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678692 Posts in 27434 Topics by 4045 Members - Latest Member: reecemorgan March 30, 2023, 11:56:40 PM
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26  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Feel Flows box set on: December 23, 2020, 10:35:13 PM
Somebody asked if The Beach Boys were ever filmed as The Beatles were for Get Back.  Well...  David Oppenheim filmed the Boys during The SMiLE sessions!  What a shame that the complete footage has never been found!  Or even the sound recordings!

Someone else asked why Capitol hasn't put out any teasers for Feel Flows.  Well... in the newly released video for "Little Saint Nick" there is an Easter Egg with "Feel Flows" written on a surfboard!

Love and merci,
Dan Lega
27  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Feel Flows box set on: November 24, 2020, 01:31:16 PM
I'm dying for a release of the Concert in Central Park!  That's probably my Holy Grail in the concert area.

I'm also super-super-stoked for finally getting a real release of "My Solution"!  I love that track.  It's both hilarious and genius!

I didn't watch Brian on Facebook, but I doubt the reason he said he didn't know anything about it is not because of Mike, but because of either...

1)  He didn't recognize the name of the box set.  Maybe if they had described it as a box set with Sunflower and Surf's Up albums on it he might have known what they were talking about?

2)  It's been months upon months, and almost certainly more than a year (or two?) since he was asked to give an interview for the box set, so maybe he's forgotten about it mostly, and maybe someone else has been doing most of the legal finagling for him on whether it should come out or not?

Also, I heard from a reliable source that the box set is going to be 5 discs only.  So my speculation that it would be more than that  is not going to be fulfilled.  Darn it!

Love and merci,
Dan Lega
28  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Feel Flows box set on: November 24, 2020, 09:32:44 AM
Why can't it be sooner?  I find it depressing that we still have to wait that long for it.

Alright, maybe lots of "fanfare" had been planned before last February, but since the release date had been derailed none of the fanfare was put forth.  Still, how much fanfare do you need for this?  Especially in this day and age when brick and mortar shops are almost all but gone?  Do we really need 7 or 8 months of anticipation for it to come out?  Didn't someone say the Elvis and Elton John box sets were only announced a few months in advance?  Why can't this come out in December or January; or February at the latest?

You're conflating "announced" with "already in production." Pressing and printing physical box sets takes time, and when you're under a global pandemic, things slow down even more. Everyone has to be in agreement before production gets to go forward. If you want someone to blame, it's whoever slowed down the decision making process and dragged their feet in signing off (cough cough Mike cough).

My understanding was the set was already finalized and it only needed to be manufactured.  So now that we have the go ahead and nothing apparently is going to be changed, just send the specs to the manufacturers and get it made!  How long can that take?  Okay, yes, with the pandemic it probably will take longer than usual.  And I guess there could be changes that are going to be made, but if Howie says it's "thriving" and "nobody will be disappointed" I took that to mean nothing was changed.

So give it to me in a couple months!  Please?  Pretty please?  Pretty please with sugar on top?   Cry

Love and merci,
Dan Lega

29  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Feel Flows box set on: November 24, 2020, 09:01:43 AM
Also, I'm really glad that we have a tentative release date.  But May or June 2021?

Why can't it be sooner?  I find it depressing that we still have to wait that long for it.

I mean, wasn't it supposed to come out last February with almost no fanfare?  Why can't they put it out this year with no fanfare?

Alright, maybe lots of "fanfare" had been planned before last February, but since the release date had been derailed none of the fanfare was put forth.  Still, how much fanfare do you need for this?  Especially in this day and age when brick and mortar shops are almost all but gone?  Do we really need 7 or 8 months of anticipation for it to come out?  Didn't someone say the Elvis and Elton John box sets were only announced a few months in advance?  Why can't this come out in December or January; or February at the latest?

Love and merci,
Dan Lega
30  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Feel Flows box set on: November 24, 2020, 08:49:01 AM
I loved hearing all the clips.

And I love the speculation of how this and many other things will fit into the box set.

I, for one, though, keep holding a thought in the back of my mind, namely this...

Remember... early in the year Endless Summer Quarterly said there was going to be a 5 disc set covering "Sunflower" and "Feel Flows"...  BUT... Howie came here and said the description in ESQ wasn't anywhere close to what the project really was!

