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631814 Posts in 25305 Topics by 3601 Members - Latest Member: smuffy May 20, 2018, 06:23:22 PM
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1  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Latest Issue of Guitar Player... on: May 18, 2018, 11:40:06 AM
Semi-related...Just last week I "discovered" a rhythm guitar part in a Beatles tune I have been playing (and teaching) for years, and it floored me. It was a chance, random thing where I pulled the 1/8" jack out halfway to hear one channel of the stereo mix in order to isolate a particular part, and BOOM...there was a guitar part which I think Lennon played that just slayed me. And now if I find any of the many Beatle tribute bands and shows covering this tune on YouTube, I will be listening to see if their "Lennon" is nailing that mostly hidden but awesome rhythm guitar part during the show. lol.

Which song?

If I Needed Someone

Get the stereo mix and a player with a balance control. Isolate one of the channels during the guitar solo and you'll hear a killer rhythm guitar part that resembles songs like "Western Union" by The Five Americans and a handful of classic Byrds tracks. It gets all but buried in the full mix, but if you pan hard to the channel that has this part, it's right there.

It was new to me, and I've been listening very closely to Beatles tracks for decades, so this was pretty cool to"discover" by accident! Great part - Pure country rock rhythm guitar hiding underneath a terrific and underlooked mid-60's pop classic from George Harrison that previews the guitar style he would later use to write Here Comes The Sun.
2  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Beach Boys in Glastonbury comeback talks after not so Good Vibrations since 2012 on: May 18, 2018, 09:51:55 AM
In terms of what to release, I'll go back to "Making of..." type releases, where the full session tapes when available are presented and packaged chronologically and in raw form to show the development of some of the band's most iconic hit records.

I've been saying for a long time, the bar had been set very high by Rhino, specifically Rhino Handmade and their deluxe releases and packaging especially on the Monkees back catalog. They put out what they knew the diehard fans would want and would buy. Things like the Headquarters Sessions, the 1967 Live box deluxe set, and the repackaging of each Monkees album chock full of outtakes, sessions, alternate mixes, etc...what was available from each album.

Rhino and their Handmade division did it right by the Monkees fans, and I always hold those releases up as one way to do it right in terms of getting product out there for the niche, diehard fans who are more invested than the "Greatest Hits" buyers. They knew these releases would not appeal to several hundred thousand platinum-sales level numbers, and they did limited releases for the fans who would buy such releases instead.

It can be done.
3  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Beach Boys in Glastonbury comeback talks after not so Good Vibrations since 2012 on: May 18, 2018, 09:45:00 AM
I agree with KDS. As long as Mike is "still tourin'" with his band, there will be no such release of a C50 project. The reasons should be obvious.

And for another reason, in terms of marketing and potential audiences and buyers, the more casual fans who bought the official C50 live release will possibly not want to buy another, thinking they already have a live C50 release. Think outside the more invested fan base of diehards who follow this stuff daily, and the reasons there will be clear too.

Just look at those last shows of C50, played in the UK, and put the quality of those performances up against the other stuff including the current Beach Boys tours. If they released a full, complete show from that leg of the tour when the band kicked it up a few notches and delivered some amazing moments on stage, the same issues and questions that pretty much shattered and split the fanbase starting in Fall 2012 and linger today will come back and I doubt certain parties would want to revisit all that again.
4  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Beach Boys in Glastonbury comeback talks after not so Good Vibrations since 2012 on: May 17, 2018, 09:30:26 AM
You know what I think would be a slam-bang idea for a marketable and perhaps more widely appealing "vault" project?

Take the "hits" everyone knows, let's call them the "Endless Summer" or "Sounds Of Summer" or whatever...you know what they are...and package those which have extensive session tapes in the vaults as "The Making Of..."

So you'd get all the takes of hits like California Girls, I Get Around, whatever the case...presented in sequence and NOT (I repeat ***NOT***) edited or futzed with in any way, leading up to both the original 45rpm single mix from the original release as well as a fresh, modern remix or remaster.

