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Author Topic: Loren Daro comments on Brian & LSD (possibly...)  (Read 45919 times)
Cam Mott
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« Reply #150 on: May 29, 2012, 07:23:48 AM »

Why are some people deliberately misinterpreting Loren (if it was Loren)'s comments about Brian "faking" breakdowns?

Bearing in mind that Loren probably wasn't expecting a detailed textual analysis of what he wrote, he said that Brian faked a breakdown to get out of touring. We all know that Brian didn't like touring anyway. It is not beyond the realms of possibility that Brian played-up his nerves in order to get off the airplane and out of touring.

This does not equate to Brian has been faking mental illness for 50 years. This does not mean that Brian did not need mental health treatment in 1968, the first (?) reported instance of Brian being hospitalised.

Let's try to stick to what the man said in his post rather than extrapolating for our own personal agendas.
I can only say that any account I've ever read/heard of Brian's first major nervous breakdown has all the signs of an actual nervous breakdown. If (part of) it was faked, it was quite a performance.

Actually, I've seen two fairly recent interviews with Marilyn (I'm sorry, I don't recall where I saw them, maybe Beautiful Dreamer was one of them?), and she DISPUTES that it was actually a "beakdown" that Brian experienced on the plane when he decided to end his touring days. I'm really paraphrasing here, but she said something like, "I don't know, I wouldn't call it a breakdown, it was more like a panic attack..."

I haven't seen Marilyn's quote but that is my impression of what happened; a "panic attack" has gotten blown up to nervous breakdown status.
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Amanda Hart
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« Reply #151 on: May 29, 2012, 07:29:48 AM »

We have to put the nervous breakdown thing in the context of the times, too. Even less was understood about mental illness and anxiety in the mid-'60s. I think we are getting bogged down in the difference between the terms "nervous breakdown" and "panic attack" using modern definitions, not taking into account that the people who were first hand witnesses to the event did not use these same definitions and probably had never heard of a panic attack at that point. "Nervous breakdown" was the best way for them to describe what they saw.

Based on the accounts of the time, I assume he actually had a panic attack. Like Amy B. said, a panic attack can be very physical and very scary to watch if you've never seen someone have one or experienced one yourself. For anyone else that's every had one, that first one especially is awful. Everything seems to point to this being Brian's first full on attack, you feel so out of control; you don't understand what's happening or how to get a handle on yourself. Even after you've rationally worked out whatever put you in the attack, the physical symptoms are still there. The fact that he played a show that night is pretty impressive, because even a minor panic attack is totally exhausting.

With these Daro comments, my guess regarding the faking the breakdown, is that Brian told him he faked it. Probably a lie because of the stigma attached to mental problems and because he was afraid it would make it harder to get drugs. He wanted to look cool in front of his hip friends, so he lied.
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Amy B.
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« Reply #152 on: May 29, 2012, 07:43:00 AM »


Based on the accounts of the time, I assume he actually had a panic attack. Like Amy B. said, a panic attack can be very physical and very scary to watch if you've never seen someone have one or experienced one yourself. For anyone else that's every had one, that first one especially is awful. Everything seems to point to this being Brian's first full on attack, you feel so out of control; you don't understand what's happening or how to get a handle on yourself. Even after you've rationally worked out whatever put you in the attack, the physical symptoms are still there. The fact that he played a show that night is pretty impressive, because even a minor panic attack is totally exhausting.


Yes, a panic attack isn't just someone saying, "Oh my God, I'm nervous," or "I can't do what I have to do because it's scary." It can involve chest pains, a racing heart beat, violent trembling, numbness, shortness of breath, and temporary loss of the use of limbs (like your legs feel like jelly). And though it's the result of stress or anxiety, it can seemingly come out of nowhere-- you can even wake up with one. I've had them before, and with the first one you think you're having either a heart attack, a stroke, or both. Then in 10 minutes it all ends, but you're certainly shaken up and definitely scared that it will happen again. So if Brian had that, it's nothing to sneeze at, and would be pretty hard to fake. And I would think someone witnessing it might have thought Brian was having a nervous breakdown and then maybe thought he was faking it when the symptoms were gone by the end  of the hour. And I could see Brian claiming later he had faked it because it doesn't seem very "macho" --or sane, for that matter.
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guitarfool2002
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« Reply #153 on: May 29, 2012, 07:45:32 AM »

Wow, this one really exploded in a matter of 8 hours...

