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Smiley Smile Stuff => General On Topic Discussions => Topic started by: ForHerCryingSoul on February 14, 2017, 03:57:07 PM



Title: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: ForHerCryingSoul on February 14, 2017, 03:57:07 PM
Hey guys.

I have been listening to a lot of the Paley sessions pieces and I can't help but wonder what anyone else thinks of these?  I think they are a lot better than at least Imagination, and certainly better than the insipid Country Album they made in that same year.  What are your thoughts on the matter?  I really hope the material surfaces, but we might not see it for a long time due to an unwillingness to share the music. 

My stream of consciousness aside, what are your thoughts?


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: the captain on February 14, 2017, 04:11:57 PM
I think there is some really worthwhile stuff there, and of course some of it has since come out (for better and worse, depending on the specifics). For a while it seemed to me that this stuff--like all things Brian Wilson--was being given more credit than it was due just because it was what we didn't have (officially), but I think that has mellowed out somewhat in recent years. It would be fun to hear really high quality and well mixed releases of it, but I don't think anyone's worlds would be shattered.

Personally, I've always had a soft spot for a pair of almost paint-by-numbers tunes among them: "My Marianne" and "Some Sweet Day." I just love 'em, maybe mostly because it sounded like Brian loved 'em, too. Nothing innovative to be found, just cool, fun songs. If he ever does get around to that so-called rock-and-roll album, these are the kinds of songs that should populate it. In fact, they should both make the album.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: SMiLE Brian on February 14, 2017, 04:31:38 PM
Hearing these songs at the proper speed and mastering is key!


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: CenturyDeprived on February 14, 2017, 06:16:28 PM
Curious to know if anyone else hears the out of sync Carl vocal on Soul Searchin'.

I can't tell if I'm hearing it because it's *actually* out of sync (due to being pasted from a different version), or if it's because I read that it was possibly (do we know for sure?) pasted before hearing it, and that this may have colored my perception of it. In other words, I wonder if I'd feel the same way if I'd never read about the song's history. After all, there are other BB songs that have out of sync vocals (not due to digital pasting, but just due to likely quickly recording and not going back to fix stuff, like Drive In and California Girls). But I always think of a digital paste job when I listen to the Paley Soul Searchin'!

I seem to recall that the line "so now I'm walking..." was a particular out of sync culprit on Soul Searchin'.  

I wonder how the pasting was done? From tape to tape, or on an early non-linear digital editing system? I'm guessing both versions had to have been done to a click track for it it line up as good as it does (however imperfect it is).

Side note: I know some people have complained that the sync is off on the Brian vocal on the Surf's Up version from The SMiLE sessions (which it is in fact chopped up and pasted from another version, but in my opinion done very well and natural-sounding sync-wise).


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: DonnyL on February 14, 2017, 08:54:55 PM
By far BW's best solo work, and better than any BB record since Love You ... I'd love to see them released someday.

Honestly, if finished in a hip way in 1995-96 as a BB record, I think it would have started a new chapter in the group's career.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: guitarfool2002 on February 14, 2017, 09:02:57 PM
By far BW's best solo work, and better than any BB record since Love You ... I'd love to see them released someday.

Honestly, if finished in a hip way in 1995-96 as a BB record, I think it would have started a new chapter in the group's career.

Bingo. Instead we got Baywatch.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: guitarfool2002 on February 14, 2017, 09:03:54 PM
And Nashville.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: ForHerCryingSoul on February 14, 2017, 09:26:15 PM
And Nashville.
I'm in the minority who thinks Stars and Stripes could have worked, BUT it was executed so poorly with the really cheesy production and gimmick of bringing in "country stars".  Ugh.  Also Carl didn't like the sessions, so I honestly blame him for the "contemporary" direction he wanted to go into instead.  I'm not going to be the one opening the can of worms with Melinda, but Carl definitely is at some sort of fault for the downfall of the project.  Brian says so himself.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: ♩♬☮ Billy C ♯♫♩☮ on February 14, 2017, 09:38:43 PM
Carl was shooting down pretty much everything Brian tried during that time. Peter Carlin's book briefly touches on it. Brian kind of hints about it in his own book, but it's inferred.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: ForHerCryingSoul on February 14, 2017, 09:51:36 PM
Carl was shooting down pretty much everything Brian tried during that time. Peter Carlin's book briefly touches on it. Brian kind of hints about it in his own book, but it's inferred.
I only read Brian's book, but that is very disappointing to hear.  There is a quote, I don't know how reliable this is, because it's from a Wikipedia page, but there is a lot of juicy tidbits there, such as:

Quote from: Brian Wilson - 1995 Interview: “The Beach Boys are trying to destroy me!”
"I’ll work on my own, solo, before I work with a bunch of guys that don’t give a sh*t about me. ... there’s probably five or six real good reasons why they don’t like me. One is they’re jealous. Two: erm, they’re assholes. Three: they’re too businessmen and too businesslike. And four: there’s no respect. They have no respect for me. They just spit at me and kick me, no respect at all. I say, ‘Well, f*** it then!’ ... Carl is my brother, but Carl is an asshole. I love Carl, I love his singing, but he’s an asshole to me. Those guys are assholes. I oughta beat the hell out of them all. I dunno, I’d probably get beat up if I tried that."

Interesting article too: http://www.uncut.co.uk/blog/beach-boys-trying-destroy-77465 (http://www.uncut.co.uk/blog/beach-boys-trying-destroy-77465)


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: ♩♬☮ Billy C ♯♫♩☮ on February 14, 2017, 09:52:21 PM
Yup...I remember that well.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: Jay on February 14, 2017, 11:34:33 PM
This might seem like an odd request, but could anybody help me compile a list of *all* of the Paley tracks? I'd love to be able to get as much of the Paley tracks as possible, and making sort of a "database" could help.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: JK on February 15, 2017, 02:09:21 AM
This might seem like an odd request, but could anybody help me compile a list of *all* of the Paley tracks? I'd love to be able to get as much of the Paley tracks as possible, and making sort of a "database" could help.

I don't know if you have Back to the Beach but there's a fairly extensive rundown on pp. 229-233, after Domenic Priore's interview with Paley.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: the captain on February 15, 2017, 06:19:35 AM
By far BW's best solo work, and better than any BB record since Love You ... I'd love to see them released someday.

Honestly, if finished in a hip way in 1995-96 as a BB record, I think it would have started a new chapter in the group's career.

I don't know. I like the material but think that might be reaching--or maybe isn't, but isn't saying much.

- BW's best solo material. Personally I disagree with that: I'd rate it below BWPS, TLOS for sure, and if we're including covers behind Gershwin. Honestly, probably behind NPP, too, though it's all just one man's opinion. I do think it's his most conventional, and at least in the versions we have, maybe the best at neither catering to current fads nor fetishizing BW tropes of old.

- better than any BB album since Love You. Damning with faint praise!

- new chapter for BBs. That may be true, but as what? I'd say as a solid, but solidly, nostalgia act. Don't get me wrong, it would've been a more dignified identity than they had at the time. But maybe it would be more "hey Baby Boomers, this old band still makes albums for you--and don't forget to see them & buy a t-short and greatest hits comp this summer" rather than "hey world, this band makes great records."

Again, I like some of those songs and don't mean to sh*t on them or your opinion. Just my more cynical two cents.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: guitarfool2002 on February 15, 2017, 07:28:43 AM
By far BW's best solo work, and better than any BB record since Love You ... I'd love to see them released someday.

Honestly, if finished in a hip way in 1995-96 as a BB record, I think it would have started a new chapter in the group's career.

I don't know. I like the material but think that might be reaching--or maybe isn't, but isn't saying much.

- BW's best solo material. Personally I disagree with that: I'd rate it below BWPS, TLOS for sure, and if we're including covers behind Gershwin. Honestly, probably behind NPP, too, though it's all just one man's opinion. I do think it's his most conventional, and at least in the versions we have, maybe the best at neither catering to current fads nor fetishizing BW tropes of old.

- better than any BB album since Love You. Damning with faint praise!

- new chapter for BBs. That may be true, but as what? I'd say as a solid, but solidly, nostalgia act. Don't get me wrong, it would've been a more dignified identity than they had at the time. But maybe it would be more "hey Baby Boomers, this old band still makes albums for you--and don't forget to see them & buy a t-short and greatest hits comp this summer" rather than "hey world, this band makes great records."

Again, I like some of those songs and don't mean to sh*t on them or your opinion. Just my more cynical two cents.

I can say I'm biased by the fact that the years 1994-95-96 coincided with what was one of the peaks of my obsession as a fan, and I know I'm repeating myself but there was a palpable buzz around Brian's return post-Landy and the music which was still being discovered and rediscovered by listeners and fans that it seemed the band "The Beach Boys" didn't seem to capitalize on. or maybe they just didn't want to, or didn't know how to. When the music press and the alternative music scene and similar outlets like the mags and the 'zines were featuring cover stories on Brian and musicians were dropping hints in interviews about the music, there was something going on beyond what the band was itself was doing.

I'll give two examples, judge accordingly and on your own personal opinions. July 4, 1995 in Philly and Baywatch. The Philly concert was available on trade circuits and later on YouTube because it was broadcast in stereo on the Philly station "Channel 6" as we locals call it. So you had access to see what the band was doing, on video, in full even if you weren't in Philly to see it. Baywatch - speaks for itself. It's available too, on video.

Consider that there were a lot of fans like me who were beyond excited reading the blurbs in the magazines about the Don Was film, about Pet Sounds AND Smile session box sets in the pipeline (yes, both were reported in 94-95), there were Brian and Van Dyke on the cover of the Tower Records magazine with full articles on both OCA and Smile...walk into a bookstore or record shop and see Mojo, etc, with stories on this music, stacks of copies of LLVS and the other related books available for sale. Etc Etc Etc.

Maybe it's the fact that there was so much anticipation and perhaps so much potential from a fan's perspective, and as happened (and happens) so many times with the band, the actual band when they did appear didn't seem to be doing anything to acknowledge this buzz surrounding them.

The same band playing Nashville's "Fan Fest" getting a story on CNN and putting out a country album of their own covers was the band whose box set of Pet Sounds Sessions was about to come out? What? The music heard on the Don Was film sung by Brian and praised by musicians new, underground, and legendary was augmented by the tropical/beach sets and fake palm trees and dance troupes on stage plus John Stamos doing more than some of the actual band members on stage? What? Brian returns from the void of Landy, rejoins the band on Baywatch, and he literally does nothing? What?

Then the stories come out more and more about Brian's return, and related unfortunate scenes as his quote suggested surrounded it, and it's again...What?

Maybe it's not as much the few versions of those songs specifically, but the potential that was there for them to be something unique for the band versus some of the decisions actually made. Then I guess the debate turns to art versus commerce. As long as the touring act was making money with the dancers and all that, who needs to do something unique musically. When all else fails, find a way to remake or rerecord the songs which were played on stage July 4, 1995 in Philly.

Just compare the activities of the past 22 years or so of the key players and build the credits list for all. It is amazing in that context to see how an album like That's Why God Made The Radio lasted beyond the planning stages.

Then it becomes a success...top 5 on the album charts for a legacy band is a success no matter how some might parse it...and the supporting tour becomes a success...and the band is back with industry status and demand for them to do more...and Mike critiques the album for falling short and later claims the tour was losing too much money, especially since he likes to run things "lean and mean".

So, there it is. This band had the momentum and the buzz to do something or at least try it beyond the normal touring grind, and they chose remakes of hits with country artists and Baywatch.

Expectations were high so many times, then they sank like a stone, so it's hard to expect anything beyond where it is in terms of releasing music in 2017. Remakes of Getcha Back...What?



Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: the captain on February 15, 2017, 08:12:35 AM
I don't really dispute that, for the most part. I more question the optimism of the (necessarily speculative) "what if?" I don't hear in that music much, if anything, beyond mostly nostalgic but most certainly not groundbreaking or even stellar, music. That's why I think it was more a chance to not s(t)ink further than to really have some glorious re-rise.

The buzz around Brian continued regardless: that era (say 95-00?) was maybe the peak of that wave of championing him by indies. So that happened regardless, just more specifically limited to Brian as an outsider to his own band than to him within it (and thus sharing the Love).*


*Couldnt help it!


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: SMiLE Brian on February 15, 2017, 08:18:40 AM
Unleash the love (of the Captain) :lol


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: guitarfool2002 on February 15, 2017, 08:27:08 AM
I don't really dispute that, for the most part. I more question the optimism of the (necessarily speculative) "what if?" I don't hear in that music much, if anything, beyond mostly nostalgic but most certainly not groundbreaking or even stellar, music. That's why I think it was more a chance to not s(t)ink further than to really have some glorious re-rise.

The buzz around Brian continued regardless: that era (say 95-00?) was maybe the peak of that wave of championing him by indies. So that happened regardless, just more specifically limited to Brian as an outsider to his own band than to him within it (and thus sharing the Love).*


*Couldnt help it!

I can see looking back that the separation started to happen in terms of public perception and perhaps culminated in the 90's when Brian started touring as himself. This may be controversial to say in some circles, but there were numbers of fans who were buying tickets to see Brian on that first tour and hearing a more faithful presentation of the classic records (mixed in with some deep cuts and solo tracks) than what they had been seeing with The Beach Boys. There were some funny moments too, early on, when someone must have thought it would have been fun to unleash some beach balls during Brian's show.

How can I say this diplomatically...well, maybe I can't, but imagine being in Symphony Hall on that first BW tour with fans giving standing ovations, crying, showing all kinds of emotions hearing the music being played that well and actually seeing Brian on stage performing live which was thought impossible for years, and then the beach balls start flying around. That was...surreal.  

Aside from that, there is a level of credibility and cache that comes with having Brian Wilson actively doing things with the Beach Boys, and maybe the stronger that got after his return post-Landy in the 90's, the more tension it caused within the Beach Boys. Mix in jealousy, or a general sense of perhaps seeing the reality of the situation play out in terms of fan opinion.

Maybe that aspect is also where there were two camps more clearly defined with separate motivations. Target the fans who were on the trip of the mid-90's cred surrounding the box sets and the legacy and all that and play the deeper cuts, or appeal to the people who got the "weekender" insert in their daily paper to see which acts were playing in town, and not knowing or caring whether it was Bruce or Brian at that keyboard but just going to hear the hits for a night out with live music.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: guitarfool2002 on February 15, 2017, 08:46:16 AM
Unleash the love (of the Captain) :lol

In honor of Valentine's Day...uncork the Love!

(http://i115.photobucket.com/albums/n295/guitarfool2002/mike%20wine%20Cm6VXIEWYAA2Vnd.jpg%20large_zpsfmmtumz7.jpg)


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: SMiLE Brian on February 15, 2017, 08:48:29 AM
Mike is still pimping after all of these years! :lol :lol :lol


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: Aomdiddlywalla on February 15, 2017, 09:25:22 AM
We need soniclovenoise to re mix these boots!
We need to hear 'I'm Going Home' in un- hissed glory.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: Rocky Raccoon on February 15, 2017, 10:34:31 AM
By far BW's best solo work, and better than any BB record since Love You ... I'd love to see them released someday.

Honestly, if finished in a hip way in 1995-96 as a BB record, I think it would have started a new chapter in the group's career.

I don't know. I like the material but think that might be reaching--or maybe isn't, but isn't saying much.

- BW's best solo material. Personally I disagree with that: I'd rate it below BWPS, TLOS for sure, and if we're including covers behind Gershwin. Honestly, probably behind NPP, too, though it's all just one man's opinion. I do think it's his most conventional, and at least in the versions we have, maybe the best at neither catering to current fads nor fetishizing BW tropes of old.

- better than any BB album since Love You. Damning with faint praise!

- new chapter for BBs. That may be true, but as what? I'd say as a solid, but solidly, nostalgia act. Don't get me wrong, it would've been a more dignified identity than they had at the time. But maybe it would be more "hey Baby Boomers, this old band still makes albums for you--and don't forget to see them & buy a t-short and greatest hits comp this summer" rather than "hey world, this band makes great records."

Again, I like some of those songs and don't mean to sh*t on them or your opinion. Just my more cynical two cents.

It might not have been a huge hit but it's plausible it could have revitalized Brian as an artistic force, kind of having the same effect Flaming Pie had on Paul McCartney.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: the captain on February 15, 2017, 10:42:01 AM
Definitely could have. Though I'd argue that happened with Brian regardless around/after then. It's more the effect on the others, probably.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: KDS on February 15, 2017, 10:48:53 AM
This may be inappropriate, but are the Paley Sessions on YouTube, or are they available on the market as a tangible b@@tleg?


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: Lonely Summer on February 16, 2017, 12:07:10 AM
By far BW's best solo work, and better than any BB record since Love You ... I'd love to see them released someday.

Honestly, if finished in a hip way in 1995-96 as a BB record, I think it would have started a new chapter in the group's career.

I don't know. I like the material but think that might be reaching--or maybe isn't, but isn't saying much.

- BW's best solo material. Personally I disagree with that: I'd rate it below BWPS, TLOS for sure, and if we're including covers behind Gershwin. Honestly, probably behind NPP, too, though it's all just one man's opinion. I do think it's his most conventional, and at least in the versions we have, maybe the best at neither catering to current fads nor fetishizing BW tropes of old.

- better than any BB album since Love You. Damning with faint praise!

- new chapter for BBs. That may be true, but as what? I'd say as a solid, but solidly, nostalgia act. Don't get me wrong, it would've been a more dignified identity than they had at the time. But maybe it would be more "hey Baby Boomers, this old band still makes albums for you--and don't forget to see them & buy a t-short and greatest hits comp this summer" rather than "hey world, this band makes great records."

Again, I like some of those songs and don't mean to sh*t on them or your opinion. Just my more cynical two cents.

It might not have been a huge hit but it's plausible it could have revitalized Brian as an artistic force, kind of having the same effect Flaming Pie had on Paul McCartney.
What effect did Flaming Pine Tree have on McPauly? He's been a spent force for years. Oh, he does great business on his tours, because people come to hear him sing his Beatles classics, but when was the last time anyone really cared about a new album from the guy?
There are some good songs on the Paley sessions, but they're no holy grail. There's a reason IJWMFTT and OCA came out and Paley sessions did not.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: Matt H on February 16, 2017, 04:34:56 AM
I believe this is the full list of Paley Session tracks that have made it out on bootleg:

1.   Gettin' In Over My Head
2.   You're Still a Mystery feat. The Beach Boys
3.   Chain Reaction of Love
4.   Soul Searchin' feat. The Beach Boys
5.   It's Not Easy Being Me
6.   Desert Drive
7.   Saturday Morning in the City
8.   This Song Wants to Sleep With You Tonight
9.   Market Place
10.   I'm Broke
11.   Must Be a Miracle
12.   In My Moondreams
13.   Mary Anne
14.   Slightly American Music
15.   Proud Mary
16.   Frankie Avalon    
17.   Elbow 63'    
18.   Dancing The Night Away (Vocal)    
19.   Dancing The Night Away (Instrumental)    
20.   God Did It    
21.   Going Home    
22.   Some Sweet Day    
23.   What Rock 'n' Roll Can Do

I remember in an article from ESQ there were other songs mentioned as well, but I can't remember any of those titles now.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: HeyJude on February 16, 2017, 07:13:29 AM
What effect did Flaming Pine Tree have on McPauly? He's been a spent force for years. Oh, he does great business on his tours, because people come to hear him sing his Beatles classics, but when was the last time anyone really cared about a new album from the guy?

Not that the Grammys are the best measure of anything (though when a band or artist someone likes wins or gets nominated, then all of a sudden the Grammys are legit that *one* time), but "Flaming Pie" was nominated for Album of the Year, as was McCartney's 2005 album "Chaos and Creation in the Backyard."

In terms of live vs. studio, I'd argue the opposite. His live shows, while certainly money printing machines, are rather rote and uninteresting, and McCartney's voice is largely shot. Meanwhile, his studio material is often still interesting. It's not all great, but it's more progressive and varied and varied texturally than, say, Brian's last album. "New" from 2013 has some snoozers, some interesting things, and a few items where you realize McCartney still "has it" sometimes.

At least McCartney keeps creating and doesn't *only* rely on doing live gigs.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: HeyJude on February 16, 2017, 07:21:07 AM
Back to the Paley sessions, I was recently re-reading several old threads on the topic. I think the general takeaway after a lot discussion was that, while one could still argue they should have done the Paley stuff *instead* of "Stars and Stripes", they didn't *cancel* the Paley stuff *for* S&S. They simply set it aside with no clear idea of what the plan was, and moved to another project.

It makes sense from a logistical point of view; an album of remakes involves much less creative decision making and politics about songwriting credits, etc.

I think the Paley stuff could have been revisited; Carl's illness in late 1996 going into 1997 seemed to stall any further studio work. Not that the Paley stuff *for sure* would have happened had Carl lived, but I think the Paley stuff is more a case of "never revisited" rather than definitively canceled.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: HeyJude on February 16, 2017, 07:23:51 AM
I believe this is the full list of Paley Session tracks that have made it out on bootleg:

1.   Gettin' In Over My Head
2.   You're Still a Mystery feat. The Beach Boys
3.   Chain Reaction of Love
4.   Soul Searchin' feat. The Beach Boys
5.   It's Not Easy Being Me
6.   Desert Drive
7.   Saturday Morning in the City
8.   This Song Wants to Sleep With You Tonight
9.   Market Place
10.   I'm Broke
11.   Must Be a Miracle
12.   In My Moondreams
13.   Mary Anne
14.   Slightly American Music
15.   Proud Mary
16.   Frankie Avalon    
17.   Elbow 63'    
18.   Dancing The Night Away (Vocal)    
19.   Dancing The Night Away (Instrumental)    
20.   God Did It    
21.   Going Home    
22.   Some Sweet Day    
23.   What Rock 'n' Roll Can Do

I remember in an article from ESQ there were other songs mentioned as well, but I can't remember any of those titles now.

If we're talking all the variation, we could also add the Andy Paley "guide vocal" version of "Soul Searchin'."

I've never bothered to check whether the mix of "This Song Wants to Sleep...." on the actual circulated "Paley sessions" tape is any different from the officially-released mix of the song from the European "Do It Again" CD single. So there may be two variations of that. I tend to think they're the same mix, even if running at varying speeds. Either way, the mixes sounds pretty similar if they're not identical.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: guitarfool2002 on February 16, 2017, 07:31:35 AM
At least McCartney keeps creating and doesn't *only* rely on doing live gigs.

I agree with this 100%, and it's the same point I have made with Brian Wilson too. If you're a fan of these musicians as songwriters and guys who made some of the finest music in recording studios from the past 50+ years as producers and artists...you welcome and celebrate that they're still creating music in the studio and writing new songs on a semi-regular basis. If someone is labeled a legendary songwriter, it is great when you have a chance to hear them writing and releasing new songs. The judgement on whether they are good or bad or successful or not, that's normal reaction depending on each song. You like it or not, but they're still creating - exactly right.

Compare that to...oh, never mind.  :)


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: southbay on February 16, 2017, 08:22:38 AM
Back to the Paley sessions, I was recently re-reading several old threads on the topic. I think the general takeaway after a lot discussion was that, while one could still argue they should have done the Paley stuff *instead* of "Stars and Stripes", they didn't *cancel* the Paley stuff *for* S&S. They simply set it aside with no clear idea of what the plan was, and moved to another project.

It makes sense from a logistical point of view; an album of remakes involves much less creative decision making and politics about songwriting credits, etc.

I think the Paley stuff could have been revisited; Carl's illness in late 1996 going into 1997 seemed to stall any further studio work. Not that the Paley stuff *for sure* would have happened had Carl lived, but I think the Paley stuff is more a case of "never revisited" rather than definitively canceled.

I have said this many times on this board, but...in 1996, I was told by Elliott Lott during the making of S&S that the Don Was/Brian Wilson produced Beach Boys album of Wilson/Paley (and whatever else) material was absolutely NOT dead.  Rather, it was temporarily on hold during S&S; that the band felt MUCH more positive and hopeful about the "Was" album than S&S; that the band saw S&S as a quick and easy opportunity to get back in the studio with Brian in a  less pressurized environment on familiar material to get their feet wet first.

How did that come up? I saw him backstage at a BB show and flat out asked him--why are they doing this instead of that? What's up?


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: Hickory Violet Part IV on February 16, 2017, 08:33:37 AM
Back to the Paley sessions, I was recently re-reading several old threads on the topic. I think the general takeaway after a lot discussion was that, while one could still argue they should have done the Paley stuff *instead* of "Stars and Stripes", they didn't *cancel* the Paley stuff *for* S&S. They simply set it aside with no clear idea of what the plan was, and moved to another project.

It makes sense from a logistical point of view; an album of remakes involves much less creative decision making and politics about songwriting credits, etc.

I think the Paley stuff could have been revisited; Carl's illness in late 1996 going into 1997 seemed to stall any further studio work. Not that the Paley stuff *for sure* would have happened had Carl lived, but I think the Paley stuff is more a case of "never revisited" rather than definitively canceled.

I have said this many times on this board, but...in 1996, I was told by Elliott Lott during the making of S&S that the Don Was/Brian Wilson produced Beach Boys album of Wilson/Paley (and whatever else) material was absolutely NOT dead.  Rather, it was temporarily on hold during S&S; that the band felt MUCH more positive and hopeful about the "Was" album than S&S; that the band saw S&S as a quick and easy opportunity to get back in the studio with Brian in a  less pressurized environment on familiar material to get their feet wet first.

How did that come up? I saw him backstage at a BB show and flat out asked him--why are they doing this instead of that? What's up?

So Stars and Stripes was acting like a 15 Big Ones? Makes sense. Gives the Paley stuff yet more parralels with Love You.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: guitarfool2002 on February 16, 2017, 08:39:40 AM
Back to the Paley sessions, I was recently re-reading several old threads on the topic. I think the general takeaway after a lot discussion was that, while one could still argue they should have done the Paley stuff *instead* of "Stars and Stripes", they didn't *cancel* the Paley stuff *for* S&S. They simply set it aside with no clear idea of what the plan was, and moved to another project.

It makes sense from a logistical point of view; an album of remakes involves much less creative decision making and politics about songwriting credits, etc.

I think the Paley stuff could have been revisited; Carl's illness in late 1996 going into 1997 seemed to stall any further studio work. Not that the Paley stuff *for sure* would have happened had Carl lived, but I think the Paley stuff is more a case of "never revisited" rather than definitively canceled.

I have said this many times on this board, but...in 1996, I was told by Elliott Lott during the making of S&S that the Don Was/Brian Wilson produced Beach Boys album of Wilson/Paley (and whatever else) material was absolutely NOT dead.  Rather, it was temporarily on hold during S&S; that the band felt MUCH more positive and hopeful about the "Was" album than S&S; that the band saw S&S as a quick and easy opportunity to get back in the studio with Brian in a  less pressurized environment on familiar material to get their feet wet first.

How did that come up? I saw him backstage at a BB show and flat out asked him--why are they doing this instead of that? What's up?

That's what was said, and whether the material was dead or not, it kind of bypasses some of the events like trying to bring in the High Llamas' Sean O'Hagan to work on making new music with Brian for the BB's, and reports that Carl put the kibosh on "Soul Searchin" for one specific example because he didn't think it was commercial enough.

And there is the contradiction, one of several during this time. Were The High Llamas 'commercial' enough at that time to try bringing in O'Hagan to make commercial music with Brian for the band, if that were the concern beyond Carl's concerns? How does a decision to bring in an outside musician/producer/writer who didn't have near the track record in terms of making hit records that Don Was and those around Was had at that time line up with wanting to get commercial songs to release? They had a collection of songs to work with already, which Brian along with people who made hit records had been working up, so why bring in someone else, and to do what in that process?

Maybe the question too is at what point in time, or in the process, was O'Hagan considered for that role? Was it before, during, or after there was a collection of songs in the can from the Was-Paley projects? That could be one aspect to consider.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: HeyJude on February 16, 2017, 09:06:49 AM
So Stars and Stripes was acting like a 15 Big Ones? Makes sense. Gives the Paley stuff yet more parralels with Love You.

While not entirely non-analogous, I think "Stars and Stripes" was even more commercially-motivated (however much it ended up bombing) compared to "15 Big Ones." 15BO was in part an exercise in getting Brian working again, and ultimate ended up kind of being a case of giving up and releasing what they had.

Whereas, with S&S, it seems like it was more a case of latching onto something another band had done successfully, and trying it with the BBs, all the while knowing that such a project would have less of the creative/political roadblocks that most any "proper" BB album had had over the years and would always have.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: thorgil on February 16, 2017, 09:11:05 AM
I fear GIOMH ruined any chance, for me, to be enthusiastic about the Paley sessions. :(


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: HeyJude on February 16, 2017, 09:15:53 AM
While I pointed out above that the Was/Paley project was not dead at the point they did S&S, I don't think it was imminent or a sure thing either after S&S.

Bruce has spoken rather dismissively about the material. Carl reportedly had misgivings. Mike in his comments to Carlin seems rather "meh" about the material. I think Al is the only one who has mentioned some level of being into it (via a Record Collector variation of his "Goldmine" interview with Ken Sharp).

We also have the on-site report of one of those group vocal sessions, and it doesn't exactly sound like the best atmosphere or circumstances for going on to complete a whole album. Weird passive aggressive stuff with Brian and Mike, etc.

We additionally have the sketchy reports of Carl walking out of a session, though for non-musical reasons.

What is clear is that they needed a *group manager* and *group producer* to mold the whole thing and actually make it happen. Basically, they needed what Joe Thomas ended up doing in 2012. The "TWGMTR" album is a relatively similar scenario to the Paley sessions, or I suppose what the Paley sessions could have been. An album of songs mostly written by Brian with a writer outside the group, with many of the backing tracks recorded without the band and prior to their involvement. The Paley/Was sessions even had the shoehorned attempt to have Brian and Mike write a song together based presumably off of something Brian and Andy had already started, not totally unlike handing off some lyric chores to Mike for TWGMTR.

It appears the group political dynamic did not allow for this sort of thing to really get going in 1995. The era of the BBs and PS and Smile having "indie cred" was in its nascence at the time, Carl was evidently moving *away* from that aesthetic, and Don Was for whatever reason didn't have the ability to corral and organize the band the way Joe Thomas did in 2012.

Perhaps what they would have needed circa 1995 is something they had in 2012. That is, had Brian and Andy (and/or Don Was) taken all of the Paley sessions material to a label and scored a record deal and funding for the Beach Boys to get the album done, maybe then they would have all reconvened and actually done it. But the piecemeal fashion with which they were working on the Was/Paley sessions certainly didn't help considering many of the band were also "meh" about the material.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: guitarfool2002 on February 16, 2017, 09:41:15 AM
I'd argue that the indie cred was already there in 1995, as someone who was witnessing it firsthand and following all of it. The music, especially from 1966-67, was already getting name-checked and even referenced in the music of artists in their 20's - and their fans were some of the ones seeking it out which *may* have led to the demand which helped deliver certain releases to follow. That buzz was absolutely not surrounding anything the band was officially doing, but may have been driving demand for something like the PS or Smile sessions proposed boxes being hinted at even around '94 in various music press outlets. There was even Todd Rundgren in the mix with references to proposing a Smile CD-Rom for fans to craft their own mixes.

The frustrating thing too is that the template which worked in 2012 with TWGMTR was there in 1994-5, I have a studio photo of Brian and Was with an all-star lineup of rock session players who had a resume a mile long of big hit records.

With Carl's misgivings and moving away from the indie aesthetic, I have to ask again why the decision to try bringing a relatively unknown indie musician like O'Hagan into the producer's/writer's position when they already had Brian and an all-star lineup of musicians who could get it done? It still doesn't fit the narrative at all. And the results were predictable - it didn't pan out.

One other element of this: Ok, so Stars & Stripes got done and released with associated press coverage and Nashville appearances, TV spots, etc. But it is at the core an album of covers with the Beach Boys playing a backup role to a lineup of country performers, half of which were not even A-list performers in the country genre. Willie Nelson was the ace in the deck, and it's perhaps no surprise that was the track which Brian was most involved in directly producing, followed perhaps second by Lorrie Morgan which is why her track still gets some airplay here and there. Even for fans wanting to buy an album to hear the Beach Boys, or to hear new versions where Carl or Mike or Brian were singing duets or new lead vocals, it featured instead the original Boys as supporting players. It's hard to consider it a BB's album for that reason, any more than the Eagles tribute album which inspired it was an Eagles album. It was outside artists covering the BB's with the real BB's in supporting roles.

And if the idea was even in part to ease Brian back into the process, he kind of shined on the project after Willie's track anyway, right?

I think that's where there isn't as much of a relation to 15 BO/Love You. In those cases, it was the real Beach Boys featured on the albums. And in the case of Love You, it was Brian sometimes being literally forced to write songs as part of Landy's bizarre regimen, that according to Carlin's interviews included a Landy goon holding a baseball bat standing behind Brian at the piano. That wasn't the case in 1994-5.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: Hickory Violet Part IV on February 16, 2017, 10:12:25 AM
I fear GIOMH ruined any chance, for me, to be enthusiastic about the Paley sessions. :(

I think I'm the only person who likes this album. I much prefer it to anything done with Joe Thomas's involvement. Anyway, I transgress.......


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: ForHerCryingSoul on February 16, 2017, 12:03:37 PM
I fear GIOMH ruined any chance, for me, to be enthusiastic about the Paley sessions. :(

I think I'm the only person who likes this album. I much prefer it to anything done with Joe Thomas's involvement. Anyway, I transgress.......
I agree.  I just think the Paley production and vocals were much better than in GiOMH.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: the captain on February 16, 2017, 12:19:34 PM
I think Hickory was saying the opposite of that.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: HeyJude on February 16, 2017, 12:42:46 PM
I'd argue that the indie cred was already there in 1995, as someone who was witnessing it firsthand and following all of it. The music, especially from 1966-67, was already getting name-checked and even referenced in the music of artists in their 20's - and their fans were some of the ones seeking it out which *may* have led to the demand which helped deliver certain releases to follow. That buzz was absolutely not surrounding anything the band was officially doing, but may have been driving demand for something like the PS or Smile sessions proposed boxes being hinted at even around '94 in various music press outlets. There was even Todd Rundgren in the mix with references to proposing a Smile CD-Rom for fans to craft their own mixes.

That mid 90s period with Was and the documentary and "Orange Crate Art", and following on the heels of the "Smile" stuff on the GV boxed set, that all was definitely a point where the "indie cred" factor was gaining momentum.

I think a full album of BB vocals on the Paley stuff would have received good critical notices.

But it seems as though Carl may have not shared that same view or optimism concerning doing that type of material, or Brian's ability/condition, etc. The brief stint of doing "deep cuts" in late 1993 on the BB shows largely ended with those dates. A few remnants of that deep cut setlist remained in 1994 (e.g. "All This is That"), but by 1995 it was back to meat-and-potatoes setlists.

The question, and this is something that even *slightly* more insight to Carl's feelings around this time would help immensely, is how to digest Carl's apprehensiveness about and high standards being applied to the Paley material, versus what he *was* okaying and contributing to around that same time with the band (stale setlist, "Stars and Stripes", the awful "Status Quo" collaboration, and if we want to go back a few years prior, the wonky "Summer in Paradise" project, bland tracks like "Crocodile Rock" and "Problem Child", etc.). Did he really like S&S or SIP more than the Paley material? Or did he apply a very different artistic/critical standard to each? Or was he just looking at commercial viability? Or maybe it was political/interpersonal stuff with Brian at that time. Or did he just have arbitrary opinions that only he could have explained?


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: southbay on February 16, 2017, 01:53:51 PM
I'd argue that the indie cred was already there in 1995, as someone who was witnessing it firsthand and following all of it. The music, especially from 1966-67, was already getting name-checked and even referenced in the music of artists in their 20's - and their fans were some of the ones seeking it out which *may* have led to the demand which helped deliver certain releases to follow. That buzz was absolutely not surrounding anything the band was officially doing, but may have been driving demand for something like the PS or Smile sessions proposed boxes being hinted at even around '94 in various music press outlets. There was even Todd Rundgren in the mix with references to proposing a Smile CD-Rom for fans to craft their own mixes.

That mid 90s period with Was and the documentary and "Orange Crate Art", and following on the heels of the "Smile" stuff on the GV boxed set, that all was definitely a point where the "indie cred" factor was gaining momentum.

I think a full album of BB vocals on the Paley stuff would have received good critical notices.

But it seems as though Carl may have not shared that same view or optimism concerning doing that type of material, or Brian's ability/condition, etc. The brief stint of doing "deep cuts" in late 1993 on the BB shows largely ended with those dates. A few remnants of that deep cut setlist remained in 1994 (e.g. "All This is That"), but by 1995 it was back to meat-and-potatoes setlists.

The question, and this is something that even *slightly* more insight to Carl's feelings around this time would help immensely, is how to digest Carl's apprehensiveness about and high standards being applied to the Paley material, versus what he *was* okaying and contributing to around that same time with the band (stale setlist, "Stars and Stripes", the awful "Status Quo" collaboration, and if we want to go back a few years prior, the wonky "Summer in Paradise" project, bland tracks like "Crocodile Rock" and "Problem Child", etc.). Did he really like S&S or SIP more than the Paley material? Or did he apply a very different artistic/critical standard to each? Or was he just looking at commercial viability? Or maybe it was political/interpersonal stuff with Brian at that time. Or did he just have arbitrary opinions that only he could have explained?

Yep, the great and now always, unanswerable questions.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: HeyJude on February 16, 2017, 01:56:09 PM
Probably unanswerable, but while I respect how tight-lipped everyone around Carl has been for all these years, I'd love to hear some insight from those around him about that era and those sessions. It's not like I'm looking for gossipy stuff; I'm just curious what his musical reasoning was back then.

I know that by 1997 the answer to any musical questions may well be that Carl had bigger things on his plate.

But what was his deal in September 1995 for instance when he was working on those two Paley songs?


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: Lonely Summer on February 16, 2017, 02:09:58 PM
What effect did Flaming Pine Tree have on McPauly? He's been a spent force for years. Oh, he does great business on his tours, because people come to hear him sing his Beatles classics, but when was the last time anyone really cared about a new album from the guy?

Not that the Grammys are the best measure of anything (though when a band or artist someone likes wins or gets nominated, then all of a sudden the Grammys are legit that *one* time), but "Flaming Pie" was nominated for Album of the Year, as was McCartney's 2005 album "Chaos and Creation in the Backyard."

In terms of live vs. studio, I'd argue the opposite. His live shows, while certainly money printing machines, are rather rote and uninteresting, and McCartney's voice is largely shot. Meanwhile, his studio material is often still interesting. It's not all great, but it's more progressive and varied and varied texturally than, say, Brian's last album. "New" from 2013 has some snoozers, some interesting things, and a few items where you realize McCartney still "has it" sometimes.

At least McCartney keeps creating and doesn't *only* rely on doing live gigs.
There's a real disconnect between studio and live work these days for older artists like Paul and Brian. In the studio, they seem to be free to do whatever; on the road, it's gotta be greatest hits night after night.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: Lonely Summer on February 16, 2017, 02:17:33 PM
I'd argue that the indie cred was already there in 1995, as someone who was witnessing it firsthand and following all of it. The music, especially from 1966-67, was already getting name-checked and even referenced in the music of artists in their 20's - and their fans were some of the ones seeking it out which *may* have led to the demand which helped deliver certain releases to follow. That buzz was absolutely not surrounding anything the band was officially doing, but may have been driving demand for something like the PS or Smile sessions proposed boxes being hinted at even around '94 in various music press outlets. There was even Todd Rundgren in the mix with references to proposing a Smile CD-Rom for fans to craft their own mixes.

The frustrating thing too is that the template which worked in 2012 with TWGMTR was there in 1994-5, I have a studio photo of Brian and Was with an all-star lineup of rock session players who had a resume a mile long of big hit records.

With Carl's misgivings and moving away from the indie aesthetic, I have to ask again why the decision to try bringing a relatively unknown indie musician like O'Hagan into the producer's/writer's position when they already had Brian and an all-star lineup of musicians who could get it done? It still doesn't fit the narrative at all. And the results were predictable - it didn't pan out.

One other element of this: Ok, so Stars & Stripes got done and released with associated press coverage and Nashville appearances, TV spots, etc. But it is at the core an album of covers with the Beach Boys playing a backup role to a lineup of country performers, half of which were not even A-list performers in the country genre. Willie Nelson was the ace in the deck, and it's perhaps no surprise that was the track which Brian was most involved in directly producing, followed perhaps second by Lorrie Morgan which is why her track still gets some airplay here and there. Even for fans wanting to buy an album to hear the Beach Boys, or to hear new versions where Carl or Mike or Brian were singing duets or new lead vocals, it featured instead the original Boys as supporting players. It's hard to consider it a BB's album for that reason, any more than the Eagles tribute album which inspired it was an Eagles album. It was outside artists covering the BB's with the real BB's in supporting roles.

And if the idea was even in part to ease Brian back into the process, he kind of shined on the project after Willie's track anyway, right?

I think that's where there isn't as much of a relation to 15 BO/Love You. In those cases, it was the real Beach Boys featured on the albums. And in the case of Love You, it was Brian sometimes being literally forced to write songs as part of Landy's bizarre regimen, that according to Carlin's interviews included a Landy goon holding a baseball bat standing behind Brian at the piano. That wasn't the case in 1994-5.
I've only listened to S&S a couple times, mainly for Willie, and Timothy B, but that project could have been a lot better. Imagine more A-list country singers being involved - Merle Haggard, Glen Campbell (that would seem to be a natural); whatever happened to the Tammy Wynette track? Of course the problem in 1996 was those artists were no longer popular on country radio. And that's what messes up so many of these projects - TRYING to be commercial, instead of just trying to make good music.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: Jay on February 16, 2017, 02:24:45 PM
What effect did Flaming Pine Tree have on McPauly? He's been a spent force for years. Oh, he does great business on his tours, because people come to hear him sing his Beatles classics, but when was the last time anyone really cared about a new album from the guy?

Not that the Grammys are the best measure of anything (though when a band or artist someone likes wins or gets nominated, then all of a sudden the Grammys are legit that *one* time), but "Flaming Pie" was nominated for Album of the Year, as was McCartney's 2005 album "Chaos and Creation in the Backyard."

In terms of live vs. studio, I'd argue the opposite. His live shows, while certainly money printing machines, are rather rote and uninteresting, and McCartney's voice is largely shot. Meanwhile, his studio material is often still interesting. It's not all great, but it's more progressive and varied and varied texturally than, say, Brian's last album. "New" from 2013 has some snoozers, some interesting things, and a few items where you realize McCartney still "has it" sometimes.

At least McCartney keeps creating and doesn't *only* rely on doing live gigs.
There's a real disconnect between studio and live work these days for older artists like Paul and Brian. In the studio, they seem to be free to do whatever; on the road, it's gotta be greatest hits night after night.
I believe Paul is still pretty flexible with his set list, though.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: Mr Fulton on February 16, 2017, 02:25:19 PM
I never understood why the other beach boys didn't like these songs


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: Matt H on February 16, 2017, 02:34:06 PM
I'd argue that the indie cred was already there in 1995, as someone who was witnessing it firsthand and following all of it. The music, especially from 1966-67, was already getting name-checked and even referenced in the music of artists in their 20's - and their fans were some of the ones seeking it out which *may* have led to the demand which helped deliver certain releases to follow. That buzz was absolutely not surrounding anything the band was officially doing, but may have been driving demand for something like the PS or Smile sessions proposed boxes being hinted at even around '94 in various music press outlets. There was even Todd Rundgren in the mix with references to proposing a Smile CD-Rom for fans to craft their own mixes.

The frustrating thing too is that the template which worked in 2012 with TWGMTR was there in 1994-5, I have a studio photo of Brian and Was with an all-star lineup of rock session players who had a resume a mile long of big hit records.

With Carl's misgivings and moving away from the indie aesthetic, I have to ask again why the decision to try bringing a relatively unknown indie musician like O'Hagan into the producer's/writer's position when they already had Brian and an all-star lineup of musicians who could get it done? It still doesn't fit the narrative at all. And the results were predictable - it didn't pan out.

One other element of this: Ok, so Stars & Stripes got done and released with associated press coverage and Nashville appearances, TV spots, etc. But it is at the core an album of covers with the Beach Boys playing a backup role to a lineup of country performers, half of which were not even A-list performers in the country genre. Willie Nelson was the ace in the deck, and it's perhaps no surprise that was the track which Brian was most involved in directly producing, followed perhaps second by Lorrie Morgan which is why her track still gets some airplay here and there. Even for fans wanting to buy an album to hear the Beach Boys, or to hear new versions where Carl or Mike or Brian were singing duets or new lead vocals, it featured instead the original Boys as supporting players. It's hard to consider it a BB's album for that reason, any more than the Eagles tribute album which inspired it was an Eagles album. It was outside artists covering the BB's with the real BB's in supporting roles.

And if the idea was even in part to ease Brian back into the process, he kind of shined on the project after Willie's track anyway, right?

I think that's where there isn't as much of a relation to 15 BO/Love You. In those cases, it was the real Beach Boys featured on the albums. And in the case of Love You, it was Brian sometimes being literally forced to write songs as part of Landy's bizarre regimen, that according to Carlin's interviews included a Landy goon holding a baseball bat standing behind Brian at the piano. That wasn't the case in 1994-5.
I've only listened to S&S a couple times, mainly for Willie, and Timothy B, but that project could have been a lot better. Imagine more A-list country singers being involved - Merle Haggard, Glen Campbell (that would seem to be a natural); whatever happened to the Tammy Wynette track? Of course the problem in 1996 was those artists were no longer popular on country radio. And that's what messes up so many of these projects - TRYING to be commercial, instead of just trying to make good music.

The Tammy Wynette track was released on this album:

https://www.amazon.com/Tammy-Wynette-Remembered-Various-Artists/dp/B00000ADGE


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: Matt H on February 16, 2017, 02:35:45 PM
I seem to remember reading that at one point Carl was going to guest on an Imagination song that was co-written by Van Dyke Parks, but that his health deteriorated too quickly.  I think I read that in an old ESQ that was dedicated to the Imagination record.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: CenturyDeprived on February 16, 2017, 02:55:34 PM
I seem to remember reading that at one point Carl was going to guest on an Imagination song that was co-written by Van Dyke Parks, but that his health deteriorated too quickly.  I think I read that in an old ESQ that was dedicated to the Imagination record.

I wonder what Carl would have thought of the production style of Imagination. Maybe he would have sorta kinda dug it, since it's not all that far off from the AC sound of the Beckley-Lamm-Wilson stuff.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: Rocky Raccoon on February 16, 2017, 03:03:41 PM
I fear GIOMH ruined any chance, for me, to be enthusiastic about the Paley sessions. :(

I think I'm the only person who likes this album. I much prefer it to anything done with Joe Thomas's involvement. Anyway, I transgress.......
I agree.  I just think the Paley production and vocals were much better than in GiOMH.

I actually disagree.  I think Brian's vocals improved after the Paley sessions and he sounded better once he started singing in a lower register as he has been since Imagination.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: RangeRoverA1 on February 16, 2017, 03:15:02 PM
Not that the Grammys are the best measure of anything (though when a band or artist someone likes wins or gets nominated, then all of a sudden the Grammys are legit that *one* time) [...]
This is good/ funny point. It can apply to R&RHoF discussion as well.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: ♩♬☮ Billy C ♯♫♩☮ on February 16, 2017, 03:23:32 PM
Quote
'd argue that the indie cred was already there in 1995, as someone who was witnessing it firsthand and following all of it. The music, especially from 1966-67, was already getting name-checked and even referenced in the music of artists in their 20's - and their fans were some of the ones seeking it out which *may* have led to the demand which helped deliver certain releases to follow. That buzz was absolutely not surrounding anything the band was officially doing, but may have been driving demand for something like the PS or Smile sessions proposed boxes being hinted at even around '94 in various music press outlets. There was even Todd Rundgren in the mix with references to proposing a Smile CD-Rom for fans to craft their own mixes.

The frustrating thing too is that the template which worked in 2012 with TWGMTR was there in 1994-5, I have a studio photo of Brian and Was with an all-star lineup of rock session players who had a resume a mile long of big hit records.

With Carl's misgivings and moving away from the indie aesthetic, I have to ask again why the decision to try bringing a relatively unknown indie musician like O'Hagan into the producer's/writer's position when they already had Brian and an all-star lineup of musicians who could get it done? It still doesn't fit the narrative at all. And the results were predictable - it didn't pan out.

I think O'Hagan was brought in specifically BECAUSE of the indie cred.


I remember that era well. I was just getting into the band at the time, and I liked the fact that the band was getting some real street cred for the first time in 30 years. Most of that, of course had to do with Brian, who was getting props from Billy Corgan and Thurston Moore (just to name two). Brian was looked at as being cool by the general public, the hipsters, AND people like me.  And then that shitty Imagination record came out and killed it. He has released some great work since then but it's been another "what if" that shouldn't have been


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: ♩♬☮ Billy C ♯♫♩☮ on February 16, 2017, 03:27:17 PM
Quote
The question, and this is something that even *slightly* more insight to Carl's feelings around this time would help immensely, is how to digest Carl's apprehensiveness about and high standards being applied to the Paley material, versus what he *was* okaying and contributing to around that same time with the band (stale setlist, "Stars and Stripes", the awful "Status Quo" collaboration, and if we want to go back a few years prior, the wonky "Summer in Paradise" project, bland tracks like "Crocodile Rock" and "Problem Child", etc.). Did he really like S&S or SIP more than the Paley material? Or did he apply a very different artistic/critical standard to each? Or was he just looking at commercial viability? Or maybe it was political/interpersonal stuff with Brian at that time. Or did he just have arbitrary opinions that only he could have explained?

That's something I've never understood, or why he started acting like a dick to Brian apparently.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: Jay on February 16, 2017, 03:37:19 PM
Quote
The question, and this is something that even *slightly* more insight to Carl's feelings around this time would help immensely, is how to digest Carl's apprehensiveness about and high standards being applied to the Paley material, versus what he *was* okaying and contributing to around that same time with the band (stale setlist, "Stars and Stripes", the awful "Status Quo" collaboration, and if we want to go back a few years prior, the wonky "Summer in Paradise" project, bland tracks like "Crocodile Rock" and "Problem Child", etc.). Did he really like S&S or SIP more than the Paley material? Or did he apply a very different artistic/critical standard to each? Or was he just looking at commercial viability? Or maybe it was political/interpersonal stuff with Brian at that time. Or did he just have arbitrary opinions that only he could have explained?

That's something I've never understood, or why he started acting like a dick to Brian apparently.
I read somewhere that Carl had decided to take legal action against brian because of "his" book, but he got too sick.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: CenturyDeprived on February 16, 2017, 04:01:25 PM
I fear GIOMH ruined any chance, for me, to be enthusiastic about the Paley sessions. :(

I think I'm the only person who likes this album. I much prefer it to anything done with Joe Thomas's involvement. Anyway, I transgress.......
I agree.  I just think the Paley production and vocals were much better than in GiOMH.

I actually disagree.  I think Brian's vocals improved after the Paley sessions and he sounded better once he started singing in a lower register as he has been since Imagination.

Brian's vocals weren't super great during the Paley era, but conversely, the production on many of those songs was rad.

Unfortunately with The BBs, it ironically seems that far too often, there's one element that is often somewhat detrimental to a particular project/era, even though there are other saving graces of that particular project/era. Vocals will be beyond stellar (Carl, for example) on truly subpar material (BB85), or vocals will be lacking (Carl, Brian, etc) on a project that is musically rad (Love You).  It seems the Paley material was continuing that streak.

I wonder how peoples' opinions of GIOMH (the album) would be different if Brian had put Gershwin album-level care into the vocal delivery. Because I think GIOMH is a pretty good album (with some obvious weak spots) that is definitely made worse by the apathy (at least that how I read into it) which you can hear in his vocal delivery.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: CenturyDeprived on February 16, 2017, 04:02:23 PM
Quote
'd argue that the indie cred was already there in 1995, as someone who was witnessing it firsthand and following all of it. The music, especially from 1966-67, was already getting name-checked and even referenced in the music of artists in their 20's - and their fans were some of the ones seeking it out which *may* have led to the demand which helped deliver certain releases to follow. That buzz was absolutely not surrounding anything the band was officially doing, but may have been driving demand for something like the PS or Smile sessions proposed boxes being hinted at even around '94 in various music press outlets. There was even Todd Rundgren in the mix with references to proposing a Smile CD-Rom for fans to craft their own mixes.

The frustrating thing too is that the template which worked in 2012 with TWGMTR was there in 1994-5, I have a studio photo of Brian and Was with an all-star lineup of rock session players who had a resume a mile long of big hit records.

With Carl's misgivings and moving away from the indie aesthetic, I have to ask again why the decision to try bringing a relatively unknown indie musician like O'Hagan into the producer's/writer's position when they already had Brian and an all-star lineup of musicians who could get it done? It still doesn't fit the narrative at all. And the results were predictable - it didn't pan out.

I think O'Hagan was brought in specifically BECAUSE of the indie cred.


I remember that era well. I was just getting into the band at the time, and I liked the fact that the band was getting some real street cred for the first time in 30 years. Most of that, of course had to do with Brian, who was getting props from Billy Corgan and Thurston Moore (just to name two). Brian was looked at as being cool by the general public, the hipsters, AND people like me.  And then that shitty Imagination record came out and killed it. He has released some great work since then but it's been another "what if" that shouldn't have been

Totally. Can you imagine if an album like TLOS had come out in 1998 instead of Imagination?


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: CenturyDeprived on February 16, 2017, 04:05:44 PM
Quote
The question, and this is something that even *slightly* more insight to Carl's feelings around this time would help immensely, is how to digest Carl's apprehensiveness about and high standards being applied to the Paley material, versus what he *was* okaying and contributing to around that same time with the band (stale setlist, "Stars and Stripes", the awful "Status Quo" collaboration, and if we want to go back a few years prior, the wonky "Summer in Paradise" project, bland tracks like "Crocodile Rock" and "Problem Child", etc.). Did he really like S&S or SIP more than the Paley material? Or did he apply a very different artistic/critical standard to each? Or was he just looking at commercial viability? Or maybe it was political/interpersonal stuff with Brian at that time. Or did he just have arbitrary opinions that only he could have explained?

That's something I've never understood, or why he started acting like a dick to Brian apparently.

