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638850 Posts in 25533 Topics by 3626 Members - Latest Member: Julia October 15, 2018, 11:15:06 PM
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1  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Beach Boys Easter Seals Show 1979 on: Today at 03:47:46 PM
Here's my assumption on why they had Mike sing "Good Timin'" on this appearance:  notice that Dennis is missing. Dennis was given the lead for that song when they played three nights at Radio City Music Hall in early March to launch the L.A. (Light Album). Although at the time, Dennis said something like, "Carl's too shy to sing it", I think the real reason is that Carl was handling the essential high falsetto background part (which he also sang on the record, in addition to the lead - although he had wanted Brian to sing the lead). This Easter Seals show was soon after that, as was their appearance on the Midnight Special, and although they didn't do the song there, they did rehearse it - again with Dennis on lead. By May, Carl was singing the "Good Timin'" lead live, even when Dennis was present. So I can only assume that by that point, Bobby Figueroa had practiced and stretched his voice out enough to where he could take over that falsetto part, and let Carl assume the lead, as he did on record. That's the only thing I can think of that makes sense, as neither Dennis nor Mike sang the lead particularly well.

This is my thinking as well. I also think the band couldn't handle the (overdubbed by Carl and Bruce) verse vocal parts without him, so Carl delegated the lead to someone else. They really struggle on the backup vocals on the later versions with Carl singing lead.
2  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Beach Boys Easter Seals Show 1979 on: Today at 02:18:15 PM
This just showed up. Don't know if it's made the rounds before but I hadn't seen it.

Mike on lead vocals for "Good Timin'."

Bruce plays guitar.

Brian tries out a little freestyle vocal improv in spots (end of "Good Vibrations") and looks very bored for the camera.

Classic Carl reax to a bad falsetto note at 6:12.
3  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / New Mod Hippie album (David Marks content) on: October 08, 2018, 12:10:04 PM
Mod Hippie's third album WANNABE NOBODY is out. You can hear the whole album online here:

As with Mod Hippie's last album, David Marks plays on most of the record, specifically tracks 2-5 and 8-9. There's also some Beach Boys-esque flourishes on some of the tracks, particularly the end of "Saturday Show" (the opening track).

The album is available as physical (with eight-page lyric booklet) and download here:
4  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Early Vocal Arrangements Query on: October 03, 2018, 11:27:00 AM
Wow, awesome Adam - so great to have you back!  Smiley

So now the next logical question - do we think Al sings on the released (Candix single) version of "Surfin'"?  From the rehearsal tapes, we know he was not involved at that early stage (Brian threatens to get Al to replace a hiccupping Dennis), but he was obviously there for the master session, playing the upright bass. But does he sing on it?

Ooh interesting question. OK, I go into this with some bias in that I have a hard time believing that Brian would have Al on the session and NOT have him sing. We also know that Brian would occasionally have Dave reinforce Dennis' part. But Al isn't immediately obvious in the vocal blend.

So listening through "Surfin'" first of all obviously it's not a very clear recording. You're basically hearing a four part harmony but two of the parts are much louder - Mike's and the middle of the triad which sounds very like Dennis (not unusual for Dennis to stick out of the blend on the early records). The other parts of the harmony are pretty faint but it sounds like Carl on the bottom of the triad and Brian on the top which wouldn't be unusual (Dennis getting the simplest harmony as usual). So that's four.

However, some interesting spots in the song make me think Al is there.

Listen at 1:00 as one of the harmonies briefly pops out as one of the singers projects while he's running out of air. What's that we hear? Vibrato! Brian, Carl and Mike never used it. Dennis did, but this sounds very NOT Dennis. It doesn't sound like a Wilson at all. I can't say it sounds LIKE Al, but it does not sound UNLIKE Al, and I don't think it's any of the other guys. And Al uses vibrato quite a bit when singing lead.

Now listen to the bottom of the triad (it's an A) at 2:04-2:05 where it goes "only way for me." The "for me" sounds like Al, though if so it's a little odd for a reason I'll get into below.

The tell here is the "Surfin'" chorus. The middle part is much louder than the other two to the point that it's hard to tell if the other two parts are there, though it rings like a three part and if you listen carefully you can discern the other two parts.

