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645551 Posts in 25817 Topics by 3679 Members - Latest Member: as1972 April 20, 2019, 05:25:26 AM
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1  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Echo in the Canyon (New documentary w/ Brian interview) on: April 18, 2019, 10:31:01 AM
Don't know why they have included Ringo Starr and Eric Clapton, guess it's because so many key players are dead now.

They will probably just be there to comment stuff like "oh yeah, in England we loved the stuff coming out of lauren canyon...Brians a genius, loved the Byrds, etc etc"

I'm just suggesting this to the readers here and overall because it's a fascinating and very educational journey once you take it, and it isn't said with malice or anything of the sort: Take some time and read the history of Laurel Canyon and its key players, and even prior to seeing this film you'll see why Clapton and Ringo are involved in the film, and you'll find a lot more in the way of information and backstory that probably will *not* make it to a widely-distributed film. There is some truly bizarre, fascinating, and sometimes disturbing if not hilarious info to be found about the hills of Laurel Canyon especially in the 60's and the 70's...and also, how a top-secret yet known military intelligence-led film studio managed to co-exist with all these artists and hippie types for a time... Smiley

Anyway, to Clapton and Ringo:

One of the most prominent and important players in all of this was Mama Cass Elliot, who had a house in the Canyon which was something of a gathering point for a lot of musicians in the 60's. Mama Cass herself was such a strong personality she also was like the de facto organizer and putter-together of a lot of these musicians who would become friends and bandmates often as a result of one of Cass' parties or introductions. One of the bigger examples of Cass' matchmaking was how she introduced Graham Nash to Crosby, Stills, and Joni Mitchell...Nash having come from England and Crosby, Stills, and Mitchell either having their houses in the Canyon or being regular visitors there.

So Ringo in the late 70's was renting Mama Cass' old house, and proceeded to accidentally set it on fire one day. This was after Ringo was running around LA and the Canyon in the early 70's post-Beatles with the likes of Nilsson, Dolenz, Alice Cooper, etc...the Hollywood Vampyres crew. If you search for it, there are news report videos available of that day the Mama Cass house was on fire, with Ringo there. So Ringo was not only a guest earlier, but eventually a resident of Laurel Canyon.

Clapton was also a frequent guest of those living in the Canyon, like Mama Cass, Joni Mitchell, etc. Look up Henry Diltz, former MFQ member turned rock photographer, and you'll see Diltz's series of photos from a visit Clapton made to a party where Joni, Crosby, and other members of that crew were hanging out. And you'll see Clapton's pink boots...which if you know the story behind that, are pink boots of the sort Clapton was wearing when he and Stills were having a full-volume guitar jam session blasting into the valleys of another famous LA-area "canyon" when the police were called and it turned into a massive drug bust of the people partying there that night. The police took them to jail in a bus, and made Clapton strip down at the jail except for the pink boots, to embarrass this British guy wearing pink boots and get a few laughs at his expense.

And the Beatles/Harrison tune "Blue Jay Way" for the record is one of the "bird streets" around Laurel Canyon, house number 1567 to be exact, and was where George was renting and wrote the song about waiting for Derek Taylor (another Laurel Canyon resident) to arrive in summer '67. Art Garfunkel was another famous renter of that same house, along with other notables through the years.


So that's why Clapton and Ringo are in the film: They were there in and around Laurel Canyon when all these things were happening.

And it's also perhaps why Jan Berry would not be expected to be a main point/topic in such a film, it might make more sense to have his brother Bruce (and other brother Ken), mentioned as one of the casualties of the whole drug scene when heroin got into the mix among some of the musicians. Ken started SIR - Studio Instrument Rentals which is still in business as one of the prime equipment rental businesses today - and Bruce was one of those driving the "Ford Econoline van" for SIR as documented by Neil Young on Tonight's The Night while doing roadie and rental work for the likes of CSN and others. I don't know offhand how involved Jan was in the specific scene or locale targeted by this documentary, I'm sure he was a visitor like almost everyone, but it really wasn't his scene. His brother Bruce had he lived would have had plenty of stories about Laurel Canyon...but the film is more about this specific scene rather than California music in general.

Check out some of the history even before seeing the film, it's an amazing ride.

Is there a good book about this?

