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650562 Posts in 25996 Topics by 3711 Members - Latest Member: whiskeyhill September 16, 2019, 07:38:40 AM
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1  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Brian Wilson - 2019 Tour Thread on: September 13, 2019, 03:49:42 AM
Looks like Billy Idol was one of the special guests.
2  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Aug. 8th 1980 - \ on: September 12, 2019, 02:19:54 PM
I read on wikipedia that Dennis was an uncredited co-arranger for the strings on "Lady Lynda". First time I ever heard that. Is there any truth to that?

Al mentioned in an interview that Dennis "helped" him "with the track." What exactly that constitutes wasn't made clear. I don't know if it would rise to the level of co-arranger.

From Al's 2000 Goldmine interview:

How did you come up with the idea for the classical-sounding introduction to "Lady Lynda"?

A friend of mine, Ron Altbach, he and I decided to write something together. I was familiar with his love of classical music. I was at the Johann Sebastian Bach festival up here in Carmel which happens every summer up here. I heard that beautiful piece sung at the Mission Cathedral here in Carmel. Gorgeous piece. It's called "Jesu Joy Of Man's Desiring." It was written for the church. When I heard that movement I went, "My God, that's too heavy! Maybe I can start the song with this thing." [laughs] Ron is such a great player that it just worked. We had to hire a classical guy to play an absolutely beautiful harpsichord that was brought in just for the occasion. It was a monster session with a 26-string orchestra, the harpsichord. Harry Betts arranged the strings. I can't remember if Dennis played the drums. Dennis helped me with the track. We played it live at a couple of places before we recorded it. I think he played drums. I did that 12-string guitar. It was a beautiful 12-string guitar that I still have. It would have worked better if it had been on my own album, but it certainly worked. We always seemed to be five people making five different albums on the same album.

I'm curious if C-Man or anybody else can chime in on who played drums on the final released version of the song. It's worth noting that even when Dennis was on tour, Bobby Figueroa usually drummed on the song (and, if I'm recalling correctly, Kowalski on the 1978 Australia dates). 
3  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Brian Wilson - 2019 Tour Thread on: September 12, 2019, 09:55:56 AM
Awesome potential setlist, but I'd throw in Blondie doing "It's About Time" as well.

I would not protest that eventuality in the slightest. They seem to stick to giving Blondie three leads for whatever reason, and he's probably always going to do "Sail on Sailor", so they could indeed mess around with the other two. "Long Promised Road" has sounded quite good. Maybe they could swap "Feel Flows" for "It's About Time" or something along those lines. Or, crazy I know, let Blondie take four leads.

Of course, I have a slew of other songs I'd like to see them do. I still think "Goin' On" would be perfect for the band to do, and *nobody* in any of the touring bands has touched that song live since 1980.
4  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Title edit: Carl Wilson late 70s (formerly Trouble in Paradise) on: September 12, 2019, 06:45:12 AM
I realise that people are often so up in arms about the 70s BBs... I actually enjoy them quite a bit. They were realistic and reflected their true problems like real people, and were also super creative and weirdly prolific in album and tour the whole time. People can often be so prudish about drugs and public problems (like discussed with Carl) that arise when one goes one step over the line and monacles shatter everywhere. Oh well, somebody who was under a ton of pressure made a mistake, it happens and they recover and then probably make more mistakes. I think the 80s BBs were far, far more problematic and totally monsterishly freaky. 70s BBs were just a bunch of 30-somethings that were actually good at what they did but had a bunch of fantastic missteps. (that is a super large exaggeration, and I am going to get burned because of it, but I'm not wrong) Tons of love to Carl and Brian.

I think what you’re talking about is a case of two very different issues: The actual quality of the material they were releasing and performing (as well as their overall public image) on the one hand, versus their fundamental professionalism and interpersonal relationships as displayed in public.

The band undoubtedly released better (and certainly *more* total) material in the 70s than the 80s, and by the mid-late 80s their public image and “coolness” factor weren’t where they had been in, say, 1975.

But to the degree anyone calls attention to something like the 1978 Australia debacle, it’s not a case of judging Carl or anyone else for their flaws and problems. I think Beach Boys fans on the whole, discounting a small cadre of Mike Love-esque super judgmental, non-empathetic folks, almost *have* to be pretty sympathetic to drug and alcohol issues. But, to point out Carl’s downturn in 1977-1978 is simply to point out that, as a *live show*, on a professionalism level, it was at times a total s**t-show. Carl was *really* bad at those ’78 shows. It’s often discussed disproportionately often because of the irony; that Carl in any other time frame was the most professional, consistent person in the band (along with Al) but then also for a short period had arguably the biggest on-stage meltdown/fiasco/trainwreck in the band’s history, which is saying something considering the bad shape Dennis and Brian were in at times, especially in 1981-1983. I think any reasonable, compassionate person would feel awful for Carl and want to see him get better (which he quickly did), while at the same time it’s appropriate to point out that those shows should have been canceled at the point Carl was *severely* slurring his lead vocals to the point that he sounded like a tape deck running out of batteries, and to the point he indeed at one point apparently keeled over on stage. It was bad PR for the band, and unprofessional to make a paying audience sit through “Elmer Fudd on valium” singing “God Only Knows.”