So I keep hoping that there's a LOT MORE than 5 discs in this box set!  And for 5 discs (which is a lot!) to be off by "that" much it seems to me the set has to be at least 7 discs, and probably more!  Maybe even a video disc?

Just food for thought, that I'm surprised no one has really speculated on before!

Love and merci,
Dan Lega
31  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Feel Flows box set on: November 21, 2020, 06:48:10 PM
I'd love to see a documentary of SOT, too.  But... we're not going to get that until the statute of limitations runs out, or whoever did it passes away.  (Or until they get nabbed by the authorities and then can tell their tale.)

I'm still waiting for the ultra complete SOT, where we get everything, not the cut up sessions we got!

Of course, it'd be even better if the Beach Boys would officially release every single piece of session tape they have!  And release it in multi-track format, all 2, 4, 8, or 16 tracks so that we can listen to each track separately if we want.

And, of course, thank you Howie for letting us know that "Feel Flows" is still on track.  I just wish we had a release date for it!!! 

Love and merci,
Dan Lega
32  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Video: Brian creates at the piano on: October 22, 2020, 06:31:04 AM
That was brilliant!  I loved it.  I'd love to see more like this.
33  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Feel Flows box set on: October 20, 2020, 08:35:52 AM
HeyJude said...  "Nobody has said the set has been blocked due to Dennis material."

Okay, now I'm even more confused. 

So none of the other Beach Boys are fighting (against Mike, from all hints) to keep all the Dennis material on the set?  They're all okay with dumping it to get the set released?  If so, that's very sad.

And the original issue of someone (Mike again from all hints) blocking the set because they have some "legitimate" concern in the Beach Boy world -- that has nothing to do with Feel Flows set, but is being used as a pawn to get what they want -- has that been resolved?

Okay, maybe I get it -- the original "legitimate" concert hasn't been resolved, and the box is still on hold.  And now Mike doesn't want the Dennis material on it, but the reasoning behind this has nothing to do with "legitimate" concern.

But it sure appears as if the Dennis material is being used by Mike as another pawn to get what he wants.  I guess the two issues could be totally unrelated -- but it seems a mighty far stretch to get there.    Head Spin
34  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Feel Flows box set on: October 06, 2020, 07:10:55 PM
I liked "TheTojo's" dream about a Beach Boy-less group touring under the Beach Boys name.  It could well be the case.

In the same vein, maybe Mike is finally tired of paying Brian, Alan, and Carl's estate a licensing fee whenever he tours as The Beach Boys?  Perhaps he's trying to get that fee reduced or cancelled?

Both scenarios certainly fit the mold of not having anything to do with the box set, but being a legitimate concern that someone, (that being Mike,) would like changed.

Love and merci,

Dan Lega
35  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Feel Flows box set on: October 01, 2020, 04:08:19 PM
Hey HeyJude,

Didn't someone in this thread say the main thing holding up "Feel Flows" is an issue with credits?  Or did I dream that?

Now if that's the case, then the credit situation has to be worked out.  Or... the song, or songs, in question have to be excised from the set.

That brings us to speculation on why the credit situation is so hard to resolve.  I mean, are Mike or any other of the Beach Boys going to make more than a negligible amount by getting their names on some obscure track that is going to appear on this vanity/historical release?  Probably not.  So that should be easy to resolve.

However, if someone wants their credit changed on one or more of the main songs on the two albums, then perhaps they're asking for reimbursement of monies lost over the years?  Isn't that what Mike did before?  He sued and got Brian to pay him for royalties he was not paid over the years?

Am I getting close?

Love and merci,
Dan Lega

36  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: 'All I Wanna Do' Mystery Lyrics on: September 02, 2020, 12:22:23 AM

In this isolated clip the best I can figure is... "If you feel lonely in the night I'd always be with you." 

Doesn't make a whole lot of sense, though.   

At first I heard "call", but I couldn't hear "call and...", so that's why I think it might be "always".
37  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Surfs Up - \ on: August 06, 2017, 01:10:06 AM
Thanks for chiming in Mr. Desper!

When I first heard it back in the early 70's I thought they were singing "Right on!  Right on!"  That being a very common phrase, at least in the late 60's if not the early 70's.

Love and merci,
Dan Lega
38  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Brian Wilson's Secret Bedroom Tapes - LA Weekly 1-30-14 on: January 30, 2014, 02:41:13 PM

What a cool article!  Let me add my voice in saying I want to hear this stuff now!!!