I'd try Harvey Kubernick's "Canyon Of Dreams" for a start - Harvey is one of the best authors and historians in the business, and actually lived in the Canyon, so it's often a firsthand perspective. I'm posting an Amazon link to Harvey's book, and in the suggestions and related titles you'll see other books about Laurel Canyon with some different focal points on the history related to the music community. Check them out:

https://www.amazon.com/Canyon-Dreams-Magic-Music-Laurel/dp/1402797613
2  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Echo in the Canyon (New documentary w/ Brian interview) on: April 18, 2019, 10:25:02 AM
Fair enough - I've lost perspective; the documentary is made for a wider audience, and it's been a long time, so it may not matter where and when things occurred.  Laurel Way - the "Smile" house - most certainly is not Laurel Canyon either geographically or culturally - particuarly at that time.  Then when Brian moved, he moved to what is probably the wealthiest, most posh section of Bel-Air - very distinct from what Laurel Canyon was in those days, which for the musicians was cheap rent.  I see that none of this really matters after 50 years and it all may be grouped together. That actually makes sense.

I'll see this documentary and expect to enjoy it, but it will be interesting to see if, now, 50-60 years on, Brian Wilson and the Beach Boys are collectively grouped with CSN, Joni, "Love Street" and all that.  Because the reality, as you know, is that this earthy "canyon" thing (plus the Northern California San Francisco thing) is what supplanted - dethroned - the Beach Boys (and Brian) as the sound of "California" This of course is part of the Beach Boys story.  But again, Friends is the album that captures the Beach Boys' version of a woodsy canyon (that is, not the beach!) vibe, it pre-dated most the more well-known Laurel Canyon stuff, and it holds up as well as any of that material.  In fact the Friends promo video featues the Beach Boys cavorting in one of the local canyons.


I think the doc may be aiming for the idea of cross-pollination among all these young musicians - specifically in the mid-60's related to when Brian was living at 1448 Laurel Way - and how so many key members responsible for making that classic music were living not too far away from each other. And, as a result, how they would develop friendships, share ideas and new songs at each other's houses in that general area, and in some cases how some now-classic bands and lineups were formed as a result.

The doc may not be trying to get caught up in exact geography and zip codes and all that, but instead taking a look at just how many musicians were living in that general area where any of them could hop in a car and coast down one of those winding hill roads and be smack-dab in the middle of the Sunset Strip, on Sunset Blvd, and all of the key locations and studios were not all that far away. And yes, I agree there was the difference between the bigger successes like Brian and John/Michelle Phillips who were in the higher-rent areas versus others like the band The Rockets who would become Crazy Horse, with leader Danny Whitten and his crew playing marathon jam sessions in a garage that bordered a busy curve heading down to Sunset where people driving by would hear them playing sometimes all day long.

So factor in how Danny Hutton considered Danny Whitten for the band he was forming which became Redwood then Three Dog Night, and how Mark Volman would come over to Brian's house to listen to songs he was working on, and how Michelle Phillips comments on visiting Brian and Marilyn in the film trailer and how she saw the sandbox, and mentions what Brian was working on...and multiply all of those by the many other now famous musicians who were coexisting and hanging out with each other at this time in the mid-60's. Fast forward a few years, and the new crop of California-Sound singer-songwriters like Jackson Browne, Carole King, the whole Troubador crew, etc...

It's like playing rock history "6 Degrees Of Separation" and so many of these key figures in the LA music scene in the 60's and 70's have one degree between them, and many were in the same basic area, whether it's technically and geographically Laurel Canyon or Beverly Hills or any other name. Then there is the Blue Jay Way house which was rented by other very famous musicians, as mentioned above, and that was just one house that happened to host Beatles and other luminaries when they came to LA in the mid to late 60's. It was a pretty amazing time for that many classic artists in their 20's for the most part to be within the same general area and all of them just a downhill drive from the Sunset Strip where they were performing and recording, or had offices, etc.

I think that's what the film may be aiming for, to show how so much classic music was created by a group of young musicians living in close proximity to each other and how their location enabled them to interact, share ideas, and make things happen. It is to me like talking about the "Greenwich Village" scene, and taking it as a whole in order to tell the story versus focusing on individual blocks or streets or even house numbers versus the overall impact of all those musicians being in the same general area at the same time in history.
3  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Echo in the Canyon (New documentary w/ Brian interview) on: April 18, 2019, 08:53:23 AM
But how are they going to wedge the Beach Boys and Brian Wilson into a "Laurel Canyon" thing (unless they are basically equating Laurel Canyon with "Southern California")  Beach Boys had nothing to do with that scene.  Friends is the most hilly, canyon-esque thing Brian or the Beach Boys ever did.