With Dennis and Brian, it’s a more complicated, less clear-cut situation. They had substance problems over a longer period of time, with more ups and downs, with periods of solid on-stage performances and then runs where they weren’t showing up to gigs or were not doing well on stage. Indeed, for all the discussion over the years of Dennis’s problems, he was at other times in better shape on stage than one or both of his brothers. Dennis is surprisingly pretty put-together for the ’78 Austalia gigs. Even in his late era where he had problems, he actually was often pretty solid in drums when he did show up for gigs. Watch the 1981 Queen Mary gig. Brian goes off the rails vocally at one point, most of the band is clearly struggling or, at best, putting in rather rote performances, but Dennis is actually holding the band together pretty well on drums. Even into 1982 Dennis was still often solid.
5  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Brian Wilson - 2019 Tour Thread on: September 11, 2019, 02:33:38 PM
I didn't envision that there was much left to say about Carl and his issues. The topic came up relating to how Brian is dealing with back issues versus how Carl may have long ago. Seems like a normal slight thread deviation to me, nothing more. If anything, Carl's situation back in 1978 details how Brian dealing with his back issues by *not* going off the deep end is, obviously, fortuitous if nothing else.

I'm sure once Brian's dates start back up over the next few days, there will be more discussion of that.

Back on to Brian's tour, I was thinking that, if he were to continue touring next year, these partial Friends/Surf's Up mini-sets indicate a format that he could use on a few other albums. Specifically, and referencing something Al also mentioned in a recent interview, they could perhaps do a hunk of "Sunflower" next year. I've never thought doing the full album was likely; I don't envision anyone in Brian's band singing "Tears in the Morning." But I could picture a set of 6-7 "Sunflower" songs, perhaps:

Add Some Music To Your Day
This Whole World
All I Wanna Do
At My Window
Our Sweet Love
Cool Cool Water

This would also provide a mix of leads from the group, Brian, Al, Darian, and Matt.
6  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Brian Wilson - 2019 Tour Thread on: September 11, 2019, 11:55:33 AM
I remember years and years ago seeing the Australia '78 footage and being of course saddened and surprised at how out of Carl was (and then later to find audio from other gigs on the tour where he sounds MUCH worse than the video). Not too long after that, I also saw the Largo '77 footage, which comes from January 1977, over a year prior to the Australia gigs, and Carl is pretty toasted at that gig as well (not as bad as Australia though). I was surprised that there was a good year to year and a half at least where Carl was having those issues.
7  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Brian Wilson - 2019 Tour Thread on: September 11, 2019, 10:08:45 AM
I'm sure nobody knows for sure, but I'd wager alcohol was *also* flowing freely for those gigs.

I'm not an expert on the different potential reactions to any given drug. Does heroin typically leave you sounding like "Elmer Fudd on valium"? It's very much like the slurring and mush-mouthed ramblings of someone who is drunk and/or on some sort of narcotic I guess.

What made those Carl gigs so particularly problematic was that he was somehow *hugely* compromised, yet was still managing to stay standing (mostly) and (mostly) *remembering* the words to the songs. As if he ingested just enough of whatever substances to be as wasted as possible while staying functional enough to trudge through those gigs.

Of course, in at least one case, he apparently did literally keel over.

What a weird time, and a weird band. To *not* cancel or reschedule those gigs. I know David Frost was pushing them hard to do the gigs and to keep Dennis a part of it, and despite apparently *witnessing* some of those backstage incidents, wanting to keep the tour going. But they just kept doing the gigs, even when *video cameras* rolled on at least one if not several shows. And to a more general point, these guys didn't cancel gigs even when members *did* miss shows. Mike has strep throat or has to do some Beach Band gigs in Japan? Meh, have Al sing the songs. Carl's gone for an operation? Just have other guys sing his stuff and bring in a temp lead guitarist. Al misses some shows? Meh, Matt Jardine can sing his leads.
8  Smiley Smile Stuff / The Beach Boys Media / Re: Santa's Goin' to Kokomo on: September 10, 2019, 12:47:42 PM
It is telling that while Mike did re-use some early-mid 2000s songs for "Unleash the Love" in 2017, he did *not* go back to "Santa's Goin' to Kokomo" when he did his 2018 Christmas set.
9  Smiley Smile Stuff / The Beach Boys Media / Re: The Official BB You Tube Thread on: September 10, 2019, 12:04:36 PM

alternate mix of she believes in love again. i'm looking for the other alternate mixes of the rest of the 85 album, btw

