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677814 Posts in 27367 Topics by 4046 Members - Latest Member: reecemorgan December 06, 2022, 09:58:01 PM
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51  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: The track sheet with box, CD, LP difference on: November 06, 2011, 05:52:01 AM
Hmmm... Still working for me as of just a minute ago.
52  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: The track sheet with box, CD, LP difference on: November 02, 2011, 08:16:19 AM
Is this what you're looking for?
53  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: The Smile Thread of Honour on: October 27, 2011, 04:54:41 PM
Since, for many of us, the Preiss tape was our first tape of Smile:

Byron Preiss
54  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Carl playing 12-string on God Only Knows on: July 24, 2011, 07:25:37 AM
[Some think that he posts here as Beach Head

Lol! Sorry, definitely not him! Just a long-time fan.
55  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: American Band movie--a question about it on: July 03, 2011, 10:23:22 PM
I can only think of two possible solutions to the dilemma:

(1) Before leaving Columbia, Brian mixed the 8-tracks down to some kind of 4-track submasters, then had Chuck do the final mixes from those at Western. However, I've never heard anybody who's dealt with BB master tapes indicate that such submasters existed.

(2) The accepted story of Chuck Britz doing all the final mixes for Brian during that era is simply wrong. And for at least two of the group's most important albums, Summer Days and Pet Sounds, Brian had some unheralded staff engineer at Columbia doing many of the final mixdowns. Could we really have gotten the facts so wrong all these years?
56  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: American Band movie--a question about it on: July 03, 2011, 10:16:23 PM
So we have a 8-track tape now in Brian's possession from Columbia, with instrumentals and vocals. Even taking into account any bouncing of tracks and sub-mixes and all of it, the question becomes:

Exactly what tapes were Brian and Chuck Britz working with when they mixed Pet Sounds at Western? If, according to Mark, Columbia had the only 8 track in town, how would Brian do as much as a playback at Western if there was no machine there to do it?

This is before Wally Heider had his for-hire 8-track machine being demoed in use at those Sinatra sessions in fall 1966, and as Beach Head suggested in his post, something is missing from this story. How did they play an 8 track reel of tape if they were not mixing at the only studio which had an 8 track machine?

Hey, take the problem back almost an entire year -- to June 1965! The final masters for 9 of the cuts on Summer Days (... And Summer Nights!!) were on 8-track tapes from Columbia! It's always been accepted lore that Brian & Chuck Britz mixed that album at Western. How? There probably wasn't another 8-track machine in all of L.A. at the time!
57  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: American Band movie--a question about it on: July 03, 2011, 10:59:48 AM
Western had an 8-track machine as early as October 1966. Frank Sinatra's "That's Life," an 8-track master, was recorded at Western on Oct. 16. Reportedly, the engineers hated the machine and rarely used it, as it often would break down, produced a lot of heat and imparted a near-unacceptable level of noise to the recordings made with it. Also, it cost the client twice as much for a session.

I've often wondered whether they might have had it on premises as early as April. Where were the Pet Sounds songs recorded on 8-track at Columbia mixed down and by whom? I wouldn't think they'd have been done at Columbia, as reportedly Brian got in trouble for touching the board there and I doubt he'd have trusted the mixdowns to an engineer he hadn't known and worked with for some time. And Columbia being such a strict shop, I don't think he could have brought Chuck over from Western to do the mixdowns. So where were they done and by whom? If at Western, they had to have had an 8-track at that time.
58  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Rob Fabroni?! on: July 02, 2011, 05:42:58 AM
Ummm ... isn't it Fraboni, rather than Fabroni?
59  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: SMiLE Mystery on: April 10, 2011, 12:02:57 PM
Got a response just a little while ago from David Sandler.

In its entirety:

> I don't think I can help you- Sorry.

So that theory goes in the toilet! Next!
60  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: SMiLE Mystery on: April 09, 2011, 11:51:35 PM
Fyi, I just fired off an e-mail (with photo) to David Sandler through the contact address listed at his Glacier Records website ( I'll let you know what I hear.
61  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: SMiLE Mystery on: April 09, 2011, 11:21:21 PM
The way I see it, there are three unique characteristics associated with this photo:

(1) the name "Robert P. Rolle"
(2) the name "Paul Bramsem"
(3) the tape labeled "Beach Boys/Remote/St. Paul," which seems to be a tape of a show that none of us has ever heard or even heard of.

Add to that the fact that there is a person on Facebook named "Paul Bramsem Sr." who is from St. Paul, MN (as reported earlier by Bubba Ho-Tep).

Now add this:

I found a copy online of the Minnesota Daily, the newspaper of The University of Minnesota in Minneapolis (right next to St. Paul), in which "Robert P. Rolle" is referenced as a sophomore at the school. The paper is from April 24, 1957. The article is titled "Students Chosen For SLA Posts." It can be found on page 2 here:

There's no way to know for sure that it's the same Robert P. Rolle, but I think we're seeing way too many connections to the Minneapolis/St. Paul area for it to be pure coincidence. I think the key to this mystery lies in Minneapolis/St. Paul.

From here on, everything I offer is pure conjecture ...

I think we're looking at the tape storage area of a local Beach Boys-connected musician or perhaps a small studio in that area.

As to the first possibility (a BB-connected musician), what immediately comes to mind is that David Sandler is from Minnesota (he currently lives in Edina, a suburb of Minneapolis). He worked with Brian on-and-off from 1971 to 1973, both in L.A. and in Iowa, and certainly would have had access to the group's tapes while working at Brian's home studio. And his connection with Brian would certainly explain the third plaque: "Thanks Also, The Beach Boys! (Especially Brian)"

Could this be a picture of Sandler's tape collection? Were Rolle and Bransem associates of his?

The second possibility is that Rolle and/or Bransem ran a small studio in Minneapolis/St. Paul that The Beach Boys enlisted to help tape a show there or perhaps just handle the sound for a show. If I had to pick from the shows AGD has referenced as being held in St. Paul, I think I'd opt for either the July 22, 1974 or November 3, 1975 concert, given the various tapes pictured.

Now, I have no idea how we get from that situation to Rolle and/or Bransem obtaining copies of various BB master tapes. Admittedly, that doesn't make a lot of sense, but stranger things have happened.

Is there any possibility that Brian was on hand for either of the 1974 and 1975 shows? Is it possible that Rolle and/or Bransem negotiated, as partial payment for their services, an introduction to Brian, and that led to their being allowed to copy some tapes? Yeah, I'm completely shooting in the dark, but the setup we see doesn't lend itself (in my opinion) to being just some fan-based tribute to the band. I think there's a lot more going on here than that.
62  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: SMiLE Mystery on: April 08, 2011, 01:21:45 PM
Brother was functioning, at least for mixdowns, in summer 1973, and Marilyn didn't throw the studio out, rather she refused to let it be reinstalled when it came back from its Dutch vacation.  Grin

But where did all the tapes go when the studio went to Holland? Surely they didn't ship all the tapes over there with the equipment?!! They had to store everything that didn't make the trip somewhere, right?

And I thought the story about the Holland trip was that Moffitt had to pull their studio equipment out of storage to reassemble, test and ship it because it already had been removed from the Bellagio house.

63  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: SMiLE Mystery on: April 08, 2011, 11:58:26 AM
Just a wild thought or two ...

Could this possibly be a Beach Boys-connected vault/storage other than Brother Records? For instance, maybe an individual Beach Boy's tape store? I'm thinking that Mike probably had some stash of tapes at his Santa Barbara studio. And I think it's been established that Al's got some tapes at his Big Sur ranch studio; those had to have been stored somewhere before he built his current studio setup.

And then there's the question of where the tapes were stored in the interim after Marilyn threw the studio out of the Bellagio house (circa So Tough) and before Brother Studios was set up (in 1974, I think). They had to have been stored somewhere, and the picture seems to possibly date from around that time.
64  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Beach Boys Default Album. on: March 06, 2011, 10:53:43 PM
65  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Sunflower outtakes? on: February 18, 2011, 01:20:58 PM
The version we have is the product of a finished track tape, a couple of bv sessions, a scratch lead from Carl and some expert compiling by Mark in 1992 or thereabouts (or so I was given to understand at the time).

I don't think Mark had anything to do with the assembly of "Soulful Old Man Sunshine" for Endless Harmony. Unless I'm badly mistaken, it was Dennis Dragon who spliced and assembled the final tape, under the direction of Rick Henn. I seem to recall an interview with Henn in (I think) ESQ about what was done.
66  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: 12-67 footage never before seen. on: December 21, 2010, 10:48:05 PM
Extra musicians:  Ron Brown and ...?