How about he take the best of the best song from these tapes, and record it for the new album?   

And, yes, I would like to see Brian try to finish some things.  ("Can't Wait Too Long", for example.)  However, I also want to hear the unvarnished originals -- as I have yet to hear in the past, what, 35 years, Brian taking an old idea and making it better.  Except for SmiLE 2004, from 1978 on, his old ideas always seem to lose quite a bit in their latter translation, in my opinion.  But I keep hoping!

Love and merci,   Dan Lega
39  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: \ on: October 25, 2013, 12:22:01 PM
Yeah, I'd love to hear more about this track, too.

And just for the sake of it, I'd like to throw this out, too....

It seems to me that the track after the demo is "finished", meaning that this was not an idle tinkering.  What we've got is all "final take".  However, there certainly seems to be a lot missing. 

And I've got a theory.  If Brian is going to add more to a track (besides vocals), what's the last thing he usually added?   Strings!

So my theory, (and hopeful wish), is that Brian has, or at least had, an incredible string arrangement somewhere in his head that he was going to add to this song.

(This string arrangement, if real, would have made the song even more like "She's Leaving Home", wouldn't it?)

Love and merci,   Dan Lega
40  Smiley Smile Stuff / Smile Sessions Box Set (2011) / Re: TSS - All things I Love to Say Dada on: January 20, 2012, 06:44:57 PM
If this song was going to be about a baby (as revealed on a separate thread) then maybe it was not intended for the Smile album but for another project ?

"Dada" was supposed to be about a baby?  Could someone please point me to the thread with this extremely interesting new revelation?!  Thanks!

Love and merci,   Dan Lega
41  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: SMiLE Sessions box set! on: November 14, 2011, 03:55:24 PM
Okay, here are my notes on the SMiLE Sessions box set.

What a discovery about hearing Brian singing some original lyrics to "Holidays"!  (I forgot who first noticed it, but Big Kahuna kudos to you!)

On the "Cornucopia" version of "Vega-Tables" you've got the background lyric, "Rolling all around, dig a hole in the ground."  (Okay, the lyric sheet says "Roll all around", but it sounds like "Rolling all around" to me.)   And if you look at the Frank Holmes drawing of "Vege-Tables" that is printed on the 45 in the box set you'll see that there's a drawing in the left hand bottom corner of a "hole in the ground"!

I wish Frank Holmes drawings had been printed at full size in the book.  Maybe Frank will produce an art book with them?  I'd definitely buy it!  (And if I were a publisher I'd definitely publish it!)

"Da Da" -- CD-4, track 8 -- there's is some kind of weird percussion on the track that is listed as "percussion unknown".  I tried opening and closing a pair of scissors and came very close to the sound.  (Maybe if I had an all metal pair of scissors it would have matched it even better?)  But I'm not saying conclusively that it's a pair of scissors.  But if you wanted to recreate the sound you'd come pretty close.

"I Don't Know" seems to remind me a folk song or an old standard, but I can't think of which one.  Does it sound familiar to anyone else?

And I'd like to know what documentation exists that attributes the writing of "I Don't Know" to Dennis, and of "Tones/Tune X" to Carl.

"Teeter Totter Love" -- okay it's a strange track to start with -- but those girls singing "Yeah, yeah!" is the strangest part of it!  Is that something from a sounds effects tape that is thrown in, or was it done live?  It sounds canned to me.

Did anyone else have problems with skips and/or dropouts with the CD's?  I heard a few on my discs, but I think it's my disc player's age that is showing.  When I finally realized that these dropouts might be caused by my machine instead of being problems with the original tapes I waited for the next one I heard and went right back and played it again, and lo and behold it played perfectly the second time.  I haven't had time to go back and check the other discs again -- this is a huge set!  It takes a really long time to listen to everything!  (So hopefully it's just a minor glitch with my player, and not manufacturing defects.)

But there does seem to be some kind of CD or original tape glitch just before the 2 minute mark of track 19 on CD-2, which I don't think is my disc player.  It's "H&V Prelude to Fade", and there's a slide whistle and strings going on, and then the slide whistle quickly repeats with a short drop-out of the strings.  Is this what was on the original tape, or is it some kind of digital mistake?

