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Author Topic: Recent Van Dyke Parks interview discussing Smile in Pasadena Weekly  (Read 1237 times)
rn57
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« on: March 03, 2013, 12:32:14 PM »

http://www.pasadenaweekly.com/cms/story/detail/?id=11900

Van Dyke played a benefit last month for his neighborhood library in South Pasadena, before which he was interview by the local alternative weekly. Link is above.  The article says that, "being a noted recluse," he had never performed in the area before.  (For South Pasadena that may be true but I'd be amazed if he hadn't performed at the long-gone Ice House in Pasadena itself, back in the stoned age.)

Anyway, the intrepid interviewer brings up that S-word, and what follows is:


"When he came back to Los Angeles in the mid-1960s, Parks found himself in high demand as a musician and arranger, eventually meeting Beach Boys lead singer and songwriter Brian Wilson in 1966 during the contentious creation of the classic album “Pet Sounds.” While he chose to stay out of the behind-the-scenes dramas on that project, he helped Wilson extensively on the group’s follow-up project, “Smile,” until Wilson’s excessive drug use drove him away.

”I think the ’60s were a healthy thing, the counter-revolution with drugs part of it all, was a healthy catharsis,” recalls Parks. “Brian’s passion for drugs was overwhelming to me, and that’s why I left the project when I did. It was a little too much to be of real practical value and would lead to destruction. Of course, it had a great deal to do with his psychological collapse.

“It was a very hard experience, but anyone who lived through the ’60s had a hard experience,” says Parks. “I don’t think you can achieve anything without risking failure. I think you get to a place of great creative and beautiful conclusions through difficulty and adversity. ‘Smile’ is a case in point. It shows a great resiliency.”

Indeed, “Smile” proved to be a project that never died. Parks and Wilson surprised the music world by teaming up on Parks’ 1994 CD “Orange Crate Art” — a key step in Wilson’s journey back to musical prominence after years in the mental wilderness. Then, nearly 40 years after its initial recording sessions fell apart under the weight of Wilson’s mental health and drug use issues, Parks and Wilson reteamed to finish “Smile,” which was released in 2004 to great acclaim from fans and critics alike.

They teamed up again in 2008 for a new Wilson CD, “That Lucky Old Sun,” and just last week “Smile” received a special Grammy for a boxed-set edition that included not only the finished album but multiple hours of outtakes and alternate versions of songs.

“Seeing it get a Grammy is the icing on the cake, but I’ve enjoyed every artist I’ve worked for,” says Parks. “I worked for Harry Nilsson. He was a real genius, a smart, smart man. I also loved Lowell George, Ry Cooder and Randy Newman, and now I’m working with a new generation, going to Oslo in two days to work with Grizzly Bear and Fleet Foxes.”"


Well, as has often been pointed out here, more than drugs figured in Van Dyke's leaving the project...he had the offer from Warner Brothers to make his own record, for one thing, and that was not something that could be passed up, especially from a label starting to become known for its comparative readiness to allow artistic freedom.  The rest of the interview is also quite worth reading.
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punkinhead
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« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2013, 03:06:14 PM »

What type of drugs did van dyke do? His demeanor and verbiage shows how he's just a genius and a scholarly gentlemen.


Working with Fleet Foxes? My attention has been gotten!!
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« Reply #2 on: April 28, 2013, 03:10:29 PM »

[... ]and now I’m working with a new generation, going to Oslo in two days to work with Grizzly Bear and Fleet Foxes.”"
Shocked HOLY sh*t. Smiley Smiley Smiley
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