Joe Sample, of The Crusaders. The only time he ever played with the Boys.

Cool, been trying to figure out for awhile when Joe played with'd you find out?

I was in touch with an assistant of his a few years back. The subject of Joe and the Boys came up, and he asked Sample about it. The UNICEF concert was a one-gig deal, apparently something that came up rather suddenly, and they needed a keyboard player (I'm guessing that Daryl Dragon might not have been available for some reason?). Sample flew over to Paris with them, did the show, flew back and that was it!
67  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: 12-67 footage never before seen. on: December 21, 2010, 07:04:36 AM
Extra musicians:  Ron Brown and ...?

Joe Sample, of The Crusaders. The only time he ever played with the Boys.
68  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Jack Rieley's comments & Surf's Up on: December 15, 2010, 08:31:59 AM
Subject: Re: BW music
From: Daniel Lindeberg
Date: Thursday, October 24, 1996 9:33 PM

> Lastly, re: GV: there is a version floating around that has been
> tabbed as 'the record Brian almost released." Dick Clark played it
> once, and I heard it once on a satellite oldies station, believe it
> or not. It's similar, but different. It has the electric bass in
> the middle, and (I think) the "om de om oh dee oh" middle bridge.
> Where can this cut be found?

It's on just about all of the SMiLE boots plus, the SS/WH 2fer and
the GV box. BTW, how would you describe the difference in ability to
(with the lyrics, since that for some strange reason is what you
don't like about H&V) communicate with record buying teenagers
between Strawberry Fields Forever (classic?) and Heroes And Villains
(trash?) ?



Subject: RE: BW music
From: Jack Rieley
Date: Oct 24 1996 - 8:10pm


Don't cast aspersions on the lyrical assessment. Remember the key
difference: the Beatles were a unified group with coordinated career
direction telling one clear story, while the Beach Boys were wracked
by disunity, lack of support for the musical heart, and a total
absence of career direction. Since perception was, as it remains, 90%
of reality, it made Strawberry Fields (and other tracks) a much
easier sell than was Heroes.

- Jack


Subject: Why won't Jack Reiley address these questions?
From: Zev Bacon
Date: Friday, October 25, 1996 12:16 AM


Reading your posts has been most informative and simply a pleasure.
It's really cool that you take the time to answer the many questions
about your involvement with the Beach Boys. It's interesting to hear
the many tales of the ups and down of the Beach Boys during the early
1970's from someone who was actually present during that time. I,
like many others who have read your posts, have been intrigued by
your subtle mentions of the Smile album. On several occasions in the
many posts that you have submitted, you refer to the Smile album and
state how these Smile tapes which have been made available to the
public by many different sources are not completely genuine. I have
got to ask you, since you obviously have had access to the genuine
Smile tapes through your involvement, how much of Smile was actually
finished and in your opinion will we, the public, ever get the chance
to hear more of the greatness which is embodied on them? There are
also a few tracks from the album which clearly lack lead vocal tracks
on them. For example, Child is the Father to the Man, Barnyard, and
Love to Say Da Da, just to mention a few, seem to be missing a lead
vocal track on them. It was consistent throughout this period that
Brian would record guide vocals for the Boys so that they could learn
how to sing the parts as Brian wanted them to be sung. Knowing that
the Boys themselves did not record their vocal parts for a
significant portion of the album, my question is, did Brian record
guide vocals for the Smile tracks, and if he did, did they still
exist at the time you were involved? Did you actually hear them?
Also, which portions of the tapes available to the public through
various bootlegs are not genuine, and which are? Was there ever any
effort to "finish" the tapes in the early 1970's? I understand that
there are many questions in my posting here. I thank you in advance
for taking the time to answer!!!



Subject: RE: Why won't Jack Reiley address these questions?
From: Jack Rieley
Date: Oct 25 1996 - 7:22am


Oh we doooo get rather dramatic around here, don't we?

Your message header "Why won't Jack Reiley address these questions?"
reads like the puss spewn across American television airwaves by
Geraldo Rivera and Rush Limbaugh. Obnoxious in its implication, your
tone really turns me off, dewd.

It would take me several days of recollection and another few days of
research to answer yours and other questions fairly, even if my
responses were to be very very bief.

I haven't found such time yet.

- Jack


Subject: The grave digger
From: Jack Rieley
To: 'Beach Boys list' (
Date: Oct 26 1996 - 7:48pm

With Brian, Dennis and Carl Wilson cheering me on, I had just gone
into hock for much too much in order to acquire a classic 1954
Bentley R type, previously owned by the British charges d'affaires in
L.A. The wooden picnic tables, the foot pedal which greased the car
and its solid ride thrilled me, even if the right-hand drive was
difficult to cope with.

Brian came out to my place in Topanga Canyon and insisted upon acting
as my driver for an afternoon. He even brought and wore a chauffeur's
cap. We visited all the spots -- a Piggly Wiggly, some smorgasbord
place in the Valley, the dry cleaner and a wine shop where I picked
up an expensive Medoc. My driver was in a particularly happy mood --
we spent the day laughing a lot.

Late the following afternoon my phone rang. Marilyn was hysterical.
"Come quick! ... It's awful!! .... Please hurry!" There were no
explanations, not that I sought any: Brian was in big trouble.

The Bentley performed more than adequately, getting me from Topanga
to Bel Air in no-time-flat. When I pressed the button next to the
gates at Bellagio, Marilyn shrieked with worry. "At last! Please,
drive thru! Hurry!" The gates swung open, I drove the final bit and
rushed into an open front door.

Mar was in the kitchen, looking through the big window that
overlooked their enormous Belair pool and garden. Her tears would not
stop flowing. "He's there," she managed, pointing to a spot far back
in the yard.

I looked, could not believe what I saw, then thought carefully how to
deal with the situation as I walked slowly out to the spot where
Brian Wilson stood. He was gripping a big shovel and he was
concentrating mightily on digging a hole. It was more than 6 feet
long, a couple of feet wide and it was getting deep. Was Brian aware
that I had walked out to him and was indeed but a few feet away? I
believe he was but shall never know for certain. In any event, he
continued digging away.

Shuffling methods of dealing with the crisis in my mind, I said
nothing for a long moment, and he did not acknowlege my presence.

Finally I mustered a cheery "Hi Brian! How ya doin?"

He turned to me, smiled fleetingly as one does upon seeing a friend,
then -- with a good deal of drama -- he threw that shovel to the
ground. "I'm pissed off!" he declared. Silence. And then: "I've been
diggin this grave for hours, tryin to get it just right. But you know
what? Fuckin Mar refuses to cover me up with dirt when I get in!" His
tone was angry.

I stared at him, began to open my mouth, but words did not come to

Our eyes now met, my dumb stare meeting his frustrated, angry glare.

After a few seconds Brian Wilson suddenly broke into peals of loud
guffawing laughter. He continued to laugh, eventually I joined in
with him. The joke was over. The prank was complete. The comedian's
bit had reached its punch line.

He came up to me, still reeling with his own loud laughter, put a
hand on my shoulder, and we walked back toward the house. Soon
Marilyn, who had apparently watched it all through her kitchen
window, came outside and joined us, she now laughing too with that
fog-horn laugh of hers that I loved to imitate.

We never spoke of the incident again. Never. Today, nearly 25 years
later, I still haven't got a clue whether Brian Wilson was on this
side or that side of the line on the afternoon he dug his own grave.

- Jack


Subject: Question for Jack Rieley
From: Steve M.
Date: Wednesday, October 30, 1996 12:13 PM

Hello Jack,
I have really loved your posts to this list. The list was really
drying up. Talk had gotten so bad that people were discussing who
smoked a cigarette on an album cover. I have been a long long time
fan. From the begining..a true old fart you might say. My favorite
time to be a beach boy/brian wilson fan was the time of '69-'74.
Right in the middle of your tenure with the group. I really liked
"Sunflower" when it came out. But I was blown away by "Surf's Up". To
me the group owes its exsistence to that Lp and the turnaround it
created in the public's mind. The Rollong Stone 2 issue/cover story,
the "Surf's Up" lp review, the Sept C. Hall shows in Ny, and the live
shows. God I loved the shows back then. What entertainment! I want to
thank you for all of that. And thanks again for your posts. It brings
back a lot of great memories.

