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Author Topic: SMiLE Mystery  (Read 47365 times)
Ed Roach
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« on: April 05, 2011, 07:41:45 PM »

O.K., it's not a new mystery.  In fact, I discovered a couple of previous threads, (which I'll link at the end), which have already discussed this "mystery photo".  First off, the photo:

This whole "mystery" began when my wife posted this shot on our old roach-clips.com website.  (She had uncovered it while cataloging miscellaneous stuff in my archive).  I told her to remove it as soon as I saw it, as I had no idea of its origin.
However, the damage was done, and it had already become 'viral'.  It also began circulating as my photograph, but it's a Polaroid, a format that I never had used.  Now that the original SMiLE is finally seeing the light of day, apparently everyone involved has got search parties out looking for the whereabouts of these tapes!
I didn't even recall those name plaques until Alan Boyd brought them to my attention, and nobody can figure out who in the heck these people are!  Does anyone recall ever hearing/knowing either Robert Rolle or Paul Bramsem?  None of these tapes exist in the vaults, and any help would sure be appreciated!

http://smileysmile.net/board/index.php?action=printpage;topic=5490.0

http://smileysmile.net/board/index.php?topic=5490.0;wap2

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« Reply #1 on: April 05, 2011, 08:16:18 PM »

could these be the work of a fan of the band who does reel tapes?

Or is the font and design of these tape boxes match somewhat what's in the band's collection?

 Huh
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Ed Roach
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« Reply #2 on: April 05, 2011, 08:25:53 PM »

could these be the work of a fan of the band who does reel tapes?

Or is the font and design of these tape boxes match somewhat what's in the band's collection?


Ah, the first response, and you were too quick to the draw!  I avoided even mentioning this in my post; however, as soon as I pulled the original Polaroid for Alan, that was my feeling, too.  Especially when I realized that these were all 1/4" tapes!  (I've even got a feeling that some - shall we say, 'obsessive' fan had maybe shown this to Dennis while we were on the road, and he handed it to me).
Now I hear that Steve Desper & Bruce feel that it's a fans, too.  That's why I'm going public, asking if anyone has ever heard these names.  (And it's not a photoshop; it's a Polaroid, and it's been in my collection since way before photoshop even existed!)
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« Reply #3 on: April 05, 2011, 08:42:29 PM »

A better question would be how they/he/it got the tapes in the first place. It's not like the Boys handed out session tapes willy nilly to everyone who asks, and the plaque makes me think that this Paul Bramsen had to have at least worked with the Boys on one thing or another. Maybe asking Brian/Mike/Al/Bruce themselves (and showing them the picture) would be the best option.
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« Reply #4 on: April 05, 2011, 09:06:36 PM »

We need CSI to ENHANCE
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« Reply #5 on: April 05, 2011, 09:21:34 PM »

Even if these were obsessive fans, what would they have put on a tape of "Dumb Angel"? Or Vegetables for that matter. And why would they have a post thanking The Beach Boys? It seems like this is almost a display piece or something. If this was just a private collection belonging to a couple of fans, why would they put up plaques honoring themselves? Why would they have needed a studio? What engineering needed to be done?
Also if these guys were engineers, they don't seem to have been credited on any recordings, i.e. they're unsearchable on google. Whatever Paul Bramsem's studio was, it doesn't seem noteworthy enough for anyone to even remember it.

Also if the tapes are the wrong type of tape what does that mean? They can't be actual masters? Could they be copies or something?

Was there ever a Beach Boys museum anywhere? Maybe these guys tried to make a replica of famous studio and put those tape boxes up for show or something.

You could try and use the white pages and call every Robert Rolle listed in California or something. It might take you a few hours but you could get lucky.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2011, 09:24:23 PM by Fishmonk » Logged

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« Reply #6 on: April 05, 2011, 09:38:10 PM »

maybe "dumb angel" was a name he gave to his own boot, or a boot in general.  it says "brian" not beach boys on it.  but why else would he make a plaque that says "thanks beach boys, especially brian".  like they were gifts. hm.
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« Reply #7 on: April 05, 2011, 09:45:16 PM »

Let's get back to basics.

