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645578 Posts in 25819 Topics by 3679 Members - Latest Member: as1972 April 21, 2019, 05:42:31 AM
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1  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Holy Man Record Store Day on: April 19, 2019, 08:32:29 AM
Personally, after years of hearing about how awful it was, I was prepared to dislike it intensely. But upon actually hearing it, I kinda like it. Remember, Dennis had intended for the Double Rock Baptist Choir to sing on it, so Taylor's version - simple and beautiful as it is - always felt to me like it was still missing its full potential. Yeah, I know - with Dennis gone, we can't say it could ever be exactly as he intended, but I gotta say, the addition of the "Queen choir" has filled it out and made it closer, I believe, to what he intended. And it doesn't sound "too Queen-like" to me...maybe because Freddy's trademark, distinctive voice is not on it. The guitar solos, however? I could live without them. I think Carl's original solo fits better.

Lastly, I thought folks might enjoy re-reading what Brian May posted on his website back in '08 about the creative process he went through in realizing this version:


"Well, since many people have been asking, and the word seems to be out there ....
I got inspired when Taylor sent me the track in its raw state, with a really soulful vocal from Taylor. It was a song which Dennis Wilson had begun, shortly before he died, but never finished. Beautiful piano playing, wonderful spiritual feel. The producers of the new Dennis Wilson release had asked Taylor Hawkins to sing on the track, and, by instinctive 'feel', finish the song. He had done an amazing job. Taylor had a feeling we could contribute, so he sent me a ProTools session of it. If you were a fan of the Beach Boys, you'll remember Dennis was not known as the principal songwriter, and was regarded by many as just a band member who was carried along. But, of all of the band, it was only Dennis who actually led the life of a surfer, and as time went on, it became obvious that he had a lot to say. He came into his own as a writer, and is now regarded by many as truly at the heart of what the Beach Boys were, and are, in the history of Rock.

So the track arrived, and I was moved ... so much so, that it hadn't even got to the end of the first playing before I was down in the studio, playing along ... inspired. I plunged in, and did a kind of resculpting, about three days work, as perhaps you'll eventually hear - and sent back a rough mix of what I'd done. It involved mapping and singing some backing vocals for the lead vocal to bounce off, building the rhythm track with guitars, and playing a solo. I then extended the song a little, to try to make the point a little stronger, and made an ending which resolved to something very much like the opening of the track - just subtly changed. The whole track spoke to me like a poem, and seemed to be steeped in the spirit of this mysterious man, the Beach Boy Who Surfed. And I wanted to do my bit to realise it to the full. Taylor was hugely enthusiastic, and we then asked Roger to add his magic. Roger loved it too, added his voice to the harmonies, and did some nice percussion, so the whole thing now had a subtle Queen overtone. We all loved the track - and hoped that we would see it on the Dennis album.

Sadly, we then found out that the producers of the album had gone ahead and compiled the album without waiting for us. I think there is some plan to issue it as a download, but obviously, having put so much love into it, we were a little disappointed, Taylor and Roger and me.

But such is life. It was still a nice experience doing it. Those moments are precious, and it's a fact of life that they don't always lead to something commercially successful, or even get heard. It's the moments of creative joy which matter ... and, in a way, this brought us closer to Taylor. And maybe there will yet be a good outcome."


2  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Holy Man Record Store Day on: April 18, 2019, 09:42:36 PM
It's been officially uploaded on YouTube...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ot4JCJPA3MI
3  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: The Voice of Al Jardine on: April 09, 2019, 04:28:08 AM
Al sings the first verse, i.e. “Life supporting waves of bliss...”

Mike sings the second, “Golden auras glow around you...”

I always thought it was Mike on both verses. I’ll be damned.
Yeah, that's what I'm saying.