My question is this..... what was Brian like during the recording of
"Spring". Did he really produce or was his name just listed to try to
help "sell" the lp. What was the recording of the Lp like? Under what
environment was it recorded? By the way.... I like your vocal tag on
"Down Home" (down home is just a memory.. Smiley ).
Thank you. People owe you a lot of thanks for your work and caring
about the Beach Boys and their music. More than most will ever know.
Steve Mayo


Subject: RE: Question for Jack Rieley
From: Jack Rieley
Date: Oct 30 1996 - 1:54pm


I used to have a wonderful dog whose name was Bingo The Magic Dog,
and he was well know for being loving, friendly, fun-filled and
capable of speaking/howling the word "hello." Incredible but really
true. Bingo was almost always in a great mood, unless I left him at
home alone, when he would show his distaste for my neglect by finding
and chewing on recording tapes. Good friends loved Bingo as I did.
Brian Wilson, Dennis Wilson and Carl Wilson adored him, as did Audree
and Mar and Annie and others. The dog seemed to be happy, but a
couple of times -- when I drove out to the country with Bingo to give
him a real run -- I wondered about his self-esteem. He'd run free and
run some more and keep on running until he found some cow dung.
Inevitably he began rolling in it. Ecchhh.

Somehow that's the metaphor which always comes to mind when I think
of Brian's involvement with Spring.

Brian was definitely rolling in the Spring project, but he seemed not
to care much about it. They got the "B" and "C" songs, he dutifully
did his shtick and on rare occasion we actually had fun with it. Like
on Down Home.

Brian's relation to Diane, who he seemed seldom to notice for months
at a time, warmed during Spring. And when Murry died, by the way. But
he never exuded pride at all about the project. Never in my presence.

Sorry about all the still unanswered posts. I am really busy 16 hours
per day these days. Will try to real some and answer them soon.

- Jack


Subject: ugh
From: Jack Rieley
To: 'Beach Boys list' (
Date: Nov 2 1996 - 1:50pm

Carl & The Passions -- So Tough

They were getting recognition once again, this time for the superb
music of Brian Wilson, Carl Wilson and Dennis Wilson. Surfs Up was
receiving great notices and the group was playing exciting,
impressive two-hour concerts instead of forty-five minute
string-o-hits shows. A pair of bright entrepreneurs booked Carnegie
Hall for the grand return to New York and the event was a triumph.
Rolling Stone and Melody Maker, the western world's musical
tastemakers-extraordinaire, declared them valid, vital and highly
worthy. College students, who had disdained them only a year earlier,
now flocked to see and hear and scream and cheer them. The Beach Boys
were back.

We had to prepare a new album for Warner Bros., which by then was
very supportive of the immense progress made.

I disliked going to their office on Ivar Street in Hollywood,
preferring to work from my little rustic house in Topanga Canyon.
Creativity was better in Topanga, but my absence from the office
provided both space and opportunity for the losers to plot.

As I moved to shift the power balance from Love, Jardine and Johnston
to Brian Wilson, Dennis Wilson and Carl Wilson, sparks flew. The
non-Wilsons first aligned themselves with Nick Grillo and his trusted
assistant Steve Love, both of whom did little to mask their contempt
for me and the path I had chosen to rekindle the group.

Within a few months, private detectives were hired to follow my car,
check up on my friends and dig into my private life. That really got
to me. I felt violated. The fun of contributing to their career was
disappearing fast. The joy of music was being eclipsed by stench from
the swine.

You Need A Mess Of Help To Stand Alone was the first basic track I
recall being recorded for the album. Brian was really into composing
and recording the song, which he did with Carl's funky voice in mind.
I titled it and took quite a while to write the lyric. It's one of
the lyrics for the Beach Boys that still makes me feel real good to
think about.

About that time Brian began talking in detail about a massage parlour
in West Hollywood and one of the girls who worked there. At first he
spoke only of going there for massages. Some days later he began
going on and on about the masseuse who he said was turning him on. He
was hot for Marcella. One day I arrived at Bellagio to find him
showing off a dildo. He needed the dildo, he said, to impress
Marcella. His dick was too small, he protested, so he needed the
dildo to show off. It was not the first nor the last time that Brian
devoted hours to discussing his sexual insecurities. The fact that he
had given birth to two girls was, he said, proof that Murry was
right: Brian wasn't a real man. Murry fathered three boys, Carl had
one and another was on the way, Dennis had fathered boys. But he,
Brian, could only father girls. The conversations went on for hours
at a time. Then there came the day I was in his living room with
Carnie and Wendy when Brian strode in, a huge dildo protruding from
beneath his jeans. I was repulsed as Brian caused Carnie to come over
to him while he talked about the dildo. When I chided Brian, he
reacted by telling his daughters, "Carnie, Wendy... I'm not your
father." Soon I evacuated the kids to the garden.

The only thing I could think of to quell Brian's fixation was to
channel it. Thus it was I who suggested Marcella as the title for a
tune Brian had been working on. With my promise to write the Marcella
lyric, he jumped into the project with immense enthusiasm. Brian,
Carl, Desper and I worked hard on that record. Dennis helped too. The
zither was a cool idea but it was mixed poorly. My lyric was minor...
efficient at best.

On the night we finished the mix, Love came by to give it a listen.
He stood in the corner of the control booth behind the mixing counsel
as the tape rolled. Rather than really listening to the music we had
created, Love began rehearsing his stage moves. He acted out "One arm
over my shoulder" by placing his right arm over his left shoulder.
"Sandals dance at my feet" had him pointing the index fingers of both
hands to downward. "Eyes that'll knock you right over" found him
sailing his hands from the side of his head on a downlward arc. And
on "Ooh Marcella so sweet" he cradled his crossed arms and rocked
them a bit. I nearly got ill.

More as soon as I have a chance.


Subject: fresh....
From: Jack Rieley
To: 'Beach Boys list' (
Date: Nov 3 1996 - 8:20pm

Just heard Pet Sounds for the first time in soooo much time and it
still sounds so fuckin great and exciting. Pure joy.

- Jack


Subject: Smile
From: Jack Rieley
To: 'Beach Boys list' (
Date: Nov 11 1996 - 8:15am

Damn, my heart was fluttering when we set-up the multitrack at Carl's
place to listen to the Smile tapes. I had read every word that had
been published about Smile before starting to work with the Beach
Boys. Unlike some, I was and remain a real fan of Smiley Smile. But
my whole being was going bananas to hear the real thing.

I listened to all of the tapes at least 100 times... some of them
much, much more.

There are frequent moments, phrases, sections and entire passages
that excite me more than any released record or CD I have heard.
Instrumentation that soars, harmonic structure that tingles the skin,
melodic moods that are profound.

For example, Heroes and Villains is absolute genius, even though it
is fragmented. The Fire tapes are terrifying, even though parts are
missing. Cabin Essence is hypnotic, spectacularly so, even though it
is unfinished. Wonderful reached only demo stage on Smile.

As most everyone knows, the album was not completed. Using today's
recording techniques, the raw master tapes could be manipulated and
blended by wannabe producers and well meaning fans and
hucksters/exploiters, much as photos of total strangers can be
transformed into apparently seamless family portraits. But there is
no album.

If it is ever to be completed, then it must be finished by Brian

Wilson and probably supported-assisted-compiled by Carl Wilson.
Umberto Eco wrote about an abomination called the Palace of Living
Arts in Los Angeles. It features three dimensional, wax, life-size,
full-color reproductions of Leonardo's Mona Lisa, El Greco's Cardinal
de Guevara and other great works of art. Those who visit are
encouraged to have faith in fakes.

Smile, the album, does not exist. It is a collection of unfinished
works, not just a few of which are masterpieces, a couple others
mastersnippets, still more just incompleted bits and pieces. Those
who would enhance, blend or hawk Smile as a nearly completed album
are mere vendors of fakes.

- Jack
69  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Jack Rieley's comments & Surf's Up on: December 15, 2010, 08:31:03 AM
Subject: Re: SURF:S UP
Date: Thursday, October 17, 1996 7:07 AM

On Thu, 17 Oct 1996, David Prokopy wrote:

> a children's song, Huh?
> their song is love, and the children Huh?

I believe it's a children's song, have you listened as they played?
their song is love, and the children know the way.


Subject: RE: SURF:S UP
From: Jack Rieley
Date: Oct 17 1996 - 12:19pm


- jack


Subject: Re: SURF:S UP
From: dave prokopy
Date: Thursday, October 17, 1996 12:22 PM

> I believe it's
> a children's song, have you listened as they played?
> their song is love, and the children know the way.

that basically what i thought, too, but i've heard different
interpretations. at any rate, then my NEXT question is, who wrote
this? are these parks' words from 1966, or someone else's words from
1971? certainly, neither of the two vocal performances of the song
that still exist from 1966 (i.e., the two solo performances brian did
for CBS) contain this couplet, but possibly just because brian was
too busy singing the "ahhhh" part at the end.


