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Author Topic: The Jon Stebbins Thread  (Read 65695 times)
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« Reply #25 on: March 18, 2006, 06:59:18 AM »

I think the Manson thing weighed on him heavily, as it probably would for any of us in the same situation.

But I think you're right about Murry...I think Murry's death, especially, had a deeply proufound effect on both Dennis and Brian.  You see them both taking a drastic turn for the worse in the couple of years after that.  Their "binging" (Dennis: cigarettes, booze, dope, sex; Brian: cigarettes, booze, dope, food) grew to mamouth proportions and it clearly had a negative impact on their health.  Prior to Murry's passing, B & D still seemed like "Boys" if you will; after that, they seemed like damaged men.

C-Man

I just (finally) got around to reading the Peter Ames Carlin thread on this board, and it seems that after researching his book, and especially after speaking with Barbara, Peter is in agreement that the death of Murry was THE point of biggest impact on the downward spiral of both Dennis and Brian.  They may have both been traveling  in that general direction beforehand (especially Brian), but they both took a shortcut and jumped several miles ahead on that road after Murry passed.

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« Reply #26 on: March 19, 2006, 06:20:28 AM »

In fact, the more I think about it, I would go so far as to say that Brian and Dennis both, subconsciously and unknowingly, tried to BECOME Murry, to a certain extent, after his death.
They didn't adopt his abusiveness/cruelty, in fact Brian definitely tried to avoid the chance of that by avoiding his kids to a large degree...but I definitely see Murry's mannerisms picked by by B & D.
You remember how Brian characterized Murry in that 1976 NBC TV special?  He said something like Murry scared a lot of his friends 'cause his personality was a little too "HI, HOW ARE YA"...real brusque.  Interesting that Brian had adopted that quality, maybe to a slightly lesser degree, but still noticeably, by that time.  After Murry's death, Brian and also Dennis, it seems, tried to become as "macho" as they possibly could.  Dennis pulled it off better, 'cause he was pretty macho to begin with, but you'll notice Brian's and Dennis' voices, both their speaking and their singing voices, becoming much coarser after 1973.   I truly believe they were unwittingly trying to "channel" Murry, as if by adopting some of his mannerisms they could somehow keep him alive...

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« Reply #27 on: March 21, 2006, 02:57:12 AM »

There is a Brian quote (in Gaines' book p.229) where Brian says
"You know, since my father died, it's been a lot different. You know, I feel a lot more ambitious. It really does something to you when your father passes away. Takes a while to get over it, too. I got a new perspective on life. I'm gonna try a little harder now....It's makin' a man outta me".
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« Reply #28 on: March 26, 2006, 01:25:44 PM »

Jon:  There is a thread about Al Jardine's recent concert, and in that thread, I digressed into talking about the Beach Boys equipment, spurred on by the announcement that Fender is working on a Jardine Signature Stratocaster.

Feel free to read the thread, but I was wondering that if in your discussions with Dave Marks, if he ever brought up anything like a special deal with Fender, or if Fender ever just set them up with free stuff for the promotion, or at a discount or something.  I'm trying to set up some kind of Beach Boys gear database, and this kind of info would be neat. 
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« Reply #29 on: March 27, 2006, 09:56:23 AM »

aeijtzsche- Check the thread titles Beach Boys and Fender guitars.
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« Reply #30 on: April 08, 2006, 04:22:30 AM »

Hey Jon looking forward to the Marks book. I wanted to know who wrote What's Wrong with Dennis and Gregg. If you don't know who he was personally, perhaps you know his first name?
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« Reply #31 on: April 08, 2006, 01:56:03 PM »

That's a good question...and one I can't recall the answer to. There's a faint bell ringing (in the back of my mind) that someone...maybe on the Blue Bamboo Room board a few years back came up with that answer...and a story about the guy. I might be confusing that with the stories that have surfaced about Dennis' "Thoughts Of You" collaborator Jim Dutch...or his "Its About Time" collaborator Bob Burchman. For Mr. Horn's...and all of our sake I hope someone releases the wonderful alternate mix of "What's Wrong" that exists. You won't believe how great that song can sound. The mix is either a DW mix or an Earle Mankey mix, and its night and day from the released Moffit version. Next time I talk to Gregg Jakobson I'll ask him about M. Horn...maybe he'll remember something.
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« Reply #32 on: April 10, 2006, 01:24:35 AM »