Years ago there was a collection of rough '85 mixes floating around. I believe (ironically, considering they were digitally recorded) they were in some cases from acetates or test pressings or something like that. I recall a version of "California Calling" with alternate lyrics and different lead vocal trade offs. I also recall a slightly alternate mix of "Getcha Back" (the one difference I can remember is an additional synth swell during the drum intro). And also the alternate of "She Believes..."
10  Smiley Smile Stuff / The Beach Boys Media / Re: The Official BB You Tube Thread on: September 10, 2019, 12:00:49 PM
Holy sh!t, this was new to me:

Brian Wilson- Dancing The Night Away/Malibu (Unreleased Demo/Outtake)

Believed to be recorded during the "No Pier Pressure" sessions (2013-2015), and featuring Jeffrey Foskett, Matt Jardine, Joe Thomas, and other band members on backing vocals and instruments.

That version is 100% fake. The same person also has a fake version of "Getcha Back" posted on their channel.

I remember when this fake "Dancing the Night Away" surfaced last year; the best I can say is that, I guess, it gives a slight idea to how a more finished version could have sounded. But this is firmly in the same category as all the fan-made versions of "Now and Then" by the Beatles; it's just a curio that, if done well (and preferably honestly labeled, which the fake BB track isn't), gives a tiny morsel of a road map to how a finished song could sound.
11  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Brian Wilson - 2019 Tour Thread on: September 10, 2019, 11:56:03 AM
I certainly, to my memory, recall more published accounts and fan encounter accounts from the 80s and 90s of Mike or Bruce drinking back stage than Carl (I recall one article or story, perhaps from the Timothy White or Carlin book?, describing Mike back stage at a gig seemingly going out of his way to take his drink and transfer it to an inconspicuous paper or plastic cup). Few stories of Carl may have as much to do with Carl just being more private in general.

I would just have to wonder how acute a drinking problem could be for someone who was touring *a lot* during those nearly 20 years from 1979-1997, often nearly all year every year, and never exhibited any sign of a drinking problem on stage or in interviews during all that time, *after* having  exhibited perhaps (ironically considering he was vying with Dennis and Brian) the most egregious public drunkenness on stage in the history of the group during those early 1978 Australian gigs.

But again, maybe that teaches someone to get *really* good at compartmentalizing and hiding it, I dunno.
12  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: New interview with Al and Brian on: September 10, 2019, 11:45:45 AM
For sure Audree Wilson was interviewed at least occasionally over the years. I don't know how substantive any of those interviews were. But I recall that she of course appears in the "I Just Wasn't Made for These Times" documentary from the mid 90s, and she also popped up for an interview in the 1989 "Endless Summer" TV show.

Both Audree and Virginia Jardine were inteviewed for that show. Here's a clip:

I think some of the parents (Virginia, and possibly/probably Audree at some point) had interviews in ESQ magazine.
13  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Brian Wilson - 2019 Tour Thread on: September 10, 2019, 07:05:15 AM
Trying to parse the deal with Carl and drinking in the 80s and 90s is difficult. I have heard the same vague assertions, and it’s likely there’s some kind of grey area involved. Here’s what we do know: Many if not most “rock stars” who have *serious* drinking or drug problems usually end up displaying that in some form in public. Even those that remain somewhat functional in life and in their profession will inevitably do some interviews or some gigs where it’s clear they’re inebriated. Indeed, both Dennis and Brian had this issue in the 70s and 80s (Dennis more so than Brian on stage), and it’s important to note that Carl also had this issue for a good year or two in the 1977-1978 time frame.

After 1978, I’ve never seen or heard a shred of audio or video from a live gig or interview where Carl seems drunk or high or altered in any way.

To be clear, this doesn’t mean there couldn’t have been a serious issue still behind the scenes. There are certainly people who deal with drug or alcohol issues (or other issues, depression, etc.) who are able to function at “work” and never exhibit any issues until they’re behind the scenes. But, in some cases, folks tend towards one or the other. That is, a person who drinks excessively either is good at hiding it or not. Carl wasn’t in 1977-1978, so I tend to doubt his drinking post-1978 was as excessive, as I don’t think he could have spent the next *TWENTY* years with nary a single gig where he seemed plastered or altered. He may have learned to “hide it” better than he had in 1977/78, but to what degree he could have, I’m not sure.