I know a lot of it gets lost, but it does seem like too much is being read into what the article actually says, and conclusions are being drawn which simply don't have any evidence in fact to back them up.

The song credit thing: Please go back to page 3 and read what is a possible/probable explanation for this. If someone can prove that there is no basis for this theory, it will be dropped, but until then consider that writers in any genre or format make notes *constantly* whenever inspiration strikes, and some of those notes can be carried around for years if not decades before finding the right outlet. Tony Asher and Loren knew each other since they were at least teenagers, and were friends - it is entirely possible if not plausible that something Tony wrote in, say, 1963 about something could later manifest itself when he was writing words to fit Brian's chord progressions and general themes.

I don't think it can be easily explained away or totally dismissed as fast as some are doing, and it would appear the basis of that comes from a dislike of Loren Daro rather than a look at the historical possibilities in light of hard evidence. Page 3 of this thread.

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The Heartical Don
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« Reply #154 on: May 29, 2012, 07:45:43 AM »

I think we've landed in far too speculative territory here, so I'll refrain from guesswork all the way back to '64 (which is nearly half a century ago, after all). In this type of debate, a consensual outcome is impossible, but rows and insults certainly are not.

Child abuse is a very bad, tragic thing, and it leaves scars for life. Emotional instability is often one of the results. I don't think that demarcating 'breakdown' and 'panic attack' is very fruitful, the two may co-occur, or flow into each other.

Combating the effects of child abuse with street drugs is also a bad, tragic thing; but the chance of it occurring in an environment like that of rock music, and where money is not a problem, is very high. It is a very unhappy method of self-medication, that can work for a limited time - until the terrible period announces itself that the beneficial effects on mood are, say, 10 minutes long, and the aftermath, marked by terrible withdrawal symptoms and fears, perhaps delirium, can last for days, a week, or more. By all accounts (I am thinking of Nick Kent's personal report here), Brian suffered mightily from the latter - and it would take a genius psychiatrist (so not one dr Landy) to separate the symptoms of trauma themselves from that of withdrawal.
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Amy B.
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« Reply #155 on: May 29, 2012, 07:51:23 AM »

Child abuse is a very bad, tragic thing, and it leaves scars for life. Emotional instability is often one of the results. I don't think that demarcating 'breakdown' and 'panic attack' is very fruitful, the two may co-occur, or flow into each other.


I think the reason we were attempting to demarcate the two was to determine how and why witnesses perceived Brian's behavior one way as opposed to another.
And again, it's all just speculation.
I find it interesting that a lot of the people who were in Brian's life in the 60s will acknowledge that Murry abused Brian but are more apt to link the CAUSE of Brian's symptoms with drugs than with abuse. I suppose it's partly generational...
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The Heartical Don
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« Reply #156 on: May 29, 2012, 07:56:55 AM »

Child abuse is a very bad, tragic thing, and it leaves scars for life. Emotional instability is often one of the results. I don't think that demarcating 'breakdown' and 'panic attack' is very fruitful, the two may co-occur, or flow into each other.


I think the reason we were attempting to demarcate the two was to determine how and why witnesses perceived Brian's behavior one way as opposed to another.
And again, it's all just speculation.
I find it interesting that a lot of the people who were in Brian's life in the 60s will acknowledge that Murry abused Brian but are more apt to link the CAUSE of Brian's symptoms with drugs than with abuse. I suppose it's partly generational...

I agree. At least in Holland, so long ago, the whole concept of 'child abuse' did not carry the load it does nowadays. On the contrary, a 'corrective blow' was seen as part of a normal upbringing, as were other types of physical punishment. People did not think in terms of trauma for later life, and the psychiatric disorders that can result from handling kids thus.
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Sheriff John Stone
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« Reply #157 on: May 29, 2012, 08:09:12 AM »

Yes, almost by process of elimination do you have to consider the effects of child abuse, or at least the overall negative effects of Murry on his son(s).

