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Smiley Smile Stuff => General On Topic Discussions => Topic started by: Jason Penick on February 05, 2006, 01:27:26 PM



Title: 1978 CBS demo -- AGD?
Post by: Jason Penick on February 05, 2006, 01:27:26 PM
So I finally found a version of Stephen Gaines' "Heroes and Villains" book at a used book shop in Berkeley, and I bought it and am currently re-reading it.

One thing Gaines mentions is that when the Boys signed their deal with CBS in 1978, Brian was called down to Criterion Studios in Miami to produce the new album.  After working on it a bit, Brian compiled a demo of new material to play for CBS prez Walter Yetnikoff.  Walter went down to Miami to listen to the new material, which prompted the famous "Gentlemen, I think we've just been foda-ed" comment.  Another quote from the book (forget who it was) basically states that Brian and the Beach Boys were rushing through the sessions in an attempt to get the record out, and they were not doing their best work by a long shot.

My question for AGD, or anyone in the know is, what were the contents of the offending demo reel that Brian played for Yetnikoff?


Title: Re: 1978 CBS demo -- AGD?
Post by: Jason on February 05, 2006, 01:30:48 PM
Wasn't this the same tape that featured contributions from Dennis and various members of the Love family?


Title: Re: 1978 CBS demo -- AGD?
Post by: king of anglia on February 05, 2006, 02:57:22 PM
MIU album?


Title: Re: 1978 CBS demo -- AGD?
Post by: analogdemon on February 05, 2006, 04:37:31 PM
What's the famous "Gentlemen, I think we've just been foda-ed" comment?  I'm not familiar with this.  Someone care to elaborate?


Title: Re: 1978 CBS demo -- AGD?
Post by: I. Spaceman on February 05, 2006, 05:14:10 PM
Read Heroes And Villains by Steven Gaines. A must.


Title: Re: 1978 CBS demo -- AGD?
Post by: analogdemon on February 05, 2006, 05:34:33 PM
Nevermind.  I found it myself and saved myself the money for a book I'd have otherwise bought just to find out that information.

It sounds like Yetnikoff was pissed off that the Boys signed the contract in 1977 and they didn't have any demos until 1978.  Then when he goes in to hear the demos, he doesn't like what he hears.  The Beach Boys were already a huge gamble for CBS so for Yetnikoff to hear demos of stuff that was way late and then not like what he hears, I think I'd feel like I'd been fodaed too.  That means he had to tell the Boys to start over from scratch, which means more time before CBS had a Beach Boys album to sell.  That's probably the point where they realized that Brian wasn't going to cut it as producer and called Bruce back instead.  Luckily, they did better work than those demos and delivered what I consider to be a great album.

The CBS years are always something that's interested me because it's probably the least written-about period of their career.


Title: Re: 1978 CBS demo -- AGD?
Post by: I. Spaceman on February 05, 2006, 05:36:52 PM
There's many, many more reasons to buy that book.


Title: Re: 1978 CBS demo -- AGD?
Post by: Jason Penick on February 05, 2006, 10:31:02 PM
I heard that "A Little Something" was one of the songs included on this reel.  If that was typical of the product that Brian was putting together at the time, I think Yetnikoff was justified in his assessment as well.

Just the same, I'd like to see the contents of that reel-- call it morbid curiosity!


Title: Re: 1978 CBS demo -- AGD?
Post by: Andrew G. Doe on February 05, 2006, 11:48:30 PM
I would imagjne he would have heard such masterpieces as "Calendar Girl", the original "Santa Ana Winds" and the incomplete "Brian's Back".  If so, I'd say his comment was remarkably restrained.


Title: Re: 1978 CBS demo -- AGD?
Post by: aeijtzsche on February 06, 2006, 02:52:03 AM
Quote
Nevermind.  I found it myself and saved myself the money for a book I'd have otherwise bought just to find out that information.

God forbid you buy a ten dollar book about the Beach Boys.

Quote
The CBS years are always something that's interested me because it's probably the least written-about period of their career.