Ed, do you recall the storage facility at Brother looking like that ?  Those shelves and huge bolts look too clumsy for their intended purpose: why not Dexion, or something neater from a hardware/furniture store, or something custom built ?

Why would Brother have the masters, or even safety masters, for the pre-Pet Sounds Capitol albums ?

Alternatively, why would Capitol have tapes for the post-Pet Sounds material ?

Why two boxes for some tapes ?

Why are there absolutely no signs of wear on any of the boxes ?

Why does it say Shut Down Vol II instead of ... Vol 2 ?

Why do none of the tape boxes have master/matrix/catalog numbers ?

This doesn't feel anything like right to me. I concur with Fishmonk, it looks like something a fan built for display.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2011, 10:00:30 PM by Andrew G. Doe » Logged

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« Reply #8 on: April 05, 2011, 10:06:36 PM »

Let's get back to basics.

Ed, do you recall the storage facility at Brother looking like that ?  Those shelves and huge bolts look too clumsy for their intended purpose: why not Dexion, or something neater from a hardware/furniture store, or something custom built ?

Why would Brother have the masters, or even safety masters, for the pre-Pet Sounds Capitol albums ?

Alternatively, why would Capitol have tapes for the post-Pet Sounds material ?

Why two boxes for some tapes ?

Why are there absolutely no signs of wear on any of the boxes ?

Why does it say Shut Down Vol II instead of ... Vol 2 ?

Why do none of the tape boxes have master/matrix/catalog numbers ?

This doesn't feel anything like right to me. I concur with Fishmonk, it looks like something a fan built for display.

And for that matter: 
if it's the Brother Studio and tapes, why would they have two( probably more) regular issue 4 Track ( 7 inch boxes) tapes on the adjacent shelf? ( left top)
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« Reply #9 on: April 05, 2011, 11:58:46 PM »

The mystery deepens!

Ed, has Alan checked with Mark on this?  Looks like Mark was tracking this back in 2005

************
I googled Paul Bramsem and found this posting from gearslutz.com from "Mark Linett" from 2005

http://www.gearslutz.com/board/so-much-gear-so-little-time/593569-paul-bramsem-70s-engineer.html

"Paul Bramsem- 70's engineer
Has anyone got any info on an engineer named Paul Bramsem who worked in LA around 1973? I can't find anything via Google....... Any info would be appreciated. Thanks....

Mark Linett"
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« Reply #10 on: April 06, 2011, 04:27:09 AM »

(And it's not a photoshop; it's a Polaroid, and it's been in my collection since way before photoshop even existed!)

That doesn't mean that it can't be fake. Anyone can put some tape boxes on a shelf, write whatever they want on the labels and make a picture.
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The Heartical Don
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« Reply #11 on: April 06, 2011, 05:15:27 AM »

(And it's not a photoshop; it's a Polaroid, and it's been in my collection since way before photoshop even existed!)

That doesn't mean that it can't be fake. Anyone can put some tape boxes on a shelf, write whatever they want on the labels and make a picture.

I do that all of the time. I have SMiLE '67, SMiLE '71, SMiLE '89, and SMiLE '97.
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« Reply #12 on: April 06, 2011, 05:59:37 AM »

Since the boxes are quite uniform in appearance and lettering, obviously these are not the original boxes the tapes were stored in at the time of the recordings.  It looks like someone did a "cataloguing" and inventory of the tapes and made new tape boxes for all the tapes.

It doesn't mean there were tapes inside all the boxes.

If tapes were inside all the boxes, the dumb angel box could have held one of the 8 track assembly copies Carl and Desper put together in 1971-72 - maybe the title of the box was an inside joke, not indicating some pre-Smile title change tape.

Has Desper ever commented on this picture?
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« Reply #13 on: April 06, 2011, 06:25:20 AM »

what is "summer concert"?
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The Heartical Don
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« Reply #14 on: April 06, 2011, 06:41:05 AM »

what is "summer concert"?

It is a show with musical contents, delivered between June 21 and September 21.
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Jonas
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« Reply #15 on: April 06, 2011, 07:13:50 AM »

what is "summer concert"?