That being said, I’m in no way in denial; I have the luxury of looking at this all *relatively* dispassionately. I think it’s quite plausible that Carl may have at some point in those final 20 years re-developed an issue with drinking too much, one which may have impacted his health more than his demeanor, and perhaps his non-professional life as well. It’s possible to be a very highly functioning alcoholic. Indeed, that would *have* to the case for Carl, as, again, we have 20 years of gigs and interviews and anecdotes that show Carl to be the seemingly sanest, unaltered personality in the band. Even Mike (even if not due to any chemically altered states) had more odd public moments in those years than Carl did.

Whether Carl’s drinking was severe enough that one could say a full-on intervention was in the offing were it not for his illness, that’s much more difficult to say. Sure, I could envision that it was more dire than we ever knew and those close to him would understandably see *no* reason to delve into that once he was gone.

I should also mention that while nothing of this sort has been mentioned in this thread, I recall a few posts/threads in the past that questioned whether Carl may have been drinking at the very end and whether that would have negatively impacted his treatments, etc. *That* is a much, much more dicey proposition to speculate about, because those with more or less terminal illnesses have a wide variety of personal decisions to make on those types of issues, and in some cases even doctors will advise patients that, sadly, there are certain things (e.g. smoking) that, in *certain* scenarios, would pose so little *additional* problems for a terminally ill person that they should or could just do what they want. Long story short, some folks who don’t have long may choose, with or without discussion with their doctors, to drink or smoke, etc. because all trying to quit will accomplish is make their final days more miserable.

Certainly tough issues to speculate on.

14  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Brian Wilson - 2019 Tour Thread on: September 09, 2019, 08:42:08 AM
How strange to play a tour advertised as highlighting "Friends" and "Surf's up" and then the first songs getting cut from the shows are from these albums.

I was actually surprised there were so many “Friends” and “Surf’s Up” songs on opening night (especially “Friends”), considering the advertising was pretty loose and certainly didn't promise full albums. It makes sense they would drop a couple of those tracks if they needed to drop songs, as the setlist already is quite heavy on deep cuts and is only buttressed with a few “hits” on each end of the setlist.

I don’t know the potential demographic for a 2019 “Zombies” audience, but it sounds like even those fans aren’t necessarily super familiar with stuff like “Passing By” and “Diamond Head.” As much as we want to hear all deep cuts, I predicted a week or more ago that “Passing By” could be one of the first songs to get the axe, whether temporarily or permanently, if the setlist needed to be shortened.

“’Til I Die” is an interesting one. On one hand, he did that song for several years *regularly*; there are ample recordings of it and whatnot. So dropping it isn’t as big of a deal I suppose. However, with Brian still vocally struggling to varying degrees, a song like “’Til I Die” is a good one to implement; it’s mostly a “group vocal”, with Brian adding a few solo lines. So I’d advise keeping the song in, and perhaps adding similar songs (in terms of being group vocals with a few solo interjections) like “The Little Girl I Once Knew”, and maybe even adding something like “Goin’ On.”

15  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Brian Wilson - 2019 Tour Thread on: September 09, 2019, 08:35:36 AM
Regarding Brian’s back surgeries, while I have no info specific to his situation, I can reiterate what Billy said. Back surgeries in Brian’s scenario typically don’t lead to huge tangible *improvements*; there’s rarely a “getting 100% better” situation, especially when it comes to an older person getting surgery after years or decades of issues. I suppose, if you were super young and had some specific immediate injury, there might be a more noticeable relatively “full recovery” in certain circumstances.

But degenerative back issues, and/or injuries followed by long-term problems and then eventual surgery, are indeed as Billy mentioned often about simply keeping from getting worse. A “successful” back surgery often consists of: A) Not dying during surgery or having any complications and B) In the more long term, keeping the back issue from getting worse. And maybe C) A measured drop in severe pain experienced prior to surgery.

I’m not saying there can’t be varying degrees of tangible improvement. Brian may well be in less pain post-surgery than he was at some point prior. But, especially in a near-80-year-old with long-time back problems (and a family history, etc.), “successful surgery” doesn’t typically mean he’s going to bounce back to having the back of an 80-year-old with zero back problems.

Folks of Brian’s age sometimes are told to *forego* what would seemingly be a relatively safe surgery for a younger, and/or healthier person, because with advanced age come a wide variety of additional potential surgery complications. That Brian has done numerous surgeries may mean both that he’s otherwise relatively healthy for his age, but also that his back issues have gotten severe enough that the increased risks are outweighed by the necessity for the surgery.

