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650690 Posts in 26002 Topics by 3711 Members - Latest Member: JPP4 September 20, 2019, 03:10:41 AM
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51  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Live Action Photos in Summer 2019 ESQ on: July 18, 2019, 09:38:06 AM
On pages 38 & 39 of the current ESQ (Daryl Dragon tribute issue), there are shots of the band at the Great Western Lincoln Express Festival on 5/28/72. Blondie is on bass, Ed Carter is playing the gold Les Paul, Al is playing a black Les Paul, Carl is playing a white Strat, Daryl is on the electric piano, and Mike is banging a tambourine. In the left background (especially in the first shot), we see Dennis Dragon on the percussion rig (congas & timbales), and in the right background of the second shot, we can just barely see Billy Hinsche (mostly obscured by Mike), on either the organ or the acoustic piano. Dennis Wilson is lurking in the background to the right. It's hard to tell from these black & white prints, but does anyone else think that Ed Carter might be using a slide on the Les Paul? It certainly seems possible, especially in the second shot. Likewise, does anyone else think Dennis might be banging a tambourine in the second shot? There's a kind of glare evident in his hand, similar to the tambourine glare in Mike's hand in the same shot.

Whenever I see a stage shot with an interesting or curious instrumental lineup like this, it always makes me wonder which particular song they might be playing. We know that Blondie mostly played guitar onstage, and only played bass on a few songs (mostly the more "sensitive" songs, according to him). This song appears to be an upbeat rocker. We know he played bass live on "Heroes And Villains", but for that song, Al always played a 12-string, and Carl always played his Gibson 335 (both of those instruments can be seen in the background, propped up against the amps). In the first shot, no one is singing, but in the second shot, it appears that Blondie and Mike are both singing.

Listening to the circulating tapes from the '72 Euro tour (Munich and Luxembourg - I think there's also one from Royal Festival Hall), the process of elimination tells me that this is "Here She Comes"! On these tapes, slide guitar and organ are both evident on this song, and even in later tapes from the summer U.S. tour, the song ends with an extended jam in which the Fender Rhodes is quite prominent - and whoever's playing it (likely Daryl) is obviously a master keyboardist. Plus, of course, Blondie sings lead on parts of this song (in this shot, Mike could be signing a low harmony part with him).

For you old Stomp!ers on the board, in issue #99 of that fanzine, there's a similar shot from Crystal Palace Bowl (Blondie on bass, Ed on Les Paul, Carl on the Strat), but in this shot, Al and Carl are both singing, Daryl is on the acoustic piano, and Dennis is hovering over the Fender Rhodes. Using a similar process, I believe I've identified THIS song as "Mess Of Help" - performances of that song on 1972 tapes reveal a prominent acoustic piano, and guitar playing that is more like Ed-like than Blondie-like. Plus, in the two video performances we've seen of this song - Old Grey Whistle Test and Brighton Dome Pavilion (both faked except for Carl's live lead on the Whistle Test), Blondie is playing bass (even though he's playing Les Paul on the faked Brighton Dome performance of "Don't Go Near The Water") and Dennis plays keyboards (in the Brighton Dome vid, Dennis is playing an electric piano, while in the Whistle Test vid, they are joined by Daryl on acoustic piano, while Dennis mans the organ). EDIT: based on AFM documentation and memories of a participant, there's a good chance that Billy Hinsche played organ on the studio versions of both "Mess Of Help" and "Here She Comes", so it would make sense that he would play those same organ parts onstage - which he appears to have done, since Daryl was on the acoustic and electric pianos, respectively, for those two songs in their live setting.

Whew! Now, if we could just determine which song they are playing in the shot on page 31 of the current ESQ (Carnegie Hall, March '72) where Daryl is on bass!