That period is written about in Gaines' book.


Title: Re: 1978 CBS demo -- AGD?
Post by: analogdemon on February 06, 2006, 05:58:51 AM
God forbid you buy a ten dollar book about the Beach Boys.

Indeed.  That's $10 that I could put toward something else, like music.  I learn things about the band as I want to know it, and usually I can find out whatever I want to know on the Internet.  If not, then I'd be willing to buy a book if I wanted to know the information that badly.

Quote
That period is written about in Gaines' book.

In what kind of detail?  Is a fair amount of the book devoted to that period (obviously they only put out 3 albums for CBS, so they'd spend a majority of the book on the Capitol and Reprise years)?  If it goes into the CBS years in a fair amount of detail, then I may buy the book anyway just as a resource.


Title: Re: 1978 CBS demo -- AGD?
Post by: Jeff Mason on February 06, 2006, 06:03:11 AM
You can get it for $5 including shipping if you look around carefully enough.


Title: Re: 1978 CBS demo -- AGD?
Post by: Charles LePage @ ComicList on February 06, 2006, 06:13:15 AM
You can get it for $5 including shipping if you look around carefully enough.

http://www.bestwebbuys.com/Heroes_and_Villains-ISBN_0451150333.html?isrc=b-compare-otherver


Title: Re: 1978 CBS demo -- AGD?
Post by: Dancing Bear on February 06, 2006, 07:48:48 AM
Quote
That period is written about in Gaines' book.

In what kind of detail?  Is a fair amount of the book devoted to that period (obviously they only put out 3 albums for CBS, so they'd spend a majority of the book on the Capitol and Reprise years)?  If it goes into the CBS years in a fair amount of detail, then I may buy the book anyway just as a resource.

You should know that this book is 95% about the band members relationships and 5% about the recorded music. You could learn more abut the CBS era in this thread than in the Gaine's book.  ;)


Title: Re: 1978 CBS demo -- AGD?
Post by: analogdemon on February 06, 2006, 07:59:08 AM
You should know that this book is 95% about the band members relationships and 5% about the recorded music. You could learn more abut the CBS era in this thread than in the Gaine's book.  ;)

Thank you for saving me money.  I read some of the reviews on Amazon.com and it looks like it's basically a trash biography.


Title: Re: 1978 CBS demo -- AGD?
Post by: Jason on February 06, 2006, 08:23:38 AM
it looks like it's basically a trash biography.

That's what's so genius about it. It has most of the personal details right, actually. It reads like a factual tabloid.


Title: Re: 1978 CBS demo -- AGD?
Post by: I. Spaceman on February 06, 2006, 10:35:11 AM
You should know that this book is 95% about the band members relationships and 5% about the recorded music. You could learn more abut the CBS era in this thread than in the Gaine's book.  ;)

Thank you for saving me money.  I read some of the reviews on Amazon.com and it looks like it's basically a trash biography.
::) ::) ::) ::) ::) ::) ::) infinity


Title: Re: 1978 CBS demo -- AGD?
Post by: aeijtzsche on February 06, 2006, 12:23:02 PM
Well, maybe the printed word will die out eventually like the doomsdaysayers have predicted?  Why read Crime and Punishment when you can read about criminal sociopathy on sociopaths.com?


Title: Re: 1978 CBS demo -- AGD?
Post by: Dancing Bear on February 06, 2006, 08:52:30 PM
Well, maybe the printed word will die out eventually like the doomsdaysayers have predicted?  Why read Crime and Punishment when you can read about criminal sociopathy on sociopaths.com?

I didn't tell the guy to NEVER buy any Beach Boys' book. I didn't even tell him to not buy Gaine's book! I think it was a fair warning that very little is discussed in that book about recording sessions and studio work.


Title: Re: 1978 CBS demo -- AGD?
Post by: aeijtzsche on February 07, 2006, 06:21:34 AM
I think he was pretty determined never purchase a book again long before this thread.