Thanks Jon. Your help is always welcome.
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« Reply #33 on: April 29, 2006, 10:11:36 AM »

Jon, I wanted to post this in the Carrie Marks-thread, but I think it fits better here; I really wasn't that interested on your book about David when it was announced, but after reading your comments, I really can't wait to read it ! I hope to get a copy of your Dennis-Book as well, maybe in the new edition, as you mentioned. 

BTW  You don't know about a possible german release, do you?
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« Reply #34 on: April 29, 2006, 10:48:53 AM »

On both books we hope to have good worldwide distribution...Dave's book should be readily available throughout Europe...but as of now only in English. How do you say Surf's Up in German?
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« Reply #35 on: April 29, 2006, 03:07:35 PM »

How do you say Surf's Up in German?

Oh, you don't want to know. That would sound real awful in german... Smiley

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To sum it up, they blew it, they blew it consistently, they continue to blow it, it is tragic and this pathological problem caused The Beach Boys' greatest music to be so underrated by the general public.

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« Reply #36 on: May 11, 2006, 01:43:29 PM »

vague en haut

Mike Love mange des vers
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« Reply #37 on: May 15, 2006, 07:54:36 AM »

Jon --

     I have a question that has long intrigued me, and I thought you might be the best candidate to know the answer.  My question is how each of the Beach Boys specifically resolved their status under the military draft.

     I believe that Carl formally asserted conscientious objector status, was arrested at one time for not appearing before his draft board (or something similar), and then eventually negotiated some kind of a settlement with the government in which he got CO status and had to do community service.  I don't know if this is correct, however.

     I have always assumed, without ever seeing any documentation, that Brian was 4-F because of his ear, although it would be ironic to have hearing good enough to be one of the greatest musical geniuses of all time but not good enough to serve in the military!

     I have no idea what happened with Denny.  I'm not aware of any physical or medical condition that would have exempted him.

     Mike, I'm guessing, was exempted because he was married with a child by age 20 and the draft at that time (around 1961) was not calling up as many conscripts because Vietnam hadn't heated up yet.

     I don't know about Al . . . .

     Anyway, if you can shed any light on this issue I would greatly appreciate it.  It is a subject that has always interested me, but is not really discussed in any BB bios I've read.  I deeply admire Carl's principled stand on the issue.  The 60s were a tough time to be a young man in many respects.
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« Reply #38 on: May 15, 2006, 08:47:38 AM »

Jon --

     I have a question that has long intrigued me, and I thought you might be the best candidate to know the answer.  My question is how each of the Beach Boys specifically resolved their status under the military draft.

     I believe that Carl formally asserted conscientious objector status, was arrested at one time for not appearing before his draft board (or something similar), and then eventually negotiated some kind of a settlement with the government in which he got CO status and had to do community service.  I don't know if this is correct, however.

     I have always assumed, without ever seeing any documentation, that Brian was 4-F because of his ear, although it would be ironic to have hearing good enough to be one of the greatest musical geniuses of all time but not good enough to serve in the military!

     I have no idea what happened with Denny.  I'm not aware of any physical or medical condition that would have exempted him.

     Mike, I'm guessing, was exempted because he was married with a child by age 20 and the draft at that time (around 1961) was not calling up as many conscripts because Vietnam hadn't heated up yet.

     I don't know about Al . . . .

     Anyway, if you can shed any light on this issue I would greatly appreciate it.  It is a subject that has always interested me, but is not really discussed in any BB bios I've read.  I deeply admire Carl's principled stand on the issue.  The 60s were a tough time to be a young man in many respects.


The story I always heard about Dennis is that he tried having a friend pee in his jar and he got caught, they questioned his mental stability as a result. But this is anecdotal.

Dave Marks was drafted in '67 and was all but sure that he was going to Vietnam, but when he got his military physical a serious ulcer was found in his stomach lining.