No gimmicks, no whatever...just the glorious raw tapes as us diehards have been hearing on SOT and other bootlegs for the better part of 20+ years. Warts and all. Put a PG-13 or R rating on it if the language is rough at times. But present these hits that have been repackaged to death at this point in a way that shows them as they developed in the studio, and give a glimpse into the creative process that really happened to bring them to life. Warts and all.

I'm sure people not as invested as some of us musicians and fans would love hearing that kind of thing, but NOT edited or cross-faded or whatever else scuttled some similar efforts like the Beatles Anthology and whatnot.

The market would be larger I'd say for this at this point in time because buyers would know the songs...and it opens the door for the more esoteric and unknown vault material if the project(s) generate enough interest and prime the pump.


Thank me in the credits... Grin
5  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Latest Issue of Guitar Player... on: May 17, 2018, 09:22:23 AM
It's an interesting interview and a nice look inside the process of how to translate those original recordings onto the live stage. All of the session outtakes and bootlegs and whatnot really *do* provide arrangers and musical directors a really cool tool to help decipher what the individual parts really were when those records were being cut. Sometimes you can get the info by listening to the outtakes and session reels, and hearing a few seconds of a musician either noodling or rehearsing an individual part, and it's a "Eureeka!" moment where you can actually hear the exact part being played...or for guitar, where or in what fingering a certain part was being played.

The article mentions Scott and Berklee, and not to get in a plug or anything, but the curriculum at Berklee really does give musicians a ton of usable skills and methods for doing the kind of work Scott does as the M D of the band. You don't even realize it sometimes until the call comes in to dissect and arrange parts as described in the article, and you realize all of those classes that seemed tedious or redundant were actually giving us the tools that would make these things much easier and streamlined as a process...from breaking down vocal parts to dealing out instrumental parts or orchestrations.

Neat article!

Semi-related...Just last week I "discovered" a rhythm guitar part in a Beatles tune I have been playing (and teaching) for years, and it floored me. It was a chance, random thing where I pulled the 1/8" jack out halfway to hear one channel of the stereo mix in order to isolate a particular part, and BOOM...there was a guitar part which I think Lennon played that just slayed me. And now if I find any of the many Beatle tribute bands and shows covering this tune on YouTube, I will be listening to see if their "Lennon" is nailing that mostly hidden but awesome rhythm guitar part during the show. lol.
6  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Latest Issue of Guitar Player... on: May 17, 2018, 09:09:52 AM

In the immortal words of Harry "The K" Kalas...It's Outta Here.

No one could call a game like "The K". No One. On a hot, sticky summer day he could cool things off with that voice.  Kool-Aid Man

I grew up listening to Harry and "Whitey" Ashburn calling the Phils games, on radio and TV. It spoiled me, there were none better. And I still miss hearing those voices, I'll always associate those sounds with the Phils!
7  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Latest Issue of Guitar Player... on: May 16, 2018, 08:42:45 PM
Philly rules! Grin I think I saw OSD shirtless on broad street in 1974 and 2018!

 LOL  and 1980, 2008...2018 *was* extra special though, but I'm still not over '80 or '08. Or for that matter 1983 when Dr. J, Moses, and the guys brought it home. Man, that was fun. Also won't forget Mitch "Wild Thing" Williams beating the damn Braves in '93 NLCS anytime soon.

Don't mess with Philly...  Grin
8  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Latest Issue of Guitar Player... on: May 16, 2018, 08:31:08 PM


In the immortal words of Harry "The K" Kalas...It's Outta Here.
9  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Latest Issue of Guitar Player... on: May 16, 2018, 07:44:27 PM
For anyone like me who doesn't subscribe, I found the article online...

https://www.guitarplayer.com/players/good-vibrations

Thanks, ASL. A heartwarming interview. Mr Totten posts occasionally across the road.

And it is a shame that such a valuable person to a message board refuses to post here now due to one, shall we say, "long winded" , bullying member. A big loss to this board.

Go f*** yourself.
10  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Beach Boys in Glastonbury comeback talks after not so Good Vibrations since 2012 on: May 16, 2018, 07:43:02 PM
There were cases where the Facebook "Beach Boys" official page seemed to turn into more of Mike's Beach Boys Facebook page. But I digress.