Subject: RE: SURF:S UP
From: Jack Rieley
Date: Oct 17 1996 - 12:22pm

The couplet was written during the recording of the moving
backgrounds for the Surfs Up album.

- Jack


Subject: RE: SURF:S UP
From: dave prokopy
Sent: Thursday, October 17, 1996 1:39 PM

> The couplet was written during the recording of the moving
> backgrounds for the Surfs Up album.

by whom? you? brian? carl? al? van dyke?

(sorry to pester you about this - as many people on this list know,
i'm a HUGE Smile fanatic, so these little tidbits are indespensible
to me!)


Subject: RE: SURF:S UP
From: Jack Rieley
Date: Oct 17 1996 - 1:47pm


There's no writer's credit officially given, so I am somewhat
reticent about this question. How about this.... it was not Brian,
Carl, Jardine, Love, Johnston, Van Dyke Parks, Dennis or Steve

Perhaps you will excuse this admittedly chicken-sh*t way around your
question. The couplet's authorship should of course have been
credited. It was not.

- Jack


Subject: To Jack Rieley -- Another Quick Question
Date: Thursday, October 17, 1996 5:30 PM

Hi Jack,

In case you haven't figured it out yet, I wanted to warn you that
there are lots of people, like myself, on this list who are just
absolute freaks where "SMiLE" is concerned. (I was even driven to
write a 19 page double-spaced paper about it that was subsequently
printed in the Beach Boys Australia fan magazine, after picking up
the first few CD bootlegs in the early '90's.)

So just to continue on the thread that's been going on, here's
another quick question: The bootleg, 1966, version of "Child Is
Father Of The Man" is a different melody from that now attached to
the "Surf's Up" ending. Now you just sorted stated that you wrote the
couplets about the "Children's song . . ." My question is whose idea
was it to sing the "Child Is Father Of The Man" line itself at that
spot, and when was this decided -- 1966 or in the 70's when "Surf's
Up" was being put back together?

Dan Lega


Subject: RE: To Jack Rieley -- Another Quick Question
From: Jack Rieley
Date: Oct 17 1996 - 6:44pm

The decision was made by Brian. He stated clearly that it was his
intent all along for Child to be the tag for Surfs Up.

- Jack


Subject: manager

From: Jack Rieley
To: 'Beach Boys list' (pet
Date: Oct 17 1996 - 8:09pm


You wrote:

> For this reader, this was Jack's most revealing post to date. It
> speaks volumes... about the thankless work of managers and the
> short memory spans of many, many artists. This is absolutely
> amazing. Page

Several persons on this list refer to me as having been the "manager"
of the Beach Boys. It is a title that I consistently refused, both
within the group and without. When forced by circumstance to take a
title back then, I elected "career direction."

- Jack


Subject: Brian's withdrawal
From: Steven Dunn
Date: Friday, October 18, 1996 6:27 AM

First of all, Jack you are a star for being active in this group.
Your insight is compelling and your comments are so well expressed
from someone who clearly REALLY appreciates the music. I now look
forward to reading your emails with unheralded enthusiasm. Add my
name to the many, who are keen to hear more on Smile.

Now excuse me questioning your comments but in an earlier mail you

> In short, Brian Wilson lived in terror of public failure. A lot has
> been made of his drug use/abuse, which may indeed have had searing
> effects upon him. But it was the public failure of Heroes to wow
> Capitol and thus wow the world that caused him to withdraw.

I had always thought that it was the failure to complete Smile that
caused his withdrawal. H&V wasn't released until mid 67 after Smile
was ditched (and after his withdrawal had started?), and then it
reached top 5 in the UK and top 10(?) in the US, which wasn't a total
failure. Can you please elaborate/put me right ?

While on the subject, I've found the final sequence on the bikes in
Hawaii (from American Band) where Brian looks back the camera so very
poignant. I can almost hear him saying 'I'm so very sad and tired and
I've had enough.'



Subject: Brian's withdrawal
From: Jack Rieley
Date: Oct 18 1996 - 4:27am


Until joining them I also thought Brian Wilson had gone recluse
because he hadn't completed Smile. That was, after all, the line
which the press had taken. It turned out that Derek Taylor, one time
mastermind of press for the Beatles, invented that version in an
attempt to create a Beach Boys mythos.

Reality would have been a more compelling tale.

Brian blirted it out one evening at Bellagio, and later spoke about
it several times in agonizing detail. He had expected that Heroes
would be greeted by Capitol as the work which put the Beach Boys on a
creative par with the Beatles. All the adoration and promotional
backup Capitol was giving the Beatles would also flow to his music
because of Heroes, he thought. And the public? It would greet Heroes
with the same level of overwhelming enthusiasm that the Beatles got
with record after record. As it was, Capitol execs were divided about
Heroes. Some loved it but others castigated the track, longing
instead for still more surfing/cars songs. The public bought the
record in respectable but surely not wowy zowy numbers. For Brian,
this was the ultimate failure. His surfing/car songs were the ones
they loved the most. His musical growth, unlike that of Messrs.
Lennon and McCartney, did not translate into commercial ascendancy or
public glory.

- Jack


Subject: Re: pet-sounds-digest V1 #472
From: Noble Surfer
Date: Saturday, October 19, 1996 5:53 PM


this is something that has ALWAYS pissed me off about the Beach Boys.
It;s almost as if Karma predetermined that The Beatles would be
expected to change and grow while the Beach Boys were expected to
remain in striped shirts, woodies and Pendletones for the rest of
their lives. Maybe you could answer why the public and trhe record
biz weasels had such a short sighted view of Brian and his music. It
saddens me greatly that SGT PEPPER abd the WHITE ALBUM (not meant as
a slam at those records because I am also a Beatles fan) are praied
and wprshipped by th general public while PET SOUNDS, SMILE, FRIENDS,
ect languish in obscurity at the same time that the Beach Boys score
a fluke hit with a stupid Carribean novelty song. Maybe Brian really
wasn't made for these times? Maybe Mike Love really was right? Maybe
SMILE really would have changed their fate? I don't know. So many
questions. I just wish that the public's last image of the BB isn't
one of overweight grandfathers in Hawaiian shirts and bermuda shorts
and dumb oldie medleys just like I wish the lingering public image of
Elvis isn't one of a fat, drug addict in a white jumpsuit singing
"Make The World Go Away" or other Las Vegas "standards."

Rob "Noble Surfer" McCabe


Subject: RE: pet-sounds-digest V1 #472
From: Jack Rieley
Date: Oct 19 1996 - 7:24pm


I will be blunt.

The Beatles were focused, strategic, professional and well led during
the years of their mounting ascendancy in critical and commercial
acclaim. John Lennon and Paul McCartney, the creators, spoke the same
"line" as did George Harrison and Ringo Starr. There was true career
direction, which the group followed carefully.

During that same period The Beach Boys were divided, unprofessional
and horrendously led. Brian Wilson, the creator, had the respect of
his brothers but not of the others in his band nor of their manager.
The brothers spoke one "line" while Love, Jardine, an emerging
Johnston and Murry Wilson spouted another. There was no career
direction to speak of and chaos reigned.

Tragically, the same parameters held true during most but not all of
the group's career. An exception, I contend, was during the period in
which I guided their career direction.

To sum it up, they blew it, they blew it consistently, they continue
to blow it, it is tragic and this pathological problem caused The
Beach Boys' greatest music to be so underrated by the general public.

- Jack


Subject: BW music
From: Leonard Hyde
Date: Thursday, October 24, 1996 6:38 PM

Re: Brian's music during the Pet Sounds/Smile era: on Pet Sounds, he
was still writing whole songs. Beginning with Good Vibrations,
something seemed to change. Brian became obsessed with 'pocket
symphonies.' Both GV and Heroes feature Brian getting hooked on
little melodic lines, and trying to build huge productions out of
them. In GV, it was the opening bit "dum - de dum dummm de dum dum,"
etc. In Heroes, it was the "Heroes and Villains, come see what you've
done" part. When I listen to the Good Vibrations "birth pangs" (as I
call them,) you can hear the song grow and grow. When Brian came up
with the final product, it was far and away the culmination of the
effort in every manner.

However, listening to early segments of "Heroes," it seemed the more
Brian worked on the record, the more it lost. The "Smile" segments
are fascinating exercises in musical expression, whether Brian ever
intended to use all of them or not. The 'cantina' version was far
better than the version Brian eventualy released. Hal Blaine said in
David Leaf's book that Heroes was at one time a hell of a song, way
better than GV. Brian just kept tinkering and tinkering and polishing
and polishing until there wasn't much left.