Title: Re: 1978 CBS demo -- AGD?
Post by: shelter on February 07, 2006, 07:34:39 AM
You should know that this book is 95% about the band members relationships and 5% about the recorded music.

And that's probably a good thing because mr. Gaines' knowledge of the Beach Boys' music is terrible.

He, for instance, called "Today!" and "Friends" bad and uninspired (I believe he also thought "Today!" was an album of car songs) and "Party" excellent. He also mentions an untitled studio album from 1964 that apparently reached #1 in the album charts...

Despite all that, I really enjoyed reading H&V, even the third time.


Title: Re: 1978 CBS demo -- AGD?
Post by: TV Forces on February 07, 2006, 08:25:53 AM
Thank you for saving me money.  I read some of the reviews on Amazon.com and it looks like it's basically a trash biography.

Yeah, don't bother.  It's like buying Albert Goldman's book on John Lennon.
Almost as disappointing as Tim White's "The Nearest Faraway Place."  A
book thats about 350 pages long and Brian isn't even born until halfway
through.  I don't care about his great great great great great grandpa.


Title: Re: 1978 CBS demo -- AGD?
Post by: Jeff Mason on February 07, 2006, 08:54:03 AM
Unfortunately, that "trash bio" is in some cases the only book source on the topics it is covering.  Thus the problem with BB bios -- they aren't comprehensive and there never has been a definitive one written.  Leaf's book has a great rep and with justification, but it is really a bio of *Brian*, and is slanted toward him.  There is relatively little biographical coverage, for instance, on what AL was doing in the 70's and 80's, and what little there is is often in Gaines' book.

I too am looking forward to Peter Carlin's book, but since "Brian Wilson" appears in the title, I fear that it may suffer the same exclusions to the BB touring group that most BB books have.  Badman is the best resource on the live band out there and it has limits in comprehsiveness (not a slam as it doesn't aspire to be the ultimate resource on the touring band).


Title: Re: 1978 CBS demo -- AGD?
Post by: SMiLEY on February 07, 2006, 10:03:52 AM
Thank you for saving me money.  I read some of the reviews on Amazon.com and it looks like it's basically a trash biography.

Yeah, don't bother.  It's like buying Albert Goldman's book on John Lennon.
Almost as disappointing as Tim White's "The Nearest Faraway Place."  A
book thats about 350 pages long and Brian isn't even born until halfway
through.  I don't care about his great great great great great grandpa.

A very unfair trivialization of one of the finer BB-related books. It says right in the sub-title that it is about the world they came from as much as it is about them!! For me, it is invaluable since it creates a framework for what they achieved in a way that no other book has aspired to. Timothy White was an incredible writer and his book gives us more perspective than all the others put together. I'd say -- find it!!!


Title: Re: 1978 CBS demo -- AGD?
Post by: Andrew G. Doe on February 07, 2006, 10:11:33 AM
Anyone who comes up with phrases like "nimble conga tattoos" is OK by me, bud !


Title: Re: 1978 CBS demo -- AGD?
Post by: Yorick on February 11, 2006, 02:17:41 AM
Wasn't the California Feeling song selection made around 1978, perhaps for CBS? Or was this just a compilation of tracks from this era put together by bootleggers??

1. California Feeling
2. Brian's Back
3. Our Team
4. How's About A Little Bit Of Your Sweet Lovin'
5. I'm Beggin' You Please
6. Santa Ana Winds
7. Looking Down The Coast
8. Lazy LIzzy
9. California Dreaming
10. Shaketown USA
11. Sherry She Needs Me
12. River Song
13. Stevie
14. Marilyn Rovell
15. We Gotta Groove
16. Carry Me Home


Title: Re: 1978 CBS demo -- AGD?
Post by: I. Spaceman on February 11, 2006, 02:23:24 AM
Bootleggers.


Title: Re: 1978 CBS demo -- AGD?
Post by: smackdaddy on February 11, 2006, 03:18:40 AM
There's many, many more reasons to buy that book.