I second that. Mike is really "breathy" on his verse - you can hear him inhaling. That aspect is absent from Al's verse.
4  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: BBs members sharing outfits on: March 25, 2019, 05:42:38 PM
I'm pretty sure those are different shirts.
5  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Brian Wilson: Long Promised Road (2019 Brent Wilson Documentary) on: March 25, 2019, 04:41:24 PM
The best title would've been "I Just Wasn't Made For These Times", but as that had already been used as the title of a Brian documentary (hard to believe it, but nearly 25 years ago now!), the next best would've been "Love And Mercy", but since that was already used as the title of a Brian biopic, they should've just called it "Being Brian Wilson". THAT would've been a GREAT title! Even "Til I Die" or "This Whole World" or "Sail On Sailor" would've been more fitting than the title of a Carl Wilson song! Let's just hope the movie's good.
6  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: why are songs repeated on the early albums, ie. on: March 18, 2019, 05:18:02 PM
They were repeated on the Little Deuce Coupe album because that record was all about cars.... To save time, he reused those three songs to fit the concept.


And then added "Be true to your school". 
Huh

Which, technically, kinda fit the car theme...a little...by virtue of that one line about driving around with my decal in back...
7  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: What's the closest that Brian ever came to replicating a Phil Spector session? on: March 17, 2019, 08:37:56 AM
Oh, and here's the lineup on Spector's production of "Be My Baby":

Guitars: Bill Pitman, Tommy Tedesco
Fender bass: Ray Pohlman
Upright bass: Jimmy Bond
Keyboards: Don Randi, Leon Russell, Al de Lory, Michael Spencer
Drums: Hal Blaine
Percussion: Frank Capp
Trumpet: Roy Caton
Trombone: Lou Blackborn
Tenor saxophone: Steve Douglas
Baritone saxophone: Jay Migliori

All of the players on the Boys' version of "WDFFIL" were on this session, it's just that Phil used a few extra guys, and as I said, Mike was singing live with the WC guys.
EDIT: I guess Plas Johnson was not on "Be My Baby". Oh, well - otherwise, the rest were.
8  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: What's the closest that Brian ever came to replicating a Phil Spector session? on: March 17, 2019, 08:26:52 AM
Well yeah, lots of Brian-produced Honeys singles have that total Spector "girl group" sound, and used Spector's musicians in the same studio...but the original poster specifically asked which "Beach Boys" session came the closest to emulating the lineup of a Spector session, so I went with "WDFFIL"...
9  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: What's the closest that Brian ever came to replicating a Phil Spector session? on: March 16, 2019, 08:59:20 AM
I'm curious which sessions by The Beach Boys might've come closest to replicating all or most of the session players who played on any given song by Phil Spector? I don't just mean which songs simply made use of The Wrecking Crew, but specifically are there any particular songs where it's the exact same group of studio players from one Phil Spector song to another BBs song?

My other question, is I wonder if Brian ever instructed any of those musicians to specifically try to recreate the sound/vibe from a particular Phil Spector song. If one listens to Phil Spector backing tracks, it's amazing how close Brian came to capturing that vibe. Uncannily so.

I would say the Boys' version of "Why Do Fools Fall In Love" came pretty close, not only in terms of personnel, studio, engineer, but also in terms of ambience, energy, and VIBE. Bill Pitman and Tommy Tedesco on guitars, Ray Pohlman on Fender bass, Jimmy Bond on upright bass, Hal on drums, Frankie Capp on percussion, Leon Russell and Al de Lory on pianos, Steve Douglas, Jay Migliori, and Plas Johnson on saxophones. The one element present on the tracking session that Spector never had was Mike singing the bass vocal live, from the vocal booth. But otherwise, pretty close to a carbon copy of a Phil session.