One reason for the record's failure (#13 on Billboard isn't what most
artists would regard as a failure) was it's inaccessibility. What the
hell is it about, anyway? There are visions of the Southwest and old
Mexico, but how much did that mean to teenage record buyers? It meant
nothing at all to me, I can tell you. Conversely, I had no problem
figuring out what GV was about. So, it must be debated if the record
in ANY form would have been the hit Brian expected it to be.

At any rate, Brian sure set himself up for a fall, with all the hype,
planning the release date by astrology, hand delivering the record to
KFWB by limousine at midnight, etc. Jack Rieley has verified that
Heroes' failure was the last straw to Brian at that point. Wasn't
there anyone around him to tell him the record wasn't that good? Or,
was everyone else so caught up in the Brian mystique by then that
they all actually believed it was a great record? Jack, can you shed
any light on this?

Lastly, re: GV: there is a version floating around that has been
tabbed as 'the record Brian almost released." Dick Clark played it
once, and I heard it once on a satellite oldies station, believe it
or not. It's similar, but different. It has the electric bass in the
middle, and (I think) the "om de om oh dee oh" middle bridge. Where
can this cut be found?


Subject: RE: BW music
From: Jack Rieley
Date: Oct 24 1996 - 8:06pm


My sincere compliments on a keen analysis that is right on target.
Without getting too much into detail in this note, I can confirm that
the longer Brian Wilson worked on Smile's tracks, the more they
degenerated. Early versions were brilliant -- brisk, melodic,
innovative and, yes, even funky at times. Songs and fragments alike
were outstanding. But Brian had no collaborators, no peers, no one to
encourage him and point the way. There were the in-group and
in-group-circle and in-house-Capitol detractors and backbiters and
naggers. But no one was there to insert continuity to the fragments
or to declare a track ready when it was ready. In the absence of
approval, Brian labored on long after certain tracks were done,
trying to improve on music that needed no improvement. Indeed, the
process led to an extraordinary degradation.

Reconstructing events was easy because there were all those tapes,
complete with carefully dated boxes, track sheets et all. Brian
Wilson did present the original Heroes to Capitol and the group, but
neither reacted with enthusiasm. Carl and Dennis were alone in wild
praise for the track. So, as you correctly presumed, he labored on to
"improve" it, and lost so much in the process. Of course you are
right as well in observing that the lyrics, as much as we may love
their poetry, also contributed toward making Heroes a hard sell.

Again, congratulations on your very kewl analysis.

- Jack


70  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Jack Rieley's comments & Surf's Up on: December 15, 2010, 08:30:11 AM
Subject: Re: J.R. & "San Miguel"
From: Retro
Date: Wednesday, October 09, 1996 12:35 PM

> I really liked San Miguel but the thing was just a hook, not a
> song, so we had to can it.
> - Jack

San Miguel is one of my favorite BB songs. It just rocks. I don't
know about it being "just a hook." Dennis wrote (and produced) a gem
with that one. It should have been on an album.



Subject: J.R. & "San Miguel"
From: Jack Rieley
Date: Oct 9 1996 - 5:04pm


I still hum it... guess it has always been one of my favorite
hooks... has that same special flair of Dancin In the Streets and
other gems.... perhaps you should know that the decision to can it
was made by Dennis Wilson, with Brian Wilson and Carl Wilson and I
supporting him.

- Jack


From: Jack Rieley
Date: Oct 9 1996 - 5:13pm


It's not always wise to let one's personal feelings toward artists
influence our opinion about their art. Johnston has written songs
which have clearly touched you, and nothing about his actions need
change that. After all, Disney Girls has not been unmasked as a
repackage of Mein Kampf.

Remember, we all have the option of liking the art while concluding
that the artist is a schmuck.

- Jack


Subject: RE: Q for Jack R.
From: Jack Rieley
Date: Oct 9 1996 - 7:10pm

I have never heard a word about Love's earthquake song.
No, Surfs Up was never meant as an eco concept album.

- Jack


Subject: RE: Surf's Up
From: Jack Rieley
Date: Oct 10 1996 - 1:42pm


Absolutely correct, and thanks for jogging my memory. Fourth Of July
was set for the album but then fell victim to glaring envy -- so the
world got Feet instead.

- Jack


Subject: 'Til I Die
From: Jack Rieley
To: Beach Boys list (
Date: Oct 13 1996 - 9:52am


Near the end of recording of the Surfs Up album, in a parking lot off
Sunset Boulevard where Love, Jardine and Johnston requested that I
join them at some awful vegetarian restaurant, following a meal that
they raved about and I detested, after they had complained with
particularly venomous fervor about the brothers Wilson, Love took me
aside, stared furiously at me, curled his lip and snorted nastily,
"Long after you are no longer part of the Beach Boys, I will be
writing songs with Brian, and don't you ever forget that." He stabbed
the air to emphasize "don't", "you", "ever" and "forget." That wasn't
all. I..." he exclaimed, "I AM the Beach Boys!"

Love didn't have much good to say about 'Til I Die, Tree, Long
Promise Road or Feel Flows. They were depressing. They were downers.
They were too ethereal. They were trivial. He accepted the importance
of Surfs Up in a commercial sense, but derided its artistic merit. He
hated Burlesque more than anything, particularly because its lyric is
a about a stripper and even more pointedly because of the last line
of that lyric. Fascinating, I thought, considering the man's own
private life, that he was so adamant about family values on Beach
Boys songs.

Burlesque was Brian at his most passionate, most playful, most
daring, and it would have made a really cool track on the album. But
Love killed it.

Brian Wilson created 'Til I Die. No one else. There is a certain
moment in that song, as it begins to go into the fade chorus, just as
the overlapping voices haunt us, at the split-second the resolve
begins, during which -- when I hear it -- time stops, space
disappears and E doesn't equal mc2 anymore. Genius.

- Jack

He sings, "These things I'll be until I die."


Subject: In Concert
From: Jack Rieley
To: Beach Boys list (
Date: Oct 13 1996 - 9:53am


During the tour that produced In Concert, Carl and I went out to the
mobile truck after the gig to listen to what had gone on tape.
Outside of a few out-of-pitch harmonies and the odd flub, one problem
real got to us.

The two tracks upon which the grand piano was recorded seemed to be
out of synch to the rest of the multi-track. We couldn't figure it
out. The engineers swore there was nothing wrong with the tape
transport. Cables were always a problem, but could they produce a
delay? It was eerie. The next day we listened again and the problem
remained. Spooky. Eventually we got round to listening to the piano
tracks while muting the rest. Nothing seemed really wrong. In fact an
engineer put a stopwatch to the solo piano tracks and it never varied
in beats-per-minute, from beginning of each song to the end. At last
that was our clue. We began muting just the piano and listening to
the rest and, sure enough, the band started at a certain b.p.m. but,
as a song went on, often speeded-up a bit. Enthusiasm, the live-vibe,
whatever you wanna call it, inevitably caused the tempo to increase
as songs went along. But Darryl Dragon, who wore earplugs, stayed
consistently at the original tempo. He was right, the rest of the
band was wrong, but we had to re-record numerous piano parts after
the tour.

Otherwise, In Concert was really a live album. There were studio
overdubs but certainly the album was not "faked." The bit about them
not knowing the words to Don't Worry Baby is utter bullshit, as is
the assertion that Caroline No was only a studio job.

The last time I listened to the album, maybe a year or two ago, it
still sounded fuckin great.

- Jack


Subject: how we met
From: Jack Rieley
To: Beach Boys list (
Date: Oct 13 1996 - 9:58am

I met Carl Wilson, Love, Jardine and Johnston at the Pacifica studio
in Los Angeles in 1970. Brian Wilson and I first met personally when
he asked me to visit him at the Radiant Radish.

During a long broadcast report I did then about the decline and fall
of the Beach Boys, I told them the group was acting as though their
fans were chumps by doing 45-minute string-o-hits sets; that they
looked irrelevant and totally out of touch wearing uniforms on stage;
that the music which had touched peoples' hearts -- Brian's music --
was being neglected.

They asked and were told that I had previously worked as reporter /
news director for a San Juan NBC affiliate.

As to those various bios you refer to, I have never read any of them.
A couple years after leaving the group, friends cautioned me about an
NME article that defamed my character. That one time I read the
article and had legal counsel act. A prominent apology and retraction
of all negative references to me -- they were all provably false --
quickly appeared in the NME.

But I was busy with my own life. I was living in Europe, far from the
zoo which interested me less and less. Your reference makes me think
I didn't miss much -- I don't really get off on taking legal action.