I suppose Carl had legit reason to be resentful due to the book (as did Mike), but I imagine that people like Mike may have egged on that resentment. If you are bugged at somebody for something, and are constantly surrounded and on tour with someone who shares a similar deep resentment about something, I can imagine that could have contributed to the relationship getting somewhat toxic. It's such a shame that the bastard Landy contributed so greatly to permanently straining Brian's relationships with others.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: the captain on February 16, 2017, 04:15:21 PM

I wonder how peoples' opinions of GIOMH (the album) would be different if Brian had put Gershwin album-level care into the vocal delivery. Because I think GIOMH is a pretty good album (with some obvious weak spots) that is definitely made worse by the apathy (at least that how I read into it) which you can hear in his vocal delivery.

No, no, no question whatsoever. I agree 100%. I don't think it's a stellar album by any means, but it's an OK album in terms of songs and instrumental tracks. The vocals, goshdarn, c'mon Brian. The wall-o-Brian isn't my style to begin with, but the wall-o-bad-Brian? He had a perfectly good band in the midst of working out the greatest then-unreleased album of all time, and yet somehow he sings GIOMH (mostly) alone. Badly.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: southbay on February 16, 2017, 05:25:36 PM
Relations weren't THAT strained in 1995.  After all, Carl did serve as the best man at Brian's wedding that year

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CaiDoi0W0AAjVDt.jpg

And one from Ocean Way during the "Was" sessions...

http://assets.rollingstone.com/assets/images/gallery/500x595/97d538172f97cc26d5b25edd2b25f9f8677edb3f.jpg



Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: CenturyDeprived on February 16, 2017, 05:36:04 PM
Relations weren't THAT strained in 1995.  After all, Carl did serve as the best man at Brian's wedding that year

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CaiDoi0W0AAjVDt.jpg

And one from Ocean Way during the "Was" sessions...

http://assets.rollingstone.com/assets/images/gallery/500x595/97d538172f97cc26d5b25edd2b25f9f8677edb3f.jpg



Carl has a very Denny-like gaze/look in hat Ocean Way pic.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: ♩♬☮ Billy C ♯♫♩☮ on February 16, 2017, 07:41:29 PM
Quote
'd argue that the indie cred was already there in 1995, as someone who was witnessing it firsthand and following all of it. The music, especially from 1966-67, was already getting name-checked and even referenced in the music of artists in their 20's - and their fans were some of the ones seeking it out which *may* have led to the demand which helped deliver certain releases to follow. That buzz was absolutely not surrounding anything the band was officially doing, but may have been driving demand for something like the PS or Smile sessions proposed boxes being hinted at even around '94 in various music press outlets. There was even Todd Rundgren in the mix with references to proposing a Smile CD-Rom for fans to craft their own mixes.

The frustrating thing too is that the template which worked in 2012 with TWGMTR was there in 1994-5, I have a studio photo of Brian and Was with an all-star lineup of rock session players who had a resume a mile long of big hit records.

With Carl's misgivings and moving away from the indie aesthetic, I have to ask again why the decision to try bringing a relatively unknown indie musician like O'Hagan into the producer's/writer's position when they already had Brian and an all-star lineup of musicians who could get it done? It still doesn't fit the narrative at all. And the results were predictable - it didn't pan out.

I think O'Hagan was brought in specifically BECAUSE of the indie cred.


I remember that era well. I was just getting into the band at the time, and I liked the fact that the band was getting some real street cred for the first time in 30 years. Most of that, of course had to do with Brian, who was getting props from Billy Corgan and Thurston Moore (just to name two). Brian was looked at as being cool by the general public, the hipsters, AND people like me.  And then that shitty Imagination record came out and killed it. He has released some great work since then but it's been another "what if" that shouldn't have been

Totally. Can you imagine if an album like TLOS had come out in 1998 instead of Imagination?

I think I'd have been blissed out for sure.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: Lonely Summer on February 16, 2017, 10:53:24 PM
Quote
The question, and this is something that even *slightly* more insight to Carl's feelings around this time would help immensely, is how to digest Carl's apprehensiveness about and high standards being applied to the Paley material, versus what he *was* okaying and contributing to around that same time with the band (stale setlist, "Stars and Stripes", the awful "Status Quo" collaboration, and if we want to go back a few years prior, the wonky "Summer in Paradise" project, bland tracks like "Crocodile Rock" and "Problem Child", etc.). Did he really like S&S or SIP more than the Paley material? Or did he apply a very different artistic/critical standard to each? Or was he just looking at commercial viability? Or maybe it was political/interpersonal stuff with Brian at that time. Or did he just have arbitrary opinions that only he could have explained?

That's something I've never understood, or why he started acting like a dick to Brian apparently.
I read somewhere that Carl had decided to take legal action against brian because of "his" book, but he got too sick.
I thought I had read somewhere that he DID take legal action.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: HeyJude on February 17, 2017, 06:25:03 AM
I believe Paul is still pretty flexible with his set list, though.

Yes and no, sort of. From night to night he has never been and still isn't flexible. On a given "tour", he rarely changes up the setlist much from night to night. Maybe a song here or there, but that's about it.

Over the course of the last decade, he has slowly, with each tour, switched out enough songs that his 2016 setlist is noticeably different from, say, his 2005 setlist. He has dug into a few deeper Beatles cuts (he has nearly exhausted the Beatles tracks with Paul lead vocals at this stage of course), a few Wings/solo things, etc.

But his setlist still isn't and has never been, since the 1976 and 79 Wings tours, very representative of his entire career. He still largely ignores his solo years other than the few classics like "Band on the Run", "Maybe I'm Amazed", etc., and then whatever new or recent album he has out. He has randomly picked a few things out from his back catalog like "1985" and "Letting Go" and "Temporary Secretary", likely in part spurred by working on those albums in his "Archive Collection" series.

But his slightly more liberal setlist selections of recent years have been mitigated by his increasingly shaky voice. Listen, I've been to over a dozen solo Brian shows; I'm willing to be *very* forgiving on these old lead vocalists not sounding like they used to. Brian's got all of the McCartney's age factors going plus all the other stuff Brian did over the years. But even keeping that all in mind, McCartney's shows of recent years have been pretty painful. Even more distressingly, McCartney studio voice, which tended to hold up much better than his live voice, is now starting to really sound painful as well. Some of the vocals on "New" were hard to listen to, and the recent soundtrack song "In the Blink of an Eye" may be the most painful of all.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: HeyJude on February 17, 2017, 06:31:01 AM
I never understood why the other beach boys didn't like these songs

It sounds as though they were ambivalent at worst about them overall, and it was all the other political/marketing/image things that made it easier to not be super enthused about the tracks.

Remember, where our head is at now, and even where it was at in 1995 as far as the band having that Smile/underground/indie cred thing going on, is almost certainly *not* where any of the other band members' heads were at then. I mean, Mike still didn't understand (or care) in 2012 about all the "cred" he had earned from all the hipsters and naysayers who stopped turning up their nose at him and celebrated *everything* about C50 *including* Mike. And that was well after Mike had a better understanding of hardcore fans celebrating their deeper catalog; by that stage Mike was doing deep cuts in his own shows. Anyway, the point is, if Mike didn't care about that in 2012, he certainly wasn't in a "let's go after some indie cred" frame of mind in 1995.

I don't think anyone in the band much cared that some critics dug "Orange Crate Art." Indeed, I recall a fan account (perhaps retold on the Eric's Setlist Archive?) of someone at a BB show circa 1995 yelling out for "Orange Crate Art" and not being greeted with exactly a warm response from stage.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: HeyJude on February 17, 2017, 06:35:16 AM
I fear GIOMH ruined any chance, for me, to be enthusiastic about the Paley sessions. :(

I think I'm the only person who likes this album. I much prefer it to anything done with Joe Thomas's involvement. Anyway, I transgress.......
I agree.  I just think the Paley production and vocals were much better than in GiOMH.

I actually disagree.  I think Brian's vocals improved after the Paley sessions and he sounded better once he started singing in a lower register as he has been since Imagination.

There were pros and cons to the "Paley sessions/IJWMFTT soundtrack" voice (and you could add "Orange Crate Art" too) versus the "Imagination" and 1999/2000 tour voice.

I think Brian's *tone* and timbre was much more smoothed out and less grating on "Imagination" and subsequent stuff.

However, I think, especially comparing his live "Roxy" album to something like the Paley sessions, he tended to still sing more in the pocket and in key in the "Paley sessions" era. Gruffer, but more on key.

I'd also argue that there was a little more "ummph", a little more vigor, piss and vinegar, whatever you want to call it, on those Paley tapes. Indeed, compare his original circa 1995 lead on "You're Still a Mystery" versus the re-recorded 1999 lead heard on "Made in California." He sounds smoother on the '99 lead, but he also sounds like he's about to fall asleep. On the '95 lead, he sounds kind of "weirder", but much more energetic.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: HeyJude on February 17, 2017, 06:40:26 AM
I think O'Hagan was brought in specifically BECAUSE of the indie cred.


I remember that era well. I was just getting into the band at the time, and I liked the fact that the band was getting some real street cred for the first time in 30 years. Most of that, of course had to do with Brian, who was getting props from Billy Corgan and Thurston Moore (just to name two). Brian was looked at as being cool by the general public, the hipsters, AND people like me.  And then that shitty Imagination record came out and killed it. He has released some great work since then but it's been another "what if" that shouldn't have been

The O'Hagan thing always struck me as a pretty random stab at something. Potentially promising, but with a million potential pitfalls. I really don't think it would have worked. It was a huge question mark musically, but could have been interesting. But politically and logistically I just don't think it could have panned out. O'Hagan and Mike didn't seem compatible *at all*, and I sense he wouldn't have been much more compatible with Brian. He may have "gotten* Brian musically (he certainly understood the disappointing nature of the eventual MOR/AC angle on "Imagination"), but I don't think he was tuned in enough to how to functionally work well with Brian, not to mention the other guys.

Very few people have done it successfully. Even stalwarts like Don Was couldn't ultimately make it work. Joe Thomas, on the personality/functional side of things, really is the "type" that's needed to do something like that. It has to be someone who Brian likes in terms of personality, and then also someone who understands how to navigate the political minefield of BRI. As you can see, even someone who did successfully like Thomas in 2012 was eventually drummed out of it because even *he* couldn't hold it together with Mike's proclivities factoring in.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: HeyJude on February 17, 2017, 06:44:40 AM
I read somewhere that Carl had decided to take legal action against brian because of "his" book, but he got too sick.

I think all of the book lawsuit stuff was over by 1995. It was the fallout/aftermath of that and the resulting ill feelings that may have been a factor between Carl and Brian.

I think, even knowing how Landy had abused Brian, some if not all of the Beach Boys were having trouble grappling with how much they could or should hold Brian responsible for the things that had happened, like the book. And that of course has *always* been a complicated issue. Should Brian shoulder any responsibility for things he did/said, etc, between 1983 and 1992 while with Landy? How much *did* he apologize personally and specifically for things like the book? Should he have had to? Is that even what others like Carl were looking for?

Also worth nothing is that the complicated late era Carl/Brian relationship was not all on Carl's side. Landy had evidently badmouthed Carl (and others in the band/family) for so long that Brian was probably still programmed to have issues with Carl, whether founded or not.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: HeyJude on February 17, 2017, 06:48:29 AM
Relations weren't THAT strained in 1995.  After all, Carl did serve as the best man at Brian's wedding that year

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CaiDoi0W0AAjVDt.jpg

And one from Ocean Way during the "Was" sessions...

http://assets.rollingstone.com/assets/images/gallery/500x595/97d538172f97cc26d5b25edd2b25f9f8677edb3f.jpg



Yes, it's worth noting that while there was strain with Carl and Brian (and between the rest of the band and Brian, and between other band members having nothing to do with Brian for that matter), they were never really ever *fully* estranged for any great length of time.

There's also a report someone posted somewhere of some guy who had collaborated with Carl who was at one point brought along by Carl to a session where Carl was helping Brian with "Proud Mary"; this would have been at some point in the mid 90s-ish.

Brian and Mike were having their weddings, Brian was showing up at BB gigs even if he wasn't playing, they were all in on some sessions at various points.

It just goes to show how complicated the whole thing apparently was. Keep in mind as well that there was a bunch of *other* political stuff going on around this same era having nothing to do with Brian. The Mike/Al thing was coming to a head by 1996/97, and that was causing strains in the Carl/Al relationship most likely.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: the captain on February 17, 2017, 06:57:27 AM
Relations weren't THAT strained in 1995.  After all, Carl did serve as the best man at Brian's wedding that year

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CaiDoi0W0AAjVDt.jpg

And one from Ocean Way during the "Was" sessions...

http://assets.rollingstone.com/assets/images/gallery/500x595/97d538172f97cc26d5b25edd2b25f9f8677edb3f.jpg



Yes, it's worth noting that while there was strain with Carl and Brian (and between the rest of the band and Brian, and between other band members having nothing to do with Brian for that matter), they were never really ever *fully* estranged for any great length of time.

There's also a report someone posted somewhere of some guy who had collaborated with Carl who was at one point brought along by Carl to a session where Carl was helping Brian with "Proud Mary"; this would have been at some point in the mid 90s-ish.

Brian and Mike were having their weddings, Brian was showing up at BB gigs even if he wasn't playing, they were all in on some sessions at various points.

It just goes to show how complicated the whole thing apparently was. Keep in mind as well that there was a bunch of *other* political stuff going on around this same era having nothing to do with Brian. The Mike/Al thing was coming to a head by 1996/97, and that was causing strains in the Carl/Al relationship most likely.

This might come off as trite, but to me this is a good example of reality: while we tend to want to make clear narratives where people fill a defined role, we know from our own lives (hopefully) that this just isn't how life works. Sometimes we hate the people we love, love the people we hate, fight with any- or everyone and then make up, only to hold a grudge or fight again. This band had the added complication of being professionally intertwined, being famous, and being rich.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: HeyJude on February 17, 2017, 07:40:06 AM
I think that's all true. But I do think we could have some level of additional clarity on some of the "Paley sessions" situation if the right people were interviewed. Explaining the complicated Brian/Carl relationship is not easy. But if someone actually spoke to Carl and specifically heard him say "I don't like that song" or "I don't want to work on that one anymore because I don't think it will be commercial enough", etc., then that would add some level of clarity on the more logistical side of things.

As it stands now, the only clear info we have concerning Carl's attitude towards the sessions is that he attended the sessions and seemed to be professional about it at the time, and then everything else is pretty vague. He didn't like the "Soul Searchin'" backing track. We have no direct quote about this, just hearsay. The fact that they rejiggered the song leads me to believe this was true, but it's still sketchy. We have a vague report of Carl walking out of possibly a "Baywatch Nights" sessions, allegedly for non-musical reasons. But it's still vague. When Bruce, Mike, and Al have been asked about what the deal was with those sessions, I don't think any of them have mentioned Carl walking out of a session. I think Al is the only one of those three that has made any passing reference to Carl not liking the material.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: the captain on February 17, 2017, 08:02:48 AM
But I do think we could have some level of additional clarity on some of the "Paley sessions" situation if the right people were interviewed.

Agreed--and it would be very interesting indeed. Unfortunately, I think the most important/interesting person would be Carl, which is obviously impossible. And also unfortunately, I honestly don't believe the others would be likely to give now an answer that reflects what was honestly felt then: so much time has passed, enough lawsuits and bad press have come and gone, and camps seem to have firmed up. Not that I think they'd intentionally lie, necessarily, but rather that retelling history becomes so much more problematic as we get further along. And crazy as it is, it has been more than 20 years now from what was once new or recent. (Damn, I'm getting old.)

I'd love to hear new and deep interviews from Paley, Was, O'Hagan, and other secondary people as well as serious interviews from the principals. Where they come together (and differ) on their accounts could be telling. Not that it seems economically viable (much less desirable from the band's standpoint), but you could do a fascinating documentary just about this could-have-been moment. There are a handful of other such moments, too, that will sadly never see that kind of attention. Nobody needs another documentary about the guys using food money to rent instruments or about getting friends and family to call in to help "Surfin" win the radio contest...


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: guitarfool2002 on February 17, 2017, 08:25:02 AM
I'd argue that the indie cred was already there in 1995, as someone who was witnessing it firsthand and following all of it. The music, especially from 1966-67, was already getting name-checked and even referenced in the music of artists in their 20's - and their fans were some of the ones seeking it out which *may* have led to the demand which helped deliver certain releases to follow. That buzz was absolutely not surrounding anything the band was officially doing, but may have been driving demand for something like the PS or Smile sessions proposed boxes being hinted at even around '94 in various music press outlets. There was even Todd Rundgren in the mix with references to proposing a Smile CD-Rom for fans to craft their own mixes.

That mid 90s period with Was and the documentary and "Orange Crate Art", and following on the heels of the "Smile" stuff on the GV boxed set, that all was definitely a point where the "indie cred" factor was gaining momentum.

I think a full album of BB vocals on the Paley stuff would have received good critical notices.

But it seems as though Carl may have not shared that same view or optimism concerning doing that type of material, or Brian's ability/condition, etc. The brief stint of doing "deep cuts" in late 1993 on the BB shows largely ended with those dates. A few remnants of that deep cut setlist remained in 1994 (e.g. "All This is That"), but by 1995 it was back to meat-and-potatoes setlists.

The question, and this is something that even *slightly* more insight to Carl's feelings around this time would help immensely, is how to digest Carl's apprehensiveness about and high standards being applied to the Paley material, versus what he *was* okaying and contributing to around that same time with the band (stale setlist, "Stars and Stripes", the awful "Status Quo" collaboration, and if we want to go back a few years prior, the wonky "Summer in Paradise" project, bland tracks like "Crocodile Rock" and "Problem Child", etc.). Did he really like S&S or SIP more than the Paley material? Or did he apply a very different artistic/critical standard to each? Or was he just looking at commercial viability? Or maybe it was political/interpersonal stuff with Brian at that time. Or did he just have arbitrary opinions that only he could have explained?

With all the factors on the table regarding the music, specifically what new music and what they presented on stage which the Beach Boys actually did release and feature in the years around this specific time, I have to think there was an interpersonal factor at work too. There is such a stark contrast between wanting to be commercial in terms of new releases versus what was actually released and presented.

There were some hints of acknowledgement - I'm thinking the very short-lived GV box set series of shows where they featured some very, very deep cuts...but even those were marred by awful keyboard sounds and the like.

But I say again, if you want a full document of what the band was presenting live at this time as the general rule, look for the July 4th 1995 show in Philly as an example. The official releases of new product from this era speak for themselves.

Factor in as well - It was apparently Carl who vetoed doing a live Pet Sounds presentation during this same time, and if Carlin's account is any indication, a factor was Carl's concern that Brian would embarrass himself and/or the band because he wasn't up to the task...or something. Read Carlin's account and weigh it accordingly.

So aside from interpersonal family issues (which I think were in play), whatever other factors...maybe Carl's ideas of what was "commercial" were not as keen as some might assume.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: the captain on February 17, 2017, 08:34:11 AM
So aside from interpersonal family issues (which I think were in play), whatever other factors...maybe Carl's ideas of what was "commercial" were not as keen as some might assume.

You could really say none of the band had very good instincts in terms of what was commercial from the mid-60s onward. The evidence is in their hits and misses, commercially speaking. How many big hits were there after "Good Vibrations?"


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: CenturyDeprived on February 17, 2017, 08:43:44 AM
I fear GIOMH ruined any chance, for me, to be enthusiastic about the Paley sessions. :(

I think I'm the only person who likes this album. I much prefer it to anything done with Joe Thomas's involvement. Anyway, I transgress.......
I agree.  I just think the Paley production and vocals were much better than in GiOMH.

I actually disagree.  I think Brian's vocals improved after the Paley sessions and he sounded better once he started singing in a lower register as he has been since Imagination.

There were pros and cons to the "Paley sessions/IJWMFTT soundtrack" voice (and you could add "Orange Crate Art" too) versus the "Imagination" and 1999/2000 tour voice.

I think Brian's *tone* and timbre was much more smoothed out and less grating on "Imagination" and subsequent stuff.

However, I think, especially comparing his live "Roxy" album to something like the Paley sessions, he tended to still sing more in the pocket and in key in the "Paley sessions" era. Gruffer, but more on key.

I'd also argue that there was a little more "ummph", a little more vigor, piss and vinegar, whatever you want to call it, on those Paley tapes. Indeed, compare his original circa 1995 lead on "You're Still a Mystery" versus the re-recorded 1999 lead heard on "Made in California." He sounds smoother on the '99 lead, but he also sounds like he's about to fall asleep. On the '95 lead, he sounds kind of "weirder", but much more energetic.

I agree completely about the differences in singing you pointed out. I wonder if that was due to a change in medications.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: guitarfool2002 on February 17, 2017, 09:00:18 AM
So aside from interpersonal family issues (which I think were in play), whatever other factors...maybe Carl's ideas of what was "commercial" were not as keen as some might assume.

You could really say none of the band had very good instincts in terms of what was commercial from the mid-60s onward. The evidence is in their hits and misses, commercially speaking. How many big hits were there after "Good Vibrations?"

I think it is also almost impossible to define commercial after a certain point due to the way the music biz in general changed. Consider this: That's Why God Made The Radio hit top 5 on the album charts, I think the peak was #3. Let's call it basically the same time frame, if I recall both Weird Al Yankovic and Tom Petty had new albums hit #1 on the same charts. So in a 1960's perspective, a top 5 album or #1 album would be considered a commercial hit, a success.

But...do you hear anything from those Petty, Yankovic, or BB's albums that went top 5 on the radio? Commercial radio didn't touch the songs, I can't name one specific track off the Petty or Yankovic albums (#1 albums) that has survived even a few years after those releases.

I think as someone else said, when overt attempts are made to make a "commercial" song or album, the results are usually not as good overall, in fact it often comes out sounding desperate or contrived depending on the artist. Clapton is an example I use: He went through the 80's cranking out overly processed guitar tones, getting new "looks", trying for a radio hit. It was only the fluke of him grabbing a Martin acoustic and playing on MTV Unplugged that got him back on the charts with a "commercial" smash that crossed genres.

Combine the issue of having a commercial smash hit being akin to buying a winning lottery ticket, as much luck and fluke as by design, with some things just coming together at the right time in a business that has radically changed in the past 20-30 years, and it's hard to define at all.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: the captain on February 17, 2017, 09:03:02 AM
I'd agree with all of that.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: Gerry on February 17, 2017, 09:20:34 AM
The Carl/Brian dynamic during this period is very interesting, and confounding. I think we tend to think of Carl as some kind of saint who doesn't have the same emotions or jealousies as the rest of us. Considering what Carl did to extricate Brian from Landy both proactively and financially maybe he felt that Brian was ungrateful and this helped to poison their relationship , along with Brian's "autobiography". If you go back to 1969 through 1972 Carl was basically the Beach Boys producer. By completing Our Prayer, Cabinessence, Cool, Cool Water, This Whole World, Surf's Up, Marcella, Sail on Sailor etc. Carl basically helped to further Brian's legend. Move up to 1976 when Brian  returns and Carl has to put his own aspirations and direction for the band on hold after all his hard work. He polishes and finishes Love You making it releasable. Maybe by 1995 Carl had had enough. Maybe he felt that Brian wouldn't finish this project and he would be left holding the bag once again. It's all conjecture, as is so much that happens in the interpersonal world of the Beach Boys.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: guitarfool2002 on February 17, 2017, 09:22:38 AM
I also have to tie this into the whole nature of trying to make a hit record. If there is the element of winning the lottery or even a fluke where the public just happens to jump onto a certain song, that's a very fortunate moment in time, combined with the right vehicles for promotions and the like. I think what scuppered so much of the Beach Boys output in terms of original material was taking the success of "Kokomo" as a mandate rather than the chance elements combining to make something that the public wanted to buy and enjoyed outside the core fanbase.

I do place blame in that case: Instead of perhaps running on the idea that Kokomo was that winning lottery ticket, people within and surrounding the band took the success as a mandate or "proof" that this was what people wanted to hear from the Beach Boys, and we can do it without Brian Wilson's involvement. So they ran with it. I do think it went to Mike's head in a negative way, just my opinion of course. They spent the next years after Kokomo trying to chase the success of Kokomo while alternately presenting the revues with choreography and all the trappings of a Vegas show featuring the hits and "America's Band". Summer In Paradise was one of the outcomes.

Yet no matter what they did to try jumpstarting it, new and original Beach Boys music surrounding the Kokomo success was a dead battery. They couldn't get any juice from it, despite trying to replicate the formula. It carried over onto the S&S project, instead of doing new things, they tried to put a 90's country radio sheen onto the old hits, and it never really took hold commercially.

Going back to a point from Donny earlier, considering what the band did do and whatever mandate they thought had been set by Kokomo's success, the potential of even a handful of the tracks being made and proposed with the Was-Paley projects was just as realistic to become something successful as the route the band was taking that garnered at best mixed results and moderate attention and at worst, complete trainwrecks that sunk without a trace.

It makes the decisions surrounding all that, and the apparent rejections coming from Carl specifically, even more difficult to rationalize in retrospect.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: the captain on February 17, 2017, 09:45:53 AM
I think we tend to think of Carl as some kind of saint who doesn't have the same emotions or jealousies as the rest of us.

If there were one thing I could somehow convince more people of, it would be along those lines: stop seeing these guys (and anyone else) as the equivalent of cartoon or boy-band characters (the sexy one, the angel, the genius, the asshole, the dentist-elf, the mic-stand adjuster, etc.) and acknowledge the complexities and contradictions in everyone. Everyone knows it on some level, yet so often we see "[Band member] wouldn't have [whatever] because he's [cliche]."


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: CenturyDeprived on February 17, 2017, 09:46:53 AM
I also have to tie this into the whole nature of trying to make a hit record. If there is the element of winning the lottery or even a fluke where the public just happens to jump onto a certain song, that's a very fortunate moment in time, combined with the right vehicles for promotions and the like. I think what scuppered so much of the Beach Boys output in terms of original material was taking the success of "Kokomo" as a mandate rather than the chance elements combining to make something that the public wanted to buy and enjoyed outside the core fanbase.

I do place blame in that case: Instead of perhaps running on the idea that Kokomo was that winning lottery ticket, people within and surrounding the band took the success as a mandate or "proof" that this was what people wanted to hear from the Beach Boys, and we can do it without Brian Wilson's involvement. So they ran with it. I do think it went to Mike's head in a negative way, just my opinion of course. They spent the next years after Kokomo trying to chase the success of Kokomo while alternately presenting the revues with choreography and all the trappings of a Vegas show featuring the hits and "America's Band". Summer In Paradise was one of the outcomes.

Yet no matter what they did to try jumpstarting it, new and original Beach Boys music surrounding the Kokomo success was a dead battery. They couldn't get any juice from it, despite trying to replicate the formula. It carried over onto the S&S project, instead of doing new things, they tried to put a 90's country radio sheen onto the old hits, and it never really took hold commercially.

Going back to a point from Donny earlier, considering what the band did do and whatever mandate they thought had been set by Kokomo's success, the potential of even a handful of the tracks being made and proposed with the Was-Paley projects was just as realistic to become something successful as the route the band was taking that garnered at best mixed results and moderate attention and at worst, complete trainwrecks that sunk without a trace.

It makes the decisions surrounding all that, and the apparent rejections coming from Carl specifically, even more difficult to rationalize in retrospect.

I really have to think that it must have something to do with the songs being so heavily cowritten by an outsider. Maybe not entirely because of that, probably complicated by a bunch of stuff, but I think at least this must be PART of why things went down like they did. Someone should ask Mike today about if he felt negatively about the Paley material in a similar way that he felt negatively about the TWGMTR album, because Mike's the guy who most loudly complained about the Outsider Collaborator Factor in TWGMTR.

Being as it was SUCH a sore spot in 2012, I have a hard time thinking that was a non-issue in 1994/95.

I could certainly be wrong, but I tend to think it must have bugged Mike and then fed into bugging Carl that The non-Brian BBs were somehow being marginalized again from a writing/collaborating standpoint, especially after the huge (albeit fluke) success of Kokomo. And to a degree, I can understand that. It's human nature. It would not be the first time for Carl (or Mike) to feel shut out of the creative process.

Yet if that's what happened, of course it was incredibly short-sighted and regretful, not just because of Carl's untimely passing, but because there was some SOLID material there, even if they perhaps couldn't see it with proper perspective at the time.  (As I also mentioned before, super ironic if that's the case, being as Kokomo was largely cowritten by TWO outsiders, John Phillips and Terry Melcher!)

I'm not sure if Carl was thinking he'd start writing a bunch of songs on a BB album at that time... but to throw another wrinkle into the equation, how does the Beckley/Lamm/Wilson album factor into this? Was that being worked by Carl on prior to/concurrently with the Paley material? Or was that possibly an outlet that a frustrated Carl (frustrated by not having much of any input on the Paley stuff) went off to do instead?


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: ♩♬☮ Billy C ♯♫♩☮ on February 17, 2017, 10:39:22 AM
I never understood why the other beach boys didn't like these songs

It sounds as though they were ambivalent at worst about them overall, and it was all the other political/marketing/image things that made it easier to not be super enthused about the tracks.

Remember, where our head is at now, and even where it was at in 1995 as far as the band having that Smile/underground/indie cred thing going on, is almost certainly *not* where any of the other band members' heads were at then. I mean, Mike still didn't understand (or care) in 2012 about all the "cred" he had earned from all the hipsters and naysayers who stopped turning up their nose at him and celebrated *everything* about C50 *including* Mike. And that was well after Mike had a better understanding of hardcore fans celebrating their deeper catalog; by that stage Mike was doing deep cuts in his own shows. Anyway, the point is, if Mike didn't care about that in 2012, he certainly wasn't in a "let's go after some indie cred" frame of mind in 1995.

I don't think anyone in the band much cared that some critics dug "Orange Crate Art." Indeed, I recall a fan account (perhaps retold on the Eric's Setlist Archive?) of someone at a BB show circa 1995 yelling out for "Orange Crate Art" and not being greeted with exactly a warm response from stage.
the idea of the band attempting OCA on stage is rather hilarious


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: SMiLE Brian on February 17, 2017, 10:40:57 AM
After the wipeout rap.... :P


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: CenturyDeprived on February 17, 2017, 10:44:52 AM
I never understood why the other beach boys didn't like these songs

It sounds as though they were ambivalent at worst about them overall, and it was all the other political/marketing/image things that made it easier to not be super enthused about the tracks.

Remember, where our head is at now, and even where it was at in 1995 as far as the band having that Smile/underground/indie cred thing going on, is almost certainly *not* where any of the other band members' heads were at then. I mean, Mike still didn't understand (or care) in 2012 about all the "cred" he had earned from all the hipsters and naysayers who stopped turning up their nose at him and celebrated *everything* about C50 *including* Mike. And that was well after Mike had a better understanding of hardcore fans celebrating their deeper catalog; by that stage Mike was doing deep cuts in his own shows. Anyway, the point is, if Mike didn't care about that in 2012, he certainly wasn't in a "let's go after some indie cred" frame of mind in 1995.

I don't think anyone in the band much cared that some critics dug "Orange Crate Art." Indeed, I recall a fan account (perhaps retold on the Eric's Setlist Archive?) of someone at a BB show circa 1995 yelling out for "Orange Crate Art" and not being greeted with exactly a warm response from stage.
the idea of the band attempting OCA on stage is rather hilarious

The idea of the Beach Boys being anywhere near the term "art" in the mid 90s, during the cheerleaders/Summer of Love era, is also rather hilarious.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: The Cincinnati Kid on February 17, 2017, 10:53:07 AM
The Paley sessions have always fascinated me since I discovered the music a couple years ago.  As mentioned previously, I think there was a sense that the band would eventually get back to the Paley material.  The S&S project was more to get the band used to working together with Brian again.  It had been almost 20 years since Brian was in full control of an album.  That point is proven, imo in all of the songs Brian wrote a couple years later.  Brian is on record saying that they were planned for a Beach Boys album and a number of them did end up on TWGMTR,  so I don't believe that the material was the issue.  Summer in Paradise has been brought up as a reason for Carl being hypocritical, but there are some decent songs hiding under the terrible production.  I don't know if it's true, but I read that Carl wanted to include Run Don't Walk on the album, but someone rejected it.  Who would have been in a position to reject it at that point?  I would have to believe it was either Was or Brian.  Maybe Was decided this was going to be an all Brian album, due to the past few albums having little success with little input from Brian.  Or maybe Brian just didn't like it in the same way he rejected Waves of Love in 2012.  Either way, I'm sure that upset Carl and he might have planned to include other material that ended up on Beckley-Lamm-Wilson.  

As far as it being a hit record, what kind of popularity could they have realistically expected in 1995/1996?  What acts from the 60s were getting radio airplay from their new music?  I suppose you could make the argument that none of the music was any good, but I don't buy that.  Looking at acts that started in the 50s and 60s, the most popular acts generally had a 30 year window at best for getting radio airplay on top 40 stations.    


A few questions I have from that period:

Does Baywatch Nights = Dancin' The Night Away?

Do a complete set of lyrics exist for Dancin' The Night Away?  In a discussion from a number of years ago, it was mentioned that Carl recorded a lead vocal, but maybe this person was just referring to what was put on tape.  However, the fact that their is a Carl vocal suggests to me that all of the lyrics do or did exist.

Does How Could We Still Be Dancing have any relation to Dancin' The Night Away?   I've read it doesn't, but it certainly sounds like they had Dancin' The Night Away in mind when writing it.      



Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: DonnyL on February 17, 2017, 11:48:41 AM
By far BW's best solo work, and better than any BB record since Love You ... I'd love to see them released someday.

Honestly, if finished in a hip way in 1995-96 as a BB record, I think it would have started a new chapter in the group's career.

I don't know. I like the material but think that might be reaching--or maybe isn't, but isn't saying much.

- BW's best solo material. Personally I disagree with that: I'd rate it below BWPS, TLOS for sure, and if we're including covers behind Gershwin. Honestly, probably behind NPP, too, though it's all just one man's opinion. I do think it's his most conventional, and at least in the versions we have, maybe the best at neither catering to current fads nor fetishizing BW tropes of old.

- better than any BB album since Love You. Damning with faint praise!

- new chapter for BBs. That may be true, but as what? I'd say as a solid, but solidly, nostalgia act. Don't get me wrong, it would've been a more dignified identity than they had at the time. But maybe it would be more "hey Baby Boomers, this old band still makes albums for you--and don't forget to see them & buy a t-short and greatest hits comp this summer" rather than "hey world, this band makes great records."

Again, I like some of those songs and don't mean to sh*t on them or your opinion. Just my more cynical two cents.

My opinion is if this potential record had been completed and produced by Brian and Andy, it would have been a classic and would be revered today as the "last great" BB album. Or, even better ... may have springboarded a series of subsequent records.

My opinion the biggest issue that prevents the "real" Brian Wilson/Beach Boys sound from coming through since '77 is the search for either the "new Pet Sounds" or the modern "Beach Boys" sound. But I believe the Beach Boys in their natural state (as lead by BW) generally yield albums like Friends or Love You. These are not artistically revolutionary or commercially oriented works.

The Paley session tracks are clearly part of this family of recordings -- homespun and natural, not contrived. BW's vocals are indeed "weird" and unkempt ... but they are filled with an enthusiasm I have not heard in any of his recordings since.

Re: New Chapter -- I think the critics and public would have caught wind of the Beach Boys being a viable recording entity again. True some might have scratched their heads, but time has been kind to these tracks -- they are not dated like everything else the group has put out since 1980. I believe the 2012 album (which I do admit, after a few years of coming to terms with, has it's moments) will sound pretty dated within a few years also. We are still talking about these tracks 20 years later ... they have a timeless quality.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: ♩♬☮ Billy C ♯♫♩☮ on February 17, 2017, 11:58:14 AM
By far BW's best solo work, and better than any BB record since Love You ... I'd love to see them released someday.

Honestly, if finished in a hip way in 1995-96 as a BB record, I think it would have started a new chapter in the group's career.

I don't know. I like the material but think that might be reaching--or maybe isn't, but isn't saying much.

- BW's best solo material. Personally I disagree with that: I'd rate it below BWPS, TLOS for sure, and if we're including covers behind Gershwin. Honestly, probably behind NPP, too, though it's all just one man's opinion. I do think it's his most conventional, and at least in the versions we have, maybe the best at neither catering to current fads nor fetishizing BW tropes of old.

- better than any BB album since Love You. Damning with faint praise!

- new chapter for BBs. That may be true, but as what? I'd say as a solid, but solidly, nostalgia act. Don't get me wrong, it would've been a more dignified identity than they had at the time. But maybe it would be more "hey Baby Boomers, this old band still makes albums for you--and don't forget to see them & buy a t-short and greatest hits comp this summer" rather than "hey world, this band makes great records."

Again, I like some of those songs and don't mean to sh*t on them or your opinion. Just my more cynical two cents.

My opinion is if this potential record had been completed and produced by Brian and Andy, it would have been a classic and would be revered today as the "last great" BB album. Or, even better ... may have springboarded a series of subsequent records.

My opinion the biggest issue that prevents the "real" Brian Wilson/Beach Boys sound from coming through since '77 is the search for either the "new Pet Sounds" or the modern "Beach Boys" sound. But I believe the Beach Boys in their natural state (as lead by BW) generally yields albums like Friends or Love You. These are not artistically revolutionary or commercially oriented works.

The Paley session tracks are clearly part of this family of recordings -- homespun and natural, not contrived. BW's vocals are indeed "weird" and unkempt ... but they are filled with an enthusiasm I have not heard in any of his recordings since.

Re: New Chapter -- I think the critics and public would have caught wind of the Beach Boys being a viable recording entity again. True some might have scratched their heads, but time has been kind to these tracks -- they are not dated like everything else the group has put out since 1980. I believe the 2012 album (which I do admit, after a few years of coming to terms with, has it's moments) will sound pretty dated within a few years also. We are still talking about these tracks 20 years later ... they have a timeless quality.

Agree with most of this, but wanted to add that in my opinion, the TLOS demos are comparable


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: Hickory Violet Part IV on February 17, 2017, 12:16:55 PM

My opinion the biggest issue that prevents the "real" Brian Wilson/Beach Boys sound from coming through since '77 is the search for either the "new Pet Sounds" or the modern "Beach Boys" sound. But I believe the Beach Boys in their natural state (as lead by BW) generally yields albums like Friends or Love You. These are not artistically revolutionary or commercially oriented works.

The Paley session tracks are clearly part of this family of recordings -- homespun and natural, not contrived. BW's vocals are indeed "weird" and unkempt ... but they are filled with an enthusiasm I have not heard in any of his recordings since.


I agree with this 100%

And it's not just the (non pitch corrected) vocals, its the vocal arrangements. Its the track arrangements. Its the sound. Its the way it all gels together.

Its the sound of a Brian Wilson recording.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: HeyJude on February 17, 2017, 12:23:11 PM
Regarding "Dancing the night away" and "How Could we Still be Dancing", if you compare the piano intro of the instrumental track version of the former to the vocal intro of the latter, I think I hear a connection there.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: DonnyL on February 17, 2017, 12:30:11 PM
I definitely read somewhere (wish I could find it online) an account of a conversation between Carl and someone (Sean O’Hagen?) mid-‘90s in which Carl said that he didn’t think the Beach Boys had an “artistic” statement left to make.

My take (unless and until further information comes out) is that this was the primary reason why things didn’t come together, and I think it does come down to Carl.

I find it hard to believe that Carl personally thought Summer in Paradise was “better” than the Paley tracks. However I find it easy to believe that he would consider something like that record “business as usual” in the day to day affairs of the Beach Boys machine.

But he may have been more sensitive to the prospect of a new Brian Wilson-lead Beach Boys album. And having been through the “Brian is Back” scenes a few times over now, Carl was possibly simply not interested in revisiting those eras. Including Brian in the normal ongoings of the Beach Boys machine would be something entirely different.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: kwan_dk on February 17, 2017, 12:52:32 PM
For those who may have missed them the first time around;

Two interviews with Andy Paley, - among other things he talks a bit about his collaboration with Brian...

https://cuecastanets.wordpress.com/2015/02/05/andy-paley-interview/

https://cuecastanets.wordpress.com/2015/02/15/andy-paley-interview-part-ii/



Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: CenturyDeprived on February 17, 2017, 01:20:11 PM

My opinion is if this potential record had been completed and produced by Brian and Andy, it would have been a classic and would be revered today as the "last great" BB album.  

Again, I can easily see the post-Kokomo Beach Boys (members excluding Brian) actually, ironically, having a problem with this very scenario happening, if this was gonna be a collaborator-heavy project. Look at how Mike sh*t-talked TWGMTR even though it hit #3 and got lots of good reviews. And it's obvious that was because most of the songs weren't written in a way that would have made Mike feel wanted/needed, nor would it have been a project that would have necessarily benefited his reputation in a way that he could brag about in interviews a Kokomo- type way, regardless of any success it would have brought the band. Because ultimately, he’d probably have felt that the attention/accolades would have gone to Brian, thus making the other members feel like chumps again.

At the post-Kokomo stage of their careers, I don't think that Mike (and Carl maybe too?) really even cared nearly as much about a new BB album being considered a "classic" or the "last great" BB album as much as they might have cared about the circumstances in which the album was made suiting their desires. And I can understand it if that's what happened.

IMO it’s harder to say for Carl, being as this seemed to be a more atypical way for him to have acted (poo-pooing actual quality material)... but at least with regards to Mike (for whom we have other similar actions to compare to), I could see how an album that was gonna be well-regarded (but an album WITHOUT intrinsic songwriting contributions from the other members).


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: Rocky Raccoon on February 17, 2017, 02:09:28 PM
For those who may have missed them the first time around;

Two interviews with Andy Paley, - among other things he talks a bit about his collaboration with Brian...

https://cuecastanets.wordpress.com/2015/02/05/andy-paley-interview/

https://cuecastanets.wordpress.com/2015/02/15/andy-paley-interview-part-ii/



Nice interviews.  Interesting that they weren't really working towards anything in those sessions, they were just doing it for fun.  In that context, it's not that surprising that most of it remains unreleased officially.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: DonnyL on February 17, 2017, 02:23:51 PM

My opinion is if this potential record had been completed and produced by Brian and Andy, it would have been a classic and would be revered today as the "last great" BB album.  

Again, I can easily see the post-Kokomo Beach Boys (members excluding Brian) actually, ironically, having a problem with this very scenario happening, if this was gonna be a collaborator-heavy project. Look at how Mike sh*t-talked TWGMTR even though it hit #3 and got lots of good reviews. And it's obvious that was because most of the songs weren't written in a way that would have made Mike feel wanted/needed, nor would it have been a project that would have necessarily benefited his reputation in a way that he could brag about in interviews a Kokomo- type way, regardless of any success it would have brought the band. Because ultimately, he’d probably have felt that the attention/accolades would have gone to Brian, thus making the other members feel like chumps again.

At the post-Kokomo stage of their careers, I don't think that Mike (and Carl maybe too?) really even cared nearly as much about a new BB album being considered a "classic" or the "last great" BB album as much as they might have cared about the circumstances in which the album was made suiting their desires. And I can understand it if that's what happened.

IMO it’s harder to say for Carl, being as this seemed to be a more atypical way for him to have acted (poo-pooing actual quality material)... but at least with regards to Mike (for whom we have other similar actions to compare to), I could see how an album that was gonna be well-regarded (but an album WITHOUT intrinsic songwriting contributions from the other members).


Maybe that would have been the case, maybe not ...

I think all members of The Beach Boys understand that the group at their best in the studio revolve around Brian Wilson, and that's just the way it goes. I don't even think Mike could argue that "Kokomo" is an fine achievement in recorded sound ... he tends to focus on the fact that it was such a big hit.

Certainly they all have their individual preferences (doesn't Bruce hate Friends ?!?), but it's always been clear that they needed Brian more than he needed them. Perhaps there have been some resentments as a result, but at the end of the day I think their record of studio albums supports this. I think every member of the Beach Boys, past or present would agree that ideally, a true Beach Boys record is a record produced and arranged by Brian Wilson, featuring Brian Wilson songs.

Let's address the elephant in the room -- Mike Love wants to write lyrics for Beach Boys records. He feels that is his rightful place. I think that's the primary issue that Mike has with the 2012 reunion album. But that is not at all at odds with the paragraph above.

Honestly, these guys are human beings, they're getting up there in years, and yeh I do think they care about their legacy. Doesn't mean they will put their legacy above other factors. I honestly think that Carl's reservations about the Paley project stemmed from these kinds of concerns ... i.e., he'd rather not attempt an "artistic" BB record than attempt one and have it fail/be an embarrassment.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: DonnyL on February 17, 2017, 02:35:18 PM
I'd also like to point out that my opinions are based on the actual Wilson/Paley productions, not the Don Was sessions. I seriously doubt any Was-produced tracks would have sounded very interesting. The fact that the BB vocals sessions (all of them?) were done with Was kind of points to how the situation was complicated and perhaps could never have come to be in any case.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: CenturyDeprived on February 17, 2017, 03:05:02 PM

My opinion is if this potential record had been completed and produced by Brian and Andy, it would have been a classic and would be revered today as the "last great" BB album.  

Again, I can easily see the post-Kokomo Beach Boys (members excluding Brian) actually, ironically, having a problem with this very scenario happening, if this was gonna be a collaborator-heavy project. Look at how Mike sh*t-talked TWGMTR even though it hit #3 and got lots of good reviews. And it's obvious that was because most of the songs weren't written in a way that would have made Mike feel wanted/needed, nor would it have been a project that would have necessarily benefited his reputation in a way that he could brag about in interviews a Kokomo- type way, regardless of any success it would have brought the band. Because ultimately, he’d probably have felt that the attention/accolades would have gone to Brian, thus making the other members feel like chumps again.

At the post-Kokomo stage of their careers, I don't think that Mike (and Carl maybe too?) really even cared nearly as much about a new BB album being considered a "classic" or the "last great" BB album as much as they might have cared about the circumstances in which the album was made suiting their desires. And I can understand it if that's what happened.

IMO it’s harder to say for Carl, being as this seemed to be a more atypical way for him to have acted (poo-pooing actual quality material)... but at least with regards to Mike (for whom we have other similar actions to compare to), I could see how an album that was gonna be well-regarded (but an album WITHOUT intrinsic songwriting contributions from the other members).


Maybe that would have been the case, maybe not ...

I think all members of The Beach Boys understand that the group at their best in the studio revolve around Brian Wilson, and that's just the way it goes. I don't even think Mike could argue that "Kokomo" is an fine achievement in recorded sound ... he tends to focus on the fact that it was such a big hit.

Certainly they all have their individual preferences (doesn't Bruce hate Friends ?!?), but it's always been clear that they needed Brian more than he needed them. Perhaps there have been some resentments as a result, but at the end of the day I think their record of studio albums supports this. I think every member of the Beach Boys, past or present would agree that ideally, a true Beach Boys record is a record produced and arranged by Brian Wilson, featuring Brian Wilson songs.

Let's address the elephant in the room -- Mike Love wants to write lyrics for Beach Boys records. He feels that is his rightful place. I think that's the primary issue that Mike has with the 2012 reunion album. But that is not at all at odds with the paragraph above.

Honestly, these guys are human beings, they're getting up there in years, and yeh I do think they care about their legacy. Doesn't mean they will put their legacy above other factors. I honestly think that Carl's reservations about the Paley project stemmed from these kinds of concerns ... i.e., he'd rather not attempt an "artistic" BB record than attempt one and have it fail/be an embarrassment.

Well let's think about how at the time of the Paley sessions (1995-ish), when was the last time that an entire proposed BB album was written by Brian with a non BB collaborator? I think we'd have to go back to Pet Sounds and the then-unreleased SMiLE to find an example. While Brian got back into the driver's seat in 1976/77, even though the band "let" him helm those albums (which I imagine they may have soon regretted), at least for their own egos' sake there wasn't a primary collaborator outside of the band; it was just basically Brian and Brian alone (with a few exceptions).

So I really have to think that's what it was about. It has ALWAYS been a problem for the band, even though Mike likes to talk about being totally ok with outside non-BB collaborators with Brian in the early days; I think he was okay with that ONLY because there were then still lots of other hit songs which he got to write with Brian concurrently. Maybe Carl went along with backing Mike on thinking this must revert back to being a family-run enterprise.

On the other hand, has anyone considered the possibility that the band members simply didn't personally get along with Paley? I have no idea what their interpersonal relationships with him were like (did they ever even meet in the studio together at any point)?


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: SurfRiderHawaii on February 17, 2017, 03:35:30 PM
For those who may have missed them the first time around;

Two interviews with Andy Paley, - among other things he talks a bit about his collaboration with Brian...

https://cuecastanets.wordpress.com/2015/02/05/andy-paley-interview/

https://cuecastanets.wordpress.com/2015/02/15/andy-paley-interview-part-ii/



Nice shoutout for "Rodney on the ROQ" in the 2nd interview. Very much a forgotten BW classic!


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: CM Punky Brewster on February 17, 2017, 03:52:05 PM
The Paley sessions have always fascinated me since I discovered the music a couple years ago.  As mentioned previously, I think there was a sense that the band would eventually get back to the Paley material.  The S&S project was more to get the band used to working together with Brian again.  It had been almost 20 years since Brian was in full control of an album.  That point is proven, imo in all of the songs Brian wrote a couple years later.  Brian is on record saying that they were planned for a Beach Boys album and a number of them did end up on TWGMTR,  so I don't believe that the material was the issue.  Summer in Paradise has been brought up as a reason for Carl being hypocritical, but there are some decent songs hiding under the terrible production.  I don't know if it's true, but I read that Carl wanted to include Run Don't Walk on the album, but someone rejected it.  Who would have been in a position to reject it at that point?  I would have to believe it was either Was or Brian.  Maybe Was decided this was going to be an all Brian album, due to the past few albums having little success with little input from Brian.  Or maybe Brian just didn't like it in the same way he rejected Waves of Love in 2012.  Either way, I'm sure that upset Carl and he might have planned to include other material that ended up on Beckley-Lamm-Wilson.  

As far as it being a hit record, what kind of popularity could they have realistically expected in 1995/1996?  What acts from the 60s were getting radio airplay from their new music?  I suppose you could make the argument that none of the music was any good, but I don't buy that.  Looking at acts that started in the 50s and 60s, the most popular acts generally had a 30 year window at best for getting radio airplay on top 40 stations.    


A few questions I have from that period:

Does Baywatch Nights = Dancin' The Night Away?

Do a complete set of lyrics exist for Dancin' The Night Away?  In a discussion from a number of years ago, it was mentioned that Carl recorded a lead vocal, but maybe this person was just referring to what was put on tape.  However, the fact that their is a Carl vocal suggests to me that all of the lyrics do or did exist.

Does How Could We Still Be Dancing have any relation to Dancin' The Night Away?   I've read it doesn't, but it certainly sounds like they had Dancin' The Night Away in mind when writing it.      



Radio wasn't playing new music from The Legends and hadn't since the late 80's (Kokomo was the last gasp of that). But, we saw Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan, McCartney, the Stones all start to get great reviews in the music press again by making music that was more in line with what those guys used to make as opposed to trying to make 80's hits like they all tried to do in the 80's. Despite not having hit singles from those comeback albums, Johnny and Dylan, at least, did start to sell more albums and many songs from that era have gone on to become standards in their respective careers.

The Paley stuff could have been the BB or Brian equivalent of that. But everyone involved still wanted a Kokomo-level hit. But, as Craig points out, Kokomo was the equivalent of the lucky winning lotto ticket.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: DonnyL on February 17, 2017, 05:00:06 PM
Well let's think about how at the time of the Paley sessions (1995-ish), when was the last time that an entire proposed BB album was written by Brian with a non BB collaborator? I think we'd have to go back to Pet Sounds and the then-unreleased SMiLE to find an example. While Brian got back into the driver's seat in 1976/77, even though the band "let" him helm those albums (which I imagine they may have soon regretted), at least for their own egos' sake there wasn't a primary collaborator outside of the band; it was just basically Brian and Brian alone (with a few exceptions).

So I really have to think that's what it was about. It has ALWAYS been a problem for the band, even though Mike likes to talk about being totally ok with outside non-BB collaborators with Brian in the early days; I think he was okay with that ONLY because there were then still lots of other hit songs which he got to write with Brian concurrently. Maybe Carl went along with backing Mike on thinking this must revert back to being a family-run enterprise.

On the other hand, has anyone considered the possibility that the band members simply didn't personally get along with Paley? I have no idea what their interpersonal relationships with him were like (did they ever even meet in the studio together at any point)?

I really don't think it was about collaborators ... the group has had so many over the years that I can't imagine "collaborators" (in any form) being a problem in a general sense.

My basic point is regardless of how much Mike wanted to sit down with Brian in a room and write songs, it didn't seem to stop any of the other records from being recorded and released (including the 2012 record). You could argue Smile was actually the only possible example ... but more likely the many other factors were more influential than Mike's lack of writing credits ... after all there are no reports of objections from Mike to Smiley Smile. Look at the credits on a record like LA (Light Album). Mike barely contributed anything to the writing. You could say he went a little nuts post-"Kokomo", but I think by the mid-'90s that was over and done with. Clearly, the follow ups were commercial failures and artistic bankruptcies, something I'm certain Mike was well aware of. Then again, we had the inexplicable Baywatch "Summer of Love" thing that same year ... though my guess is that had more to do with the group being contracted to provide a song and when none was forthcoming, they went with something from the most recent "Beach Boys" album.

I'll reiterate that they all may have interpersonal issues and personal preferences, but at the end of the day Brian Wilson is the man who calls the shots on a true Beach Boys record. Everyone knows that. If that weren't the case, they probably wouldn't have the issues in the first place.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: the captain on February 17, 2017, 05:01:11 PM

The Paley stuff could have been the BB or Brian equivalent of that. But everyone involved still wanted a Kokomo-level hit. But, as Craig points out, Kokomo was the equivalent of the lucky winning lotto ticket.

This is true but I think Brian ended up not needing it: his run from the touring of after Imagination through at least the BBs reunion, seems to have re-re-re-solidified his place, even with uneven new material. The big loss, I think, is for the BBs. They could have had the kind of critical adoration that they did eventually, briefly, get for TWGMTR, almost 20 years earlier, and could have avoided a full generation just writing their modern selves off as casino-and-carnival clowns. (Not that this was a fair write-off, just that I think it mostly went that way.) Forget homerun, even a double of a Paley sessions album by the band would have gone a long way, in my opinion.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: the captain on February 17, 2017, 05:03:39 PM

I really don't think it was about collaborators ... the group has had so many over the years that I can't imagine "collaborators" (in any form) being a problem in a general sense.


