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Author Topic: SMiLE Mystery  (Read 47404 times)
Andrew G. Doe
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« Reply #75 on: April 07, 2011, 07:17:06 AM »

Presence of thermometer (fringing R) seems to suggest that it's either a temp-controlled storage facility or masquerading as one.

A temperature controlled vault for original camera A negative from the silent era I can understand... but recording tape ?  As I recall, the Tower storage facility was room temperature. Further, that looks to be a standard max/min garden thermometer: not what you'd call high-tech.

Keep lining 'em up, I'll keep shooting 'em down.  Grin
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« Reply #76 on: April 07, 2011, 07:20:26 AM »

Hi! I'm new here (longtime lurker), but this just made me have to register and chime in.

I'm really surprised that nobody has caught a glaring fact.

Ok, on the upside - the tape boxes appear to have been "repaired" by yellow tape with titles written on them, thus the consistent labeling. Note the tops of the boxes on the left lower shelf where the tape overlaps. This would be consistent with product that was out in the 70's, so I don't find this unusual.

Also, as has been pointed out the thermometer - which makes me think of a controlled area similar to a wine cellar, and something that would exist in a serious amateur (small) storage area. Although the "pine" shelves are hardly archival. People really weren't aware of acid-free 40 years ago. Or what about humidity? A large vault would have no such need for these things.

And as has just been pointed out - the plaque that reads: Sound System By Robert P. Rolle

However: This has been poorly edited digitally.

Take a look at the photograph again: http://tinyurl.com/3z88u6p enhanced and noted here.

This has obviously been edited very primitively using a bad/ancient paint program, possibly more than once. Note the rectangular "clones" of black on the back of the lower shelf. The shelf itself has been edited in several places, as has the upright above the plaques. Additionally, the plaque has been purposely obscured - there is no reason that it would be so over exposed while the other plaques read just fine. This makes me think it was edited again as it is a slightly more sophisticated edit. And, for some reason the top row of boxes has been "split" and moved over a couple of pixels (probably during the shelf edit).

Now, the question is: why?
It also appears obvious to me that because of the perspective this is really just one photograph with somebody purposely trying to obscure details of the shelf, perhaps removing a plaque or two on the right and perhaps something on the face of the shelf.

Bottom line: If it's from a polaroid, it's a polaroid of a poorly digitally edited image. I'm guessing it was done in the late 80's all the way up to the early 90's. There have been polaroid printers out for some time.

I've been a graphic designer for 30 years, so I've worked in the pre-digital world as well - and owned a photo lab and digital service bureau to boot. A photographic manipulation would have been more sophisticated, and any 12 year old with a paint program today could do a better job.

My 2!
« Last Edit: April 07, 2011, 07:59:03 AM by WaxOn » Logged
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« Reply #77 on: April 07, 2011, 07:53:19 AM »

Presence of thermometer (fringing R) seems to suggest that it's either a temp-controlled storage facility or masquerading as one.

A temperature controlled vault for original camera A negative from the silent era I can understand... but recording tape ?  As I recall, the Tower storage facility was room temperature. Further, that looks to be a standard max/min garden thermometer: not what you'd call high-tech.

Keep lining 'em up, I'll keep shooting 'em down.  Grin

Just for the record, and maybe this is common knowledge already, I don't know...the methods and madness of storing tape reels, specifically from the late 60's and 70's, have changed since the early 90's or so. When the archivists started to pull master reels and multitrack reels from classic albums as late as the 70's and 80's for various projects, they found many were suffering from "sticky shed" syndrome, where the actual components of the tape would come off on the tape machine as it was played back, and in worse cases you'd actually see the reels of tape having turned to goo. That's when they'd bake the reels in an oven to get it all in shape so they could at least be played and not lost. Some of our 70's and 80's cassettes are suffering from this same thing on a smaller scale as they sit boxed up in attics and closets.

Wasn't this mentioned in the DCC "Lost And Found" liners, about the quality of the tape used in the 60's versus later ones? The industry changed the formula without realizing the tapes wouldn't hold up over time.

And my point was that this kind of news triggered a lot of re-thinking about how any audio tapes are stored and cared for, and that would have included climate control and fire-proofing to some degree as well. What wasn't given much thought in the 80's became much more important as some valuable tapes were lost because they may not have been stored properly at places like Capitol and Atlantic.