Upon getting to know them, Carl Wilson and I hit it off. Brian Wilson
and I hit it off. Later, when I met Dennis Wilson, we too hit it off.
Their then-business-manager Nick Grillo and Steve Love disliked me
from the start. Love, Jardine and Johnston wanted me on board to
improve their image. However, I believed then, as I do today, that
the projection of their image depended upon the content of their
records and live performances.

- Jack


Subject: Questions for Jack Rieley
Date: Monday, October 14, 1996 6:52 PM

Never mind the bullocks, here are some REAL questions!

1) Regarding "Take A Load Off Your Feet"--there was a bit of
disagreement on what the fade-out vocals were singing. It sounds to
me [although I think I'm dead wrong] like "Be sweet to your feet."
Others say they think it's "Pete's feet are your feet," and God knows
how many other interpretations there have you

2) Another _Surf's Up_ song--"Feel Flows"--has caused some debate. I
think that the song is about transcendental meditation. I think it
was David "Imponderables" Feldman who said it's about sniffing
cocaine. And I've seen MANY people say that it's about...CUNNILINGUS!
What's the straight dope on this song???


Subject: RE: Questions for Jack Rieley
From: Jack Rieley
Date: Oct 14 1996 - 11:04pm


No idea about Feet except the distorted voice sings 'Take care of
your feet.'

As for Feel Flows, the song was composed, written and recorded under
seriously powdered conditions. Carl and I worked on it for days at
Bellagio, often getting trapped in laughing jags that seemed unending
and thus made the sessions more fun / exciting and the music more
daring. The guitar solo is Carl's best in his life. The lyric came to
me in the studio early one summer evening just after the solo was
recorded. Trapped with Carl in another laugh riot, I somehow managed
to overcome the effects and drive over to Carl & Annie's place on
Coldwater to write in peace. Half way and numerous lines through the
lyric Annie and I got still deeper into one of those laugh jags. I
couldn't stop until going out back, stripping off my clothes, jumping
into their pool and swimming for a long while, still strongly under
the influence. When I came out of the water it was to find that Annie
had taken my clothes and hidden them inside the house. Prude me
slightly freaked and pouted until I got them back. By then the idea
for the lyric changed somewhat and all the lines I feel good about
began popping into the song. The middle part, with Carl's
unfuckinbelievable solo followed by the synth and flute, is the sound
of orgasm, plain and simple. My favorite things on the song are
Carl's "ah-yeaahhh-yeah-yeah" rounds during the solo and my "aaaah"
exclamation. It's all about orgasm, dewdz.

- Jack


Subject: RE: Dennis Wilson
From: Jack Rieley
Date: Oct 15 1996 - 1:08pm

Dennis Wilson's music had little influence from Darryl Dragon. Darryl
sometimes enabled Dennis' more over-the-top arrangements, but not the

- Jack


Subject: To Jack Rieley -- A Quick Question
Date: Tuesday, October 15, 1996 3:28 PM

Hey Jack,

Could you please tell me what the lyrics are in "Feel Flows"
that I can't understand -- and which weren't printed in the
lyric sheet? It's the part that's I guess you could call the
chorus -- and which to me sounded like (everyone prepare to

     White glove glistening shadowy flows,
     Black glove ...


     Wipe off glistening ...

Jack, if you can help me out here I'd appreciate it!

Thanks, Dan Lega


Subject: RE: To Jack Rieley -- A Quick Question
From: Jack Rieley
Date: Oct 15 1996 - 3:42pm

white puff glisteny shadowy flow
black puff glisteny shadowy flow....


Subject: Attn: Jack Rieley (Surfs Up)
From: Rick Mannor
Date: Tuesday, October 15, 1996 5:28 PM

Jack Rieley wrote:

> Before agreeing to join them I set a few conditions... No more
> striped shirts or 45-minute-string-o-hits shows, but concerts
> instead.  Brian would agree to finish Surf's Up and to allow its
> release. Carl would be the musical leader of the band, which he was
> anyway but never got the  authority. (snip)
> Brian flaked out too many times to recall. "There is NO WAY for me
> to finish that track," he wailed with mock emotion. I reminded him
> of his promise and he eventually agreed to go into the studio (the
> living room), where he duly went, albeit with lots of push.

With this post you pretty much addressed my question about Brian's
attitude towards the song "Surf's Up" in 1971. However, I'm still
curious as to his initial reaction when you made this a condition for
managing the band. I would also like to know if he actually tried to
redo his vocals and/or suggested the "Child is the Father of the Man"
coda. As I stated in my first post, I feel this is the best song the
Beach Boys have ever released. It sounds like we have you to thank
for it ever seeing the light of day.



Subject: RE: Attn: Jack Rieley (Surfs Up)
From: Jack Rieley
Date: Oct 15 1996 - 8:45pm


Re-read my earlier response and you'll see I was referring to him
complaining, wailing MOCK emotion.

Brian Wilson loved Surfs Up. He knew very well that it may be one of
the most important pieces of music in this century. He was dying for
Surfs Up to be acknowledged for what it is, but terrified that it
would get ignored, discarded, lost, much as Heroes and Villains was
virtually ignored years earlier.

In short, Brian Wilson lived in terror of public failure. A lot has
been made of his drug use/abuse, which may indeed have had searing
effects upon him. But it was the public failure of Heroes to to wow
Capitol and thus wow the world that caused him to withdraw. When the
withdrawal began to attract notice, Brian's keen senses picked up on
the fact. Soon he was feeding off the crumbs of legend available to
"Brian Wilson, eccentric recluse" -- a hideous second-best to the
public acclaim he was denied.

No wonder that he was unsure of my plan to complete Surfs Up and
release the track.

As related earlier, I changed the album title from Landlocked to
Surfs Up. The shift was to principally honor the song's greatness.
But the shift was also evidence to Brian that I was serious about
making his work shine. At the same time, the re-titling served to
prevent Brian from giving in to his terror.

The arrangement that you hear on the album resulted from many talks
with Brian, and a careful examination of the real Smile tapes -- the
originals. Carl and I got Brian's explicit support to remove the
originals from the vault and take them to Carl's place on Coldwater,
where the two of us listened to songs and snippets, full works and
outtakes, night after night after night. Without even an engineer
around, we tried mending and splicing the brittle multitrack
recordings. Sometimes we succeeded. With the Fire tapes, which were
there but damaged (and not by fire), we had to settle for long
passages and short gaps. There's much more to say about Smile, of
course, but this note is about Surfs Up.

The song was in several disjointed, uncompleted sections. Child was
clearly intended to be the climax. After many nights of listening --
at least two with Brian on Coldwater with us -- we set out to
construct and reconstruct. I first flirted with the thought Brian
should sing the lead on the first section, but Brian insisted that
Carl do it, and Carl was clearly thrilled. It was the right thing to
do. The Brian solo section is of course constructed around Brian's
televised appearance for Leonard Bernstein. Carl played the bottom
end synth, I decided to cut all effects from Brian's voice on the
title line. We had lots of musicians in to redo parts of the track
that had been played badly. Recording went on for several weeks, with
Brian very involved but Carl heading the effort. It was going to be a
masterpiece. By the time we got to Child, some of the moving parts
had Brian excited and active. He chose Carl for a couple, took on a
two for himself, assigned two more to me, got Marilyn for still
another. Desper seemed to realize he was recording something
extraordinary: his acid humor was replaced by, ahh, reverence.

Credit for the brilliance of Surfs Up, the recorded song, must be
shared by Brian Wilson, who composed that incredible crown jewel, and
Carl Wilson, who guided and nurtured the amazing recording project,
in addition to singing a truly spectacular lead vocal. My own role
was to fight through Brian's terror with honor, respect and
enthusiastic persistence, so that you all could hear Surfs Up.

- Jack


71  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Jack Rieley's comments & Surf's Up on: December 15, 2010, 08:29:11 AM
Not 100 percent sure this is what was to be found at those links on, but I've had this Q&A from the Pet Sound Mailing List stashed on my hard drive for some years now.

(Posting it in four parts, as it WAY exceeds the maximum allowed length.)


Subject: what's the deal here?
From: Jack Rieley
To: Beach Boys list (
Date: Oct 4 1996 - 3:20pm

Historical society? Trivia collectors? Freaks? Musicologists?

It would be helpful to know, first off, what this list is all about.

- Jack Rieley


Subject: thankz for the explanation
From: Jack Rieley
To: Beach Boys list (
Date: Oct 4 1996 - 7:46pm

Appreciate the intro to your list.