Let's just say there is a lot of fence that needs to be mended before the kind of Kum-Bye-A synergy happens in terms of a true cross-promotional opportunity. And that's just personal issues, not even factoring in the labels and existing deals.

I mean, we're dealing with an organization who didn't even list "Summer In Paradise" on published discographies, let alone promoting individual solo works across label lines and deals. With two Beatles deceased and a back catalog which is perhaps the strongest brand name in popular music, the comparisons to Beach Boys solo releases are night and day different.

Beach Boys solo releases are and realistically will always be a niche market. Once people buy Carl's solo work, then Dennis, and then Mike's, and then Al's...that's about it. They've bought it and they have it. Brian's solo releases are a niche market too but that niche carries with it a lot more cache and an expected audience who wants to hear what he will come out with musically because he has a brand name through his productions and arrangements. That's why Brian's most recent solo effort was a Capitol release and Mike's was not.
11  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Beach Boys in Glastonbury comeback talks after not so Good Vibrations since 2012 on: May 16, 2018, 10:16:51 AM
What I hope BRI might be able to do at some point is what The Beatles/Apple does now, something that seemed like a crazy pipe dream 20 or 30 years ago. They all cross-promote solo and group stuff. Apple pushes Beatles stuff and solo stuff (including solo off-shoot projects like the Harrison estate pushing old Ravi Shankar albums), and their respective solo pages (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) push each others' solo stuff and group stuff.

I think the official "Beach Boys" Facebook does push group and solo stuff. But Mike's Facebook page should be pushing a reissue of Al's "Postcards" and Brian's latest album. Brian and Al should be linking to "Unleash the Love", and so on. No, this all isn't ideal, but they could create some easy marketing synergy here, and pave the way for the *true* point of it all, which would be a huge cross-promotional push for the archives.

Bundle all that s**t together. Bundle three solo albums from Brian, Al, and Mike with three discs of archival material. All sorts of stuff they could be doing.

They need to get this stuff out so that fans aren't left pondering whether to buy a grey-market "Record Store Day" EP made from an old VHS dub of the Beach Boys singing "Little Cycle" on the Andy Williams Show.

No label in their right mind would bundle the solo albums together with the archival. For one thing the solo album from Mike is on a different label, as were his earlier solo albums. Same with Al. The only band member who had solo albums on Capitol was Brian, and he has his own thing going with his solo releases.

I think bundling, say, Unleash The Love with unreleased or archival material would be a *big* mistake. And I can't see Capitol signing on. If Capitol had wanted Mike's solo efforts, they would have signed him to a deal like they did Brian. If they were to buy the rights to release Mike's solo stuff, the only person who would benefit is Mike. And Mike's fans have pretty much already bought what they wanted at this point, why would they be forced to re-buy just to get vault material? Won't happen.

The solo Beatles comparison isn't quite a valid one. All four Beatles released their initial batches of solo material on Apple, their own label. It was later into the 70's when they went on different labels or did their own labels. The only solo releases EMI and Apple would be bundling or cross-promoting would be those early releases which were all on the Apple label from the beginning, and that included John, Paul, George, and Ringo solo releases and singles which aside from a few later exceptions are and were the strongest sellers in that catalogue of solo Beatle efforts. Unless Capitol/EMI or whatever offshoot acquires the rights like Lennon's Double Fantasy came out eventually on Capitol even though the original label was Geffen.

I can't imagine, say, bundling "Ringo's Rotogravure" with some Beatles outtakes or vault material in any kind of realistic scenario any more than I could see Unleash The Love bundled with similar BB's vault goodies.
12  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Beach Boys in Glastonbury comeback talks after not so Good Vibrations since 2012 on: May 11, 2018, 08:34:34 AM
Overhyped and exaggerated click-bait from a tabloid. Bullshit in other words.
13  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Mike's ok with Hologram Tour on: May 11, 2018, 08:30:34 AM
Who created such crazy-lame thing as "hologram tour" in the 1st place should be punished. & I'm being very kind here. Smiley

The first time I remember it being used was Tupac Shakur (sp?) at some award show.   I can't recall who first came up with the idea of touring a hologram.  