I think that's right. Everyone in the band had worked with outside collaborators by the mid-90s, including Mr "Get me in a room alone with Brian" Love. It wouldn't surprise me if there were tinges of jealousy or hurt now and then when someone did good work with someone else, but on the other hand, it's hard to imagine any of them really resenting it to the point of not doing the good material.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: CenturyDeprived on February 17, 2017, 05:52:23 PM

My basic point is regardless of how much Mike wanted to sit down with Brian in a room and write songs, it didn't seem to stop any of the other records from being recorded and released (including the 2012 record).

Not sure I agree with that. Again, the only BB post-SMiLE record on which Brian was the main songwriter of most of the material (Brian along with a non BB member collaborator)  is TWGMTR, and that record was apparently made with Mike's involvement only under some sort of promise (at least as how he saw it) that Mike and Brian would get to write some material from scratch on that album, and that such a promise was broken.

So I don't think it's easy to say that it didn't stop any of the other records from being recorded and released. I think TWGMTR may have barely made it to fruition and release (and the accompanying tour) as a result of Mike being very displeased over what he viewed as broken promises. His prerogative, regardless of what one thinks of it being "fair" or not. And as mentioned, it probably only happened with lots of negotiation from Joe Thomas.

I just think that Brian plus outside collaborator being the main songwriting team on a given album was going to be a problem for this band for some members. I don't think Mike *ever* was okay with that scenario, going back decades. Not sure about Carl's feelings, but at some point perhaps Carl agreed with Mike on that.

Also, one needs to take into account what the BBs having to deal with Landy might have done to their frame of mind. That alone might have just soured them to anyone else being a major collaborator with Brian on a BB project.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: CenturyDeprived on February 17, 2017, 05:59:30 PM

I really don't think it was about collaborators ... the group has had so many over the years that I can't imagine "collaborators" (in any form) being a problem in a general sense.


I think that's right. Everyone in the band had worked with outside collaborators by the mid-90s, including Mr "Get me in a room alone with Brian" Love. It wouldn't surprise me if there were tinges of jealousy or hurt now and then when someone did good work with someone else, but on the other hand, it's hard to imagine any of them really resenting it to the point of not doing the good material.

Quite the contrary; I think that even though Mike sang his parts on SMiLE, that he probably didn't mind being a contributing factor to Van ditching the project; I think it's possible he may have subconsciously wanted that result. Maybe he didn't consciously connive to exactly do that, but I cannot imagine Mike would be unaware of what sarcastic/tactless repeated haranguing of an outsider could do to said collaborator's relationship with the Brian.

There's doing good material (Mike singing his parts well, concurrent with also making the environment untenable), and there's doing the material and just going with the flow. There are many ways to torpedo a project, and while I'm glad that he sang his parts, that doesn't mean his resentment didn't help to quash the project. Like SMiLE, I think the Paley material must have been impacted by resentment within the band, in one way or another. There were probably multiple factors, but I cannot imagine band politics and resentment not being part what sank it.

And in discussing the fact that there have been collaborators in the past with the band... just realize that none of them attempted to cowrite and ENTIRE project for the BBs with Brian except Tony and Van. And in both cases, there were some mighty rough patches with regards to interference by jealous bandmates.

I think it's a totally different scenario than a handful of one-off songs in the early days cowritten with Brian by outsiders.

Mike did contribute little (at least in terms of released material) to the LA Light album, but if Brian in 1979 had just decided to start writing up a storm of songs to contribute (with an outside collaborator) to the project, I think that's when you'd start to get Mike finding ways to c*ckblock those songs, or to nitpick them in SOME way in order to make sure that no other outside collaborator would ever find it easy to be Brian's main go-to collaborator guy. Jealousy ain't a pretty thing. I get it, the guys are human. But let's not try to minimize what affect it could have had on messing up projects. It seems pretty obvious to me based on decades-long patterns. I think Mike has an absolute pattern of it; Carl is far more of a mystery for sure.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: CM Punky Brewster on February 17, 2017, 06:03:49 PM

The Paley stuff could have been the BB or Brian equivalent of that. But everyone involved still wanted a Kokomo-level hit. But, as Craig points out, Kokomo was the equivalent of the lucky winning lotto ticket.

This is true but I think Brian ended up not needing it: his run from the touring of after Imagination through at least the BBs reunion, seems to have re-re-re-solidified his place, even with uneven new material. The big loss, I think, is for the BBs. They could have had the kind of critical adoration that they did eventually, briefly, get for TWGMTR, almost 20 years earlier, and could have avoided a full generation just writing their modern selves off as casino-and-carnival clowns. (Not that this was a fair write-off, just that I think it mostly went that way.) Forget homerun, even a double of a Paley sessions album by the band would have gone a long way, in my opinion.

I agree with this too. Remember that prior to hooking up with Rick Rubin, Johnny Cash was thought of as a washed-up has been doing Branson shows and Taco Bell commercials.  But he reinvented himself by doing what he did best which is a lesson the Boys should have heeded.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: CenturyDeprived on February 17, 2017, 06:11:51 PM

The Paley stuff could have been the BB or Brian equivalent of that. But everyone involved still wanted a Kokomo-level hit. But, as Craig points out, Kokomo was the equivalent of the lucky winning lotto ticket.

This is true but I think Brian ended up not needing it: his run from the touring of after Imagination through at least the BBs reunion, seems to have re-re-re-solidified his place, even with uneven new material. The big loss, I think, is for the BBs. They could have had the kind of critical adoration that they did eventually, briefly, get for TWGMTR, almost 20 years earlier, and could have avoided a full generation just writing their modern selves off as casino-and-carnival clowns. (Not that this was a fair write-off, just that I think it mostly went that way.) Forget homerun, even a double of a Paley sessions album by the band would have gone a long way, in my opinion.

I agree with this too. Remember that prior to hooking up with Rick Rubin, Johnny Cash was thought of as a washed-up has been doing Branson shows and Taco Bell commercials.  But he reinvented himself by doing what he did best which is a lesson the Boys should have heeded.

+1

(insert Jack Rieley quote here)  :-\


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: guitarfool2002 on February 17, 2017, 07:24:02 PM
On the topic of artists who were maybe thought to be too long in the tooth to have a "hit" around the same time period as Kokomo, let's say 1987 or so up to 1992-3 or so, first factor in MTV which was at that time one of the key driving forces behind having a "hit". It was right there next to commercial radio in terms of gauging what was a public success, and making songs into hits or even smash hits.

I remember this well, and I don't even think there was a starting point or an artist who was the catalyst, but just a sample or a roll call of some of the "legacy" artists who may have been considered in the music biz "too old" or past their primes for the 18-24 demographic to have the hit record mojo, yet managed to score hit songs and albums.

George Harrison: Cloud Nine, the single Got My Mind Set On You was an MTV hit that got radio play.

Roy Orbison: "You Got It", produced by Jeff Lynne, and on top of Roy's "Black And White" cable TV special, Roy Orbison of all people was an MTV and radio hit in the late 80's up to his death.

Related to those: The Traveling Wilburys. Two MTV and radio hits, Handle With Care and End Of The Line.

McCartney: Flowers In the Dirt. Was it a massive hit? No, but I saw that tour and MTV and some radio were playing the single My Brave Face

The Grateful Dead: Never really had a radio or MTV hit, they weren't considered a hit-record-making band by the biz, yet they scored with Touch Of Grey on MTV and radio.

Tom Petty: Another Wilbury brother...Full Moon Fever was a massive hit which spun 3 hit MTV and radio singles.

The Stones: Steel Wheels, the single Mixed Emotions got MTV and radio play, and it launched a huge tour that even got a primetime network TV broadcast and radio simulcast.

Johnny Cash: Perhaps the most unlikely, the guy goes from playing the "Lawn Chair Circuit" of red-blooded trad country for red-blooded Americans who carried their lawn chairs to the open-air venues and fields to hear Johnny play stone-cold country, to being the ultimate rock and roll badass thanks mostly to the American Recordings record and related name-checking by young rock and rollers.

Clapton: Already mentioned Unplugged, but also his Journeyman album as much as I can't stand that production, it also sold well and got I think "Pretending" on MTV and radio.

Those are just a few, maybe the most famous. But it's an example of how at that time, these artists not only made comebacks after they were thought finished due to age and the nature of the music biz in the 1980's, but also made successful albums, had MTV and radio hits, and were in most cases touring behind new albums.

Compare that to the Beach Boys, they were riding the same wave of improbability where artists thought to be too old were scoring hits and popular videos in heavy rotation, but they had no album to capitalize on Kokomo and they had no follow up single either which was worth a damn.

Apply that to the post-Landy decisions and vetoes and the whole lot of it, and the whole thing maybe becomes even more frustrating and puzzling considering there were songs available for them to do something new and fill an album that wasn't the travesty of Summer In Paradise.



Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: ♩♬☮ Billy C ♯♫♩☮ on February 17, 2017, 08:37:09 PM
Good points, Craig. Also add Rod Stewart to the list, as the last decade was his biggest commercially successful over his career (despite artistically being the worst)


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: Lonely Summer on February 17, 2017, 09:54:54 PM
Much is made of the Brian gaining hipster cred in the 90's, and that might mean a lot to some fans who lived through that era; I don't think it meant squat to the other Beach Boys. Mike was on record as calling Brian's 1988 album "a big turkey of an album" because it only made it to 50-something on the charts; so I can't imagine him being impressed by IJWMFTT and Orange Crate Art, which didn't chart at all. Mike has always been interested in being commercial. If given the choice on gambling for a hit record or an artistic record, Mike is always going to shoot for commercial - even if he falls flat on his face.
Mike did an very in depth interview with Goldmine in 1992, where he explained how SIP came to be. He really thought taking control and not having so many cooks in the kitchen was going to give him a monster hit. He also mentioned in that interview that Carl was working with Gerry Beckley and Robert Lamm, so that project goes back to at least 1992. My take on it was, Carl had given up any thought of writing songs for the Beach Boys; the BB's were stuck in the sun, surf and sand formula once again, and his songs did not fit that mold. He just had to find another outlet for his own, more artistically expressive material.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: Pablo. on February 18, 2017, 07:26:59 AM
After his brief departure from the Beach Boys tour in the early 80s, Carl spent the rest of his life with the group mostly coasting, despite some fine songs on the BB 85 album. And his production taste had gone totally AC (Like a Brother), so he could have dig Imagination. Anyway, the Carl of 69-73 was, by the time of his death, long gone.
Didn't he recognized this to Sean O'Hagan?


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: Lonely Summer on February 18, 2017, 10:42:18 PM
After his brief departure from the Beach Boys tour in the early 80s, Carl spent the rest of his life with the group mostly coasting, despite some fine songs on the BB 85 album. And his production taste had gone totally AC (Like a Brother), so he could have dig Imagination. Anyway, the Carl of 69-73 was, by the time of his death, long gone.
Didn't he recognized this to Sean O'Hagan?
I know us muso's are supposed to want our heroes to remain cutting edge, the hippest of the hip, but I seriously doubt Carl or any of the Beach Boys were listening to college radio in the 80's/90's, looking to gain the "hip credentials"; they weren't going to go grunge or alternative. It must puzzle Brian to be considered a hero to so many underground or alternative musicians, i'm pretty sure the music he listens to at home is the same as it's always been - Phil Spector, Beatles, Everly Brothers, Stevie Wonder, Fats Domino, Four Freshman.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: LostArt on February 19, 2017, 06:39:04 AM
Good points, Craig. Also add Rod Stewart to the list, as the last decade was his biggest commercially successful over his career (despite artistically being the worst)

And John Fogerty


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: DonnyL on February 19, 2017, 04:33:26 PM

I really don't think it was about collaborators ... the group has had so many over the years that I can't imagine "collaborators" (in any form) being a problem in a general sense.


I think that's right. Everyone in the band had worked with outside collaborators by the mid-90s, including Mr "Get me in a room alone with Brian" Love. It wouldn't surprise me if there were tinges of jealousy or hurt now and then when someone did good work with someone else, but on the other hand, it's hard to imagine any of them really resenting it to the point of not doing the good material.

Quite the contrary; I think that even though Mike sang his parts on SMiLE, that he probably didn't mind being a contributing factor to Van ditching the project; I think it's possible he may have subconsciously wanted that result. Maybe he didn't consciously connive to exactly do that, but I cannot imagine Mike would be unaware of what sarcastic/tactless repeated haranguing of an outsider could do to said collaborator's relationship with the Brian.

There's doing good material (Mike singing his parts well, concurrent with also making the environment untenable), and there's doing the material and just going with the flow. There are many ways to torpedo a project, and while I'm glad that he sang his parts, that doesn't mean his resentment didn't help to quash the project. Like SMiLE, I think the Paley material must have been impacted by resentment within the band, in one way or another. There were probably multiple factors, but I cannot imagine band politics and resentment not being part what sank it.

And in discussing the fact that there have been collaborators in the past with the band... just realize that none of them attempted to cowrite and ENTIRE project for the BBs with Brian except Tony and Van. And in both cases, there were some mighty rough patches with regards to interference by jealous bandmates.

I think it's a totally different scenario than a handful of one-off songs in the early days cowritten with Brian by outsiders.

Mike did contribute little (at least in terms of released material) to the LA Light album, but if Brian in 1979 had just decided to start writing up a storm of songs to contribute (with an outside collaborator) to the project, I think that's when you'd start to get Mike finding ways to c*ckblock those songs, or to nitpick them in SOME way in order to make sure that no other outside collaborator would ever find it easy to be Brian's main go-to collaborator guy. Jealousy ain't a pretty thing. I get it, the guys are human. But let's not try to minimize what affect it could have had on messing up projects. It seems pretty obvious to me based on decades-long patterns. I think Mike has an absolute pattern of it; Carl is far more of a mystery for sure.

Not saying that Mike didn't have issues with other writers ... also not saying that didn't potentially affect BW's state of mind, decisions, etc ... but I'm not really trying to psychoanalyze these guys and interpret these dynamics (though they are often fascinating to speculate about) ...

What I am saying is the results show (in my opinion) that the records were recorded, completed, and released despite these kinds of issues. Because there are plenty of examples of tons of records that do not include many Mike Love co-writes (in fact I would argue most of their albums don't have that many). I honestly think the stories about Mike opposing certain tracks (like "Cabinessence", "'Til I Die", or "Summer's Gone", which were all released anyway - case in point) have more to do with him actually having a real issue with the lyrical content. We also have the rumor that he blocked "Carry Me Home" from Made in California ... again, for whatever reason he seems to have actual objections to the material (which I strongly disagree with if it's true). Mike also reportedly didn't like the Adult Child album ... though I'm sure it wasn't released for other reasons (such as a Warner rejection), that record didn't have a writing collaborator either.

Your point seems to be that Brian would have collaborated with specific writers for entire albums after Pet Sounds/Smile if given the chance. I have to say I simply disagree ... I don't think he was particularly interested in seeing any record through from start to finish after Pet Sounds. Don't think Mike or potential issues with collaborators would have changed that ... possibly the opposite; you could argue that without the group nudging him along (particularly Mike co-writing and Carl co-producing), BW might not have completed much of anything himself throughout the '70s.



Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: CenturyDeprived on February 20, 2017, 05:49:54 PM

Your point seems to be that Brian would have collaborated with specific writers for entire albums after Pet Sounds/Smile if given the chance. I have to say I simply disagree ... I don't think he was particularly interested in seeing any record through from start to finish after Pet Sounds. Don't think Mike or potential issues with collaborators would have changed that ... possibly the opposite; you could argue that without the group nudging him along (particularly Mike co-writing and Carl co-producing), BW might not have completed much of anything himself throughout the '70s.


Yeah, but that's very much *because* Brian was given such a hard time for having had the "temerity" to collaborate with specific writers for entire albums the only two times he tried it with The BBs (Pet Sounds + SMiLE). Brian's issues with finishing material grew out of the damage that occurred partly as a result of BB bandmate hostility to doing material that would have necessitated outside cowriters.

It's ironic, because the toxic/dysfunctional lesson for Brian to learn was that if Brian had an urge to do material that wasn't what his bandmates (one especially) wanted to/were able to cowrite, then Brian getting another outside writer for a whole project wasn't an acceptable solution; writing material for an outside band like Redwood wasn't an acceptable solution; really, the only solution was to just to be pressured to fall back in line into making "appropriate" music for The BBs, and to quash the urge to evolve as an artist the way he wanted to. It's no wonder Brian developed such complexes and writer's block.

This is why Brian didn't try it again until decades later with Paley when he really needed the assist from a collaborator, and while the Paley sessions suffered a similar fate of rejection by The BBs (ridiculous, considering the drek they'd released for decades sans Brian), in 2012, the one other final time after Pet Sounds/SMiLE that it would be tried with The BBs, fortunately Brian had Melinda (as well as that very collaborator) present to play interference/head off one other member's ego issues, regardless if some of that member's gripes were justified or not.
 
Let's face it: the collaborations Brian did in 1966/1967 led to a passive aggressive cesspool with his cousin (not helped by some other band members, most likely); a situation that was getting worse and worse, with Brian being guilted into "promising" his cousin that the next record would be back to recording with Mike. Incredible that the biggest musical genius of the 20th century was pressured into making promises like that. Nobody makes that kind of promise without being pressured to do so. Ridiculous.

Honestly, yes I *get* how people could get jealous and irked at being cast aside, but if Brian had NOT endured such grief and lack of support (singing ones' parts well, as Mike and The Boys did does not = the internal support that Brian needed) on those two projects, not only would the second of the two likely gotten finished and released, but he'd likely have been more inclined to try writing future BB projects (entire albums) with other collaborators.

Yes, I remain convinced that if his bandmates had been super supportive, they could and would have gotten SMiLE done, come hell or high water. I don't buy it wasn't possible. If Darian was Brian's musical secretary with a laptop (but just one guy), an entire team of 5 other guys willing to be musical secretaries - albeit without laptops - but ready and willing to cut tape, organize Brian's sh*t, and not complain, could have equaled the same result.

Darian was a hired hand who knew he had a job to do, while comparatively, Brian's BB mates didn't have a boss like Melinda, nor did they have an inkling to do anything of the sort. If Darian had complained Mike-style, and acted like a passive aggressive jerk, he probably would have gotten fired; his position was to get results. The Boys in 1966 did not have any such system to make sure they were supportive to their leader - it was a band with a completely different dynamic; the only thing that might have gotten any of them fired would have been completely walking out on a project for good - and even then, family ties - excepting Jardine - would probably have prevented termination.  

Yes, I know it's perhaps not a realistic scenario to retroactively expect a bunch of spoiled, rich young guys in 1966 to have done Herculean tasks like that... but it still could have happened, and I think the myth that it was literally impossible needs to be put to rest.

It's at least partly because Brian grew a negative connotation to the internal resistance and rejection of his more adventurous material that he stopped trying to do entire albums with outside collaborators. It's that very rejection of collaborating with others for entire albums which Brian endured that led to both his increase in self-medication, as well as his motivation drying up.

I don't even want to think what it must *still* have been like, both in the 1990s as well as 2012, for Brian's work with collaborators like Paley and Thomas to yet again have faced rejection from his bandmates. I know Carl bent over backwards in 1977 to make sure that Love You got finished (and as a fan I'm hugely grateful for it), but it's too bad that  internal politics (and a bunch of unknown factors) in the 1990s didn't lead to Carl's similar support happening again with the Paley stuff. Probably it was all still fallout from Landy. Now when it comes to Mike crudely making fun of songs like Summer's Gone - and knowingly having the chutzpah to do it on a PUBLIC level - I really just have no words; that's next level sh*t.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: ForHerCryingSoul on February 20, 2017, 08:24:11 PM
Yeah, but that's very much *because* Brian was given such a hard time for having had the "temerity" to collaborate with specific writers for entire albums the only two times he tried it with The BBs (Pet Sounds + SMiLE). Brian's issues with finishing material grew out of the damage that occurred partly as a result of BB bandmate hostility to doing material that would have necessitated outside cowriters.

It's ironic, because the toxic/dysfunctional lesson for Brian to learn was that if Brian had an urge to do material that wasn't what his bandmates (one especially) wanted to/were able to cowrite, then Brian getting another outside writer for a whole project wasn't an acceptable solution; writing material for an outside band like Redwood wasn't an acceptable solution; really, the only solution was to just to be pressured to fall back in line into making "appropriate" music for The BBs, and to quash the urge to evolve as an artist the way he wanted to. It's no wonder Brian developed such complexes and writer's block.

This is why Brian didn't try it again until decades later with Paley when he really needed the assist from a collaborator, and while the Paley sessions suffered a similar fate of rejection by The BBs (ridiculous, considering the drek they'd released for decades sans Brian), in 2012, the one other final time after Pet Sounds/SMiLE that it would be tried with The BBs, fortunately Brian had Melinda (as well as that very collaborator) present to play interference/head off one other member's ego issues, regardless if some of that member's gripes were justified or not.
 
Let's face it: the collaborations Brian did in 1966/1967 led to a passive aggressive cesspool with his cousin (not helped by some other band members, most likely); a situation that was getting worse and worse, with Brian being guilted into "promising" his cousin that the next record would be back to recording with Mike. Incredible that the biggest musical genius of the 20th century was pressured into making promises like that. Nobody makes that kind of promise without being pressured to do so. Ridiculous.

Honestly, yes I *get* how people could get jealous and irked at being cast aside, but if Brian had NOT endured such grief and lack of support (singing ones' parts well, as Mike and The Boys did does not = the internal support that Brian needed) on those two projects, not only would the second of the two likely gotten finished and released, but he'd likely have been more inclined to try writing future BB projects (entire albums) with other collaborators.

Yes, I remain convinced that if his bandmates had been super supportive, they could and would have gotten SMiLE done, come hell or high water. I don't buy it wasn't possible. If Darian was Brian's musical secretary with a laptop (but just one guy), an entire team of 5 other guys willing to be musical secretaries - albeit without laptops - but ready and willing to cut tape, organize Brian's sh*t, and not complain, could have equaled the same result.

Darian was a hired hand who knew he had a job to do, while comparatively, Brian's BB mates didn't have a boss like Melinda, nor did they have an inkling to do anything of the sort. If Darian had complained Mike-style, and acted like a passive aggressive jerk, he probably would have gotten fired; his position was to get results. The Boys in 1966 did not have any such system to make sure they were supportive to their leader - it was a band with a completely different dynamic; the only thing that might have gotten any of them fired would have been completely walking out on a project for good - and even then, family ties - excepting Jardine - would probably have prevented termination.  

Yes, I know it's perhaps not a realistic scenario to retroactively expect a bunch of spoiled, rich young guys in 1966 to have done Herculean tasks like that... but it still could have happened, and I think the myth that it was literally impossible needs to be put to rest.

It's at least partly because Brian grew a negative connotation to the internal resistance and rejection of his more adventurous material that he stopped trying to do entire albums with outside collaborators. It's that very rejection of collaborating with others for entire albums which Brian endured that led to both his increase in self-medication, as well as his motivation drying up.

I don't even want to think what it must *still* have been like, both in the 1990s as well as 2012, for Brian's work with collaborators like Paley and Thomas to yet again have faced rejection from his bandmates. I know Carl bent over backwards in 1977 to make sure that Love You got finished (and as a fan I'm hugely grateful for it), but it's too bad that  internal politics (and a bunch of unknown factors) in the 1990s didn't lead to Carl's similar support happening again with the Paley stuff. Probably it was all still fallout from Landy. Now when it comes to Mike crudely making fun of songs like Summer's Gone - and knowingly having the chutzpah to do it on a PUBLIC level - I really just have no words; that's next level sh*t.
OSD, this sums up my feelings about Brian's psyche regarding the collapse of SMiLE.  I don't buy the drugs messing things up either.  I think first and foremost, Brian didn't want to upset anyone in his creative zone, and as people became impatient, plus ingroup splintering, the project fell apart.  Still wish the Paley stuff was released in high quality though.  It is a true shame that so much of Brian's music has been kept in the vaults.  Heck, I still want to hear Just an Imitation or Song to God, but we will probably never get to hear those because of Beach Boys 'branding issues' or the tapes were lost, or never worked on because the Beach Boys refused, and other such things.

Sorry about that rant though, I let my rage spill out lol.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: HeyJude on February 21, 2017, 09:11:33 AM
Much is made of the Brian gaining hipster cred in the 90's, and that might mean a lot to some fans who lived through that era; I don't think it meant squat to the other Beach Boys. Mike was on record as calling Brian's 1988 album "a big turkey of an album" because it only made it to 50-something on the charts; so I can't imagine him being impressed by IJWMFTT and Orange Crate Art, which didn't chart at all. Mike has always been interested in being commercial. If given the choice on gambling for a hit record or an artistic record, Mike is always going to shoot for commercial - even if he falls flat on his face.
Mike did an very in depth interview with Goldmine in 1992, where he explained how SIP came to be. He really thought taking control and not having so many cooks in the kitchen was going to give him a monster hit. He also mentioned in that interview that Carl was working with Gerry Beckley and Robert Lamm, so that project goes back to at least 1992. My take on it was, Carl had given up any thought of writing songs for the Beach Boys; the BB's were stuck in the sun, surf and sand formula once again, and his songs did not fit that mold. He just had to find another outlet for his own, more artistically expressive material.

Mike definitely does measure success by chart position and sales, not by critical acclaim. But one thing trumps even that with Mike, and that's his ego. Witness how he has never really discussed the utter failure of "SIP" as arguably the biggest bomb of the BBs career, and how when "That's Why God Made the Radio" WAS a hit (making it to #3 on Billboard, the best chart position of any original studio album in their CAREER outside of "Surfin' USA" and "Summer Days" which both hit #2, and bettering even any live and compilation stuff outside of "Concert" and "Endless Summer", not to mention #1 on Amazon), he even downplayed *that* in later interviews, scoffing at how it didn't sustain its chart position, showing his utter lack of understanding as to how most chart activity occurs, to say nothing of ignoring that "Kokomo" didn't stay at #1 for very long either (wasn't it a single week at #1?).

I do agree that the BBs at large in the early-mid 90s had little knowledge of their building "indie cred", and certainly therefore a lack of interest in it. I think eventually some of the band members, specifically Brian and Al, came to understand this a bit more. I think Carl may have come around eventually had he lived; even if he would have kept his sort of bland MOR/AC proclivities on new material, I think he eventually could have embraced the gaining momentum for appreciation of the band's deeper back catalog and performing that in concert.

For Mike, it seems to be more about control. He'll add deep cuts to his setlist when it's his idea (or one of "his" guys in his band). That he would seem thrown for a loop when Brian suggested "Marcella" in 2012, was arguably/rumored to have rejected doing "Surf's Up" in 2012 (despite Scott Totten saying otherwise), Mike post-C50 was more than happy to do "'Til I Die" and "Surf's Up" without Brian or Al, when it was *his* choice to add them.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: guitarfool2002 on February 21, 2017, 09:19:42 AM
Consider that Don Was in making the Brian documentary when he did was tapped into that buzz, as he himself experienced firsthand what all the underground began name-checking and discussing, and in the early 90's actually had access to via the CD reissues.

It's the fact that, yes, the band didn't seem to acknowledge it or act on it enough to do something with it...and isn't that one of the main problems? It was an issue that carried itself through the immediate future even after Carl's passing, where choices were made to be the stage act in that Yankee Stadium video and in Philly July 4th '95 versus giving an entirely new category of fans (and a lot of them younger musicians) something beyond the live revue to latch onto and connect to the legacy recordings that were not getting on the oldies radio formats.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: HeyJude on February 21, 2017, 09:29:03 AM
I also think Brian building up his own "brand" in the late 90s and especially 2000s also gave him more weight to throw around within the BB/BRI organization.

Let's say the band had thrown around the idea of marketing a "Reunion" in 1996 or 97 or 98 or so, with Brian fully involved in a new album and tour, and had pitched it as Brian and an outside writer making most of the album without the band, and then Brian had suggested dumping most of the touring band for his own hand-picked players.

I don't think that would have gotten off the ground in the late 90s. But by working more on his live shows, by simply doing more, and then building a provably great band, and then proving he could get good critical notices on solo material, and with a build up of the "Smile" mystique and the band's deep catalog to a larger audience, it was doable in 2012, at least long enough for Joe Thomas to secure enough cash to make people happy for six or nine months.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: DonnyL on February 21, 2017, 09:41:51 AM

Your point seems to be that Brian would have collaborated with specific writers for entire albums after Pet Sounds/Smile if given the chance. I have to say I simply disagree ... I don't think he was particularly interested in seeing any record through from start to finish after Pet Sounds. Don't think Mike or potential issues with collaborators would have changed that ... possibly the opposite; you could argue that without the group nudging him along (particularly Mike co-writing and Carl co-producing), BW might not have completed much of anything himself throughout the '70s.


Yeah, but that's very much *because* Brian was given such a hard time for having had the "temerity" to collaborate with specific writers for entire albums the only two times he tried it with The BBs (Pet Sounds + SMiLE). Brian's issues with finishing material grew out of the damage that occurred partly as a result of BB bandmate hostility to doing material that would have necessitated outside cowriters.

It's ironic, because the toxic/dysfunctional lesson for Brian to learn was that if Brian had an urge to do material that wasn't what his bandmates (one especially) wanted to/were able to cowrite, then Brian getting another outside writer for a whole project wasn't an acceptable solution; writing material for an outside band like Redwood wasn't an acceptable solution; really, the only solution was to just to be pressured to fall back in line into making "appropriate" music for The BBs, and to quash the urge to evolve as an artist the way he wanted to. It's no wonder Brian developed such complexes and writer's block.

This is why Brian didn't try it again until decades later with Paley when he really needed the assist from a collaborator, and while the Paley sessions suffered a similar fate of rejection by The BBs (ridiculous, considering the drek they'd released for decades sans Brian), in 2012, the one other final time after Pet Sounds/SMiLE that it would be tried with The BBs, fortunately Brian had Melinda (as well as that very collaborator) present to play interference/head off one other member's ego issues, regardless if some of that member's gripes were justified or not.
 
Let's face it: the collaborations Brian did in 1966/1967 led to a passive aggressive cesspool with his cousin (not helped by some other band members, most likely); a situation that was getting worse and worse, with Brian being guilted into "promising" his cousin that the next record would be back to recording with Mike. Incredible that the biggest musical genius of the 20th century was pressured into making promises like that. Nobody makes that kind of promise without being pressured to do so. Ridiculous.

Honestly, yes I *get* how people could get jealous and irked at being cast aside, but if Brian had NOT endured such grief and lack of support (singing ones' parts well, as Mike and The Boys did does not = the internal support that Brian needed) on those two projects, not only would the second of the two likely gotten finished and released, but he'd likely have been more inclined to try writing future BB projects (entire albums) with other collaborators.

Yes, I remain convinced that if his bandmates had been super supportive, they could and would have gotten SMiLE done, come hell or high water. I don't buy it wasn't possible. If Darian was Brian's musical secretary with a laptop (but just one guy), an entire team of 5 other guys willing to be musical secretaries - albeit without laptops - but ready and willing to cut tape, organize Brian's sh*t, and not complain, could have equaled the same result.

Darian was a hired hand who knew he had a job to do, while comparatively, Brian's BB mates didn't have a boss like Melinda, nor did they have an inkling to do anything of the sort. If Darian had complained Mike-style, and acted like a passive aggressive jerk, he probably would have gotten fired; his position was to get results. The Boys in 1966 did not have any such system to make sure they were supportive to their leader - it was a band with a completely different dynamic; the only thing that might have gotten any of them fired would have been completely walking out on a project for good - and even then, family ties - excepting Jardine - would probably have prevented termination.  

Yes, I know it's perhaps not a realistic scenario to retroactively expect a bunch of spoiled, rich young guys in 1966 to have done Herculean tasks like that... but it still could have happened, and I think the myth that it was literally impossible needs to be put to rest.

It's at least partly because Brian grew a negative connotation to the internal resistance and rejection of his more adventurous material that he stopped trying to do entire albums with outside collaborators. It's that very rejection of collaborating with others for entire albums which Brian endured that led to both his increase in self-medication, as well as his motivation drying up.

I don't even want to think what it must *still* have been like, both in the 1990s as well as 2012, for Brian's work with collaborators like Paley and Thomas to yet again have faced rejection from his bandmates. I know Carl bent over backwards in 1977 to make sure that Love You got finished (and as a fan I'm hugely grateful for it), but it's too bad that  internal politics (and a bunch of unknown factors) in the 1990s didn't lead to Carl's similar support happening again with the Paley stuff. Probably it was all still fallout from Landy. Now when it comes to Mike crudely making fun of songs like Summer's Gone - and knowingly having the chutzpah to do it on a PUBLIC level - I really just have no words; that's next level sh*t.

Most of your post is uncontroversial and I don't really disagree ...

But I don't think the issue is whether or not Mike and the Beach Boys contributed (directly or indirectly) to an environment that was not exactly friendly toward Brian exploring his creativity to the fullest extent. I think that is well-established. The environment in which Smile did not come to fruition is well-established. I just personally don't think it had much to do with outside collaborators as a general thing. Van Dyke Parks (as an individual person) was involved, but my opinion is it was more the content of his lyrics that Mike found objectionable rather than the fact that Brian was collaborating with someone else. Mike might not have liked it personally (in his heart), but I think that those were likely private feelings. You look at someone like Stephen Kalinich, who wrote with all of the Wilson brothers and also was (and still is) friends with Mike. The "outside collaborators" element just doesn't add up to me. If Brian and Stevie wrote an album together (in fact, they kind of did, A World of Peace Must Come), I don't think Mike or the rest of the guys would have a problem with that ... so long as it wasn't taking away from their meat and potatoes.

Redwood is a good example actually ... the issue there was that Brian was taking potential HITS (i.e., income) away from the group. And what did they do? They apparently stifled the project and brought the songs into the Beach Boys and got a Top 20 hit of out it. I don't think we should underestimate the power of the business in the Beach Boys story ... quite frankly, with regard to the Paley material, the guys might have felt they'd be dealing with another Love You and didn't have interest because of $$$ ...

The history of the group's albums shows that Brian very distinctly lost interest in seeing records through to completion in 1967. The only proof we need is the "Produced by The Beach Boys" credit.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: SMiLE Brian on February 21, 2017, 09:44:40 AM
Consider that Don Was in making the Brian documentary when he did was tapped into that buzz, as he himself experienced firsthand what all the underground began name-checking and discussing, and in the early 90's actually had access to via the CD reissues.

It's the fact that, yes, the band didn't seem to acknowledge it or act on it enough to do something with it...and isn't that one of the main problems? It was an issue that carried itself through the immediate future even after Carl's passing, where choices were made to be the stage act in that Yankee Stadium video and in Philly July 4th '95 versus giving an entirely new category of fans (and a lot of them younger musicians) something beyond the live revue to latch onto and connect to the legacy recordings that were not getting on the oldies radio formats.
Do you have nightmares about Philly July 4 '95 once a month? That is one strange concert from the BBs....


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: DonnyL on February 21, 2017, 09:48:31 AM
Much is made of the Brian gaining hipster cred in the 90's, and that might mean a lot to some fans who lived through that era; I don't think it meant squat to the other Beach Boys. Mike was on record as calling Brian's 1988 album "a big turkey of an album" because it only made it to 50-something on the charts; so I can't imagine him being impressed by IJWMFTT and Orange Crate Art, which didn't chart at all. Mike has always been interested in being commercial. If given the choice on gambling for a hit record or an artistic record, Mike is always going to shoot for commercial - even if he falls flat on his face.
Mike did an very in depth interview with Goldmine in 1992, where he explained how SIP came to be. He really thought taking control and not having so many cooks in the kitchen was going to give him a monster hit. He also mentioned in that interview that Carl was working with Gerry Beckley and Robert Lamm, so that project goes back to at least 1992. My take on it was, Carl had given up any thought of writing songs for the Beach Boys; the BB's were stuck in the sun, surf and sand formula once again, and his songs did not fit that mold. He just had to find another outlet for his own, more artistically expressive material.

Mike definitely does measure success by chart position and sales, not by critical acclaim. But one thing trumps even that with Mike, and that's his ego. Witness how he has never really discussed the utter failure of "SIP" as arguably the biggest bomb of the BBs career, and how when "That's Why God Made the Radio" WAS a hit (making it to #3 on Billboard, the best chart position of any original studio album in their CAREER outside of "Surfin' USA" and "Summer Days" which both hit #2, and bettering even any live and compilation stuff outside of "Concert" and "Endless Summer", not to mention #1 on Amazon), he even downplayed *that* in later interviews, scoffing at how it didn't sustain its chart position, showing his utter lack of understanding as to how most chart activity occurs, to say nothing of ignoring that "Kokomo" didn't stay at #1 for very long either (wasn't it a single week at #1?).

I do agree that the BBs at large in the early-mid 90s had little knowledge of their building "indie cred", and certainly therefore a lack of interest in it. I think eventually some of the band members, specifically Brian and Al, came to understand this a bit more. I think Carl may have come around eventually had he lived; even if he would have kept his sort of bland MOR/AC proclivities on new material, I think he eventually could have embraced the gaining momentum for appreciation of the band's deeper back catalog and performing that in concert.

For Mike, it seems to be more about control. He'll add deep cuts to his setlist when it's his idea (or one of "his" guys in his band). That he would seem thrown for a loop when Brian suggested "Marcella" in 2012, was arguably/rumored to have rejected doing "Surf's Up" in 2012 (despite Scott Totten saying otherwise), Mike post-C50 was more than happy to do "'Til I Die" and "Surf's Up" without Brian or Al, when it was *his* choice to add them.

Bruce was aware of the building cred and attempted to capitalize on it ... Brian was also aware at the time.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: HeyJude on February 21, 2017, 09:54:45 AM
Most of your post is uncontroversial and I don't really disagree ...

I don't think the issue is whether or not Mike and the Beach Boys contributed (directly or indirectly) to an environment that was not exactly friendly toward Brian exploring his creativity to the fullest extent. I think that is well-established. The environment in which Smile did not come to fruition is well-established. I just personally don't think it had much to do with outside collaborators as a general thing. Van Dyke Parks (as an individual person) was involved, but my opinion is it was more the content of his lyrics that Mike found objectionable rather than the fact that Brian was collaborating with someone else. Mike might not have liked it personally (in his heart), but I think that those were likely private feelings. You look at someone like Stephen Kalinich, who wrote with all of the Wilson brothers and also was (and still is) friends with Mike. The "outside collaborators" element just doesn't add up to me. If Brian and Stevie wrote an album together (in fact, they kind of did, A World of Peace Must Come), I don't think Mike or the rest of the guys would have a problem with that ... so long as it wasn't taking away from their meat and potatoes.

Redwood is a good example actually ... the issue there was that Brian was taking potential HITS (i.e., income) away from the group. And what did they do? They apparently stifled the project and brought the songs into the Beach Boys and got a Top 20 hit of out it. I don't think we should underestimate the power of the business in the Beach Boys story business ... quite frankly, with regard to the Paley material, the guys might have felt they'd be dealing with another Love You and didn't have interest because $$$ ... I disagree, I think it would have actually been commercially viable.

The history of the group's albums shows that Brian very distinctly lost interest in seeing records through to completion in 1967. The only proof we need is the "Produced by The Beach Boys" credit.

While I don't think Mike simply has a problem with *any* outside writer off the bat, no questions asked, I do think it goes a bit beyond simply only objecting to the content of outside writers.

Case in point, I'm *pretty* sure that while Mike poo-pooed the ending suite on TWGMTR, he was mostly annoyed with Joe Thomas in regard specifically to the album because of money/royalties and billing/visibility/ego.

Mike is benevolent or ambivalent about anything, including outside writers, when it's no skin off his back. Kalinich wrote some lyrics to songs that weren't hits. Kalinich *didn't* write a full BB album with Brian, nor did anyone outside of Asher and Parks, and Mike seem to have varying levels of misgivings about both PS and Smile.

I think for both political as well as artistic reasons, I could easily envision the other BBs back in the late 60s or 70s objecting to an album *full* of Kalinich lyrics.

Isn't there some circumstantial evidence that Mike (among others, including Murry) weren't exactly enamored with Brian writing with Gary Usher for instance? I don't think anybody could have strong objections to Usher's lyrics on that early stuff.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: HeyJude on February 21, 2017, 09:57:46 AM
Bruce was aware of the building cred and attempted to capitalize on it ... Brian was also aware at the time.

Bruce, yes. Sort of. But he's such an odd duck, and the way he angled at the O'Hagan thing in the 90s was ill-advised and seemed stunningly kind of ignorant as to the politics of it all. He had the foresight (I guess) to think of O'Hagan, but then O'Hagan's own description of how Bruce attempted to "prep" O'Hagan for dealing with Mike and the band showed a complete ignorance as to how O'Hagan or someone like him would ever want to approach such a project.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: DonnyL on February 21, 2017, 10:07:27 AM
Bruce was aware of the building cred and attempted to capitalize on it ... Brian was also aware at the time.

Bruce, yes. Sort of. But he's such an odd duck, and the way he angled at the O'Hagan thing in the 90s was ill-advised and seemed stunningly kind of ignorant as to the politics of it all. He had the foresight (I guess) to think of O'Hagan, but then O'Hagan's own description of how Bruce attempted to "prep" O'Hagan for dealing with Mike and the band showed a complete ignorance as to how O'Hagan or someone like him would ever want to approach such a project.

Didn't say they were good at it, but at least aware :)


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: HeyJude on February 21, 2017, 10:13:34 AM
I was reading back through excerpts from the "Uncut" piece that focused on the Bruce/Sean O'Hagan stuff, and I actually found a tiny bit interesting I relation to the large question we've been asking in this thread of what Carl's deal was around that time, and how resigned or enthusiastic he was about what was going on at that time in terms of new material and the live show:

It got madder. Sean was told he was to play live with The Beach Boys in front of 60,000 rednecks in a stadium in Cincinnati, surrounded by pink balloons and ra-ra-skirted cheerleaders. Carl Wilson, already undergoing treatment for cancer, was friendly enough, as was his wife, Gina, Dean Martin's daughter, who O'Hagan recalls cringing at the whole overblown charade.

Now, this doesn't tell us a whole lot, but I think it's interesting that Carl's wife (who as we all know has never said much of anything publicly *ever* about anything to do with Carl or the Beach Boys) was "cringing" at the whole overblown charade of the live show/tour at that time. That's not to say her opinion was identical to Carl's, but I would tend to doubt Carl was super enthused about what the live show had become at that stage.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: HeyJude on February 21, 2017, 10:16:19 AM
Bruce was aware of the building cred and attempted to capitalize on it ... Brian was also aware at the time.

Bruce, yes. Sort of. But he's such an odd duck, and the way he angled at the O'Hagan thing in the 90s was ill-advised and seemed stunningly kind of ignorant as to the politics of it all. He had the foresight (I guess) to think of O'Hagan, but then O'Hagan's own description of how Bruce attempted to "prep" O'Hagan for dealing with Mike and the band showed a complete ignorance as to how O'Hagan or someone like him would ever want to approach such a project.

Didn't say they were good at it, but at least aware :)

True, fair enough. Though, the Uncut piece on the O'Hagan debacle I was just reading through seemed to imply Bruce's (and Brian's for that matter) affinity for O'Hagan's "Hawaii" was more the cause of wanting to work with him than gaining "cred." That is, if the song had been written and produced by Neil Diamond, maybe they would have then sought him out because they liked that song. I'm oversimplifying I'm sure; I would imagine O'Hagan's age and "newness" played a role as well. But all the references to what drew Bruce and Brian to the guy seem to revolve around liking a song he did.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: DonnyL on February 21, 2017, 10:50:32 AM
Most of your post is uncontroversial and I don't really disagree ...

I don't think the issue is whether or not Mike and the Beach Boys contributed (directly or indirectly) to an environment that was not exactly friendly toward Brian exploring his creativity to the fullest extent. I think that is well-established. The environment in which Smile did not come to fruition is well-established. I just personally don't think it had much to do with outside collaborators as a general thing. Van Dyke Parks (as an individual person) was involved, but my opinion is it was more the content of his lyrics that Mike found objectionable rather than the fact that Brian was collaborating with someone else. Mike might not have liked it personally (in his heart), but I think that those were likely private feelings. You look at someone like Stephen Kalinich, who wrote with all of the Wilson brothers and also was (and still is) friends with Mike. The "outside collaborators" element just doesn't add up to me. If Brian and Stevie wrote an album together (in fact, they kind of did, A World of Peace Must Come), I don't think Mike or the rest of the guys would have a problem with that ... so long as it wasn't taking away from their meat and potatoes.

Redwood is a good example actually ... the issue there was that Brian was taking potential HITS (i.e., income) away from the group. And what did they do? They apparently stifled the project and brought the songs into the Beach Boys and got a Top 20 hit of out it. I don't think we should underestimate the power of the business in the Beach Boys story business ... quite frankly, with regard to the Paley material, the guys might have felt they'd be dealing with another Love You and didn't have interest because $$$ ... I disagree, I think it would have actually been commercially viable.

The history of the group's albums shows that Brian very distinctly lost interest in seeing records through to completion in 1967. The only proof we need is the "Produced by The Beach Boys" credit.

While I don't think Mike simply has a problem with *any* outside writer off the bat, no questions asked, I do think it goes a bit beyond simply only objecting to the content of outside writers.

Case in point, I'm *pretty* sure that while Mike poo-pooed the ending suite on TWGMTR, he was mostly annoyed with Joe Thomas in regard specifically to the album because of money/royalties and billing/visibility/ego.

Mike is benevolent or ambivalent about anything, including outside writers, when it's no skin off his back. Kalinich wrote some lyrics to songs that weren't hits. Kalinich *didn't* write a full BB album with Brian, nor did anyone outside of Asher and Parks, and Mike seem to have varying levels of misgivings about both PS and Smile.

I think for both political as well as artistic reasons, I could easily envision the other BBs back in the late 60s or 70s objecting to an album *full* of Kalinich lyrics.

Isn't there some circumstantial evidence that Mike (among others, including Murry) weren't exactly enamored with Brian writing with Gary Usher for instance? I don't think anybody could have strong objections to Usher's lyrics on that early stuff.

As is typical on this board, once again this thread has derailed into "Mike did it".

That is a fair point in some instance, but ultimately ... I highly doubt Mike not liking BW working with collaborators was the reason the Paley sessions didn't happen. Seriously.

It's getting tough to have a reasonable conversation about the Beach Boys lately.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: CenturyDeprived on February 21, 2017, 11:00:03 AM

Most of your post is uncontroversial and I don't really disagree ...

But I don't think the issue is whether or not Mike and the Beach Boys contributed (directly or indirectly) to an environment that was not exactly friendly toward Brian exploring his creativity to the fullest extent. I think that is well-established. The environment in which Smile did not come to fruition is well-established. I just personally don't think it had much to do with outside collaborators as a general thing. Van Dyke Parks (as an individual person) was involved, but my opinion is it was more the content of his lyrics that Mike found objectionable rather than the fact that Brian was collaborating with someone else. Mike might not have liked it personally (in his heart), but I think that those were likely private feelings. You look at someone like Stephen Kalinich, who wrote with all of the Wilson brothers and also was (and still is) friends with Mike. The "outside collaborators" element just doesn't add up to me. If Brian and Stevie wrote an album together (in fact, they kind of did, A World of Peace Must Come), I don't think Mike or the rest of the guys would have a problem with that ... so long as it wasn't taking away from their meat and potatoes.

Redwood is a good example actually ... the issue there was that Brian was taking potential HITS (i.e., income) away from the group. And what did they do? They apparently stifled the project and brought the songs into the Beach Boys and got a Top 20 hit of out it. I don't think we should underestimate the power of the business in the Beach Boys story ... quite frankly, with regard to the Paley material, the guys might have felt they'd be dealing with another Love You and didn't have interest because of $$$ ...

The history of the group's albums shows that Brian very distinctly lost interest in seeing records through to completion in 1967. The only proof we need is the "Produced by The Beach Boys" credit.

Thing is: Mike not only wants money for songwriting credits, but he also wants everyone in the world to feel that he - and his songwriting expertise - is an incredibly valuable, essential element to BB songs, and I truthfully think he is deeply resentful that large swaths of fans/critics view the material WITHOUT his input as being the very best in the catalog, and in some cases, the only worthy material in the catalog.

That of course is a silly, shortsighted view for any critic/fan to have, and of course Mike has cowritten some great songs... but the bottom line is that for someone with a super fragile ego (Mike), an entire album for HIS BAND that is cowritten by Brian with an outsider was always, always gonna be an issue, especially if that project is a high profile project that isn't getting Mike an ounce of public accolades/respect in terms of influential people saying "wow, look what Mike's songwriting contributed to these amazing songs". If that isn't even on the table as something that Mike could strive towards happening, I think he was not only going to be disinterested/disheartened by the project, but I believe he went so far as to do passive aggressive moves to sabotage the project/elements of the project in all sorts of untold ways.

Again, if Joe Thomas had been on as weak footing in 2012 as a young VDP was in 1966 (and no Melinda lurking in the shadows), I have every reason to believe that TWGMTR wouldn't have been finished at all, or certainly not with Mike (and perhaps not with Bruce either). Perhaps Joe and/or Melinda did or said whatever they had to do to retain Mike's presence, and do all sorts of Herculean convoluted moves in order to get Mike to stick around (maybe he had signed contracts which if he violated, could have turned really ugly).

Consider this: if Mike had a literal team of people whose specific job it was to make sure that he stayed in line, acted as a buffer, etc in 1966, I have every reason to believe that Van would not have been harangued, would have stayed, and the project could likely have gotten finished. For all his faults in terms of questionable production choices, we are lucky to have had Joe Thomas in 2012 because there's no way a BB reunion album could have gotten done without him. The lack of a Joe Thomas figure in the 1990s has to be why the Paley material fell apart. What a damn shame.


As is typical on this board, once again this thread has derailed into "Mike did it".

That is a fair point in some instance, but ultimately ... I highly doubt Mike not liking BW working with collaborators was the reason the Paley sessions didn't happen. Seriously.

It's getting tough to have a reasonable conversation about the Beach Boys lately.

I don't think that there's evidence that Mike not liking BW working with collaborators was the single reason for the Paley sessions not happening, but I think it's fair to surmise, based on numerous other examples, that there's a solid chance this *may* have been a contributing factor. Examples of Brian's work with Kalinich don't hold much water in an argument implying that Mike was ok with other collaborators, because again that example wasn't for an entire BB album, and certainly not a high profile project at all.

There are literally zero examples of Brian cowriting an entire BB album with an outsider and it not devolving into some major drama with at least some of his bandmates, with Mike being the one with the biggest problem every single time. The examples we have are Pet Sounds, SMiLE, and TWGMTR.  I imagine with the Paley material there were other factors, and there are certainly unknowns with regards to Carl's mindset. And I don't *want* to blame Mike, I don't get any pleasure out of it. But I can't ignore what seems to have been a decades-long pattern, and it seems unlikely that suddenly in the 1990s, Mike was hunky dory with another collaborator swooping in - ESPECIALLY right after winning a bunch of songwriting credits in the lawsuit, when Mike getting credits was surely at the forefront of his mind.

Do you really think it's logical to think that Mike would just be cool with it, particularly considering his mindset in 2012, and how he publicly complained about how he didn't get to write this, that, and the other thing on that project? Why would the guy who felt that way in 2012 have been passive about being the main collaborative Brian Wilson songwriter on BB material just a decade and a half earlier? Respectfully speaking, I just don't see how that's a logical conclusion to make.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: DonnyL on February 21, 2017, 11:50:26 AM

Most of your post is uncontroversial and I don't really disagree ...

But I don't think the issue is whether or not Mike and the Beach Boys contributed (directly or indirectly) to an environment that was not exactly friendly toward Brian exploring his creativity to the fullest extent. I think that is well-established. The environment in which Smile did not come to fruition is well-established. I just personally don't think it had much to do with outside collaborators as a general thing. Van Dyke Parks (as an individual person) was involved, but my opinion is it was more the content of his lyrics that Mike found objectionable rather than the fact that Brian was collaborating with someone else. Mike might not have liked it personally (in his heart), but I think that those were likely private feelings. You look at someone like Stephen Kalinich, who wrote with all of the Wilson brothers and also was (and still is) friends with Mike. The "outside collaborators" element just doesn't add up to me. If Brian and Stevie wrote an album together (in fact, they kind of did, A World of Peace Must Come), I don't think Mike or the rest of the guys would have a problem with that ... so long as it wasn't taking away from their meat and potatoes.

Redwood is a good example actually ... the issue there was that Brian was taking potential HITS (i.e., income) away from the group. And what did they do? They apparently stifled the project and brought the songs into the Beach Boys and got a Top 20 hit of out it. I don't think we should underestimate the power of the business in the Beach Boys story ... quite frankly, with regard to the Paley material, the guys might have felt they'd be dealing with another Love You and didn't have interest because of $$$ ...

The history of the group's albums shows that Brian very distinctly lost interest in seeing records through to completion in 1967. The only proof we need is the "Produced by The Beach Boys" credit.

Thing is: Mike not only wants money for songwriting credits, but he also wants everyone in the world to feel that he - and his songwriting expertise - is an incredibly valuable, essential element to BB songs, and I truthfully think he is deeply resentful that large swaths of fans/critics view the material WITHOUT his input as being the very best in the catalog, and in some cases, the only worthy material in the catalog.

That of course is a silly, shortsighted view for any critic/fan to have, and of course Mike has cowritten some great songs... but the bottom line is that for someone with a super fragile ego (Mike), an entire album for HIS BAND that is cowritten by Brian with an outsider was always, always gonna be an issue, especially if that project is a high profile project that isn't getting Mike an ounce of public accolades/respect in terms of influential people saying "wow, look what Mike's songwriting contributed to these amazing songs". If that isn't even on the table as something that Mike could strive towards happening, I think he was not only going to be disinterested/disheartened by the project, but I believe he went so far as to do passive aggressive moves to sabotage the project/elements of the project in all sorts of untold ways.

Again, if Joe Thomas had been on as weak footing in 2012 as a young VDP was in 1966 (and no Melinda lurking in the shadows), I have every reason to believe that TWGMTR wouldn't have been finished at all, or certainly not with Mike (and perhaps not with Bruce either). Perhaps Joe and/or Melinda did or said whatever they had to do to retain Mike's presence, and do all sorts of Herculean convoluted moves in order to get Mike to stick around (maybe he had signed contracts which if he violated, could have turned really ugly).

Consider this: if Mike had a literal team of people whose specific job it was to make sure that he stayed in line, acted as a buffer, etc in 1966, I have every reason to believe that Van would not have been harangued, would have stayed, and the project could likely have gotten finished. For all his faults in terms of questionable production choices, we are lucky to have had Joe Thomas in 2012 because there's no way a BB reunion album could have gotten done without him. The lack of a Joe Thomas figure in the 1990s has to be why the Paley material fell apart. What a damn shame.