No kidding.  Gotta love Dennis's recurring fantasies about being raped by a black man.


Title: Re: 1978 CBS demo -- AGD?
Post by: c-man on February 11, 2006, 06:39:27 AM
There are differing reports as to the quality of the music Brian was producing at Criteria in Miami in the late summer of '78.  Ed Carter and Ed Roach, both of whom
were present at the sessions, have reported Brian's music was nothing short of AMAZING.  Mr. Roach confirms that Brian's production genius was fully intact, yet
no indication of it survives in the mixes of "Calendar Girl" and "California Feelin'" that made it into circulation.  Basically, Brian was firing on all cylindars for a few
days, then something happened to drail him.  A phone call.  We can speculate, but my guess is the call had something to do with Marilyn's filing for divorce.  Brian
reacted by "shutting down" as producer.

BTW, it was Brian who actually called Bruce into the project, initially to do some background singing.  Whether it was CBS's, Brian's, or the band's idea for Bruce
to take over the producing reigns is a little unclear.

Incidentally, while Brian was holed up with the Beach Boys, their touring band, and Chuck Britz in Studio A of Criteria, Denny was down the hall in Studio B with
Tom Murphy, working on "Love Surrounds Me" and "Baby Blue".

For more on these sessions, including the comments by Edwards Carter and Roach, go to denniswilsondreamer.com, message board, page five or so, toward the
bottom...the "Love Surrounds Me" thread.

C-Man


Title: Re: 1978 CBS demo -- AGD?
Post by: Charles LePage @ ComicList on February 11, 2006, 12:40:06 PM
Re: love surrounds me......
Name:         Ed Roach
Date Posted:         Dec 14, 05 - 9:31 AM
Email:         roachclips@musician.org
Website         http://www.roach-clips.com

Message:         Gosh, I love the internet... Are you really in Ireland? A fellow I work with is heading there on Sunday, and man, am I jealous... Never been there, but I guess my great-grandparents were born there. Someday soon, I hope.
That being said, it makes me want to cry, when you list some of his better songs the way you did. How can he have been so forgotten as a songwriter?

Funny enough, a new 'member' to my message board over at www.roach-clips.com had just asked me about this song last week. I'm going to copy a large part of my answer here -(sorry, if you've read this before, old-timers)- and please, come by and visit our site. Lot's of photos of Dennis to be viewed there:

"The Light Album was begun in Florida, but there isn't much besides Dennis' stuff that survived to the finished album. And L.S.M. was literally recorded all over the country, but I'm getting ahead of myself. You are right that the album began in Florida. The Boys were on such a high from their signing with Columbia, that a great plan was hatched: they would charter Elvis' jet, and book a tour around a week in Miami. While in Florida, they booked out the entirety of the Bee Gee's recording studio, and were going to record their new album as a group, with Brian at the helm.
Unfortunately, the best laid plans of mice and men... The sessions 'seemed' to be going incredibly well, although I must confess, having heard some of Brian's tracks from those sessions in recent years, they weren't how I was hearing them at the time. They must not have been going as well as I thought to Brian, either, because 2 or 3 days into the sessions, he drafted Bruce Johnson to come down and produce - and that's how Bruce subsequently re-joined the band. (You can see some of my photo's from these sessions on the album sleve artwork for LA Light; it's also on the cd liner notes now. All the photos from that album are mine).

As for Love Surrounds Me, I had a greater hand in co-producing that track than any other I worked on with Dennis through the years. As I mentioned before, he worked on that song in probably a dozen studios, all over the country! I carried the 2 inch master with us whenever we went on tour, so if he was inspired, we could book studio time. He actually let me full on produce a session for it in the state of Washington, when we brought a couple of lady friends from the concert to the session with us...

As for his mood, it couldn't have been better. I've said this before, that Dennis suffered a similar fate to Lindsey Buckingham, in that every time he had some stellar tracks laid down for a solo album, the group would pry them away for their new album. Only with Fleetwood, Lindsey was at least shown respect for the value of his material. In Dennis' case, they treated him more like they were doing him a favor... I wish he had held onto the songs, and used them on Bamboo!"

