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650584 Posts in 25999 Topics by 3711 Members - Latest Member: whiskeyhill September 17, 2019, 01:45:21 AM
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1  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Terry Melcher on: July 23, 2019, 06:28:34 PM
I pretty much love all of Terry Melcher's production work, especially the way he produced guitars and in particular 12-strings. Don't ban me but I love Still Cruisin' for the instrumental breaks, first a pretty solo followed by an ML vocal break followed by a second solo cranked up to 11.

He also produced the first two Byrds albums and IMHO they were the best produced of their career, with the best 12-string sound McGuinn would ever get (although Alan Stanton got close on Fifth Dimension). He did a great job with everything else and the Byrds sound is just glued together better than it would ever be again. Yes Younger Than Yesterday had great songs but Usher's production always seemed a little weak to me. Just my opinion.

And of course Melcher and McGuinn reunited for the BBs California Dreamin' and again the 12-string sound was a thing of beauty.

If I had my way there would be a Beach Boys "Melcher Productions" compilation, although SIP would need some careful song selection.
2  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Brian Wilson - 2019 Tour Thread on: June 10, 2019, 09:04:08 AM

That's absolutely atrocious and from a major media outlet. Reporter and editor should be fired. I mean, what possible excuse can you have for running that piece???

Sue 'em Mike!
3  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Mike Love covers the Ramones on: June 03, 2019, 03:51:32 PM
After reading that article I can't stop imagining Mike doing I Wanna Be Sedated.
4  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Pacific Ocean coup: how Ronald Reagan helped bury a Beach Boy at sea on: May 22, 2019, 12:11:07 PM
Thanks, I never saw this before. Was this the last show with all 6 onstage?
5  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Pacific Ocean coup: how Ronald Reagan helped bury a Beach Boy at sea on: May 22, 2019, 11:40:43 AM
https://www.theguardian.com/music/2019/may/22/beach-boys-dennis-wilson-buried-at-sea-ronald-reagan-help

Interesting background...
6  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Brian Wilson and The Zombies Collaboration? on: May 07, 2019, 09:03:51 AM
Not exactly a collaboration, but Brian will showcase Friends and Surf's Up!

https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-news/brian-wilson-zombies-north-american-tour-dates-832033/

And tour dates are posted:

https://www.brianwilson.com/
7  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Why does spotify keep screwing with the Beach Boys material? on: April 10, 2019, 12:53:47 PM
Is there any reason why Spotify keeps fucking with the Beach Boys catalogue?

- First they removed the Pet Sounds Sessions album.
- Then suddenly all the tracks on Hawthorne, CA compilation have had the music files completely mixed up with the titles on the UI.
- Just now they removed the vast majority of the GV box files.

What the heck??!! I cannot even blame this on Mike Love Huh

My Spotify BB playlist really took a hit with the disappearance of the GV box files! Hope it reappears some day, along with all the missing Four Seasons stuff.
8  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Rocky Pamplin's THE BEACH BOYS' ENDLESS WAVE completed and published on: December 02, 2018, 11:46:28 AM
I just read the foreword, called "Call us the Guardian Angels", which should tell you something right there, on Amazon.  "The Beach Boys stayed alive on the back of Mike Love's charismatic lead singing and hard-working stage presence, becoming widely respected for their constant touring and great concerts".  

Are you ****ing kidding me?  

I guess Carl's singing had nothing to do with it.  Nor did his producing, arranging, guitar-playing or band-leading.  

what kind of hot steaming garbage is this? when has pop culture ever embraced Mike as anything more than the awkwardly coordinated, money-loving singer in the band who didn't play an instrument and never knew what to do with his hands? let alone the sole reason the band kept going, considering they "stayed alive" on his back.
I know you wrote a book, and that's cool, but that is straight up not true, especially when Carl has been recognized for decades as the musical director for the touring Beach Boys who worked his ass off to make those shows rock. He is not the equivalent of Mick Jagger in the Stones. He is the opposite of Mick Jagger.

It's certainly true what you say about Carl - just listening to the '73 In Concert album, his influence is obvious throughout, especially taking into account how many of those songs were rearranged or reinterpreted and made to work in a live '70s setting. Even when he was sick with cancer, he still led the band onstage, doing all the count-ins and driving the tempo with his guitar (and singing great, to boot). Not mentioning his role in the band's revival, legitimacy and consistent popularity as a live act is neglectful.