Brian lived with Marilyn at 1448 Laurel Way from 65-67. While there can be geographical debates about the boundaries of "Laurel Canyon" and which streets and land plots were actually included in that named area, Brian was living in the area at that time and also had close friends in and around this area, such as Mark Volman, Derek Taylor (who I mentioned above), and other members of the Smile era inner circle.

So why is Brian involved in this? He lived there, more or less, when he made what many would say is some of the finest popular music ever created.  Smiley
4  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Echo in the Canyon (New documentary w/ Brian interview) on: April 18, 2019, 08:11:17 AM
Don't know why they have included Ringo Starr and Eric Clapton, guess it's because so many key players are dead now.

They will probably just be there to comment stuff like "oh yeah, in England we loved the stuff coming out of lauren canyon...Brians a genius, loved the Byrds, etc etc"

I'm just suggesting this to the readers here and overall because it's a fascinating and very educational journey once you take it, and it isn't said with malice or anything of the sort: Take some time and read the history of Laurel Canyon and its key players, and even prior to seeing this film you'll see why Clapton and Ringo are involved in the film, and you'll find a lot more in the way of information and backstory that probably will *not* make it to a widely-distributed film. There is some truly bizarre, fascinating, and sometimes disturbing if not hilarious info to be found about the hills of Laurel Canyon especially in the 60's and the 70's...and also, how a top-secret yet known military intelligence-led film studio managed to co-exist with all these artists and hippie types for a time... Smiley

Anyway, to Clapton and Ringo:

One of the most prominent and important players in all of this was Mama Cass Elliot, who had a house in the Canyon which was something of a gathering point for a lot of musicians in the 60's. Mama Cass herself was such a strong personality she also was like the de facto organizer and putter-together of a lot of these musicians who would become friends and bandmates often as a result of one of Cass' parties or introductions. One of the bigger examples of Cass' matchmaking was how she introduced Graham Nash to Crosby, Stills, and Joni Mitchell...Nash having come from England and Crosby, Stills, and Mitchell either having their houses in the Canyon or being regular visitors there.

So Ringo in the late 70's was renting Mama Cass' old house, and proceeded to accidentally set it on fire one day. This was after Ringo was running around LA and the Canyon in the early 70's post-Beatles with the likes of Nilsson, Dolenz, Alice Cooper, etc...the Hollywood Vampyres crew. If you search for it, there are news report videos available of that day the Mama Cass house was on fire, with Ringo there. So Ringo was not only a guest earlier, but eventually a resident of Laurel Canyon.

Clapton was also a frequent guest of those living in the Canyon, like Mama Cass, Joni Mitchell, etc. Look up Henry Diltz, former MFQ member turned rock photographer, and you'll see Diltz's series of photos from a visit Clapton made to a party where Joni, Crosby, and other members of that crew were hanging out. And you'll see Clapton's pink boots...which if you know the story behind that, are pink boots of the sort Clapton was wearing when he and Stills were having a full-volume guitar jam session blasting into the valleys of another famous LA-area "canyon" when the police were called and it turned into a massive drug bust of the people partying there that night. The police took them to jail in a bus, and made Clapton strip down at the jail except for the pink boots, to embarrass this British guy wearing pink boots and get a few laughs at his expense.

And the Beatles/Harrison tune "Blue Jay Way" for the record is one of the "bird streets" around Laurel Canyon, house number 1567 to be exact, and was where George was renting and wrote the song about waiting for Derek Taylor (another Laurel Canyon resident) to arrive in summer '67. Art Garfunkel was another famous renter of that same house, along with other notables through the years.


So that's why Clapton and Ringo are in the film: They were there in and around Laurel Canyon when all these things were happening.

And it's also perhaps why Jan Berry would not be expected to be a main point/topic in such a film, it might make more sense to have his brother Bruce (and other brother Ken), mentioned as one of the casualties of the whole drug scene when heroin got into the mix among some of the musicians. Ken started SIR - Studio Instrument Rentals which is still in business as one of the prime equipment rental businesses today - and Bruce was one of those driving the "Ford Econoline van" for SIR as documented by Neil Young on Tonight's The Night while doing roadie and rental work for the likes of CSN and others. I don't know offhand how involved Jan was in the specific scene or locale targeted by this documentary, I'm sure he was a visitor like almost everyone, but it really wasn't his scene. His brother Bruce had he lived would have had plenty of stories about Laurel Canyon...but the film is more about this specific scene rather than California music in general.