As someone who has known a number of folks with moderate to severe back issues, I can also attest to the fact that often, if not usually, you don’t see either extreme with back issues. Many, many folks with back injuries are stuck in a weird, difficult limbo (no pun intended). They aren’t 100% immobile or bed-ridden, but they aren’t in such great shape either. They are mobile enough to do things, but while still experiencing severe pain. They may not be injured enough to go out on permanent disability, leading to continuing to work and thus the back never getting a proper chance to heal/recover (this last issue is of course *not* an issue Brian is dealing with; he presumably is financially able to not tour or otherwise work). These back issues often involve a lot of half measures and minor relief at best. A lot of over the counter pain killers (and hopefully not heavier stuff, which of course can open up all sorts of additional problems) that provide moderate to little relief. A lot of icing and heating the back that often does little. Physical therapy can help, but sometimes back injuries are too severe to do much in that area. Staying active (meaning not literally being immobile in bed) is of course always better, and *that* aspect of all of this when it comes *Brian* is probably the best guess at a justification I can think of for him continuing to be out on the road.
16  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Beach Boys 2019 Tour Thread on: September 09, 2019, 08:20:09 AM
Brian Eichenberger, who was briefly in Brian’s band (having replaced someone who was even briefer in the band) and then joined M&B

Yeah, I think he may regret some of his past decisions, but I really don't know what's happening in his career these days.

Ike? Still touring with Mike and Bruce when he isn’t tending to his family.  It should be noted that Ike gave up a full time gig with the Four Freshmen to join Brian at a time when Brian wasn’t doing that much touring.

I don't know any of the machinations behind the scenes of the current Four Freshman touring operation, but Brian's 2014 tour schedule would have been well known to anybody considering joining. 2014 was a very light touring year for Brian (one of many possible reasons I always figured Foskett wasn't too torn up about not being in Brian's band joining Mike's in 2014; there was a lot more steady work at that time with Mike's band).

Other guys in Brian's band moonlight with other side bands and/or have in the past, including "California Surf, Inc." which at various points has has included Probyn and Matt Jardine.

I'm not sure how rigorous the Four Freshman schedule was, but Eichenberger wouldn't have been trading the Four Freshman gig for very many Brian shows. Plus, I don't think Brian has typically kept most of his musicians on retainer, as especially prior to 2015/2016, he wasn't touring all year. Are we sure Eichenberger chose to quit the Four Freshman specifically and solely to be in Brian's band? Or were other factors at play? Was it a case of trying to go a bit more "big time"? Was he more interested in being a rock/pop band than doing Four Freshman style shows?

Brian did 12 gigs in 2014, and not even really 12 full gigs, and Eichenberger didn't even do all of *those* gigs. Brian did that Gibson tradeshow sort of gig in January (in between Foskett and Matt Jardine), then he did two July UK shows with Matt Jardine, did one August show, then one September show with Odhner filling in, and then finished out the year with *seven* scattered shows throughout the rest of the year with Eichenberger (one of which also included Matt Jardine). And only arguably four of five of those seven shows were full-length, regular shows. Two of them were short Bridge School Benefit sets, one was the PBS taping, and one was a benefit gig.

If Eichenberger really left his other gig to do seven shows with Brian Wilson (with no 2015 shows in the offing until June), I'd say he'd have to own that decision. I'm guessing other unknown factors were at play.

Whatever happened, it ended up working out presumably well enough for him, as it it obviously quickly got him noticed enough to be poached from Brian's band for Mike's band. And it seems subsequently that he's been willing to leave the Mike gig as well.
17  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Beach Boys 2019 Tour Thread on: September 06, 2019, 02:43:14 PM
It's interesting that, typically, touring band's like Mike's especially, and to some degree Brian's, typically want to run a streamlined operation and seek out commitments from band members for set periods of time. I would imagine, in the past, generally speaking, if Mike Love approached you to join his band and you told him you'd need a number of breaks during the year to leave the road, he'd typically look elsewhere.

But apparently top-tier falsetto/high voice singer/musicians who can pull of all those Brian Wilson parts are in some kind of short supply, so we're seeing the inordinately large amount of (literal) musical chairs this year with both bands.