52  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Mike The Melody Maker on: July 18, 2019, 08:53:04 AM
When the band really, *really* needed new original material at various points in their history, where was Mike's songwriting prowess to offer the group something they needed? When the labels were demanding new music, if songwriting were that simple of a process to sketch out a few melodies and chords here and there, why wasn't it done to any degree of success or even to produce a commercially viable original song when the labels wanted one? The biggest success the band had up to 2012 was the song Kokomo that was not original and which had 4 co-writers (for which Mike takes more credit than what he actually did for that song).



Not debating the first part of your post - I wouldn't ever claim that Mike has been a prolific melody-maker, and by his own admission his main conbtributions have been adding lyrics and sometimes bass vocal hooks to songs began by others - but for songs credited solely to him, like for instance "Big Sur", "Goin' To The Beach" and "Sumahama" - they certainly could have come into being in the above manner (Mike had the melody and lyrics, and probably simple three-note chord progressions to go behind them, after which a skilled instrumentalist fashioned the recorded arrangement). However, I do debate your statement that Mike takes more credit on the Beach Boys' version of "Kokomo" than what he deserves - not only did he come up with the "Aruba, Jamaica" hook (the one "earworm" part of the song that people always seem to sing along with), but also the lyrics for the second verse. I would definitely say that's worthy of one-fourth the songwriting credits, same as Terry got for composing the bit that Carl sings, and that Scott McKenzie got for whatever his contribution was.

On "Wouldn't It Be Nice", however, it's a different story - which is why I credit it thusly on my website: 
Music - Brian Wilson / Words - Tony Asher, title by Brian Wilson / Additional lyrics - Mike Love
53  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Mike The Melody Maker on: July 17, 2019, 08:17:20 PM
To my point regarding how a non-instrumentalist can come up with song which is then fleshed out by a skilled instrumentalist-arranger, here is a quote from Christine McVie regarding the Nicks composition "Dreams":
“When Stevie first played it for me on the piano, it was just three chords and one note in the left hand,” she said. “But the Lindsey genius came into play and he fashioned three sections out of identical chords, making each section sound completely different.”

I'm sure it's much the same when Mike writes a song on his own:  it's quite simple it's basic form, but whoever arranges it puts it into a more finshed state, as was done with "Dreams".

54  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Jeff Foskett on: July 17, 2019, 09:31:29 AM
He's missed some recent shows, including the whole European tour. Speculation is it's health-related. Hopefully temporary.
55  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Sweet Mountain (1974) on: July 10, 2019, 07:38:49 PM
Great lineup of songs, but it could never have been an actual album lineup, even with Blondie and Ricky still in the band - due to the lack of ANY Mike Love leads. Not even one partial lead! Despite Pet Sounds being Brian's show, Mike at least still had a few leads there...
56  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Mike The Melody Maker on: July 09, 2019, 03:47:31 PM
I refuse to believe that Mike Love wrote the middle-eight to Let The Wind Blow.

The band's official biographer Byron Preiss wrote: "...'Let The Wind Blow'" (was) one of Mike's most beautiful compositions. Written while in his car, Mike took it to Brian, who changed the melody line, gave it a different beat, and went into the studio to record."  So, it sounds like Mike used the same compositional approach as Brian had on "Surfer Girl" and "Little Saint Nick", in that he composed the melody in his car by singing it or humming it, then after driving went to a piano to finish it...but in Mike's case, he went a step further by going to a pianist (his cousin Brian). Hard to say how the melody might have sounded prior to Brian's involvement, but based on Preiss' comment, I'd wager the beat was a straight 4/4, which Brian changed to 3/4 (due to his then-ongoing obsession with waltzes). I'd also wager than Brian came up with the entire middle-8, but I really don't know.

57  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Mike The Melody Maker on: July 09, 2019, 04:44:44 AM
A good example (and this is about the only thing they remotely have in common) is Jim Morrison of The Doors. He would write these poetic lyrics, come up with these beautiful melodies in his head and then Ray Manzarek would have to sit there and figure out all the harmonies for him and Robby, so they could create the track.