There are other examples , but that particular one stands out in my opinion.
10  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Hal Blaine on: March 09, 2019, 07:25:54 AM
Wow...he just accepted my Facebook friend request the other day.
11  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Good Timin' w. Dennis lead vocal- what show is this from? on: March 09, 2019, 07:25:09 AM
They rehearsed it for "Midnight Special", but did not perform it on the actual show. My understanding is that the rehearsal is the origin of this audio recording. The comment about Dennis signing it because Carl was too scared was something Dennis said onstage before he sang it at the Radio City Music Hall that March (I think he might have said "too shy" or something to that effect).
12  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: funny Beach Boys art on: February 16, 2019, 09:21:57 AM
Who's on bongos here - the artist?  Or is that supposed to be Stamos?
13  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Bruce Johnston's 1968 Solo Project - Polydor - \ on: February 10, 2019, 10:02:20 PM
For "Think About the Days' on "that's why god made the radio"-- is Bruce doing the falsetto on that one? I swear I read that.


Yes, he is singing a high falsetto part. IIRC, there is another sung by Foskett. He also sings a noticeable falsetto line on "Bill and Sue".
14  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Bruce Johnston's 1968 Solo Project - Polydor - \ on: February 10, 2019, 08:20:50 AM
I believe Billy was being groomed to replace Bruce at that time. Right around the time that Bruce gave up his share in the beachboy corporation as well as an owner. As far as his contributions then and now let's be real Bruce has contributed very little next to nothing on stage other than hand clapping for years and years and years now. Take him off the stage and  the show wouldn't miss a beat without him

And yet, a year or two back, when Bruce missed a show or two, people here commented on how the live vocal stack was much weaker without him. I think they were comparing YouTube videos from those shows to recent shows with Bruce (I didn't myself). I'm sure someone can find that thread, if they are so inclined.
15  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Bruce Johnston's 1968 Solo Project - Polydor - \ on: February 08, 2019, 01:03:17 PM
Wasn't Bluebirds originally going to be a Bruce solo track?  Maybe that is what she heard.

Exactly. He also cut something called "Fanfare" for Columbia in late July of '67 (I have a copy of the AFM contract). Was that ever released?
16  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: 1968 Beach Boy European Tour Documentary on: February 02, 2019, 10:34:50 PM
Billy's video is from parts of the various '74 tours.
17  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: All I Wanna Do - What were The BBs trying to achieve with it? on: January 31, 2019, 04:24:42 PM
Not sure why you'd want "a brand new remix of the full song" - the released version is absolutely perfect, and any remix attempt would likely not live up to that.
I can see the value in releasing the other configurations you're hoping for.
18  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Can anyone help id this performance? on: January 28, 2019, 06:57:01 PM
If anyone decides to post more of the footage, please let the board know!

It would be so nice if the powers that be decided to release a compilation DVD of all the major tv performances over the years.  I know a lot of people have this stuff in bits and pieces but it would be great to have a good bit of it on one release. 

Including the foreign stuff, like "Gran Gala Du Disque" from Holland, and the full New Zealand and Australia shows from '78 (assuming they still exist).
19  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: David Marks to play in Denmark (!) on: January 28, 2019, 08:39:58 AM
Adam Marsland - keyboard spiller.  Cool!  Smiley
20  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Can anyone help id this performance? on: January 27, 2019, 12:23:39 PM
Thanks.  Do you know the name of the show or anything else I could use to look it up?  I’d love to see more of the footage from this.  

"Goin' Platinum". It was on either HBO or Showtime in 1980. Last I looked a few years back, the whole thing wasn't on YouTube, but maybe it is now.

It was distributed by Showtime. I just watched it on the DVD I had made from a Betamax tape I recorded when it was first shown in 1980 (On TV Ch 15 in Phoenix, AZ).
It was the first in a series of shows called "Going Platinum" (not Goin') hosted by a Rolling Stones magazine editor.

Yes, Ben Fong-Torres as stated above.
21  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Can anyone help id this performance? on: January 26, 2019, 05:51:42 PM
I believe Ben Fong Torres was the narrator/host for this

Yep.
22  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Steel Guitar on Little Pad on: January 26, 2019, 10:32:10 AM
So, if it is indeed Al Vescovo playing the steel guitar on "Little Pad", that was likely his first session with Brian. Meaning, he was probably located and booked through a call to the Union (by Diane, who was acting as Brian's union contractor at the time). That, in turn, would mean (beyond the shadow of a doubt in my mind) that the proper paperwork was indeed filed to cover both Vescovo's participation and that of whoever played the ukulele (assuming that the uke was not played by one of the Boys). Finally, we can conclude that said paperwork must be missing, since everything else from those sessions seems to be accounted for.