Carl was drafted around the same time and of course was a well publicized conscientious objector.

Brian had nearly 100% hearing loss in one ear, he was in the clear.

Mike had at least two children by the mid-sixties, maybe more.

Al, I'm not sure, however since Mike, Brian and Al were all in their late twenties by the late sixites they weren't as much at risk as David, Carl and Dennis...who were all prime age at the peak of the Vietnam draft.

Bruce...no clue...he came from a wealthy family...a fortunate son....maybe that helped.
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« Reply #39 on: May 15, 2006, 10:14:07 AM »

Quote from: Jon Stebbins
Bruce...no clue...he came from a wealthy family...a fortunate son....maybe that helped.

As I understand it, from back in the day, Bruce fell into the "sole surviving son" category. His mother was widowed and he was her only son (two older daughters).

IIRC, Al was exempt because he was married at the time when he was most vulnerable to the draft. One thing we need to remember is that draft exemptions kept changing, which is why Carl, also a married man, wasn't exempt when his time rolled around.
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« Reply #40 on: May 15, 2006, 10:41:23 AM »


The story I always heard about Dennis is that he tried having a friend pee in his jar and he got caught, they questioned his mental stability as a result. But this is anecdotal.

Dave Marks was drafted in '67 and was all but sure that he was going to Vietnam, but when he got his military physical a serious ulcer was found in his stomach lining.

Carl was drafted around the same time and of course was a well publicized conscientious objector.

Brian had nearly 100% hearing loss in one ear, he was in the clear.

Mike had at least two children by the mid-sixties, maybe more.

Al, I'm not sure, however since Mike, Brian and Al were all in their late twenties by the late sixites they weren't as much at risk as David, Carl and Dennis...who were all prime age at the peak of the Vietnam draft.

Bruce...no clue...he came from a wealthy family...a fortunate son....maybe that helped.

Thanks, Jon.  Interesting information. 

It seems that if Dennis was caught getting a friend to pee in his jar he would not be exempted from service on that ground, because it would be a pretty easy way for anyone else to get out of the draft too.

Dennis was born on December 4, 1944, so he would have come up for the draft in 1963 or 1964.  Maybe at that time the draft boards were more likely to be lenient with a member of a famous rock group.  When Carl (and David) came along a couple of years later, Vietnam was heating up, demand for manpower was much greater, and evidently the draft boards were becoming much stricter, even with celebrities such as Carl (or Muhammad Ali).

As you point out, Brian, Mike, and Al, all being a couple years older than Dennis, would have been even safer.  I guess the idea with Brian is that he might not have been able to hear an order yelled at him from his deaf side, which could be a problem . . .
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« Reply #41 on: June 21, 2006, 04:32:42 AM »

Double post.  Geek
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« Reply #42 on: June 21, 2006, 04:33:34 AM »

Jon --

     I have a question that has long intrigued me, and I thought you might be the best candidate to know the answer.  My question is how each of the Beach Boys specifically resolved their status under the military draft.

     I believe that Carl formally asserted conscientious objector status, was arrested at one time for not appearing before his draft board (or something similar), and then eventually negotiated some kind of a settlement with the government in which he got CO status and had to do community service.  I don't know if this is correct, however.

     I have always assumed, without ever seeing any documentation, that Brian was 4-F because of his ear, although it would be ironic to have hearing good enough to be one of the greatest musical geniuses of all time but not good enough to serve in the military!

     I have no idea what happened with Denny.  I'm not aware of any physical or medical condition that would have exempted him.

     Mike, I'm guessing, was exempted because he was married with a child by age 20 and the draft at that time (around 1961) was not calling up as many conscripts because Vietnam hadn't heated up yet.

     I don't know about Al . . . .

     Anyway, if you can shed any light on this issue I would greatly appreciate it.  It is a subject that has always interested me, but is not really discussed in any BB bios I've read.  I deeply admire Carl's principled stand on the issue.  The 60s were a tough time to be a young man in many respects.


The story I always heard about Dennis is that he tried having a friend pee in his jar and he got caught, they questioned his mental stability as a result. But this is anecdotal.