Another good example would be Stevie Nicks...Lindsey Buckingham came up with arrangements for her F Mac tunes, therefore contributing a lot to how songs like "Landslide" and "Dreams" ended up sounding, but the sole writing credit goes to Nicks. I think it's a case of singers coming up with a melody and maybe adding simple three-note chords behind it, then a guitarist and/or keyboardist fleshing things out arrangement-wise.
58  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Mike The Melody Maker on: July 09, 2019, 04:33:44 AM
I’m hoping no one brings up Goin’ To The Beach. I do love the song, as sad as that sounds, and Mike may have had the idea and possibly the melody, but who added chords and backing vocal arrangements and then went uncredited? Brian.


Yep, and there’s video evidence

I think Carl had as much to do with the musical arrangement of "Goin' To The Beach" as Brian...in that video, Mike mentions how he played the song for Carl, who then did a demo on the guitar. After that came the point where Brian added the vocal backgrounds at the piano.
59  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Mike The Melody Maker on: July 07, 2019, 08:15:45 PM
Brian has stated that Mike helped with the music of "Little Honda", so presumably his contribution there was melodic.
60  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Brian as multi-instrumentalist on: July 05, 2019, 11:09:02 PM
Fact: Brian DID make the trip to Holland to record the album of the same name, despite Tom Petty writing otherwise in his celebrity liner notes for the album of the same name.

R.I.P. Tom, the world still misses ya!
61  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Brian as multi-instrumentalist on: July 05, 2019, 11:50:19 AM
Drums on "Honkin' Down The Highway" are actually Dennis.
Harmonica on "Santa Ana Winds" is actually Tommy Morgan.
No evidence that Brian played guitar on "Breakaway", but evidence that Carl did (along with session players).
Likewise, drums on "Sail Plane Song" appear to actually have been Carl, overdubbed after Al (!) played off-mic drums during the tracking session.

Accordion on "Mona" is an interesting possibility - the track sheet includes a notation for that instrument, but no AFM sheet exists to indicate it was an outside player. And remember, Brian took accordion lessons as a kid, so maybe!  Can you quote a source for that, wjcrerar ?

Huh, didn't know that about Sail Plane Song, I was going off of an old post by Desper where he broke down his notes from the session. Then again, I haven't heard the session tape!

Can't remember where I read about Mona but it does make sense. You can hear it in the right channel and it's a very simple part, seems unlikely that it'd be an uncredited outside musician in the scope of Love You.

Come to think of it, it might even have been me who suggested Brian as the accordion player on "Mona"!  And yes, considering the simplicity of the part (after all, it's far from the triple-bellows shake performed in unison by Frank Marocco and Carl Fortina on the bridge of "WIBN"), it could very well be him!
62  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Brian as multi-instrumentalist on: July 05, 2019, 09:21:52 AM
Drums on "Honkin' Down The Highway" are actually Dennis.
Harmonica on "Santa Ana Winds" is actually Tommy Morgan.
No evidence that Brian played guitar on "Breakaway", but evidence that Carl did (along with session players).
Likewise, drums on "Sail Plane Song" appear to actually have been Carl, overdubbed after Al (!) played off-mic drums during the tracking session.

Accordion on "Mona" is an interesting possibility - the track sheet includes a notation for that instrument, but no AFM sheet exists to indicate it was an outside player. And remember, Brian took accordion lessons as a kid, so maybe!  Can you quote a source for that, wjcrerar ?
63  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Brian's Songwriting In 1962-64 on: July 04, 2019, 10:06:38 AM
I have an unbooted interview with Brian from November 25 1964 in which he said that he’d be concentrating on the BBs more and not working with outside artists as much in the future. He hinted that it bothered some members