Again, I'll re-state my opinion that the photo in question is either a hoax or a guy who dubbed those albums and maybe those concerts onto reel tape. Back to the speculation...
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« Reply #78 on: April 07, 2011, 08:01:33 AM »

However: This has been poorly edited digitally.

Take a look at the photograph again: http://tinyurl.com/3z88u6p

This has obviously been edited very primitively using a bad/ancient paint program, possibly more than once. Note the rectangular "clones" of black on the back of the lower shelf. The shelf itself has been edited in several places, as has the upright above the plaques. Additionally, the plaque has been purposely obscured - there is no reason that it would be so over exposed while the other plaques read just fine. This makes me think it was edited again as it is a slightly more sophisticated edit. And, for some reason the top row of boxes has been "split" and moved over a couple of pixels (probably during the shelf edit).

Now, the question is: why?
It also appears obvious to me that because of the perspective this is really just one photograph with somebody purposely trying to obscure details of the shelf, perhaps removing a plaque or two on the right and perhaps something on the face of the shelf.

Bottom line: If it's from a polaroid, it's a polaroid of a poorly digitally edited image.

My guess is that Ed's wife put the digital image of the poloroid on the Roach Clips website with the black "roachclips" watermark superimposed on the image.  Then someone took that image and used editing software to remove the "roachclips" mark from the image.
« Last Edit: April 07, 2011, 08:09:25 AM by LostArt » Logged
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« Reply #79 on: April 07, 2011, 08:08:55 AM »

However: This has been poorly edited digitally.

Take a look at the photograph again: http://tinyurl.com/3z88u6p

This has obviously been edited very primitively using a bad/ancient paint program, possibly more than once. Note the rectangular "clones" of black on the back of the lower shelf. The shelf itself has been edited in several places, as has the upright above the plaques. Additionally, the plaque has been purposely obscured - there is no reason that it would be so over exposed while the other plaques read just fine. This makes me think it was edited again as it is a slightly more sophisticated edit. And, for some reason the top row of boxes has been "split" and moved over a couple of pixels (probably during the shelf edit).

Now, the question is: why?
It also appears obvious to me that because of the perspective this is really just one photograph with somebody purposely trying to obscure details of the shelf, perhaps removing a plaque or two on the right and perhaps something on the face of the shelf.

Bottom line: If it's from a polaroid, it's a polaroid of a poorly digitally edited image.

My guess is that Ed's wife put the digital image of the poloroid on the Roach Clips website with the black "Roach Clips" watermark superimposed on the image.  Then someone took that image and used editing software to remove the "Roach Clips" mark from the image.


That makes a lot of sense, but looking at the picture Ed posted with "Roach Clips" on it, you can still see some of the digital manipulation WaxOn noted.
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« Reply #80 on: April 07, 2011, 08:09:22 AM »

Ah, thanks; in the time it took me to log you, you answered for me.  Think Alan Boyd told me the site where the fellow removed Roachclips, and posted it as a more hi-res scan, was called Petsite?  (Not sure of that, but we do know that fellows name).  As to the editing around the plaque, that's more of a mystery.
Pretty sure this has been in my collection since the seventies, though, and, while Polaroid's can fade, have you not seen the condition of everything that's come from my archives?  Properly stored things don't have to fade...
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Andrew G. Doe
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« Reply #81 on: April 07, 2011, 08:10:08 AM »

Presence of thermometer (fringing R) seems to suggest that it's either a temp-controlled storage facility or masquerading as one.

A temperature controlled vault for original camera A negative from the silent era I can understand... but recording tape ?  As I recall, the Tower storage facility was room temperature. Further, that looks to be a standard max/min garden thermometer: not what you'd call high-tech.

Keep lining 'em up, I'll keep shooting 'em down.  Grin

Just for the record, and maybe this is common knowledge already, I don't know...the methods and madness of storing tape reels, specifically from the late 60's and 70's, have changed since the early 90's or so. When the archivists started to pull master reels and multitrack reels from classic albums as late as the 70's and 80's for various projects, they found many were suffering from "sticky shed" syndrome, where the actual components of the tape would come off on the tape machine as it was played back, and in worse cases you'd actually see the reels of tape having turned to goo. That's when they'd bake the reels in an oven to get it all in shape so they could at least be played and not lost. Some of our 70's and 80's cassettes are suffering from this same thing on a smaller scale as they sit boxed up in attics and closets.

Wasn't this mentioned in the DCC "Lost And Found" liners, about the quality of the tape used in the 60's versus later ones? The industry changed the formula without realizing the tapes wouldn't hold up over time.