Dave Marks was drafted in '67 and was all but sure that he was going to Vietnam, but when he got his military physical a serious ulcer was found in his stomach lining.

Carl was drafted around the same time and of course was a well publicized conscientious objector.

Brian had nearly 100% hearing loss in one ear, he was in the clear.

Mike had at least two children by the mid-sixties, maybe more.

Al, I'm not sure, however since Mike, Brian and Al were all in their late twenties by the late sixites they weren't as much at risk as David, Carl and Dennis...who were all prime age at the peak of the Vietnam draft.

Bruce...no clue...he came from a wealthy family...a fortunate son....maybe that helped.

This is real late, but...

I heard the 'pee-in-the-jar' story too. Also heard that he stormed into the doctor's office, thumped the desk, told the medic that he was gay and that if they drafted him, they'd (quote) "be the sorriest mo'fos on earth" (unquote). Another reason I recall reading was because he had flat feet... and of course he was married to Carole by then, thus technically had a child.

Bruce was exempt because he had a dependant widowed mother. Now, given that his (adoptive) father was a VP of the Rexall Drug Co., that sounds kinda fishy.... but that was the official reason. My source is impeccable. (no, not him)

Alan... I have no idea. Too short, maybe ?
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« Reply #43 on: July 26, 2006, 10:27:39 PM »

the draft was only really crazy from '64 to about '70. 
Mike was older'n that so was Al and Brian. Though as has been pointed out Brian's hearing would have made him 4F, and Mike did have kids.
Dennis was even old enough to have "gotten lucky".  Carl is a year older than me, and was "ripe" for drafting.  Our few years in there was a cannon foder festival. 
There was nothing "democratic" about the conscription.  The draft boards were made up of citizens of your town where you registered for the draft.  If Dennis registered in Hawthorne and a couple of people on the draft board "felt" it wasn't "appropriate" to draft Dennis, he could have been passed over for all kinds of bogus or legit reasons.
The local draft boards were given quotas to meet. If it could be done without bothering "a favorite son" they did.  At least early in the "conflict".
As the quotas became larger and more needful, fewer people "caught a break" and that's when middle class white boys started to "resist".
The David Harris founded "Resistance Movement gained momentum and so finally a lottery system was instituted.  When even that failed to stop the Selective Services flow of dollars in litigation, Conscription was finally abandoned.
Sympathy for a "Draft" ended in the hearts of the middle class when so many middle class white neighborhood boys came home in body bags.
Every night on TV both at Dinner and 11pm a large portion of both local and national news showed the fighting, the dying and arrival home in body bags along with stark footage of Napalm attacks on the "living jungles" of S.E. Asia.
Bobby Darin wrote a song that featured the line: ".... I tried to watch TV, but they were showing the same war they had on last Tuesday...." 
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« Reply #44 on: July 27, 2006, 08:24:07 PM »

Body counts, don't forget the body counts. They would show the daily "kill" totals on the newscasts; total VC killed that day and total US soldiers killed that day. I swear to god. It was like they were showing baseball scores or something.  It was totally unreal!!!
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« Reply #45 on: July 27, 2006, 09:33:04 PM »

ahem!  You mean it was totally real.
I did fail to mention that reality didn't I?
What goes on now as to the reporting vis a vis "the occupation" is unreal.
There is nothing civilized in combat!
When "friends" of mine returned from Viet Nam they were wearing the ears of Viet Namese people on chains around their necks.
When John Kerry said that soldiers in Viet Nam were "war criminals" he was berated.
The "rules of war" outlined by the Geneva Convention prohibits, among other things, "the taking of body parts as trophies", i.e., "scalping" your enemy.
One pal, a former machine gunner on a River Boat on the Delta (fast boat) still calls at 3 am when he has bad dreams about killing babies, because you in his job a Viet Cong woman holding a baby out for you to take....well you just couldn't be sure they weren't bombs.  I mean real babies wired as bombs.
There is nothing civilized about combat.
I have been told by former athletes of mine that served in Iraq I, that they too came home with Iragi ears around their necks, though I've never seen it, I believe these kids.