As is typical on this board, once again this thread has derailed into "Mike did it".

That is a fair point in some instance, but ultimately ... I highly doubt Mike not liking BW working with collaborators was the reason the Paley sessions didn't happen. Seriously.

It's getting tough to have a reasonable conversation about the Beach Boys lately.

I don't think that there's evidence that Mike not liking BW working with collaborators was the single reason for the Paley sessions not happening, but I think it's fair to surmise, based on numerous other examples, that there's a solid chance this *may* have been a contributing factor. Examples of Brian's work with Kalinich don't hold much water in an argument implying that Mike was ok with other collaborators, because again that example wasn't for an entire BB album, and certainly not a high profile project at all.

There are literally zero examples of Brian cowriting an entire BB album with an outsider and it not devolving into some major drama with at least some of his bandmates, with Mike being the one with the biggest problem every single time. The examples we have are Pet Sounds, SMiLE, and TWGMTR.  I imagine with the Paley material there were other factors, and there are certainly unknowns with regards to Carl's mindset. And I don't *want* to blame Mike, I don't get any pleasure out of it. But I can't ignore what seems to have been a decades-long pattern, and it seems unlikely that suddenly in the 1990s, Mike was hunky dory with another collaborator swooping in - ESPECIALLY right after winning a bunch of songwriting credits in the lawsuit, when Mike getting credits was surely at the forefront of his mind.

Do you really think it's logical to think that Mike would just be cool with it, particularly considering his mindset in 2012, and how he publicly complained about how he didn't get to write this, that, and the other thing on that project? Why would the guy who felt that way in 2012 have been passive about being the main collaborative Brian Wilson songwriter on BB material just a decade and a half earlier? Respectfully speaking, I just don't see how that's a logical conclusion to make.

I see I’ve been sucked into “Brian vs. Mike”.

Surfin’ Safari happened (more or less a BW-Usher LP), Pet Sounds happened (more or less a BW-Asher LP) … and most records in-between were not writing collaborations with specific lyricists. Most records since were not writing collaborations with specific lyricists. This leads me to believe that Brian does not have a consistent history of writing complete albums with specific collaborators, but it does happen occasionally.

The idea that beginning with Pet Sounds, Brian set out on a series of potential albums which would subsequently feature a specific songwriting collaborator, and this was thwarted by Mike Love (and to a lesser degree, the rest of the band) is conjecture and I don’t think the historical data supports it. Smile is the only example of that POSSIBLY occurring, and there are plenty of other (more likely, in my opinion) reasons why Smile wasn’t finished.

Once again, I don’t really think Mike was totally cool with the songwriting on Surfin' Safari and Pet Sounds. But I also don’t think it stopped the albums from being released. I honestly don’t think Mike has very much power in a studio setting. He’s a supporting player on recordings, and I believe that’s partially why he focuses so much on live shows, which is where he has full control.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: HeyJude on February 21, 2017, 12:26:04 PM
As is typical on this board, once again this thread has derailed into "Mike did it".

That is a fair point in some instance, but ultimately ... I highly doubt Mike not liking BW working with collaborators was the reason the Paley sessions didn't happen. Seriously.

It's getting tough to have a reasonable conversation about the Beach Boys lately.

I don't think this thread is breaking down into some epic "Mike vs. Brian" thing.

I don't think anybody has asserted that Mike not liking Brian working with outside collaborators led to the demise of the Paley sessions.

Rather, the discussion moved back to the more broad topic of Mike's attitude towards the concept of Brian working with others. All things considered, I think the evidence suggests Mike tolerated it, often didn't care one way or the other, and on rare occasions seemed to celebrate it. It would be weird if Mike *didn't* have some level of jealousness or uncomfortable feelings with Brian ditching him and working with other lyricists.

I think he's so protective of his and Brian's "writing team" reputation that he doesn't tend to gush about how great other writers were. Even guys like Roger Christian are often relegated to forms of faint praise, with Mike often noting how he simply didn't know all of the idioms and jargon of hotrods and whatnot.

I don't think Mike walked into the Paley sessions, saw that Brian had worked with someone else, and walked on the sessions because of it. Indeed, he didn't "walk" at all. However, I find it very plausible that Mike would take issue not so much with it being Andy Paley, but more with it *not* being him, with Brian writing with others *to the exclusion* of writing with Mike.

Brian's co-writer *not* being Mike may not *kill* any given project. But it often plays a part in ambivalence if not negative feelings towards a project. TWGMTR is a great example of this.

I *also* think that folks have in the past made compelling arguments that Mike, at least in 1966-67 (not so much in the present day) had a *valid* argument to make that he could have written more lyrics to "Pet Sounds" and "Smile", and done so successfully. Maybe not that he could have written *all* the lyrics, but the "Good Vibrations" edition of Mike, the guy that could write *those* lyrics, I think could have argued he could do more than he did on the PS and Smile. I had never thought much of this idea until Howie Edelson touched on it in a thread some time back when the topic of alternate universes where Mike wrote lyrics for PS and Smile were discussed. It was a compelling way to look at it.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: HeyJude on February 21, 2017, 12:34:29 PM
Once again, I don’t really think Mike was totally cool with the songwriting on Surfin' Safari and Pet Sounds. But I also don’t think it stopped the albums from being released. I honestly don’t think Mike has very much power in a studio setting. He’s a supporting player on recordings, and I believe that’s partially why he focuses so much on live shows, which is where he has full control.

And this may be where some of the disconnect is happening. I can only speak for myself, but I'm not arguing that Mike having some issue with outside writers (either specific writers of the concept of a non-Mike lyricist) would kill a project all on its own.

I'm simply saying it's pretty clear based on the available evidence that Mike had at a various stages ambivalence, distaste, mixed feelings, jealousy, fear of lost of songwriting income, fear of loss of control, etc. as a result of Brian working with outside writers.

This sole issue didn't tend to kill any projects. But it certainly didn't help in many cases. Mike being the third wheel in the Brian-Joe Thomas-Mike relationship certainly was a part of why C50 didn't last. I'm willing to wager that wasn't all due to non-musical business machinations (though that was surely a big part as well), but also a case of Mike looking at the sleeve and seeing "B.Wilson/J.Thomas" over and over and over, with Milias, Peterik and even Jon Bon Freaking Jovi on there to boot.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: CenturyDeprived on February 21, 2017, 12:49:20 PM
Once again, I don’t really think Mike was totally cool with the songwriting on Surfin' Safari and Pet Sounds. But I also don’t think it stopped the albums from being released. I honestly don’t think Mike has very much power in a studio setting. He’s a supporting player on recordings, and I believe that’s partially why he focuses so much on live shows, which is where he has full control.

And this may be where some of the disconnect is happening. I can only speak for myself, but I'm not arguing that Mike having some issue with outside writers (either specific writers of the concept of a non-Mike lyricist) would kill a project all on its own.

I'm simply saying it's pretty clear based on the available evidence that Mike had at a various stages ambivalence, distaste, mixed feelings, jealousy, fear of lost of songwriting income, fear of loss of control, etc. as a result of Brian working with outside writers.

This sole issue didn't tend to kill any projects. But it certainly didn't help in many cases. Mike being the third wheel in the Brian-Joe Thomas-Mike relationship certainly was a part of why C50 didn't last. I'm willing to wager that wasn't all due to non-musical business machinations (though that was surely a big part as well), but also a case of Mike looking at the sleeve and seeing "B.Wilson/J.Thomas" over and over and over, with Milias, Peterik and even Jon Bon Freaking Jovi on there to boot.

Slippery Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeen Wet


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: DonnyL on February 21, 2017, 01:12:02 PM
As is typical on this board, once again this thread has derailed into "Mike did it".

That is a fair point in some instance, but ultimately ... I highly doubt Mike not liking BW working with collaborators was the reason the Paley sessions didn't happen. Seriously.

It's getting tough to have a reasonable conversation about the Beach Boys lately.

I don't think this thread is breaking down into some epic "Mike vs. Brian" thing.

I don't think anybody has asserted that Mike not liking Brian working with outside collaborators led to the demise of the Paley sessions.

Rather, the discussion moved back to the more broad topic of Mike's attitude towards the concept of Brian working with others. All things considered, I think the evidence suggests Mike tolerated it, often didn't care one way or the other, and on rare occasions seemed to celebrate it. It would be weird if Mike *didn't* have some level of jealousness or uncomfortable feelings with Brian ditching him and working with other lyricists.

I think he's so protective of his and Brian's "writing team" reputation that he doesn't tend to gush about how great other writers were. Even guys like Roger Christian are often relegated to forms of faint praise, with Mike often noting how he simply didn't know all of the idioms and jargon of hotrods and whatnot.

I don't think Mike walked into the Paley sessions, saw that Brian had worked with someone else, and walked on the sessions because of it. Indeed, he didn't "walk" at all. However, I find it very plausible that Mike would take issue not so much with it being Andy Paley, but more with it *not* being him, with Brian writing with others *to the exclusion* of writing with Mike.

Brian's co-writer *not* being Mike may not *kill* any given project. But it often plays a part in ambivalence if not negative feelings towards a project. TWGMTR is a great example of this.

I *also* think that folks have in the past made compelling arguments that Mike, at least in 1966-67 (not so much in the present day) had a *valid* argument to make that he could have written more lyrics to "Pet Sounds" and "Smile", and done so successfully. Maybe not that he could have written *all* the lyrics, but the "Good Vibrations" edition of Mike, the guy that could write *those* lyrics, I think could have argued he could do more than he did on the PS and Smile. I had never thought much of this idea until Howie Edelson touched on it in a thread some time back when the topic of alternate universes where Mike wrote lyrics for PS and Smile were discussed. It was a compelling way to look at it.

Not epic, but certainly derailing ...

The discussed indeed moved to Mike having a problem with Brian working with outside collaborators. I don't believe this lead to albums not being completed (based on many albums with outside collaborators having been completed and released).

Regarding the topic at hand, the Paley sessions ... I simply don't think this was much of a factor at all. In fact, wasn't Mike involved in writing lyrics for some of the potential songs?

So yes, this topic is getting derailed by the typical politics of this board. We just need some jokers to join in with the usual choruses and Smiley faces ... then the thread ends.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: DonnyL on February 21, 2017, 01:19:06 PM
Once again, I don’t really think Mike was totally cool with the songwriting on Surfin' Safari and Pet Sounds. But I also don’t think it stopped the albums from being released. I honestly don’t think Mike has very much power in a studio setting. He’s a supporting player on recordings, and I believe that’s partially why he focuses so much on live shows, which is where he has full control.

And this may be where some of the disconnect is happening. I can only speak for myself, but I'm not arguing that Mike having some issue with outside writers (either specific writers of the concept of a non-Mike lyricist) would kill a project all on its own.

I'm simply saying it's pretty clear based on the available evidence that Mike had at a various stages ambivalence, distaste, mixed feelings, jealousy, fear of lost of songwriting income, fear of loss of control, etc. as a result of Brian working with outside writers.

This sole issue didn't tend to kill any projects. But it certainly didn't help in many cases. Mike being the third wheel in the Brian-Joe Thomas-Mike relationship certainly was a part of why C50 didn't last. I'm willing to wager that wasn't all due to non-musical business machinations (though that was surely a big part as well), but also a case of Mike looking at the sleeve and seeing "B.Wilson/J.Thomas" over and over and over, with Milias, Peterik and even Jon Bon Freaking Jovi on there to boot.

Is it pretty clear?

I think aside from looking at the drama surrounding the events, we could take a deep breath and look at the results of these events.

The Paley sessions were not completed by the Beach Boys. Yet they were also not released by Brian as a solo artist.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: HeyJude on February 21, 2017, 01:27:57 PM
Once again, I don’t really think Mike was totally cool with the songwriting on Surfin' Safari and Pet Sounds. But I also don’t think it stopped the albums from being released. I honestly don’t think Mike has very much power in a studio setting. He’s a supporting player on recordings, and I believe that’s partially why he focuses so much on live shows, which is where he has full control.

And this may be where some of the disconnect is happening. I can only speak for myself, but I'm not arguing that Mike having some issue with outside writers (either specific writers of the concept of a non-Mike lyricist) would kill a project all on its own.

I'm simply saying it's pretty clear based on the available evidence that Mike had at a various stages ambivalence, distaste, mixed feelings, jealousy, fear of lost of songwriting income, fear of loss of control, etc. as a result of Brian working with outside writers.

This sole issue didn't tend to kill any projects. But it certainly didn't help in many cases. Mike being the third wheel in the Brian-Joe Thomas-Mike relationship certainly was a part of why C50 didn't last. I'm willing to wager that wasn't all due to non-musical business machinations (though that was surely a big part as well), but also a case of Mike looking at the sleeve and seeing "B.Wilson/J.Thomas" over and over and over, with Milias, Peterik and even Jon Bon Freaking Jovi on there to boot.

Is it really pretty clear?

I think aside from looking at the drama surrounding the events, we could take a deep breath and look at the results of these events.

The Paley sessions were not completed by the Beach Boys. Yet they were also not released by Brian as a solo artist.

Yes, I think it's pretty clear. Again, I'm talking about Mike's apparent/expressed *feelings*. That is a completely separate issue from the *result*, as in what is released and not released.

I'm not talking about Mike not liking something and therefore refusing to sing on the sessions, or therefore blocking a release. I'm talking about Mike not liking something, but begrudgingly or ambivalently going along with it.

Has anyone here ever worked on any sort of project with someone who is very "meh" about it, maybe mixed in with a bit of passive aggressive resistance? It can be *a* factor in that thing then not happening, and/or it can be an unfortunate roadblock that is overcome.

Mike says in Carlin's Brian bio something to the effect that he was "willing" to work on the Paley material, but he wasn't sure how enthusiastic they were about it. I'll have to dig the book out to get the exact quote. But my takeaway was not at all that Mike thwarted that project. Rather, he and other participants were "meh" about the whole thing and that contributed to a lack of forward momentum. If Mike had come away thinking the material was amazing and was super enthused about, then *maybe* that could have helped. It doesn't mean it's Mike's fault it didn't happen, though.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: DonnyL on February 21, 2017, 01:40:26 PM
Once again, I don’t really think Mike was totally cool with the songwriting on Surfin' Safari and Pet Sounds. But I also don’t think it stopped the albums from being released. I honestly don’t think Mike has very much power in a studio setting. He’s a supporting player on recordings, and I believe that’s partially why he focuses so much on live shows, which is where he has full control.

And this may be where some of the disconnect is happening. I can only speak for myself, but I'm not arguing that Mike having some issue with outside writers (either specific writers of the concept of a non-Mike lyricist) would kill a project all on its own.

I'm simply saying it's pretty clear based on the available evidence that Mike had at a various stages ambivalence, distaste, mixed feelings, jealousy, fear of lost of songwriting income, fear of loss of control, etc. as a result of Brian working with outside writers.

This sole issue didn't tend to kill any projects. But it certainly didn't help in many cases. Mike being the third wheel in the Brian-Joe Thomas-Mike relationship certainly was a part of why C50 didn't last. I'm willing to wager that wasn't all due to non-musical business machinations (though that was surely a big part as well), but also a case of Mike looking at the sleeve and seeing "B.Wilson/J.Thomas" over and over and over, with Milias, Peterik and even Jon Bon Freaking Jovi on there to boot.

Is it really pretty clear?

I think aside from looking at the drama surrounding the events, we could take a deep breath and look at the results of these events.

The Paley sessions were not completed by the Beach Boys. Yet they were also not released by Brian as a solo artist.

Yes, I think it's pretty clear. Again, I'm talking about Mike's apparent/expressed *feelings*. That is a completely separate issue from the *result*, as in what is released and not released.

I'm not talking about Mike not liking something and therefore refusing to sing on the sessions, or therefore blocking a release. I'm talking about Mike not liking something, but begrudgingly or ambivalently going along with it.

Has anyone here ever worked on any sort of project with someone who is very "meh" about it, maybe mixed in with a bit of passive aggressive resistance? It can be *a* factor in that thing then not happening, and/or it can be an unfortunate roadblock that is overcome.

Mike says in Carlin's Brian bio something to the effect that he was "willing" to work on the Paley material, but he wasn't sure how enthusiastic they were about it. I'll have to dig the book out to get the exact quote. But my takeaway was not at all that Mike thwarted that project. Rather, he and other participants were "meh" about the whole thing and that contributed to a lack of forward momentum. If Mike had come away thinking the material was amazing and was super enthused about, then *maybe* that could have helped. It doesn't mean it's Mike's fault it didn't happen, though.

Obviously, a cheerleader vs. a reluctant participant is a night and day difference.

It does seem apparent (and uncontroversial) that the Beach Boys were not particularly enthused with the material. This seems to be the major contributing factor to why the project did not come together.

The issue is that this has somehow derailed into “Mike has a problem with Brian working with outside collaborators”. Which may or may not be true. But in my opinion, has little to do with the Paley material not being completed.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: ForHerCryingSoul on February 21, 2017, 01:52:14 PM
As the original poster fruitlessly trying to reign in his own thread: Yes there were issues with Mike, but I am more focused on Carl, perhaps Melinda (but I'm not sure about opening that can of worms), Joe Thomas, and Don Was' effects on what ultimately happened, as well as hoping that these tracks will gain a form of release (not counting GiOMH).  Hopefully that made sense lol.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: ♩♬☮ Billy C ♯♫♩☮ on February 21, 2017, 01:56:41 PM
Quote
The issue is that this has somehow derailed into “Mike has a problem with Brian working with outside
I certainly don't think it helped, but IMHO the main issue seemed not to be Mike vs Brian, but more  Everybody else (including Mike) vs Brian.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: Lonely Summer on February 21, 2017, 11:04:54 PM
Much is made of the Brian gaining hipster cred in the 90's, and that might mean a lot to some fans who lived through that era; I don't think it meant squat to the other Beach Boys. Mike was on record as calling Brian's 1988 album "a big turkey of an album" because it only made it to 50-something on the charts; so I can't imagine him being impressed by IJWMFTT and Orange Crate Art, which didn't chart at all. Mike has always been interested in being commercial. If given the choice on gambling for a hit record or an artistic record, Mike is always going to shoot for commercial - even if he falls flat on his face.
Mike did an very in depth interview with Goldmine in 1992, where he explained how SIP came to be. He really thought taking control and not having so many cooks in the kitchen was going to give him a monster hit. He also mentioned in that interview that Carl was working with Gerry Beckley and Robert Lamm, so that project goes back to at least 1992. My take on it was, Carl had given up any thought of writing songs for the Beach Boys; the BB's were stuck in the sun, surf and sand formula once again, and his songs did not fit that mold. He just had to find another outlet for his own, more artistically expressive material.

Mike definitely does measure success by chart position and sales, not by critical acclaim. But one thing trumps even that with Mike, and that's his ego. Witness how he has never really discussed the utter failure of "SIP" as arguably the biggest bomb of the BBs career, and how when "That's Why God Made the Radio" WAS a hit (making it to #3 on Billboard, the best chart position of any original studio album in their CAREER outside of "Surfin' USA" and "Summer Days" which both hit #2, and bettering even any live and compilation stuff outside of "Concert" and "Endless Summer", not to mention #1 on Amazon), he even downplayed *that* in later interviews, scoffing at how it didn't sustain its chart position, showing his utter lack of understanding as to how most chart activity occurs, to say nothing of ignoring that "Kokomo" didn't stay at #1 for very long either (wasn't it a single week at #1?).

I do agree that the BBs at large in the early-mid 90s had little knowledge of their building "indie cred", and certainly therefore a lack of interest in it. I think eventually some of the band members, specifically Brian and Al, came to understand this a bit more. I think Carl may have come around eventually had he lived; even if he would have kept his sort of bland MOR/AC proclivities on new material, I think he eventually could have embraced the gaining momentum for appreciation of the band's deeper back catalog and performing that in concert.

For Mike, it seems to be more about control. He'll add deep cuts to his setlist when it's his idea (or one of "his" guys in his band). That he would seem thrown for a loop when Brian suggested "Marcella" in 2012, was arguably/rumored to have rejected doing "Surf's Up" in 2012 (despite Scott Totten saying otherwise), Mike post-C50 was more than happy to do "'Til I Die" and "Surf's Up" without Brian or Al, when it was *his* choice to add them.
I think part of Mike's problem with the reunion album was that it didn't stay on the charts for 6 months. I don't think Mike was particularly tuned into how albums by "legacy artists" do in the 2010's. Bob Dylan's come out, debut in the top 10, and are completely off the charts within weeks. Paul McCartney and the Rolling Stones don't have radio hits these days. Mike probably expected that the reunion would give them a hit of "Kokomo" proportions - true, it was only #1 for a week, but it was on the singles chart for half a year, and everybody knows it. The only people that know TWGMTR material are the ones that bought the album. Mike's expectations were unrealistic. I'm sure he doesn't listen to current music on the radio, unless he's got some of his kids playing it to him. But these days recording is secondary to playing live; the fans don't care about hearing anything new, they want the old material, specifically deep cuts from beloved albums. I doubt there is anyone at Mike's or Brian's concerts calling out for "Isn't it Time" or "Spring Vacation".


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: Jay on February 22, 2017, 12:19:24 AM
I believe this is the full list of Paley Session tracks that have made it out on bootleg:

1.   Gettin' In Over My Head
2.   You're Still a Mystery feat. The Beach Boys
3.   Chain Reaction of Love
4.   Soul Searchin' feat. The Beach Boys
5.   It's Not Easy Being Me
6.   Desert Drive
7.   Saturday Morning in the City
8.   This Song Wants to Sleep With You Tonight
9.   Market Place
10.   I'm Broke
11.   Must Be a Miracle
12.   In My Moondreams
13.   Mary Anne
14.   Slightly American Music
15.   Proud Mary
16.   Frankie Avalon    
17.   Elbow 63'    
18.   Dancing The Night Away (Vocal)    
19.   Dancing The Night Away (Instrumental)    
20.   God Did It    
21.   Going Home    
22.   Some Sweet Day    
23.   What Rock 'n' Roll Can Do

I remember in an article from ESQ there were other songs mentioned as well, but I can't remember any of those titles now.
Thanks for that. Sorry for not thanking you before. I must have missed it somehow.  :)


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: phirnis on February 22, 2017, 05:42:05 AM
I don't really care about what went on between Carl and Brian during the 90s - too complex to understand it seems, so best to just focus on the music, which I think is great. Too bad Brian released some inferior versions of several Paley songs on GIOMH. I think that was a mistake.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: JK on February 22, 2017, 06:07:47 AM
Three more songs mentioned here (Lee Dempsey's post):

http://smileysmile.net/board/index.php?action=printpage;topic=19876.0.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: HeyJude on February 22, 2017, 07:02:54 AM
Obviously, a cheerleader vs. a reluctant participant is a night and day difference.

It does seem apparent (and uncontroversial) that the Beach Boys were not particularly enthused with the material. This seems to be the major contributing factor to why the project did not come together.

The issue is that this has somehow derailed into “Mike has a problem with Brian working with outside collaborators”. Which may or may not be true. But in my opinion, has little to do with the Paley material not being completed.


The conversation did indeed shift over to Mike's attitude towards outside collaborators, and we certainly have plenty of circumstantial and anecdotal evidence to chew on in that regard.

However, considering that that "Paley Sessions" were made literally exclusively of material Brian wrote with an outside writer (aside from apparently some Mike contributions to "Dancing the Night Away/Baywatch Nights"), I don't think the admittedly murky question of Mike's attitude towards "outside collaborators" is totally unrelated to the Paley sessions.

While not a driving factor, I don't think it's out of line to wonder if Mike was not a big fan of doing the "Pet Sounds" thing over again where he comes in do just do bass vocals and possibly some leads set to music Brian wrote *and* recorded outside of the group.

That detailed account of one of the 1995 "reunion" sessions from Cindy Lee Berryhill was interesting, and shows an arguably antagonistic Mike in the studio, seeming either unaware or feigning unawareness of who has even written the stuff he's singing, the stuff in question being "You're Still a Mystery" and "Soul Searchin'." Again, as was the case with his attitude towards the "ending suite" to TWGMTR, Mike seems to have trouble connecting with lyrics he didn't write in some cases. A genuine inability to connect to someone else's writing in *some* cases may be yet another reason he tended to have mixed feelings about outside collaborators. It seems to be an attitude that not much of anyone else in the band seemed to have, as they were of course regularly singing stuff other people wrote. But it's interesting; can you imagine Brian showing up to the "Getcha Back" session grumbling "Who's writing is this?"


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: guitarfool2002 on February 22, 2017, 07:44:12 AM
Food for thought.

(http://i115.photobucket.com/albums/n295/guitarfool2002/was1_zps1de50521.jpg)
(http://i115.photobucket.com/albums/n295/guitarfool2002/was2_zps72847089.jpg)
(http://i115.photobucket.com/albums/n295/guitarfool2002/was3_zpsab93cd00.jpg)


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: CenturyDeprived on February 22, 2017, 10:24:23 AM

I think part of Mike's problem with the reunion album was that it didn't stay on the charts for 6 months. I don't think Mike was particularly tuned into how albums by "legacy artists" do in the 2010's. Bob Dylan's come out, debut in the top 10, and are completely off the charts within weeks. Paul McCartney and the Rolling Stones don't have radio hits these days. Mike probably expected that the reunion would give them a hit of "Kokomo" proportions - true, it was only #1 for a week, but it was on the singles chart for half a year, and everybody knows it. The only people that know TWGMTR material are the ones that bought the album. Mike's expectations were unrealistic. I'm sure he doesn't listen to current music on the radio, unless he's got some of his kids playing it to him. But these days recording is secondary to playing live; the fans don't care about hearing anything new, they want the old material, specifically deep cuts from beloved albums. I doubt there is anyone at Mike's or Brian's concerts calling out for "Isn't it Time" or "Spring Vacation".


That is all true, but the other thing is, that you just KNOW if Mike had gotten to write with Brian in a room, and felt respected, then the same reunion album gets to the exact same chart position (and drops off just as fast), Mike would be bragging about that chart position, talking about how it was an amazing comeback, etc. It's all just sour grapes; Mike can spin something any which way he wants to depending on if it suits the narrative he wishes to push. I can empathize that he didn't get to write in the way that he wanted to, but it's laughable to whine about the lack of success of that album. It's as nutty as 50 years later trying to say that he should have added his own lyrical ideas to Pet Sounds in order to make it better/more commercial.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: SMiLE Brian on February 22, 2017, 12:59:09 PM
Great stuff GF....


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: HeyJude on February 22, 2017, 01:52:36 PM
Here's a blog post with the pertinent parts of the Uncut article featuring Bruce, Sean O'Hagan, etc.:

http://uncanny1.blogspot.com/2005/05/brian-wilsonandy-paleysean-ohagan.html


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: HeyJude on February 22, 2017, 02:01:49 PM
A June 1997 "Request" article:

https://web.archive.org/web/19980630153717/http://www.petsounds.com/request.pdf

Not sure how reliably-sourced this article outside of Paley's direct comments. The article states the other Beach Boys "were politely supportive, but ultimately declined his invitation", yet they obviously did sing on several songs.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: HeyJude on February 22, 2017, 02:08:05 PM
2000 "Bandwidth" article with a little additional postmortem from O'Hagan:

"I didn't go out of my way to meet Brian, and I wouldn't have wanted to," O'Hagan recently told Bandwidth. "I'm happy enough to have been influenced by Brian Wilson and to still listen to and enjoy the music he made. Plus, Mike Love was pretty much an asshole to me."

http://www.browardpalmbeach.com/music/bandwidth-6324781


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: southbay on February 22, 2017, 03:07:25 PM
A June 1997 "Request" article:

https://web.archive.org/web/19980630153717/http://www.petsounds.com/request.pdf

Not sure how reliably-sourced this article outside of Paley's direct comments. The article states the other Beach Boys "were politely supportive, but ultimately declined his invitation", yet they obviously did sing on several songs.

"sound more like Kenny G."  I'm pretty sure that was actually a Joe Thomas quote from the Imagination era.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: Bittersweet-Insanity on February 28, 2017, 02:29:02 AM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zQGb379AntA&feature=youtu.be

Brian and Mike on Entertainment Tonight March 1995. Brian plays a lil bit of Dancing the Night Away on a piano


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: HeyJude on February 28, 2017, 06:51:27 AM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zQGb379AntA&feature=youtu.be

Brian and Mike on Entertainment Tonight March 1995. Brian plays a lil bit of Dancing the Night Away on a piano

Thanks for posting that. I think I had that buried somewhere on a VHS tape that would have taken me forever to find and then pinpoint.

This video also reinforces that the "Paley" material had a pretty long gestation period; there was a long period of time between Brian and Andy writing the stuff, cutting their tracks, then moving to work with Mike on "Baywatch Nights", then later in 1995 adding some vocals to YSAM and "Soul Searchin'."

Cribbing from a bunch of old pages/posts, including some great info from c-man, it appears some of the timeline goes something like this:

1994 (or earlier?) - Brian cuts demos with Andy Paley (or, as Paley feels, these are full-on master recordings, not demos)

February/March 1995 - Studio sessions for "Dancing the Night Away/Baywatch Nights", and possibly the mysterious "Grace of My Heart." It was apparently this earlier set of sessions that Carl "walked out" on at some point for non-musical reasons, possibly some sort of tension or politics with Brian. Other even more vague reports from years ago claimed Carl "walked" on the later 1995 sessions, so I don't know if that's simply inaccurate or if they actually did *additional* vocal sessions for "Dancing the Night Away" later in 1995, because Carl walking seems to be tied to the "Dancing..." sessions in every account I can find. While there isn't any apparently further information regarding that, here is some additional info from an old c-man post concerning that set of February sessions:

.....the recording of the proposed "Baywatch Nights" theme song occurred the week of February 28th 1995 at Mark Linett's studio:  "Brian and Andy coproduced the track...the two of them, along with Carl, Jonathon Paley, and Michael Andreas, played on the track...Brian, Carl, Mike, and Andy sang vocals around a single mic".   And get this..."A video crew recorded the vocal session for posterity"...but, the song remained unfinished.  There was extensive coverage in Newsweek and ET!.   Alan Jardine was reportedly unaware of this session, expressing complete surprise when informed of it by a fan some months later.  

March 1995 - Entertainment Tonight airs the piece linked above, which presumably or possibly was videotaped *prior* to the 2/28/95 studio sessions

April 25, 1995 - The Beach Boys film their bit for an episode of Baywatch. Now, in the past I've seen references/assumptions that this meant that the band may have nixed plans to do anything with the "Baywatch Nights" song and instead filmed an appearance with old material (e.g. "Summer of Love"). This may have been easier to believe because the episode surely aired *months and months* later. But if this filmed appearance occurred less than two months after they cut the "Baywatch Nights" song, then I suppose it's *possible* they hadn't completely nixed any plans for that song, but simply chose less than eight weeks later when filming the episode to not use it, and/or the track wasn't yet ready.

April 28 & 29, 1995 - Brian makes his first in-concert appearance with the Beach Boys since 1990 or so.

September 1995 - Group vocal sessions (including Brian, Mike, Carl, Al, Bruce, and Matt presumably) for "Soul Searchin'" and "You're Still a Mystery." This includes the session that was observed by Cindy Lee Berryhill and later recounted. I don't know how many vocal sessions took place, or if they really nailed it all in like one day. Also, presumably at some point prior to this Don Was had already cut *new* backing tracks for these two songs.

October 1995 - The first "Stars and Stripes" sessions occurred; certainly at this stage I don't think the "Paley/Was" stuff was dead. So while we've already established that S&S did not directly lead to any "cancellation" of the Paley/Was stuff, this is further indication that all of these sessions ran together pretty closely, and that it's very unlikely anything much had been decided about the Was/Paley stuff at this stage.

Later in 1996 or 1997(?) - At some point way later, but while Carl was still alive, Mark Linett makes the first attempt at dubbing the Carl/group vocals from the Don Was version of "Soul Searchin'" onto the old Paley backing track. While Carl was still alive when this occurred, he apparently never heard it.

There are surely other items to plug into this timeline as well, including some sort of "Proud Mary" Brian session that Carl contributed to (there's an account somewhere online of a guy that was working with Carl who tagged along to a Carl/Brian session for the song), which I would tend to guess took place *prior* to any of the 1995 group sessions, though I can't be sure of course. Can anyone find that story?



Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: Bittersweet-Insanity on February 28, 2017, 07:22:16 AM
https://books.google.com/books?id=2wsEAAAAMBAJ&pg=PA12&lpg=PA12&dq=brian+wilson+mike+love+restaurant+malibu+1995&source=bl&ots=nA2L4MVFlm&sig=bz9xJo5B1VXqBzYtMq-1uzcDuyQ&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjH-_3JybLSAhWK6yYKHXlkCjMQ6AEIUjAM#v=onepage&q=brian%20wilson%20mike%20love%20restaurant%20malibu%201995&f=true

This Billboard article also has some relevant info from Brian and Mike, interviewed the same day that the E.T. segment was shot (March 3rd)


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: HeyJude on February 28, 2017, 07:46:42 AM
Interesting stuff to become reacquainted with all of these articles/stories. That article indicates the "Dancing the Night Away" session may have taken place a few days later, in the first week of March.

What's interesting is that this article pretty strongly implies *some sort* of work must have taken place on "Grace of My Heart." Has anyone heard this? Is it a Paley/Wilson song, or someone else's writing? If they all did record the song, at least some sort of demo, why wasn't this put on the MIC set in 2013? Was it too incomplete? Did someone just not like it? Is the tape missing?

Further, do we know whether any additional BB (or, at least Mike/Brian/Carl/Paley) vocals for "Dancing the Night Away" exist beyond what has circulated, which is a swampy 90s low-bitrate MP3 that features an intro lead from Carl, one line of group vocals, and then nothing? I'd assume not, otherwise wouldn't *that* also be a strong candidate for something like the MIC set?

But if they spent at least an entire day or two in the studio, and only did those little bits of "Dancing..." vocals, then did they spend more time on "Grace of My Heart?"

Or, perhaps Carl walked very early on those sessions and little work got done?


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: guitarfool2002 on February 28, 2017, 08:01:13 AM
I'd keep that timeline open for revisions - Some of the dates on the surface don't line up. Some of those excerpts I posted shots of earlier, from Brian - That was from Mix magazine's "Bonzai" who spent time at the sessions. Bonzai was invited by Was to come to Ocean Way for the Beach Boys sessions. The article was published in the March 1996 issue. Brian is asked about the sessions and this is what he said:

Bonzai: How would you compare the studio situation now?

Brian: What we're doing now in the studio is more back toward the 60's. We're just starting to get back into that kind of thing. The Beach Boys did two songs a couple of weeks ago, and we got our feet wet together. It's the first time that we've really gotten together and recorded in a long time. And it's coming out good.


Brian was also asked about Soul Searchin and writing with Andy Paley. Brian said this: "...Carl liked it (Soul Searchin) a lot. Carl keeps looking for material, and when he finally finds it, he goes 'Wow, you got a song for me!' Andy was a hero to Carl."

I bring those up because from Brian's perspective, Carl was positive about Soul Searchin and was happy about getting it to sing.

And if Mix published in March 1996, was Brian referring to full group sessions as in those with Al and Bruce versus whether something was done in Feb 1995 as a group that was perhaps only Mike, Brian, and Carl? Mix wouldn't publish an article about sessions over a year old, and Brian wouldn't say the first group sessions to "get their feet wet" happened a few weeks ago unless the interview was from Feb or March 1995 - again, putting the news a year old by the time the interview got published.




Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: HeyJude on February 28, 2017, 08:12:40 AM
I'd keep that timeline open for revisions - Some of the dates on the surface don't line up. Some of those excerpts I posted shots of earlier, from Brian - That was from Mix magazine's "Bonzai" who spent time at the sessions. Bonzai was invited by Was to come to Ocean Way for the Beach Boys sessions. The article was published in the March 1996 issue. Brian is asked about the sessions and this is what he said:

Bonzai: How would you compare the studio situation now?

Brian: What we're doing now in the studio is more back toward the 60's. We're just starting to get back into that kind of thing. The Beach Boys did two songs a couple of weeks ago, and we got our feet wet together. It's the first time that we've really gotten together and recorded in a long time. And it's coming out good.


Brian was also asked about Soul Searchin and writing with Andy Paley. Brian said this: "...Carl liked it (Soul Searchin) a lot. Carl keeps looking for material, and when he finally finds it, he goes 'Wow, you got a song for me!' Andy was a hero to Carl."

I bring those up because from Brian's perspective, Carl was positive about Soul Searchin and was happy about getting it to sing.

And if Mix published in March 1996, was Brian referring to full group sessions as in those with Al and Bruce versus whether something was done in Feb 1995 as a group that was perhaps only Mike, Brian, and Carl? Mix wouldn't publish an article about sessions over a year old, and Brian wouldn't say the first group sessions to "get their feet wet" happened a few weeks ago unless the interview was from Feb or March 1995 - again, putting the news a year old by the time the interview got published.


I think everything seems to line up and make sense. Brian in that interview (published 3/96) seems to be referring to the September 1995 sessions for "Soul Searchin'" and YSAM (and Cindy Lee Berryhill's story firmly places the date as September of 1995). Those *were* the first full group sessions apparently on the material.

It's sounding more like the Feb/Mar 1995 activity was more "demo" status, with just Brian and Mike meeting up to hash stuff out (presumably writing lyrics/finishing up "Dancing..."), and then it looks as if Brian, Mike, Carl, and Paley convened to demo "Dancing..." and apparently "Grace of My Heart." I don't think they would have considered this to be a full "Beach Boys" session if both Bruce and Al (as well as Matt) were not at the session. Not that they were opposed to doing BB sessions with only some BBs in attendance, but I figure this had to be a bit more on the "demo" side considering three of the six active vocal members of the group were not there.

I'm not sure why Al, Matt, and Bruce weren't in attendance (the comment from c-man in that old post refers to a report from someone that Al wasn't told about the session). The Beach Boys appear to have had no live concert dates in February or March of 1995, not reconvening until April to go back on tour.

As for Carl being positive about "Soul Searchin'", that certainly *does* give one pause when it comes to the stories of Carl not liking the material. Does anyone have the circa 2000/2001 "Record Collector" interview with Al? That was an alternate edit of his "Goldmine" interview, and one of the bits unique to "Record Collector" was Al being asked about those sessions. He had some sort of comment that it was Carl that had an issue with the material, but I don't know what words he used. Keep in mind Al actually gave the interview in question in 1999, so presumably things were relatively fresh in his mind.

I tend to think Carl didn't necessarily *dislike* the material, but may have expressed some sort of more broad issue/misgiving about the commercial prospects for a whole album of such material, and/or those songs they worked on in particular.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: guitarfool2002 on February 28, 2017, 08:21:46 AM
I'd keep that timeline open for revisions - Some of the dates on the surface don't line up. Some of those excerpts I posted shots of earlier, from Brian - That was from Mix magazine's "Bonzai" who spent time at the sessions. Bonzai was invited by Was to come to Ocean Way for the Beach Boys sessions. The article was published in the March 1996 issue. Brian is asked about the sessions and this is what he said:

Bonzai: How would you compare the studio situation now?

Brian: What we're doing now in the studio is more back toward the 60's. We're just starting to get back into that kind of thing. The Beach Boys did two songs a couple of weeks ago, and we got our feet wet together. It's the first time that we've really gotten together and recorded in a long time. And it's coming out good.


Brian was also asked about Soul Searchin and writing with Andy Paley. Brian said this: "...Carl liked it (Soul Searchin) a lot. Carl keeps looking for material, and when he finally finds it, he goes 'Wow, you got a song for me!' Andy was a hero to Carl."

I bring those up because from Brian's perspective, Carl was positive about Soul Searchin and was happy about getting it to sing.

And if Mix published in March 1996, was Brian referring to full group sessions as in those with Al and Bruce versus whether something was done in Feb 1995 as a group that was perhaps only Mike, Brian, and Carl? Mix wouldn't publish an article about sessions over a year old, and Brian wouldn't say the first group sessions to "get their feet wet" happened a few weeks ago unless the interview was from Feb or March 1995 - again, putting the news a year old by the time the interview got published.


I think everything seems to line up and make sense. Brian in that interview (published 3/96) seems to be referring to the September 1995 sessions for "Soul Searchin'" and YSAM (and Cindy Lee Berryhill's story firmly places the date as September of 1995). Those *were* the first full group sessions apparently on the material.

It's sounding more like the Feb/Mar 1995 activity was more "demo" status, with just Brian and Mike meeting up to hash stuff out (presumably writing lyrics/finishing up "Dancing..."), and then it looks as if Brian, Mike, Carl, and Paley convened to demo "Dancing..." and apparently "Grace of My Heart." I don't think they would have considered this to be a full "Beach Boys" session if both Bruce and Al (as well as Matt) were not at the session. Not that they were opposed to doing BB sessions with only some BBs in attendance, but I figure this had to be a bit more on the "demo" side considering three of the six active vocal members of the group were not there.

I'm not sure why Al, Matt, and Bruce weren't in attendance (the comment from c-man in that old post refers to a report from someone that Al wasn't told about the session). The Beach Boys appear to have had no live concert dates in February or March of 1995, not reconvening until April to go back on tour.

As for Carl being positive about "Soul Searchin'", that certainly *does* give one pause when it comes to the stories of Carl not liking the material. Does anyone have the circa 2001 "Record Collector" interview with Al? That was an alternate edit of his "Goldmine" interview, and one of the bits unique to "Record Collector" was Al being asked about those sessions. He had some sort of comment that it was Carl that had an issue with the material, but I don't know what words he used. Keep in mind Al actually gave the interview in question in 1999, so presumably things were relatively fresh in his mind.

I tend to think Carl didn't necessarily *dislike* the material, but may have expressed some sort of more broad issue/misgiving about the commercial prospects for a whole album of such material, and/or those songs they worked on in particular.

That quote about Carl would seem to contradict all the popular notions about his reaction to Soul Searchin, which most would assume he didn't like or wasn't confident enough with. But maybe, just maybe, Carl liked the song as it was presented to him and as Brian relayed to the interviewer, but it was something in his own performance he didn't like? Just throwing out ideas, on the surface it seems there is an obvious contradiction.

Factor in as well: An August 1995 interview at Brian's house where he said he had invited the Beach Boys to come to a listening session, check out material - And they all ended up canceling. At this specific time, as related by Was, and numerous interviews including Brian himself, he was writing and demo'ing songs which he envisioned as "Beach Boys" songs. At that August '95 interview he played a tape of "Gettin In Over My Head", "Slightly American Music", etc...the songs he had been writing and working up with Paley. And the band I guess canceled out on getting together to listen and have a bull session with Brian. August 1995.

So it was ostensibly just after that incident where they canceled on Brian that Don Was took a more active role in actually making something happen with Brian and the band? By September they were working on sessions with Was, and Don himself mentioned how he basically got them all back in the studio after Brian said he wanted to work with them.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: HeyJude on February 28, 2017, 08:25:20 AM
Revised the timeline a bit (it matters so very little of course), showing that the two gigs Brian played with the band were April 28 and 29, 1995, just days after the "Baywatch" filming.

Also worth noting is that after those two live gigs, it appears Brian may have not done nothing on stage or in-studio with the band until the September sessions, as the band continued touring and Brian did various recording sessions for the IJWMFTT and "Orange Crate Art" albums.

The band filmed *another* appearance on "Baywatch" on July 19, 1995. They once again (obviously) did not work the "Baywatch Nights" song into this at all, presumably having not done any additional work on the song (and, of course, presumably "Baywatch Nights" would have been used most likely on the spinoff show of the same name anyway). Brian nor Carl participated in the episode, and this was the first fans had seen in eons of David Marks, who inexplicably appeared with Mike, Al, and Bruce. Was Mike already angling to bring Dave back as early as the summer of 1995? That's obviously a whole other ball of wax.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: southbay on February 28, 2017, 08:32:16 AM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zQGb379AntA&feature=youtu.be

Brian and Mike on Entertainment Tonight March 1995. Brian plays a lil bit of Dancing the Night Away on a piano

Thanks for posting that. I think I had that buried somewhere on a VHS tape that would have taken me forever to find and then pinpoint.

This video also reinforces that the "Paley" material had a pretty long gestation period; there was a long period of time between Brian and Andy writing the stuff, cutting their tracks, then moving to work with Mike on "Baywatch Nights", then later in 1995 adding some vocals to YSAM and "Soul Searchin'."

Cribbing from a bunch of old pages/posts, including some great info from c-man, it appears some of the timeline goes something like this:

1994 (or earlier?) - Brian cuts demos with Andy Paley (or, as Paley feels, these are full-on master recordings, not demos)

February/March 1995 - Studio sessions for "Dancing the Night Away/Baywatch Nights", and possibly the mysterious "Grace of My Heart." It was apparently this earlier set of sessions that Carl "walked out" on at some point for non-musical reasons, possibly some sort of tension or politics with Brian. Other even more vague reports from years ago claimed Carl "walked" on the later 1995 sessions, so I don't know if that's simply inaccurate or if they actually did *additional* vocal sessions for "Dancing the Night Away" later in 1995, because Carl walking seems to be tied to the "Dancing..." sessions in every account I can find. While there isn't any apparently further information regarding that, here is some additional info from an old c-man post concerning that set of February sessions:

.....the recording of the proposed "Baywatch Nights" theme song occurred the week of February 28th 1995 at Mark Linett's studio:  "Brian and Andy coproduced the track...the two of them, along with Carl, Jonathon Paley, and Michael Andreas, played on the track...Brian, Carl, Mike, and Andy sang vocals around a single mic".   And get this..."A video crew recorded the vocal session for posterity"...but, the song remained unfinished.  There was extensive coverage in Newsweek and ET!.   Alan Jardine was reportedly unaware of this session, expressing complete surprise when informed of it by a fan some months later.  

March 1995 - Entertainment Tonight airs the piece linked above, which presumably or possibly was videotaped *prior* to the 2/28/95 studio sessions

April 25, 1995 - The Beach Boys film their bit for an episode of Baywatch. Now, in the past I've seen references/assumptions that this meant that the band may have nixed plans to do anything with the "Baywatch Nights" song and instead filmed an appearance with old material (e.g. "Summer of Love"). This may have been easier to believe because the episode surely aired *months and months* later. But if this filmed appearance occurred less than two months after they cut the "Baywatch Nights" song, then I suppose it's *possible* they hadn't completely nixed any plans for that song, but simply chose less than eight weeks later when filming the episode to not use it, and/or the track wasn't yet ready.

April 28 & 29, 1995 - Brian makes his first in-concert appearance with the Beach Boys since 1990 or so.

September 1995 - Group vocal sessions (including Brian, Mike, Carl, Al, Bruce, and Matt presumably) for "Soul Searchin'" and "You're Still a Mystery." This includes the session that was observed by Cindy Lee Berryhill and later recounted. I don't know how many vocal sessions took place, or if they really nailed it all in like one day. Also, presumably at some point prior to this Don Was had already cut *new* backing tracks for these two songs.

October 1995 - The first "Stars and Stripes" sessions occurred; certainly at this stage I don't think the "Paley/Was" stuff was dead. So while we've already established that S&S did not directly lead to any "cancellation" of the Paley/Was stuff, this is further indication that all of these sessions ran together pretty closely, and that it's very unlikely anything much had been decided about the Was/Paley stuff at this stage.

Later in 1996 or 1997(?) - At some point way later, but while Carl was still alive, Mark Linett makes the first attempt at dubbing the Carl/group vocals from the Don Was version of "Soul Searchin'" onto the old Paley backing track. While Carl was still alive when this occurred, he apparently never heard it.

There are surely other items to plug into this timeline as well, including some sort of "Proud Mary" Brian session that Carl contributed to (there's an account somewhere online of a guy that was working with Carl who tagged along to a Carl/Brian session for the song), which I would tend to guess took place *prior* to any of the 1995 group sessions, though I can't be sure of course. Can anyone find that story?



I am the "fan" in question who talked with Jardine about the sessions.  It took place before a BB show in Paso Robles CA in August, 1995.  I had the chance to talk with Al (nobody else around, very low key) for about 30 minutes.  At that time the ONE THING I was most interested in were the reported Was/Paley sessions and the hope of a new album. As stated in this thread, it was indeed all over the press at that time.  I asked Al directly about that Baywatch Nights session that had been reported both on Entertainment Tonight and in Entertainment Weekly magazine. He stated he had no knowledge of them, and it was clear to me he was indeed telling the truth.  He did not seem shocked at all, not bothered by it. He went to say that "oh, Carl may have been involved in some of that."   Later that same night, I had a BRIEF (30 seconds?), talk with Mike Love and asked the same question.  Asked him straight out if the group was working on a new album with Brian. His answer was something to the effect of "not yet, but we sure hope so."


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: HeyJude on February 28, 2017, 08:32:44 AM
I'm also curious how far the idea ever got to actually put "Baywatch Nights" into the show of the same name. (And that's not even getting into the fact that we have *none* of the lyrics that they wrote that would have referenced the title/show). Were they just hoping/assuming the show would want to use a BB song if they were offered one, or was any even informal "commission" to do the song at play?

They clearly had some sort of ongoing relationship with the show, filming two appearances for the main "Baywatch" show in 1995, including the later one where several of the guys (awkwardly) were shoehorned rather heavily into the show's actual plot.

They re-wrote and recorded some form of the song in March 1995.

Is it safe to assume they would have been pitching the song as an actual "theme song" for the show?

"Baywatch Nights" premiered on September 30, 1995 apparently. We have to assume filming had begun several months prior, though of course that wouldn't have precluded adding a BB song at the eleventh hour in post production.

I'm curious if "Dancing.../Baywatch Nights" may have been abandoned because they knew (either due to their own decision or due to input from the show's producers) that it wasn't going to be used on the show.

Here's something else to chew on: How involved was *Don Was* in those Feb/Mar 1995 sessions, if at all? I recall the interview where Don Was describes Mike and Brian going away to write a song together and coming back with "Baywatch Nights"; the interview as I recall seemed to have a tone suggesting Was thought this was funny/ironic, and that that *wasn't* the sort of thing he was trying to motivate them to write.

But this would imply Was was involved with the *group* (or at least more than just Brian) at the very beginning of the year. Was he at the March studio session?

Further, considering Was seemed to find the idea of a "Baywatch Night" song as rather vapid (my words, not his), is it possible that Don Was may have counseled the band to drop such a schlocky, gimmicky type of song (a song for a s**tty spinoff of a s**tty TV show) and move on to something more substantive?


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: guitarfool2002 on February 28, 2017, 08:55:24 AM
HeyJude: It sounds like you're on the right track piecing it together, but look more closely at August 1995 and how many events happened relative to the overall timeline. I'll also mention what either seem to be or could be the workings behind Baywatch Nights.

Aug 95 - Brian invites the band over for a listening session, they snub him. Brian's Don Was film has a premiere event in Hollywood, none of the Beach Boys show up. Then there was a "concert" scheduled for the Baywatch appearance that was to be filmed, and eventually it was added to the episode where the band appeared. Brian didn't show up, and instead David Marks was substituted for Brian. Reports said the crowd there for that beach concert wasn't happy about that substitution.

So weigh all those together from and surrounding Aug 1995 and it didn't seem that feelings were all that positive. It also adds some context, maybe not enough of an excuse for some circles but context nonetheless, as to Brian shining on the concert filming for Baywatch. He was snubbed only weeks prior twice by his family and bandmates, one formal event and one for a gathering and who knows what else in between. Maybe he was justified in his own mind because they bailed out on him, publicly and privately at least twice. Yet his mindset was still wanting to make music for and with his bandmates.

Enter Don Was, again he seemed to be the mediator who got it back together for those Fall 95 sessions as listed.

The same reports of the non-appearance for the August concert filming say Brian was slated to appear at a run of BB's concerts at the Cerritos Center, late August 95 after the Baywatch non-appearance. Without having the data available, did Brian appear at any of those Cerritos shows?



Baywatch Nights: It seems to have been a case where the producers of that show changed gears at some point in actually developing the feel of the show. It was supposed to be a more adult, "late night" feel that would incorporate music and musical acts into the plots. In early reports, the Beach Boys were to have played a more prominent role, up to possibly penning the theme song. But it seems like the producers went with a more "blues" style and influence, and eventually instead of Beach Boys they cast Lou Rawls as a blues club owner where the action would center around at various points in the episodes. Reminded me of the jazz club "Mother's" from the old Peter Gunn series. It seemed to be a case where they went with Lou Rawls and a blues-themed soundtrack and plot points versus the Beach Boys and their image and vibe, so the Beach Boys and Brian and Mike's theme song went unused when the decision was made to go with Lou Rawls and blues instead.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: guitarfool2002 on February 28, 2017, 08:57:03 AM
HeyJude: You may have missed it, but I posted a screen shot of the Don Was "interview" segment about Baywatch Nights on page 6 of this discussion.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: HeyJude on February 28, 2017, 09:36:26 AM
Regarding the second "Baywatch" filming (the "concert" setting with David Marks in attendance), both Brian *and* Carl missed that filming (I always presumed Dave was there as  "fill in" for Carl). As an aside, had both Carl and Dave been there, that would have been the only visual document of Carl and Dave together post-1963. The only date I can find for that filming is July 19th, which would pre-date the August aborted meeting/listening session.

No question though, group relations were "mixed" at best around this time. Mike and Brian seem to be best buds in February/March of 1995, with Mike being *more* magnanimous about the songwriting lawsuit then he went on to be over *twenty years later* for some odd reason.

We have the possible reports of Carl walking out of the March '95 session for "non-musical" reasons. Did Carl have some sort of beef with Brian? If so, they got over it to the point where both Brian and Carl were together for the April "Baywatch" filming and two live shows a few days later.

Brian then continued work on his solo stuff. Were the band (or some of the band members) possibly off-put that Brian was doing more solo stuff instead of group stuff?

It's hard to say, because it seems as though overall Brian was projecting more enthusiasm for doing his songs with the Beach Boys than the other Beach Boys were, barring Mike's early '95 enthusiasm.

You can see even in that March '95 Billboard article, Mike's idea of what an album would or could be might have *already* been different from Brian's idea. Mike's comments are eerily somewhat similar to what happened with TWGMTR in 2012. In that '95 interview, Mike describes a potential album entailing working on songs Brian would be bringing (the Paley stuff presumably mainly), stuff he (Mike) had already been working on, and then also doing stuff from scratch. (It may or may not be important to note that Mike doesn't bring up the idea of Al or Carl or Bruce being able to bring songs in).