- I got involved with them because I believed then, as I do today,
that Brian Wilson is the greatest composer of this century. At the
same time, having seen their absurd, hideous live show
(string-of-hits, striped shirts, bullshit), I felt it criminal to see
how the group so misrepresented / ignored / negated / yeah, even
violated that unfuckinbelievably gorgeous music. So I was determined
to change things.

- Have never read a Beach Boys book or article since leaving the zoo.
Friends have asked me to, warned me not to, begged me to, etc. Also
have not ever granted interviews to anyone writing those books.

- I listen to today's music 90 percent of the time, which does not
include the Beach Boys. When I have the occasion to hear Brian
Wilson's music of the period from shortly after the beginning through
about '74, I am enchanted.

- Carl Wilson has, for my money, one of the greatest fuckin voices
ever recorded. He is also an incredible songwriter when he is

- Still today I miss Dennis very much. Very very much.

- Jack


Subject: RE: thoughts on what Jack R. said....
From: Jack Rieley
To: Beach Boys list (
Date: Oct 6 1996 - 4:44pm

okay, on to your comments/questions...

you wish someone would do today what i did and change things for
them. kewl. i haven't a clue what they are currently doing on stage.
i dropped the string-o-hits bullshit in favor of a 2-hour concert
that included the then-current songs, stretched-out lesser-known
jewels, etc. in that period i had them save the surfing schtick for
the encores.

You ask...

> I'm curious - I don't know much about your involvement with the
> BB's (except that you were, what, a manager, for them in the early
> 70'?), but I know that some of their most-respected work
> (Sunflower, Surf's Up, Holland) were created while you were
> around.... Have they asked you, ever, to come back...? Why did you
> leave, or were you asked to leave? (Okay, all, now I'm showing my
> ignorance...).

My only involvement with Sunflower was as a consumer. Pleased you
like Surf's Up and Holland. I tried to leave the group when Holland
was finished, because I chose not to return to the U.S. -- wanted
instead to live in The Netherlands. They insisted I should run things
from Amsterdam, a ridiculous pseudo-solution because of the distance
involved and the day-to-day need for up-close interaction with BW, CW
and DW. When Carl ran into domestic tumult and I wasn't around, he
felt let down. I did return on several quick occasions at the request
of Brian, Carl and Dennis. Also came back to help the family upon
Murry's death (wow, that was a weird week). Eventually it became
clear to them that I had lost interest in being zookeeper.

You asked as well why I have gave interviews for the books about the
group. It was partly because of an overdose of confidentiality I felt
toward them for a long, long time. Living in Europe, as I did until 2
years ago, also gave me a healthy dose of disdain for the
breathless-supermarket-style of writing that passes as research and
journalism here. From what I have been told, the true story of Brian,
Carl and Dennis Wilson and those other guys has certainly not been
written yet.

- Jack


Subject: thoughts on what Jack R. said....
From: Jack Rieley
To: Beach Boys list (
Date: Oct 7 1996 - 11:32am

You wrote:

> Okay, now we're getting somewhere. So Jack Rieley, what do you
> think of _Stars & Stripes_?

Have only heard it once. Don't plan to listen again.

> My question: were the Beach Boys surviving doing things that way?
> Did they chuck critical respectability to pay the bills, or just
> to *increase* the profit?

Neither one or the other. The Beach Boys has been a bitter power
struggle since shortly after the beginning. Brian Wilson, Dennis
Wilson and Carl Wilson represented the creative side: the appeal to
musical beauty and romance and funk and get-down and freakz/fanz;
Love, Jardine and Johnston represented unbridled commercialism and
power. Before I got there, Love, Jardine and Johnston had control.
Because Brian or Dennis often didn't bother to show up for meetings,
the vote was general 2-3 against them.

When I arrived and changed the group's direction, it signaled a
change in the power-center as well. With the backing of Brian, Dennis
and Carl, I fired Johnston, who had stymied the group's creative
cohesiveness. At the same time I encouraged the Wilsons to act as a
unit. Votes shifted to 3-2.

Interestingly, Beach Boys record and live revenues soared in that
period, having suffered heavily in the period that ended with the
sales debacles 20/20 and Sunflower.

Upon my departure, the Wilsons went back to disarray. Carl was going
through terrible domestic problems. Dennis was having a divorce.
Brian adjusted poorly to life back in Belair after his highly
creative, physically positive (he rode a bicycle daily and lost
weight) stay in The Netherlands.

Love and Jardine saw the hole in their armour and rammed through to
renewed supremacy. Their musical/ideological vision of the Beach Boys
was totally different from that represented during my period there.
Love's bitter resentment of Brian's musical genius and his newly
re-won power meant it was back to shuck and jive. Within a year the
Beach Boys had returned to the state they were in before I came
along, but with revenues built upon those generated during the Surfs
Up, So Tough, Holland, Live In Concert period.

Could this have been prevented? The Wilsons should have determined my
successor. They did not.

- Jack


Subject: Re: Thanks, Jack!/"Tree" song question
From: Jack Rieley
To: Beach Boys list (
Date: Oct 7 1996 - 6:17pm

You wrote:

> My first question would be: how about telling us what really went
> on with that wonderful "Tree" song! I know some people on the list
> have mentioned they don't like it, but some others, like me have
> said they love the song and couldn't imagine anyone else singing
> it and giving it the same feeling that you did. Any recollections
> other than the "Brian was crying afterward -- and I don't know if
> he really was moved by it or just giving me the business"
> (paraphrased), would really be welcome.

Brian Wilson and I had been talking a lot about the sorry state of
the planet back then. He was filled with questions and we went on for
hours about it. Forests were dying, the air had turned brown, the
earth's future was beginning to appear hazardous to health. When
Brian first played the chords and sang the tentative melody for me,
he asked what the song should be about and I suggested a single tree
as metaphor for the earth; that single tree as metaphor for more than
ecology. I fell in love with the chords at once and loved the
swelling tension of that droned bass line; the song seemed to lend
itself to the lyrical concept. He went nuts for the lyrics when I
showed them to him. Loved 'em, memorized the first verse and was
singing around the house. Carl and I were positive that Brian had to
sing A Day In The Life Of A Tree.

We recorded the instrumental track in a few days. On the day we were
to record the lead vocal, I was with the engineer in the control room
(this was in Belair, at the Bellagio house) and Brian was in the
studio. He did a few warm-up takes and then, dramatically animated as
was in wont, tore the headphones from his ears and exclaimed that he
needed me to help him. I went out into the studio and he pleaded that
he just wasn't getting the feeling that I intended with the lyric.
"Show me what I'm supposed to do," he insisted, handing me the
headphones as he ran to the control booth.

I did about 5 takes of the song, all except for the false-setto bit
near the end. Each time I screwed up one part or another, and after
each take Brian used the talkback to inform me something like, "I see
what you mean. But how about the blah-blah part. Do another take so
I'll know just how to do the song." And dumb me: I did another take.

It was after one of those that Brian burst from the control booth to
the studio, laughing loudly, a proclamatory laugh. He rushed me like
a bear, raised both arms into the air as would a victorious high
school athletics coach and exclaimed that I had just done the final
lead vocal!

I protested. It was turing into another BW cop-out, I suspected. But
by then Carl was there too. He said Brian had told him a couple of
days previous that I had to sing Tree. It had all been cooked in

To my astonishment, the false-setto bit turned out easy. After Van
Dyke's bit, the added voice at the end is Linda Jardine.
Reports of Brian crying, with joy or otherwise, upon hearing my vocal
are bullshit.

You wrote:

> Really enjoy your lyrics, also. Did you write songs before you got
> involved with the Boys, and did you write any songs after?

Not much before. Since then I have.

As to "Smile," I certainly have a something to say about that, but
must save it for another time. Suffice it to say, the "Smile" tapes
as they are reportedly being circulated are not exactly kosher.


- Jack


Subject: FW: Jack Rieley on Dennis Wilson
From: Jack Rieley
To: Beach Boys list (
Date: Oct 8 1996 - 12:09am


No one could have been a better friend than Dennis Wilson.

I met him in New Mexico just weeks after being signed up with the
Beach Boys. He was on location for Two Lane Blacktop, the minor opus
he did together with James Taylor. Dennis scared the sh*t out of me
upon our first meeting, greeting me with a mistrusting stare,
scowling and shouting-spitting the words, "So you're the asshole
who's supposed to save us, heh? Well guess what, ass hole: I'm
quitting the Beach Boys." Speechless, I wanted to crawl back to the
rental car and drive off. After staring me down for another long
moment Dennis' face changed abruptly to a caring, bashful smile. He
put his arms around me. "Carl says you're the best thing that has
happened to him!" I was confused, maybe even trembling slightly.