Check out some of the history even before seeing the film, it's an amazing ride.
5  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Brian Wilson: Long Promised Road (2019 Brent Wilson Documentary) on: April 17, 2019, 07:32:40 AM
I don't know if Ken Burns is as invested in the Beach Boys as he was in some of his other projects. I think having a filmmaker who has a deeper connection to the subject matter can also be a double-edged sword, because you may not get an unbiased delivery of the facts, but you'll also get a more personal view overall because the documentarian is ultimately a fan.

One of the best I've seen in that regard was Scorcese's take on Dylan. And, more recently, I watched Jim Jarmusch's documentary on The Stooges, where it focused on Iggy Pop himself as much as the band, and I thought it was terrific. It changed my views on Iggy in particular, and I think that's what the best docs tend to do, again like the Dylan film.

In this way, I'm thinking this latest project might be perhaps the best way to capture Brian Wilson on film. Just let the camera roll and let him talk and expand on whatever topics come up.

The other issue with the Beach Boys and any future docs about them might be the way history has been tried to be reshaped and rewritten regarding certain issues surrounding the band and band members, and if the behind-the-scenes campaigning gets into the inner workings of making a documentary about them, you may have someone on camera presented as an authority on this-or-that playing into the rewrite and having it taken as fact. Beyond that, and it's happened before so there is precedent going back decades, the members may be given veto power over the content to where certain topics would be labeled off limits for the film. I don't know at this point, especially after all that has happened, if a truly comprehensive account could be filmed.
6  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Career mishaps?? on: April 17, 2019, 07:19:36 AM
Mike's decision not to continue making music and performing with the C50 lineup, latter part of 2012. The band was on fire and in demand for the first time in ages, having scored a top-5 album of original music and one of the most acclaimed tours of that year, and Mike chose to walk away. It's right up there on the "what could've been" list from the band's entire career.
7  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: recently uploaded crazy Beach Boys commerical, staring Mike+Bruce on: March 21, 2019, 08:53:02 AM


- Gotta love how at the end of a commercial featuring Mike, Noonan Pontiac is shown to be on "Van Dyke" Road.

This reminds me of one of the cheapie local commercials that were airing during UHF broadcasts of Hot Seat With Wally George in the 1980s.

That same point about "Van Dyke" Road hit me too.  LOL  Oh, the irony.

Also thinking about the kitschy joys of growing up in the late 70's and 80's pre-cable and seeing all those low-budget UHF station based commercials.

In Philly we had two that ran incessantly...one was "Aron's King Of Mattresses" which was a guy dressed in a king costume who did the commercial while jumping up and down on a mattress. The other was for a diamond retailer which featured the Dovells singing "Rockin Robin" with the diamond guys surrounded by women wearing the jewelry, and the catch phrase was that one of the owners had a diamond in his beard...and the bass singer would sing "and Jerry's got a diamond in his beard"  as the camera zoomed in on Jerry and his diamond-studded beard.


I digress.

Nice to see the "Beach Boys" weren't above scoring a few Ben Franklins for this campaign... Roll Eyes
8  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Mike working on yet another new album on: March 21, 2019, 08:16:21 AM
Not wanting another shitstorm, I'll just say this to add my 2 cents to what's been said already. Regarding the "reunion" and TWGMTR reunion album and all the 50th anniversary reunion activities:

Mike chose to walk away from it when three of his bandmates who were playing in the Wilson's music room in Hawthorne expressed a desire to continue in various capacities ranging from recording new original music to additional live performances as the C50 unit. In various interviews and in his own book, Mike expressed something less than enthusiasm and positivity regarding the C50 tour and the creating of the TWGMTR album, not to mention the performance of said TWGMTR album and the performance of said C50 tour, which Mike in his book claimed was losing money (among other claims).

So when Mike did get back together with Brian and his bandmates, it didn't come out positive according to Mike, and he wasn't happy because among other things it didn't go the way he wanted it to go...from the writing process, to the album itself, to the live shows, and even the setlist and execution of those shows.

Mike wasn't happy about the C50 experience, in fact he seemed pretty bitter about it.