However, regarding Mike - everyone is entitled to their opinion, and opinions will always differ on this subject, but watching how he works the stage in the opening sequence of the '76 "It's OK" TV special is evidence of Mike's abilities as a frontman (as opposed to "band leader", which was Carl's role). Even David Leaf acknowledged as much when he wrote in his book, "Mike is the man who makes the live shows work" (while rightfully acknowledging elsewhere in the book how Carl took over the role of onstage leader when Brian quit the road). And when Carl left the group in '81, he spoke of having a newfound respect for Michael and his role. Finally, on the 2012 reunion tour (by which time, of course, Mike was no longer strutting and prancing the stage like he did in his thirties), Brian praised Mike as a great front man (if memory serves, this was in a one-on-one interview, rather than an appearance with Mike and the other guys present - so it's not as if he was simply saying something nice for Mike to hear). The fact that both Carl and Brian, after having toured on their own without Mike, expressed an even greater appreciation of what he brings to the live act, says something.

If you ask me (someone who's studied dozens of live recordings and numerous reviews from this era), there were many factors contributing to the success the Boys enjoyed as a live act in the seventies:  Carl's musical leadership skills, Mike's stage presence, Dennis' stage presence, Al's impeccable singing, the magic of Brian's timeless compositions, and the management skills of first Jack Reiley and then James Guercio.


Speaking only as a 60's Beach Boys fan who rediscovered them in the 70's at those incredible concerts, one of the great things about the band in 1972 was that there was no front man. Knowing little to nothing about Mike, me and my friends thought it was cool the way he stayed out of the way during some of the songs, even sitting down on the side of the stage at times. We thought he was some kind of stoned California hippie who maybe lived in a hut on the beach and taught meditation classes, but when the band finally broke into Surfin' USA and that unmistakable voice came through we were like "Oh God he's that guy from the 60's records!"

Just a young (at the time) fan's perspective from the audience. Mike's thing back then was just one more layer of magic from this mind-blowing band on top of all the amazing songs and performances from everybody else onstage. The music was progressive and the surf and car hits at the end were just a "Oh hey, we can still do these too." When I listen to the music from those Jack Rieley years I still like to think of the band in that way, a Grateful Dead kind of musical democracy that happened to have a string of hits in the 60's but grew up to become cool California hippies. And although I love Brian's comeback and the Love You album, I wish that vision was closer to the truth and that they had continued developing the kind of music on Holland. By the time of the '76 "It's OK" TV special that magic was long gone.
9  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Rocky Pamplin's THE BEACH BOYS' ENDLESS WAVE completed and published on: December 02, 2018, 11:14:19 AM
I cold use some help. There was a TV movie made about the Beach Boys broadcast on network TV back around 2000. Has anyone seen this?
It's titled "The Beach Boys An American Family." It was a 2 parter and now it's no longer easily available.
I got a copy from a sketchy website and the quality is bad, but I suspect the movie is really good.
I'd be interested in anyone's thoughts about it and if anyone actually has an accurate copy.
Thanks,
Ron


The 2000 TV movie was *not* received well by fans. The first part wasn't too awful, but the second part was ridiculous and embarrassing. Even the movie's figurehead/producer John Stamos admitted years later in an interview that the movie didn't go over well with some of the BB camp (read: everybody but Mike; and especially Brian). There is even an interview from back around 2000 with Darian Sahanaja detailing Melinda arguing with someone (producers? network?) over the movie and Brian getting stressed about the whole thing.

Setting aside group politics, the second part especially is just way off. Brian comes off like a babbling, drooling idiot, the movie ends on the wrong date (Brian's "comeback" is for no apparent reason shown to be 1974).

There's one infamous scene (from circa '66, so I don't remember if that's part one or two) where the actor playing Mike's glue-on beard is peeling off during a scene, and they just left it in.

There's a Van Dyke Parks interview where he had to call in favors to get them to add a disclaimer to the front of the second part of the film because the guy who was essentially supposed to be VDP (though going by another name) was grossly misrepresented in the film.

I believe others involved in the film ended up regretting participating.

I think there's also a fun story also of Stebbins and Ed Roach visiting the set floating around somwhere.

Apparently, BRI (or at least Capitol) and Brian participated to some degree initially, as they supplied remixed BB tracks and Brian re-recorded a version of "In My Room", but seeing as how Mike was allegedly an informal "advisor" on the film (he and Bruce were the only BBs who went out and promoted the movie with Stamos on talk shows), the film goes off the rails the more it tries to portray Mike as saving the group and Brian as a babbling lunatic frothing at the mouth.

IN PARTICULAR, both Brian and fans were offended at the portrayal of Brian being dismissive and unsupportive of Dennis's music. This was offensive to the Wilson family, and just grossly incorrect considering how much Brian was involved in stuff like Dennis's tracks from "Sunflower."

That Stamos would support putting *that* incorrect garbage in the film, but conveniently avoid things like depicting Brian being strong-armed into not working with Redwood/Three Dog Night, is not surprising.

The movie was never commercially released, but screener VHS copies were made "For Emmy Consideration" (no, I don't believe it won any Emmys), and they are up on eBay from time to time. Here's one now:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/THE-BEACH-BOYS-AN-AMERICAN-FAMILY-2-vhs-videos-FREDERICK-WELLER-KEVIN-DUNN/283275006532?hash=item41f4819244:g:GfwAAOSwBLlVLD8h:rk:1:pf:0

I think the film was aired back around 2012 on cable on the back of the BB reunion.