"I'm In Great Shape" -- I'm leaning toward Brian singing "open country", rather than "agriculture".  I'm hearing a "P" sound instead a "G", and I'm hearing an "eeee" sound for country, instead of an "er" or "ure" sound for agriculture.  And if anyone remembers, David Oppenheim wrote "open country" in the notes he took for the "Inside Pop" special.

"All Day" -- this has a new section I've never heard, and this is probably the biggest and best piece of new instrumental music on the set in my opinion.  And then Brian is heard saying that there is going to be talking going on between breaks in the track -- and then says he's going to show them (the Boys?) what he wants them to do on the track.  I sure wish they had kept the tape rolling for that!  Another seemingly forever lost SMiLE idea.

"Heroes and Villains" -- another cool and interesting new musical idea is the "villainous" piano trill for "H&V" on track 23, CD-2.

"Heroes and Villains" -- track 27, CD-2 -- the "H&V" chorus has clanks, like the hitting of railroad spikes, and rattle and sandpaper sounds like the chugging of a train engine.  Was this an attempt by Brian to connect the song to "Cabinessence" in some way?  Then again, we've also got a vocalized train whistle in other "H&V" sessions, so it could just go with that.  But just maybe it was more of Brian's attempt to have SMiLE be symphonic in nature with different themes showing up throughout the piece?

"Heroes and Villains"  -- track 28, CD-2, "Prelude to Fade" -- the track which Barnyard was sang over?  (If not, it can be sang over it, I think.)  It's interesting that some takes have bird sounds on them!  We haven't heard them before on any previous leaked takes.  There's also a line, probably from a muted trumpet, that sounds to me as if it was supposed to represent the bleating of a lamb, or the mooing of a cow.

And my final new observation (for now at least) is the SMiLE ad -- you know the one where that says, "We're sure to sell a million units in January!"  Well, all this time I think all of us thought the ad was saying Capitol was expecting to sell a million copies of SMiLE.  But now that I've heard more from the beginning of the ad, I don't think it says that at all!  I think Capitol is saying they're hoping to sell a million units of records -- all records -- (with SMiLE included) -- in the month of January!  So I think this is one long held assumption that now becomes a SMiLE myth, and that can, unfortunately, be laid to rest!

Long live SMiLE,   Dan Lega
42  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: SMiLE Sessions box set! on: November 10, 2011, 03:00:28 PM

I'm very behind in my reading, so please forgive me if some of this has been gone over already....

A few quick thoughts on the release of the Beach Boys SMiLE...

Of course I was hoping there would be some major revelations, such as printed or sung lyrics that I've never heard, but that didn't really happen.  However, that being the case, Mark and Alan did somehow find different takes of previously bootlegged sessions that had not appeared, yet.  So I give them big, big kudos on that accomplishment!
My biggest disappointment with what we are presented was the mix of "Child Is Father Of The Man" on disc 1.  I'm really disappointed with the way they put those sections together.  That lonely piano and trumpet section needs to go after the verse/chorus/verse/chorus -- not before it!  It totally ruins the impact of that great piece of music for me.  They should have left it as it was on the contemporary mix by Brian, which was the same template he used for SMiLE in 2004.

The other thing that I'm everyone noticed is that the LP's and 45's have things written in the run out groove.  What was written on the "Heroes & Villains" 45 had me confused at first. 

Side A has what looks like... "A+  2 score". 

And side B has.   "and 5".

Well, it eventually hit me that "2 score and 5" is a take-off of the "H&V" lyric of "3 score and 5".  And that "2 score and 5" equals 45, which is the number of years since SMiLE was written!

But I couldn't figure out what the "A+" meant... until I was writing this email just now.  Perhaps it's not "A+", but the word "At", and is the lyric "At three score and five, I'm very much alive."

Long live SMiLE,   Dan Lega
43  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: New BW/Smile interview (video) on: October 19, 2011, 02:28:26 PM
Shame about the major factual errors... but balanced by Brian stating that it was drugs and his & Van Dyke's decision that put paid to the project, with no mention of the evil Mike Love. That'll piss off the more rabid blooies.  Grin

Now wait a minute...  you don't seriously believe that Van Dyke was in on the decision to scrap the project, do you?   I'm pretty sure Van Dyke doesn't believe this, since Van Dyke has previously said that he was fired from the project after Mike questioned his lyrics.  This, to me, is just Brian once again blowing smoke over the real reason for the stillbirth -- the same thing he has done for so many years.