Yet the majority of fans thought C50 overall and the year 2012 up to September was easily one of the latter-year highlights of this band's almost 60-year history. Easily the ultimate band highlight of the years since Carl's passing.

And Mike wasn't happy about it.

That pretty much sums it up.
9  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Toy Story 4 trailer is out (yes, this is on-topic) on: March 19, 2019, 07:35:51 AM
https://youtu.be/wmiIUN-7qhE

Skip to around 1:24 for a nice surprise  Smiley

Very nice.
10  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Dick Dale RIP on: March 19, 2019, 07:14:30 AM
Some cool backstory on Dick Dale and his influence on guitarists and guitar and amp technology in general, beyond his actual technique and sound...and that too.  Smiley  This is stuff I pass on to my students who discover something like "Misirlou" through whatever means and just like thousands of us before decide "I want to play THAT!"

This is of course info that most probably know, and if anything is wrong here please correct.

Dick of course was a Californian, and a surfer. He happened to be doing his thing at various teen hops, VFW/Legion hall dances and stomps, and the like...similar to the early Beach Boys.

But Dick Dale played LOUD, and intense. A few points that I find really cool...

The legends are that Dick would literally burn through multiple guitar picks during his shows. His picking would be so hard and so intense, that the picks would actually start melting as he played. Imagine that! Now that's rock and roll.

But beyond that, he played so hard and loud that he had a bad habit of blowing out his amps at these live shows. The good fortune was that he was doing all of this relatively close to the Fender factory. Since he was using Fender amps, he would be able to go directly to the factory if necessary, for repairs, complaints, reports of him blowing up Fender amps, etc.

And that's where it gets interesting beyond that moment.

Fender amps, and guitar amps in general in the late 50's were not designed with high wattage and high output. It just wasn't necessary, and even with the advent of rock and roll, I think Fender was still geared toward Country And Western and general business gig musicians, where high volume wasn't a thing on stage or in studio, when Dale was playing these local gigs.

Then here comes Dick Dale, returning often to Fender's factory with an amp he had blown out at a show. Something had to be done. Again, with the timing and location being fortuitous all around, you still had a Fender factory where Leo Fender himself would be there, along with those classic designers who came up with things like the Tweed Bassman, the Deluxe, and all those amazing amp designs in the 50's...and here was a ripped surfer who was blowing them up.

So all of this led to the need for a high-wattage, higher-output, hi-gain amplifier design that could handle the volume and intensity of someone like Dick Dale. There is more to the tale, but Dick Dale's gigs were used as something of a testing ground for Fender and those design engineers to develop something to handle all of this. They'd whip something up, Dale would take it and play it, and if it didn't blow up, they were onto something good.

Eventually all of this led to Fender designing and making available to the public the "Dual Showman" piggyback (separate amp head and speaker cabinet) amplifier. High wattage, higher output, etc. And similar designs were added to the revamped Fender Twin combo amp as it became higher output in a combo form. Dick Dale's intense playing wasn't as likely to blow those designs up when played at peak volume...and their sound eventually became the "California Sound" as used by countless musicians including the Beach Boys, who had a backline of Fenders that most musicians would be jealous of in the early 60's.


So as much as the stories of Pete Townshend in the mid 60's asking for a high output amp from Marshall led to the "stack"...It was Dick Dale's crazy gigs where he'd melt picks and blow up his amps on stage that led to the development of the high-wattage and hi-gain guitar amps that became essential for rock and roll in the 60's and beyond.

So there's Dick Dale in part to thank for that development.  Smiley
11  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Dick Dale RIP on: March 19, 2019, 06:53:37 AM
Misirlou: The song (more like melody...) itself has a fascinating cross-cultural pedigree, but for anyone interested this is one of the earliest if not *the* earliest recording of it, which was of Greek origin, from 1927:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LW6qGy3RtwY

You'll hear the melody almost exactly as Dick Dale later reworked it, and as others in the roughly 35 years between this old recording and Dale's hit had done...with slight variations.