But, I think it's a terrible idea.  

Perhaps not a hologram but I remember there was a lot of debate and controversy when Natalie Cole appeared on stage singing a 'duet' with her late father Nat King Cole on Unforgettable, and Nat's image appeared on a giant screen behind her from an old film clip of him singing the tune.

I think that may have been one of the early examples of this, and if I remember...late 90's they did the Elvis TCB Band tour where the original members like James Burton played an Elvis live set in front of a similar projection of Elvis on screen from previous filmed concerts. I know people who went to that show and loved it, so there ya go.
14  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Royal Philharmonic Orchestra Album Discussion Thread on: May 11, 2018, 08:26:05 AM
Still letting this sink in and going solely on the only preview track posted so far. I don't get what the hype is about if there is hype beyond the usual PR done to promote it.

I hope the other tracks offer something in the way of creativity or a different interpretation of the existing tracks.

I'll say this in all honesty and hope the remaining tracks disprove this: Anyone with a basic DAW recording setup and a keyboard with somewhat respectable string or orchestral samples to work with could cook up a similar track on their laptop. Take a quality version of any BB classic, dump it into the DAW, and with either good ears and musical instinct or arranging/orchestration knowledge add the orchestral trimmings on top.

Years ago when I was studying all that stuff, we were given a project to "sweeten" a classic track in the same way as Fun Fun Fun seems to have been done. We didn't have access to a Philharmonic orchestra or the use of Abbey Road studio 2, but we had if I remember Opcode's "Vision" program, an Ensoniq keyboard, a Soundcraft mixer, and a Yamaha SPX 90 for adding effects like hall reverb and the like. I did "I Feel The Earth Move" by Carole King. Had to write out a score to hand in, and record and mix the results on that old-school rig. I added horn stabs to punctuate Carole's vocals like this: "I feel the earth (horn hit)...move...(horn hit)...under my feet...(horn response)" and added the typical lush string section sustained chordal backing when she goes to the major 7th chords and sings "oohh baby, when I see your face...".

It was sweetening an existing final mix, and blending in the results so it didn't sound obtrusive. A fun exercise, I think it still exists on a DAT somewhere lol.

But I guess the point is, anyone who has recorded at home and posted their results here and on YouTube and other online outlets could produce a similar effect by simply plugging in a classic BB track and sweetening it. It's not Abbey Road or a world-class orchestra, but the sound would not be too far off from what I heard in Fun Fun Fun.

If the producers did get access to the raw vocal tracks, I hope the other tracks on the project have more creativity and perhaps some different interpretations...otherwise it will be like that orchestra from Germany or wherever that was when Mike and Bruce played in front of an orchestra and the arrangements didn't add anything except the visual and the gimmick of "Hey, wow, it's a full orchestra on stage with Mike and Bruce!".

At least the 50+ year old Hollyridge Strings projects had some creative sounds and uses of a full orchestra to interpret the BB's music a little differently.
15  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Royal Philharmonic Orchestra Album Discussion Thread on: May 10, 2018, 10:04:26 AM
Going solely on the preview posted of Fun Fun Fun, I thought these tracks were going to be the *vocal tracks* isolated from the original tapes which would have new orchestral backings and arrangements created around the vocals. On Fun Fun Fun, they just added orchestration on top of the original record!

I really did not expect to hear strings and whatnot added to what amounts to a needle-drop rip of the original track, including the instrumental track from '63.

When I did work as an arranger, they used to call that "sweetening"...adding various decorations like strings atop the cake which had already been baked and iced in the form of an existing instrumental and vocal mix.
16  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Mike's ok with Hologram Tour on: May 10, 2018, 09:58:29 AM
The article, which discusses the upcoming Orchestral release, spends some time on the concept of a Hologram tour. It sounds like when the Orbison album was issued, a few dates were done with a hologram of him?