But more to the point, the reason that part is so loud is it's doubled. There's two guys on the same note. I can hear it best on the first chorus. The double is tight, but it comes apart slightly in a few spots.  So that's five guys. Which gives you Brian on top, Dennis and a mystery double on the middle, Carl on the indistinct low harmony, and Mike on the bass.  

Sounds like Brian had Al double Dennis at least on the choruses, or it may be that Al doubles Dennis throughout but he was just more confident on the chorus note since it was more obvious. The only thing about that that's weird is if it's Al at 2:04 he's on the lower harmony and Carl's doubling Dennis at that point. So it may be that's a false ID and it's really Carl on that note (since it would require either an arrangement change or them both to mess up their part at the same time).

You can also hear the double pretty clearly on the ending "ooo". On the middle harmony one of the singers enters flat and the other doesn't, and when that little flourish "oo-oo-ooh-oo" breaks off it's only one singer (Dennis I'd guess) doing it but the triad doesn't come apart.

So I'd wager it's (top to bottom) Brian-Dennis+Al-Carl-Mike.

5  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Early Vocal Arrangements Query on: October 03, 2018, 12:39:10 AM
[duplicate post - the board is malfunctioning as I'm trying to edit typos]
6  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Early Vocal Arrangements Query on: October 03, 2018, 12:36:31 AM
[duplicate post]
7  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Early Vocal Arrangements Query on: October 03, 2018, 12:34:46 AM
For musical scholars - the question of who's singing which part on the early recordings has been examined in great detail on an earlier thread with the great Adam Marsland. But in terms of how many voices were utilized for various arrangements - it seems apparent that Brian typically utilized four-parts in the early days: the general formula was that on the fast songs, the verses would normally feature Mike on lead, singing in his tenor voice, with a three-part background (Brian on top, Dennis or Al in the middle, and Carl on the lowest of the three parts), and for the verses, Brian would sing the high falsetto hook line, supported by Dennis or Al and Carl, plus Mike, who dropped down to sing a bass part....and the slow ballads would typically feature Brian on a high lead (soaring into falsetto, as was his wont), with a tight three-part harmony blend from Al or Dennis, Carl, and Mike in the bass or low baritone range. By the time of the All Summer Long album, however, Brian was using FIVE-part vocal arrangements regularly, utilizing all the guys on practically every song, and from there he would expand into six or more parts occasionally, once Bruce came on the scene ("California Girls", "Sloop John B.", "Wouldn't It Be Nice", "Good Vibrations", etc.).  

However, I'm intrigued by the arrangements on two early (Hite Morgan) recordings, where in one case it seems to me that more than five voices may have been used, and another where I'm only hearing three:

On this one, I think there might actually be MORE than five voices - Brian and Mike are in unison on the lead, while in the background I hear at least three voices chanting "luau", and one of them is a distorted, throaty bass voice which couldn't be Mike, because he's singing a unison lead with Brian, and probably isn't Dennis, since I don't think he could sing that deep at this early point (and there was no overdubbing here - the whole thing was "live" to mono) - my bet would be Val Poliuto (in fact, he claims he did sing a bass part on one song). I've considered different scenarios for this song, including one where maybe it is Mike singing the bass voice in the background, in which case it would be Dennis singing the unison lead with Brian - but the trouble with that is, Mike's unique tonality is apparent in that unison lead, whereas the bass voice in the background sounds a little more mature (and we know Val Poliuto is a few years older than the other guys). Dennis does sing the solo line "Girls will all hula, boys will all sing" - so perhaps he's also in on the unison lead with Brian and Mike? Or, perhaps that's the only part he sings on this one - I think it'd be kind of hard for him to move quickly from the background mic to the lead mic for that one line, and then back again. Even so, I still think there's at least three voices singing the background chant, and if Al and Carl are two of them, who is third (low) voice? Most likely Val?

Now, this sounds like a classic "Four Freshman"-style arrangement, but I can only pick out three voices for sure with my untrained ear...  Smiley ...and I doubt there's five...they rehearsed and made a recording of it with the Morgans prior to Al's return, and upon his return, he definitely played upright bass on the "master" takes recorded along with both sides of the first single...but he may not be singing on it, and I'm thinking Dennis isn't either, meaning the three parts would be Brian, Carl, and Mike...but does anyone hear a fourth voice in there?