Subject:           Re: love surrounds me......
Name:         Ed Roach
Date Posted:         Dec 19, 05 - 11:06 AM
Email:         roachclips@musician.org
Website         http://www.roach-clips.com
Message:         Wow, C-Man, long time no talk! How great to see your name; you've been missed... Dennis added some keyboard parts in Seattle, as I recall. Also, I can't remember the name of the studio, but one reason we were there was to check it out. Can't remember if it was owned by the people from Concerts West, or if it was just Tom Hullett, (a salt-of-the-earth guy, who has passed away much too young), that was a part owner. I just remember that Tom wanted Dennis to check the place out, and we had the master with us.

By the way, there is/are pictures from that day's concert on the LA Light package. I know there's at least one of Carl, kind of framed by yellow. It was a day-time show, first show of the tour. There were great vibes from the time we took off in L.A., and it was a great show. I've used lot's of pictures from that day; everyone got along wonderfully, and you can see it in the photos. Northwest tours were always good times; we were on Elvis' jet, and from Seattle we proceeded across Canada, dropping back into the states in the mid-west.

It's funny, too, that Ed Carter spoke about those sessions in Miami - I'd love to read that! I was SO impressed with Brian's attitude when we first set-up shop at the Bee Gee's studios... I've written about this before; (in fact, someone - was it here? - worked at this studio at a later time, and was able to tell me which studio Dennis used); as the Boys were using the big studio, DW set-up in a smaller one, and began working on Love Surrounds Me - again! He got into recording drums there, setting them up in the hallway, and mic'ing(sic) them for the echo sound. Guess the roadies helped set up his drums, but then he was on his own. And he kept coming and dragging me away from the big studio, to give him a hand, and lend moral support.

However, I couldn't help but constantly sneak back into the big studio, to watch the master at work! And man, was Brian back in form! Even people like Eddie C., who'd been around forever, were impressed by him, but it was the people who'd never seen this before, like Figueroa & Munoz, who were really the most shocked. I think me might have started with a cover of Calendar Girl, recording organ tracks at 30ips, then playing them back at 15ips (or do I have that backwards?) with them sounding like a calliope... I mean, we were definitely in the pressence of genius... I think California Feeling was the next one he laid down basic's for; I'm a little fuzzy, because, like I said, Dennis kept coming and dragging me back to help him! (There are some photos from the vocal sessions here also on the Light package).

Well, I'm sure this lasted for 2 or 3 days, when suddenly, Brian was called to the phone. Whatever transpired threw him into a total funk... He took up a fetal position on either the couch or the floor, and was extremely uncommunicative. Somewhere within this time, Brian hatched the idea to contact Bruce. Next thing I knew, Bruce arrived at the studio, and began producing the album. Now, the tracks I heard awhile back that survived those sessions don't measure up at all to my memory, but the fact that Eddie also wrote about that time means I must have been right! It occurs to me now that what remains is probably what was done after they continued working down there, and that's why those sessions were scrubbed. It was the basic tracks that Brian laid down that were phenomenal...

Subject:           Ed Carter on the Miami "Light" Sessions....
Name:         Craig Slowinski
Date Posted:         Dec 19, 05 - 9:44 PM
Email:         fuzztone8@aol.com
Message:         From an interview with Alice, printed in the BBFUN Newsletter, Volume III, Number 4, November 1978 (the interview was conducted on Nov. 7, about two months after the Labor Day weekend sessions in Miami):

Speaking about Brian's recent studio work:

E: "In earlier days he didn't enjoy it as much as lately. I've seen him when he wasn't enjoying staying in the studio too long, but at least that was an improvement over the past. When I saw him at Criteria Studio in Miami he was working a 12-hour day and he was outlasting me, that's for sure."

A: "Just like in the old days."