It appears maybe Mike's band might be hitting a few tiny bumps in the road as they choose to seek out new temps/fill-ins rather than calling up old associates like Kirsch, Farmer, Baker, Bardowell, etc. There are easily over a dozen players/singers in the BB-offshoot-cover band orb that they could be calling up, especially for temp fill-in gigs. I think Mike's main struggle at the moment is filling the falsetto spot. For a while he had two fully capable guys in Foskett and Eichenberger, and with both gone, and with Bonfiglio appearing to lean more into going back to Brian's band, Mike has few easy choices apparently. He's not calling back Baker or Kirsch (not calling back Kirsch is especially odd considering Kirsch already *has* come back for some gigs since being gone in 2015), and he's not apparently trying to lean on Totten to do more falsetto parts (which would then free him up to a much wider array of auxiliary musicians who could just fill in on rhythm guitar or keyboards, like Billy Hinsche or Chris Farmer or Phil Bardowell or even friggin' Ed Carter or Billy Hinsche). I think something else at play,and I'm just guessing, might be that Mike seems to prefer to add relatively younger players to his band. I have plenty of theories for why that is (for another time), some more obvious than others. But between possibly burned bridges with some ex-band members, and seeking out younger members, that would then limit that pool of players to work from.
18  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Beach Boys 2019 Tour Thread on: September 06, 2019, 02:20:18 PM
I’ve been trying to remember whom he replaced in Brian’s band for s while now. I know whomever it was only did a few shows

I think the sequence of events was as follows:

- Foskett was gone after the late 2013 shows. When precisely he was gone versus when he ended up signing on with Mike's band isn't too clear. What we do know is that a replacement for Foskett wasn't mentioned until well into 2014, possibly after Foskett joined Mike's band.

- Foskett was first replaced by Matt Jardine. Matt did a few gigs with Brian's band (including a few July 2014 UK gigs, where Al also attended instead of doing that infamous Jones Beach gig with Mike's band).

- Matt then was gone. Whether temporary or permanent at that moment in time, I don't know. The first temp fill-in for Matt was Chad Odhner from the Fendertones. As I recall, he only did one or two gigs in 2014, and it was pretty clear he was both a *last minute* fill-in (suggesting Matt had to miss shows on short notice perhaps?) and almost certainly always a temp fill in.

- After a gig or two, Brian Eichenberger came on, filling Odhner/Matt Jardine's spot. He did the rest of the scattered 2014 tour dates that Brian Wilson had scheduled.

- Matt Jardine did *join* Eichenberger for the Las Vegas PBS taping on December 12, 2014.

- Eichenberger continued into 2015 with Brian's band doing at least one or two TV shows to promote NPP.

- Then, seemingly out of the blue, Mike Love announced on Facebook that Randell Kirsch was leaving his band and the replacement was Eichenberger. This certainly made it appear (to me anyway, and many other fans) that Mike actively poached Eichenberger from Brian's band, and sent Kirsch packing as a result.

- Very shortly after that (the same day or within a few days?), Brian Wilson announced that Matt Jardine was rejoining his band.

Since that time, Matt Jardine has been mostly full-time with Brian's band. It's clear from a variety of social media/online postings and whatnot that Matt works hard to balance family time and being out on tour, and so on occasion he does take time off. One such instance was last year's XMas gigs, where Rob Bonfiglio filled in for Matt.

Meanwhile, in Mike's band, Eichenberger replaced Kirsche on bass/vocals in 2015 (after Foskett replaced Christian Love in 2014), but within about two years or so, around early 2017, Eichenberger was back out for the birth of his child, and it seems at that point, or around that point, Mike brought back Christian Love and also then needed a bass player replacement. Randell Kirsch came back and did a few gigs on bass at that point, but the spot was quickly filled full-time by (mostly) non-vocalist bass player Keith Hubacher.

That lineup was intact for about two years, and since around the beginning of 2019, Foskett has been out on leave and his apparent temporary replacement was Brian Eichenberger, this time coming back on guitar instead of bass. It seems Eichenberger has had a similar thing going on as Matt Jardine as far as trying to balance family time and being out on tour, and thus Eichenberger has gone off the road several times, replaced by Rob Bonfiglio and later this Matthew Jordan guy. Eichenberger's absence has been described as "paternity leave", suggesting he will be back.
19  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Beach Boys 2019 Tour Thread on: September 05, 2019, 02:07:16 PM
Brian, Bruce, and Al are all good musicians, and they're all playing during shows. How heavily they're in the "house mix" varies from tour to tour and song to song.

Sometimes they simply stop playing and only sing; those instances are obvious.

At other times, they're kind of there in the background and, as Bruce once said about his keyboard during shows, you only really notice it if it drops out of the mix completely.

In any event, to say Bruce's keyboard hasn't been an integral element to live shows for decades isn't to denigrate his musicianship. It's simply an observation. I think all five of the BBs could have just manned mics and not played at all on C50 if they had wanted. They all also could have played prominently.