Hey Craig, guess what...I'm temporarily in LA, just got new headphones, and I'm on Smiley Smile for one of my biannual visits. Thus I'll give it a go.

Lavender...on this version the vocals disarticulate at :47 and you can hear four parts:
Brian - F#
Carl - Eb
Dennis - Bb
Mike - whiffs on a low Bb (but you can hear him just prior to that and it's clearly Dennis carrying through from the prior note to the higher Bb)

To me the bottom of the top triad is pretty clearly Dennis.

So it sounds like the biggest harmony spread is on "Sun" at 1:07 on this version:
 Top: E
main vocal: B
next: Ab
I THINK I hear a low E as well, but it's just an overtone so I can't swear to it.

That makes four part, but the "B" could be doubled which does get us to five. However...

To my ear, it's pretty clear that it's not a real call and response throughout, but the same singers switching from lead to harmony (the lead lines cut off abruptly to draw breath and never overlap the backups), so it doesn't require five singers to be there. I think it's the same group all the way through. And yes, I do hear the super low vocal you're talking about.

To me the tell is on Dennis' solo lines.  In the stack, the bass vocal that's been present everywhere else is GONE, and it's a straight triad on the backgrounds. That tells me it's really four voices singing all the way through.

So I think you're looking at (top to bottom) Brian-Dennis-Carl-Mike, with Mike doing the uber low thang. I think it's Carl at the bottom of the triad because it's clearly Dennis holding the melody (loudly) on "Sun," and it does sound like Carl in his low voice when the triad scoops low on the 4 chord. It seems like they'd determine where to position Carl and Dennis in the stack based on which was the easier part (which would go to Dennis).
8  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Studio work? on: October 03, 2018, 12:04:13 AM
Jim Hines is back?

Jim Laspesa. New percussionist with the band and pal of Darianís.

And all-around fine, fine human being.
9  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Rock N Roll to the Rescue on: September 23, 2018, 01:44:39 PM
Coming out of my cave to say: one more vote for loving Brian's vocal.
10  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: New Mod Hippie (feat. David Marks) single out on: August 29, 2018, 11:40:10 PM
I like his T-shirt. 'Drums and Wires' is one of my favorites. Maybe the aging rocker doesn't need so much of his face in the video though.

Funny you say that...the video was originally 100% girl and 0% aging rocker using just this line of thinking.  Women viewers protested however, and so we changed it.   It's been educational to see how peoples' reactions to the video vary according to their background.
11  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / New Mod Hippie (feat. David Marks) single out on: August 27, 2018, 04:23:23 AM
Mod Hippie's new single is just out, with a new video, from their forthcoming album WANNABE NOBODY, their 3rd. As per their last album, the new one features David Marks on the bulk of the tracks. D.J. Bonebrake of X plays drums and Teresa Cowles (Carole Kaye in "Love and Mercy") plays bass and sings backing vocals. Doug McGuire is the band's frontman. Adam Marsland (me) produced.

"And Everyone The Fashion (So Sorry)" mashes up punk, power pop, surf and Arabic influences for a sharp 3 1/2 minute attack. That's David Marks on the bumblebee-like manic lead guitar break.

The album's available for pre-order at

Check it out, all:
12  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / Smiley Smilers Who Make Music / Message From Adam Marsland on: July 12, 2018, 10:31:52 PM
This is Adam band did the LONG PROMISED ROAD: SONGS OF DENNIS AND CARL WILSON LIVE album back in 2006 and I also produced David Marks' BACK IN THE GARAGE, and a few other things.  Some of you might know me already.

I've had a long career of doing mostly original music, from 1996 up until 2017. A lot of it is Beach Boys-influenced, some isn't, and it covers a wide ground from pure pop to roots to punk to soul. You can hear a lot of it at

I'm trying out a new idea for people who are interested but don't own any of my music, or for those who are and might want to share it. It's in conjunction with my transition to living in Asia, and it's only open to people living (or have a mailing address) in the U.S.