Thinking of that awful movie I always remember the Good Vibrations session scene where Brian is sitting at the piano in a daze before Mike arrives just in the nick of time, says "Here's the hook" and sings the I'm pickin' up Good Vibrations line. Like magic the entire work springs out of that moment, and we think gosh what would Brian have ever done without Mike.
10  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Unpopular Beach Boys opinions on: October 10, 2018, 03:05:40 PM
We Gotta Groove is my favorite unreleased BB song.
11  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Does Brian Wilson Play Guitar? on: October 01, 2018, 05:16:34 PM
I realize this is probably a stupid question, but I've just noticed that I've never heard of Brian playing guitar on a session or live at a concert. I know that he pretty much picked up the bass as "his" touring instrument, but did he ever learn guitar?
12  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Songs Inspired by The Beach Boys on: September 25, 2018, 10:55:50 AM
"D.W. Suite" -- Lindsey Buckingham

Not to mention "Bang the Drum" from the same album, which I've always loved and thought was about Brian on top of the BB influenced music. Somehow the pauses with faint children's laughter in the background capture the essence of SMiLE for me even though the song and production doesn't sound at all like SMiLE. One of my favorite tracks by Lindsey.

Not to mention much of his work on Tusk!

No doubt! Lindsey was obviously and openly a big fan of Brian's sounds.

Consider his songs for National Lampoon's Vacation. I know, they're not as often discussed musically as his work on Tusk and other efforts solo and with the Mac, but Holiday Road's main hook which everyone knows owes a sonic and musical debt to Brian Wilson when that falsetto melody stretching the word "road" over multiple chords blasts out of the speakers. It's the same effect which Brian loved and then proceeded to use in his own melodies and songs after hearing Ronnie sing "Be My Baby" over the changing chords underneath.

Then consider the B-side, Lindsey's "Dancin Across The USA", also made famous years after the film by Family Guy. This track could have been a Love You track, just listen to the vocals and the basic synth-driven shuffle backing track. It could be a BB's or BW outtake if it weren't a solo Lindsey soundtrack tune. Heck, the first two vocal notes on "we went" sound like the late 70's Mike Love did the vocal! And Lindsey phrases the vocals in the verses using a delivery and tone very similar to Carl Wilson.

Holiday Road and Dancin Across The USA, give them a fresh listen to hear the influences:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qcTLeuFni7s

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8KPi9KarAoM

I've always loved both these songs but I never thought about the vocals on Dancin' that way, agree completely!

And Holiday Road, well I'd wager Brian would have had dogs barking out the beat if he'd had digital sampling in 1966...
13  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Songs Inspired by The Beach Boys on: September 25, 2018, 09:39:59 AM
"D.W. Suite" -- Lindsey Buckingham

Not to mention "Bang the Drum" from the same album, which I've always loved and thought was about Brian on top of the BB influenced music. Somehow the pauses with faint children's laughter in the background capture the essence of SMiLE for me even though the song and production doesn't sound at all like SMiLE. One of my favorite tracks by Lindsey.

Not to mention much of his work on Tusk!
14  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Rock N Roll to the Rescue on: September 23, 2018, 05:49:47 AM
Well I was driving when I first heard it and it was one of those times I had to just pull over to take in a song. I was stunned, I love nearly everything about it and I would have put it on both the 1993 and 2013 box sets following Kokomo. The autobiographical nature would have capped those playlists perfectly and erased some of Kokomo's aftertaste.

I love the way the whoo-ooh vocals, surf guitar (Carl?), handclaps, piano and sax each rotate in during the first verse. Love the energy of the acoustic rhythm guitar. But most of all I love Brian's vocal, he's engaged and I've laughed out loud when he sings "it happened I was lookin' through my mama's things" and later when he practically spits out "I lose my in-hi-BI-tions when I move across the stage." And I love Al doing the second verse but it seems like the song was written for Brian to sing.

Also completely agree with CenturyDeprived about both Brian and the group vocal sound. And Brian playing the keyboard with his fist 1:11 in on the https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CxJfuml6ir8 video makes me laugh too, I guess I'm just easily amused.

I did say I love nearly everything, I'm a fan of Terry Melcher's production but I hate the programmed drums on this. I wish Mark Linett would remix it substituting John Cowsill on real drums. Also the beginning is weirdly abrupt, I have to keep the volume low to start and then raise it when I feel like blasting this on my stereo. Which happens a few times each year.

This is my first post by the way, so hello and I'm sorry for lurking for years and never jumping in before. I'll do better going forward, I've got other unpopular opinions to share! Smiley I'm an old guy and hardcore BB fan since I bought the first release of Surfin' USA.


    
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