E: "Yeah. We did some great stuff and came up with some funny, you know, like Ray Bradbury, the way he writes prose and stories; some of the stuff that Brian came up with, I hope they use it on the album. There's one that sounds like a carousel. He has great ideas and unique ideas about everybody playing an octave above and playing another track, and tuning it slightly differently so it has a real childlike quality to it."

A: "It sounds like back in the old days."

E: "Yeah, it sounds very much to me like 'Pet Sounds', the stuff. I hope they use that. They have so many influences now guiding them and they're all good. It seems that way so far. I think this oughta be a really top-notch album. Sure hope so."

Subject:           Re: Ed Carter on the Miami "Light" Sessions....
Name:         Ed Roach
Date Posted:         Dec 20, 05 - 12:36 AM
Email:         roachclips@musician.org
Website         http://www.roach-clips.com
Message:         Wow, far out! See, see what I mean, how he mentions the carousel and all? That's what I was talking about when I mentioned the calliope, and altering the tape speeds had to do with playing an octave above, too. But what I heard just awhile back doesn't show that any of this stuff survived... what a shame.

Subject:           Re: Re: Re: Ed Carter on the Miami "Light" Sessions....
Name:         Craig Slowinski
Date Posted:         Dec 20, 05 - 6:57 AM
Email:         fuzztone8@aol.com
Message:         Mike Love has been quoted recently as saying they have another "archival release" ready to go, but I haven't heard the proposed contents.

I remember back in '92-'93 when I was helping Domenic Priore compile a list of suggested outtakes to include on the "Good Vibrations" box set...Brian's Miami "Ray Bradbury"/"carousel" music was something I had hoped would be discovered in the vaults. Whether it did or not, I honestly can't say. Maybe Mark Linett or Alan Boyd could tell us if it's ever materialized?

So Ed, I take it the stuff you've heard recently is "Calendar Girl" and "California Feelin'"? I agree that it's pleasant, but hardly mind-blowing. And it sure don't sound like Ray Bradbury prose or a ride on a carousel!

Another interesting note...when the Boys (minus Dennis, who was on the "outs" at the time) played a show at the Philadelphia Spectrum in April 1980, it was broadcast over FM radio, and a copy I have includes a post-show interview with Brian and Bruce. Even though they were plugging "Keepin' The Summer Alive", for some reason Brian seemed more interested in talking about "L.A. Light". I remember he mentioned recording "Calendar Girl" in Miami...I'll go back to it to see if he says anything else of interest, and let everyone know.

C-Man

Subject:           Brian and Bruce on the Miami "Light" Sessions
Name:         Craig Slowinski
Date Posted:         Dec 20, 05 - 12:24 PM
Email:         fuzztone8@aol.com
Message:         I listened again to the 1980 interview with Brian and Bruce. Brian is talking about how Bruce rejoined the band, and said how they were in Miami when it happened, then went on to rave about the version of "Calendar Girl" they cut there, and how he wanted it on the album but the other guys didn't. He jokingly said something like "It's a touchy subject", then let Bruce talk. They said one thing from those Miami sessions made it to "KTSA", and that was "Santa Ana Winds", although it was drastically reworked. In other interviews, Bruce said they basically kept the chorus vocals and harmonica solo and redid everything else.

Incidentally...I remember reading that for the Miami sessions, the group flew the legendary Chuck Britz down to engineer at Criteria. I'm guessing he worked with Brian in Studio A while Tom Murphy spun the dials for Dennis in Studio B...

C-Man

Subject:           Re: Brian and Bruce on the Miami "Light" Sessions
Name:         Ed Roach
Date Posted:         Dec 20, 05 - 2:18 PM
Email:         roachclips@musician.org
Website         http://www.roach-clips.com
Message:         Not only Chuck, but Steve Desper lived right up the road at the time, and he was there, too! I've got pictures of them both working the board with Brian - in fact, I think one of Chuck was used in Brian's recent tour book in the U.K. (still heven't seen WHAT they used of mine in that!)
And C-man, come on back to the roach-clips board sometime... We've been having some lively discussions over there, too!