I'm not going to be sharing it publicly - it's something I will be explaining to everyone that contacts me individually. If you are interested in my music at all, either PM me here or post a comment on this thread and I will email you personally to explain what I'm doing.

Thanks all. A link to a video to one of my tunes is below.

13  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Al Jardine - 2018 Tour Thread - Postcards Storytellers Tour on: June 04, 2018, 06:53:53 AM
Hope somebody posts the Santa Ana Winds video on You Tube. Must be 40 years since I've heard that one performed live.

It would indeed be exactly 38, as the BBs only ever did the song on select dates on the 1980 tour. Nothing before or after.

I *believe* Al was slated to perform the song back in the early 2000s when he was scheduled to play the "Pop Overthrow Festival", but that gig got canceled. I also believe Adam Marsland considered pitching the song to Al when they backed Al at a gig, but some other guy in the band didn't like the song (??), and that ended up being the gig where Al first revisited "Honkin' Down the Highway."

How bizarre to see this, since this is the first time in about a million years I've been on this board and then only to look at this thread (and loved the "Lookin' At Tomorrow" clip btw).

That is absolutely true. I was all for doing Santa Ana, someone else in the band shot it down firmly. We did do Honkin' and the rest is history. We also winged a version of "Vegetables" at an in-store the day prior - totally off the cuff, he just started playing it, me and Alan Boyd had to run up and do the backups - and I think of that every time I see he's doing that one now. I take zero credit for inspiring Al's solo tour but I do remember that day also really urging him to just go out and do something in the acoustic direction so I'm thrilled to see he's at least doing little bits like this. One of the few things that makes me wish I was back in the states!

Funny thing - I was supposed to be on the IPO gig as well. I had forgotten all about it until i was working on a project I've been doing assembling my own history, and I found a reference to it somewhere.

I have to echo everyone's sentiments here - his voice sounds just wonderful. Go Al!
14  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Was \ on: March 26, 2018, 11:32:26 PM
I also one of our local stations getting into Carl's first album a bit. What You Gonna Do About Me and Heaven were in regular rotation there for a few weeks. Another station put Givin' You Up in heavy rotation late summer of 83. Radio sure was a lot different back then, we still had stations being programmed locally by people that actually knew about music.

Yeah!  I think I did hear a song from one of Carl's albums once.  I want to say it was "She's Mine" - something really random.
15  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Was \ on: March 25, 2018, 09:08:50 PM
I was in Binghamton, N.Y. and both "Here Comes The Night" and "Good Timin'" got a lot of airplay there.  My impression at the time was they were fairly big hits.  Was surprised to find out later that wasn't the case.

I think you'll find that where there were Program and/or Music Directors who loved the Beach Boys...we usually found a way to get Beach Boys songs on the air.  We played the single version of HCTN some in Winnipeg and the 12 inch single/long version on the Saturday Night Studio 13 'dance' show.  'Good Timin' was an obvious add.  I also included River Song as an l.p. track when '10 Years of Harmony' was released.  We played 'It's a Beautiful Day' along with 'Get a Move On'/Eddie Money when 'Americathon' was released.'  I reluctantly played the Medley 45 in '81? ... I think it was ... as it was summertime.  Although I was generally more into looking forward with their output.  It was easy to do it in Canada because the number of Beach Boys fans in most cities and towns is HUGE.  [We have good taste. Wink]  We also played 'Livin' With a Heartache' and 'Keepin' The Summer Alive' in Winnipeg  [Randy Bachman?  Well I guess so!!!  It's his hometown.  Plus 1 he wrote with Carl from his Ironhorse album..'What's Your Hurry Darlin']  'Come Go With Me' too.

Yeah, come to think of it I heard "Keepin' The Summer Alive" a few times on WAAL, which was the "rock" station in the area at the time, so that was something of a coup.  It actually motivated me to go get the LP.  Always loved that tune, cheesy as it is.
16  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Was \ on: March 24, 2018, 08:06:21 PM
I was in Binghamton, N.Y. and both "Here Comes The Night" and "Good Timin'" got a lot of airplay there.  My impression at the time was they were fairly big hits.  Was surprised to find out later that wasn't the case.
17  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Dean Torrence influence on Brian Wilson on: February 28, 2018, 03:51:28 AM
I've always enjoyed Jan & Dean as being into satire way before it was a thing.  The DGAF-ness of a lot of their output charms the hell out of me, though in these more PC times it hasn't worn well, understandably.  They have moments ("Submarine Races" and a lot of BATMAN) that are flat-out hysterical, and it helps that they are firmly in on the joke.