If the other BBs blew Brian off, and it wasn't just a scheduling thing, did they have misgivings about just listening to Brian material without being able to bring their own stuff in? But I guess we don't know if the meeting would have precluded Mike or anyone else bringing their own demos in to listen to. And, it sounds like Brian was offering his stuff up as essentially a bit of an audition. As in, "let me know if this sounds like stuff you want to work on."

If relations were strained as they entered the Fall, then that might make sense in light of the info we have and the Berryhill account of the September session. It sounds like Don Was more proactively tried to reign everybody in to work on stuff, and Berryhill describes, at least on the part of Mike, a slightly antagonistic attitude on the part of Mike (e.g. asking who wrote the songs; did Mike really not know who had written those songs by that time?).

Having said all of that, if group relations were strained, and *especially* if they were strained even in part due to the material Brian was bringing for them to work (and/or due to the concept of it being a largely Brian/Paley project), then doing "Stars and Stripes" wouldn't have been, in theory, a totally bad idea. Essentially bit of a "15 Big Ones" or "Do It Again 2011" scenario just to get the guys working together again without having much of any possible creative differences concerning *new* material.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: DonnyL on February 28, 2017, 10:06:08 AM
1994 (or earlier?) - Brian cuts demos with Andy Paley (or, as Paley feels, these are full-on master recordings, not demos)

I believe these are masters. The "demo" quality is strictly in the rough/unfinished mixes as far as I can hear.

... thanks for that timeline too!


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: HeyJude on February 28, 2017, 10:16:22 AM
1994 (or earlier?) - Brian cuts demos with Andy Paley (or, as Paley feels, these are full-on master recordings, not demos)

I believe these are masters. The "demo" quality is strictly in the rough/unfinished mixes as far as I can hear.

... thanks for that timeline too!

There are of course a bunch of different ways to define "Demo"; my reference to Paley's feelings were based on, as I recall, an old interview from the short-lived "petsounds.com" website where Paley seemed offended when the tracks were called "demos."

The recordings are kind of somewhere in between. Many if not most of them would seem to have required additional work. Something like "Frankie Avalon" doesn't sound like anything close to a finished master recording; so some tracks like that sound more like a demo that was produced with real instrumentation in a studio. But they were made in the studio, so it's not like it was Andy and Brian singing into a cassette recorder or something. Some of the tracks were at or near a state that, with the proper mix, could have come across as finished masters I suppose. A pristine, master-quality source for all of the songs would help to judge this of course.

If pressed to characterize the recordings based on my own opinion, I'd call them something like "Fully-Produced Studio Demos that Could Serve as the Basis for a Master Recording in Most Cases."  :lol


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: guitarfool2002 on February 28, 2017, 11:56:12 AM
I'm also confused about the filming date of that beach concert with Marks. The article which described it came out in mid-to-late August 1995, and made it seem more recent of a happening than a month earlier, with how it tied it into other events. Notable too that if I recall the Marks book correctly, David said Mike really put a hard-sell on him to be there for that show.

I don't think there was as much of a consideration from Brian at that time that the work he was doing on those songs was for a solo album - I could be wrong and any relevant quotes would be very helpful. I got the impression from multiple interviews and quotes that Brian wanted to write songs for the Beach Boys to cut a new album at some point, and that was what he was doing with Paley and Was in demo'ing them. He played that working tape for the interviewer in August 95 of what he had been writing, and it's logical short of new info that this tape was what he invited the Beach Boys to listen to but they canceled on the invite. Brian is on the record in interviews, and also backed up by Don Was that he was writing this material for The Beach Boys.

In that regard, it does really sound like an earlier version of how a similar scene played out in 2012, which Mike later would criticize and blame for various things too. But consider Brian also said Carl was looking for new material, and unless there are some mystery songs that Mike, Carl, Bruce, or Al had ready to go or were actively writing at that time, the band really didn't have anything else original or new to start recording without Brian. And the Brian/Was/Paley team had at least 30 new songs to choose from. It may be a case of who was bringing the goods to the table and who was not.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: HeyJude on February 28, 2017, 12:43:45 PM
I think they all surely had a variety of stuff "in the vaults" so to speak (well, I don't know what Bruce had, but the rest did). Al had tracks (e.g. "Don't Fight the Sea", "Waves of Love"), Mike claims in the Billboard article to have some things he had been working on, and Carl had some "Beckley-Lamm-Wilson" stuff. But the question is how much they would have wanted to offer this stuff, and whether it would have gelled with the Paley stuff, and whether any of it was good enough. I also think the other guys were so *not* in the frame of mind of creating and releasing new music (Al having been behind precisely *one* song in the previous decade, Carl only three or so, same with Bruce), that nobody outside of Mike was probably pushing much to get their own stuff on any BB project. Again, this also foreshadows how things went in 2012 to some degree.

I don't think Was was particularly interested in a some sort of patchwork deal with weird 70s Al tracks mixed with 90s Paley tracks. Indeed, it appears initially that Was didn't even want to use the Paley backing tracks and wanted to record everything from scratch. Paley gave an interview (I can't remember if it's one of the interviews linked in this thread) that described Was telling Paley that he wanted to re-integrate stuff from Paley's backing tracks back into his newer recordings to the point where he was replacing all of the "new" stuff with Paley's "old" stuff because he (Was) liked the feel/sound Paley had achieved on his recordings.

Had the project come to fruition, I would guess it would have been something like how TWGMTR ended up. No Al or Carl or Bruce songs, a song or two of Mike's flown in from something else, and Mike adding some lyrics to pre-existing Brian/Paley tracks.

It's interesting that in all of the extant interviews with all of the participants of those 1995 BB sessions, nobody seems to mention how poorly "Summer in Paradise" had done just 2-3 years earlier. It certainly would have been perhaps the widest 180 a band had ever done in such a short period of time had they released a BB album with mostly or all Paley tracks. It would have been jarring (but in a good way) to go from an near Mike solo album with partial Carl, Bruce, and Al participation and no Brian participation, to a near Brian solo album with vocals from the other guys, and to go from Mike's album full of "Kokomo/Still Cruisin'" ripoffs to Brian's eccentric group of songs he had done with Paley, many recorded completely differently from SIP.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: CenturyDeprived on February 28, 2017, 01:17:22 PM
Does anyone know the circumstances of exactly how the Paley tracks leaked out onto boots?

- I'm assuming that someone in the band's circle of friends had a tape, and that tape might have been dubbed for someone else, or perhaps stolen?

- When did these tracks begin circulating amongst collectors? And did they circulate in collectors' hands before they were ever "booted" on pressed bootleg discs that would have been sold in shady used CD shops?

- Also - I believe I recall reading that the pitch/speed is funky on these recordings specifically on purpose as a watermark of sorts. I wonder who behind the scenes in BB Land was responsible for that being the case; was it in response to the proliferation of the then-popular SMiLE boots making the rounds?


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: ♩♬☮ Billy C ♯♫♩☮ on February 28, 2017, 01:27:10 PM
Quote
I don't think Was was particularly interested in a some sort of patchwork deal with weird 70s Al tracks mixed with 90s Paley tracks.

I completely misread that as "70 Weird Al tracks"


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: HeyJude on February 28, 2017, 02:07:54 PM
Does anyone know the circumstances of exactly how the Paley tracks leaked out onto boots?

- I'm assuming that someone in the band's circle of friends had a tape, and that tape might have been dubbed for someone else, or perhaps stolen?

- When did these tracks begin circulating amongst collectors? And did they circulate in collectors' hands before they were ever "booted" on pressed bootleg discs that would have been sold in shady used CD shops?

- Also - I believe I recall reading that the pitch/speed is funky on these recordings specifically on purpose as a watermark of sorts. I wonder who behind the scenes in BB Land was responsible for that being the case; was it in response to the proliferation of the then-popular SMiLE boots making the rounds?

I don't know the specific answers. I do recall they were circulating pretty quickly after the sessions had been completed/aborted. Perhaps 1997 or 98?

I recall they were already circulating when "Endless Harmony Soundtrack" came out in 1998, because fans were asking why SS and YSAM weren't on it.

There were seemingly at least three different batches of recordings that seemed to circulate. The first were rather poor-sounding recordings, seemingly from low bitrate MP3s. This batch included both the Carl "dub job" on "Soul Searchin'" as well as the Paley guide vocal version. I think this appeared on an early compilation that also included rough versions of "Everything I Need" with some Brian guide vocals (obviously recorded at a different group of sessions).

Then a better-sounding source of a group of songs appeared; I think "Landylocked" was one of the famous versions of this. The recordings sounded better, though still running fast. The Paley guide vocal was missing. I can't remember otherwise how similar the two tracklistings were.

Then a bit later a third group of low bitrate MP3-sounding recordings surfaced (really bad, like gurgly underwater status) that featured a whole group of songs that hadn't appeared before, incuding a backing track of "Dancing the Night Away", the "Beach Boys" version of "Dancing..." with vocals on the intro, and other tracks like "Frankie Avalon" (with Paley's guide vocal), "God Did It", "Elbow '63", etc.

I remember the first time I heard a compilation of Paley tracks that someone had made on a cassette, and I didn't much know the context of the recordings beyond it being some recent unreleased Brian stuff, and I don't think I had even been told the BBs were involved on the recordings I was hearing, so I was stunned when "You're Still a Mystery" had a very "Beach Boys-sounding" set of backing vocals and then sure enough it was a WTF? moment when Mike pops up on that one solo line near the end.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: DonnyL on February 28, 2017, 02:13:53 PM
1994 (or earlier?) - Brian cuts demos with Andy Paley (or, as Paley feels, these are full-on master recordings, not demos)

I believe these are masters. The "demo" quality is strictly in the rough/unfinished mixes as far as I can hear.

... thanks for that timeline too!

There are of course a bunch of different ways to define "Demo"; my reference to Paley's feelings were based on, as I recall, an old interview from the short-lived "petsounds.com" website where Paley seemed offended when the tracks were called "demos."

The recordings are kind of somewhere in between. Many if not most of them would seem to have required additional work. Something like "Frankie Avalon" doesn't sound like anything close to a finished master recording; so some tracks like that sound more like a demo that was produced with real instrumentation in a studio. But they were made in the studio, so it's not like it was Andy and Brian singing into a cassette recorder or something. Some of the tracks were at or near a state that, with the proper mix, could have come across as finished masters I suppose. A pristine, master-quality source for all of the songs would help to judge this of course.

If pressed to characterize the recordings based on my own opinion, I'd call them something like "Fully-Produced Studio Demos that Could Serve as the Basis for a Master Recording in Most Cases."  :lol

Not to split hairs, but a "demo" session is generally a recording that is specifically not intended to become a master ... just to give listeners an idea of what the song might sound like. This is different from an "unfinished" studio master. A ragged master (like Love You, for instance) might be described by some listeners as "demo-like", but they're distinctly not demos.

By all accounts, it seems that Brian and Andy were in the studio recording tracks. Some are more finished than others, but none that I've heard sound like "demos". But I haven't ever heard "Frankie Avalon", for instance.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: HeyJude on February 28, 2017, 02:24:16 PM
1994 (or earlier?) - Brian cuts demos with Andy Paley (or, as Paley feels, these are full-on master recordings, not demos)

I believe these are masters. The "demo" quality is strictly in the rough/unfinished mixes as far as I can hear.

... thanks for that timeline too!

There are of course a bunch of different ways to define "Demo"; my reference to Paley's feelings were based on, as I recall, an old interview from the short-lived "petsounds.com" website where Paley seemed offended when the tracks were called "demos."

The recordings are kind of somewhere in between. Many if not most of them would seem to have required additional work. Something like "Frankie Avalon" doesn't sound like anything close to a finished master recording; so some tracks like that sound more like a demo that was produced with real instrumentation in a studio. But they were made in the studio, so it's not like it was Andy and Brian singing into a cassette recorder or something. Some of the tracks were at or near a state that, with the proper mix, could have come across as finished masters I suppose. A pristine, master-quality source for all of the songs would help to judge this of course.

If pressed to characterize the recordings based on my own opinion, I'd call them something like "Fully-Produced Studio Demos that Could Serve as the Basis for a Master Recording in Most Cases."  :lol

Not to split hairs, but a "demo" session is generally a recording that is specifically not intended to become a master ... just to give listeners an idea of what the song might sound like. This is different from an "unfinished" studio master. A ragged master (like Love You, for instance) might be described by some listeners as "demo-like", but they're distinctly not demos.

By all accounts, it seems that Brian and Andy were in the studio recording tracks. Some are more finished than others, but none that I've heard sound like "demos". But I haven't ever heard "Frankie Avalon", for instance.

I think the idea is that I think one could justifiably be incredulous if Andy Paley played you all of those recordings and claimed every single one of them was already or was very close to being a "finished master." How much of that would be due to the arrangements versus the production versus the mixing; that would probably vary from song to song.

I don't think they had a clear aim with the sessions other than to work out a bunch of songs. I don't think they were thinking "there's no way we'll actually use these recordings on an eventual album", but I also don't think, especially because they didn't even have a contract with a record label, that they were "officially" and firmly recording an album.

It was basically really elaborate, expensive demos that, in most cases, could have been used as a bed for a finished master take. "Gettin' in Over My Head" probably didn't need much, whereas "Frankie Avalon" would have retained little from the extant recording. And a bunch of the songs are somewhere in between.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: DonnyL on February 28, 2017, 02:45:11 PM
1994 (or earlier?) - Brian cuts demos with Andy Paley (or, as Paley feels, these are full-on master recordings, not demos)

I believe these are masters. The "demo" quality is strictly in the rough/unfinished mixes as far as I can hear.

... thanks for that timeline too!

There are of course a bunch of different ways to define "Demo"; my reference to Paley's feelings were based on, as I recall, an old interview from the short-lived "petsounds.com" website where Paley seemed offended when the tracks were called "demos."

The recordings are kind of somewhere in between. Many if not most of them would seem to have required additional work. Something like "Frankie Avalon" doesn't sound like anything close to a finished master recording; so some tracks like that sound more like a demo that was produced with real instrumentation in a studio. But they were made in the studio, so it's not like it was Andy and Brian singing into a cassette recorder or something. Some of the tracks were at or near a state that, with the proper mix, could have come across as finished masters I suppose. A pristine, master-quality source for all of the songs would help to judge this of course.

If pressed to characterize the recordings based on my own opinion, I'd call them something like "Fully-Produced Studio Demos that Could Serve as the Basis for a Master Recording in Most Cases."  :lol

Not to split hairs, but a "demo" session is generally a recording that is specifically not intended to become a master ... just to give listeners an idea of what the song might sound like. This is different from an "unfinished" studio master. A ragged master (like Love You, for instance) might be described by some listeners as "demo-like", but they're distinctly not demos.

By all accounts, it seems that Brian and Andy were in the studio recording tracks. Some are more finished than others, but none that I've heard sound like "demos". But I haven't ever heard "Frankie Avalon", for instance.

I think the idea is that I think one could justifiably be incredulous if Andy Paley played you all of those recordings and claimed every single one of them was already or was very close to being a "finished master." How much of that would be due to the arrangements versus the production versus the mixing; that would probably vary from song to song.

I don't think they had a clear aim with the sessions other than to work out a bunch of songs. I don't think they were thinking "there's no way we'll actually use these recordings on an eventual album", but I also don't think, especially because they didn't even have a contract with a record label, that they were "officially" and firmly recording an album.

It was basically really elaborate, expensive demos that, in most cases, could have been used as a bed for a finished master take. "Gettin' in Over My Head" probably didn't need much, whereas "Frankie Avalon" would have retained little from the extant recording. And a bunch of the songs are somewhere in between.

I suppose I’m not talking about a “Finished Master” vs. “Demo”. I’m taking about the intention of the sessions. These were not demo sessions, they were standard studio sessions. They are obviously unfinished because no final mixes were made, and in many cases they need more overdubs.

Andy Paley, one of the creators, has stated they were not demos … I’ll go with that. I don’t think Brian would say they were demos either.

It’s like if I make a recording with a drum machine and a piano with the intention of completing an elaborate track. Then I add a vocal. Then I add a bass, then an organ. Then I bring in a trumpet player. Then I add guitars and backing vocals. Then I replace my main lead, etc etc etc …

If a dub were made at the point where it was just a drum machine, piano, and vocal … is that a demo? I say no, it’s an unfinished recording-in-progress at that point.

If I record myself with a drum machine, piano, and scratch vocal and give it to my bandmates or label to get an idea of what the song sounds like, that’s what I would call a demo.

Sorry, this is just a pet peeve of mine with regard to various terms (“demo” vs. “alternate take” vs. “early mix”, etc.) that all mean something different and are often misused.

Granted sometimes unfinished studio sessions serve as “demos”, and sometimes demos are sweetened and released as masters, but I’m primarily referring to the intention of the artists when recording.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: the captain on February 28, 2017, 02:53:28 PM

Granted sometimes unfinished studio sessions serve as “demos”, and sometimes demos are sweetened and released as masters, but I’m primarily referring to the intention of the artists when recording.

As I was reading your post, I kept this thought in my back pocket--the first part of it, I mean--as a response to you. Then you beat me to it. I think especially increasingly the lines blur as technology allows it. And I do think that the intentions of the artist also aren't necessarily clear. If Brian and Andy were cutting tracks without a record deal or particular plan, they may well have not necessarily really thought through those details. Is it a (well done) demo? A rough version? A basic track to be finished later? Not only might we not know, they might not have known.

There have been several examples of major artists releasing what were initially intended as demos (including Wondermints' first two album, if you want to consider them "major").

But I think everyone would agree they weren't the kind of click-track-and-block-chord-with-lead-vocal demo that we probably would most associate with the term, though. No doubt about that.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: Lonely Summer on February 28, 2017, 10:58:50 PM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zQGb379AntA&feature=youtu.be

Brian and Mike on Entertainment Tonight March 1995. Brian plays a lil bit of Dancing the Night Away on a piano
I remember seeing that, and even then, being a bit skeptical whether anything would come of their reunion or not.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: HeyJude on March 01, 2017, 06:21:18 AM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zQGb379AntA&feature=youtu.be

Brian and Mike on Entertainment Tonight March 1995. Brian plays a lil bit of Dancing the Night Away on a piano
I remember seeing that, and even then, being a bit skeptical whether anything would come of their reunion or not.

One of the weird aspects of the "ET" video clip is that they're not really promoting anything specific. So why are they going to the media and making people think/hope a new BB album is in the offing? Who made that decision?

Don't get me wrong; a bit of good PR to let everyone know that the songwriting lawsuit is behind them would not be a bad thing (aahhh, remember 22 years ago when we thought a victorious Mike had finally gotten over the songwriting lawsuit?), so I guess that's what this mini-media blitz was about. That, and also possibly drumming up interest from the industry in getting a record deal?


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: SMiLE Brian on March 01, 2017, 06:27:05 AM
I am surprised Mike isn't more bitter over the 2005 lawsuit and the aftermath of that. Statements to BW and Melinda like "your husband better write a big hit because he is going to owe me a big check" seems to indicate that Mike actually thought he had a chance to win that lawsuit.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: HeyJude on March 01, 2017, 06:34:01 AM

Granted sometimes unfinished studio sessions serve as “demos”, and sometimes demos are sweetened and released as masters, but I’m primarily referring to the intention of the artists when recording.


The definition of "Demo" is certainly murky. I would certainly weigh the stated artist intention heavily. Ultimately, the term means the recording is for "demonstration" purposes, and anything from a scratchy home demo to a full studio production can serve this purpose. Technically, if Paley and Brian were cutting some studio tracks that they intended for the Beach Boys to finish (and even planned to play a collection of the songs *to* the Beach Boys to get their opinion), I don't think it would be out of line to say those tracks certainly *served* as demos in some sense. So if, for instance, there is a Paley backing track and Brian/Paley vocals on a version of "You're Still a Mystery" that we haven't heard, I'd kind of call that a demo in light of the "finished" version having a Was backing track recorded later and all-new vocals recorded.

I totally buy that Paley felt he was cutting masters, not demos. I also buy that, as Paley said in an interview, the Beach Boys could have simply cut vocals on top of those tracks in a day or two and released that as an album. I'm not 100% sure what Brian thought, or if he thought about *that* aspect of it one way or another too much. (Ironically, during Brian's sessions with Gary Usher in 1986 they had the opposite problem; Brian thought they were cutting "masters" while Usher was very clear that those recordings were demos, and at one point mentions how much he's worried that Brian has the wrong impression about what they're recording).

In the case of the Paley tracks, the songs could have used so much additional work in some cases that I guess I'm not sure what to call them. Not that I really *need* to call them anything particularly. I've never gone around calling them "Demos" either; I don't think that's the most accurate term to use. I usually just call it the "Paley Sessions" or the "Paley tracks" or whatever. The only time I usually cite "Demo" is to point out the interesting factoid that Paley seemed offended that someone else would call them demos. I don't think someone listening to the recordings and assuming the recordings are high quality studio demos is a particularly outlandish assumption.

Maybe they fall somewhere in the realm of the "Lucky Old Sun" demos, where the tracks are recorded in some sense for "demonstration" purposes, but are also used as the basis for the finished product.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: HeyJude on March 01, 2017, 06:42:35 AM
I am surprised Mike isn't more bitter over the 2005 lawsuit and the aftermath of that. Statements to BW and Melinda like "your husband better write a big hit because he is going to owe me a big check" seems to indicate that Mike actually thought he had a chance to win that lawsuit.

I don't think it's a coincidence that in interviews, and in his book, Mike avoids talking about that lawsuit. It was an epic fail. Mike I would assume doesn't want to talk about that. On top of that, believe it or not, I think Mike truly feels as though he has an unfair reputation for being too litigious. If he can avoid talking about a lawsuit here and there, and then also try to shunt responsibility for lawsuits onto BRI here and there, that's much more convenient I would imagine.

He may be quite bitter about that one behind the scenes, but the songwriting lawsuit is much more tangible and easier to explain than the convoluted, borderline frivolous 2005 lawsuit.

I do really wish someone in the present day would play Mike clips from those 1995 interviews and ask him why he's MORE angry in 2017 than he was in 1995 about the lawsuit HE WON.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: SMiLE Brian on March 01, 2017, 06:52:52 AM
I wonder if he is preparing another lawsuit under the 1976 copyright act and the research his lawyers did made him angry about the issue again.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: guitarfool2002 on March 01, 2017, 07:09:26 AM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zQGb379AntA&feature=youtu.be

Brian and Mike on Entertainment Tonight March 1995. Brian plays a lil bit of Dancing the Night Away on a piano
I remember seeing that, and even then, being a bit skeptical whether anything would come of their reunion or not.

One of the weird aspects of the "ET" video clip is that they're not really promoting anything specific. So why are they going to the media and making people think/hope a new BB album is in the offing? Who made that decision?

Don't get me wrong; a bit of good PR to let everyone know that the songwriting lawsuit is behind them would not be a bad thing (aahhh, remember 22 years ago when we thought a victorious Mike had finally gotten over the songwriting lawsuit?), so I guess that's what this mini-media blitz was about. That, and also possibly drumming up interest from the industry in getting a record deal?


Brian addressed this in the Mix interview, to some degree. I think part of it is on page 6 on one of the page excerpts. He said the Beach Boys were having a tough time getting a record deal, no one wanted them, and it read like he was hoping these sessions and getting back together as a group with new songs might generate interest with the labels. He was right - at that time, it was still the aftereffects of not following up Kokomo with anything close to a single that sold well, and the SIP mess where no big labels would touch them or that album.

But even in light of all that: Consider if there was this kind of press, "hey, we're back together and making new music!", look at what song they featured on Baywatch as the standalone music video as well as one of the main songs during the episode. "Summer In Paradise" and "Summer Of Love", which even at that time were 2-3 year old failures that no one touched when they originally came out.

I think this interview was an attempt to generate interest by amplifying the fact Brian and the band were back making new music together, classic showbiz PR methods, but unfortunately the Jekyll And Hyde nature of the band at this time stepped in again.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: ForHerCryingSoul on March 01, 2017, 09:28:27 AM
That interview makes me sad that it all just fizzled.  Don't forget this event in 1995 with BW and Don Was: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=loHn4Be6cuQ&ab_channel=UltimateBeachBoysVideoCollection


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: CenturyDeprived on March 01, 2017, 09:52:04 AM


Brian addressed this in the Mix interview, to some degree. I think part of it is on page 6 on one of the page excerpts. He said the Beach Boys were having a tough time getting a record deal, no one wanted them, and it read like he was hoping these sessions and getting back together as a group with new songs might generate interest with the labels. He was right - at that time, it was still the aftereffects of not following up Kokomo with anything close to a single that sold well, and the SIP mess where no big labels would touch them or that album.
 

Being as I wasn't really a fan (beyond being a casual fan) back then, I don't have much perspective on this issue... how soon after Kokomo was released did the Kokomo "backlash" happen? I mean, the song hit #1 (albeit briefly), so it must have been very popular with a lot of people. Still, I know it didn't get much critical respect even at the time it was on the charts.

But my question is more along the lines of: was it a sort of written off as a laughable fluke in the industry (unfairly or not) as early as '94/'95? Or was it more that the band released SIP and nothing much else of note following Kokomo? I tend to think that very few people even knew of SIP's existence.

I wonder if labels would have been *more* interested in the BBs in the mid '90s if SIP hadn't even been released at all.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: CenturyDeprived on March 01, 2017, 10:01:00 AM

I do really wish someone in the present day would play Mike clips from those 1995 interviews and ask him why he's MORE angry in 2017 than he was in 1995 about the lawsuit HE WON.

I think the answer to this question is likely that Mike probably thought in the mid '90s (and for 1st few years after winning the lawsuit) that he'd not only have gained monetary compensation - which of course was only fair and just for the songs he contributed to - but he probably also VERY much thought/hoped/expected to gain more industry/public respect and adulation as a result of people now being aware that Mike had won the lawsuit, and was the long-hidden "secret ingredient" to songwriting with regards to the success of the band.

I think that was far more important to him than any monetary compensation, as proven by the fact that he was willing to settle for pennies on the dollar.

These were the pre-internet days (or the infancy of the internet, basically the same thing), so I think there were less ways for Mike to tabulate how much he was in fact able to (or not able to) gain that respect he wanted. Now, 20+ years into the future from that point, Mike can clearly see that - despite many people being more generally aware of his contributions, and despite a movement towards a positive reevaluation of the legitimately solid aspects of those contributions - that he still hasn't gotten the respect he wanted.

And that's probably due to lots and lots of factors, including Mike having unrealistically high expectations, fans being put off to overtly praising someone who seems to put down his bandmates, all mixed together with plenty of legitimately unfair piling-on against him (and people stupidly dismissing the actually great things he contributed). Mike is his own worst enemy, and does seem to have the slightest clue about understanding how he generates bad PR for himself in a very self-defeating way. The rule he forgets is that no artist should ever make it overtly known that they "want" or "expect" a certain level of respect. That needs to be hidden WELL. Unfair or not, life doesn't work that way for any artist, and he does not get this. At all.

It's really very sad, but I think that's exactly why he's seemingly MORE pissed angry in 2017.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: guitarfool2002 on March 01, 2017, 10:09:51 AM


Brian addressed this in the Mix interview, to some degree. I think part of it is on page 6 on one of the page excerpts. He said the Beach Boys were having a tough time getting a record deal, no one wanted them, and it read like he was hoping these sessions and getting back together as a group with new songs might generate interest with the labels. He was right - at that time, it was still the aftereffects of not following up Kokomo with anything close to a single that sold well, and the SIP mess where no big labels would touch them or that album.
 

Being as I wasn't really a fan (beyond being a casual fan) back then, I don't have much perspective on this issue... how soon after Kokomo was released did the Kokomo "backlash" happen? I mean, the song hit #1 (albeit briefly), so it must have been very popular with a lot of people. Still, I know it didn't get much critical respect even at the time it was on the charts.

But my question is more along the lines of: was it a sort of written off as a laughable fluke in the industry (unfairly or not) as early as '94/'95? Or was it more that the band released SIP and nothing much else of note following Kokomo? I tend to think that very few people even knew of SIP's existence.

I wonder if labels would have been *more* interested in the BBs in the mid '90s if SIP hadn't even been released at all.

I guess I was thinking of what happened specifically with the band and Capitol, but I'm thinking the word may have gotten around the industry as well because the labels are all tuned into the same info and scuttlebutt, affecting who they sign or don't sign. With Capitol, they were once again hot on the Beach Boys as a viable commercial band after Kokomo and MTV and the like, that LA Times article from 1989 quotes a Capitol exec talking with high hopes for the band to follow up Kokomo with something else. But as we know it never happened, Capitol put out Still Cruisin which after sales were driven by Kokomo being on a Capitol album along with other stalwart hits that casual fans would want to buy having heard them recently in various films, there was no new meat on that bone.

I think the aftereffects I had in mind were the fact that Capitol dropped them and wouldn't touch the SIP album, and that kind of thing does linger in the industry when an artist fails to deliver and loses a deal or contract. In this case, the Beach Boys were Capitol in the 60's, it was their home label, and despite Capitol being on board the band couldn't deliver the goods for them even after a #1 single.

That was something Brian mentioned in that interview, how the band couldn't get any interest from the labels, and I think at least for Brian there was some hope for the new batch of songs he was writing for them and working on them with various members involved for the first time in years. I think there was some hope that these songs would be an elixir for the band's lack of interest from record companies who may have written them off as just the touring band who played the hits with the dancers and all those trappings.

There is also no indication I could find where Mike was anything less than overly enthusiastic about Summer In Paradise, find any interview from that era from the Howard Stern show to anywhere else where Mike mentioned the album and he legitimately believed it was a great album that was going to be the follow up to Kokomo commercially.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: CenturyDeprived on March 01, 2017, 10:42:11 AM

There is also no indication I could find where Mike was anything less than overly enthusiastic about Summer In Paradise, find any interview from that era from the Howard Stern show to anywhere else where Mike mentioned the album and he legitimately believed it was a great album that was going to be the follow up to Kokomo commercially.

It's weird; I wonder how much of that was him puffing himself up, and puffing the project up that he may have known was half-assed. We all know how he just COMPLETELY avoids talking about that album now, and how it's history-rewriting-style literally omitted from official BB discographies, etc.

Yet this stands in contrast to Mike surprisingly (and awesomely) self-deprecatingly joking about how he doesn't want people to know about the turd that is/was Looking Back With Love, when Brian brought up the album on the campfire sessions TV show thingie in 1989.

Maybe Mike was more willing to joke about a misstep back then than he is now, but I do wonder how legitimately great an album he ever thought SIP was then, regardless of what he publicly said.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: guitarfool2002 on March 01, 2017, 10:59:16 AM

There is also no indication I could find where Mike was anything less than overly enthusiastic about Summer In Paradise, find any interview from that era from the Howard Stern show to anywhere else where Mike mentioned the album and he legitimately believed it was a great album that was going to be the follow up to Kokomo commercially.

It's weird; I wonder how much of that was him puffing himself up, and puffing the project up that he may have known was half-assed. We all know how he just COMPLETELY avoids talking about that album now, and how it's history-rewriting-style literally omitted from official BB discographies, etc.

Yet this stands in contrast to Mike surprisingly (and awesomely) self-deprecatingly joking about how he doesn't want people to know about the turd that is/was Looking Back With Love, when Brian brought up the album on the campfire sessions TV show thingie in 1989.

Maybe Mike was more willing to joke about a misstep back then than he is now, but I do wonder how legitimately great an album he ever thought SIP was then, regardless of what he publicly said.

It can be hard to separate the salesmanship and ballyhoo about promoting a new project and the actual connection to the project itself, emotionally, creatively and otherwise. But in this case I think Mike truly believed this album was going to be a smash hit that would put the Beach Boys over the top. Was some or even most of that because he was essentially the skipper of the SS Summer In Paradise? I think so. It was more or less his vision on that album for new Beach Boys music. Contemporary sounds, rap, nods to the fun in the sun and the surfin days (hell, he even updated Surfin for the album), the Stamos involvement, the environmental themes, the same hitmaking team basically - without Brian - who did Kokomo...add it all up and it was Mike's project.

Look at how in the absence of any sales success or public demand the title track and Summer Of Love got tabbed as the videos and songs to represent the band on Baywatch, which was a gigantic marketing tool. You also had Mike and QVC offering the album as a freebie bonus for QVC shoppers who bought the GV box set.

It didn't seem to register that no matter how much Mike was invested in the album, it was not what fans wanted to hear from the band and there was just no demand for it. I think for a long time before whitewashing it entirely from the history of the band Mike thought the album or one of the "singles" would catch on if only people would hear it. It never happened.

Then compare that to Mike's postgame commentary on the TWGMTR album, which actually did chart Top 5 and which got people listening to new Beach Boys songs again. He all but dismissed it, and later interviews still have him carrying a grudge that he wasn't more involved in it. Yet it was successful, Mike was Executive Producer on the credits, and it kind of did what SIP failed to do, that is get new Beach Boys music in the public ear to the tune of them buying the album.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: HeyJude on March 01, 2017, 11:39:29 AM
It also appears as though the SIP album was the last time Mike put much of any personal push into the band (or himself solo) doing a studio album.

I think he felt the touring band was his thing, he already expressed himself that he found the studio work somewhat tedious (even when they were having hits), and you mix that with, by the mid-90s, almost 20 years of failure on the charts/sales front with new material, other than "Kokomo", and a touring schedule that probably didn't make it easy to block out six months to do an album, and it's not surprising the band was so stagnant studio-wise.

Mike didn't appear to be trying to knock down the record labels' doors with Brian trying to sell the Paley stuff in 1995, and wasn't coming up with any alternative as far as new material.  

After 1997, Mike literally lacked the legal ability to do a "Beach Boys" album, so he obviously had even less motivation at that point, because it would have entailed putting the whole band back together (which would almost surely lead to them butting in on the touring side of things).

Look back to what Mike's ideas were for C50. He didn't propose a new album of new material and a 73-date world tour. He proposed doing *two shows*, perhaps for PBS or something. To the degree he showed any interest in recording, the only thing he may have pushed for at some point was an album of oldies covers.

So when we're going back to stuff like the Paley/Was material, I think one of the many roadblocks is that nobody other than Brian and Andy Paley and Don Was seemed to have any strong desire to do an album (Bruce pushed for O'Hagan, but beyond picking the guy and delivering him to the band to talk to them, I'm not sure what Bruce was personally adding to the proceedings). Look at what came after. Al took another 15 years to finally release a solo album (a pretty good one, but one with several cobbled old recordings, numerous cover versions), Mike recorded easily over an album's worth of material in the 2000s and didn't put something out (I think he probably will get something out eventually, but we're at a 36-year gap since the last solo album), Bruce had/has nothing going on and was barely involved in live shows or group studio work by the 90s, and Carl spent most of the 90s apparently *very slowly* putting 1/3 of an album forward for the "Beckley/Lamm/Wilson" album.

Meanwhile, Brian released two albums in 1995, had enough material done with Paley around that same time to probably make a solo *and* Beach Boys album (essentially, marketing schedules aside, Brian *could have* released FOUR albums in 1995 given the right circumstances), had another album out by 1998, and released a myriad of albums (of varying quality, no question) for the next 20 years.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: HeyJude on March 01, 2017, 11:52:20 AM
Look at how in the absence of any sales success or public demand the title track and Summer Of Love got tabbed as the videos and songs to represent the band on Baywatch, which was a gigantic marketing tool. You also had Mike and QVC offering the album as a freebie bonus for QVC shoppers who bought the GV box set.

It didn't seem to register that no matter how much Mike was invested in the album, it was not what fans wanted to hear from the band and there was just no demand for it. I think for a long time before whitewashing it entirely from the history of the band Mike thought the album or one of the "singles" would catch on if only people would hear it. It never happened.

Also worth noting when it comes to SIP is that "Forever" was promoted heavily via airing at the end of the 1992 season of "Full House", only about 2 1/2 months before the SIP album came out, and only 1 or 1/2 months before the first single from SIP was released.

For the 1992 season, "Full House" was the #7 show on TV. That's huge, especially for 1992. They had the BBs and a song off of SIP *heavily* featured in the two-part season finale of that season (the finales are certainly among the highest rated of each season), and that couldn't even get the SIP album in the *TOP 200* albums for a single week. 


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: SMiLE Brian on March 01, 2017, 11:58:41 AM
*insert filleplage rant here*


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: the captain on March 01, 2017, 12:04:07 PM
 :-X


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: SMiLE Brian on March 01, 2017, 12:06:37 PM
Yeah but the thread won't be derailed to all hell at least. But the 1990s BBs are an odd duck for sure. BW's band from the 1960s vs. Mike's slick touring machine mad off the success of Kokomo.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: CenturyDeprived on March 01, 2017, 02:21:00 PM
Look at how in the absence of any sales success or public demand the title track and Summer Of Love got tabbed as the videos and songs to represent the band on Baywatch, which was a gigantic marketing tool. You also had Mike and QVC offering the album as a freebie bonus for QVC shoppers who bought the GV box set.

It didn't seem to register that no matter how much Mike was invested in the album, it was not what fans wanted to hear from the band and there was just no demand for it. I think for a long time before whitewashing it entirely from the history of the band Mike thought the album or one of the "singles" would catch on if only people would hear it. It never happened.

Also worth noting when it comes to SIP is that "Forever" was promoted heavily via airing at the end of the 1992 season of "Full House", only about 2 1/2 months before the SIP album came out, and only 1 or 1/2 months before the first single from SIP was released.

For the 1992 season, "Full House" was the #7 show on TV. That's huge, especially for 1992. They had the BBs and a song off of SIP *heavily* featured in the two-part season finale of that season (the finales are certainly among the highest rated of each season), and that couldn't even get the SIP album in the *TOP 200* albums for a single week. 

Here's a random question... does anyone think that the album SIP, and the single Forever '92 would have had an iota more success if Brian had been a part of it? Assuming that it sounded roughly the same and that Brian was just utilized as a harmony vocalist.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: the captain on March 01, 2017, 02:24:02 PM
Probably not ... though with BBs fans, you never know. Suddenly we might have a cult of SIP.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: ♩♬☮ Billy C ♯♫♩☮ on March 01, 2017, 02:29:15 PM
Look at how in the absence of any sales success or public demand the title track and Summer Of Love got tabbed as the videos and songs to represent the band on Baywatch, which was a gigantic marketing tool. You also had Mike and QVC offering the album as a freebie bonus for QVC shoppers who bought the GV box set.

It didn't seem to register that no matter how much Mike was invested in the album, it was not what fans wanted to hear from the band and there was just no demand for it. I think for a long time before whitewashing it entirely from the history of the band Mike thought the album or one of the "singles" would catch on if only people would hear it. It never happened.

Also worth noting when it comes to SIP is that "Forever" was promoted heavily via airing at the end of the 1992 season of "Full House", only about 2 1/2 months before the SIP album came out, and only 1 or 1/2 months before the first single from SIP was released.

For the 1992 season, "Full House" was the #7 show on TV. That's huge, especially for 1992. They had the BBs and a song off of SIP *heavily* featured in the two-part season finale of that season (the finales are certainly among the highest rated of each season), and that couldn't even get the SIP album in the *TOP 200* albums for a single week. 

Here's a random question... does anyone think that the album SIP, and the single Forever '92 would have had an iota more success if Brian had been a part of it? Assuming that it sounded roughly the same and that Brian was just utilized as a harmony vocalist.

In this case, "a lot more" success is relative. It might have broken the 1000 mark, but no, I can't picture it doing too well.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: Lonely Summer on March 01, 2017, 11:53:51 PM


Brian addressed this in the Mix interview, to some degree. I think part of it is on page 6 on one of the page excerpts. He said the Beach Boys were having a tough time getting a record deal, no one wanted them, and it read like he was hoping these sessions and getting back together as a group with new songs might generate interest with the labels. He was right - at that time, it was still the aftereffects of not following up Kokomo with anything close to a single that sold well, and the SIP mess where no big labels would touch them or that album.
 

Being as I wasn't really a fan (beyond being a casual fan) back then, I don't have much perspective on this issue... how soon after Kokomo was released did the Kokomo "backlash" happen? I mean, the song hit #1 (albeit briefly), so it must have been very popular with a lot of people. Still, I know it didn't get much critical respect even at the time it was on the charts.

But my question is more along the lines of: was it a sort of written off as a laughable fluke in the industry (unfairly or not) as early as '94/'95? Or was it more that the band released SIP and nothing much else of note following Kokomo? I tend to think that very few people even knew of SIP's existence.

I wonder if labels would have been *more* interested in the BBs in the mid '90s if SIP hadn't even been released at all.

I guess I was thinking of what happened specifically with the band and Capitol, but I'm thinking the word may have gotten around the industry as well because the labels are all tuned into the same info and scuttlebutt, affecting who they sign or don't sign. With Capitol, they were once again hot on the Beach Boys as a viable commercial band after Kokomo and MTV and the like, that LA Times article from 1989 quotes a Capitol exec talking with high hopes for the band to follow up Kokomo with something else. But as we know it never happened, Capitol put out Still Cruisin which after sales were driven by Kokomo being on a Capitol album along with other stalwart hits that casual fans would want to buy having heard them recently in various films, there was no new meat on that bone.

I think the aftereffects I had in mind were the fact that Capitol dropped them and wouldn't touch the SIP album, and that kind of thing does linger in the industry when an artist fails to deliver and loses a deal or contract. In this case, the Beach Boys were Capitol in the 60's, it was their home label, and despite Capitol being on board the band couldn't deliver the goods for them even after a #1 single.

That was something Brian mentioned in that interview, how the band couldn't get any interest from the labels, and I think at least for Brian there was some hope for the new batch of songs he was writing for them and working on them with various members involved for the first time in years. I think there was some hope that these songs would be an elixir for the band's lack of interest from record companies who may have written them off as just the touring band who played the hits with the dancers and all those trappings.

There is also no indication I could find where Mike was anything less than overly enthusiastic about Summer In Paradise, find any interview from that era from the Howard Stern show to anywhere else where Mike mentioned the album and he legitimately believed it was a great album that was going to be the follow up to Kokomo commercially.
The problem was, that followup came 4 years too late. If SIP had come out within months of Kokomo's success, it would have sold a lot better (and no, I am not a fan of the album). If nothing else, people that became friends thru Kokomo's success, and  the continued airplay of the old hits, might have picked up a new BB's album out of curiosity. But by the time SIP came out, music had completely changed. The lite pop of the Cocktail/Kokomo era had been replaced by grunge! Try to imagine Mike and the boys walking onstage in ripped jeans, flannel shirts, with guitars turned up to 11 screaming about angst on the beach! Of course, the alternative (no pun intended) was to go the unplugged route, which they did briefly in '93. IJWMFTT has kind of an unplugged vibe about it. Or they could do what many other older rockers did, go country. Yep, did that, S&S didn't sell, either. And Joe Thomas' efforts to turn BW into an A/C artist didn't set the charts on fire, either. At some point you gotta stop trying to follow the fads, and just make the music you want to make. And that's the problem for Mike - he is always about being commercial.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: the captain on March 02, 2017, 05:34:44 AM
I don't know if the lite pop was replaced by grunge. Were they sharing the same audience? I've always felt grunge more replaced pop metal: thosewere the listeners, those were the bands suddenly cutting hair, growing goatees, scrubbing off makeup and pretending to be authentic. I'm not sure any artists or fans in a Kokomo vein would've been affected.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: SMiLE Brian on March 02, 2017, 06:00:28 AM
Cap, you aren't authentic? ;)


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: The LEGENDARY OSD on March 02, 2017, 06:28:08 AM
I wonder if he is preparing another lawsuit under the 1976 copyright act and the research his lawyers did made him angry about the issue again.

myKe luHv once again looking for another shot to show the world that he is the most f***ed over man on the planet.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: JK on March 02, 2017, 07:37:24 AM
Cap, you aren't authentic? ;)

Read his signature, SB. He's authentic. :afro


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: guitarfool2002 on March 02, 2017, 09:39:21 AM
With some of Mike's own songwriting projects that have leaked out via boots like "Baker's Dozen" and others, we can look back and hear pretty much where his mind was at when it came to making new songs for either the Beach Boys or whatever solo work he had in mind. The majority of them - how can I say this diplomatically - are to my ears just not that good, and if it were aiming right at a commercial effort, they're not commercial either. In the early 90's, say the time between Kokomo breaking out as a hit and Summer In Paradise, listen to what Mike was recording and demo'ing with Baker and others. It's all there on those recordings, everything from the themes of summer and sun and fun, the wordplay on his name using "love" at key points in the lyrics, the vapid if not horrid synth and drum machine backing tracks, the seeming need to recreate the vocal stacks Brian had with 3 tracks in 1964 done digitally with someone filling in where Mike and Bruce's ranges didn't go...

And some of the songs that did come out: Island Fever is no doubt Kokomo part 2, an attempt several years later to rewrite Kokomo with the same backing track feel more or less, same themes...maybe a few years later than Capitol actually wanted such a follow-up to Kokomo when they inked that deal which produced Still Cruisin'.

Speaking of Still Cruisin, How about Somewhere Near Japan? Some fans enjoy it, there was a songwriters roundtable where Mike and Bruce talk highly of that song and how Capitol focused on a Duran Duran release or something which stiffed the release in some ways. Yet what is the song under all the postmortems? It's another Papa John Phillips song, with the same team of songwriting and production plastic surgeons who came in to give it a facelift and make it more of a hook-filled tune.

Strip it down to the John Phillips original recording and concept, and it was a song about his daughter McKenzie lost on a drug binge trying to score dope. Apparently the title refers to an answer she gave on the phone.

So is that "hit making" material to run with to follow up Kokomo's success? Is that where some thought the Beach Boys should be going?

Put all of that together, listen to the results from Baker's Dozen to SIP to wherever else Mike's efforts were going at this time, and then compare that to what was happening with the Was/Paley sessions.

I guess my issue is still for all of the various doubts and shuffling of feet regarding "new material" surrounding the 94-95-96 period that eventually led to a country tribute album of covers, look at where the band was being skippered in terms of new material and releasing new music in the years after Kokomo became a hit.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: Lonely Summer on March 02, 2017, 11:00:51 PM
With some of Mike's own songwriting projects that have leaked out via boots like "Baker's Dozen" and others, we can look back and hear pretty much where his mind was at when it came to making new songs for either the Beach Boys or whatever solo work he had in mind. The majority of them - how can I say this diplomatically - are to my ears just not that good, and if it were aiming right at a commercial effort, they're not commercial either. In the early 90's, say the time between Kokomo breaking out as a hit and Summer In Paradise, listen to what Mike was recording and demo'ing with Baker and others. It's all there on those recordings, everything from the themes of summer and sun and fun, the wordplay on his name using "love" at key points in the lyrics, the vapid if not horrid synth and drum machine backing tracks, the seeming need to recreate the vocal stacks Brian had with 3 tracks in 1964 done digitally with someone filling in where Mike and Bruce's ranges didn't go...

And some of the songs that did come out: Island Fever is no doubt Kokomo part 2, an attempt several years later to rewrite Kokomo with the same backing track feel more or less, same themes...maybe a few years later than Capitol actually wanted such a follow-up to Kokomo when they inked that deal which produced Still Cruisin'.

Speaking of Still Cruisin, How about Somewhere Near Japan? Some fans enjoy it, there was a songwriters roundtable where Mike and Bruce talk highly of that song and how Capitol focused on a Duran Duran release or something which stiffed the release in some ways. Yet what is the song under all the postmortems? It's another Papa John Phillips song, with the same team of songwriting and production plastic surgeons who came in to give it a facelift and make it more of a hook-filled tune.

Strip it down to the John Phillips original recording and concept, and it was a song about his daughter McKenzie lost on a drug binge trying to score dope. Apparently the title refers to an answer she gave on the phone.

So is that "hit making" material to run with to follow up Kokomo's success? Is that where some thought the Beach Boys should be going?

Put all of that together, listen to the results from Baker's Dozen to SIP to wherever else Mike's efforts were going at this time, and then compare that to what was happening with the Was/Paley sessions.

I guess my issue is still for all of the various doubts and shuffling of feet regarding "new material" surrounding the 94-95-96 period that eventually led to a country tribute album of covers, look at where the band was being skippered in terms of new material and releasing new music in the years after Kokomo became a hit.
I think Somewhere Near Japan could have been a hit if it had come out as a single right after Kokomo. I mean right after; say, Nov/Dec 1988, not a full year later. They waited too long to followup Kokomo, and when they did, it was the semi-okay Still Cruisin', which to me, always sounded like it was missing something when I heard it on the radio. If you're a die-hard BB's fan, it's an okay track, but it's not gonna win over a ton of new fans the way Kokomo did. SNJ might have.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: HeyJude on March 03, 2017, 06:34:42 AM
I think the fact that the band didn't seem to do a lot of great material in the late 80s and early 90s (e.g. hunks of "Still Cruisin" and most of SIP) may not have a *ton* to do with the lack of success. Poor critical showings certainly don't help. But I think "Kokomo" may have in part just been an anomaly, and the band could have had something amazing in their back pocket that still failed.

"Somewhere Near Japan" is interesting in that I'm with many if not most fans that it's a good track, probably the best original song on a BB album post-1985 and pre-C50 (not much competition there, though). But does it stand out in part because a lot of the stuff around it was rather "meh" in quality?

If we *do* want to get into the nuts and bolts of it, it is true that both "SNJ" specifically and the "Still Cruisin'" album as a whole probably hit way too late if the idea was mainly to just piggyback on the success of "Kokomo." Also, both "versions" of SNJ have problems. The "album" version is the better mix, but it is too long for "radio" what with the excessively long intro. But the "single mix" is a rather limp mix that lacks the full, punchy (yet "real" sounding, compared to "Still Cruisin'") drums of the album mix.

The band could have used the early 80s/Cetera "Chicago" template to try continue to wring out success, the template not being so much the specific musical style (I don't think the BBs had to go as "ballad heavy" as Chicago did with their singles), but an outside producer (and possibly writer) with strong commercial senses. No offense to Terry Melcher, but while I'm not a David Foster fan musically and even moreso of the guy personally (especially the post-success David Foster), the Beach Boys could have tried to seek out a David Foster-type with better commercial sensibilities and stronger sort of "A&R" skills than Terry Melcher.

I'm not a huge expert on the list of producers that were hot circa 1988/89, and who knows, maybe the hottest producers would have balked at working with the BBs. But Terry Melcher, while maybe a good guy to help Mike co-write a few songs here and there (Melcher was clearly able to write some catchy chord changes/melodies), was not the guy to run the whole thing. And he was the main producer on the majority of the "new" "Still Cruisin'" tracks and of course SIP is essentially a 90s "Mike and Terry" album with Al, Carl, and Bruce guesting.

Then again, the band hasn't seemed to have a great track record working with outside producers. Levine in '85 was a one-shot deal, and that project had a number of pitfalls. Neither Andy Paley nor Don Was (and Was was a pretty powerful and hot producer in the early-mid 90s) could corral the band to even finish anything.

It does appear that in some cases, if the band wanted to finish a project, they had to kind of leave the album in question in the hands of one main band member and a producer and kind of sit down and shut up. Al, Carl, and Bruce did this in handing full creative control of SIP to Mike and Terry Melcher. The album tanked, but nobody really left the project with any super ill will as far as I can tell. And then 20 years later, Mike, Al, and Bruce (and Dave) handed *most* control of TWGMTR over to Joe Thomas and Brian, with much better results but also with more ill feelings, at least from one member (Mike).


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: guitarfool2002 on March 03, 2017, 06:59:04 AM
Even "Still Cruisin'" the song isn't all that special, is it? If we look at it in retrospect, Kokomo was universal in a way that appealed to casual fans of the Beach Boys who would buy a new Beach Boys record or enjoy one perhaps by default, and it also appealed to the fans of the film "Cocktail" and MTV where it got a heap of exposure and a boost to new listeners. The lyrics were universal and relatable, going back to the original Phillips version, and even without Mike's "Aruba, Jamaica..." contribution it had the escapism theme people connected with. It also sounded different melodically in some ways, like Carl's phrases.

But "Still Cruisin'" falls back into the cliches that have hampered Mike's songwriting, IMO. First the melody, chords and hook are a direct rip from Dick & DeeDee ""Mountains High". Next, the lyrical theme is the same tired cliche that worked, kind of, back in 1968 with Do It Again. "Hey kids, we're still here, having fun fun fun in the sun and cruisin in our custom cars...Let's Get Back Together And Do It Again...in 1989!"

It's too cliche, and it falls into the trap that Kokomo avoided, which was Kokomo removing the focus from the image of the band in the appeal of the lyrics. It wasn't the Beach Boys talking about how they used to go to Kokomo for fun in the sun and afternoon delights, it was a more universal statement of those sentiments of pure escapism. If Mike had tried to write a theme like "do you remember when we went to Kokomo, all those years ago, well join us again because we're still here and still surfin and still cruisin and blah blah..." it wouldn't have made it to the Cocktail soundtrack because it was about Mike and the band's image and not universal.

That's an exaggeration, but consider it as a factor.

I can dig the other points being made, but still - Look at what we do have of Mike's songwriting output and demos from this same time when the band needed a followup to Kokomo (or even prior to that). There isn't a shred of commercial meat on that bone. It's too much cliche, hamfisted attempts to be retro to a point of unintentional parody, and it is full of all the trappings like "love" wordplay and this notion of going back to the beach and the drag strip which bog down any attempts to be good.

And no matter what the track sounded like, "Somewhere In Japan" is still a fact-based song about a rock star's drug-addled daughter lost in the Far East trying to score junk. If that theme would have been a viable Beach Boys followup to a song about cavorting, drinking, and screwing in a tropical paradise getaway...I must be in the wrong universe.  :)


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: HeyJude on March 03, 2017, 07:09:28 AM
I'm not particularly trying to cut Mike slack, because he was coming up with some really weak stuff, but I don't heavily weigh the stuff like the Adrian Baker material from the 90s. Most of it was super-cheap re-recordings of old hits with a handful of ostensibly "new" songs sprinkled in there. I've never had the sense even Mike felt those few "new" songs were substantive; indeed, he ended up slipping a small number of them on *super obscure" projects like a CD given away at a car dealership.

I think the paucity of material Mike may have had around that time, and the hack quality of the material, speaks less to Mike's ability to write and more to the more basic idea that he just didn't care much and had little drive to write, record, and/or release new material.

To the degree Mike had that drive, I find it hard to believe even someone with the ego of Mike Love could have *not* been impacted by the unequivocal failure of SIP. I don't think Mike looked at the failure of SIP and had a epiphany about his life or about his talent. But I think it easily could have dictated that he subsequently had *even less* drive to do much creatively of his own accord. So he'd still show up if someone else sort of set the pins up for him to knock down, like Brian with Paley, or Adrian Baker recording cheesy BB remakes in his garage, or Bruce spearheading "Symphonic Sounds", or something turn-key like "Stars and Stripes."