So there is a heritage in this song from Greece, to Turkey, to Egypt, to the Armenians and Lebanese who played and adapted it, and after that every fledgling guitar picker who took Dale's challenge. And that's how Dick Dale remembered seeing and hearing it played on an oud, by an uncle who picked it on one string. According to the legend, Dick was given a challenge to play a tune on one string, and he pulled out "Misirlou" as he remembered seeing it played on the oud. Then history was made and repeated 30-odd years later when Pulp Fiction brought it back and a new group of players took the challenge.
12  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Hal Blaine RIP on: March 19, 2019, 06:36:33 AM
For those who haven't seen it or read the liners, Hal's "Psychedelic Percussion" album, released early summer 1967...I scored this one years ago at a yard sale, still one of the coolest LP finds I've ever had, and it was late in the morning when I stumbled on this one. By rights it shouldn't have been there that late, but it was. Funny how I don't remember things from yesterday, but can remember exactly where and when I found this album. Still hoping to find an original vinyl of Hal's earlier "Drums! Drums! A Go Go" album, the one with his blue kit on the cover, but I refuse to pay "retail" and don't want a CD  Smiley.

Take a look at the liner notes, there are some interesting items which I'll mention later.

And consider *this* was released the same year "Smile" was being worked on then scrapped, and "Smiley Smile" was released...




13  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Hal Blaine RIP on: March 18, 2019, 07:02:29 PM
For an overview of the period check out this movie trailer >>>http://www.magpictures.com/thewreckingcrew/

Mr. Desper or anyone else who knows: Can you please tell me the name of the tune that begins just after the Boys' preamble to "LDC", right at the start? It's so familiar but the name eludes me. It would be much appreciated.

"Out Of Limits" by The Marketts, which was the Wrecking Crew. A take-off on the Twilight Zone theme song that became a big hit. Great record.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eUZa1bDY2JI
14  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Mike Love, \ on: March 02, 2019, 12:00:06 PM
Adding/Editing: Olivia Arias was Class of 1965 at Hawthorne High, attended from 1961 to '65. There is a vintage photo of her brother with fellow Hawthorne Cougar Chris Montez from one of the Hawthorne publications. So obviously there was some deeper connection there by sheer force of geography to the early Beach Boys...

Pretty cool.  Smiley
15  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Mike Love, \ on: March 02, 2019, 11:45:33 AM
George was a fan of the Beach Boys as we've discussed before, but the fact Olivia (Arias) Harrison attended Hawthorne High in the 60's is a very interesting connection to pursue. She would have been there most likely between 1962 and 1966, more detailed info needs to be posted later about exactly when and how long, but no doubt there would have been some shared experiences even though the BB's were older and more established.

Consider other Hawthorne Cougars alumni and alumna have said they remembered seeing Mike Love cruising the areas popular among the Hawthorne students in a flashy new car - Corvette if I remember? - after the BB's became national hits. Like he was looking to pick up girls, haha. Anyway...Would be interesting to see if Olivia while a student at Hawthorne High had any dealings with the band and their families.

Back to Pisces Brothers, yes to the comments above, and I'll go back to saying it's one thing to write a tribute song to or for anyone who you admire, but the personal connections in this case seem to have been exaggerated.
16  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: The Weirdest Photos Of Mike Love You Can Find on: March 02, 2019, 11:32:41 AM
17  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: California Calling on: March 02, 2019, 11:24:30 AM
“It’s Getting Late” > “Getcha Back”
“Back Where I Belong” > “She Believes in Love Again”

Carl’s material on this album is head shoulders above three rest.

This brings up an interesting question to ponder...

What do people think of the evolution/change of Carl's songwriting from Youngblood to BB85?

-Was it an intentional shift to write songs more suited for the full BBs band somehow?
-Or was he just collaborating with different people who influenced the direction?
-Or did he simply take his time on BB85 by spending longer times in the studio to get things right, as opposed to his solo albums which might have been done quicker during breaks from touring?

It seems Carl's songs on BB85 were overall considerably better (in terms of composition and production) on BB85 when compared to his solo albums that came right before, IMHO.

Pretty much correct. I'm a Beach Boys solo album freak. I've got a bunch of Brian's stuff, a bunch of Mike's (sometimes very rare) stuff, Al's Postcard, Dennis' Pacific Ocean Blue and even nice bit of Bruce's stuff and his projects (I have Bruce & Terry, The Hot Doggers, other Bruce stuff, but definitely not Going Public). But for some reason I never could pull the trigger on either of Carl's solo albums. And I think the reason for that is the same reason I don't think I'll ever touch Going Public. They're kinda boring and obvious. Whatever you say about Mike's solo material, or Brian's Gettin' in Over My Head or freaking Bruce's Bob Sled & The Toboggans, at least it's entertainingly bad! Carl's solo albums are just regular boring music for the most part ("Heaven" definitely excepted. I think Carl wrote a great one there).