Love and merci,   Dan Lega
44  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: SMiLE Sessions Price Thread. on: October 13, 2011, 03:01:15 PM
CD wow has the 2cd for 12.99 with FREE DELIVERY, no doubt the best deal around

Unless you're like me and you insist on picking up the 2cd on the day of release, this is the best choice

That CDWow price in the link you sent is in pounds, not dollars.  Maybe it's still the best price for those overseas, but you fooled me, because I had thought you were talking dollars.

Love and merci,   Dan Lega
45  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: SMiLE Sessions box set! on: September 19, 2011, 02:48:57 PM
Love and merci, Dan Lega -

Real life is not a TV sitcom where things just leave off, enter a time vacuum, and emerge years later with nothing inbetween. Van Dyke Parks didn't just humbly back down from asserting his confidence in his lyrics to Mike Love, he left in a prissy huff and left the entire project soon thereafter right? What's that all about? All that work and creative drive with Brian just... thrown away over an argument with goofball Mike Love? Come on. VDP is a butthole, like Brian Wilson said.

He left it all to Brian to finish or not finish. After he left Brian seems to have lost the plot with Smile. I think Van Dyke was a great stabilizing presence for Brian, someone intelligent enough to fully understand him yet not spaced out in a damaged way himself, still grounded in the mundane world so well that he can give a sense of direction to the proceedings. Brian has said sometimes in the studio you get so close to it you don't know where it's at. With Van Dyke making regular visits he would've had a trusted source of judgment, not some guy in the street hearing a Heroes mix and not liking it so it gets junked.

"Goofball Mike"?  Hmmm.  Like I said earlier, Mike Love was arguably the most successful American rock and roll lyricist.  AND... he apparently has the ego to go with such a title.  So calling him "Goofball Mike" is very misleading in this context.  And how do you know Van Dyke left in a hissy fit?  I think he saw that Brian was now unwilling to go to bat for the lyrics, and so along with the heat he felt from Mike he decided to try and stay in the background by saying the lyrics didn't really mean anything specific.  But by the end of the meeting Van Dyke felt he had been fired!  How could he stay around?  Who was telling him to come back and help Brian finish it?  I agree that having Van Dyke around could have very well led to SMiLE being finished.  But after that confrontation with Mike Van Dyke felt that he was no longer wanted and bowed out.  I really don't see how you can blame SMiLE not being finished on a "wimpy" Van Dyke.  I really don't.

Love and merci,    Dan Lega
46  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: SMiLE Sessions box set! on: September 16, 2011, 12:43:24 PM
If Van Dyke Parks got more street cred from working with Smile it should have been duly balanced with scorn for abandoning the project like a stuck up college intellectual dork at the playful ribbing of class clown Mike Love. If V Dyke was just like Har har Mike whatever you say pal...   HISTORY MIGHT BE VERY DIFFERENT. Of course if we're going to break down the net of causes we could say well if Mike didn't give V Dyke a hard time... etc. But, VDP did walk out. I think he's had his tail between his legs till 2004 over it and he still knows all too well that Smile never got to be what it was meant to be [a phrase VDP would enjoy saying] even though Brian's Smile did come out in 2004. He said it seemed much "bigger" back then - that's the ambition, the shared vision to complete the project in the unified vision of it. Once Van Dyke Parks left, it became a Brian Wilson project and lost the sober direction VDP could bring to matters. Endless takes of what... Dada?

So once again we get the "Van Dyke should be demonized and flogged for abandoning SMiLE just when it needed him the most".  AGAIN, Brian Wilson and Mike Love were arguably the most successful rock and roll songwriting team in America!  If Brian couldn't convince Mike Love of the importance of the lyrics, then who was Van Dyke to say, "Hey, my lyrics are better than yours Mike?"  Mike's lyrics had sold millions of records, Van Dyke's lyrics had not.  Who was he to drive a wedge between two of the most powerful men in the industry?  Who was he to drive a wedge between two cousins in a family run business?  And besides, what good would have come of explaining the lyrics to Mike?  It's 40 years later and he still doesn't understand them.

Love and merci,   Dan Lega
47  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: SMiLE Sessions box set! on: September 13, 2011, 02:30:10 PM
And wonderful items they are indeed. The best BB-related purchases I made in 1997. Also had the privelidge of speaking to Frank on the phone to convey my thanks; wonderful fellow.