Also the article is completely off course by claiming that the M&B UK dates include Brian. How the hell do these things get to the passes??


https://www.independent.ie/entertainment/music/mike-love-says-he-is-not-against-hologram-beach-boys-tour-36893998.html

Oops.  LOL

Time to blame the "sloppy" work of some hapless young intern again.
17  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Royal Philharmonic Orchestra Album Discussion Thread on: May 10, 2018, 09:13:34 AM
Note: The discussion threads covering the Orchestra album have now been merged into one topic.
18  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Something's coming...Stay tuned on: May 09, 2018, 10:46:39 AM
Waiting for the obligatory photo to appear showing Mike and Bruce carrying a damn surfboard across that zebra crosswalk.   Roll Eyes

Pardon me, but I have to run to both McDonalds and Ruth's Chris Steakhouse...I'm going to get a Filet Mignon from Ruth's, then a cheeseburger from the McDonalds value menu, and put the filet in the McDonalds' bun, complete with ketchup and mustard and that dried piece of processed cheese.  Grin  Sarcasm.
19  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Something's coming...Stay tuned on: May 09, 2018, 10:41:58 AM
Can anyone identify who the two dudes carrying the surf board are?

The guys behind the orchestral project, they're named in the link posted.
20  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Carnie Wilson on Osbournes podcast on: May 09, 2018, 07:34:43 AM
It's also amusing to see the fact-checking outrage getting applied selectively rather than across the board as it should be if fact-checking were the actual goal.

But I digress.
21  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Carnie Wilson on Osbournes podcast on: May 09, 2018, 07:33:10 AM
There's ample evidence that actual principals involved (whether it be the Beatles, Beach Boys, etc.) often have ended up conflating their own memories with other authors/sources/articles, etc. and/or outright just use common stories found in common biographies rather than pull directly from their own memory.

I would imagine that's all Carnie is doing here. Replace "Pepper" with "Rubber Soul" and remove "Don't Worry Baby", and it's the classic "Brian made Pet Sounds to out-do Rubber Soul" story, which I'm sure comes to Carnie from a mixture of first-hand stories from her parents and also the common biographies/journalists/authors/articles that have been around all these years.

This doesn't even apply so much to Carnie particularly, but I've never understood why anybody actually involved in the BB world/orb needs to so strenuously essentially "name drop", whether it be the Beatles or John Stamos or anything in between, when the BBs accomplished more than enough on their own that their story doesn't need to be filtered through anybody, even the Beatles. Sure, there are times when a discussion of the Beatles and BBs is warranted of course.

On the last point, ask Mike Love why he name-drops like that. I didn't see it coming as regularly from anyone else in the BB universe.

As you said, it's completely unnecessary given the history of this band and their music. The reasons why the name-dropping is done should be obvious.
22  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Thread for various insignificant questions that don't deserve their own thread! on: May 08, 2018, 08:03:29 AM
In Wake The World, what is the sound that goes of at 0:24? It sounds a bit like when swords are drawn in movies, but I cant figure out what it is!

I asked that once, maybe in the early days of this board. As I recall, S. Desper said it was string noise. (I thought it sounded like something sliding across a music stand, e.g., a pen or pencil.) I still have my doubts.

This is what Reverend Joshua Sloane said about it 12 years ago: "To say that [BW] rushed recordings is false and too presumptuous for the info we have of the sessions. These sessions had engineers most of the time, an engineer wouldn't let obtrusive noises fly unless it was okay'd by the producer. The "curtain closing" noise in Wake The World is just too perfectly placed to be mistake. I bet that Brian was searching for a sound to imitate the pulling of curtains."

Source: http://smileysmile.net/board/index.php/topic,1820.msg38083.html#msg38083

It makes perfect sense (to me anyway). Although perhaps it's more of a "curtain opening" noise.

As far as random noises and the notion of Brian "rushing" recordings, there was in the 60's a certain niche of recordings that deliberately left in studio noises, or suggested the feel of a live catch-all atmosphere on the records. It's a small niche that doesn't get discussed as much today as a sub-genre, but there were a bunch of hit records in the early 60's that were going for the vibe of capturing a house party or a frat party or whatever you want to call it. One of the biggest is of course Louie Louie, but there were also ones like Double Shot of My Baby's Love which sounds like a frat party singalong with random voices joining in to sing. It's a pretty cool sound. Definitely not clean and polished, but that was the vibe.