And that does seem somewhat plausible - although sessions for each of the Smiley songs seem to be well documented by corresponding AFM contracts and/or Capitol Popular Session Workseets, there nonetheless IS an incongruous gap where the paperwork for a June 27 session might be missing. Essentially, starting June 3, it appears that the group would work for a stretch of between 3-5 days, then take 3 days off. The exceptions to this rule would seem to be June 4 (when it appears that no session was held - either that, or that day's paperwork - likely for a "Vegetables/With Me Tonight" session - is also missing), and the period right before and right after the Fourth Of July holiday, when they worked 6 days straight (IF, in fact, there was a session on June 27), then took 4 days off (including the holiday) before returning to work just 2 days, then resuming the normal schedule by taking 3 days off, followed by a stretch of working 5 days straight to finish the album.

Examining the "modular" fashion in which some of the Smiley songs seem to have been pieced together, and then comparing them to the AFM contracts, can be revealing. We already know that some sessions logged as "Vegetables" were actually for "With Me Tonight" (the latter song considered at some point to be part of the former), and it now appears to me that what was logged initially as "The Hawaiian Song" produced not only pieces of what became "Little Pad", but also a piece of what became "She's Goin' Bald" (namely, the section where the following lyrics are sung: "You're too late mama, ain't nothin' upside you're head"). My reasoning here is that one outside musician - upright bassist Chuck Berghofer - was employed for the June 21 session, logged as "Hawaiian Song - Insert", and the 2017 release of the "Little Pad" backing track on Sunshine Tomorrow reveals that the deep bass on that part of the song is, in fact, an upright. My theory, therefore, is that this piece, originally intended as part of whatever "Hawaiian Song" was going to be, was ultimately siphoned off for "She's Goin' Bald", and the other piece intended for "Hawaiian Song" (and this was likely just a working title for a concept Brian had) - tracked on June 19 with vocals added on the 20th - was incorporated into "Little Pad", along with new pieces recorded under the title "Little Pad In Hawaii" on the 27th (if my theory about missing paperwork is true) and the 28th.

Now - in this theory of mine, the June 27 session was obviously for the "steel guitar/marimba" part of the song (let's call it "Part Two"), while the June 28 session was for the song's opening part (where they sing "If I only had a little pad in Hawaii" in a jokey, laughing, perhaps stoned fashion - let's call it "Part One"), while "Part Three" is the strummed ukulele track behind Carl's wordless vocal (linked to "Part Two" by a fingernsap interlude), and "Part Four" is the organ/"tick-tock" percussion part. The final running order, then, is "Part One" (June 28) - "Part Two" (June 27, if there is missing documentation) - "Part Three" (June 19-20) - "Part Four" (June 28), followed by repeats of Parts Two, Three, Four, and Two, in that order. The only slight hiccup in this theory is that the strummed ukulele track ("Part Three") is from the first "Hawaiian Song" session on June 19th, and the only names on that AFM contract are Al, Brian, Carl, Dennis, and Diane - meaning, there is no evidence that a sessionman like Lyle Ritz or Tommy Tedesco was brought in to play the uke, as has been suggested or stated. Doesn't mean it didn't happen at some point, but obviously not on that date! And, if so, that's more missing paperwork!
23  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Steel Guitar on Little Pad on: January 26, 2019, 08:34:29 AM
Are there other Capitol era sessions where there are instruments on a recording that can not be attributed to anyone on the session paperwork?

During the Brother Studios era, I know of two non-union people, who spent hours (one spent the major portion of a day) doing overdubs on a Dennis song, who were not paid at all.