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: guitarfool2002 on March 03, 2017, 07:21:33 AM
I'm not particularly trying to cut Mike slack, because he was coming up with some really weak stuff, but I don't heavily weigh the stuff like the Adrian Baker material from the 90s. Most of it was super-cheap re-recordings of old hits with a handful of ostensibly "new" songs sprinkled in there. I've never had the sense even Mike felt those few "new" songs were substantive; indeed, he ended up slipping a small number of them on *super obscure" projects like a CD given away at a car dealership.

I think the paucity of material Mike may have had around that time, and the hack quality of the material, speaks less to Mike's ability to write and more to the more basic idea that he just didn't care much and had little drive to write, record, and/or release new material.

To the degree Mike had that drive, I find it hard to believe even someone with the ego of Mike Love could have *not* been impacted by the unequivocal failure of SIP. I don't think Mike looked at the failure of SIP and had a epiphany about his life or about his talent. But I think it easily could have dictated that he subsequently had *even less* drive to do much creatively of his own accord. So he's still show up if someone else sort of set the pins up for him to knock down, like Brian with Paley, or Adrian Baker recording cheesy BB remakes in his garage, or Bruce spearheading "Symphonic Sounds", or something turn-key like "Stars and Stripes."

I think it may speak directly to Mike's ability to write new material because if there was any time the band needed new material, it was when Capitol was basically demanding it from the band and putting the fate of a new record deal in the hands of new material. The challenge was put on the band, and the captain of the ship who in 1989 was suggesting they didn't need Brian Wilson to make hit records failed to deliver. It speaks volumes to me that even with actual demand for a strong follow up from the label which was hot on the band for the first time in 20 years, look at what Mike actually did have to offer and what was both in the vaults and eventually released. There was nothing beyond the cliches, cheesy retro attempts, and the continual notion of remaking and "updating" old classics and hits with drum machines and synths.

Mike I think absolutely had the drive to make hit records because he was saying he could do it on his terms and still have a hit like Kokomo, and Capitol was looking at the Beach Boys minus Brian to deliver another Kokomo, and that was putting the responsibility on Mike as the captain. Yet - what did he have? Or more pertinent, what did he offer as proof? Somewhere In Japan, minus the drug addict theme on the lyrics, was yet another John Phillips song like Kokomo which Mike brought to the operating room with Melcher to try to craft a hook or two for the existing song just as they did on Kokomo. Nearly everything else in his vault was ideas to remake and update or sing about parties and fun in the sun like "Do It Again (parts 2-34)".

Fast forward to 2017 - The notion of remaking the old hits with new production sounds and guests like John Stamos is currently on the table. "Getcha Back" is the new version of this. In the 25 years since Summer In Paradise, minus 2012, where's the beef in terms of something new or even collaborations to produce something new?

I think it is also ironic how Mike all but needs partners and collaborators to write and record anything, yet he still has that bee in his bonnet over Brian working with collaborators not named "Love". I think it also gives him an out in terms of being able to criticize those efforts as falling short or not delivering, yet when his own efforts sunk like a stone, he simply ignores those failures and won't comment on them.



Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: JK on March 03, 2017, 07:23:39 AM
But "Still Cruisin'" falls back into the cliches that have hampered Mike's songwriting, IMO. First the melody, chords and hook are a direct rip from Dick & DeeDee ""Mountains High".

Yes indeed! I'll hear both songs in a new light from now on. ;D

For the uninitiated:

https://youtu.be/zMt2-unbu_E

A quite extraordinary record...


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: guitarfool2002 on March 03, 2017, 07:26:30 AM
But "Still Cruisin'" falls back into the cliches that have hampered Mike's songwriting, IMO. First the melody, chords and hook are a direct rip from Dick & DeeDee ""Mountains High".

Yes indeed! I'll hear both songs in a new light from now on. ;D

For the uninitiated:

https://youtu.be/zMt2-unbu_E

A quite extraordinary record...

It is a classic record, I agree! One of those that if you hear it by chance on an oldies station or stream, you drop what you're doing and listen. When I hear "Still Cruisin'" my first thought is the Dick & DeeDee record because it is the same hook and chord progression. Literally the same.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: The LEGENDARY OSD on March 03, 2017, 07:27:02 AM
I remember hearing SNJ when it came out and felt flat out embarrassed. It did feature some great vocals from Carl and Al but from first listen, it always sounded like a candidate for a lame B side. Chance of being hit fodder? Not in anyone's wildest dreams, not even with heavy rotation on your favorite radio station. Poorly written, choppy in direction and over produced.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: SMiLE Brian on March 03, 2017, 07:43:15 AM
But "Still Cruisin'" falls back into the cliches that have hampered Mike's songwriting, IMO. First the melody, chords and hook are a direct rip from Dick & DeeDee ""Mountains High".

Yes indeed! I'll hear both songs in a new light from now on. ;D

For the uninitiated:

https://youtu.be/zMt2-unbu_E

A quite extraordinary record...

It is a classic record, I agree! One of those that if you hear it by chance on an oldies station or stream, you drop what you're doing and listen. When I hear "Still Cruisin'" my first thought is the Dick & DeeDee record because it is the same hook and chord progression. Literally the same.
I wonder what would happen if you asked Mike about borrowing the melody to this classic? :)


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: HeyJude on March 03, 2017, 07:56:08 AM

Mike I think absolutely had the drive to make hit records because he was saying he could do it on his terms and still have a hit like Kokomo, and Capitol was looking at the Beach Boys minus Brian to deliver another Kokomo, and that was putting the responsibility on Mike as the captain.

I think he has always had the desire to have a hit record, just as most everybody would. As for drive, I think he waxed and waned on that drive over the years. I think a myriad of failures through the late 70s and 80s took a lot of wind (and thus drive) out of their sails to make new material. Carl left the band in 1981 in part because the rest of the guys wouldn't make another album.

I think "Kokomo" certainly reinvigorated this drive in Mike, and the pinnacle of that drive is indeed the SIP album. But after that? I'm sure Mike always *wanted* a hit, but I don't see much evidence of any drive. He has remained rather passive ever since. There are ways to be driven beyond writing new material. There's no evidence he was, within BRI, pushing to woo a producer or a new manager to get them success. He was sailing on the one feather in his cap, which was touring. That was and will always be a "safe" place, where adulation and approval are pretty much guaranteed. Not to mention where pretty much *all* the money was/is.

When asked, Mike always did and still does *say* he wants to and believes he *can* write good new stuff with Brian. So he has some level of passive desire to have more hits, and there is a *belief*, or at least a *stated belief* (in the realm of it always being easier to *say* something than to actually *do* it) that he has the ability to write a hit with Brian. But not much drive. He actively antagonized and insulted Sean O'Hagan (the guy Bruce had brought in!), claimed to be so unfamiliar with Andy Paley *during* the recording of Paley's songs that he didn't even know Paley and Brian had written the songs, seemed to have a somewhat weird attitude towards Don Was (and obviously didn't let Was crack the whip and make a BB album), and we certainly know how Mike reacted to Joe Thomas and TWGMTR and C50 and all of that.

So I see a pretty strong lack of active drive and motivation to actually *do* something (and for mostly reasons that functionally make sense, mainly to do with touring being more fun, more lucrative, and since 1998 with nobody else to answer to), mixed with a fair amount of bluster and bluffing about what he things he *could* be doing, and then all of that mixed in with a track record in the 90s and 2000s of being an ambivalent-at-best participant (Paley material), actively working against it (O'Hagan), and seemingly seething anger temporarily bandaged by, I can only guess, a big cash guarantee (Joe Thomas and TWGMTR and C50).


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: SMiLE Brian on March 03, 2017, 08:06:07 AM
The SOT bootlegs of studio sessions are interesting evidence of Mike having little patience for the studio even when they had hits. He is constantly a distraction with the other BBs and doesn't add much to BW's work in crafting songs. Add that lack of effort and 30 years of hazy memories of those times and the Kokomo era studio material makes sense.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: guitarfool2002 on March 03, 2017, 08:16:52 AM
I agree with that HeyJude, but there was also the point where Kokomo became a hit without Brian's involvement and Mike was actually called on to deliver something to Capitol or in general that would sustain that renewed interest in the band making new records. He either didn't or couldn't deliver the goods. I think if there had not been the attitude of "See? We can make hits without Brian's involvement", perhaps there would have been more slack cut. But when the facts of the matters are laid out, including what has Mike actually written and what has he done in terms of songwriting and releasing music, there is little to nothing to suggest a backup of some of his comments and claims.

It's fine to tout and boast songwriting expertise when there is a legacy of hits and classics from the 60's Capitol years, for one example. But where is there something to hang those claims on from the 80's to the present?

Those examples given of working with O'Hagan and the head-scratching comments and incidents related to Was/Paley and all related are worth noting for sure. It's fine to boast, but where is anything to back up the boasts and the claims?

I think it is also telling how the failures and the non-starters in terms of songs and releases like SIP are somehow wiped clean from the record, there are barely any mentions of those failures beyond an implication like "people would like it if they gave it a chance". Instead of any self-appraisal, we get instead that same finger of blame pointed at Capitol for putting Duran Duran above Mike's "Somewhere Near Japan" single, various collaborators getting in the way of Mike's writing with Brian, various nefarious forces and "handlers" getting in the way of Mike writing with Brian, how the market isn't receptive enough to new music from the Beach Boys, the lack of this or that...it all serves to deflect from what could be the case made how Mike simply doesn't have the songs to do something commercial to match what Mike thinks he can produce with Brian if the conditions were exactly as he wants them to be. Brian-Mike-piano-room. It's like setting a standard that doesn't exist and using that standard as an excuse and an imaginary straw-man to finger the blame for a lack of songs or commercial success.

It also reminds me how many interviews of the past 25+ years where Mike was teasing a new album of his music, and we have nothing. Except talk of remakes and updates of old Beach Boys hits. 25+ years and nothing substantial. Even the Christmas single was a remake and update of a late-70's throwaway that may never have seen the light of day had the band Phoenix not blown the dust off of it for a Bill Murray special.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: The LEGENDARY OSD on March 03, 2017, 08:55:16 AM
I agree with that HeyJude, but there was also the point where Kokomo became a hit without Brian's involvement and Mike was actually called on to deliver something to Capitol or in general that would sustain that renewed interest in the band making new records. He either didn't or couldn't deliver the goods. I think if there had not been the attitude of "See? We can make hits without Brian's involvement", perhaps there would have been more slack cut. But when the facts of the matters are laid out, including what has Mike actually written and what has he done in terms of songwriting and releasing music, there is little to nothing to suggest a backup of some of his comments and claims.

It's fine to tout and boast songwriting expertise when there is a legacy of hits and classics from the 60's Capitol years, for one example. But where is there something to hang those claims on from the 80's to the present?

Those examples given of working with O'Hagan and the head-scratching comments and incidents related to Was/Paley and all related are worth noting for sure. It's fine to boast, but where is anything to back up the boasts and the claims?

I think it is also telling how the failures and the non-starters in terms of songs and releases like SIP are somehow wiped clean from the record, there are barely any mentions of those failures beyond an implication like "people would like it if they gave it a chance". Instead of any self-appraisal, we get instead that same finger of blame pointed at Capitol for putting Duran Duran above Mike's "Somewhere Near Japan" single, various collaborators getting in the way of Mike's writing with Brian, various nefarious forces and "handlers" getting in the way of Mike writing with Brian, how the market isn't receptive enough to new music from the Beach Boys, the lack of this or that...it all serves to deflect from what could be the case made how Mike simply doesn't have the songs to do something commercial to match what Mike thinks he can produce with Brian if the conditions were exactly as he wants them to be. Brian-Mike-piano-room. It's like setting a standard that doesn't exist and using that standard as an excuse and an imaginary straw-man to finger the blame for a lack of songs or commercial success.

It also reminds me how many interviews of the past 25+ years where Mike was teasing a new album of his music, and we have nothing. Except talk of remakes and updates of old Beach Boys hits. 25+ years and nothing substantial. Even the Christmas single was a remake and update of a late-70's throwaway that may never have seen the light of day had the band Phoenix not blown the dust off of it for a Bill Murray special.

Case absolutely nailed by HJ and GF. Just the case of Sean O'Hagan in itself is mind numbing to say the least. Can you possibly imagine Brian teaming up with someone as inventive as Sean and the results it possibly could have produced? What we haven't been able to hear because of the jealous, ego drenched, screwed up paranoid mind of myKe luHv is just criminal. After a High Llamas concert, I had the opportunity to talk to Sean about Brian and their getting together to produce some material. He barely saw Brian let alone write with him because of luHv's interference. Instead, we get warmed over, third rate slop from him and his collaborators.  ::)


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: HeyJude on March 03, 2017, 09:05:49 AM
I have no idea if Sean O'Hagan could have produced something great. But for Mike to *introduce* himself to the guy in the fashion that he did, to insult him behind a lame "you don't get my sense of humor" tone (and that's being kind to Mike; I'm not even sure he was trying to make a joke), is unprofessional at its core.

Can you imagine Mike saying that stuff to George Martin or Phil Ramone or Quincy Jones or something?


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: HeyJude on March 03, 2017, 09:16:33 AM
Mike has seemed to often find studio work, and rehearsing (for tours) to be rather tedious, and I suppose weirdly to his credit he has at least at times not been shy about that.

As I recall, if you listen to the extant "rehearsal" recordings done at Al's studio in Big Sur for the late 1993 "boxed set" tour, Mike isn't even present. I can only guess, but I guess he felt he didn't need to burn a bunch of time rehearsing "Take A Load Off Your Feet" and "Wonderful" and "Vegetables" and all of that.

I think, as is human nature I guess, he has more enthusiasm for something when it's *his* thing. I have no reason to doubt he was probably much more "into" the SIP sessions in 1992 than the TWGMTR sessions in 2011/2012. Listen to him talk about the ending suite on TWGMTR in that "Rolling Stone" article. He talks about it as if he's listening to freeform jazz or something, as if he's wholly unable to relate to it simply because he didn't have a hand in writing it. Even John F***ing Stamos is literally standing there next to Mike telling Mike the songs are brilliant and Mike seems to be hedging.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: guitarfool2002 on March 03, 2017, 10:09:01 AM
Interesting point on the rehearsal issues with Mike, from another discussion and posting of an interview with Carl from the early 80's, it seems that was an issue with Carl at that time too. Maybe a bigger factor in certain issues than was thought?

>>>As for playing with the Beach Boys, Carl agreed to do some dates with the band in April of 1982, but again the lack of formal rehearsal time irked him:

"Everything was rushed; it was very mechanical. There was resistance to rehearsing out of habit. But it all finally came together at the last minute. In 1983 they'll be a lot more rehearsals, new faces, new songs... I may open some shows with my new band." <<<

So if Mike shined on the rehearsals for the "Box Set Tour" in 1993 for whatever reasons, it could have indicated a pattern going back at least a decade. Interesting info. It seemed that Carl wanted the rehearsal time for the live shows more than perhaps Mike if there are more examples of this. "Resistance to rehearsing out of habit", is Carl referring to Mike?


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: JK on March 03, 2017, 10:38:24 AM
But "Still Cruisin'" falls back into the cliches that have hampered Mike's songwriting, IMO. First the melody, chords and hook are a direct rip from Dick & DeeDee ""Mountains High".

Yes indeed! I'll hear both songs in a new light from now on. ;D

For the uninitiated:

https://youtu.be/zMt2-unbu_E

A quite extraordinary record...

It is a classic record, I agree! One of those that if you hear it by chance on an oldies station or stream, you drop what you're doing and listen.

Yes. That snare, for example. And the vocal stack is really weird. Dee Dee Phelps describes it in her book Vinyl Highway, admittedly for what was to have been the A-side (it got flipped along the way), but it's the same set-up:

"We got together and I had the lyrics to a song called 'I Want Someone' and [Dick] had this melody and it fit the same lyrics as if it had been written together. He sang his melody to my lyrics and I picked it up pretty quick 'cause I hear harmony. I sang my harmony to it. He turned on the tape recorder and recorded it. Then when he was playing it back, I heard another harmony. As I say, I hear harmonies. ... So, I sang another harmony, a third part and then Dick not to be bested by that, sang falsetto in unison with his low voice and it sounded really amazing. It sounded like these four voices, but there were only two of us." 


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: DonnyL on March 03, 2017, 11:03:45 AM
No way any of the released material that followed "Kokomo" would have been hits in any alternate universe in my opinion ... "Kokomo" was a fluke.

"Soul Searchin'", if released in the mid-'90s and promoted properly (as a 'Beach Boys as artistic force' return to form) would have in my opinion.

Every Beach Boys or Beach Boys-related release since Keepin' the Summer Alive suffers from a bad pseudo-contemporary production. The Paley session material actually sounds good.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: HeyJude on March 03, 2017, 11:32:55 AM
I also think searching for a hit *Single* was a losing battle anyway. By the 90s (and certainly today), "legacy" acts like McCartney were doing well on the *albums* charts, and getting "album of the year" grammy nods.

In the 90s, I believe the singles charts were calculated by a mixture of sales and radio airplay numbers, and the only thing that would have had lower numbers than singles sales for the BBs would have been radio airplay numbers for new material.

So I think looking at single songs by the time the band hit the 90s and trying to figure out what would have or could have been a "hit single" is missing the point (and maybe some of the BBs were still thinking of it that way in the 90s, which would have further hindered them).

I don't think any *single* pulled from the Paley sessions would have or could have been a smash hit. Much like McCartney scored a #2 spot on the charts and an "album of the year" Grammy nod for his "Flaming Pie" in 1997 while the single pulled form the album in the US tanked, this would have been the best scenario for the BBs in 1995/96. And I think this is really the case (or could have been the case) with any 1989 album or 1992 album as well.

They could have and should have focused on a strong *album* (a catchy single hitting radio and VH1 back in the day certainly wouldn't have hurt of course), and then strong performance on the albums chart and good critical notices, and potential Grammy nominations, would have been the possible outcome.

"Soul Searchin'" wouldn't have likely been a "hit single" in 1995/96. But it could have been pushed to radio and especially VH1 which was still playing McCartney all the time in the mid 90s, and all of that could have helped push an album.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: Lonely Summer on March 03, 2017, 02:27:41 PM
I also think searching for a hit *Single* was a losing battle anyway. By the 90s (and certainly today), "legacy" acts like McCartney were doing well on the *albums* charts, and getting "album of the year" grammy nods.

In the 90s, I believe the singles charts were calculated by a mixture of sales and radio airplay numbers, and the only thing that would have had lower numbers than singles sales for the BBs would have been radio airplay numbers for new material.

So I think looking at single songs by the time the band hit the 90s and trying to figure out what would have or could have been a "hit single" is missing the point (and maybe some of the BBs were still thinking of it that way in the 90s, which would have further hindered them).

I don't think any *single* pulled from the Paley sessions would have or could have been a smash hit. Much like McCartney scored a #2 spot on the charts and an "album of the year" Grammy nod for his "Flaming Pie" in 1997 while the single pulled form the album in the US tanked, this would have been the best scenario for the BBs in 1995/96. And I think this is really the case (or could have been the case) with any 1989 album or 1992 album as well.

They could have and should have focused on a strong *album* (a catchy single hitting radio and VH1 back in the day certainly wouldn't have hurt of course), and then strong performance on the albums chart and good critical notices, and potential Grammy nominations, would have been the possible outcome.

"Soul Searchin'" wouldn't have likely been a "hit single" in 1995/96. But it could have been pushed to radio and especially VH1 which was still playing McCartney all the time in the mid 90s, and all of that could have helped push an album.
I agree that in the 90's, it would have been pointless for the BB's to expect a hit single, but in 1988/89, it was still a possibility. What I had really hoped the guys would do in the wake of Kokomo's success was a new studio album - not a compilation masquerading as a new album - that was more artistically expressive - something along the lines of Brian's solo album. Sure, put a couple songs on there that could follow Kokomo on the charts, but also find some material that could equal Melt Away or There's So Many or Let it Shine (I'm not expecting the group would've been willing to do something like Rio Grande). It's true that Kokomo was only #1 for a week, but it was in the Hot 100 for something like 6 months, it was a huge hit all over the world. Of course the whole situation would have been better if they'd already recorded an album. I remember when the Kinks had a surprise top 40 hit in 1983 with Come Dancing. Their Arista albums had sold well, but it had been ages since they'd had a hit single. Fortunately, they had an album, State of Confusion, to back it up, and the album made it to #12 in Billboard while Come Dancing peaked at #6. Then they followed it up with the similarly themed Don't Forget to Dance and had a top 30 hit. You have to strike while the iron is hot, because top 40 audiences have short memories. The Beach Boys in the 80's were not a top 40 band; their songs did much better on the AC charts. I think Getcha Back was #1 there; California Dreamin' was an AC top tenner; Still Cruisin' also made the AC top 10 in Billboard.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: Bicyclerider on March 04, 2017, 07:55:52 AM
Kokomo was an incredible blown opportunity for Mike and the Beach Boys to follow up that hit with a good album and possibly another hit single.  The problem:  no decent material, and we all know what Mike was coming up with on his own.  Why didn't they just repeat the Kokomo "formula" - find some good songs by outside writers which Mike and Carl could add some Beach Boy-isms and vocal hooks, work out some co-writing credits?  The reluctance to look outside the BB circle doomed their resurgence.  After a big hit like Kokomo songwriters would jump at giving their songs to the BB if they could repeat that success. 

Why didn't they do it?  Mike "money" love thought he could do it himself and thereby keep all the songwriting/publishing monies.  But he couldn't, and the publishing monies were nonexistent because the records didn't sell.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: guitarfool2002 on March 04, 2017, 08:15:59 AM
They did repeat the Kokomo formula nearly to the letter - Somewhere Near Japan - John Phillips, Scott McKenzie, Melcher and Love as plastic surgeons trying to graft hooks onto the existing song as was done with Kokomo, same synths and production sounds too. But as I detailed earlier in the thread, the song's subject matter was far from universal unless Papa John and his daughter McKenzie's drug-addled experiences were what people wanted to relate to versus tropical escapism and paradise found lyrical content.

Mike had nothing substantial to offer except his usual bluster and bragging rights amplified by the Cocktail/Kokomo success. That has played out over how many decades now. Yet there is always an out to be found, an excuse card to play.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: Jay on March 04, 2017, 10:32:42 AM
See, I always thought of SNJ as an anti-Kokomo song. To me it's everything that Kokomo isn't. It's an "adult" and "mature" sounding modern day Beach Boy's song, without the cliche "radio friendly", or "ear worm" qualities of Kokomo.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: ♩♬☮ Billy C ♯♫♩☮ on March 04, 2017, 10:49:31 AM
Agreed. It is a direction that I would've liked them to explore further...they attempted the same sound with SIP's "Strange Things Happen".


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: Jay on March 04, 2017, 10:59:33 AM
Agreed. It is a direction that I would've liked them to explore further...they attempted the same sound with SIP's "Strange Things Happen".
If they had been able to come up with a full album of that quality, they just might have been able to save face and avoid the "traveling jukebox" shows of the last three or so years that we had still had Carl.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: SMiLE Brian on March 04, 2017, 01:21:16 PM
SNJ my have been the intention, but Mike Love missed it in his insane mind of bettering Brian Wilson


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: Lonely Summer on March 04, 2017, 01:51:22 PM
Kokomo was an incredible blown opportunity for Mike and the Beach Boys to follow up that hit with a good album and possibly another hit single.  The problem:  no decent material, and we all know what Mike was coming up with on his own.  Why didn't they just repeat the Kokomo "formula" - find some good songs by outside writers which Mike and Carl could add some Beach Boy-isms and vocal hooks, work out some co-writing credits?  The reluctance to look outside the BB circle doomed their resurgence.  After a big hit like Kokomo songwriters would jump at giving their songs to the BB if they could repeat that success. 

Why didn't they do it?  Mike "money" love thought he could do it himself and thereby keep all the songwriting/publishing monies.  But he couldn't, and the publishing monies were nonexistent because the records didn't sell.
Even a re-release of California Dreamin' would have done well after Kokomo. It was top ten AC hit in 86 but didn't do much on the pop chart. It had a similar production style to Kokomo, and didn't talk about beaches, girls and cars.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: Lonely Summer on March 04, 2017, 01:53:15 PM
Ii am still trying to picture the Beach Boys working with Sean O'Hagen.

(closes eyes, deep in concentration)

Nope, still not happening.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: The LEGENDARY OSD on March 04, 2017, 02:14:34 PM
Ii am still trying to picture the Beach Boys working with Sean O'Hagen.

(closes eyes, deep in concentration)

Nope, still not happening.

Try listening to Hawaii by the High Llamas. If that doesn't work try Cold and Bouncy. If they don't help you make the connection, you could sample some
Stereolab as a last resort. Good listening!


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: the captain on March 04, 2017, 02:24:52 PM
I've always thought that O'Hagan wouldn't have added anything to the Beach Boys other than Wilson worship. Maybe dexterity with then-modern recording methods. Maybe cheerleading. But at his best, he was always just imitating Brian.

Don't get me wrong, Wilson + Co. imitating Wilson Of Olde would beat the f*** out of Nashville or whatever it was. But it wouldn't have broken new ground. It would have just done what Wilson did later with his band anyway, ensuring that there were sufficient sleigh bells, bass harmonicas, and wood blocks to remind everyone that these were Wilson-penned songs.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: guitarfool2002 on March 04, 2017, 03:12:42 PM
Kokomo was an incredible blown opportunity for Mike and the Beach Boys to follow up that hit with a good album and possibly another hit single.  The problem:  no decent material, and we all know what Mike was coming up with on his own.  Why didn't they just repeat the Kokomo "formula" - find some good songs by outside writers which Mike and Carl could add some Beach Boy-isms and vocal hooks, work out some co-writing credits?  The reluctance to look outside the BB circle doomed their resurgence.  After a big hit like Kokomo songwriters would jump at giving their songs to the BB if they could repeat that success. 

Why didn't they do it?  Mike "money" love thought he could do it himself and thereby keep all the songwriting/publishing monies.  But he couldn't, and the publishing monies were nonexistent because the records didn't sell.
Even a re-release of California Dreamin' would have done well after Kokomo. It was top ten AC hit in 86 but didn't do much on the pop chart. It had a similar production style to Kokomo, and didn't talk about beaches, girls and cars.

That would never have happened because Mike hardly plays a role in that song or the original video - which is actually a really cool video, shot in B&W. Al and Carl are the prominent lead vocalists, and Roger McGuinn adds a great lead guitar on his signature Rickenbacker 12-string. Even the video doesn't feature Mike (for once) pretending to play the sax solo, although he got in a shot on Solid Gold fake-blowing that solo when the band appeared to promote the song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hmE9Oim_hLo (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hmE9Oim_hLo)

Add it all up...


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: CM Punky Brewster on March 04, 2017, 05:20:52 PM
Agreed. It is a direction that I would've liked them to explore further...they attempted the same sound with SIP's "Strange Things Happen".
If they had been able to come up with a full album of that quality, they just might have been able to save face and avoid the "traveling jukebox" shows of the last three or so years that we had still had Carl.

Not entirely. The 60's hits are so ingrained into the culture that they probably would not have been able to shed the "travelling jukebox" thing had they been able to successfully follow up Kokomo.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: CenturyDeprived on March 04, 2017, 06:53:43 PM
Agreed. It is a direction that I would've liked them to explore further...they attempted the same sound with SIP's "Strange Things Happen".
If they had been able to come up with a full album of that quality, they just might have been able to save face and avoid the "traveling jukebox" shows of the last three or so years that we had still had Carl.

Not entirely. The 60's hits are so ingrained into the culture that they probably would not have been able to shed the "travelling jukebox" thing had they been able to successfully follow up Kokomo.

That's probably true. But one wonders what might have been if another Jack Rieley type came along to set them on a more artistically solid course. Yet Mike's post-Kokomo ego wouldn't have allowed it, and that's a shame.  

Maybe SNJ was the closest we got to something like that.  It's interesting how every single band member sings some lead part on that song… Was that some sort of attempt at diplomacy?   That same sort of thing also happened on Make it Big  right around the same time . I wonder how/why that came about.  Something tells me that wasn't by accident/chance.  It almost feels like that would've been a compromise that came out of group therapy or something, which they might have actually been in therapy together at the time?

Come to think of it, it's quite shocking and miraculous that the original artistic Jack era even happened in the first place.   Of course, it only happened out of desperation. They got lucky by trying something new and listening to the right outside person's advice for once. I wonder if Jack might have casually followed the career of the band from afar during this time of the late 1980s/early 1990s and had a chuckle at watching his famous quote come true again and again.  What a weird experience it must've been for him to see himself be proven right continually.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: The LEGENDARY OSD on March 04, 2017, 07:26:16 PM
I've always thought that O'Hagan wouldn't have added anything to the Beach Boys other than Wilson worship. Maybe dexterity with then-modern recording methods. Maybe cheerleading. But at his best, he was always just imitating Brian.

Don't get me wrong, Wilson + Co. imitating Wilson Of Olde would beat the f*** out of Nashville or whatever it was. But it wouldn't have broken new ground. It would have just done what Wilson did later with his band anyway, ensuring that there were sufficient sleigh bells, bass harmonicas, and wood blocks to remind everyone that these were Wilson-penned songs.

For starters, as you seem non plussed by O'Hagan and his efforts and label him just an imitator, which is the highest  form of flattery, I found that when he came along, I wondered if Brian had heard any of it. Great little melodies with hooks galore, like "Captains( ;)) in Control", "The Sun Beats Down", "Painter Paint", "Showstop Hip Hot", and "Tilting Windmills" just to name a very few and always a good helping of harmonies. If there was anyone to sit in a room with Brian, for me it would have been Sean bouncing his ideas off Brian instead of the ungrateful one with worn out boring crap like "Daybreak". No, it's our loss that that myKe luHv scared him away with his witchery.  ::) By the way, have you seen The High Llamas live?


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: Lonely Summer on March 04, 2017, 08:38:21 PM
Kokomo was an incredible blown opportunity for Mike and the Beach Boys to follow up that hit with a good album and possibly another hit single.  The problem:  no decent material, and we all know what Mike was coming up with on his own.  Why didn't they just repeat the Kokomo "formula" - find some good songs by outside writers which Mike and Carl could add some Beach Boy-isms and vocal hooks, work out some co-writing credits?  The reluctance to look outside the BB circle doomed their resurgence.  After a big hit like Kokomo songwriters would jump at giving their songs to the BB if they could repeat that success. 

Why didn't they do it?  Mike "money" love thought he could do it himself and thereby keep all the songwriting/publishing monies.  But he couldn't, and the publishing monies were nonexistent because the records didn't sell.
Even a re-release of California Dreamin' would have done well after Kokomo. It was top ten AC hit in 86 but didn't do much on the pop chart. It had a similar production style to Kokomo, and didn't talk about beaches, girls and cars.

That would never have happened because Mike hardly plays a role in that song or the original video - which is actually a really cool video, shot in B&W. Al and Carl are the prominent lead vocalists, and Roger McGuinn adds a great lead guitar on his signature Rickenbacker 12-string. Even the video doesn't feature Mike (for once) pretending to play the sax solo, although he got in a shot on Solid Gold fake-blowing that solo when the band appeared to promote the song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hmE9Oim_hLo (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hmE9Oim_hLo)

Add it all up...
It does seem that Kokomo had the effect of inflating ML's already healthy ego, but a hit is a hit. If they could have kept the momentum of Kokomo going with another top 40 hit, they might have gotten Capitol excited enough to demand a full album of new songs instead of another compilation masquerading as their "new album".


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: Zargo on March 04, 2017, 11:47:45 PM
It does seem that Kokomo had the effect of inflating ML's already healthy ego, but a hit is a hit. If they could have kept the momentum of Kokomo going with another top 40 hit, they might have gotten Capitol excited enough to demand a full album of new songs instead of another compilation masquerading as their "new album".

Am I only one who thinks "Still Cruisin' the single was a pretty reasonable follow-up? More light escapism, but with a car theme and a jangly guitar sound rather then then the Caribbean style. It retains the briefly winning recipe of Mike/Carl trading vocals. It was obviously the same band, but not an obvious rehash of Kokomo like the ill-fated "Island girl" a few long years later. But despite the Kokomo surprise, the label still wasn't over-keen to heavily promote the next releases (whilst still anticipating 3 more big singles).

While Mike perhaps couldn't deliver the goods to follow up Kokomo, I didn't see Carl trying to hard to even try and Al came up with "Island girl." Bruce does something minimal with the SNJ single but then he was never a singles man. 


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: the captain on March 05, 2017, 08:12:38 AM
By the way, have you seen The High Llamas live?

No, 'fraid they don't seem to come through Minneapolis all that often--or at least didn't when I was more interested in them, roughly late 90s to mid-00s. I think the last two albums I bothered with were Beet, Maize & Corn and Can Cladders. Maybe they've been through since and I just didn't notice.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: guitarfool2002 on March 05, 2017, 08:46:16 AM
Kokomo was an incredible blown opportunity for Mike and the Beach Boys to follow up that hit with a good album and possibly another hit single.  The problem:  no decent material, and we all know what Mike was coming up with on his own.  Why didn't they just repeat the Kokomo "formula" - find some good songs by outside writers which Mike and Carl could add some Beach Boy-isms and vocal hooks, work out some co-writing credits?  The reluctance to look outside the BB circle doomed their resurgence.  After a big hit like Kokomo songwriters would jump at giving their songs to the BB if they could repeat that success. 

Why didn't they do it?  Mike "money" love thought he could do it himself and thereby keep all the songwriting/publishing monies.  But he couldn't, and the publishing monies were nonexistent because the records didn't sell.
Even a re-release of California Dreamin' would have done well after Kokomo. It was top ten AC hit in 86 but didn't do much on the pop chart. It had a similar production style to Kokomo, and didn't talk about beaches, girls and cars.

That would never have happened because Mike hardly plays a role in that song or the original video - which is actually a really cool video, shot in B&W. Al and Carl are the prominent lead vocalists, and Roger McGuinn adds a great lead guitar on his signature Rickenbacker 12-string. Even the video doesn't feature Mike (for once) pretending to play the sax solo, although he got in a shot on Solid Gold fake-blowing that solo when the band appeared to promote the song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hmE9Oim_hLo (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hmE9Oim_hLo)

Add it all up...
It does seem that Kokomo had the effect of inflating ML's already healthy ego, but a hit is a hit. If they could have kept the momentum of Kokomo going with another top 40 hit, they might have gotten Capitol excited enough to demand a full album of new songs instead of another compilation masquerading as their "new album".

Excerpts from this, the most relevant or ironic in bold: http://articles.latimes.com/1989-05-26/entertainment/ca-869_1_fat-boys-brian-wilson-endless-summer (http://articles.latimes.com/1989-05-26/entertainment/ca-869_1_fat-boys-brian-wilson-endless-summer)

>>>>

Explained Johnston, who joined the Beach Boys in 1965 after Brian Wilson gave up full-time touring: "I don't want the Beach Boys to be the futile endless road show of 'The King and I' or 'I Love Lucy' reruns. I live, eat and breathe getting on the radio. I just think, 'How can we get back on the radio?' "

Johnston didn't pause before answering himself: "With great songs, that's how!"

The new Capitol release will be the band's first album in four years. Titled "Still Cruisin' " and due this summer, the record will be a combination of movie-related tracks including "Kokomo" and "Wipe Out" (a pairing with the rapping Fat Boys) and several new songs. After that, the contract contains an option for an album of all new material. Johnston calls it "the album of doom."

"Just because you've had a No. 1 doesn't mean you're automatic," Johnston said during a rehearsal break, acknowledging that the Beach Boys could go on forever recreating the endless summer with its stockpile of old hits. But that isn't good enough for him.

"It's records that matter," he said. "There's no point in touring without new records. It's just huge payments to me. We've got to be better than that."

<<<<

Several points to note just in those excerpts, first how it's dripping with irony that this is Bruce saying those things considering the past 20 years. It's almost a total 180 degree flip-flop from that to where things are and have been for 20 years. Also, note that there was an option for a new album on Capitol in the band's contract with them...obviously Capitol declined to accept that option because the band under-performed. At the moment Brian was interviewed for Mix magazine while working with Don Was in the studio, he backed this up and confirmed the band was sailing adrift with no label interest. For all of Mike's leadership, nothing worked in those intervening 5-6 years since the buzz was there for new material.

They in fact reverted even more to becoming what Bruce specifically said he didn't want them (or him) to become.





Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: The LEGENDARY OSD on March 05, 2017, 08:54:33 AM


Money talks, BS walks. Questions? Ask myKe n br00th.  :smokin


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: the captain on March 05, 2017, 09:18:25 AM
Around C50, wasn't Bruce talking about working with (I forget the details, but maybe meaning in a production role?) modern artists--country bands and Bruno Mars, I believe, were specifically mentioned--and getting back on the radio? It seems as if he's got an intellectual concept of what he wants, and he's got the reality in which he lives, and never the twain shall meet.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: Lonely Summer on March 05, 2017, 11:55:23 AM
Kokomo was an incredible blown opportunity for Mike and the Beach Boys to follow up that hit with a good album and possibly another hit single.  The problem:  no decent material, and we all know what Mike was coming up with on his own.  Why didn't they just repeat the Kokomo "formula" - find some good songs by outside writers which Mike and Carl could add some Beach Boy-isms and vocal hooks, work out some co-writing credits?  The reluctance to look outside the BB circle doomed their resurgence.  After a big hit like Kokomo songwriters would jump at giving their songs to the BB if they could repeat that success. 

Why didn't they do it?  Mike "money" love thought he could do it himself and thereby keep all the songwriting/publishing monies.  But he couldn't, and the publishing monies were nonexistent because the records didn't sell.
Even a re-release of California Dreamin' would have done well after Kokomo. It was top ten AC hit in 86 but didn't do much on the pop chart. It had a similar production style to Kokomo, and didn't talk about beaches, girls and cars.

That would never have happened because Mike hardly plays a role in that song or the original video - which is actually a really cool video, shot in B&W. Al and Carl are the prominent lead vocalists, and Roger McGuinn adds a great lead guitar on his signature Rickenbacker 12-string. Even the video doesn't feature Mike (for once) pretending to play the sax solo, although he got in a shot on Solid Gold fake-blowing that solo when the band appeared to promote the song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hmE9Oim_hLo (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hmE9Oim_hLo)

Add it all up...
It does seem that Kokomo had the effect of inflating ML's already healthy ego, but a hit is a hit. If they could have kept the momentum of Kokomo going with another top 40 hit, they might have gotten Capitol excited enough to demand a full album of new songs instead of another compilation masquerading as their "new album".

Excerpts from this, the most relevant or ironic in bold: http://articles.latimes.com/1989-05-26/entertainment/ca-869_1_fat-boys-brian-wilson-endless-summer (http://articles.latimes.com/1989-05-26/entertainment/ca-869_1_fat-boys-brian-wilson-endless-summer)

>>>>

Explained Johnston, who joined the Beach Boys in 1965 after Brian Wilson gave up full-time touring: "I don't want the Beach Boys to be the futile endless road show of 'The King and I' or 'I Love Lucy' reruns. I live, eat and breathe getting on the radio. I just think, 'How can we get back on the radio?' "

Johnston didn't pause before answering himself: "With great songs, that's how!"

The new Capitol release will be the band's first album in four years. Titled "Still Cruisin' " and due this summer, the record will be a combination of movie-related tracks including "Kokomo" and "Wipe Out" (a pairing with the rapping Fat Boys) and several new songs. After that, the contract contains an option for an album of all new material. Johnston calls it "the album of doom."

"Just because you've had a No. 1 doesn't mean you're automatic," Johnston said during a rehearsal break, acknowledging that the Beach Boys could go on forever recreating the endless summer with its stockpile of old hits. But that isn't good enough for him.

"It's records that matter," he said. "There's no point in touring without new records. It's just huge payments to me. We've got to be better than that."

<<<<

Several points to note just in those excerpts, first how it's dripping with irony that this is Bruce saying those things considering the past 20 years. It's almost a total 180 degree flip-flop from that to where things are and have been for 20 years. Also, note that there was an option for a new album on Capitol in the band's contract with them...obviously Capitol declined to accept that option because the band under-performed. At the moment Brian was interviewed for Mix magazine while working with Don Was in the studio, he backed this up and confirmed the band was sailing adrift with no label interest. For all of Mike's leadership, nothing worked in those intervening 5-6 years since the buzz was there for new material.

They in fact reverted even more to becoming what Bruce specifically said he didn't want them (or him) to become.




Quite funny to see Bruce saying that stuff. Obviously he was not the songwriter who was going to bring them the song to get them back at the tops of the pops. "Happy Endings" from a couple years before was one of the most boring BB's tracks ever. And with Little Richard singing on it! How could Richard ever be boring?  I thought Al's "Island Girl" was a likeable track, Carl didn't offer anything at the time. They really needed Brian. Imagine the songs on BW88 with the Beach Boys voices on them.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: HeyJude on March 06, 2017, 09:22:14 AM
In 1988/89, the band (including Brian) were all so detached from what would get them a hit (album *or* single); they really needed and outside producer, and one that would not only do the technical producer functions in the control room, but also one that would do more on the A&R side of things and tell them which songs were good and which were bad, would guide them to better songs, would find the *right* songs from outside writers (if the band wanted to go that route), and so on.

Terry Melcher wasn't much of any of those things. Maybe he was capable of any or all of that, but he didn't do any of it with the BBs.

I'm more apt to criticize Melcher for SIP than the work he did on "Still Cruisin'", because "Still Cruisin" also clearly got bogged down in a lot of non-musical politics with band members and the label, and of course Landy.

The "Still Cruisin'" album was a mess because it was a hodge podge with three oldies, several old singles, and the remaining "new" songs were all over the place, with Brian's track in particular sticking out like a sore thumb production-wise.

The "new" songs were okay for late era BBs; but none of those tracks screamed "career defining" or "career changing." The title track was a decent late 80s remake of "Do It Again" with a bit of "Kokomo" vibe thrown in. Al's "Island Girl" is catchy and inoffensive, but also screams "novelty." Brian's "In My Car" is weirdly too aggressive production-wise, and is fine as "mid-album" filler material. (For fans it mostly serves as a template for what it *could* have sounded like for Al and Carl to sing on the BW '88 album). "Make It Big" I won't criticize for having already been out, as it wasn't released on record but only heard in a movie, but that one is another inoffensive, catchy album filler track. "Somewhere Near Japan" is the strongest, and even it isn't like A+ material (the production touches in the beginning are rather cliché, and the song goes on too long).

The "soundtrack" theme was lame, and wasn't even properly promoted that way. (Does anything on the front cover indicate the soundtrack theme?). Not that the soundtrack theme was a good idea anyway; it kind of gave the indication to the uninformed that the entire thing was a compilation of old songs.

The band probably shouldn't have been trying to make an album in 1989 what with all of the weird Landy stuff going on, and especially when nobody was showing up with A-game material. But even if they felt that *had* to cobble something together to basically sell an album on the back of "Kokomo", more organization from a producer or manager would have helped.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: urbanite on March 06, 2017, 12:30:03 PM
The natural follow-up to Kokomo would have been Lahaina Aloha.  Similar feel to Kokomo.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: HeyJude on March 06, 2017, 01:31:37 PM
The natural follow-up to Kokomo would have been Lahaina Aloha.  Similar feel to Kokomo.

It would have sunk into obscurity the same way it did in 1992. That track is one of the few solid moments (compositionally) on SIP. But again, like "SNJ", a solid album track that could have been part of a solid but not critically-acclaimed/grammy-winning album had a better album been cultivated.

While we can put our objective hat on and try to figure out how the BBs could have essentially ripped themselves off to make a desperate attempt at clawing their way to a follow-up hit single after "Kokomo", the truth is that had by some fluke something like "Lahaina Aloha" (or most anything off of "Still Cruisin" or "SIP") been a hit, it would have just validated Mike further and the band probably wouldn't have even gone near "Paley" material in 1995 and would have tried to wring out more tropical songs with Terry Melcher at the helm.

For better or worse, I don't think much of anything was going to score the BBs another hit in 1989 or 1992, especially if we're working from a list of the stuff they actually made in that time frame. It was a weird time for "legacy" acts. SIP sounded kind of tinny and cheap and synthetic even in 1992, with harsh digital sound and fake programmed drums, etc. It sounds much worse today than it did in 1992, but it was not going with any "Best Engineering" Grammys even in 1992.

The BBs would have had a strong (though probably not #1) showing on the charts in 1995/96 with an album of the Paley material, would have received relatively strong critical notices, and would have built their buzz and brand and all of that.

More of "Kokomo" would not have done the same. Does anybody have any actual reviews from professional music critics of "Kokomo" from back in 1988? I never got the sense it was a critical smash. And let's also remind ourselves that "Kokomo" was at #1 for, what, one week? I don't think it was derided in 1988 the way it was in later years (where it was found in some "worst songs ever" sorts of lists), but how much did critics *love* that song back in '88?


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: Ziggy Stardust on March 06, 2017, 02:12:12 PM
What a crazy world, while the boys were singing Kokomo, Brian was singing Rio Grande... and Melt Away .....

If there's any alternative reality that has had to happen, it would be in the 90s, where the Paley sessions ended up somewhere, as much as the O'Hagan meetup..

There was such a rebirth of the Beach Boys legacy during that decade, so many covers coming out from the younger hype generation of Pet Sounds and other great material that was forgotten until then in the bigger audience, they could have jumped on that opportunity to do a real comeback, it's devastating.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: CenturyDeprived on March 06, 2017, 02:43:29 PM

The BBs would have had a strong (though probably not #1) showing on the charts in 1995/96 with an album of the Paley material, would have received relatively strong critical notices, and would have built their buzz and brand and all of that.
 

I think that's true, but again - I really don't think that' what Mike wanted, EVEN IF it meant the band got really high in the charts again. Mike only wants The BBs to chart highly when he has cowritten the song. I truly believe that - does anyone not? And I honestly don't think he ever, ever rooted for Brian to have any solo success whatsoever, because that would mean that Brian could have success + critical adulation on material without the slightest hint of Mike involvement. It sounds harsh, but I cannot imagine Mike being happy about it. Even if Brian had released a solo album with every song on par with Midnight's Another Day, that sold well and got rave reviews/awards, I think Mike would have told an interviewer that he himself should still have cowritten it.

Let's be honest: if the Paley material was released as an album in that time period, and sold well/was reviewed highly, the critics would be talking up the legend of Brian Wilson again; how the BB band was "back" due to Brian's touch with an outside cowriter, and how this material was more substantive/less synthetic than Kokomo. It would have been shades of Pet Sounds (not saying the material would have remotely matched PS, but the general vibe of reception and how it would probably have been spun/marketed would have been something like: "the Pet Sounds songwriter, the guy who wrote the best material the band ever recorded during '65-'66 is back, with material that has non-cheesy production touches of that classic time!"

And I think there must have been an internal fear of this within the band; maybe mostly with Mike, but maybe with the other guys too a little bit. The guys (most heavily from Mike, IMO) were probably still sensitive to the idea of being relegated to being thought of as simply Brian's puppets yet again. And I can understand that feeling, even though I think there's a time when they should have simply been happy to simply go back into that very role if it would have made for better art, and if it would have made for less aggravation for Brian. But yeah... Brian (due to Landy) had given them a ton of aggravation and deep resentment in the early '90s due to the bio, so I suppose it was just not a time when they were gonna be selfless.

Also, one thing I don't think anyone has mentioned yet is how this was just leading up to the time of the Pet Sounds 30th anniversary. When did the band's archivists start prepping the Pet Sounds Sessions box set? We know how that box became a political mess within the band, and was held up to the point of almost not being released during Carl's lifetime (and also awkwardly missing the actual 30th anniversary of the album, being released when PS was 31 years old). I wonder how that factored into this whole Paley thing.

There was obviously sensitivity within the band that was reignited at this time for fear that their contributions would be cemented for all time as being Brian's vocalists and nothing more. I think this was before a more nuanced reevaluation of the entire band's contributions regarding the entirety of the catalog (and in particular, the wilderness years). I have to think the Paley material, and perhaps the way the songs came about, and the general vibe within the music world regarding how the band's catalog was being perceived at that exact moment in time, must have been a factor in the material being quashed.

And the Kokomo backlash had probably started to take effect too, no? Even though Mike was trying to push Kokomo's bastard cousin Summer of Love as late as 1995 (!), I feel like somewhere around then, he must have gotten a clue that this was really widely thought of as an embarrassment - which I could imagine would have been an ego blow that would have made him even MORE sensitive to being eclipsed yet again by a solid BB album, where his involvement was not integral throughout.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: Lonely Summer on March 06, 2017, 03:48:26 PM
The natural follow-up to Kokomo would have been Lahaina Aloha.  Similar feel to Kokomo.

It would have sunk into obscurity the same way it did in 1992. That track is one of the few solid moments (compositionally) on SIP. But again, like "SNJ", a solid album track that could have been part of a solid but not critically-acclaimed/grammy-winning album had a better album been cultivated.

While we can put our objective hat on and try to figure out how the BBs could have essentially ripped themselves off to make a desperate attempt at clawing their way to a follow-up hit single after "Kokomo", the truth is that had by some fluke something like "Lahaina Aloha" (or most anything off of "Still Cruisin" or "SIP") been a hit, it would have just validated Mike further and the band probably wouldn't have even gone near "Paley" material in 1995 and would have tried to wring out more tropical songs with Terry Melcher at the helm.

For better or worse, I don't think much of anything was going to score the BBs another hit in 1989 or 1992, especially if we're working from a list of the stuff they actually made in that time frame. It was a weird time for "legacy" acts. SIP sounded kind of tinny and cheap and synthetic even in 1992, with harsh digital sound and fake programmed drums, etc. It sounds much worse today than it did in 1992, but it was not going with any "Best Engineering" Grammys even in 1992.

The BBs would have had a strong (though probably not #1) showing on the charts in 1995/96 with an album of the Paley material, would have received relatively strong critical notices, and would have built their buzz and brand and all of that.

More of "Kokomo" would not have done the same. Does anybody have any actual reviews from professional music critics of "Kokomo" from back in 1988? I never got the sense it was a critical smash. And let's also remind ourselves that "Kokomo" was at #1 for, what, one week? I don't think it was derided in 1988 the way it was in later years (where it was found in some "worst songs ever" sorts of lists), but how much did critics *love* that song back in '88?
Personally, I don't give a damn what some critics have to say. I enjoyed BW88, enjoyed "Kokomo", enjoyed the new songs on Still Cruisin'. I enjoyed seeing the band in the spotlight. By 1995, though, everything had changed. There weren't any 60's acts having hit singles in 1995/96, except maybe Eric Clapton. Even the Beatles reunion singles struggled to get airplay. I'm not even sure a new BB's album with Wilson/Paley material would have been a hit. Look at the sales for the 2 albums Brian had out that year - IJWMFTT and OCA. Sure, the reviews were mostly positive, but good reviews don't buy sales. No question it would have done better than SIP, but musically, anything they did in the 90's was going to be out of step with the then current trends in rock music. I would have bought it and loved it, I have no doubt about that.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: CenturyDeprived on March 06, 2017, 03:52:39 PM
Personally, I don't give a damn what some critics have to say. I enjoyed BW88, enjoyed "Kokomo", enjoyed the new songs on Still Cruisin'. I enjoyed seeing the band in the spotlight. By 1995, though, everything had changed. There weren't any 60's acts having hit singles in 1995/96, except maybe Eric Clapton. Even the Beatles reunion singles struggled to get airplay. I'm not even sure a new BB's album with Wilson/Paley material would have been a hit. Look at the sales for the 2 albums Brian had out that year - IJWMFTT and OCA. Sure, the reviews were mostly positive, but good reviews don't buy sales. No question it would have done better than SIP, but musically, anything they did in the 90's was going to be out of step with the then current trends in rock music. I would have bought it and loved it, I have no doubt about that.

I don't care what critics have to say either; I love Make it Big, even though that's a minority opinion - even among superfans of the band who can appreciate the lesser material of the catalog. But we shouldn't for a moment think that the band members themselves don't give a damn what some critics have to say. For better or worse, I feel certain that critical reception and public opinion shaped their career decisions around this time, and probably were a factor in the Paley material's non-release in some fashion.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: Sound of Free on March 06, 2017, 04:20:44 PM
While I have a lot of respect for Mike's contributions to the group, I'm not a big fan of his, particularly for his decisions from the late '70s on. If I had to pick a "team," I'm certainly on Team Wilson and not Team Love.

But having said that, I think people are actively looking to put the blame on Mike for the album not happening in 1995 or 1996.

For me, I think that if Carl had been on board and supportive, there definitely would have been made. I think Al would have been a "yes" to a album -- even after Mike had kept him out of most of the Summer In Paradise sessions because of a "bad attitude," Al still came in when asked and sang on Mike's songs.

If Brian, Carl and Al were in, I can't figure Mike would have passed on being on the album, even if he didn't get to sit in a room and write songs from scratch with "Cousin Brian."


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: Lonely Summer on March 06, 2017, 09:32:16 PM
While I have a lot of respect for Mike's contributions to the group, I'm not a big fan of his, particularly for his decisions from the late '70s on. If I had to pick a "team," I'm certainly on Team Wilson and not Team Love.

But having said that, I think people are actively looking to put the blame on Mike for the album not happening in 1995 or 1996.

For me, I think that if Carl had been on board and supportive, there definitely would have been made. I think Al would have been a "yes" to a album -- even after Mike had kept him out of most of the Summer In Paradise sessions because of a "bad attitude," Al still came in when asked and sang on Mike's songs.

If Brian, Carl and Al were in, I can't figure Mike would have passed on being on the album, even if he didn't get to sit in a room and write songs from scratch with "Cousin Brian."
I think it's unfair to pin the loss of the album solely on Mike's shoulders. I think there were just too many issues - including non-musical - that got in the way. I have to wonder if Carl was already aware of his health issues in 95/early 96. It just seems so out of character for him to walk out of a session.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: ♩♬☮ Billy C ♯♫♩☮ on March 06, 2017, 09:41:48 PM
Quote
I have to wonder if Carl was already aware of his health issues in 95/early 96. It just seems so out of character for him to walk out of a session.

That has always been my own personal theory. He certainly wasn't looking well.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: CenturyDeprived on March 06, 2017, 10:29:30 PM
Quote
I have to wonder if Carl was already aware of his health issues in 95/early 96. It just seems so out of character for him to walk out of a session.

That has always been my own personal theory. He certainly wasn't looking well.