So factor that in when the topic of 'Beach Boys Party!' comes up, and it's a direct line of influence. Capture the vibe of a party singalong...Boom, there is the concept. But it was not a new concept.

Then factor in that Rubber Soul was released about a month after Party!, and on the US Capitol pressing that Brian would have heard, they put (against McCartney's wishes) a version of "I'm Looking Through You" that had McCartney blowing numerous takes before starting the actual tune...I can see where McCartney would be upset, but maybe to Brian's ears it lent more to his impression that the whole album was "a gas", as in the listener got to hear this audio verite kind of vibe where Paul had several false starts on a song. It felt perhaps more human, more real to leave that kind of thing in there rather than trim it. Whether Capitol did it without the band's approval is one thing, but Brian and others hearing that on a Beatles record could have sparked some inspiration.

And that's where I think some of the more stray sounds that showed up on Pet Sounds were left on Pet Sounds. We can argue all day about whether those sounds were an aesthetic choice, a matter-of-fact owing to the limitations of the technology, or Brian being sloppy and rushing a mix, but those found sounds and audio verite vibe does add something to the overall feel of those tracks. It inspired other artists to do the same thing.

You really, and I mean REALLY hear it come out on Smiley Smile, almost to a fault...yet, it had that same vibe as all those frat-house records from the early 60's, only with different methods of inebriation.  Grin
23  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Thread for various insignificant questions that don't deserve their own thread! on: May 08, 2018, 07:47:04 AM
I've never seen the specific phraseology "don't f*** with the formula" in reference to anything but the apocryphal BB-related instance. I'mnot sure how widespread its use has ever been in the "cultural lexicon." If a wider group beyond BB fans are familiar with it, I'd guess it would be other general music fans; fans of music of this particular era. So you'd probably have non-BB fans who are fans of the Beatles or Stones or some other mid-late 60s band who probably is familiar with that element of the BB story.

As someone interested in debunking things and keeping historical accuracy, I've always been very mixed when it comes to the phrase. I totally buy the idea that Mike never actually said that specific line to anyone. But he certainly had sentiments at given points in the band's history that amounted to something more or less the same. I also think whichever person in the BB extended world who first ascribed the comment to Mike probably did so not out of malice or out of fabricating the phrase, but was probably moderately to vastly paraphrasing something they *had* actually personally heard Mike say.

I'm also not 100% certain Mike *didn't* say that specific phrase. It's easy to believe he held the general sentiment, and also *one time* actually said that line to someone, and then plenty of time after that passed without anyone quoting him on it, and then by the time the quote did start circulating, Mike genuinely didn't remember saying it.

But c'mon, take something like some of Mike's interviews in "Endless Harmony" discussing the 66-67 timeframe. He's basically saying he was antsy about Brian "fucking with the formula", without using those precise words.

Anyone who doubts there was the exact sentiment of not wanting to f*** with the formula during the time Brian was reaching for new sounds and textures in his BB's productions just hasn't read enough of the history, or is simply ignorant of what went down. The sentiment was there and according to some who were actually there to witness this, that sentiment was expressed openly toward Brian.

Whether the exact wording of the famous quote is exact or not, there were people in the band's inner circle and within the family who were expressing that sentiment.

The more interesting aspect to consider is what exactly was the "formula" by the end of 1965? Surfing? Hot rods? Brian had already done side 2 of Today in 1964. The band's singles had nothing to do with surfing or hot rods by this point.