In 1964-66, the period that Daro was addressing, Brian was on top of the world. He married a woman he loved, he moved into a mansion, was a millionaire, had commercial and critical success with his art, had a number of friends, got out of touring, had the Wrecking Crew at his disposal, and basically lived life as he chose. If you had to find something that was "bothering" him emotionally, yes, the effects of an abusive father has to be seriously considered.

I wonder if Schwartz/Daro wasn't portrayed in such a negative vein in David Leaf's book, along with his self-inflicted wound in Beautiful Dreamer, if we wouldn't be so skeptical about what he wrote. Again, I go back to WHO we are to believe in the Brian Wilson story. Daro gave drugs to Brian, doesn't like Marilyn, didn't contribute to the music, and appears cocky - well, we can't believe him.
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Amanda Hart
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« Reply #158 on: May 29, 2012, 08:13:18 AM »

Don's always got the right idea when it comes to stuff like this. Anxiety all comes down to fear, and fear played a large roll in Brian's life, mostly because of the abuse he suffered as a child. Your ability to think rationally is inhibited and your sense of self is screwed up. Drugs may have sped up or exaggerated Brian's anxiety and mental issues, but those seeds were planted before he started using drugs and probably would have manifested themselves at some point.
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« Reply #159 on: May 29, 2012, 08:14:04 AM »

For those interested in the historical context, some of the approved, sanctioned treatments for a variety of mental illness in the decades surrounding the 60's included electro-shock therapy and lobotomy, not to mention various clinically-approved drugs like the Thorazine mentioned earlier.

So there is a case where the learned, licensed medical professionals whom we trust with these issues and who dedicated their lives to the study and treatment of these issues of the mind, came to the conclusion well into the 70's in some countries that an acceptable treatment involved cutting away parts of the human brain.

Yet the application of a drug such as LSD under controlled dosages and a controlled environment is off-limits to even consider as a form of clinical, psychiatric or psychological treatment, even with reports of success dating back to the early 60's?

There is the conundrum and the ultimate conflict - it could be argued that the cure was in fact far worse than the disease. Understanding that doctors of psychiatry were not randomly going around to sanitariums and lobotomizing or electro-shocking patients at will, the fact that a Nobel prize was even awarded to a doctor who was an advocate of lobotomy as treatment is more than a bit scary to consider, not to mention the thousands who were subjected to it thinking they would be "cured", only to have their life destroyed. It was not too long ago in context.

And as far as abuse and overuse of anything: If you take too much of any medication, or drug, or recreational substance, the side-effects will be serious up to and including death. If you drink 4 urns of coffee in a matter of a few hours, the caffeine might cause heart failure, it's actually called a "caffeine overdose"...so is coffee a dangerous substance? If you drink massive quantities of vodka or whiskey or whatever, alcohol poisoning could kill you. Yet that is legal to adults, as is coffee. It's all about controlling the dosages and the old warning "use only as directed".

Just sayin'.
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The Heartical Don
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« Reply #160 on: May 29, 2012, 08:19:30 AM »

Don's always got the right idea when it comes to stuff like this. Anxiety all comes down to fear, and fear played a large roll in Brian's life, mostly because of the abuse he suffered as a child. Your ability to think rationally is inhibited and your sense of self is screwed up. Drugs may have sped up or exaggerated Brian's anxiety and mental issues, but those seeds were planted before he started using drugs and probably would have manifested themselves at some point.

Thank you, Amanda. Yes, the seeds were planted, and from what I read, Brian and his brothers suffered particularly vicious forms of abuse (i.e. methods that truly were threatening and damaging the sense of self, and of being a worthy person).