The point is that everybody on that tour was nailing it. It wasn't rote like 90s shows. Everybody propped up everybody else where needed. It was amazing, and it will always simultaneously be remembered as a great tour, and also a blight on the band's late era story because some members stupidly threw it away to go back to being a high-end Motown oldies show instead of an arena band.
20  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Beach Boys 2019 Tour Thread on: September 05, 2019, 01:54:10 PM
It's interesting to watch Mike's band balloon in size considering his stated aversion to a larger band during C50. He noted there were too many members on stage competing for parts. This from the guy who now has three keyboardists on stage (and/or three guitarists) in addition to a non-vocalist bassist and a sax player. Plus Stamos when he shows up.

If you look at some of the C50 videos there's about 7 guitarists - way over the top!
Although I think Al's guitar goes into the same fader as Bruce's keyboard - all at zero. Ditto Brian's occasionally-played bass.

Nah, there was nothing over the top about the C50 band. Sure, that contingent isn’t needed to perform “409”, but it is needed to perform later era material. Just like when you have a sax player. They aren’t needed on every song, but they’re there for a reason. If ever there was a tour that shouldn’t cheap out because every person on stage isn’t needed on every single song, it would be that tour.

By my count, there were only six on guitar at max: Al, David, Foskett, Totten, Probyn, and Nicky. That was down to five when Nicky left the tour.

You can’t even really count Al and David towards the “needed musicians” count, as the five principal members were on that tour because they were the five principal members. Foskett was there mostly as Brian’s right hand man, and to do falsetto parts. It was really only three main integral guitarists: Totten, Probyn, and Nicky. And Nicky was gone less than half way into the tour.

I'm not saying the tour would have imploded if one or two members had been dropped; clearly part of the deal was to essentially keep Brian's band around him as a comfort and cushion. But all of the backing musicians from both bands added to that tour. The only musician spots that were *sometimes* not adding much to the show were Brian's piano, Bruce's keyboard, and maybe Al's guitar.

If having the large band is part of the deal to have Brian Wilson on that tour, then you make it happen.

I always contended, as a fan, I wouldn't have had any problem if the guys had actually tried to compromise to make another tour happen and wheel and deal and maybe shave a few members from the tour. But I never once felt there was anything detrimental to the show having that band on stage.
21  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Aug. 8th 1980 - \ on: September 05, 2019, 12:42:39 PM
Yeah, any scenario is weird. A writer with a seemingly decent baseline knowledge of the band messing that detail up that badly is pretty odd.

But yeah, Carl whipping out a 1973 "Holland" rarity, originally sung by Blondie, at one random concert on the 1980 tour at the Mississippi River Festival, seems exponentially less likely. I love the 1980 tour shows more than most, but other than doing "KTSA" material and, I guess, random one-offs like "Merry Minuet", the 1980 tour setlist was not particularly adventurous. Indeed, while the 1980 tour was generally performed solidly, it seemed to contribute to the ennui that Carl felt that led to his temporary departure in 1981.

I'm trying to remember all the mangled song titles and other details I've seen in reviews over the years. Some common cases would be calling it "I Wanna Go Home" instead of "Sloop...", and even just in the last few years Al's performance at a Brian show of "California Saga" was mistaken for "Cool Cool Water."
22  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Aug. 8th 1980 - \ on: September 05, 2019, 12:05:19 PM
Outside of "anything is possible", there's no way they did "Leaving This Town" in 1980.

The review seems to lay out the order of the show. It notes "California Girls" started the show, then notes this "calypso" song, and then notes that "two songs later" they did "School Days."

This lines up with the four-song sequence most 1980 shows had, which was:

California Girls
Sloop John B
School Days

It seems likely the writer for some reason is talking about "Sloop John B." It still doesn't make much sense, as Carl only sings part of the lead, the song isn't a "calypso" song, and there's no precise "leaving this town" lyric.

But the writer describes a "dour" expression on Carl when discussing this song, so I think they may be talking about Brian rather than Carl. And Brian did typically sing the opening of "Sloop John B." at that time. And I guess it has the "around Nassau town" line.

I've read a lot of contemporary reviews of shows, and they often mangled song titles and other details.

My best guess is the writer is mistaking Brian for Carl, hearing "around Nassau town" as "leaving this town", and, I guess, seems to think the arpeggio type guitar riff at the beginning of "Sloop" sounds like calypso? This all sounds far fetched, but frankly less far fetched than Carl singing "Leaving This Town" as a one-off in 1980.