If someone can define this "formula" in the perspective of the time when the sentiment was being bandied about within the inner circle, I'd like to hear that definition. And I think that may have been one of the primary issues that caused friction (and it did...), the notion of asking in reply "what is this formula that our records should be following?".
24  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / General Music Discussion / Re: Gibson Files For Bankruptcy on: May 02, 2018, 11:21:20 AM
I get that, but in a handful of articles with quotes from those in the business, they are playing the CYA game and using that "decline" as an excuse. For Gibson, for Guitar Center, for any number of big corporate music businesses falling from grace and losing money. And it's an easy excuse to grab, but it is just an excuse. Both Gibson and Guitar Center made some really, really bad corporate and business decisions and had business models that were simply not smart nor sustainable, not to mention their daily dealings with customers and the ways they did business.

So when a team of well-paid execs get called out by those who actually finance these corporations, they have to have a reason why things are failing that removes the blame and responsibility from their shoulders...and an easy one is to say in any industry "the market is changing" or "our primary brands are falling out of favor" or "the market climate is down overall due to blah blah blah".

McDonalds was all over the financial press some time ago with stories of how and why they were failing. Among the excuses was the consumers were either eating healthier or choosing "upscale" fast-food over the stalwarts.

As soon as McDonalds (and other stalwarts in that industry) lowered prices and expanded their various Value Menu options, the numbers went up. As soon as they decided people wanted lower prices and a feeling of more value for their dollars, the customers came back for those values. People on average do not go to McDonalds for a healthy salad and apple slices instead of fries. And people also do not like to pay 3-4 bucks for an order of fries that is worth $1.99.

Gibson getting into land deals and Lifestyle products and any number of non-guitar ventures was perhaps the prime culprit in this case...but pricing their items for years out of the hands of new Gibson customers coinciding with a public decline in quality and workmanship that got the company roasted on social media had as much to do with it in a pure musical sense as trends on the charts.

Guitar Center is a whole different story...but again, its decline has more to do with business practices and plans as it does with a changing consumer climate.
25  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / General Music Discussion / Re: Gibson Files For Bankruptcy on: May 02, 2018, 10:53:26 AM
KDS - What I'm saying is look beyond the soundbites and comments given by the various corporate and business people in the financial media reports on this and related topics. What these people being quoted amounts to is often the classic case of a corporate figure doing the C.Y.A. dance. If something goes awry, if a business plan or decision goes bad, they will usually offer a list of excuses why, in order to cover simple cases of them simply fucking up.

The excuse on this - and some of the people chiming in surprised me but not in the usual sense - is that the guitar market is drying up due to music not having guitar featured, or any number of other reasons. It's been done for decades.

Consider that there was a lot of greed and overpricing if we're talking solely about the guitar market itself. For one, a lot of the business is in a secondary market where used and vintage instruments are the ones being actively sought and sold. A company like Gibson or Fender sees no profit from this, and if the secondary and used/vintage market is a major player in the overall market, every vintage or used guitar sold or bought is money not going to the companies who make guitars. The only benefit they get is the residual effect of keeping the status of the brand alive among those who buy or sell these used/vintage instruments.

Take a look a the new Gibson product line for 2018. The majority of their "new" offerings are either replicas, reissues, or recreations of vintage or classic models. There are barely any legit new instruments or designs being offered.

Why is this? One reason is the vintage market got greedy, to be honest. They overvalued and overpriced to the point where even the term "vintage" was a license to overprice and overvalue items out of the range of most players beyond the rich, and those wealthy guys having a mid-life crisis who were in the executive or professional fields but wanted to recapture the dreams of being a rock star with a hot guitar they had when they were 19 but couldn't afford the guitar they dreamed of.

Gibson in that regard priced most of their line out of the hands of regular players. That's the music aspect.

In the business aspect, the simple facts are that they diversified too much and tried to become a Lifestyle Brand, and it didn't work.

In the business of guitar shops, dealers, retailers...they each had some serious flaws in their day-to-day operations and business plans. Simple as that. In some cases they simply f***ed up.

And what you see now in the comments is coming from people who have creditors, investors, shareholders, and boards of directors asking them in meetings "what the hell happened?"...and the convenient answer is the guitar market itself is failing and falling apart.

It's just another variation of people whose actions and business plans flopped, but they need to have an excuse for those putting them on the hot seat. In short, it's more of the same business and corporate nonsense that happens behind closed doors on an hourly basis. lol.  Smiley

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