And my point was that this kind of news triggered a lot of re-thinking about how any audio tapes are stored and cared for, and that would have included climate control and fire-proofing to some degree as well. What wasn't given much thought in the 80's became much more important as some valuable tapes were lost because they may not have been stored properly at places like Capitol and Atlantic.

Again, I'll re-state my opinion that the photo in question is either a hoax or a guy who dubbed those albums and maybe those concerts onto reel tape. Back to the speculation...

Yeah, saving the whales didn't do the recording industry any favours (joke, btw).  But your comment about "what wasn't given much thought in the 80s" argues against the credibility of the 'vault', as there's nothing in there past 1973.

Further question: why dub copies of albums you could go out and buy in any 2nd hand store ?  I, er, know someone who had access to the BRI vault over a weekend one summer back in the early 80s, and did he copy the released album masters (which the band don't actually have, btw - they're held by the relevant label) ? Nope, he copied every unreleased track he could lay hands on.
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« Reply #82 on: April 07, 2011, 08:17:41 AM »

Presence of thermometer (fringing R) seems to suggest that it's either a temp-controlled storage facility or masquerading as one.

A temperature controlled vault for original camera A negative from the silent era I can understand... but recording tape ?  As I recall, the Tower storage facility was room temperature. Further, that looks to be a standard max/min garden thermometer: not what you'd call high-tech.

Keep lining 'em up, I'll keep shooting 'em down.  Grin

Just for the record, and maybe this is common knowledge already, I don't know...the methods and madness of storing tape reels, specifically from the late 60's and 70's, have changed since the early 90's or so. When the archivists started to pull master reels and multitrack reels from classic albums as late as the 70's and 80's for various projects, they found many were suffering from "sticky shed" syndrome, where the actual components of the tape would come off on the tape machine as it was played back, and in worse cases you'd actually see the reels of tape having turned to goo. That's when they'd bake the reels in an oven to get it all in shape so they could at least be played and not lost. Some of our 70's and 80's cassettes are suffering from this same thing on a smaller scale as they sit boxed up in attics and closets.

Wasn't this mentioned in the DCC "Lost And Found" liners, about the quality of the tape used in the 60's versus later ones? The industry changed the formula without realizing the tapes wouldn't hold up over time.

And my point was that this kind of news triggered a lot of re-thinking about how any audio tapes are stored and cared for, and that would have included climate control and fire-proofing to some degree as well. What wasn't given much thought in the 80's became much more important as some valuable tapes were lost because they may not have been stored properly at places like Capitol and Atlantic.

Again, I'll re-state my opinion that the photo in question is either a hoax or a guy who dubbed those albums and maybe those concerts onto reel tape. Back to the speculation...

Yeah, saving the whales didn't do the recording industry any favours (joke, btw).  But your comment about "what wasn't given much thought in the 80s" argues against the credibility of the 'vault', as there's nothing in there past 1973.

Further question: why dub copies of albums you could go out and buy in any 2nd hand store ?  I, er, know someone who had access to the BRI vault over a weekend one summer back in the early 80s, and did he copy the released album masters (which the band don't actually have, btw - they're held by the relevant label) ? Nope, he copied every unreleased track he could lay hands on.

As a yard sale and flea market fan who always looks for those old reels and cassette tapes of radio broadcasts and other rare stuff, I find waaaayyyy too many old cassette and dubs of albums which people made to take along and listen in the car or in the Walkman, or anywhere else they could make their music collection portable.

Same thing with reel to reel tapes - I look through every dusty and dirty box of reels I stumble on at these sales and most often they contain dubs of released albums, strangely enough usually classical and country albums, very meticulous sometimes in the labeling and all of that stuff. The cassette dubs I totally understand because of portability, but maybe these albums were dubbed from vinyl LP so the actual vinyl wouldn't have been scratched? The only tested format for dubbing like that up until the late 70's was the reel-to-reel. Just a guess!
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« Reply #83 on: April 07, 2011, 08:18:05 AM »

Quote
Alan,

The photo dates from late '74 - early '75 and was taken in the Brother Studio's tape vault in Santa Monica. The photo was taken by Ed Roach. The copy that is shown was probably from my old PetSite webpage as I enlarged the orginal photo to a higher resolution. I have even a higher resolution one.

Bob


So what's wrong with this explaination exactly?


