like a faucet. When you book a studio to be creative in, then you're under pressure to be creative - and that is not how Brian's brain operates.

8 )  So Brian found refuge among his creative friends -- in their cribs -- with their drugs -- and a 4-track, which evidently, yielded a bucket of tapes . . . being the genesis of Brian's genius captured in magnetic oxide.   [/size]~swd


Those points outlined basically what I was thinking and replying to, the idea that having a studio in Brian's home where he could not find that kind of refuge that he found elsewhere could have caused some issues for him personally as a man who as you said needed to be alone to brainstorm and then needed someone to be the tech-minded facilitator to capture those ideas. If the house was full of studio activity, in some cases with artists other band members brought in, along with the usual Beach Boys activity, I'd think a man would feel like his house wasn't his own at some points.



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« Reply #71 on: September 26, 2018, 01:56:00 PM »

Imagine the band members trying to impress him with their solo efforts, after they denied him his own.

I saw it. It was sad.

I don't know that I could say Brian was bitter, but he - understandably - wasn't happy. He didn't say anything, at least when I was there, but he made his displeasure known with his expressions and his silence. One time I did see Brian slam his hand down on a vinyl that was playing so hard that the music stopped. The band member hoping to impress him said, "Okay Brian. I guess you've heard enough, Brian," as he scampered out of the room. It was 3 songs in to the record.

It was complicated.

Sad, indeed. Please tell me it wasn't POB.

It wasn't!
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« Reply #72 on: September 26, 2018, 02:09:03 PM »

Imagine the band members trying to impress him with their solo efforts, after they denied him his own.

I saw it. It was sad.

I don't know that I could say Brian was bitter, but he - understandably - wasn't happy. He didn't say anything, at least when I was there, but he made his displeasure known with his expressions and his silence. One time I did see Brian slam his hand down on a vinyl that was playing so hard that the music stopped. The band member hoping to impress him said, "Okay Brian. I guess you've heard enough, Brian," as he scampered out of the room. It was 3 songs in to the record.

It was complicated.

Sad, indeed. Please tell me it wasn't POB.

It wasn't!

Whew! LOL
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« Reply #73 on: September 26, 2018, 02:12:06 PM »

Tandyn was another story, but I doubt he shared any drugs.
COMMENT to Debbbie KL:  Don't doubt it. More than a few times, I've gone over there by myself, but usually with Steve Korthof to bring Brian back home. It took two of us because at that time Brian had put on a lot of weight. Many times he was in a stupor -- a drug induced stupor -- a mixing of drugs stupor.  You know Brian's drug problem was not that he over-indulged in hallucinogens, rather that he didn't stick to just one drug at a time. Those with whom he indulged in these escapades would do one drug, then someone would bring another drug to the party and that would be consumed. And this smorgasbord of mind-bending, mind-altering and mind-less dispensation would go on all night, or until someone passed out. So when the two Steve's would show up for Brian, we could hardly "walk" him out to the waiting transportation. And while there, I would look around and see what was going on. I'm not naive to the drug scene -- and having lived through the 60s and 70s I've done a few varieties myself, but I had the sense to use restraint when offered a variety of trips. Too dangerous. So I'll repeat -- the real culprit was the mixing of drugs that were never intended to be in the body at the same time. Drinking only dilutes your sense of judgment. A few alcoholic beverages, an LSD tab here together with a little of that mescaline there, and you have a recipe for scrambled brains. Dealing with a drunk and drugged man of over 300 pounds is not a fun time, it's a sad time. Indeed, if we knew that Brian needed to add a part of be part of a group vocal sweetening track -- and he wasn't around -- we went to Tandyn's place first and usually found Brian there. If we went early enough, we could "rescue" Brian back to the session and sensibility, but if it was late into the evening, Brian might refuse to come or just be passed out. Eventually this prompted an alarmed management to hire a caretaker or two to keep an eye on Brian. But that's another story.  ~swd

Stephen, I genuinely didn't know about all that. Like I said, I wasn't a druggie nor did I drink then, I tried a few things a few times (probably like you) so I fear I was more of a designated driver when I'd get a call to pick Brian up somewhere for his own safety (usually the call came from Brian). He did ultimately save himself, obviously. Sometimes I picked him up in scary neighborhoods, but it all worked out. Usually, he wanted to be taken home.  I worked a 40+ hour work-week, so I had to sometimes sleep and was often at work. I sometimes think I was pretty protected during those times and didn't know what happened when things were at their worst. I only saw the Vandermint episodes.

I did have to change my phone number and actually move when Tandyn was at his worst (a long story) because I didn't feel safe and was hiding from him, so I knew he was a real problem as he descended into his hole. I was happy to learn that he moved back to Minneapolis and straightened out. He also showed me a lengthy note from Marilyn when he was apparently involved with she and Brian both, so I guess we were all impressed by his wit until things became too terrible.

It's rather amazing anything was recorded at all.
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« Reply #74 on: September 26, 2018, 02:21:34 PM »

As is the case with Jack Rieley, insider opinons of Tandyn Almer vary widely - just read pages 153-154 of David Leaf's book, where we learn that on the one hand, Tandyn "sincerely felt that Brian needed help. One friend of both Tandyn's and Brian's remembered that Tandyn 'encouraged Brian to see a physchiatrist. The family wouldn't hear of it'", and another friend pointed out that Brian's friends (chiefly Tandyn, Danny Hutton, and Van Dyke) "got Brian actively interested in creating, thinking, writing. They could make Brian sane sometimes, but everybody resented them." However, Leaf goes on to claim that "That resentment didn't center around the creative area", but apparently drug use; he quotes one observer as saying, "Brian and Tandyn explored new realms of eccentricity together", and another of Brian's close friends as calling Tandyn "evil" and saying "on balance 'I think he damaged Brian." Note that these last two quotes come apparently not from family or band members. So perhaps it was as much a case of Brian and Tandyn being forced to work on their musical ideas elsewhere because of the dislike Brian's family and other friends held for Tandyn, as it was to do with the content of the work itself, regardless of how Brian may have explained it at the time.

Tandyn was very close friends with a woman named Felicia whom he idolized. I met her on several occasions, probably during my "designated driver" days. Ironically, her father and her husband were psychiatrists. I heard them discussing Brian's health. Her (then former) husband DID end up treating Brian - reluctantly (he was attending staff at a hospital from which Brian was released) - and interviewing me about the goings on in his daily life WITH the support staff in place. So probably all the stories are true. Tandyn was truly brilliant, like VDP. He was just in such a place that he, I suspect, became bad news for Brian, as he did for me. VDP and Danny were both good guys who never went to that place.
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