It is a show with musical contents, delivered between June 21 and September 21.

Unless you're in Florida, date range is from Jan 4 to Dec 21.
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The Heartical Don
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« Reply #16 on: April 06, 2011, 07:22:20 AM »

what is "summer concert"?

It is a show with musical contents, delivered between June 21 and September 21.

Unless you're in Florida, date range is from Jan 4 to Dec 21.

 LOL of course!
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« Reply #17 on: April 06, 2011, 07:25:49 AM »

Obviously this relates back to the "Summer Love Songs" project - will the picture from this article assist with the Polaroid?

http://www.newtimesslo.com/cover/3164/the-reel-deal/

With regards to the Polaroid - who could actually be bothered to write on all the tape boxes AND make metal plaques for a photo opportunity? It just seems to much effort for the purpose of saying "this is a picture of the Capitol / Brother tape library / vault etc"

Could these be safety tapes rather than the actual masters? Might explain the newer boxes, location etc..

« Last Edit: April 06, 2011, 07:52:24 AM by Zander » Logged

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Andrew G. Doe
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« Reply #18 on: April 06, 2011, 07:57:54 AM »

Obviously this relates back to the "Summer Love Songs" project - will the picture from this article assist with the Polaroid?

http://www.newtimesslo.com/cover/3164/the-reel-deal/

With regards to the Polaroid - who could actually be bothered to write on all the tape boxes AND make metal plaques for a photo opportunity? It just seems to much effort for the purpose of saying "this is a picture of the Capitol / Brother tape library / vault etc"

Could these be safety tapes rather than the actual masters? Might explain the newer boxes, location etc..



Firstly, that's not the Capitol Tower storage facility, trust me. Back in 1985, when I was in the Tower vault, the boxes were shelved in catalog number order.

Secondly, there's no indexing codes at all save for what's written on the box edge, and while even a vaguely clued music fan in general would make sense of the album titles, "Summer Concert" or "Brian" isn't going to make it.

I say it's spinach, and I say the hell with it.  Smiley
« Last Edit: April 06, 2011, 08:02:08 AM by Andrew G. Doe » Logged

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« Reply #19 on: April 06, 2011, 08:11:38 AM »

It likely won't help, but the tapes on the left of the third shelf down, below the oh-so-clearly labelled "BBs" tapes, appear to bear the same logo as one of the boxes on the Stack of Tracks sleeve (one near the bottom of the pile).  So at least types of tape in the pic (though not necessarily relevant) match those possibly being used by the BBs on at least one occasion.

Tenuous!

Just sayin'.
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« Reply #20 on: April 06, 2011, 09:17:37 AM »

For anyone who's done any searching for these names, I'm probably stating the obvious here when I say that "Bramsen" seems to be much more common than "Bramsem." As such, the latter could be a misspelling.
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« Reply #21 on: April 06, 2011, 09:18:02 AM »

It likely won't help, but the tapes on the left of the third shelf down, below the oh-so-clearly labelled "BBs" tapes, appear to bear the same logo as one of the boxes on the Stack of Tracks sleeve (one near the bottom of the pile).  So at least types of tape in the pic (though not necessarily relevant) match those possibly being used by the BBs on at least one occasion.

Tenuous!

Just sayin'.

Extremely tenuous, I'd say. There were/are only so many manufacturers of recordable tape. Back in the early 80s, the audio department at the university I attended featured plenty of Scotch and Ampex brand tape in the same boxes as seen in photos of Beach Boys masters. None of the tapes had any Beach Boys sessions on them, by the way, except for the one I used to compile my first attempt at SMiLE  Wink
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« Reply #22 on: April 06, 2011, 09:45:45 AM »

Ah, the first response, and you were too quick to the draw!  I avoided even mentioning this in my post; however, as soon as I pulled the original Polaroid for Alan, that was my feeling, too.  Especially when I realized that these were all 1/4" tapes!  (I've even got a feeling that some - shall we say, 'obsessive' fan had maybe shown this to Dennis while we were on the road, and he handed it to me)

Not to disagree with you Ed, but, having done recording myself, those tape boxes are larger than 1/4" boxes. They're too thick.
Also if you look at the boxes on the lower shelf, there are fewer than on the top shelf that take the same amount of space.
This tells me the the thicker the box the more recorded tracks on the tape. This makes sense, but albums like Sunflower and Holland should be 16 track tapes on 2" wide reels, and they certainly aren't thick enough, so this is puzzling.
The small boxes on the other side of the beam to the left are definitely 7" 1/4 tape reels.