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« Reply #84 on: April 07, 2011, 08:19:38 AM »

Hmm.  Well looking at the 'roach clips' picture, the washed out plaque looks natural to me.  It's a different color, and if you look at the bolt above it, that's where the flash 'hit' the image and why it's so washed out.

The shelf front being boxed out is where they removed the logo.  I don't see anything else manipulated looking.  PLUS, we're looking at a digitized picture of a picture.  You're going to have artifacts.
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« Reply #85 on: April 07, 2011, 08:21:47 AM »

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Alan,

The photo dates from late '74 - early '75 and was taken in the Brother Studio's tape vault in Santa Monica. The photo was taken by Ed Roach. The copy that is shown was probably from my old PetSite webpage as I enlarged the orginal photo to a higher resolution. I have even a higher resolution one.

Bob


So what's wrong with this explaination exactly?


Most notably Ed Roach himself said in the first post of the thread that he didn't use Polaroids and didn't take 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. 
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« Reply #86 on: April 07, 2011, 08:23:14 AM »

Yup; it's 'his photo' in that he had it put online, but he didn't take it, just received it.  Geesh.  You'd think people would read.    Grin
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« Reply #87 on: April 07, 2011, 08:24:43 AM »

Yup; it's 'his photo' in that he had it put online, but he didn't take it, just received it.  Geesh.  You'd think people would read.    Grin

The "quote" function on these boards is handy for situations like this. Smiley
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« Reply #88 on: April 07, 2011, 08:26:09 AM »

Yup; it's 'his photo' in that he had it put online, but he didn't take it, just received it.  Geesh.  You'd think people would read.    Grin

The "quote" function on these boards is handy for situations like this. Smiley

Thank you father; I'll try to do better next time.  Kiss my ass. 
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Bubba Ho-Tep
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« Reply #89 on: April 07, 2011, 08:26:35 AM »

Someone else took the pic...fine. But can it be said for sure it isn't a pic of the Brother Studios tape vault as Bob indicated?
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« Reply #90 on: April 07, 2011, 08:27:58 AM »

Yup; it's 'his photo' in that he had it put online, but he didn't take it, just received it.  Geesh.  You'd think people would read.    Grin

The "quote" function on these boards is handy for situations like this. Smiley

Thank you father; I'll try to do better next time.  Kiss my ass. 

Oh come on, I was backing up what you said about reading the stuff with humor! Take it easy.
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« Reply #91 on: April 07, 2011, 08:28:23 AM »

Someone else took the pic...fine. But can it be said for sure it isn't a pic of the Brother Studios tape vault as Bob indicated?

Nothing's for sure, but everybody who would know and has been in the Brother Records vault, has said it's a fake.  
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« Reply #92 on: April 07, 2011, 08:30:07 AM »

Someone else took the pic...fine. But can it be said for sure it isn't a pic of the Brother Studios tape vault as Bob indicated?

The format of the tapes supposedly in those boxes is the question - if they're multitracks they wouldn't be that size, and if they're dubs the type of tape is the question as well.
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« Reply #93 on: April 07, 2011, 08:31:10 AM »

Yup; it's 'his photo' in that he had it put online, but he didn't take it, just received it.  Geesh.  You'd think people would read.    Grin

The "quote" function on these boards is handy for situations like this. Smiley

Thank you father; I'll try to do better next time.  Kiss my ass. 

Oh come on, I was backing up what you said about reading the stuff with humor! Take it easy.

I always take it easy, but there's so many smarmy assholes on elitist websites like this, normal people like me have to have our guns drawn.  
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« Reply #94 on: April 07, 2011, 08:36:04 AM »

Yup; it's 'his photo' in that he had it put online, but he didn't take it, just received it.  Geesh.  You'd think people would read.    Grin

The "quote" function on these boards is handy for situations like this. Smiley

Thank you father; I'll try to do better next time.  Kiss my ass. 

Oh come on, I was backing up what you said about reading the stuff with humor! Take it easy.

I always take it easy, but there's so many smarmy buttholes on elitist websites like this, normal people like me have to have our guns drawn.  

Draw them guns, cowboy. Only make sure you point them in the right direction before firing. In this case you were way off. Back to the fun.
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« Reply #95 on: April 07, 2011, 08:36:25 AM »

Quote
Alan,

The photo dates from late '74 - early '75 and was taken in the Brother Studio's tape vault in Santa Monica. The photo was taken by Ed Roach. The copy that is shown was probably from my old PetSite webpage as I enlarged the orginal photo to a higher resolution. I have even a higher resolution one.