The mind can only hold one clear idea or vision at a time.
One cannot fight a war and envision peace at the exact same time.  It just can't be done.  By an individual or a society. 
When will we ever learn?
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« Reply #46 on: July 27, 2006, 09:47:10 PM »

Bob, I'm honored you are telling it like it is on my thread. What the press reflects now is completely unreal. Americans need a huge dose of reality...and the mainstream corporate controlled press has shown no guts to serve that need.
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« Reply #47 on: July 27, 2006, 09:53:34 PM »

thanks Jon! you honor me sir!
I am chomping at the bit for you new book to appear!  best always,
               Bob
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« Reply #48 on: July 27, 2006, 10:36:45 PM »

Jon, I'm a big Dennis fan and really enjoyed your book. It holds a place of pride on my BB bookshelf. One kinda odd question: Is it difficult to write about somebody like Dennis who had the world at his feet and then it all imploded? Is it difficult to find the balance in celebrating his art while acknowledging the mistakes of his life? I might find it hard to live with that kind of subject as intimately as you did/perhaps still do. As sad as Brian and Carl's stories are, everytime I look at that last picture of Dennis on the boardwalk/beach (?) in your book and he's so bloated and lost and gone, it kills me.

On another point, what were Dennis' exact contributions to "It's About Time." That is one of my favorite, underappreciated BB songs and Dennis compositions, and I've never known what exact parts of it he wrote. (Forgive me if it's in your book, and I've forgotten, or if it's somewhere on this site I'm unaware of.) In Carlin's fine new book, he mentions all the songs on"Sunflower" except for "It's About Time."
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« Reply #49 on: July 28, 2006, 09:45:11 AM »

Jon, I'm a big Dennis fan and really enjoyed your book. It holds a place of pride on my BB bookshelf. One kinda odd question: Is it difficult to write about somebody like Dennis who had the world at his feet and then it all imploded? Is it difficult to find the balance in celebrating his art while acknowledging the mistakes of his life? I might find it hard to live with that kind of subject as intimately as you did/perhaps still do. As sad as Brian and Carl's stories are, everytime I look at that last picture of Dennis on the boardwalk/beach (?) in your book and he's so bloated and lost and gone, it kills me.

On another point, what were Dennis' exact contributions to "It's About Time." That is one of my favorite, underappreciated BB songs and Dennis compositions, and I've never known what exact parts of it he wrote. (Forgive me if it's in your book, and I've forgotten, or if it's somewhere on this site I'm unaware of.) In Carlin's fine new book, he mentions all the songs on"Sunflower" except for "It's About Time."

Thanks for the kind words about the book. Balance was definitely the key in writing about Dennis. Since his personality was so extreme in opposite directions it would be easy to lose balance in describing him. Some people are so shocked or distracted by his dark side that they write off the good. On the other hand some writers have ignored the dark side because they don't want to go there...its a scary place. they just want the innocence and so forth. I tried very hard to reflect what a complex character Dennis was and give the reader a taste of what his loved ones had to deal with. He was a guy who had tremendous depth and a great heart, he was also hugely self-destructive and entirely unpredictable in his behavior. And yes that was very difficult. Mainly because when exploring the darkest parts of his life you got a sense of the hopelessness that dogged him. Until 1969 or so Dennis had a real bulletproof quality, and even after that it was there although not as firmly. The Manson thing shell-shocked him for sure. But his lack of self-worth was in place long before that. His endless feeling of "lack of acceptance" from his dad, and at times his brothers and his band...it never let up. His strongest periods were '70 - 71 with Barbara...and then '74 -77 with the Harmony, Karen(a double edged girl for sure) and Brother Studio. Without Brother and the Harmony he was without a home...anchorless. He clung to the BB's like a life raft.

Dennis wrote nearly all the music for Its About Time. He had a demo of most of the track long before there were lyrics for it. The lyricist Bob Burchman wrote a ton of words but didn't come up with the Its About Time part, that was most likely Dennis and Al who developed that part together. Carl helped Dennis with some of the changes as well. Its About Time was an important song for the BB's because it became their signature concert closer for during the '70 - '71 period when they were just gaining credibility with a new audience.
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