In fact, I think this newspaper date is August 8th, and the show is actually from August 7th, which lines up with this entry at for the Mississippi River Festival:

This setlist shows the standard 1980 setlist. So I think the writer was hearing "Sloop." Weird, though.  
23  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Beach Boys 2019 Tour Thread on: September 05, 2019, 11:52:31 AM

Well, to be fair, Mike's band has only grown from 7 (including 2 principals) to 9. The C50 tour started with 15 guys (down to 14 when Nicky had to drop out), including 5 principals. Plus, I'm sure Mike's backline crew is still smaller than Brian's. And, as stated, Mike's band usually plays with rented gear, so right there you save a ton on transportation costs. All said, I doubt Mike's touring expenses come anywhere near Brian's, even now with the addition of two more band members.

I was looking, in this instance, mainly at band size rather than overhead cost. I'm sure, even with more musicians, Mike's tour has a cheaper overhead than either Brian's tour or C50.

But, in comparing the bands, the way I look at it, on the musician side, C50 was essentially 11 (and then 10) musicians, as David Marks was the only musician contributing substantially to the musical bed at those shows. Bruce is a fine keyboard player, and Al a fine (and underrated) guitarist, and Brian is fully capable of playing great piano as well. But none of them were an integral part of the musical bed.

So Mike used to essentially have *five* backing musicians, while C50 had 9 to 11 (depending on how you count them). Mike has now upped the backing member count to *seven*. That's pretty substantial.

But in a more general sense, both in contemporaneous and later interviews (and his book), as well as speaking to folks who spoke to Mike during the tour, there was a definite sense that Mike felt the C50 band was much larger than needed, and preferred his scaled back operation. In particular, Mike only sporadically ever added a sax/woodwind player to his band post-1998/post-Richie Cannata. I think Joel Peskin was there on occasion, and perhaps someone else. But then all of a sudden, in 2016, he just full-on added Leago as a full-time sax/woodwind player. He then poached Eichenberger from Brian's band despite already having two (and arguably three) guys in his band that could do falsetto/high parts, and then when Eichenberger took off, he only brought back Randell Kirsch for a few fill-in gigs and ultimately ended up replacing Eichenberger with *two* members in Christian Love and Hubacher (Christian Love may have been back before Eichenberger left, I'm not sure).

I think the main point I'm getting at is that, much like the C50 video screen, a larger and more versatile backing band is something Mike seemed to scoff at for C50, but eventually adopted himself to some degree. I think he added Leago in 2016 in part to fill out the sound on the "Pet Sounds" tracks he was doing.
24  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Beach Boys 2019 Tour Thread on: September 05, 2019, 11:40:19 AM
It's interesting to watch Mike's band balloon in size considering his stated aversion to a larger band during C50. He noted there were too many members on stage competing for parts. This from the guy who now has three keyboardists on stage (and/or three guitarists) in addition to a non-vocalist bassist and a sax player. Plus Stamos when he shows up.

Well, to be fair, Mike's band has only grown from 7 (including 2 principals) to 9. The C50 tour started with 15 guys (down to 14 when Nicky had to drop out), including 5 principals. Plus, I'm sure Mike's backline crew is still smaller than Brian's. And, as stated, Mike's band usually plays with rented gear, so right there you save a ton on transportation costs. All said, I doubt Mike's touring expenses come anywhere near Brian's, even now with the addition of two more band members.

In terms of rented gear, does this just mean they rent amps and a drum set for every show? Or do they rent guitars and other instruments too? I'm guessing that must be somewhat of a drag for them as musicians, having to deal with the inconsistencies of gear that may differ from show to show, even as professionals who are used to it.

From what I've heard, they rent most everything *except* the guitars (and presumably some outboard gear guys like Totten might use). And yes, depending on the musician, it would be a drag to not be able to have your own rig (at least your amp) with you.

That being said, Mike has always run a streamlined operation and I have no doubt there is a robust, well-written tour rider that dictates precisely which makes and models of amps and other gear should be included. So it's not like Totten shows up and it's some random amp. I'm sure if he wants a Fender Twin Reverb of a certain wattage or whatever, that is what's in the tour rider.
25  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: New interview with Al and Brian on: September 05, 2019, 06:47:08 AM
I recall some live show recordings from the 80s where they mention on stage that Al lived in Arizona at the time. Not sure how long that was, or why. He obviously never gave up his Big Sur property.

Nice interview overall on this one; a bit more revealing than the usual local show puff piece. I'm glad to see at least some acknowledgment from Al and a bit of discussion, even if not in a lot of detail, of Brian's ongoing struggles.

I'm curious of course what Al is referring to that he can't talk about, but I'm guessing it's probably not any sort of reunion tour on the horizon. I would guess it's some sort of archival project or something.
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