Well, it definitely bothered Murry (though he was no longer their manager by that point, he was of course still their publisher and dad). And, you'll notice that Brian's outside productions pretty much ended at that point, as he began to view The Beatles as his chief competition, rather than Spector. I think THAT'S a major factor, too - once he quit the road, he threw everything he had into outdoing the Beatles, and probably didn't consider Spector to be as much of a "threat" ("River Deep, Mountain High" being a possible exception the following year) - even though Spector's production style continued to influence him.
64  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: This week in BB history June 20-30 on: June 25, 2019, 11:22:32 AM
Another milestone date from this week: June 24, 1974: Capitol released the double-compilation album Endless Summer. On the very same day, Dennis was in the studio, laying down the piano track for "Holy Man". I find it rather ironic that the very day Capitol released a compilation of great, but older songs, very much from another era in rock music - Dennis began recording this inspired, forward-looking piece. Don't get me wrong...I love Endless Summer, and really dig the idea that all these '70s kids (like myself) turned on to the great sounds of the BBs. But unfortunately, its success pretty much buried any newer music the group did. Maybe if "Holy Man" had seen contemporary release as a group single, things would have been different...or maybe not. We'll never know!
65  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: This week in BB history June 20-30 on: June 25, 2019, 11:21:41 AM
I actually think the band sounded the way they did toward the end of Carl's tenure was because Carl thought that's how contemporary music should sound...listen to that Wilson-Beckley-Lam album and you'll know what I mean. Some great songs and vocals there, but the instrumentation, arrangements and production are kinda bland on much of it.
66  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Do we have any definitive info on \ on: June 25, 2019, 11:18:13 AM

This is from an article in '77 -

Quote
Earle remembers the first time he did a session with Brian. "About a year and a half ago, before 15 Big Ones was released we did some basic tracks and Brian was very tense in the studio. We recorded a version of 'Ding Dang', and a few weeks later waxed a song called 'Back Home.'
"Things started clicking," Earle recalls. "Carl came into the booth when we were playing back the track and said, 'Earle! This is the way it used to be! This is it! You're seeing it! It's happening now!"

I was under the impression Carl got excited during Brian's session for You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling.

Nah, "Back Home".
67  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Happy 77th Birthday Brian! on: June 20, 2019, 07:48:02 AM
https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=411708692887300

Love how they split into 4-part harmony on the words "dear Brian"!
68  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Brian's most active late-70's period on tour on: June 13, 2019, 09:46:22 AM
Would that still happen with a foam windscreen on the mic?
69  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Brian's most active late-70's period on tour on: June 13, 2019, 08:24:55 AM
My recollection is that the 1978 "In My Room" live footage from "An American Band" has an old track overlaid (maybe with extra reverb?); it's definitely not live '78 audio.

Brian was pretty active as well in very late 1976 and into 1977. Check out the Largo, MD footage from January 1977. He sings a number of leads (with an extra gravelly voice), and comes up and plays bass and sings as well (e.g. the infamous "Back Home" performance where he can't get the mic stand to adjust and smacks it and yells at it).



He was indeed active in much of 1978 as well. This is a '78 show:



1978 was the last tour where he was regularly active on bass. In 1979/1980, he was less engaged, spent most of the show to the side of the stage on piano, and usually only took a few lead vocal cameos, such as the bridge on "Surfer Girl", the opening lines to "Sloop John B", a joined partial lead on "Wouldn't It Be Nice" with Al, and a quick call and response at the very end of "Good Timin'"

He was more involved vocally in 1981 and into early 1982, taking over Carl's leads on "God Only Knows" and "Good Vibrations" (which he often sounded okay on), and continuing the little lead bits he did in 79/80, and also regularly attempted to sing "Don't Worry Baby" in its original key, which didn't tend to go well.

It was ironically when Carl returned in mid-1982 that Brian was less involved in the live shows, and also started missing more shows, culminating of course in his second episode with Landy late in the year.