I also feel his lead on Soul Searchin' - even if not intended to be a final, released product - also sounds "off". Like he vocally aged twenty years in just the few years between, say Lahaina Aloha and Soul Searchin'. Something about his voice here sounds sorta raspy and weak (yet I still love the vocal - it doesn't sound like he phoned it in or anything like that). I wonder if this was due to illness.

When was his Waves of Love vocal recorded? I feel that one, even if from only a soundcheck (?) sounds more like Carl's old voice by comparison to my ears.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: Needleinthehay on March 07, 2017, 12:34:18 AM
When i think about the beach boys i cant help but think of that Jack Riely quote about "they blew it, they continue to blow it..." etc. It seems like this whole thread is about missed opportunities and what could've been if it wasn't for _______. And I totally agree. I mean, after endless summer they had such a huge opportunity but they put out 15BO. And after Kokomo they put out Still Cruisin. They couldve made the Paley sessions instead of the country album, etc etc etc.
It's just funny that so much of the talk is about missed opportunities when we are talking about one of the most successful/famous american bands of all time. So many missed opportunities yet they've had something like 50  top 40 hits. I guess it begs the questions...Is it even possible for a band to fire on all cylinders and be that successful for so long? I cant think of any bands that have really made use of all of their opportunities for 50 years. The Beatles really seemed to knock it out of the park every time (even they had their screwups. "bigger than jesus" etc) but they were really only in the public eye for 7 years and the last year or two was pretty rough. Imagine if they were still together today. I cant imagine they wouldn't have had some screwups/missed opportunities/albums bomb/members leaving for a while, etc. 
What I'm saying is: instead of thinking of all the things they couldve done better (and there are so many) maybe they were lucky to have been as successful as they were when you realize how difficult is to have even 1 hit, to stay together as a band for more than a few years, to deal with the changing music landscapes and stay relevant...


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: HeyJude on March 07, 2017, 06:10:30 AM
Personally, I don't give a damn what some critics have to say. I enjoyed BW88, enjoyed "Kokomo", enjoyed the new songs on Still Cruisin'. I enjoyed seeing the band in the spotlight. By 1995, though, everything had changed. There weren't any 60's acts having hit singles in 1995/96, except maybe Eric Clapton. Even the Beatles reunion singles struggled to get airplay. I'm not even sure a new BB's album with Wilson/Paley material would have been a hit. Look at the sales for the 2 albums Brian had out that year - IJWMFTT and OCA. Sure, the reviews were mostly positive, but good reviews don't buy sales. No question it would have done better than SIP, but musically, anything they did in the 90's was going to be out of step with the then current trends in rock music. I would have bought it and loved it, I have no doubt about that.

Oh, I agree from a fan perspective that there's a ton of stuff *I* like as a hardcore fan. Same goes for BW '88. Hell, pretty much everything the band released in the 80s and 90s (and probably post-1966/67 for the most part) I like a lot more across the board than critics did. Other than "Wipe Out", there's nothing else on "Still Cruisin'" that I would typically skip over. I'd love to remix (and perhaps partially re-record) a bunch of stuff on "Still Cruisin'" and a few tracks on SIP that could sound a thousand times better. "Strange Things Happen" and "Lahaina Aloha" and "Make It Big" with either stripped-down mixes and/or remixed with re-recorded *real* thick drums would sound quite good.

But if we're putting our "objective" hats on and trying to tackle what would have achieved for the and some sort of "hit" or measurable "success" on the level of a "Kokomo", then I think it's no surprise that "Still Cruisin'" and "SIP" failed both because maybe "Kokomo" was a fluke in the first place, and those albums objectively were pretty wonky overall across the board in terms of composition and especially theme and production. Some stuff was just bad, and the stuff that wasn't bad and was catchy was often a played out, cliché, self-parodying thing or something bogged down in horrible production.

And again, the idea with the Paley stuff is not that they would have achieved a hit single. But they could have achieved a respectable album chart placement and, more important, more notices and buzz from the industry and critics. It can invariably turn into some sort of political, class, "elitist" sort of issue, but Mojo and Rolling Stone and all of that would have eaten up a Paley album with stuff like "You're Still a Mystery", while "Summer in Paradise" and its ilk (e.g. surf/tropical stuff penned by Love/Melcher and with Melcher producing) would have been ignored if not derided. A "Paley" album would not have hit #1, and I don't think critics would have all been united in giving the album an A+ (that would have depended on whether some of the weird stuff like "Saturday Morning in the City" had been included).

As for how a circa '96 BB album would have done compared to Brian's two '95 albums, it would have easily done much better. Look at how TWGMTR did in 2012 compared to Brian solo albums released in the immediate years before and after. The BB name always sells better. Comparing the two '95 Brian albums to a Paley/BB album is also difficult because Brian's two albums consisted of a *very short* album of remakes, and an album of stuff all penned by another guy ("OCA").


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: HeyJude on March 07, 2017, 06:21:10 AM
I think it's unfair to pin the loss of the album solely on Mike's shoulders. I think there were just too many issues - including non-musical - that got in the way. I have to wonder if Carl was already aware of his health issues in 95/early 96. It just seems so out of character for him to walk out of a session.

Mike is on record with Peter Ames Carlin as being rather "meh, I guess we'll do it", so I don't think fault should lie solely with him. It's a bit like the "Smile" thing; he didn't bit the kibosh on it and you can't fault him, but his ambivalence or antipathy didn't help. He *could have* done more to help the Paley sessions along if he had wanted to. As I mentioned in a previous post, he wasn't doing what he loves to recount that he did with "Pet Sounds", which is taking the Paley stuff and joining himself to Brian at the hip and pounding down doors at record labels trying to get the stuff off the ground and released. He tried to "write" with Brian and could only come up with "Baywatch Nights" apparently, and then showed up to a few (or one?) vocal sessions for YSAM and SS and based on a first-hand account was somewhat antagonistic.

Clearly there were bunch of other factors, including Carl's attitude, BRI politics, other projects sidetracking the thing, maybe even the BB touring schedule, and so on. Not anywhere near solely Mike's fault, and not even really predominantly Mike's fault.

Regarding Carl's health, that's a difficult one to tackle. I'm not particularly apt to assume that prior to diagnosis Carl was already aware of being ill *and* that his being aware would have drastically impacted his behavior/attitude. It's obviously a very murky, subjective issue that we don't have enough info on. But if Carl walked out of a 1995 session, well before "Stars and Stripes" and before he did a full additional year of touring *before* a diagnosis, I'm more predisposed to pinning that on some other typical issue regarding inner-group politics, or family stuff, etc.

We know so very little about Carl's personality off-stage, especially in the later era. We've heard some accounts (and also seen signs in interviews) that by the early-mid 90s, certainly while Landy was still in the picture, Carl was *VERY* stressed out about Brian's situation. I think the evidence points to Carl's relationship with Brian being strained even after Landy was out of picture, for whatever reason or reasons, whether it was Landy talking s**t about Carl to Brian, or Carl feeling hurt by the fake autobiography, or whatever.

But there are also other undocumented (for fans anyway) times Carl was working with Brian during this timeframe. There's still that story of a Carl collaborator in the 90s tagging along to a session Carl was helping Brian with for "Proud Mary."

I also don't weigh the "Carl walked out of the session for non-musical reasons" story very heavily because A) The story has virtually *no* details outside of that one line, and B) He *later* did additional session(s) for the Paley material.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: Jim V. on March 07, 2017, 06:42:09 AM
Quote
I have to wonder if Carl was already aware of his health issues in 95/early 96. It just seems so out of character for him to walk out of a session.

That has always been my own personal theory. He certainly wasn't looking well.

I also feel his lead on Soul Searchin' - even if not intended to be a final, released product - also sounds "off". Like he vocally aged twenty years in just the few years between, say Lahaina Aloha and Soul Searchin'. Something about his voice here sounds sorta raspy and weak (yet I still love the vocal - it doesn't sound like he phoned it in or anything like that). I wonder if this was due to illness.

When was his Waves of Love vocal recorded? I feel that one, even if from only a soundcheck (?) sounds more like Carl's old voice by comparison to my ears.

Interesting thought CD.

However, how do you think he sounds on "Dancin' the Night Away"/"Baywatch Nights"? Personally I think he sounds great. Super commercial great singing.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: guitarfool2002 on March 07, 2017, 07:22:25 AM
For every reason given there are a handful of excuses and defenses given - That's just the nature of this band.

In terms of commercial viability and potential for that elusive "hit" whether real or imaginary in the minds of certain band members, just compare what is known and has been heard from the Paley/Was material versus what the Beach Boys actually presented to the public and the fans as whatever music they were promoting.

What comes to mind from this time is the Baywatch appearance: a newly-made video for "Summer Of Love" and focus on "Summer In Paradise" tying it into the plot of the episode. If putting "new material" on display and promoting it was the idea: Were those better choices to present as "new" Beach Boys product than the better songs from the Was sessions which could have been worked on and developed further? Or would it even have been better to just have them play an old favorite with the current lineup (minus Stamos and actually giving Brian something to do) ?

What they did feature on TV speaks volumes.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: CenturyDeprived on March 07, 2017, 11:21:33 AM
Quote
I have to wonder if Carl was already aware of his health issues in 95/early 96. It just seems so out of character for him to walk out of a session.

That has always been my own personal theory. He certainly wasn't looking well.

I also feel his lead on Soul Searchin' - even if not intended to be a final, released product - also sounds "off". Like he vocally aged twenty years in just the few years between, say Lahaina Aloha and Soul Searchin'. Something about his voice here sounds sorta raspy and weak (yet I still love the vocal - it doesn't sound like he phoned it in or anything like that). I wonder if this was due to illness.

When was his Waves of Love vocal recorded? I feel that one, even if from only a soundcheck (?) sounds more like Carl's old voice by comparison to my ears.

Interesting thought CD.

However, how do you think he sounds on "Dancin' the Night Away"/"Baywatch Nights"? Personally I think he sounds great. Super commercial great singing.

I'm just giving a listen to Dancin' the Night Away right now (hadn't heard it in awhile)... and while there is precious little amount vocals on that song for an opinion, I tend to think Carl sounds pretty good on it. For whatever reason, his somewhat changed (to my ears) voice seems to be localized to Soul Searchin'. But Soul Searchin' was a more demanding type of vocal for Carl by comparison; a whole song with lead, and pushing on the bridge a bit perhaps towards the edges of his then-range (I kinda doubt that Carl could have sang stuff like Darlin' at that point).

It's weird, because we have lots of examples of both Brian and Denny having degraded vocals, but with Carl, there's pretty much just Love You (and sorta kinda 15 Big Ones), and, IMO, Soul Searchin' (slightly degraded, but in a different way - maybe just due to the natural aging process, hard to know).

Side note: Mike sounds killer during his brief vocals on Dancin' the Night Away. No matter how frustrating it often is to like him as a dude, he surely brings it as a singer when he wants to. There's some real Carl/Mike BB vocal magic during that part. It pains me that Carl is gone and that Mike can't bring himself to work with the other living Boys anymore. Mike's voice when utilized tastefully can really elevate material, no doubt.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: HeyJude on March 07, 2017, 12:28:21 PM
I don’t think Carl’s voice on “Soul Searchin’” sounds particularly uniquely different. That is, I do think his voice into the 90s did sound different, but I hear it across the board for the most part.

I’m not sure what the deal was with Carl’s voice or if it was anything other than just how his voice naturally aged. His voice didn’t even sound *worse* per se, but it definitely took on a very different tone in his later years, especially the 90s. It didn’t take any drastic turn the way Brian or Dennis did. But he did get a bit more raspy, and he kind of sounded “stuffy” for lack of a better way to put it, as if his sinuses were kind of blocked a bit or something. Hard to describe. But the tone I hear on “Soul Searchin’” is pretty similar to what I heard on a lot of live recordings from the 90s. Like everyone in the band, his touring voice surely had some ups and downs based on environmental and schedule factors. I’ve heard a few pretty raspy Carl recordings from the 90s (there’s one of the more common soundboard recordings from 1993 I believe where he sounds pretty raspy/froggy on “I Can Hear Music”); probably simple cases of over-touring or having a cold or something.

Interesting that “Waves of Love” was brought up, because his voice does sound super weird on that one (particularly the version in the higher key where they’ve isolated his voice instead of mixing it with other voices more), perhaps because it’s more processed and, on the version in the higher key, it almost sounds like they’ve tried altering the pitch without altering the speed, which can sound kinda weird too.

Let me reiterate that I don’t think he sounded bad in his late years, just relatively different. I was blown away by how good he sounded in the few extant bits of 1997 recordings I’ve heard. Sounds just as good as 1996, 95, etc.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: ♩♬☮ Billy C ♯♫♩☮ on March 07, 2017, 12:54:44 PM
And yet (IMHO) his vocals on BB85 were arguably the best of his career.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: CenturyDeprived on March 07, 2017, 01:09:09 PM
And yet (IMHO) his vocals on BB85 were arguably the best of his career.

True statement, and such a bizarre contradiction with the material.

Also gotta give a shout-out to Carl's vocals on Goin' On, especially on the last section of the song. They are SO good there, he sounds like he's almost channeling Freddie Mercury.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: southbay on March 07, 2017, 02:49:24 PM
I'll go as far as saying Carl's vocals (and Al's too for that matter) on SIP were the best of his career, and the only reason to listen to that album. As an aside, while his vocals were indeed different in the 90's, I have always preferred Carl's live vocals from 93-onward.  Also, if anybody here ever got the chance to hear Carl warming up backstage before a concert you know that Carl could even sing the scales like nobody's business


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: Emdeeh on March 07, 2017, 08:36:54 PM
Carl singing those vocal warmup exercises -- OMG!!


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: Lonely Summer on March 07, 2017, 10:40:45 PM
Quote
I have to wonder if Carl was already aware of his health issues in 95/early 96. It just seems so out of character for him to walk out of a session.

That has always been my own personal theory. He certainly wasn't looking well.
I began to worry about him when I saw them on Regis and Kathie Lee fall of 96. Carl had gained a lot of weight since I had last seen him, yeah, he did not look well. It still boggles my mind that with all the abuse Brian put his body through, that he has outlived his baby brother by many, many years.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: Bittersweet-Insanity on November 04, 2017, 04:42:35 AM
https://vimeo.com/212651044
randomly found this. footage from the same day when Brian and Mike were interviewed for an Entertainment Tonight segment in '95. includes footage of them on the beach, 35 min interview w/ Mike, some footage of Brian, Mike, Andy Paley, David Leaf, and Mark Linett in the studio listening to Baywatch Nights (Dancing the Night Away), and a brief interview w/ Brian.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: JK on November 04, 2017, 05:52:38 AM
https://vimeo.com/212651044
randomly found this. outtakes from when Brian and Mike were interviewed for an Entertainment Tonight segment in '95. includes footage of them on the beach, 35 min interview w/ Mike, some footage of Brian, Mike, Andy Paley, David Leaf, and Mark Linett in the studio listening to Baywatch Nights (Dancing the Night Away), and a brief interview w/ Brian.

Nice! Thanks, HV. I've got it bookmarked. :=)


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: southbay on November 04, 2017, 08:14:35 PM
THAT was a fascinating video. To see Brian and Mike in that environment in 1995 was quite something. You wonder things like, what was going through Mike's mind as he sits there in the studio between Brian and...David Leaf. Too bad there was no footage of Carl. That may have also been the most excruciating interview of Brian I've ever seen. How many times did he say how afraid he was? This shows how difficult it must be for those guys to be together, with Brian feeling the pressure to deliver. Much easier now to see why that album collapsed


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: ♩♬☮ Billy C ♯♫♩☮ on November 04, 2017, 08:23:30 PM
Which part has the Brian interview?


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: phirnis on November 05, 2017, 06:56:05 AM
THAT was a fascinating video. To see Brian and Mike in that environment in 1995 was quite something. You wonder things like, what was going through Mike's mind as he sits there in the studio between Brian and...David Leaf. Too bad there was no footage of Carl. That may have also been the most excruciating interview of Brian I've ever seen. How many times did he say how afraid he was? This shows how difficult it must be for those guys to be together, with Brian feeling the pressure to deliver. Much easier now to see why that album collapsed

I enjoy most of his interviews even when he's a little off but this one was so rough I found it hard to watch. "Phil Spector's messengers"? What? The Spector obsession comes off a little alarming here. No Brianism, just sad. The facial tics are pretty bad too. Makes me feel sorry for the man. It's great to see him in the studio though.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: guitarfool2002 on November 05, 2017, 08:30:03 AM
Consider what Brian had just been through with Landy when you watch the interview at the end of that clip, and it will make sense. It's not like you go through almost being killed by a charlatan of a shrink and quack doctors and come out looking and acting like a movie star walking the red carpet. It was relatively not long before this clip that Brian had gotten out of the Landy mess.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: southbay on November 05, 2017, 08:38:43 AM
Of course that plays into it. But whatever the reasons, after watching the video it is much easier to understand why this album didn't happen


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: guitarfool2002 on November 05, 2017, 08:42:28 AM
Of course that plays into it. But whatever the reasons, after watching the video it is much easier to understand why this album didn't happen

Do you mean from the studio footage at the end?  There's nothing there that would suggest it wouldn't happen, in fact Brian seems thrilled with the track they're working on (I fucking love it, he says), and Mike is engaged in the process too even though there is a little tension (unspoken) in that room. Brian says he called Carl and he would be at the studio soon, but we never see him before the video cuts off.

Just curious what you picked up on to think that clip shows troubled waters ahead. Brian and Mike working together, isn't that what so many fans wanted and still want to see?


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: southbay on November 05, 2017, 09:04:52 AM
I don't know, it's subjective I guess. It just seemed uneasy to me, Brian as you sai d fragile from the recent Landry escape, talking repeatedly about how scared he was.  I can see Carl realizing after a period of time that the situation wasn't the best. I'm completely speculating of course


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: Bittersweet-Insanity on November 05, 2017, 09:06:57 AM
I don't know, it's subjective I guess. It just seemed uneasy to me, Brian as you sai d fragile from the recent Landry escape, talking repeatedly about how scared he was.  I can see Carl realizing after a period of time that the situation wasn't the best. I'm completely speculating of course

that makes sense. it's easy to see why Carl had such thoughts like thinking that Brian wouldn't be up to doing a Pet Sounds tour back then.

The song Unleash the Love can be apparently be dated to as far back as this period, as Mike mentions that it's one of the most commercial things he's conceived of and that Brian loves the lyrics.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: guitarfool2002 on November 05, 2017, 09:16:14 AM
Maybe Carl was wrong, and maybe there were other issues behind Carl's veto of the whole thing which were more personal than thinking Brian wasn't up to the job. It's a pretty stark contrast to hear Don Was' and others descriptions of the "Paley Sessions" as full of energy and creative bursts in the studio during the process, and then hear speculation to line up with Carl's decision to scotch the whole shebang.

Yeah, Brian was still getting back in shape after the Landy mess, but reading how Don Was and others describe the sessions as they were happening, it suggests there was more going on with Carl personally than we've been able to hear that led to his decisions and disinterest. I don't think the whole story is "Carl didn't think Brian was up for it" especially since Brian had been recording dozens of songs and was excited about them before Carl vetoed it.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: Aomdiddlywalla on November 05, 2017, 09:34:50 AM
Watching that Brian interview..  you just have to feel for the guy who has given My and Your life's a special .... I don't know, but it's made mine enriched. God bless BDW.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: ♩♬☮ Billy C ♯♫♩☮ on November 05, 2017, 12:29:07 PM
So I finally saw it...yeah...one could tell Brian was having issues neurologically thanks to what Landy had him on previously.  Took a while to get better. Was kind of weird to see him smoking..I thought he had quit the previous year?


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: guitarfool2002 on November 05, 2017, 01:46:06 PM
It's pretty shocking to see firsthand, isn't it? We're only seeing some of the more mild after-effects there. And consider this was when Brian was still recovering from whatever quack treatments and bad meds Landy and his team had him on, he basically had to be detoxed to get all of that stuff cleared out and get the proper medication for his condition, as well as whatever harm those Landy meds did. Imagine if Brian had not gotten away from that destructive quackery when he did, and he had been taking those med cocktails of Landy's even one month or a year later than he did. It would have destroyed the man if not killed him at some point.

So that clip is only one very minor example of why some of us get really, really pissed off when some idiots start spouting off and drawing direct lines between where Brian has been over the past 23 years and where he was under Landy's "regimen", and suggesting he's being kept drugged and controlled in recent years as if it were 1991 all over. What a crock of sh*t.



Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: ♩♬☮ Billy C ♯♫♩☮ on November 05, 2017, 02:11:48 PM
Quote
We're only seeing some of the more mild after-effects there.

WHAT?! You mean it was worse?! Oh my God :(   Kind of hits me hard, cause since my second stroke I kind of get like that, just not as bad. Really hit me to see Brian like that. Hurt.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: guitarfool2002 on November 05, 2017, 02:24:27 PM
Quote
We're only seeing some of the more mild after-effects there.

WHAT?! You mean it was worse?! Oh my God :(   Kind of hits me hard, cause since my second stroke I kind of get like that, just not as bad. Really hit me to see Brian like that. Hurt.

Consider that clip was some time after Brian had gotten away from Landy and was getting the right treatments and meds from doctors who actually knew what they were doing, he basically had to get all that toxic sh*t ordered by Landy out of his system,  then also get on the correct treatments for his actual condition on top of basically detoxing all of the stuff that harmed him under Landy's regimen. It's mind-boggling to even speculate - let's say - even what it was like the week before and immediately after Brian got free of all that crap and was actively taking all those incorrect meds.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: ♩♬☮ Billy C ♯♫♩☮ on November 05, 2017, 02:54:04 PM
:(


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: Sam_BFC on November 05, 2017, 03:50:12 PM
Not sure what others think, but despite the...struggle on display in the interview here, I think the Diane Sawyer interview is scarier.  Is it going to far to say that there is the odd glimmer of Brian's impending recovery on show here?


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: Gerry on November 05, 2017, 08:02:19 PM
Seeing Brian in this kind of condition may have had something to do why Carl was not so enthused about a new Brian-produced Beach Boy record. He may have felt that Brian just wasn't up to it. Brian himself talks about how scared he was. I do think that working with the Beach Boys brings up a lot of old issues for Brian


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: HeyJude on November 06, 2017, 10:20:52 AM
Not sure what others think, but despite the...struggle on display in the interview here, I think the Diane Sawyer interview is scarier.  Is it going to far to say that there is the odd glimmer of Brian's impending recovery on show here?

I don't think much of anyone would disagree that the Diane Sawyer interview was among, if not the lowest points in that whole saga. Publically anyway.

But, it could have only helped the actual case to get him removed from Landy, and it certainly helped fans understand how dire the Landy situation was. So the Sawyer interview did prove useful in that sense.

But there are different types of "cringey" interviews. Stuff like the Sawyer interview is cringe-worthy in the moment, but it's most alarming because of the larger picture it paints. Whereas, there are other Brian interviews which are a trainwreck even if they didn't immediately portend something catastrophic.

There are some early 80s bits with Brian and the guys that are pretty bad. There was one that used to be YouTube years ago from around 1978-ish or so where Brian and Al are sitting next to each other, and the interviewer asks Brian about Charles Manson, and *Al* goes off on the interviewer, seeming to actually go into protective mode for Brian.

Back to Brian and Landy, there are even some pretty early examples of Brian being pretty zonked under Landy's care. There's an unedited Westwood One radio interview tape from 1985 where Brian's promoting the BB '85 album, and he sounds out of it even on that one. He can't remember the existence of the "Surf's Up" album, etc.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: HeyJude on November 06, 2017, 10:28:52 AM
Seeing Brian in this kind of condition may have had something to do why Carl was not so enthused about a new Brian-produced Beach Boy record. He may have felt that Brian just wasn't up to it. Brian himself talks about how scared he was. I do think that working with the Beach Boys brings up a lot of old issues for Brian

I think it was far more complicated than that, as far as Carl-Brian was concerned.

Brian presented *more than album's worth* of material to the group in 1994/95. He had essentially pre-recorded more than an album with Andy Paley. He had proved he was up to it, especially with Paley and Was there to help.

We also have that Cindy Lee Berryhill report of Brian and the band's session for one (or both?) of the songs they recorded together, and Brian seemed to have his wits about him there as well (and again, if Carl had any misgivings, they had not one but TWO producers there to help), with the only potential issue coming up during that first-hand encounter being Mike being kind of a d**khead during the session (Brian was on the ball enough to actually razz Mike during session).

The problem with anybody stepping into the Paley Sessions situation and saying Brian wasn't up to it is that:

A) Brian had produced such a quantity of material already
B) They had co-producers working on it with them
C) NOBODY, including Carl, was offering *an alternative* as far as an album project to work on. Carl nor Mike nor anybody else had a huge bag of songs ready to record.

It's pretty clear that Carl and Bruce didn't think a lot of the Paley material was that great. Mike seemed pretty ambivalent about it. Al in his only comments I've seen has described liking the material (there's little doubt in my mind that Al would have gladly sang backups on 20 Paley songs, no problem).

So on Carl's end, "the material sucks" is probably closer to something that sounds plausible than "Brian's not up to it."

If Carl had walked into the 1986 Gary Usher sessions, then *maybe* he could have argued "Brian's not up to it."

But in 1995, Brian had *two* solo albums already in the pipeline, and arguably TWO albums worth of material in the can recorded with Andy Paley.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: Lonely Summer on November 06, 2017, 11:55:18 PM
Seeing Brian in this kind of condition may have had something to do why Carl was not so enthused about a new Brian-produced Beach Boy record. He may have felt that Brian just wasn't up to it. Brian himself talks about how scared he was. I do think that working with the Beach Boys brings up a lot of old issues for Brian
Honestly, I didn't think Brian looked all that bad in that interview. One thing for sure, he was totally real there, not being controlled at all. And I relate to "that Brian", because I have lived my life in fear of...well, pretty much everything. The man has a lot of courage.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: swinkhouse on November 07, 2017, 07:24:58 AM
One (very short) part of the video I thought was neat was the footage of Brian playing at the piano, probably not knowing he's being filmed right then. Anyone else notice at 55:16 he briefly plays the first verse of "Heroes And Villains"?? Very interesting considering this is in the mid-90s.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: Matt H on November 07, 2017, 08:40:41 AM
One (very short) part of the video I thought was neat was the footage of Brian playing at the piano, probably not knowing he's being filmed right then. Anyone else notice at 55:16 he briefly plays the first verse of "Heroes And Villains"?? Very interesting considering this is in the mid-90s.

I heard that as the song they were currently cutting, not H&V.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: ♩♬☮ Billy C ♯♫♩☮ on November 07, 2017, 11:18:52 AM
I heard H&V too.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: swinkhouse on November 07, 2017, 12:54:11 PM
Yeah I think he was either recording/practicing a piano part for what they were tracking, but then he goes into a quick divulgence, plunking the intro chords to Heroes and Villains (can you blame him?? That song is quintessential BW piano pounding)... to me it's the bass notes that confirm it's H&V. It's not the clearest, but it's there.

It's a step down from the original (just checked with my piano haha), og is Dflat and in this clip he starts at Bmaj. But it's got the same exact rhythm, bass melody, and progression as H&V. Just an interesting moment that caught my attention. I'd love to see BW just sit and play a piano when he thinks no one is watching/listening just to hear whatever comes to him in the moment.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: petsoundsnola on November 07, 2017, 02:29:02 PM
Yeah I think he was either recording/practicing a piano part for what they were tracking, but then he goes into a quick divulgence, plunking the intro chords to Heroes and Villains (can you blame him?? That song is quintessential BW piano pounding)... to me it's the bass notes that confirm it's H&V. It's not the clearest, but it's there.

It's a step down from the original (just checked with my piano haha), og is Dflat and in this clip he starts at Bmaj. But it's got the same exact rhythm, bass melody, and progression as H&V. Just an interesting moment that caught my attention. I'd love to see BW just sit and play a piano when he thinks no one is watching/listening just to hear whatever comes to him in the moment.


Shortenin' Bread


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: MikestheGreatest!! on November 07, 2017, 04:05:33 PM
Seeing Brian in this kind of condition may have had something to do why Carl was not so enthused about a new Brian-produced Beach Boy record. He may have felt that Brian just wasn't up to it. Brian himself talks about how scared he was. I do think that working with the Beach Boys brings up a lot of old issues for Brian

I think it was far more complicated than that, as far as Carl-Brian was concerned.

Brian presented *more than album's worth* of material to the group in 1994/95. He had essentially pre-recorded more than an album with Andy Paley. He had proved he was up to it, especially with Paley and Was there to help.

We also have that Cindy Lee Berryhill report of Brian and the band's session for one (or both?) of the songs they recorded together, and Brian seemed to have his wits about him there as well (and again, if Carl had any misgivings, they had not one but TWO producers there to help), with the only potential issue coming up during that first-hand encounter being Mike being kind of a d**khead during the session (Brian was on the ball enough to actually razz Mike during session).

The problem with anybody stepping into the Paley Sessions situation and saying Brian wasn't up to it is that:

A) Brian had produced such a quantity of material already
B) They had co-producers working on it with them
C) NOBODY, including Carl, was offering *an alternative* as far as an album project to work on. Carl nor Mike nor anybody else had a huge bag of songs ready to record.

It's pretty clear that Carl and Bruce didn't think a lot of the Paley material was that great. Mike seemed pretty ambivalent about it. Al in his only comments I've seen has described liking the material (there's little doubt in my mind that Al would have gladly sang backups on 20 Paley songs, no problem).

So on Carl's end, "the material sucks" is probably closer to something that sounds plausible than "Brian's not up to it."

If Carl had walked into the 1986 Gary Usher sessions, then *maybe* he could have argued "Brian's not up to it."

But in 1995, Brian had *two* solo albums already in the pipeline, and arguably TWO albums worth of material in the can recorded with Andy Paley.

I go with the material sucked theory as for Carl's disinterest.....Brian and many of his fans apparently lost their ability regarding critical judgment when it came to his nineties, ahem, "work"......


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: SMiLE Brian on November 07, 2017, 04:07:32 PM
Is Mike the greatest on SIP..... ::)


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: HeyJude on November 08, 2017, 07:02:41 AM
Seeing Brian in this kind of condition may have had something to do why Carl was not so enthused about a new Brian-produced Beach Boy record. He may have felt that Brian just wasn't up to it. Brian himself talks about how scared he was. I do think that working with the Beach Boys brings up a lot of old issues for Brian

I think it was far more complicated than that, as far as Carl-Brian was concerned.

Brian presented *more than album's worth* of material to the group in 1994/95. He had essentially pre-recorded more than an album with Andy Paley. He had proved he was up to it, especially with Paley and Was there to help.

We also have that Cindy Lee Berryhill report of Brian and the band's session for one (or both?) of the songs they recorded together, and Brian seemed to have his wits about him there as well (and again, if Carl had any misgivings, they had not one but TWO producers there to help), with the only potential issue coming up during that first-hand encounter being Mike being kind of a d**khead during the session (Brian was on the ball enough to actually razz Mike during session).

The problem with anybody stepping into the Paley Sessions situation and saying Brian wasn't up to it is that:

A) Brian had produced such a quantity of material already
B) They had co-producers working on it with them
C) NOBODY, including Carl, was offering *an alternative* as far as an album project to work on. Carl nor Mike nor anybody else had a huge bag of songs ready to record.

It's pretty clear that Carl and Bruce didn't think a lot of the Paley material was that great. Mike seemed pretty ambivalent about it. Al in his only comments I've seen has described liking the material (there's little doubt in my mind that Al would have gladly sang backups on 20 Paley songs, no problem).

So on Carl's end, "the material sucks" is probably closer to something that sounds plausible than "Brian's not up to it."

If Carl had walked into the 1986 Gary Usher sessions, then *maybe* he could have argued "Brian's not up to it."

But in 1995, Brian had *two* solo albums already in the pipeline, and arguably TWO albums worth of material in the can recorded with Andy Paley.

I go with the material sucked theory as for Carl's disinterest.....Brian and many of his fans apparently lost their ability regarding critical judgment when it came to his nineties, ahem, "work"......

Well, you seem to have disdain for pretty much everything and everyone connected to the Beach Boys, certainly including most of the music, so that's not the "critical" voice I would go to in trying to look at that 90s material.

The point I would make is that if Carl thought the Paley material sucked across the board, then he was nuts. I don't think he literally thought that, and I think his apprehensive nature about tackling that material had as much to do with politics and his weird relationship with Brian as anything else. But I think he could and probably was also selectively nitpicky about stuff like the Paley material, and he and the rest of the band by 1995 had little credibility left in this regard. They weren't offering much themselves, were on autopilot on tour, and what they were choosing to do (SIP, Stars and Stripes) was sub-par to put it politely.

The Paley material wasn't great from top to bottom, but there was a strong album there with potential critical success with overdubbed BB voices.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: Lonely Summer on November 08, 2017, 02:06:23 PM
Seeing Brian in this kind of condition may have had something to do why Carl was not so enthused about a new Brian-produced Beach Boy record. He may have felt that Brian just wasn't up to it. Brian himself talks about how scared he was. I do think that working with the Beach Boys brings up a lot of old issues for Brian

I think it was far more complicated than that, as far as Carl-Brian was concerned.

Brian presented *more than album's worth* of material to the group in 1994/95. He had essentially pre-recorded more than an album with Andy Paley. He had proved he was up to it, especially with Paley and Was there to help.

We also have that Cindy Lee Berryhill report of Brian and the band's session for one (or both?) of the songs they recorded together, and Brian seemed to have his wits about him there as well (and again, if Carl had any misgivings, they had not one but TWO producers there to help), with the only potential issue coming up during that first-hand encounter being Mike being kind of a d**khead during the session (Brian was on the ball enough to actually razz Mike during session).

The problem with anybody stepping into the Paley Sessions situation and saying Brian wasn't up to it is that:

A) Brian had produced such a quantity of material already
B) They had co-producers working on it with them
C) NOBODY, including Carl, was offering *an alternative* as far as an album project to work on. Carl nor Mike nor anybody else had a huge bag of songs ready to record.

It's pretty clear that Carl and Bruce didn't think a lot of the Paley material was that great. Mike seemed pretty ambivalent about it. Al in his only comments I've seen has described liking the material (there's little doubt in my mind that Al would have gladly sang backups on 20 Paley songs, no problem).

So on Carl's end, "the material sucks" is probably closer to something that sounds plausible than "Brian's not up to it."

If Carl had walked into the 1986 Gary Usher sessions, then *maybe* he could have argued "Brian's not up to it."

But in 1995, Brian had *two* solo albums already in the pipeline, and arguably TWO albums worth of material in the can recorded with Andy Paley.

I go with the material sucked theory as for Carl's disinterest.....Brian and many of his fans apparently lost their ability regarding critical judgment when it came to his nineties, ahem, "work"......

Well, you seem to have disdain for pretty much everything and everyone connected to the Beach Boys, certainly including most of the music, so that's not the "critical" voice I would go to in trying to look at that 90s material.

The point I would make is that if Carl thought the Paley material sucked across the board, then he was nuts. I don't think he literally thought that, and I think his apprehensive nature about tackling that material had as much to do with politics and his weird relationship with Brian as anything else. But I think he could and probably was also selectively nitpicky about stuff like the Paley material, and he and the rest of the band by 1995 had little credibility left in this regard. They weren't offering much themselves, were on autopilot on tour, and what they were choosing to do (SIP, Stars and Stripes) was sub-par to put it politely.

The Paley material wasn't great from top to bottom, but there was a strong album there with potential critical success with overdubbed BB voices.
Carl may have had some reservations about basically handing the band over to Brian after many years of Brian barely being involved in the group. I can understand that. But the group hadn't come up with anything without him, except for a giant turkey of an album called Summer In Paradise, and they were about to drop another turkey from the helicopter - Stars and Stripes. Surely what Brian and Andy were coming up couldn't have been any worse than those birds.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: terrei on November 15, 2017, 12:24:34 AM
Yeah I think he was either recording/practicing a piano part for what they were tracking, but then he goes into a quick divulgence, plunking the intro chords to Heroes and Villains (can you blame him?? That song is quintessential BW piano pounding)... to me it's the bass notes that confirm it's H&V. It's not the clearest, but it's there.

Contrary to popular belief, H&V is not the first nor the only pop song to have a 5-1 bass riff.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: clack on November 15, 2017, 07:51:52 AM
The Paley material had the potential to serve as the basis for a Beach Boys lp every bit as good as 'Holland'. Carl's taste level seems to have atrophied sometime in the late 70's.

Much as some folks rightly complain about Mike walking away from the reunion band in 2012, Carl rejecting the Paley stuff in '95 was more significant.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: HeyJude on November 15, 2017, 10:36:17 AM
The Paley material had the potential to serve as the basis for a Beach Boys lp every bit as good as 'Holland'. Carl's taste level seems to have atrophied sometime in the late 70's.

Much as some folks rightly complain about Mike walking away from the reunion band in 2012, Carl rejecting the Paley stuff in '95 was more significant.

I think Al, and I guess Matt as a de facto Beach Boy at that point in time, were the only members of the band outside of Brian who may have actually actively been "into" the Paley stuff. Carl apparently had some issues (although I'm not convinced he just hated the stuff across-the-board; it seems more like he had general misgivings about Brian and was also being nitpicky maybe about the material), Bruce is on record not being impressed with the material, and Mike has seemed ambivalent at best (and the report of Mike's behavior at the vocal sessions indicates he was not in the same "thumbs up" frame of mind as he was during that "Baywatch Nights" report shown on TV). The few times Mike has been asked years later about the Paley material, he hasn't "dissed" it, but he hasn't jumped out of his seat with regret that they didn't finish the material.

Had the BBs helped Brian finish a "Paley Sessions Beach Boys Album", I'm not sure that would have guaranteed any long term success for the guys or created a basis for a long-lasting reunion. It's all "what ifs", but presumably Carl would have still been gone in 1998, and the Al-Mike stuff was already going on.

So it's entirely possible that even if Brian and Mike had forged some epic, strong, reborn partnership on the back of "Baywatch Nights", a post-1998 Beach Boys might have been Brian-Mike-Bruce and no Al.

I think Carl punting on the Paley stuff was a potential bad step artistically, and a bad step in general "creative" terms, just in terms of striving to create truly new material.

But in terms of sort of rounding out the band's story, to sort of ride off into the sunset together on a true high where they were recording and touring together and doing it all well, I think Mike punting on C50 was worse. C50 healed so much so quickly, and it had potential in a way that I don't think even the Paley project did. C50 was not simply a group of good songs that they could have polished off. C50 was an artistic *and* commercial way forward for everything to run amazingly well on all fronts. Solid (not mind-blowing, but solid) reviews on their new music, with the potential for more Brian/Mike collaborations going forward in some fashion, and the best live reviews for the band from both fans and press since arguably Rolling Stone named then band of the year in 1974 based solely on touring. By continuing on past 2012 together, they could have *built* on what was already their biggest success in eons. They could have done a PS tour. They could have toured the globe *and* done a Vegas residency. Cut solo albums and do side gigs in between. They could have done it all. Hell, finish off the Paley stuff too!


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: NateRuvin on November 15, 2017, 12:24:13 PM
I think there could have even been M&B/BW gigs, without having the band break up, like what happened with C50. The whole group could have done huge, important shows, and solo gigs when they wanted.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: HeyJude on November 15, 2017, 12:28:03 PM
Well, I don't think Mike touring as "The Beach Boys" would work continuously woven in and out of reunion dates. There would have to be either a name change or a longer-term plan and cut-off date for respective tours.

Ideally, what they could have done is reserve the "Beach Boys" name for the reunion lineup, and then Mike could use the "Endless Summer Band" or "California Beach Band" name for "off-season" shows, if he was inclined or felt the need to do more shows than whatever the reunion lineup could have booked. 


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: joshferrell on November 15, 2017, 02:13:00 PM
I wonder if Carl was thinking that the Paley stuff sounded TOO vintage sounding,too 60's and maybe thought they sounded dated..of course that's the part of the songs I like best and I hope Brian does one more Wall of sound 60's sounding CD soon..it seem Carl was into the more mello A&R type stuff in line with Chicago and Christopher Cross while the BB were doing songs with heavy drum machines, heavy synths and heavy guitars..the Paley stuff sounded more like Today or Summer Days/Nights than Problem Child,...




Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: CenturyDeprived on November 15, 2017, 03:24:23 PM
I wonder if Carl was thinking that the Paley stuff sounded TOO vintage sounding,too 60's and maybe thought they sounded dated..of course that's the part of the songs I like best and I hope Brian does one more Wall of sound 60's sounding CD soon..it seem Carl was into the more mello A&R type stuff in line with Chicago and Christopher Cross while the BB were doing songs with heavy drum machines, heavy synths and heavy guitars..the Paley stuff sounded more like Today or Summer Days/Nights than Problem Child,...




I'm trying to picture Carl yelling: More Problem Child! Less Today-sounding tunes!


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: B.E. on November 15, 2017, 03:38:58 PM
I wonder if Carl was thinking that the Paley stuff sounded TOO vintage sounding,too 60's and maybe thought they sounded dated..of course that's the part of the songs I like best and I hope Brian does one more Wall of sound 60's sounding CD soon..it seem Carl was into the more mello A&R type stuff in line with Chicago and Christopher Cross while the BB were doing songs with heavy drum machines, heavy synths and heavy guitars..the Paley stuff sounded more like Today or Summer Days/Nights than Problem Child,...




I'm trying to picture Carl yelling: More Problem Child! Less Today-sounding tunes!

Stars & Stripes! Stars & Stripes!


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: Lonely Summer on November 15, 2017, 11:20:03 PM
I wonder if Carl was thinking that the Paley stuff sounded TOO vintage sounding,too 60's and maybe thought they sounded dated..of course that's the part of the songs I like best and I hope Brian does one more Wall of sound 60's sounding CD soon..it seem Carl was into the more mello A&R type stuff in line with Chicago and Christopher Cross while the BB were doing songs with heavy drum machines, heavy synths and heavy guitars..the Paley stuff sounded more like Today or Summer Days/Nights than Problem Child,...



I think you nailed it there. And the fact that no label ever stepped up to release the Paley sessions "as is" indicates that there was a perception that this type of production/recording would not fare well in the marketplace circa 1996. Sure, it might have received some positive reviews from the hip crowd, but that's not what the BB's were looking for in 1995. Then, as always, they were looking for a vehicle to get them back on the charts.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: guitarfool2002 on November 16, 2017, 12:09:19 AM
Maybe there were more personal issues behind Carl's veto (among other actions during this same time) that should be considered besides the purely musical or commercial reasons that are the focus whenever this topic comes up. Brian and Carl were not exactly close and in regular contact outside the filmed appearances in the various documentaries and interviews which showed them together. In fact, consider this article in People magazine from July 1998 (written by Peter Ames Carlin), after Carl and Audree had passed: http://people.com/archive/love-and-mercy-vol-50-no-1/ (http://people.com/archive/love-and-mercy-vol-50-no-1/)

It goes so far as to call the brothers estranged:

>>>>Wilson’s mind and soul were challenged last February when Carl died only weeks after their mother passed away at age 80. The brothers’ long estrangement made the loss all the harder. “He and I didn’t really talk for 25 years,” says Wilson. “We couldn’t deal with each other.” Business disputes—as well as Wilson’s 1991 autobiography, which prompted defamation lawsuits by the other Beach Boys—drove the brothers farther apart. “But he was always in my heart,” Wilson says. To Melinda, Carl and Brian never escaped their past. “They came from a dysfunctional family that had a hard time communicating,” she says. “The only real tension was trying to figure out how to love each other.”<<<<

Wanting a hit record is one thing, maybe Carl either being right or wrong about the viability of the Paley material is a factor, but there was personal tension between them as brothers and according to Brian he and Carl had not really talked for 25 years. That's a factor that doesn't get discussed much, but one which may hold a key as to why Carl seemed to be the most negative voice (and vote) within the band toward Brian's activities from producing to writing the band's new material after Brian came back in the 90's post-Landy.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: HeyJude on November 16, 2017, 07:23:34 AM
Exactly, I think a lot of interpersonal stuff was at play.

And, as best as we can tell as observers, *some* of Carl's potential issues were not unfounded. The autobiography was hurtful.

I also think some of Carl's apprehensive thoughts about Brian doing stuff like a PS tour in 1996/97 were understandable. Remember all of us who bought ticket to see Brian in 1999? We weren't sure what it would be like, or how well he would handle anchoring an entire show.

The last time Carl had been *with* Brian in the touring band where Brian was any significant part of the live show was like 1978. He wasn't necessarily wrong to at least wonder if the guy who just dipped in to sing the opening lines to "Sloop John B" and bridge on "Surfer Girl" at BB shows would be able to sing the leads on a bunch of "Pet Sounds" songs.

Ironically, Carl potentially not liking the core *material* of the Paley sessions is the least understandable of his potential gripes, where I'm less sympathetic to his possible complaints.

Sure, the Paley material was retro and Paley had a thing for that Today/Summer Days sound. The stuff certainly wasn't like what the band had been doing. But I have less sympathy for Carl (and I acknowledge we're kind of just assuming what he might have had problems with) considering most everything the BB's without Brian had been doing was stinking it up both critically and commercially, and Carl specifically wasn't even offering up material on *those* few BB projects (his last songwriting contribution on a BB album is from 1985), and nobody in the band seemed to have much of an ear for what was "commercial" and what would be "hit" material circa 1995. They also seemed to have little motivation to record at all; they could have even gone the route of shopping for songs from outside writers (not my first choice, but I wouldn't have minded if it had kept them active in the studio).


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: Michigander2122 on November 16, 2017, 08:29:04 AM
There are alot of interesting observations  one could make about the previous comments.  My opinion is that   maybe Carl just didn't like the Andy Paley  material!  SIMPLE AS THAT . Ive heard it, and while there are  a few cool lines and melodies here  and there, Im not sure i get it either. To call it retro seems a bit of a stretch to me. The production is very raw plain and simple. And not in a good way. While i get the Wall of Sound implications, the arrangements to me do not sound like Brian at all. Just because you have a bunch of Baritone saxes in the mix doesn't mean its a wall of sound. When I listen to the clarinets in Imagination, or even the saxes in Blueberry Hill from 15 Big Ones, I believe i can hear the genius of BW!  Also, Am i the only one that can't picture  Carl singing the line" I was a Bum " and comparing it to the feeling he had singing "I may not always love you" ? Maybe im being paranoid but i keep hearing references to Stars and Stripes ( mostly jabs) Is there a joke here that im not in on? I grew up listening to country, In the late 90's my parents loved L Morgan, Willie Nelson etc. They wore out the Stars and Stripes CD. The arrangements on Warmth of the Sun and Caroline No were amazing! I can see Jimmy Webb and Brian working together in some studio and inspiring the heck out of each other. Im not getting that same feeling listening to the almost two hours of you tube renditions of the Paley sessions. Everyone should have their own opinion but based on the fact that the Paley material has been available to the public for quite awhile, and given the fact that i have NEVER heard Brian mention that he was anxious to get back into the studio with Paley  maybe Brian himself wasn't all that proud of the stuff either, and maybe he didn't push it. I agree that    Carl and Mike probably didn't like the material, and thought that Brian or they could do better. Stars and Strips much like 15 Big Ones could have been their way to slowly get Brian back in to the studio without putting too much pressure on him. Who wouldn't want to work with Jimmy Webb and Willie Nelson ?  I will say that i do not to this day get the name Stars and Stripes, although the CD  to me was a great idea if it had 5 or 6 remakes and a couple of new Brian Wilson Beach Boy songs.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: KDS on November 16, 2017, 08:35:54 AM
I've only listened to very little of the Paley Sessions, and to be 100% honest, I'm not overly impressed by it.   Maybe with Mike, Al, Carl, and Bruce, they could've taken the material and turned out an album of 10-12 pretty good Beach Boys songs. 

Granted, I still need to listen to more of it. 


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: guitarfool2002 on November 16, 2017, 09:29:42 AM
There are alot of interesting observations  one could make about the previous comments.  My opinion is that   maybe Carl just didn't like the Andy Paley  material!  SIMPLE AS THAT . Ive heard it, and while there are  a few cool lines and melodies here  and there, Im not sure i get it either. To call it retro seems a bit of a stretch to me. The production is very raw plain and simple. And not in a good way. While i get the Wall of Sound implications, the arrangements to me do not sound like Brian at all. Just because you have a bunch of Baritone saxes in the mix doesn't mean its a wall of sound. When I listen to the clarinets in Imagination, or even the saxes in Blueberry Hill from 15 Big Ones, I believe i can hear the genius of BW!  Also, Am i the only one that can't picture  Carl singing the line" I was a Bum " and comparing it to the feeling he had singing "I may not always love you" ? Maybe im being paranoid but i keep hearing references to Stars and Stripes ( mostly jabs) Is there a joke here that im not in on? I grew up listening to country, In the late 90's my parents loved L Morgan, Willie Nelson etc. They wore out the Stars and Stripes CD. The arrangements on Warmth of the Sun and Caroline No were amazing! I can see Jimmy Webb and Brian working together in some studio and inspiring the heck out of each other. Im not getting that same feeling listening to the almost two hours of you tube renditions of the Paley sessions. Everyone should have their own opinion but based on the fact that the Paley material has been available to the public for quite awhile, and given the fact that i have NEVER heard Brian mention that he was anxious to get back into the studio with Paley  maybe Brian himself wasn't all that proud of the stuff either, and maybe he didn't push it. I agree that    Carl and Mike probably didn't like the material, and thought that Brian or they could do better. Stars and Strips much like 15 Big Ones could have been their way to slowly get Brian back in to the studio without putting too much pressure on him. Who wouldn't want to work with Jimmy Webb and Willie Nelson ?  I will say that i do not to this day get the name Stars and Stripes, although the CD  to me was a great idea if it had 5 or 6 remakes and a couple of new Brian Wilson Beach Boy songs.

It could be just as simple as Carl not liking the material, that's a given. But there was also a personal factor involved between brothers Carl and Brian that simply doesn't get talked about as much, and maybe for obvious reasons. They were not as close as some would perhaps like to think or assume, and it's not a knock on either man, it's just one of those realities of being brothers and in this case Carl and Brian had issues between them that had been festering for years. If Brian says they barely talked for 25 years, that goes back to 1973-74 in the timeline, and events of those years related to the band's history and changes within the band can be easily traced back to those years. And reading it almost 20 years later, that single paragraph from the People article really packs a punch as it sheds a little more light on what was going on between the brothers, and it's not what I think many fans assumed was the case.

Regarding Brian's enthusiasm for the new music or lack thereof, all we have as fans to go on are the various articles and reports from that time Brian was actively working with, writing with, and recording with Don Was, Andy Paley, and even Mike Love. Brian is full of enthusiasm for what he was doing, as were those around him in every article that I can think of. In one, Brian is so excited to play the interviewer a mix of "Proud Mary" they were working on that he keeps interrupting the questions about topics like Pet Sounds to say how excited he is to play the mix. That doesn't sound like a musician who is doing something he's not into.

One interesting aspect of this era specific to Brian getting back with the band and making music with them came from the Carlin book, where it describes the band treating Brian like he wasn't up for the task, or walking on eggshells around him like they had to treat him as an invalid or something. That's the band's burden to carry, right there - As soon as Brian got out of the Landy mess, the first thing he wanted to do musically was get back to working with the Beach Boys, and when he did, yet again it seemed to be Carl who was putting up the most barriers as if he didn't want that to happen...or didn't think Brian was up to the task.

Yet consider Brian was actively writing and recording, and in the subsequent years (mid 90's up to Carl's passing) Brian worked and worked on music...while The Beach Boys did nothing new of note except tour with the dancing girls still there cranking out the oldies on stage, cut the Stars & Stripes album where they were essentially a backing vocal group for the guest artists covering their old hits, and made ridiculous TV appearances like Baywatch.

So it's pretty clear-cut to see the Beach Boys (or some Beach Boys) didn't seem to want to do any new music, and when they finally got Brian back in the fold and wanting to make new music with them, they didn't do much of anything with that opportunity. And in the next 4 years or so after the "Paley Sessions" ground to a halt, Brian was making new music and touring as a solo artist with one of the best live bands of musicians in the business who could play the music accurately and respectfully.

Stars & Stripes perhaps would have been better remembered by fans if there were some original music, I do agree, but beyond that if there were a sense that the Beach Boys were doing more than acting as guest vocalists akin to the "Tower Of Power Horns" where they just add that incredible vocal blend behind any artist who wants that sound on their music but aren't the focal point of the actual records.



Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: HeyJude on November 16, 2017, 09:41:21 AM
Clearly there were mixed feelings at best about the Paley material from the other guys.

I also objectively don't think the stuff is uniformly amazing. But a good album could have been molded from the best of the lot. Keep in mind there are some Brian/Andy songs we've likely never heard that may have been part of that whole cache of material.

But the problem is that everybody else in the band was either offering up bad idea or no ideas at all. If history indicated that Carl had an album's worth of songs that he was pointing to that he felt they could work on instead, then his *subjective* feelings about the Paley material would have more pull. Whereas, with Mike, he had a clear running track record of one fluke hit followed by massive failure.

It's not as if everybody in the band had previously had to sign off on *loving* every song on every previous album. Dennis clearly hated MIU. I somehow doubt Mike found "Love Surrounds Me" to be his cup of tea. I'd certainly hope Carl and Al knew the SIP material wasn't really amounting to greatness.

Some have pointed out that one of the only specifics (to some degree anyway) we have on Carl's take on the material was that he didn't like the *backing track* that Don Was had made for "Soul Searchin'." This Don Was backing track has never circulated, so none of us have ever heard it.

So Carl may have had more nitpicky, production-oriented issues with the song. But even on that front, nobody else in the band was really in a strong position to tell Don Was, who was an active, working, successful producer, that his stuff sucked.