So the key to learn from this is when you do something that isn't very good at least make it entertainingly bad!

On the other hand though, I think the Beckley-Lamm-Wilson songs Carl wrote are really nice. "Like A Brother", "I Wish For You" and "Run Don't Walk" are all really nice songs that I'm pretty sure woulda been able to fit in to a cool Beach Boys album anywhere from the mid '80s to the 00's. Just my opinion.

Jim - I feel the same about Carl's solo albums. I know some completists look down on those who don't immediately praise anything released by a band member of your favorite bands, but I just never dug the sound of Carl's solo albums, and the songs just didn't hit me. I feel the same about solo efforts across the board, from BB's to Beatles to Monkees...if I like the music, I listen. But I never felt obligated to listen.

Having said that, last summer on one of the road trips I took was when Sirius was running their Beach Boys channel. And that week or so they just happened to be playing more of Carl's *live* solo material, and it really sounded great. It did hit me that time, and I dug it a lot. Much more than the studio tracks. Maybe Carl and his music from that solo era came off better with a live band and live energy? Carl definitely knew his way around the live stage, and I'd consider checking out whatever live tracks are out there from Carl's solo works, and see how those feel versus his studio work.
18  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Mike Love, \ on: March 01, 2019, 12:25:16 PM
I read Donovan's autobiography and he does mention Mr. Love, apparently they were friendly, but they don't come off as close friends.  Donovan, who was close with the Beatles, did a lot of drugs for a while.  His drug use would not have been compatible with Mike Love's lifestyle.   

Actually Donovan swore off drugs, especially psychedelics, and went on TV shows speaking very much from an anti-drug stance. Donovan began advocating getting high through meditation and looking within versus doing it with chemicals. This was at least by 1969-70, and I know because I have seen the videos, Donovan was telling his fans and the kids in general not to do drugs. And that's one reason why I thought Donovan and Mike would have been even closer.
19  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: California Calling on: March 01, 2019, 12:21:59 PM
The Beach Boys in the 80's needed to bring a creative person into their orbit, someone who could write new songs and preferably help produce them.

Someone like David Foster  Grin
20  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Dean Torrence joining Mike's band? on: March 01, 2019, 12:21:11 PM
I haven't read through the whole thread, so I'm not sure this has been shared yet. This is what is probably the only Mike & Dean interview there ever was. Mike & Dean seem to be great friends at this point. Topics covered include Rock and Roll City, Radio Shack record label, Jan Berry, and Brian Wilson

https://youtu.be/R3AtDrafU04

That's not the only one.

Here is a continuation of that "People Now" interview with Mike & Dean with more guests: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RdGTIkjBh_w

Here is another talk show appearance where Mike & Dean dance, lipsynch to one of the RS tunes Da Doo Ron Ron, and chat: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZQupUUunQFk

Shorter clip of the same appearance, better quality but cel video off a TV monitor: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HrS4p8L9qpc

Mike & Dean on Entertainment Tonight with Robin Leach on a yacht: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J9RQvOtYu_Y


I think there could be more, but that's what is on YouTube from the Radio Shack era
21  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: California Calling on: March 01, 2019, 11:14:10 AM
Well, David Foster did co-write "Fairytale" with Brian around that time (and did release it as "Is there a chance?"), didn't he?

Brian has said he and Foster wrote that song (Is There A Chance)  in 1988 and it came out on Foster's own solo album 2 years later. I don't know what that would have to do with the Beach Boys.

Edit: "Fairy Tale" of course ended up on GIOMH in 2004, but Foster released "Is There A Chance" on his own. Just to clarify I didn't see any Beach Boys connection there based on the timing and the fact these collabs with Foster were done around Brian's solo projects.
22  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Mike Love, \ on: March 01, 2019, 11:10:19 AM
Aye, there's the rub. And it's a consistent theme that runs throughout so much of the past 30-40 years. Mike's resume is just fine as it is, and is impressive in and of itself with his vocals, lyrics that he did write, etc. I never understood the need to consistently bring up issues and points that could be argued are less impressive than what he actually did achieve in the music business, and pad that same resume mixed in with the constant resentment over getting screwed versus celebrating the bigger successes.