It was the odd beginning of a deep friendship.

Collaborating with Dennis meant brooding with him, being harsh with
his self-indulgence, providing encouragement to his brilliance. When
he sat down and played the piano and sang, I could not help but feel

He loved his brothers very deeply. He was in awe of Brian; always
concerned about Carl. "Gotta watch out for the quiet one," he warned
frequently with a wink.

I firmly believe Murry convinced Dennis during early childhood that
he was a dumb f***. And I am certain that Dennis worked most of his
life to live up to his father's definition.

Once, in Milwaukee when he met my father, he embraced him and said he
was "humbled" to "be in your presence."

I must once share with you the bizarre tale of a night in London,
long after I had left the group, when Dennis broke down my hotel door
because he was afraid I was dying. He was trying to save me.
Remind me as well to take time, sometime, to relate the story of
Murry's funeral.

On a visit to L.A., a year or two after the Holland album, I stayed
at Dennis' house in Malibu for a few nights. He was still with
Barbara then. I was to fly to Milwaukee in order to visit my dad
before returning to Europe. About 4 a.m. on the last night of my stay
with them, Dennis came into the guest bedroom and awoke me with a
gentleness that grips me still. He looked grim, sad beyond words.
"Your brother is on the phone," he said softly, caressing me as a
parent caresses a child. My brother had phoned to say our father had

When we played a free gig at the California state prison for women, I
nearly flipped to see how many of the inmates knew Dennis personally.
Of course the Manson girls were there, hooting and cheering every

His solo album may be a bit over the top, but it is filled with so
much intensity, so much raw emotion, so much musical mastery and
beauty that now, just thinking about it, I get goose pimples

- Jack


Subject: FW: thoughts on what Jack R. said....
From: Jack Rieley
To: Beach Boys list (
Date: Oct 8 1996 - 12:12am

You wrote:

> Maybe this is a dumb question, but did this cause any bad feelings
> between Bruce and the three Wilsons? Did Bruce resent the Wilsons?

During my time there, Bruce consistently displayed pure, shameless
disdain for Brian Wilson, Carl Wilson and Dennis Wilson.

> Also, was Bruce's "Disney Girls" put onto Surf's Up (the album)
> before or after he was fired...Huh

Before. Bruce asked me to write lyrics for the song. I declined.

- Jack


From: Jack Rieley
To: Beach Boys list (
Date: Oct 9 1996 - 12:42am

You wrote:

> Was there an album in the can when you entered into the Beach
> Boys? (before "Surf's up - after "Sunflower".. There was a lot of
> tracks in the can as we all know and songs like Lady, Loop-de-loop
> vanished into obscurity. Did you advice them not to release them
> or had they already rejected them? Songs like "Lookin' at
> tomorrow" and "Take a load off your feet" was included on
> LANDLOCKED - a possible followup to SUNFLOWER. Did the album
> LANDLOCKED (or any album) existed when you went into the picture
> or is it just a myth

Sorry, but gotta make this brief just now. What I am setting out is a
broad outline of a very detailed period.

Before agreeing to join them I set a few conditions... No more
striped shirts or 45-minute-string-o-hits shows, but concerts
instead. Brian would agree to finish Surf's Up and to allow its
release. Carl would be the musical leader of the band, which he was
anyway but never got the authority.

Landlocked came to me as an album title because it represented
departure: it was meant as a demarcation line, separating striped
shirted bullshit that had become irrelevant -- an object of public
scorn -- from artistry, new creativity, great new songs. We even had
a cover: stark bright white san-serif letters on a stark black field.

Then I heard the songs, among which were titles like Loop De Loop and
others which were, believe it or not, even more forgettable. I was
perplexed: no strategy was worth anything without the goods, and the
goods were not there. Embarrassed, I met with Mo Ostin at WB, who
listened to the tunes and declared "no way."

Toward the end of that meeting, during which Mo explained that WB had
already dropped a whole lotta cash by signing them (Mo was a true
Brian Wilson fan), I made him a promise: Brian would finish Surfs Up,
we would retitle the album Surfs Up but the cover would be miles away
from the beach. Mo gave me encouragement to lobby hard for the
solution. By then I had seen how Carl had so much incredible composer
potential within him, trying hard to get out, so a new album began
formulating in my head.

The cover was something that caught my eye at an antique shop near
Silver Lake. It was a painting and I bought it. Reminded me a bit of
the old Brother Records logo, but it was different.

Brian flaked out too many times to recall. "There is NO WAY for me to
finish that track," he wailed with mock emotion. I reminded him of
his promise and he eventually agreed to go into the studio (the
living room), where he duly went, albeit with lots of push.

Meanwhile, Carl Wilson and I began to write. Long Promised Road began
to be created. Then came the seed for Feel Flows. Til I Die became a
must. Tree was born. Love, Jardine and Johnston began to get testy
about it all. There was a long meeting during which they tried to
force me to march into Mo's office and sell him on Loop. I refused
and Brian Wilson, Dennis Wilson and Carl Wilson backed me up. Love,
sensing that I might be on to something by rejecting the
string-o-hits crap as out of date, suddenly came up with Student
Demonstration Time, which had Carl and I blushing with embarrassment
and which thoroughly disgusted Dennis. Then Jardine demanded that his
Feet song go on the album. Johnston got Tears. When Carl and I
compiled the album running order, most versions had the Wilson songs
on one side and the jive on the other. It was uncool, so we changed
to the running order you know.

I really liked San Miguel but the thing was just a hook, not a song,
so we had to can it.

- Jack


72  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Cottonfields / Cotton Fields - BW and AJ version on: December 11, 2010, 07:21:14 PM
> one more very evident example for "using" someone else´s song:
> - Lookin´ At Tomorrow (A Welfare Song): The Wanderer (by the Kingston Trio)

Never heard this before, but by jiminy, he's right

The question arises ... why didn't Al credit the writer of the Trio's "The Wanderer"?

From the information provided with the YouTube video of "The Wanderer":

The song is a reworking by Irving Burgie of the American folk tune "900 Miles." Burgie is best known as "The Father of Modern Calypso," having written 34 songs recorded by Harry Belafonte, including eight of the eleven on Belafonte's landmark "Calypso" album of 1956, the first album ever to sell a certified million copies. "Day-O [The Banana Boat Song]" and "Jamaica Farewell" are probably the most enduring of Burgie's songs; he also wrote several other songs for the Kingston Trio besides "The Wanderer."

So, did Al adapt "The Wanderer" or the original folk tune, "900 Miles"?

Here's Bert Jansch doing a traditional folk version of "900 Miles":

And here's the best known version of "900 Miles," as recorded by Billy Merman in 1949:

Of course, if Al adapted "900 Miles" to "Lookin' At Tomorrow," he has as much right to put his name down as the songwriter as Burgie did for "The Wanderer."
73  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: The legendary Labor Day weekend, 1961 on: December 04, 2010, 01:33:16 AM
As Carrie said, I don't recall any primary/contemporary sources referring to it being the Labor Day weekend.

If memory serves me, even the recollection from Murry's friend - while it does confirm a trip to Mexico (as opposed to England) - doesn't specifically place the trip as being on Labor Day weekend.

Unfortunately, as "mythological" as the story has become, it may be impossible now to pin down the precise facts. Several of the original participants (Murry, Carl, Dennis) are gone, and I'm not sure I'd trust what some of the remaining participants (Brian, Mike, Al) might have to say about it. All of them, at one time or another, have told stories of the group's early days that are proveably false. Has anybody ever asked Audree her recollections of the group's start?
74  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: The legendary Labor Day weekend, 1961 on: December 04, 2010, 12:07:49 AM
Isn't there a first person recollection from some British business acquaintance of Murry's about that trip to Mexico? I seem to recall it appeared in somebody's book - not a book on the Beach Boys, but one by somebody who spent a number of years in the music business. Does that ring any bells with anybody? (I've always thought it was concluded some time ago that the story put to rest any questions about the trip. No?)
75  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Cottonfields / Cotton Fields - BW and AJ version on: December 03, 2010, 11:58:51 PM
Later: the Dutch release was August 1969. So... not an influence, then.

Ahh. Thanks for that bit of info.

It's curious, though, that Alan waited ... what? seven months after the release of Brian's version of "Cottonfields" on 20/20 (NINE months after its recording!) before deciding the track needed a remake. What was the immediate impetus? Or is it just that Alan takes forever with anything he tackles (e.g., "Loop De Loop," "Don't Fight The Sea," solo album, etc.)?
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