Also, Brian sang the falsetto on "Hawaii" live in '79...but not the show I saw. When I saw them on the L.A. (Light) tour, they were still doing "Heroes And Villains", but shortly afterwards they dropped that one for awhile (it was added back in the following year for the European tour), and added "Hawaii". Of course, when they did "Hawaii" IN Hawaii for the Mike Douglas show toward the end of 1980, Brian was absent, and so Bruce handled the falsetto on that one. Interestingly, at that '79 show I saw, Brian was absent for not only "Heroes And Villains", "Lady Lynda", "Sumahama", and of course "I Write The Songs", but also "Surfer Girl", so Al sang the bridge on that latter one. He came back onstage for "Help Me Rhonda" and the "home stretch", and the complete crowd freakout that ensued.
70  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Brian's most active late-70's period on tour on: June 13, 2019, 12:10:53 AM
Brian played bass for most of the show throughout 1978 (the exception being a 4 or 5 song stretch mid-show). Videos from the Australian tour are a good way to catch that. He missed shows in August of that year due to his well-documented hospitalization that month. He toured with the band throughout most of the following three years, too, but hardly played bass at all (if at all) on those tours. But in '81 and early '82, he was covering Carl's leads, so I'd say that was a pretty active time for him with the band.
71  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Synths in the Brian's Back Era on: June 10, 2019, 08:44:34 AM
So, I know that a Moog 55 was used to produce all of the synth sounds in the home studio era (and they had the custom ribbon controller theremin-imitation Moog but I'm not sure that was ever used in the studio), and Brian used an ARP Odyssey during the Iowa Spring sessions in late '72/early '73, but am I right in thinking the synths at Brother '74-beyond were a Minimoog, Moog Taurus bass pedals and ARP String Ensemble?

Basically, the reason I'm asking is I'd read that Brian used the Taurus bass pedals a lot on Love You, but not knowing much about the instrument I was wondering if that could've been used for all of the basslines on the album or if it was more likely some combo of that, the keys on a Minimoog, and/or a full Moog modular if they had one at the time. There's the really distinctive, crunchy fart bass across most of the album that's kinda Love You's signature sound (Mona, I'll Bet He's Nice, Let Us Go on This Way etc), meanwhile a few random tracks from the era like The Night Was So Young, I Wanna Pick You Up and Marilyn Rovell have a totally different low-key sort of tone and I have no idea if those sounds would've come from the same synth or not. The bass sound on the non-big-band Adult Child songs is different again.

I've never seen that said (or written) about the Taurus pedals...I agree that the synth bass sound on most of Love You is quite a bit different than other synth bass-used tracks from the era, but I always chalked that up to effects used on mixdown. If he DID use the pedals, I'd assume he pounded them with this fist or palms rather then feet. Is this from reliable source?
72  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: 2014 Ernie Knapp Interview (1981-82 Beach Boys Touring Bass Player) on: June 09, 2019, 12:58:02 PM
I've never known Brian to play anything other than bass guitar or piano/keyboards during a concert.

For all I know, it could have been the soundcheck, or maybe him just fooling around while walking on or off stage. On the other hand, he could have maybe played it on something like "Santa Ana Winds", where he likely wasn't doing anything else for the song, or possibly even "WIBN", if Tony Leo was unavailable for his normal moment of onstage glory. Someday I'll find it, scan it, and post it here.
73  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: 2014 Ernie Knapp Interview (1981-82 Beach Boys Touring Bass Player) on: June 08, 2019, 07:19:00 AM
I suppose keeping the percussion set up on stage even when Bobby was drumming full-time could well be explained by someone coming up to add the tympani on WIBN. But it sounds like Tony Leo (nor Matt Jardine) were actual full-time backup percussionists. So it's sounding like during that year-ish gap between May 1979 and June 1980, Bobby didn't have a regular percussionist backing him (in the same fashion that Bobby was percussionist under Dennis).

Is it possible Tony Leo and/or Matt Jardine (because I don’t know when Matt began working on the road with the BBs) played for the entire show?