Adolescents who don't have a history of abuse also are prone to experiment with drugs. But the thing is: these don't have that special effect of alleviating excess fear and depression, these simply aren't present in ill-making amounts. So for them, the first hangover often only results in the resolve to not let that happen again.
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« Reply #161 on: May 29, 2012, 08:29:31 AM »

Well, I found this incredibly fascinating and want to know more -- so I initiated contact and got back a lengthy, rather charming reply. If it's a hoax, it's a ridiculously detailed one with a real master of the craft.

 I think it's time for another interview for another round of Rashomon. Anybody have any burning questions they'd like answered? Be ludicrously specific.

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« Reply #162 on: May 29, 2012, 09:20:57 AM »

I don't know if it's a generation gap or what, but I can't relate to some of the posters here.  Oh, sure, LSD is a great thing!  It will cure people of so many of their ills.  You say I'm "misinformed." Have you even met anyone whose done LSD?  I have.  I even have a person in my immediate family who did it.  It didn't sound a positive experience to me. 

Or saying Brian is just a spoiled brat who does things to get his way.  Uh, okay, I give up.
Yes, I have been around many people on LSD, and I have done it myself. I have never known anyone whose life was ruined by LSD, although the same can't be said for alcohol, cocaine, and many other drugs.

I had a very close loved one die from alcohol poisoning (alcohol is a drug, so I hope you don't partake). If you were to link me to an article about how the resveritrol in wine can slow the aging process, do you think I would get all indignant about it? This isn't a generation gap, it is a propaganda gap. You believe what you want to believe.
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« Reply #163 on: May 29, 2012, 09:23:45 AM »


There is a lot of misinformation out there about LSD, and it has become a bogeyman in Brian's life story. Loren Schwartz/Loren Daro/Loren Daro-Schwartz, regardless of his personal merits or follies, is a casualty of that narrative.

Also, lysergic acid does not cause brain damage, seep into your spinal fluid, or any of that.


Oh, yeah, we all know LSD is quite harmless, including when one is on their LSD trip.  The person that wrote the article about it in Wikipedia says it's harmless, so it must be true.  Here's a news story of the past couple of days of what one guy having an LSD trip did to another, resulting in his own death at the hands of the police (warning, graphic content, unless you consider a person high on LSD chewing a man's face off to not be graphic content):

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2151098/Naked-man-high-LSD-eats-face-victim-police-shoot-Miami.html

I didn't say LSD was harmless in the first place, so you are fabricating an argument that I did not put forth. In fact, I said that LSD can indeed be harmful specifically to those predisposed to schizoaffective disorders.

When someone is on "their LSD trip," as you put it, they are not likely to brutalize other people, and pointing to this laughable Daily Mail article shows that you have very little knowledge on the subject beyond misinformation. If my source had been Wikipedia, it would still be more reputable than The Daily Mail. However, a lot has been written in scientific journals about the clinical effects of LSD, which worked marvelously as a legal antidepressant until the counterculture began abusing it.

What's more, there have been clinical studies done on LSD that show it to be an effective treatment for alcoholism - more efficacious than 12-step programs, in fact. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120308224524.htm

There was a very effective trial done in Europe where PTSD was treated in Holocaust survivors using LSD. You should check out the book I mentioned a few posts up boots, it's a pretty down to Earth affair with psychologists making observations on common types of experiences seen during their experiments with LSD.
Very interesting, Fishmonk. I will have to check the book out. Between LSD and Psilocybin, science is discovering new uses for hallucinogens and it is pretty incredible, especially after all the propaganda that has been out there for so long.
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Amy B.
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« Reply #164 on: May 29, 2012, 09:33:33 AM »


Yes, I have been around many people on LSD, and I have done it myself. I have never known anyone whose life was ruined by LSD, although the same can't be said for alcohol, cocaine, and many other drugs.