Also full props to Jan for being a wunderkind in the studio.  A lot of those productions are quite impressive particularly considering Jan was a medical student at the time.  That said I'm gonna pile on a bit because I've often found his compositions sound very forced and unorganic.  Some of the chord changes he favors - those jarring modulations that come out of nowhere, chord changes that just leap from one place to another without any logical link to one another - are certainly interesting but they never strike me as being very musical.  They often seem haphazard, as opposed to when Brian would go into a different key on a bridge and the hairs would stand up on the back of your neck, and you knew darn well that was by design (not all of them, mind you - "Little Old Lady From Pasadena"'s key shifts are sublime).  I don't know if that makes any sense - it just feels sort of like music made by a brilliant student in a composition class, as opposed to an actual musician, in terms of how the music is put together.  Some of the orchestrations feel that way as well.  I'm probably not making any sense.

I probably rate Jan & Dean slightly higher than most of the folks on this thread but I also firmly agree that their influence has been overstated.
18  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / General Music Discussion / Re: Weezer on: December 07, 2017, 08:48:03 AM
Rivers also recorded his cover of Don't Worry Baby in early 1993 before the GV box set was released, and he said he was already into the Beach Boys and getting into analyzing and learning the songs as early as 1992. He also recorded a version of Surfer Girl during this time, but only the DWB cover has come out officially on his home recordings and demos release some time ago.

Yes, GF.  I was in the room when he played "Don't Worry Baby" for us after he had just finished it, on the multitrack cassette deck they had in their tiny garage.  My bass player was his roommate and we were practicing there throughout that 1992-93 period.  It's possible that our Beach Boys obsession (well, mine) rubbed off on Rivers a little but I can't speak to that.  He definitely was fascinated with Brian and when I met him at that time and told the story, it was the closest he ever paid attention to anything I had to say!
19  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / General Music Discussion / Re: Weezer on: December 06, 2017, 06:13:45 AM
Rivers is and has long been a huge Brian Wilson fan.

The first thing he did with his advance money when Weezer got signed was buy the Good Vibrations box set.  I know because I was there when he brought it home.  He also bought SUNFLOWER on my recommendation (and didn't like it unfortunately).
20  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Midnight's Another Day - Going Home - Southern California on: August 19, 2017, 12:51:55 PM
Voting yes on this.
21  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / Smiley Smilers Who Make Music / Teaser video from new album - "the Asian SMiLE" on: August 16, 2017, 05:56:04 PM
Someone else's words, not mine.  I think it's closer to SMILEY SMILE.

Check it out if you like:
22  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Beach Boys Most Challenging Song (Instrumentally) on: August 14, 2017, 12:02:33 AM
"I Just Wasn't Made For These Times" is pretty brutal to negotiate in terms of the chord sequence.

The hardest song I've ever had to personally work out and learn of the Beach Boys (out of probably 70 songs over the years) was "Long Promised Road," which was Carl's.
23  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Ricky Fataar's exit from the band on: July 30, 2017, 02:30:52 AM
It makes sense they'd call him first if Dennis bailed out.  I mean, he'd be the logical person.  He'd only just left.
24  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: The cringiest BB moment? on: July 15, 2017, 03:34:22 PM
The original version of "Hey Little Tomboy" during the breakdown.
The 1981 American Bandstand appearance
The 1981 Long Beach appearance
"Summer Of Love" video

The 1980 GMA appearance is up there, but if you squint at it a certain way it's actually somewhat hilarious.  I can't squint at the four examples above in any way.
25  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Why has \ on: July 03, 2017, 10:55:18 PM
It's a really interesting question!  And I have a vague recollection of having heard it on the radio at the time (not true of "It's OK" or "Peggy Sue").  It is kind of the lost Beach Boys hit during a period when they didn't really have any.

I think it might be as simple as none of the parties involved has any great affection for it and it never occurred to anybody.
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