I'll need to revisit some of the histories relating to George Harrison, but on the surface it looked like George got more invested into Hare Krishna and Indian spirituality and religions and wasn't as much into TM and the Maharishi after the late 60's. And in terms of his friends, George didn't seem to have many enemies, and by all accounts was a fiercely private man (especially after Dec 8 1980), yet he had a pretty decent circle of very, very close friends. I think that innermost circle was who ended up on stage at Concert For George. I also think musicians who played the later tribute picked by Olivia and Dhani were musicians who George's family thought would be best to pay tribute to George musically, and who they admired too...across two generations rather than the earlier concert.

It's an interesting topic to look at, but I do think Pisces Brothers is a little overblown in terms of the subject matter...just my opinion, and not trying to "bash" anything. It would be like the differences between Elton John singing "Empty Garden" and another artist who hung out with Lennon briefly in 1974 if they had done the same thing....
23  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: California Calling on: March 01, 2019, 10:53:44 AM
Chicago's history after Terry Kath's death is perhaps something incredibly relevant to the parallel history of The Beach Boys, or a way in retrospect to contrast the two and ask what could have happened had the BB's followed suit if chart and commercial success through reinvention was the goal that "Chicago" (deliberately in quotes) reached and the Beach Boys did not.

Chicago in the years after Kath's passing wasn't doing as well, in fact if their attempt at disco "Street Player" and the various member shakeups was any indication, they needed to do something before the ship sank.

So they bring in David Foster, who like any music producers of any generation had a great run where it seemed anything he touched turned to gold and platinum.

Foster in making new records for Chicago basically put the "sound" of Chicago which they had with Kath on the backburner, and instead brought Peter Cetera into the spotlight. Horns...what horns? Danny Seraphine...who? Jazz influenced experimentation...what? Heavy guitar sounds...where?

Anyway, Foster basically made "Chicago" into a soft-pop, hit making machine. They were successful beyond belief after Foster focused on Cetera. Hardcore fans were upset unless they were cooled down a bit by hearing 25 Or 6 To 4 as the encore of a concert circa 1984...but hardcore fans didn't sustain sales and demand enough to cross over as Foster did with the ballads and light pop. The band themselves did get resentful as their records sometimes sounded more like a Cetera solo album produced by Foster than they did an actual group effort. But they were raking in the dough, so how much could they resist?

So draw the rest of the lines and how all that worked out, but ultimately it could be asked what if the Beach Boys had brought in David Foster, what if Foster began crafting records around, say, Carl Wilson who had the best voice at that time and told Mike and his various ideas and notions of leadership to take a back seat, and had the clout to tell a fraud and goofball musician wannabe like Gene Landy to either cooperate and make hit records in the moment or f**k off.

Perhaps the years after Dennis' death would have been more successful in a commercial way. Foster had the golden touch when he was cutting those records and ballads with Cetera, they sold like hotcakes. It alienated the band, hardcore fans, etc...but Foster did what he was brought in to do, which was make money for the band "Chicago".

The fluke of "Kokomo" aside, did the Beach Boys see anything near the chart success in this same time frame as Chicago and Cetera? Of course not.

Did Chicago "sell out"? Well...decide for yourself. But they made money. And they released original music that sold. Did the "Beach Boys" sell out at this same time in terms of original music? That's the question.
24  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Mike Love, \ on: March 01, 2019, 10:34:30 AM
The melody of Pisces Brothers does sound like Take Me Home Country Roads, just like Still Cruisin sounds like "The Mountains High" by Dick and DeeDee. No surprise.

I'm still left wondering just how much contact Mike and George really had after 1968, and why George's family didn't invite Mike to take part in either the Concert For George or the later concert tribute which Brian and his band played, if they were close.

Also, maybe more related, what happened with Mike and Donovan to where they seem to have lost touch? Donovan has said they were close after the studies in India, but then he mentioned separating after brick walls went up...something cryptic like that. Maybe someone can find that quote, but I'd think Mike would have done more with Donovan than he ended up doing.
25  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Dean Torrence joining Mike's band? on: March 01, 2019, 10:29:11 AM
Re: "The Locomotion" as recorded by Mike Love for that first Radio Shack/Hitbound release "Rock And Roll City".

Just listen to it. And consider how any business interest, Radio Shack or any record company, would give the green light to fund and promote more of the same from Mike or anyone else.

Then consider how Mike Love thought his version of "The Locomotion" was an improvement over the Little Eva original.

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