Bob

So what's wrong with this explaination exactly?


(Ooops - this is a little late - there have been several posts while I wrote this - but here goes:)

What's wrong with this explanation to begin with is that I didn't take the photo, and apparently it's not Brother Studio, (as confirmed by Moffitt).  Guess I had caused some of the confusion, because when this originally happened, I assumed that it was the shot from David Leaf's book, (or an alternate), and that I had shot them.  Turns out I didn't take that shot for David, (every single photo of mine is credited at 'point of use' in David's book), and I wasn't aware that it was a Polaroid.  Please understand, I not only survived about 18 years as a frequent flyer of land, sea & air with Dennis, but also lived through the height of the mid-sixties in Greenwich Village.  The fact that I remember anything -albeit in the detail that I do remember many, many things, is somewhat astounding.  That I don't recall this one damn Polaroid, well, Lord knows how many compromising Polaroid's have been taken with me in them!
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« Reply #96 on: April 07, 2011, 08:41:47 AM »

Just a couple more questions/observations...

If this is a photo of a fan's collection, and it likely is, why would the person have two copies of Sunflower, Surf's Up, Holland, and Pet Sounds?

Why does one copy of Pet Sounds have 'mono' printed on it, while the other (nor any other tape box) does not.

Bellagio is misspelled on one box.

To the right of the Dumb Angel box is a box that looks like it has Wouldn't It Be Nice printed on it.  Why a separate tape for that, Vegetables, and Add Some Music To Your Day?

My guess is that this person lives/lived in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area, had a small studio in his basemant or something, and put together this collection to impress clients.  There may have been tapes of those albums/songs in the boxes, but we don't know.  We do know that Brian gave away gold albums to Hal, and he did some very peculiar things in the '70s.  Could he have given this guy some old tapes that he had lying around as a trade for...well...you know.
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« Reply #97 on: April 07, 2011, 08:55:40 AM »



To the right of the Dumb Angel box is a box that looks like it has Wouldn't It Be Nice printed on it.  Why a separate tape for that,


The missing master cut from the master LP reel for use as a single?!?

Why would a fan make a "Bellagio/Holland" box? It's too random!
« Last Edit: April 07, 2011, 09:11:43 AM by Bubba Ho-Tep » Logged
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« Reply #98 on: April 07, 2011, 09:06:31 AM »

Yup; it's 'his photo' in that he had it put online, but he didn't take it, just received it.  Geesh.  You'd think people would read.    Grin

The "quote" function on these boards is handy for situations like this. Smiley

Thank you father; I'll try to do better next time.  Kiss my ass. 

Oh come on, I was backing up what you said about reading the stuff with humor! Take it easy.

I always take it easy, but there's so many smarmy buttholes on elitist websites like this, normal people like me have to have our guns drawn. 

This used to not be an elitist website, until the Smile Sessions box was announced....
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« Reply #99 on: April 07, 2011, 09:10:38 AM »

My guess is that this person lives/lived in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area, had a small studio in his basemant or something, and put together this collection to impress clients.  There may have been tapes of those albums/songs in the boxes, but we don't know.  We do know that Brian gave away gold albums to Hal, and he did some very peculiar things in the '70s.  Could he have given this guy some old tapes that he had lying around as a trade for...well...you know.

Small problem - Brian's never lived in Minnesota.

Equally small problem - why would Brian give away multitracks or masters to someone who probably couldn't play them ?

Small observation - David Sandler hails from Minnesota.

Pertinent observation (well I think so, anyway) - a lot of folk here are turning themselves inside out trying to explain away huge inconsistencies largely because they want to believe it's true, that somewhere there once was, and maybe still is, a reel of Dumb Angel tracks and a tape of solo Brian Wilson songs from before 1974. Stop wanting that so much... go back to basics, and listen to others. Studio engineer Steve Desper says it's a fake... resident Brother Studio engineer Steve Moffitt says it's not the Brother storage room... Ed says he doesn't recall the vault looking like that (although granted he's just admitted that recalling anything is a bonus  Smiley).  Strip away what you want it to be and concentrate on what is. I'm a researcher... I don't start off with "what if...", I look at what I've got and think "OK, how does this fit logically together in the light of what we know and the info we have from people who were there ?"... and the answer to that is - it doesn't.  There is next to no internal logic in this whole thing.
« Last Edit: April 07, 2011, 09:21:57 AM by Andrew G. Doe » Logged

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