I had a very close loved one die from alcohol poisoning (alcohol is a drug, so I hope you don't partake). If you were to link me to an article about how the resveritrol in wine can slow the aging process, do you think I would get all indignant about it? This isn't a generation gap, it is a propaganda gap. You believe what you want to believe.
[/quote]

People tend to get so worked up about LSD, maybe because it's so foreign to a lot of us and is linked (rightly or not) to a counterculture. The effects are mysterious. You don't hear about people going to rehab for LSD. You don't learn about the effects of LSD in school. If Brian had only ever taken LSD and no other drugs--and if he had a happy childhood and was otherwise well adjusted--maybe we could speculate that his later behavior had something to do with LSD, not knowing well enough the effects of acid. But this is someone who had so many other possible causes for his behavior-- amphetamines, alcohol, cocaine, and the known cause of anxiety and psychological issues-- child abuse. Looking at it that way, why DO people demonize Loren Daro? Tons of other people supplied Brian with drugs, and if Brian didn't get them from Daro and really wanted them, he would have found a way to get them.



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« Reply #165 on: May 29, 2012, 09:37:52 AM »


Yes, I have been around many people on LSD, and I have done it myself. I have never known anyone whose life was ruined by LSD, although the same can't be said for alcohol, cocaine, and many other drugs.

I had a very close loved one die from alcohol poisoning (alcohol is a drug, so I hope you don't partake). If you were to link me to an article about how the resveritrol in wine can slow the aging process, do you think I would get all indignant about it? This isn't a generation gap, it is a propaganda gap. You believe what you want to believe.

People tend to get so worked up about LSD, maybe because it's so foreign to a lot of us and is linked (rightly or not) to a counterculture. The effects are mysterious. You don't hear about people going to rehab for LSD. You don't learn about the effects of LSD in school. If Brian had only ever taken LSD and no other drugs--and if he had a happy childhood and was otherwise well adjusted--maybe we could speculate that his later behavior had something to do with LSD, not knowing well enough the effects of acid. But this is someone who had so many other possible causes for his behavior-- amphetamines, alcohol, cocaine, and the known cause of anxiety and psychological issues-- child abuse. Looking at it that way, why DO people demonize Loren Daro? Tons of other people supplied Brian with drugs, and if Brian didn't get them from Daro and really wanted them, he would have found a way to get them.




[/quote]
Thanks Amy. This was basically my point in my first post on this thread. Loren Daro may be one thing or another, and he certainly comes off poorly in the post, but he cannot be blamed for Brian's actions.
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« Reply #166 on: May 29, 2012, 10:01:12 AM »

The first episode of what was called "Dragnet 1967", Jack Webb's return to television with his beloved crime drama after several years on hiatus, focused on LSD. The storyline was about a young man named "Blue Boy" - looking back on it with more history under my belt, maybe this was a reference to Owsley's 'Blue Cheer' and 'Blue Barrels' which had been the preferred dosage of LSD in Los Angeles around this time - and the episode ends with Webb's Joe Friday character finally tracking down Blue Boy and having to pull him out of a mound of dirt in a field somewhere, as his face is all painted up blue...

This kind of episode may have crossed into "Reefer Madness" territory as high camp for a certain audience, but at the time *this* kind of message was what many in America took to be the factual evidence of the horrors of LSD, especially as seen in and around Los Angeles and the mythology of the Sunset Strip during that time. Here's the thing: I love Dragnet, I enjoy Jack Webb's work, but it was at the time a very earnest and honest message they were delivering with that show. Interviews with Webb promoting Dragnet 67 back this up - it was serious, no matter how much kitsch it looks like today.

If you take the imagery of a young guy with a blue face freaking out on LSD and put it into millions of living rooms as the problems with abuse of the drug, that will probably stick in a lot of minds, and form opinions for decades to come, short of experiencing this firsthand.

I do agree with others posting here that it is not honest to lump LSD into the same category as Cocaine and Heroin, or even Ecstasy, meth, PCP, and the like. Any drugs are dangerous, but it has to be remembered too that there was a very focused and goal-oriented campaign against LSD and warnings about LSD which relied on data that was not always accurate or proven.