No. Not the Dennis-less shows I saw in '79 and '82, and not according to an ESQ interview with Matt. There are also lots of still photos and a bit of video from those days, all depicting Bobby or Mike K. on the drums with no auxiliary percussionist. They probably kept the tympani onstage expressly for the ending of "WIBN" (although there's also a 1980 stage shot of Brian playing it). Maybe they kept the rest of the percussion rig onstage in case Dennis happened to show up, sober enough to play the gig, in which case Bobby or Mike K. would move over for him.
74  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: 2014 Ernie Knapp Interview (1981-82 Beach Boys Touring Bass Player) on: June 06, 2019, 08:24:32 AM
I highly, highly doubt they did any gigs in '81-'82 without a percussionist/backup drummer...in fact, probably not since the early '70s. They always did a few songs without Dennis, either because he refused to play them, or because they felt a different skill level was needed for those tunes. At the 7/5/81 Long Beach show, I think there were only two songs performed without Dennis ("Lady Lynda" and "Long Tall Texan"), plus they did one with Dennis on piano ("Help Me, Rhonda"). But even more than that, they would've needed a backup in case Dennis was too blitzed to play - which, even with bodyguards protecting him from himself, still obviously happened fairly often (read Ian's book).

On the other hand, Bruce once told me about how HE had to jump behind the drum kit mid-song at one show in Lake Tahoe, because Karen Lamm was in the audience flipping her middle finger at Dennis, who then abandoned the drums to dive into the audience after her. Surprised that Bobby or Mike K. didn't, but Bruce said he did.

There were definitely a few songs on even the 1980 tour, after Dennis rejoined, that he didn't play, including "Lady Lynda", "Keepin' the Summer Alive", "Cottonfields/Heroes and Villains", and of course "Rhonda" in order to play piano.

Certainly, "KTSA" and probably "Lynda" were songs they needed more elaborate drumming on (especially the former), so that explains those.

Dennis, by 79/80 especially, needed a backup at the ready. I was just curious how quickly Kowalski was brought in once Figueroa was out. It makes sense that it would probably be right away.

A weird side note on the "Dennis's backup" thing I've always been curious about is the band's appearance on "Friday's" in 1980. I believe they taped it in March, while Dennis was still kicked out of the band. But weirdly, they still have Bobby Figueroa's percussion set up even though it wasn't used because Bobby drummed on all three songs. Were they planning at some point for Dennis to make a one-time appearance? It makes even less sense because even if he had been present, he probably wouldn't have drummed on two of the three songs, since they were new album songs. Did the band ever bring on a second percussionist for that year or so between mid-1979 and mid-1980 when Dennis was out and Bobby drummed full time? Did they even have a percussion set-up on stage during that time?

To answer the last part - yes, at least in part...they had the tympani set up for roadie Tony Leo (and later a young Matt Jardine) to run out and pound toward the end of "Wouldn't It Be Nice".
75  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: 2014 Ernie Knapp Interview (1981-82 Beach Boys Touring Bass Player) on: June 05, 2019, 10:54:01 PM
I highly, highly doubt they did any gigs in '81-'82 without a percussionist/backup drummer...in fact, probably not since the early '70s. They always did a few songs without Dennis, either because he refused to play them, or because they felt a different skill level was needed for those tunes. At the 7/5/81 Long Beach show, I think there were only two songs performed without Dennis ("Lady Lynda" and "Long Tall Texan"), plus they did one with Dennis on piano ("Help Me, Rhonda"). But even more than that, they would've needed a backup in case Dennis was too blitzed to play - which, even with bodyguards protecting him from himself, still obviously happened fairly often (read Ian's book).

On the other hand, Bruce once told me about how HE had to jump behind the drum kit mid-song at one show in Lake Tahoe, because Karen Lamm was in the audience flipping her middle finger at Dennis, who then abandoned the drums to dive into the audience after her. Surprised that Bobby or Mike K. didn't, but Bruce said he did.
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