Not that I can think of, other than in the case of "Surfin' U.S.A.". Frank DeVito was paid in cash by Murry, and he was not listed on the AFM contract. That contract is stamped as received and paid months after the session, so it was likely backdated at that time. But by the time of the Smiley Smile sessions, they had an official session contractor in Diane, so I highly doubt this was any kind of oversight. There are a few cases where we have a contract for a basic tracking session, but not the string or horn overdub - that kind of thing. So it's possible that there is a missing contract in this case, but not that likely, since we seem to have a complete set otherwise.

By the Brother Studios era, and Dennis' songs in particular, things were a bit different...
You know, I listened back to that portion of the track. I suspect that the steel guitar and marimba were overdubs. When that section starts it just those two instruments, then. at about the 'and of 1' of the second bar, you can hear another track being faded in.  It's a bass playing a syncopated version of the melody in the high register and an organ(?). The steel and marimba parts mask the other, more syncopated variation of the melody - not that that means anything. But, it is curious.

Were there any other sessions around that time that featured a marimba and a steel guitar (or a musician who could double on one)? If it was an overdub session, could the contract info have been submitted under a different title?

No, nothing else from the Smiley sessions fits that description, and the only outside musician paid through the Union for services during that era was Chuck Berghofer. It's possible that the segment in question is a leftover from the SMiLE days, but Vescovo is not listed on any of those contracts either. I've been wondering if that two-note marimba sound was a rhythm setting on Brian's Baldwin?
Yes, I wondered about that part, as well. I was trying to determine if it was a tuned percussion instrument, it doesn't sound like one. It could be an organ sound. hmmmm

Actually, I was thinking of the repeating "tick-tock" two-note percussive bit behind the "Sure would like to have a little pad in Hawaii" part...THAT'S what I think could be a Baldwin tempo setting. I guess the part you're referring to is the marimba-like sound behind the steel guitar? That, to me, sounds like a piano doctored with making tape to make it sound like a marimba...
24  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Guitar Effects on "Goin' On" on: January 25, 2019, 09:27:01 PM
What kind of effects are used for the guitars on this "Goin' On" backing track?  I'm thinking phase (I used to own a Small Stone phase shifter - those were quite popular in the late '70s - "Shattered" by the Stones, for instance).
Maybe also a little bit of Leslie on one of the guitars?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ezvbBTXJHts
25  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Steel Guitar on Little Pad on: January 25, 2019, 02:12:49 PM
Are there other Capitol era sessions where there are instruments on a recording that can not be attributed to anyone on the session paperwork?

During the Brother Studios era, I know of two non-union people, who spent hours (one spent the major portion of a day) doing overdubs on a Dennis song, who were not paid at all.

Not that I can think of, other than in the case of "Surfin' U.S.A.". Frank DeVito was paid in cash by Murry, and he was not listed on the AFM contract. That contract is stamped as received and paid months after the session, so it was likely backdated at that time. But by the time of the Smiley Smile sessions, they had an official session contractor in Diane, so I highly doubt this was any kind of oversight. There are a few cases where we have a contract for a basic tracking session, but not the string or horn overdub - that kind of thing. So it's possible that there is a missing contract in this case, but not that likely, since we seem to have a complete set otherwise.

By the Brother Studios era, and Dennis' songs in particular, things were a bit different...
You know, I listened back to that portion of the track. I suspect that the steel guitar and marimba were overdubs. When that section starts it just those two instruments, then. at about the 'and of 1' of the second bar, you can hear another track being faded in.  It's a bass playing a syncopated version of the melody in the high register and an organ(?). The steel and marimba parts mask the other, more syncopated variation of the melody - not that that means anything. But, it is curious.

Were there any other sessions around that time that featured a marimba and a steel guitar (or a musician who could double on one)? If it was an overdub session, could the contract info have been submitted under a different title?

No, nothing else from the Smiley sessions fits that description, and the only outside musician paid through the Union for services during that era was Chuck Berghofer. It's possible that the segment in question is a leftover from the SMiLE days, but Vescovo is not listed on any of those contracts either. I've been wondering if that two-note marimba sound was a rhythm setting on Brian's Baldwin?
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