He really is. The girlfriend and I had dinner with him in S.F. in 2004. She really had no idea who he was or his connection with Smile, but she ended up spending more time talking to him than me! He even gave her some of his artwork and personalized it to her! He had some good stories that night about his association with Brian and Van Dyke.

Mikie, I'd love to hear the stories that Frank Holmes told you.  Have you posted them here before?

Love and merci,    Dan Lega
48  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: SMiLE Sessions box set! on: September 13, 2011, 02:17:35 PM
In regards to whether "Tones" and "Little Pad" are similar, Sean MacCreavy made a recording where he sang the "Little Pad" lyrics ove Tones, and it sounded perfect!

do you have this recording Dan? i'd love to hear it

Yes, I do -- but, unfortunately, I'm unable to share it.  My home computer is on the blink.  You should try to contact Sean MacCreavy and ask him if he still has copies.  His recording of this track is totally new.  (No Beach Boy tracks were harmed in the making of this recording.)  You should also hear the lyrics he put to Mauni Kauni (or Mona Kani)[sp?] -- absolutely fantastic!

Love and merci,   Dan Lega

49  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: SMiLE Sessions box set! on: September 12, 2011, 08:21:54 AM
In regards to whether "Tones" and "Little Pad" are similar, Sean MacCreavy made a recording where he sang the "Little Pad" lyrics ove Tones, and it sounded perfect!

Then, in regards to Al saying that "Worms" was not "Worms" on the '93 Box Set, if I remember correctly he never said that in a interview.  That was something he said to David Leaf, and David Leaf told other people what he said, and it got passed on from there.

Love and merci,   Dan Lega
50  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: SMiLE Sessions box set! on: September 01, 2011, 03:14:27 PM
You know, people (that is, the less obsessed and knowledgeable) will hear the sessions when this thing comes out, and they will hear just how many vocals were actually recorded for the unfinished/abandoned album that allegedly had a lot of dissent from within, and they might just start to see the story differently.

This way of thinking always gets to me.  Why couldn't they have recorded the lyrics AND heavily complained about them?  As far as I know it IS physically possible to SING a lyric, (with feeling, too!) even if you don't like it very much!  Throw in the fact that, hey, you're already in the studio AND you're already PAYING for the studio time and engineers.

Love and merci,   Dan Lega

... but what's the problem then if they did their job and sang the song?  Brian wasn't asking Mike to write on SMiLE.  Brian wasn't asking Dennis for help recording the album.  He was just asking them to sing.  Which they obviously did.  So whether or not they were happy campers is irrelevant.  We've got one legend of a story of Mike being crucified for 40 years for the mistake of asking what a phrase means.  It's also a fascinating thing that Mike always gets the blame for this, when he did all that was asked of him... and in the close years that followed Brian abandoned the band in a large way. 

I love Brian to death but all the hate the others (Mike especially) get over this album is getting old.  Not aimed at you Dan, I'm just talking about the common perception. 

And that's the other thing that gets to me, "Mike did all that was asked of him."  How do you know this?  And even if Mike did do all that was asked of him, that still doesn't preclude him from complaining about it so much that it scuttled the album.  In fact, that's what Van Dyke says happened, that there was a family dynamic that was being pushed to the limit because of the SMiLE sessions, because of his lyrics.  Therefore, Van Dyke thought he should leave the project, otherwise the scene might get really ugly and Brian might have to choose between Van Dyke and SMiLE, or the Beach Boys.  So Van Dyke left, sensing that Brian wasn't strong enough to bridge the gap and bring the Beach Boys into the new direction that he and Van Dyke were heading.

And, yes, we've got a lot of SMiLE vocals, but we've also got a lot of key parts missing.  Why are they missing?  Is it because Brian got so tired of hearing complaints about the lyrics that he no longer had the strength or will to get the Boys into studio for fear of repeat performances of harangues and complaints?

Mike says he didn't like the lyrics.  Mike doesn't think his complaints scuttled the album.  Van Dyke thinks they did.  Brian has said the band's complaints were a major, major bummer.  That's two against one, the way I see it.  Oh, and then there is Anderle's accounts of the Boys giving Brian a hard time.  I'm still not seeing the "story differently" from where I sit.