What is the "Remote/St. Paul" box?
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Ed Roach
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« Reply #23 on: April 06, 2011, 10:10:09 AM »

Maybe asking Brian/Mike/Al/Bruce themselves (and showing them the picture) would be the best option.

To my knowledge, just about everybody has seen the photo!  Bruce was of the opinion that it's the work of a 'devoted', (rather than obsessive), fan.

maybe "dumb angel" was a name he gave to his own boot, or a boot in general.  

This is getting to be the consensus, although how is it that nobody in BB land has ever heard these names before?

Ed, do you recall the storage facility at Brother looking like that ?  Those shelves and huge bolts look too clumsy for their intended purpose: why not Dexion, or something neater from a hardware/furniture store, or something custom built ?

Why would Brother have the masters, or even safety masters, for the pre-Pet Sounds Capitol albums ?
Why do none of the tape boxes have master/matrix/catalog numbers ?

This doesn't feel anything like right to me. I concur with Fishmonk, it looks like something a fan built for display.

I had thought, (when Alan first brought this back to my attention recently), that Brother did have library shelves like these.  However,  Steve Moffitt swears it isn't Brother, and Earle Mankey doesn't recognize it at all, either.

Ed, has Alan checked with Mark on this?  Looks like Mark was tracking this back in 2005

I guess Mark & Alan had devoted quite a bit of time to this before I was contacted.  I just came across those google searches/posts of Mark's yesterday, too.

If tapes were inside all the boxes, the dumb angel box could have held one of the 8 track assembly copies Carl and Desper put together in 1971-72 - maybe the title of the box was an inside joke, not indicating some pre-Smile title change tape.

Has Desper ever commented on this picture?

Desper is convinced that it is a fake!

Obviously this relates back to the "Summer Love Songs" project - will the picture from this article assist with the Polaroid?

http://www.newtimesslo.com/cover/3164/the-reel-deal/

With regards to the Polaroid - who could actually be bothered to write on all the tape boxes AND make metal plaques for a photo opportunity? It just seems to much effort for the purpose of saying "this is a picture of the Capitol / Brother tape library / vault etc"

Could these be safety tapes rather than the actual masters? Might explain the newer boxes, location etc..

That's the main thing Alan was hoping, as they don't actually have "shelf copies" (on tape) of ANY of their old albums, except an old protection copy of SMILEY SMILE.  They were wondering, (and hoping), if this might have been some sort of separate collection that never made it into the vaults.

Not to disagree with you Ed, but, having done recording myself, those tape boxes are larger than 1/4" boxes. They're too thick.
Also if you look at the boxes on the lower shelf, there are fewer than on the top shelf that take the same amount of space.
This tells me the the thicker the box the more recorded tracks on the tape. This makes sense, but albums like Sunflower and Holland should be 16 track tapes on 2" wide reels, and they certainly aren't thick enough, so this is puzzling.
The small boxes on the other side of the beam to the left are definitely 7" 1/4 tape reels.

What is the "Remote/St. Paul" box?

I know; I noticed that there are a few that look to be 1/2", which is a little weird, but there definitely aren't any 2" boxes in the picture.

And apparently The Boys played St. Paul in '74, while they were recording everything for the "In Concert" album, which is another facet of the 'mystery'.

So, now that we've had fun discussing this, someone, please - Who are these guys?  Someone out here has to have heard of at least one of them - that is, if they truly exist!


You could try and use the white pages and call every Robert Rolle listed in California or something. It might take you a few hours but you could get lucky.

« Last Edit: April 06, 2011, 10:11:37 AM by Ed Roach » Logged
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« Reply #24 on: April 06, 2011, 10:16:31 AM »

ah..in concert came out a little before then...  Smiley
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