But Carl never apparently nixed anything. It just kind of fizzled, which means I'm also not prepared to assume Carl wouldn't have been open to doing the material, perhaps re-recording some things, etc.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: HeyJude on November 16, 2017, 09:51:39 AM
There are alot of interesting observations  one could make about the previous comments.  My opinion is that   maybe Carl just didn't like the Andy Paley  material!  SIMPLE AS THAT . Ive heard it, and while there are  a few cool lines and melodies here  and there, Im not sure i get it either. To call it retro seems a bit of a stretch to me. The production is very raw plain and simple. And not in a good way. While i get the Wall of Sound implications, the arrangements to me do not sound like Brian at all. Just because you have a bunch of Baritone saxes in the mix doesn't mean its a wall of sound. When I listen to the clarinets in Imagination, or even the saxes in Blueberry Hill from 15 Big Ones, I believe i can hear the genius of BW!  Also, Am i the only one that can't picture  Carl singing the line" I was a Bum " and comparing it to the feeling he had singing "I may not always love you" ? Maybe im being paranoid but i keep hearing references to Stars and Stripes ( mostly jabs) Is there a joke here that im not in on? I grew up listening to country, In the late 90's my parents loved L Morgan, Willie Nelson etc. They wore out the Stars and Stripes CD. The arrangements on Warmth of the Sun and Caroline No were amazing! I can see Jimmy Webb and Brian working together in some studio and inspiring the heck out of each other. Im not getting that same feeling listening to the almost two hours of you tube renditions of the Paley sessions. Everyone should have their own opinion but based on the fact that the Paley material has been available to the public for quite awhile, and given the fact that i have NEVER heard Brian mention that he was anxious to get back into the studio with Paley  maybe Brian himself wasn't all that proud of the stuff either, and maybe he didn't push it. I agree that    Carl and Mike probably didn't like the material, and thought that Brian or they could do better. Stars and Strips much like 15 Big Ones could have been their way to slowly get Brian back in to the studio without putting too much pressure on him. Who wouldn't want to work with Jimmy Webb and Willie Nelson ?  I will say that i do not to this day get the name Stars and Stripes, although the CD  to me was a great idea if it had 5 or 6 remakes and a couple of new Brian Wilson Beach Boy songs.

Well, what we do know is that "Stars and Stripes" was a critical and commercial flop. Apart from what hardcore fans thought, the album wasn't well received and was in fact barely on anybody's radar.

Further, in general I think albums of artists covering themselves is just less creative and interesting.

On top of that, I think "Stars and Stripes" was pretty awful. Trite, synthetic 90s country with mostly forgettable and grating singers. The Willie Nelson track was okay (worth it just to get footage of Mike trying to correct Willie and then Willie blowing Mike off and doing it the way he wanted), Junior Brown at least brought some enthusiasm to the table. I guess Timothy B. Schmit's track was okay, and not coincidentally barely "country" at all. The rest of the stuff on the released album was forgettable and bland *at best.*

The band didn't need to get Brian comfortable with the studio (he had just recorded like 57 tracks with Andy Paley and had released TWO solo albums), and "crossing over" into country wasn't going to get them any closer to doing what fans wanted (whether that was Paley songs or just another good album written by Brian and/or the rest of the guys).

Had "Stars and Stripes Vol. 1" succeeded, what would have happened next? Undoubtedly "Stars and Stripes Vol. 2."

So yeah, when they had "Soul Searchin'" and "You're Still a Mystery" and "It's Not Easy Being Me" and "Gettin' in Over My Head" sitting in the vaults (to say nothing of the gazillion other tracks they had in the vault, "Don't Fight the Sea", etc.), it's pretty sad that they felt compelled to do *THIS* instead:

https://youtu.be/RHiExb2SYOw?t=27s


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: guitarfool2002 on November 16, 2017, 10:02:45 AM
But Carl never apparently nixed anything. It just kind of fizzled, which means I'm also not prepared to assume Carl wouldn't have been open to doing the material, perhaps re-recording some things, etc.

I agreed with the bulk of your post except this - The impression from published sources is that Carl did veto several projects during these years, centered around his concerns about Brian perhaps as much as the potential quality or success of the projects themselves. Maybe I'm mistaken but wasn't it Carl who was the catalyst behind scotching the idea of Pet Sounds live performances not just because he thought the music was too complex to play and sing but he also thought Brian wasn't able to perform it? Wasn't it Carl who was worried Brian would embarrass himself and the band if he sang too much at the Nashville Fan Fest gig? And wasn't it Carl who was behind the idea of bringing in a member of the High Llamas to "collaborate" with Brian in the wake of the Paley-Was sessions collapsing?

In each of those cases, and yes there is a fair amount of reading between the lines to be done, it feels like Carl's concerns were centered on his own issues with Brian, especially how he may have thought Brian wasn't able to do this stuff. The fact there is even a notion that Carl thought Brian might embarrass himself and the band if he performed live would seem to speak volumes on the dynamic. And it had to hurt Brian personally, and I'm guessing it did when he kept hearing "no" especially coming from his own brother.

It did seem to be Carl specifically balking at doing Soul Searchin, You're Still A Mystery, etc. to the point where he worked on the tracks but later decided he wasn't into them. That's kind of odd. But that was Carl's call.

And what can't be ignored is how a scant few years after all of these no votes from Carl, Brian was out on his own doing exactly what Carl wasn't supporting, including playing (and singing) Pet Sounds tracks on a live stage...to rave reviews. And releasing new music. And he's still out there doing it.

It makes me come back to the notion that there was personal stuff involved in this beyond just the music, and again suggesting maybe Carl was simply wrong on some of these points considering what did end up happening with both the band and Brian.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: guitarfool2002 on November 16, 2017, 10:27:16 AM
Add to that timeline, and I realize I've talked about this before but it's relevant - In an interview with Brian conducted August 1995, he mentioned inviting the Beach Boys to his house for a listening party so he could play them more of the tracks he was working up. And despite them being described as "enthusiastic" to work again with Brian, they all canceled on him and didn't show up. That hurt Brian, and add that Aug 1995 interview to several where he says he wants to work with The Beach Boys, and had material which he was excited to present and actively working on with Paley and Was, yet the band seemed to balk if not be outright rude about even listening to it, let alone cutting more tracks. It did hurt Brian, he says it hurt him to have these cancellations and whatnot, and yet he kept saying he wanted to work with them.

At some point, isn't it a natural reaction for someone who keeps hearing "no" and can't even get his own band to come to his place to listen to new songs to just say "f*** this" and move on? The fact his brother was one of the louder voices in all of this had to hurt even more.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: clack on November 16, 2017, 02:07:21 PM
It was Bruce, not Carl, who tried to get Sean O'Hagan of the High Llamas involved.

A clue to Carl's objections to the Paley material might be found in the music that Carl did write and arrange around this time : the Beckley-Lamm-Wilson lp. Maybe if the Paley stuff sounded more like Air Supply, Carl might have been more enthusiatic.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: CenturyDeprived on November 16, 2017, 03:23:48 PM
Add to that timeline, and I realize I've talked about this before but it's relevant - In an interview with Brian conducted August 1995, he mentioned inviting the Beach Boys to his house for a listening party so he could play them more of the tracks he was working up. And despite them being described as "enthusiastic" to work again with Brian, they all canceled on him and didn't show up. That hurt Brian, and add that Aug 1995 interview to several where he says he wants to work with The Beach Boys, and had material which he was excited to present and actively working on with Paley and Was, yet the band seemed to balk if not be outright rude about even listening to it, let alone cutting more tracks. It did hurt Brian, he says it hurt him to have these cancellations and whatnot, and yet he kept saying he wanted to work with them.

At some point, isn't it a natural reaction for someone who keeps hearing "no" and can't even get his own band to come to his place to listen to new songs to just say "f*** this" and move on? The fact his brother was one of the louder voices in all of this had to hurt even more.

Wow. Compare and contrast to 1966/67 when Brian's friends would eagerly come over for listening parties when he'd invite them. How much of a let down must that have been to see how much everything had changed in his life. Brian thrives off of good vibes and excitement from others when sharing his music. And the friends who attended the SMiLE acetate listening parties were the ones that Brian's mates (at least Mike?) labelled as leaches or not good for Brian to be associated with, yet those friends seemed to be so much more supportive than Brian's own family/bandmates when one compares these experiences. So very sad.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: The Lovester on November 16, 2017, 06:23:23 PM
Wasn't Melinda also a factor in the songs not ever being released? I've read that she didn't like the material either and in turn pushed him towards working with Joe Thomas instead.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: Lonely Summer on November 16, 2017, 11:11:39 PM
Wasn't Melinda also a factor in the songs not ever being released? I've read that she didn't like the material either and in turn pushed him towards working with Joe Thomas instead.
I remember that being reported in Rolling Stone circa 1999.



Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: HeyJude on November 17, 2017, 06:33:18 AM
But Carl never apparently nixed anything. It just kind of fizzled, which means I'm also not prepared to assume Carl wouldn't have been open to doing the material, perhaps re-recording some things, etc.

I agreed with the bulk of your post except this - The impression from published sources is that Carl did veto several projects during these years, centered around his concerns about Brian perhaps as much as the potential quality or success of the projects themselves. Maybe I'm mistaken but wasn't it Carl who was the catalyst behind scotching the idea of Pet Sounds live performances not just because he thought the music was too complex to play and sing but he also thought Brian wasn't able to perform it? Wasn't it Carl who was worried Brian would embarrass himself and the band if he sang too much at the Nashville Fan Fest gig? And wasn't it Carl who was behind the idea of bringing in a member of the High Llamas to "collaborate" with Brian in the wake of the Paley-Was sessions collapsing?

In each of those cases, and yes there is a fair amount of reading between the lines to be done, it feels like Carl's concerns were centered on his own issues with Brian, especially how he may have thought Brian wasn't able to do this stuff. The fact there is even a notion that Carl thought Brian might embarrass himself and the band if he performed live would seem to speak volumes on the dynamic. And it had to hurt Brian personally, and I'm guessing it did when he kept hearing "no" especially coming from his own brother.

It did seem to be Carl specifically balking at doing Soul Searchin, You're Still A Mystery, etc. to the point where he worked on the tracks but later decided he wasn't into them. That's kind of odd. But that was Carl's call.

And what can't be ignored is how a scant few years after all of these no votes from Carl, Brian was out on his own doing exactly what Carl wasn't supporting, including playing (and singing) Pet Sounds tracks on a live stage...to rave reviews. And releasing new music. And he's still out there doing it.

It makes me come back to the notion that there was personal stuff involved in this beyond just the music, and again suggesting maybe Carl was simply wrong on some of these points considering what did end up happening with both the band and Brian.

In terms of Carl not literally nixing something, I was only referring to the Paley recordings. He may have put up stronger direct opposition to other ideas like a "Pet Sounds" tour due to not feeling Brian was up to it. But I'm also not sure how ironclad of a project something like that late 90s PS tour was. Was it just an idea floated? It seemed to be enough of a plausible idea that at least Melinda and Al both separately discussed it and that Carl didn't want to do it.

But in terms of the Paley sessions, apart from Carl apparently walking from one earlier session (I believe prior to the session for "Soul Searchin" and "You're Still a Mystery" documented by Berryhill) due by all accounts to "non-musical" reasons, I don't see any evidence Carl refused the material or refused to do a session. So he may have kinda done more like what Mike did with C50, which was to essentially put the kibosh by simply not doing any *further* work as opposed to outright canceling sessions or saying "I refuse to work on this material."

As far as the idea that Carl may have eventually worked on the material, I think it would have simply been the same sort of attrition that often led to BB projects being finished. Sometimes projects would just have enough natural momentum to get finished even if not everyone was on the same page.

Certainly, it's possible that had Carl lived longer to see Brian be able to spearhead albums and tours, his position on a lot of these issues may have changed.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: guitarfool2002 on November 17, 2017, 09:11:41 AM
It was Bruce, not Carl, who tried to get Sean O'Hagan of the High Llamas involved.

A clue to Carl's objections to the Paley material might be found in the music that Carl did write and arrange around this time : the Beckley-Lamm-Wilson lp. Maybe if the Paley stuff sounded more like Air Supply, Carl might have been more enthusiatic.

You are correct, and I totally forgot that story until your post. Bruce had the copy of Hawaii which he brought into the band, and he was the one who met and brought O'Hagan into the meetings. The rest of that story can be told at a later time... :)  Good point about Carl's material too. But I do think there was more to all of it than purely musical reasons, although those factor heavily too.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: guitarfool2002 on November 17, 2017, 09:14:47 AM
Add to that timeline, and I realize I've talked about this before but it's relevant - In an interview with Brian conducted August 1995, he mentioned inviting the Beach Boys to his house for a listening party so he could play them more of the tracks he was working up. And despite them being described as "enthusiastic" to work again with Brian, they all canceled on him and didn't show up. That hurt Brian, and add that Aug 1995 interview to several where he says he wants to work with The Beach Boys, and had material which he was excited to present and actively working on with Paley and Was, yet the band seemed to balk if not be outright rude about even listening to it, let alone cutting more tracks. It did hurt Brian, he says it hurt him to have these cancellations and whatnot, and yet he kept saying he wanted to work with them.

At some point, isn't it a natural reaction for someone who keeps hearing "no" and can't even get his own band to come to his place to listen to new songs to just say "f*** this" and move on? The fact his brother was one of the louder voices in all of this had to hurt even more.

Wow. Compare and contrast to 1966/67 when Brian's friends would eagerly come over for listening parties when he'd invite them. How much of a let down must that have been to see how much everything had changed in his life. Brian thrives off of good vibes and excitement from others when sharing his music. And the friends who attended the SMiLE acetate listening parties were the ones that Brian's mates (at least Mike?) labelled as leaches or not good for Brian to be associated with, yet those friends seemed to be so much more supportive than Brian's own family/bandmates when one compares these experiences. So very sad.

That's a good comparison to draw - In the mid 60's Brian hosted these listening parties where he wanted to play whatever new music he was working on for friends and associates and get their reactions. It was the first time Van Dyke Parks personally interacted with Brian, at a listening party where David Crosby took Van Dyke to hear advance mixes of the Sloop John B single.

Then in 1995, Brian's own band shines on him.

Keep the year 1995 in mind as there is more to be said about the timeline and the years in which all of this was happening.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: guitarfool2002 on November 17, 2017, 09:23:49 AM
Wasn't Melinda also a factor in the songs not ever being released? I've read that she didn't like the material either and in turn pushed him towards working with Joe Thomas instead.
I remember that being reported in Rolling Stone circa 1999.



Kudos to your good memory! July 1999 RS article written by Jason Fine, that is correct. But the article says there were plans to re-record some of the tracks and make them more polished, which is exactly what we got on the GIOMH collection 5 years later. I think four of the better Paley-Wilson songs made it onto that disc, including "Soul Searchin" so it's not like the tracks never got released.

Worth noting, again this is going somewhere with the timeline...July 1999 Paley and Brian were still playing music together. So the earlier poster who commented about Brian not returning to Paley to work...not sure what timeline they had in mind, but Brian and Paley were still working on music *after* Stars & Stripes and Imagination, as the Jason Fine article and others from '97 which I can access would show.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: HeyJude on November 17, 2017, 09:57:29 AM
It appears Brian and Joe cut several "Paley" songs (backing tracks at least) during the "Imagination" sessions.

I think they often revisited the Paley *material*, but it appears they picked and chose which stuff would utilize elements of the original recordings versus re-recording from scratch.

Also, let's remember that Brian *re-cut* the lead to "You're Still a Mystery" in October of 1999. This is the lead vocal heard on the MIC set from 2013. I still haven't heard of a reason for why he did this (and it may well have had no particular reason beyond just messing around with the song), but it was done without Mark Linett (who apparently expressed surprise upon finding the new lead when compiling MIC), and was done *after* Brian and Joe split (presumably after the 1999 Japan dates and before or during the west coast tour in the Fall).

Presumably, Brian would have been doing this work with an eye towards releasing the song *solo*, as the "Beach Boys", such as they were at that moment, were heavily splintered. The idea that Brian would "Beach Boys" material solo is interesting in light of Joe Thomas's 2012 comments suggesting Brian and he (Joe) wrote stuff back in the 1997/98 that Brian earmarked specifically for the Beach Boys and refused to do solo (such as of course "That's Why God Made the Radio").


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: Bittersweet-Insanity on November 17, 2017, 09:58:24 AM
Add to that timeline, and I realize I've talked about this before but it's relevant - In an interview with Brian conducted August 1995, he mentioned inviting the Beach Boys to his house for a listening party so he could play them more of the tracks he was working up. And despite them being described as "enthusiastic" to work again with Brian, they all canceled on him and didn't show up. That hurt Brian, and add that Aug 1995 interview to several where he says he wants to work with The Beach Boys, and had material which he was excited to present and actively working on with Paley and Was, yet the band seemed to balk if not be outright rude about even listening to it, let alone cutting more tracks. It did hurt Brian, he says it hurt him to have these cancellations and whatnot, and yet he kept saying he wanted to work with them.

At some point, isn't it a natural reaction for someone who keeps hearing "no" and can't even get his own band to come to his place to listen to new songs to just say "f*** this" and move on? The fact his brother was one of the louder voices in all of this had to hurt even more.

Wow. Compare and contrast to 1966/67 when Brian's friends would eagerly come over for listening parties when he'd invite them. How much of a let down must that have been to see how much everything had changed in his life. Brian thrives off of good vibes and excitement from others when sharing his music. And the friends who attended the SMiLE acetate listening parties were the ones that Brian's mates (at least Mike?) labelled as leaches or not good for Brian to be associated with, yet those friends seemed to be so much more supportive than Brian's own family/bandmates when one compares these experiences. So very sad.

That's a good comparison to draw - In the mid 60's Brian hosted these listening parties where he wanted to play whatever new music he was working on for friends and associates and get their reactions. It was the first time Van Dyke Parks personally interacted with Brian, at a listening party where David Crosby took Van Dyke to hear advance mixes of the Sloop John B single.

Then in 1995, Brian's own band shines on him.

Keep the year 1995 in mind as there is more to be said about the timeline and the years in which all of this was happening.

The yr Brian called Carl an asshole. There's also an interview from around that time where, if i recall correctly, Brian tells Melinda that he wants to buy a monkey cause they fling sh*t at people  :lol


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: Lonely Summer on November 17, 2017, 10:04:38 PM
Add to that timeline, and I realize I've talked about this before but it's relevant - In an interview with Brian conducted August 1995, he mentioned inviting the Beach Boys to his house for a listening party so he could play them more of the tracks he was working up. And despite them being described as "enthusiastic" to work again with Brian, they all canceled on him and didn't show up. That hurt Brian, and add that Aug 1995 interview to several where he says he wants to work with The Beach Boys, and had material which he was excited to present and actively working on with Paley and Was, yet the band seemed to balk if not be outright rude about even listening to it, let alone cutting more tracks. It did hurt Brian, he says it hurt him to have these cancellations and whatnot, and yet he kept saying he wanted to work with them.

At some point, isn't it a natural reaction for someone who keeps hearing "no" and can't even get his own band to come to his place to listen to new songs to just say "f*** this" and move on? The fact his brother was one of the louder voices in all of this had to hurt even more.

Wow. Compare and contrast to 1966/67 when Brian's friends would eagerly come over for listening parties when he'd invite them. How much of a let down must that have been to see how much everything had changed in his life. Brian thrives off of good vibes and excitement from others when sharing his music. And the friends who attended the SMiLE acetate listening parties were the ones that Brian's mates (at least Mike?) labelled as leaches or not good for Brian to be associated with, yet those friends seemed to be so much more supportive than Brian's own family/bandmates when one compares these experiences. So very sad.

That's a good comparison to draw - In the mid 60's Brian hosted these listening parties where he wanted to play whatever new music he was working on for friends and associates and get their reactions. It was the first time Van Dyke Parks personally interacted with Brian, at a listening party where David Crosby took Van Dyke to hear advance mixes of the Sloop John B single.

Then in 1995, Brian's own band shines on him.

Keep the year 1995 in mind as there is more to be said about the timeline and the years in which all of this was happening.

The yr Brian called Carl an asshole. There's also an interview from around that time where, if i recall correctly, Brian tells Melinda that he wants to buy a monkey cause they fling sh*t at people  :lol
I remember reading that interview where Brian called Carl (and Mike) an @$$hole. Brian was liable to say about anything back then, but that comment made me sad. If anyone in the Beach Boys DIDN'T deserve to be called an a---ole, it was Carl. Carl was the strong, quiet presence that kept them together. As soon as he was gone, they splintered.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: mikeddonn on November 18, 2017, 04:35:21 AM
I think one of the major reason Carl didn't want to work with Brian at that point is right there in that interview footage from the stuff shot during that Baywatch Nights session.  Carl realised his brother needed to get better before touring etc.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: guitarfool2002 on November 18, 2017, 07:04:53 AM
I think one of the major reason Carl didn't want to work with Brian at that point is right there in that interview footage from the stuff shot during that Baywatch Nights session.  Carl realised his brother needed to get better before touring etc.

Meanwhile Brian was writing and recording literally dozens of new songs with Andy Paley and Don Was. What was Carl offering in terms of new material for the band? Zip/nada/nothing.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: c-man on November 18, 2017, 03:05:05 PM
I'd have to dig to find it...but in an issue of the "California Saga" fan publication at the time, someone recounted a conversation with Carl (following a BBs gig, I believe) where Carl said he was "happy to be recording guitar tracks with Brian", indicating he felt positive about the whole endeavor. Carl seems to have changed his mind a lot in those days...


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: Lonely Summer on November 18, 2017, 11:49:22 PM
I think one of the major reason Carl didn't want to work with Brian at that point is right there in that interview footage from the stuff shot during that Baywatch Nights session.  Carl realised his brother needed to get better before touring etc.

Meanwhile Brian was writing and recording literally dozens of new songs with Andy Paley and Don Was. What was Carl offering in terms of new material for the band? Zip/nada/nothing.
Recording is one thing. Touring is another. Brian hadn't toured regularly with the band in ages, just occasional appearances, usually just the big events like the 4th of July shows or Live Aid.
As far as new material from Carl, I think he was saving it for the Like a Brother album. It's always been my gut feeling that at some point after the 1985 album, Carl just gave up as far as moving the Beach Boys forward as a contemporary band. Mike wanted total control, and Carl just stepped aside and let him have it. Mike had his ideas about what was accessible and commercial, and sometimes he was successful - Getcha Back, Kokomo, Wipe Out; other times, Mike's ideas didn't go over with the general public.
I think Carl's focus in the later years was the live band - just making sure the musicians played the songs the way they were supposed to be played, making sure the vocal parts were sung correctly. He heard EVERYTHING - if you hit a bum note, you'd get the "stink eye" from Carl. You didn't want to get that!


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: metal flake paint on November 19, 2017, 12:44:12 PM
I'd have to dig to find it...but in an issue of the "California Saga" fan publication at the time, someone recounted a conversation with Carl (following a BBs gig, I believe) where Carl said he was "happy to be recording guitar tracks with Brian", indicating he felt positive about the whole endeavor. Carl seems to have changed his mind a lot in those days...

Craig, you inspired me to do some digging of my own and I finally found said issue: #13, Summer 1995.

Carl also lamented that Brian had resumed smoking. Perhaps Carl didn't want to be inhaling secondary cigarette smoke in the studio since he'd quit smoking himself.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: mikeddonn on November 19, 2017, 02:44:02 PM
I think one of the major reason Carl didn't want to work with Brian at that point is right there in that interview footage from the stuff shot during that Baywatch Nights session.  Carl realised his brother needed to get better before touring etc.

Meanwhile Brian was writing and recording literally dozens of new songs with Andy Paley and Don Was. What was Carl offering in terms of new material for the band? Zip/nada/nothing.
Recording is one thing. Touring is another. Brian hadn't toured regularly with the band in ages, just occasional appearances, usually just the big events like the 4th of July shows or Live Aid.
As far as new material from Carl, I think he was saving it for the Like a Brother album. It's always been my gut feeling that at some point after the 1985 album, Carl just gave up as far as moving the Beach Boys forward as a contemporary band. Mike wanted total control, and Carl just stepped aside and let him have it. Mike had his ideas about what was accessible and commercial, and sometimes he was successful - Getcha Back, Kokomo, Wipe Out; other times, Mike's ideas didn't go over with the general public.
I think Carl's focus in the later years was the live band - just making sure the musicians played the songs the way they were supposed to be played, making sure the vocal parts were sung correctly. He heard EVERYTHING - if you hit a bum note, you'd get the "stink eye" from Carl. You didn't want to get that!

Exactly regarding recording and touring.  Brian mentions several times how scared he was even recording.  What would he have been like touring Pet Sounds?  He was not in good shape.  Carl probably saw that.  Carl may also have seen how not hands on Brian was at that point in the studio.  Brian's live vocals were erratic as was his demeanour.  The best bit about the Paley sessions IMHO was the use of organic instruments again.  It sounded like 1965 era stuff. I was excited at the time when I heard this, and it still holds up. Some of the songs are really good, with some great vocals.  We'll never know how good it could have been.  I'd guess Brian possibly lost interest at some point as he'd done that style of production 30 years prior.  A genius wants to move forward not look backwards.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: guitarfool2002 on November 19, 2017, 04:06:29 PM
I think one of the major reason Carl didn't want to work with Brian at that point is right there in that interview footage from the stuff shot during that Baywatch Nights session.  Carl realised his brother needed to get better before touring etc.

Meanwhile Brian was writing and recording literally dozens of new songs with Andy Paley and Don Was. What was Carl offering in terms of new material for the band? Zip/nada/nothing.
Recording is one thing. Touring is another. Brian hadn't toured regularly with the band in ages, just occasional appearances, usually just the big events like the 4th of July shows or Live Aid.
As far as new material from Carl, I think he was saving it for the Like a Brother album. It's always been my gut feeling that at some point after the 1985 album, Carl just gave up as far as moving the Beach Boys forward as a contemporary band. Mike wanted total control, and Carl just stepped aside and let him have it. Mike had his ideas about what was accessible and commercial, and sometimes he was successful - Getcha Back, Kokomo, Wipe Out; other times, Mike's ideas didn't go over with the general public.
I think Carl's focus in the later years was the live band - just making sure the musicians played the songs the way they were supposed to be played, making sure the vocal parts were sung correctly. He heard EVERYTHING - if you hit a bum note, you'd get the "stink eye" from Carl. You didn't want to get that!

Exactly regarding recording and touring.  Brian mentions several times how scared he was even recording.  What would he have been like touring Pet Sounds?  He was not in good shape.  Carl probably saw that.  Carl may also have seen how not hands on Brian was at that point in the studio.  Brian's live vocals were erratic as was his demeanour.  The best bit about the Paley sessions IMHO was the use of organic instruments again.  It sounded like 1965 era stuff. I was excited at the time when I heard this, and it still holds up. Some of the songs are really good, with some great vocals.  We'll never know how good it could have been.  I'd guess Brian possibly lost interest at some point as he'd done that style of production 30 years prior.  A genius wants to move forward not look backwards.

The idea of not wanting to look backwards: Correct me if I'm wrong, but that was Brian's reaction at one point when they tried to bring O'Hagan in to produce. Brian said something like "Why would I do sh*t I already did 30 years ago?" because according to some reports the various interests at that time wanted a Pet Sounds volume 2 more or less. Meanwhile Brian was already writing with Andy Paley and paying out of his own pocket for all the recording sessions.

If indeed Brian "lost interest" in doing stuff he did 30 years ago - and I have found no relevant quotes or reports that that was the case with working with Paley - it makes the decision to try bringing Sean O'Hagan in even more of a non-starter, beyond the fact Brian just didn't seem to connect with O'Hagan let alone work closely with him on a whole album.

Kudos to Bruce for trying to jump-start something new for the band, but it was a misstep in retrospect in many ways, and it could be a sidebar discussion of its own on just that chapter of the saga.

Correcting earlier points too - Neither Kokomo nor Wipe Out was necessarily Mike's idea to develop for the band. The people behind the Cocktail film initiated that and wanted a song for the film and soundtrack. Wipe Out was *not* a Beach Boys released project or idea, there is a lot of misconception behind that. The song was a Fat Boys release, on their label, and it was ultimately their call and not the Beach Boys or any Beach Boy saying "hey, let's cut a track together". They did similar "oldies" including The Twist with Chubby Checker, and if anything it was trying to crack into the mainstream with something familiar and "safe" in terms of a rap group. It was also trying to hit the momentum of perhaps the best and most influential of all those attempts to take rap mainstream with rock or pop audiences, Run DMC and Aerosmith doing Walk This Way. Both Wipe Out and Kokomo ended up on Still Cruisin after their initial success because Capitol wanted a collection for BB fans to buy those songs...on Capitol instead of the Cocktail and Fat Boys respective labels.

The fact both singles did well, Kokomo obviously better, was as much to do with the people involved who brought the Beach Boys into their projects, the Cocktail producers and the Fat Boys. It wasn't Mike saying the band should try to place a song on Cocktail and cut tracks with the Fat Boys. It was the opposite.

If Mike was the driving force in a project, similar to Bruce trying to make the O'Hagan deal happen, it was when Mike brought in Joe Thomas to do the country album. Joe had no contact with the band before that, at all, until he and Mike began developing Stars & Stripes.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: guitarfool2002 on November 19, 2017, 04:22:34 PM
In terms of the interpersonal elements between Brian and Carl...there is also more to that story that peeked through the cracks in some interviews from this era that are not as often cited or reposted. There was family stuff between them too, again not which gets discussed too often.

What I will also suggest, and perhaps this kind of commentary would be better placed on that "Unpopular Opinions" thread because i know it may ruffle some feathers, is that if Carl was considered the 'peacemaker', how well did he fill that role in the 80's up to 1996 or so?

I'd suggest not so good, considering all the turmoil that surrounded the band members to the point where Al got kicked out at one point, the relationship with Brian wasn't all that strong after Landy if it had been strong at all since 1973-4 or so, and it felt like Mike was basically running the show how he saw fit to run it, and the band dynamic behind the scenes was pretty strained. carl reportedly walked out of the Soul Searchin session, the band wouldn't be bothered to accept an invite from Brian in summer 1995 to listen to the new material and shined on him...and other cases where things were not good for a myriad of reasons.

If Carl did indeed step aside and allow Mike to call the shots on everything from the design of the live show, to personnel moves, to what music the band released, how is that trying to make peace? There is appeasement and there is making peace, and if Carl had so many issues with Brian during this era we're focusing on, which he did it seems and vice versa, I guess he was OK with letting Mike be captain of the ship and almost run it aground. The band could not get a label to even consider signing them at this time, so Carl rejects the new material which was being offered (and paid for) by Brian, decides Brian wasn't OK even though he hadn't seen Brian much from the time "Landy Phase 2" began - yet they wanted Brian in the Stars & Stripes promo video and other higher profile appearances, and he let Mike continue skippering the ship into iceberg after iceberg.

I'm just offering an opinion and suggesting maybe Carl wasn't doing the kind of peacemaking some would think he did during this time, and also suggesting some of his opinions and decisions may not have been as correct or on point as some would believe they were. And if he did check out as was suggested, then why did he check back in to shoot down aspects of Brian's hoped-for return to the band after he got free of Landy?

There are many facets to this saga, maybe too many to get into each of them.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: Wirestone on November 19, 2017, 04:51:54 PM
Looks to me like the video in question contains the unedited footage that EW producers gathered when putting together their Brian-Mike reunion feature. You'd want lots of establishing shots and other b-roll to fill space while someone narrated, for instance.

With precious few exceptions, video of BW in the studio is staged, and this was no exception. Brian, Mike, Mark, Andy and others are just hanging out to be filmed. No actual production is going on, regardless of how much or little any of the participants are saying.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: guitarfool2002 on November 19, 2017, 05:11:15 PM
This is just an excerpt from a magazine article published June 1997, one which doesn't get published or referenced as much as others.

I'm posting this to maybe shed some more light on issues from how into the project Brian was, how he worked in the studio, and other points that may be getting misread or misinterpreted. Hopefully the words direct from the sources involved at the time this was happening will bring more perspective to the discussions. And more like this can be added later too.

>>>>>>>>>>>>

Conditions  now  are  simple  and  loose.  When  Wilson  and  Paley  have  the  urge,  they  get together at one or the other’s house and sketch out ideas on a boom box (“Brian just got a four-track mini-studio he’s learning to use, but it’s mostly boom box for us,” Paley says).  Both contribute musical and lyrical ideas until a song is ripe, then Wilson books studio time and tells Paley what kinds of players he wants to use. “I pull out the union book and take care of most of his requests,” Paley says. “We can do a lot with just the two of us, but sometimes he’ll want harmonica or a stand-up-bass. An oboe. I brought in three French-horn players once, and he only used them for four bars  of  one  song,  but,  of  course,  it  was  absolutely  perfect  and  nothing  else  would  have worked.  We’ve  had  Danny  Hutton  from  Three  Dog  Night-an  old  friend  of  Brian’s  -come  in and do some vocals, and Elliot Easton of the Cars has done guitar on some tracks. Whatever Brian wants, we get it in there."

For Wilson, a studio full of willing compatriots is a vital sanctuary. “He’s always into it.”  Paley says. “Always. You can see how much he loves working. When he was being sued by Mike Love a while back he’d come straight from the courtroom to the studio.  He’d show up in a suit and tie and just get right to work.”

Working  so  intimately  with  Wilson,  Paley has  had  the  opportunity  to  witness  some  of  the unorthodox studio techniques that have earned Wilson the sometimes burdensome “genius”tag.  “When I was a kid listening to Beach Boys records, “Paley says, “I used to go nuts trying to figure out what the hell was going on. It sounded so easy, but you’d get to a spot where it was, Jesus, is that a major chord or a minor chord?  Now that I’m in the studio with Brian,I know that sometimes he’s playing both. He’ll do things that sound like they’re going to be terribly  dissonant,  but  when  it’s  all  put  together,  it’s  beautiful.  It’s  actually  a  great  sort  of philosophy:  You  put  something  kind  of  weird  under  these  incredible  gorgeous  harmonies, and that little something often drives the harmonies to another level.  It’s been gratifying to see  some  of  his  arrangement  tricks  up  close.  It’s  like,  ‘Oh,  Ok,  I  wasn’t  crazy  when  I  heard what I thought I heard on your records."

It’s questionable whether the public will hear the new music Wilson’s been able to crate with the help of Paley. In the close-knit community of major-label executives, Wilson is still seen as an unreliable ‘60s casualty with no commercial track record of late.“Label  people  haven’t  expressed  much  interest,”  Paley  says.  “The  problem  is  that  people have heard all the stories about him and they don’t really know what he’s up to.  It would take  hearing  this  stuff  for  anybody  to  actually  get  excited  about  it.  And  I  don’t  blame anybody for having their doubts about Brian, because you look at what’s been out there and it doesn’t tell you what he’s capable of. The Beach Boys’ country album? Come on.”

Wilson still finds himself running into some of the same old obstacles. When he played some  of  the  new  tracks  for  the  Beach  Boys,  hoping  that  the  group  might  pull  together  for an album, the  members  were  politely  supportive,  but  ultimately  declined  his  invitation.  And some of Wilson’s closet associates, having heard the Paley tracks, have suggested he worry less about his finely crafted, organically rendered arrangements and try to sound “more like Kenny G.” Perhaps understandably, Wilson is not too eager to hear a stranger’s assessment of  his work, and although  he’s  happy  to  have  Paley  talk  about  the  new  music,  a  much-discussed interview with Brian never materializes.

But  when  Wilson  does  find  a  crow  willing  to  give  his  new  songs  a  chance,  he  is  clearly electrified. By the end of the San Fernando house party, the stereo has been turned off, and Wilson is seated at the piano, pounding through a fiercely rocking version of “Desert Drive,” with Paley leaning over his shoulder to contribute harmonies. Wilson’s brow is furrowed in concentration as he plays and sings, but when he finishes, the small roar of applause brings a huge smile to his face. The Rock and Roll Hall of Famer with millions of record sales to his credit  seems  absolutely,  unabashedly  delighted  that  an  audience  numbering  in  the  low double  digits-including  some  who  have  no  idea  who  Wilson  is-approves  of  his  new  song.“Brian doesn’t go out that much, “Paley says,” and he doesn’t really play like that for people. But we went out to eat after the party, and all he could talk about was, ‘Man, did you see those people!  They loved it!  That was rock ‘n’ roll!’ He got off on that more than playing an amphitheater somewhere or standing on a stage with the Beach Boys.  That little group of people in that living room grooving to ‘Desert Drive’-to him, that was the greatest. And I think with songs like that, he could still really surprise anybody that thinks he’s a lost cause. He’s still got it; everything that made him great in the past, he’s still got it in there. I know for a fact he does.”

<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: Jay on November 19, 2017, 05:33:23 PM
This may be an odd point to make\suggest, but maybe Brian's smoking was a factor in causing Carl to be hesitant in working with him? Perhaps Carl associated smoking with some of the more destructive or reckless behavior Brian showed during the 1970's and early 1980's, and simply didn't want to go down that road again?


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: clack on November 20, 2017, 08:09:47 AM
I think that the simple truth was that Carl was as square, in his own way, as Mike and Al. The Paley stuff was too hip for his taste.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: HeyJude on November 20, 2017, 10:15:54 AM
I think that without a record deal, and without a true "manager" (as in, someone steering their art and career and not just a "business manager") to steer anything, that's probably a big part of why the BBs seemed so scattered and aimless during the "Paley sessions" era. There wasn't anything firm to "turn down" or "reject", they just didn't continue working on stuff. It was all loosey goosey.

Look at how C50 developed. It was Joe Thomas bankrolling it (directly and/or indirectly), with Thomas and Capitol and the whole machine moving the whole thing forward.

Had a major record label swooped in and said "Okay Beach Boys, we want an LP produced by Brian and Don Was based on the songs Brian has written with Andy Paley and with Beach Boys vocals. So go do that and we'll give you X amount of dollars and a major promotional push and TV appearances, etc.", I would imagine they would have hashed something out. With a record label paying for and scheduling studio time, Carl would have gone in with the rest of the guys and either sang on the stuff or made specific points that he wanted addressed (re-cut backing tracks, etc.). I think, especially after SIP tanked, even Mike would have gone along with this. I think it would have been much like C50; everybody would have come in and done their thing even if they weren't the most enthusiastic they could have been.

And with a real "manager", they could have had someone with some smarts to create some marketing synergy, book Brian to do select dates with the band, etc.

Maybe all of this would have fallen apart with Carl's illness anyway.

But I think, on top of Carl's strained relationship with Brian, waffling musical tastes, and possibly finicky attitude towards some of the material, the fact that they were already by that point essentially a "Touring Band that might occasionally record something" meant there was no huge motivation for them to work their asses off to make a "Brian/Paley" Beach Boys album happen.

It's pretty sad that Brian and the BBs often were just in a "wrong place, wrong time" situation as far as wanting to work with each other. Landy pushed Brian into going solo when the BBs maybe would have had him. Then eventually Brian was talking post-Landy about wanting to do another BB album, and nobody (apart from Mike occasionally pointing out he wanted to write with Brian) was effusively and ardently pushing to do another "Pet Sounds" sort of deal where Brian does the whole thing with an outside writer and they just come in to do the vocals.

And *all* of this is separate from Brian touring. That's a whole other ball of wax. Brian indeed had less of a running track record for being hugely involved in live shows. Couple that with the live touring being the other guys' main (and kind of only) bread and butter, and you could imagine how they'd rather just go on autopilot and keep doing the same boring 28-song, 90-minute setlist instead of re-doing the whole show to change the setlist and have to actually work extra hard to integrate Brian into the shows.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: southbay on November 20, 2017, 10:24:35 AM
Good points.  But in 1996 Virgin did approach the group and wanted to sign them to their new V2 label.  Whether that was based on the Paley material, I don't know.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: HeyJude on November 20, 2017, 10:24:59 AM
Looks to me like the video in question contains the unedited footage that EW producers gathered when putting together their Brian-Mike reunion feature. You'd want lots of establishing shots and other b-roll to fill space while someone narrated, for instance.

With precious few exceptions, video of BW in the studio is staged, and this was no exception. Brian, Mike, Mark, Andy and others are just hanging out to be filmed. No actual production is going on, regardless of how much or little any of the participants are saying.

Good points. Considering how Mike seems relatively unfamiliar with some of those in attendance and the studio in general (I believe at one point he asks Mark Linett if it's his studio), the barebones "listening" session may have also been a bit of an introductory situation for Mike in general, to hear how things were starting to take shape.

I have to wonder if this entire thing, the photo op and "news" item, was an attempt by Brian and Mike and whole operation to garner interest from labels or somebody out there. It just seems in retrospect a bit strange to start selling a "we're back together!" story before they've even done anything.

Contrast this to C50 where there wasn't (officially anyway) a peep until they had already signed the record/tour deals, started to record stuff, etc. And *even then* the thing was shaky and could have fallen off the rails.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: HeyJude on November 20, 2017, 10:27:16 AM
Good points.  But in 1996 Virgin did approach the group and wanted to sign them to their new V2 label.  Whether that was based on the Paley material, I don't know.

Yes, that deal was reportedly on the table. I'd have to go back and read the scant few reports detailing what V2 wanted and/or was offering. I'm sure they wanted Brian heavily involved (just like CBS in 1977 and Warner Bros. in 1970), but probably weren't looking at doing what Andy Paley termed in one interview as a situation where the BBs literally could have finished off a "Brian/Andy" album full of material "in two days." I don't think anybody would say that's an ideal situation, although in retrospect it's also easy to say that maybe they *should* have done that and just went with it so that they could get an album out there and get the ball rolling.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: guitarfool2002 on November 20, 2017, 11:47:43 AM
Discussing the V2 deal comes with a bit of a warning on discussions to follow: It's a slippery slope where there isn't all that much that has been made public via comments or interviews from those involved, and what is out there comes with a natural bias because of feelings that were hurt or a general level of frustration about what happened, and subsequently what didn't end up happening.

My own opinion (and that's all it is) based on what's out there first. Having "V2" excited about getting a Beach Boys project underway with Brian's involvement was a positive notion on the surface. Expecting it to progress as a "Pet Sounds Volume 2" type of project already set it up for stormy weather ahead. As Brian himself (I think...confirmation appreciated) said, why would he do "sh*t he already did 30 years ago"? They wanted him to repeat what he was not into doing again at that time. He was making new music and funding all the sessions and work out of his own pocket for the past several years and was excited about that. He also found collaborators with whom he was comfortable working and making music in the studio.

Add to that, there was the plan actually on the table as part of the deal to have Sean O'Hagan in charge of producing this album. Brian dug "Hawaii" after Bruce introduced that music to him and the band, but bottom line was Brian did not know O'Hagan, and after they met he didn't click with him. Simple as that.

So hinging such an important project on Brian working with someone he didn't know, had never made music with, and on a basic human level just didn't click with personally kind of doomed it, wouldn't you think?

Anyway...so the principals who were involved and have commented on it were primarily O'Hagan and Bruce Johnston, who was the rainmaker in terms of trying to bring O'Hagan into the mix.

Bruce's comments would almost be expected to have an edge to them because he did do a lot of work trying to facilitate this project, only to see it not happen. So his frustration leads to blaming Brian and Melinda Wilson to a degree for it falling apart. Yet, again, consider the expectation being put on Brian and the project to bring in a stranger to make Pet Sounds vol 2, and Bruce can feel frustrated, no one would fault him, but how much hope did they actually put behind this project considering the main expectations and variables involved?

It may also have been the last push Bruce did in terms of trying to get new music happening from "The Beach Boys" after Carl's passing and all the events surrounding it, Bruce seems to have sunk into his current role as sideman happy to play on stage next to Mike.

Sean O'Hagan - naturally his reaction would be one of "what the f*** just happened?" on all fronts. he comes in through Bruce, who tells him the way to woo the Beach Boys was to be very corporate, as the BB's love corporate. Ok. He meets Brian, and that goes as expected. Brian knows and compliments him on the Hawaii music he heard, but he really doesn't know Sean or anything about him, let alone being told this stranger was the guy he'd be making music with for an all-important album. And, Brian was excited about part of the deal which would have him able to cut a solo album AND the Beach Boys album. Brian according to the reports was more excited about the solo album, for obvious reasons since he had been recording solo since he got away from Landy. The how's and why's of that aspect of the deal are subject for another long discussion, again with expected and inherent biases depending on who commented about that.

Then consider O'Hagan gets greeted by one of Mike's attempted jokes or put-downs where he called Sean a "f****t". Hardly a greeting to get the good vibes flowing, whether Mike was joking or not.

Then consider the band must have thought O'Hagan himself as an artist was more well known or had that elusive indie "cred" that they wanted, I guess. Because according to Sean, the band wanted him to appear in front of a crowd of what Sean termed "rednecks in Cincinnatti" at a full-blown BB's show. They introduced him to the crowd like they were bringing out Springsteen or something, and O'Hagan himself says hardly anyone outside the UK at that time knew who the hell he was, and there he was smack-dab in the middle of a Lewis Carroll dream sequence. So that must have been a combination of awkward or surreal or whatever else, but that's what happened according to Sean's comments.

Was he upset at the whole thing? It would be natural, but that's what getting into the Beach Boys saga entailed at that time. And for all of the reports out there, it's not like meeting with Brian especially as a stone-cold stranger would be like having a meeting with Tom Hanks or something. It was Brian Wilson, you basically knew what you were getting into apart from the process of creating great music with him in the studio.

What really changed the game for obvious and sad reasons was Carl getting more sick and less able to contribute and play with the band leading up to his passing. Some say the album should have been the first order of business versus Brian's solo recording, some say Brian's working with Joe was not the right call stylistically at that time, etc. Many thoughts and opinions on all of that.

But the V2 deal and the whole era we're discussing is as full of contradictions, mysteries, and things left unsaid that may remain sealed for good that rivals only the Smile era and 1967 for trying to filter through everything to get to what happened.

Just consider how much surrounds it, personally and professionally.





Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: the captain on November 20, 2017, 03:45:18 PM
I think that's a very good post. Really reasonable.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: yrplace on November 20, 2017, 06:35:52 PM
Looks to me like the video in question contains the unedited footage that EW producers gathered when putting together their Brian-Mike reunion feature. You'd want lots of establishing shots and other b-roll to fill space while someone narrated, for instance.

With precious few exceptions, video of BW in the studio is staged, and this was no exception. Brian, Mike, Mark, Andy and others are just hanging out to be filmed. No actual production is going on, regardless of how much or little any of the participants are saying.

You are totally wrong about that in this case......... Mark


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: ♩♬☮ Billy C ♯♫♩☮ on November 20, 2017, 07:30:14 PM
Interesting. ..


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: Lonely Summer on November 21, 2017, 12:32:58 AM
I think that the simple truth was that Carl was as square, in his own way, as Mike and Al. The Paley stuff was too hip for his taste.
Hmm...I've heard a good bit of the Paley sessions, and 'hip' was not a word that came to mind. Retro, yes. 60's style recordings, yes. Some good tunes in there and some throwaways, but I don't believe it was too 'out there' for Carl, Mike and Al to appreciate. It's more likely that all had reservations about turning over recording of a new album to a guy who hadn't been a full time band member in a good many years.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: HeyJude on November 21, 2017, 07:04:06 AM
I think the main takeaway from that studio/control room footage of Mike and Brian from 1995 is that the interpersonal interactions are far more potentially interesting that what is taking place creatively/musically. It's a constant loop of a sparse backing track of nothing but drums and bass.

Even if it's serving as legit studio work, all we actually see in that control room is discussion and listening. Perhaps Mike is getting the first feel for what he plans to write lyrics for.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: guitarfool2002 on November 21, 2017, 08:37:18 AM
I think that's a very good post. Really reasonable.

Thank you Captain.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: guitarfool2002 on November 21, 2017, 08:41:43 AM
I think that the simple truth was that Carl was as square, in his own way, as Mike and Al. The Paley stuff was too hip for his taste.
Hmm...I've heard a good bit of the Paley sessions, and 'hip' was not a word that came to mind. Retro, yes. 60's style recordings, yes. Some good tunes in there and some throwaways, but I don't believe it was too 'out there' for Carl, Mike and Al to appreciate. It's more likely that all had reservations about turning over recording of a new album to a guy who hadn't been a full time band member in a good many years.

Did you read my post about the O'Hagan deal? If the same band members had reservations about Brian because he hadn't been a full time member in years, they didn't seem to have reservations about bringing in a total stranger and relative unknown outside the UK to produce and oversee the recording of a new album alongside Brian with a potential album deal on the table. That would seem to be a blatant contradiction but nothing outside the norm for The Beach Boys I suppose.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: terrei on November 21, 2017, 09:40:35 AM
Nobody ever points out that - at the time - the High Llamas were passed around and written about a lot as sort of an "up-and-coming" indie band, and they were one of the first to be associated with that kind of '60s-revival alt-rock music scene from the '90s. It was a complete accident that Johnston stumbled upon Hawaii, and by extension, a musician of Sean O'Hagan's caliber. Keep in mind that the 1995 Paley timeline coincides EXACTLY with the rise of Britpop.

It's likely that he saw potential in the High Llamas as the counterpart to Oasis or Blur or something - a case of a broken clock being right twice a day. It had nothing to do with being "hip". This is a guy who, only three years before, thought that the group should record "Shortenin' Bread" with the Fat Boys as their next big hit.

And considering that the Beach Boys totally missed the boat on punk and new wave, it's easy to see why they didn't care too much for the Paley material, and why they wasted so much time trying to break into the charts again.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: ♩♬☮ Billy C ♯♫♩☮ on November 21, 2017, 11:27:03 AM
Nobody ever points out that - at the time - the High Llamas were passed around and written about a lot as sort of an "up-and-coming" indie band, and they were one of the first to be associated with that kind of '60s-revival alt-rock music scene from the '90s. It was a complete accident that Johnston stumbled upon Hawaii, and by extension, a musician of Sean O'Hagan's caliber. Keep in mind that the 1995 Paley timeline coincides EXACTLY with the rise of Britpop.

It's likely that he saw potential in the High Llamas as the counterpart to Oasis or Blur or something - a case of a broken clock being right twice a day. It had nothing to do with being "hip". This is a guy who, only three years before, thought that the group should record "Shortenin' Bread" with the Fat Boys as their next big hit.

And considering that the Beach Boys totally missed the boat on punk and new wave, it's easy to see why they didn't care too much for the Paley material, and why they wasted so much time trying to break into the charts again.

Good point. Heck, the Old Wheeler Cabinessence Board shared web space with the High Llamas board ,too.

Makes you wonder though if they had gone with O'Hagen.  The High Llamas' moment in the sun, such as it was, didn't last all that long....is there a chance that any collaboration would have been looked at as a novelty and too much "of its time"? We'll never know now, but it does make one wonder.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: guitarfool2002 on November 21, 2017, 08:54:35 PM
Having lived through this era (as many here did too) and having had the full-blown fever for anything Brian or Beach Boys...I can say the High Llamas at least in the US were far from the first or even the most prominent examples of indie bands wearing a BW influence on their sleeve. Brian and his music was being name-checked like mad in the early to mid-90's, and if you listened to alternative or indie music, you'd hear the influence plain as day. I heard it in, of all things, "Buddy Holly" by Weezer. Before I even knew (or met) Rivers. Turns out I heard correctly, BW is a major influence. Same with Corgan, Frusciante, etc. Many more.

So as much as I dig the Llamas and O'Hagan...it's easy to overstate their impact and influence when they were current.

And another example I remember well...great band too...Velvet Crush released an album in 1994 called "Teenage Symphonies To God".

Makes you wonder why the BB's didn't tap them to co-produce something if they wanted indie cred.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: Lonely Summer on November 21, 2017, 11:46:12 PM
Nobody ever points out that - at the time - the High Llamas were passed around and written about a lot as sort of an "up-and-coming" indie band, and they were one of the first to be associated with that kind of '60s-revival alt-rock music scene from the '90s. It was a complete accident that Johnston stumbled upon Hawaii, and by extension, a musician of Sean O'Hagan's caliber. Keep in mind that the 1995 Paley timeline coincides EXACTLY with the rise of Britpop.

It's likely that he saw potential in the High Llamas as the counterpart to Oasis or Blur or something - a case of a broken clock being right twice a day. It had nothing to do with being "hip". This is a guy who, only three years before, thought that the group should record "Shortenin' Bread" with the Fat Boys as their next big hit.

And considering that the Beach Boys totally missed the boat on punk and new wave, it's easy to see why they didn't care too much for the Paley material, and why they wasted so much time trying to break into the charts again.

Good point. Heck, the Old Wheeler Cabinessence Board shared web space with the High Llamas board ,too.

Makes you wonder though if they had gone with O'Hagen.  The High Llamas' moment in the sun, such as it was, didn't last all that long....is there a chance that any collaboration would have been looked at as a novelty and too much "of its time"? We'll never know now, but it does make one wonder.
Did the High Llamas actually have some hit records? I thought they were just an underground band popular with critics.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: ♩♬☮ Billy C ♯♫♩☮ on November 21, 2017, 11:52:59 PM
That was pretty much it. Didn't have any real lasting power with the indie scene either; since 2000, pretty much everything has been self-released and has been heard by very few. They release music pretty much just to satisfy themselves with no delusion of any kind of sales. No worries there...I've been doing that for 16 years now :lol


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: Lonely Summer on November 22, 2017, 11:43:07 PM
That was pretty much it. Didn't have any real lasting power with the indie scene either; since 2000, pretty much everything has been self-released and has been heard by very few. They release music pretty much just to satisfy themselves with no delusion of any kind of sales. No worries there...I've been doing that for 16 years now :lol
Me, too.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: ♩♬☮ Billy C ♯♫♩☮ on November 22, 2017, 11:49:24 PM
Hell, it's kinda more fun that way...no pressure and you can do whatever the hell you want.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: phirnis on November 24, 2017, 09:53:19 AM
I kind of liked the High Llamas but their songwriting always seemed a little lukewarm to me. To me, they were (are?) a band that always sounded more competent than exciting.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: Wirestone on November 24, 2017, 11:08:56 AM
For that matter, what about Matthew Sweet? He was in the BW orbit for a time in the early 2000s after releasing "In Reverse," an album featuring Carol Kaye and an epic nine-minute closing track (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ya04cQGWF2s).

Of all the outside folks paraded in to work with Brian, he's one of the few who I think could have 1.) worked well with BW and 2.) produced some interesting music.


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: Pablo. on November 25, 2017, 11:19:28 AM
I was about to relisten to High Llamas' Hawaii but instead I'm listening for the first time Unleash the love. I feel guilty. So, anyway, here's Matthew Sweet performing SoS with Brian: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=llMapwjxK4g


Title: Re: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread
Post by: Pablo. on November 25, 2017, 01:15:18 PM
Looking for recent inteviews with Sean O'Hagan, I found this from last year.

https://claythescribe.com/2016/03/04/interview-with-sean-ohagan-of-the-high-llamas/

Something -to me, at least- new to the High Llamas/Beach Boys saga. I 'm not sure, however, if they were really serious about using those songs on a BB album:

2. Does he know if the songs he started to write with Brian Wilson in the 90s will ever see the light of day in any way?

S: You know nothing  was started, but   a few  songs  that ended up on Cold And Bouncy were played to the Beach Boys one day back stage (Bruce, Al  and I think Carl was there), and they really liked them and talked about them being new BB songs. So that’s as close as I got.