Love and merci,    Dan Lega

Love and Merci to you too Dan.  I don't want to offend you so first I'd like to say I respectfully disagree with you.  Van Dyke was such a weak person he walked away from confrontation.  Asking about lyrics.  I mean?  Come on!  Brian was mentally challenged and is today, you can't get a fair shake on what's 'depressing' from Brian Wilson, god bless him but everything depresses him and has for years. 

If vocals weren't recorded; couldn't Brian have recorded them?  Of course he could!  The reason the album didnt' come out has nothing to do with Mike Love.  At all.  If Brian gets the glory (rightfully!) for the album, then he also gets the blame for why it wasn't released. 

We just disagreed, I don't expect you to never post again.  Of course you will.  You'll probably tell me why I'm wrong... that's what adults do!  Van Dyke left the sessions, then later Brian left the group every chance he got and couldn't be goaded into doing anything hardly.  I' not saying Mike is a saint or even a gentleman but saying you dropped an album because somebody asked you what something meant and didn't like your art?  I'm sure glad Mike Love never met Picasso! 

And there's another thing that really gets in my craw, " Van Dyke was such a weak person he walked away from confrontation.  Asking about lyrics.  I mean?  Come on!"   So it's Van Dyke's fault that SMiLE didn't come out?  Even though "he did everything that Brian asked him to?"  (A little sarcasm there, in case you don't detect it.)

Put yourself in Van Dyke's shoes.  Imagine yourself a struggling musician/songwriter in California.  Every once in awhile you're meeting and working with some fairly famous musicians, but you're not making much money.  Heck, you don't even have enough money to own a car!  And then what happens?  Wow, the most famous pop musician in the United States asks you to be his lyric writer!!!  But it's a little more complicated than that, this guy used to write songs with his bandmate, but he's now decided on his own(*!*) that he's going to take the group into a totally different direction with more literate and even psychedelic lyrics, and, you know what, it's OK if they're a little obtuse.  Then imagine you work together extremely well.  The chemistry between the two of you is tremendous.  And after many months, imagine you've done almost enough songwriting to finish an album!  But what happens next?  Well, the band, especially the ex-songwriting partner, begins to hear what you two have been working on, and begins to be called in for vocal sessions, and what does he do, he complains about your lyrics!  (I'll now switch to using Brian's and Mike's name for ease and clarity of the writing.)  Now imagine Brian begins to feel beaten down and not appreciated.  He ultimately doesn't have the wherewithal to bring his bandmates on board.  He's getting bombarded with complaints every time they have to record some lyrics.  It gets so bad that the ex-songwriting partner, Mike, has demanded you come down and explain your lyrics.  With trepidation you come to the meeting.  You SEE that Brian looks defeated.  You SEE that Mike is not happy about Brian's new direction.  Mike asks you to explain yourself and your lyrics.  You look at Mike, and you figure, even if I explain all the different ways these lyrics can be interpreted he is still not going to like them.  So instead of trying to explain yourself you say, "Hey, they're just lyrics.  If they don't work for you, then throw them away."  You say this because you see that Brian is not going to stand up for you.  He's been beaten down by Mike.  And you feel the heat, too.  Mike is an intimidating guy.  It looks like your presence is causing a very, VERY big strain on the band.  Is it you're right to try and drive a wedge between them?  If you think about it, I think that most likely you'll come to the conclusion that, no, it's not your right to drive a wedge between the bandmates of the most popular band in America.  A band where most members are very, VERY closely related.  So you know what you do, you excuse yourself from the situation, because, who are you?  Some piddling little musician who is just barely scrounging enough money to live on.  The people you are dealing with are the most powerful pop musicians in all of America!  Heck, they are in a direct battle for supremacy with the Beatles!  They are huge!  Who are you?  Brian tried to so something different, and the band didn't like the direction.  You think it's time for you to go on your own separate way.  Goodbye, Brian.  It was great while it lasted.  It's a shame we couldn't have finished what we started.  Hopefully it will all be for the best.  And then, sure, you're going to kick yourself over and over for the rest of your life saying, should I have done more?  Maybe.  But that was the situation, and that's how you acted.  You can't change it now.

So, yeah, Van Dyke was fucking weak wimp who couldn't even explain his lyrics.  Do you think you could explain Van Dyke's lyrics to Mike Love in a way that would change his mind about them?  I don't think I could.

Love and merci,   Dan Lega
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