It is definitely not advocating its use by pointing out the history of it. And it is possible to see how successful the campaign was going from national magazines in the early 60's writing serious articles about the possible benefits of the drug to that night on television in 1967 when Blue Boy showed up having a freak-out on Dragnet. That's just one example.
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« Reply #167 on: May 29, 2012, 10:07:12 AM »

What a wonderful post! I knew there had to be a link to Dragnet in here somewhere: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Xg7vTRBx0E

If only we had a picture of Brian with his face painted green.
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« Reply #168 on: May 29, 2012, 10:11:14 AM »

I wonder if Schwartz/Daro wasn't portrayed in such a negative vein in David Leaf's book, along with his self-inflicted wound in Beautiful Dreamer, if we wouldn't be so skeptical about what he wrote.

Maybe Lorren will show up and he can clarify. As I remember Loren was not contacted by David Leaf for the books. I hope I remember that right.
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« Reply #169 on: May 29, 2012, 10:17:11 AM »

Didn't someone used to post here under the name Loren Daro? Was it verified whether that was him? I don't remember the types of things that person posted.
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« Reply #170 on: May 29, 2012, 10:43:15 AM »

Ontor-
Are you able to publish any of the reply you received?

As for questions:
- Are you able to recall any specific details of what Brian may have said during his trip, besides what we have seen in Leaf's doc?
- Did he go through more than one demeanor during the trip? Happy, sad, scared?
- Any particular insights he imparted during that time?
- Ridiculously specific: what was he wearing at the time?
- Did you discuss the event with Brian at later dates after it was over and there was time to reflect?

That's all for now...
onkster
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« Reply #171 on: May 29, 2012, 10:48:37 AM »

I'll ask and report back!
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« Reply #172 on: May 29, 2012, 10:53:22 AM »

Ontor-
Are you able to publish any of the reply you received?

As for questions:
- Are you able to recall any specific details of what Brian may have said during his trip, besides what we have seen in Leaf's doc?
- Did he go through more than one demeanor during the trip? Happy, sad, scared?
- Any particular insights he imparted during that time?
- Ridiculously specific: what was he wearing at the time?
- Did you discuss the event with Brian at later dates after it was over and there was time to reflect?

That's all for now...
onkster

I would ask what a typical day was like for Brian.  I think that's where history truly falls through the cracks.  History books can bring us closer to what it was really like, and stuff like the session tape can bring us really close.  But to really understand it, not only do we have to take all these different perspectives into account, Darro's, Murry's, Mike's, Brian's, Marylin's, etc, etc, but we also have to track the mundane, I think.  It's the mundane stuff that makes up life.  If the human body is mostly water, the human life is mostly mundane.

We have to know what it was like to go bowling with the Rovells.  We have to know what it was like to wait by Brian's front door to leave for a late-night snack while Brian hit the john.  We have to go with Marilyn to the grocery store.  We have to ride with Chuck Britz in his car while he goes to get gas on his way home from a session.  We have to wait with Tony Asher at the DMV while he gets his license renewed.  

Only then will we really get what's going on.
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« Reply #173 on: May 29, 2012, 10:55:48 AM »

We have to know if Brian ever enjoyed sneaking off to Pacific Ocean Park.

Especially if it's with Loren, or even a damaged stereo-repair guy from Texas.
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« Reply #174 on: May 29, 2012, 11:11:48 AM »


I would ask what a typical day was like for Brian.  I think that's where history truly falls through the cracks.  History books can bring us closer to what it was really like, and stuff like the session tape can bring us really close.  But to really understand it, not only do we have to take all these different perspectives into account, Darro's, Murry's, Mike's, Brian's, Marylin's, etc, etc, but we also have to track the mundane, I think.  It's the mundane stuff that makes up life.  If the human body is mostly water, the human life is mostly mundane.

We have to know what it was like to go bowling with the Rovells.  We have to know what it was like to wait by Brian's front door to leave for a late-night snack while Brian hit the john.  We have to go with Marilyn to the grocery store.  We have to ride with Chuck Britz in his car while he goes to get gas on his way home from a session.  We have to wait with Tony Asher at the DMV while he gets his license renewed.  

Only then will we really get what's going on.


If only Brian had a reality show in the 60s.  Cheesy  "This week's episode: Brian and entourage accompany Tony Asher to the DMV. Hilarity ensues when Loren Daro slips some LSD to the woman behind the counter."
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