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Author Topic: Do you think the early material ('62-'65) is better than Smile?  (Read 22404 times)
bgas
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« Reply #100 on: December 23, 2014, 01:52:48 PM »


Quote
Brian at the time said the lyrics were "too arty" and that is why he junked some of the songs written with VDP from Smiley.

Can you please direct me to the source of this claim? The only person who has consistently referenced this quotation on this site is you and you have done it many, many times. Where is it from and what is the context? This is especially crucial in light of the fact that, in my opinion, you have in the past mischaracterized a Derek Taylor quote to conclude that Brian felt Smile to be old-fashioned.

Well there's this,

Rolling Stone
October 28, 1971

Tom Nolan: "Why didn't that Smile album ever come out?"

Brian Wilson: "Oh, well, that was because . . . the lyrics, Van Dyke Parks had written lyrics that were, it was all Van Dyke Parks and none of the Beach Boys. The lyrics were so poetic and symbolic they were abstract, we couldn't . . “

And again, the context is crucial:

"Why didn't that Smile album ever come out?"

"Oh, well, that was because . . . the lyrics, Van Dyke Parks had written lyrics that were, it was all Van Dyke Parks and none of the Beach Boys. The lyrics were so poetic and symbolic they were abstract, we couldn't . . .

"Oh no, wait, it was, no, really, I remember, this is it, this is why, it didn't come out because, I'd bought a lot of hashish. It was a really large purchase, I mean perhaps two thousand dollars' worth. We didn't realize, but the music was getting so influenced by it, the music had a really drugged feeling. I mean we had to lie on the floor with the microphones next to our mouths to do the vocals. We didn't have any energy. I mean you come into a session and see the group lying on the floor of the studio doing the vocals, you know, you can't . . ."

So, yes, he does say that about the lyrics - doesn't necessarily say they were "too arty" - but then goes on to undercut it. I am not inclined to believe the second version he gives either.

True dat! You have to take almost every Brian interview tongue in cheek; still, I hope there's some as yet unfound videos of the BBs in the studio lying on the floor singing....
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CenturyDeprived
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« Reply #101 on: December 23, 2014, 01:57:54 PM »

Forgive me, please, if Van Dyke Parks’ rather startling comments in the 9 May 2013 Guardian – a newspaper published, I believe, either in the United Kingdom or in Schenectady – have left me a bit skeptical of the notion that he and young Brian Wilson were happy writing partners.

"It's a dull issue. I hope it doesn't need any further elaboration. To have been victimized by Brian Wilson's buffoonery. It just got too much for me. It was an expensive decision for me not to continue my association with the most powerful artist in the music business at the time, but I made the only decision I could. I walked away from that funhouse."

While it certainly could be true that the glib Mr. Parks was put off most by the attitudes of Michael Love, and perhaps the failure of young Brian to come adequately to his writing partner’s defense, a nearly 5-decades-old grudge that would prompt the Oxford Orator to refer to Brian as a buffoon is sufficiently intense to suggest a deeper layer of rejection and indeed humiliation.
 

Let's make sure to note that VDP wasn't calling Brian a "buffoon" per se, but more I take it that VDP meant that Brian's actions at the time were buffoonery. There is a difference. Much like calling someone "a jerk" and saying they acted like a jerk are also two different things.

And while it was undoubtedly a crass comment to make, I've always read that to mean that the actions VDP was speaking of were regarding Brian going back to the BBs (regressing, in VDP's eyes), with the Brian/Mike power structure back intact (such as "Wild Honey") after having experienced some pretty major fallout and creative differences with them. I think VDP thought it was buffoonery for Brian to go back to working with Mike, specifically.

Can one imagine what went through VDP's mind when "Gettin' Hungry" was released specifically by "Brian and Mike" in 1967? I don't think it's reaching to think that must've been more than weird in VDP's eyes at the time.
 
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Hank Briarstem
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« Reply #102 on: December 23, 2014, 02:19:13 PM »

A fair point, young man, and one worthy of note. Still, the quote regarding a disagreement more than 45 years in the past belies hostility, does it not? Perhaps I am sensitized by the sheer magnitude of my second ex-wife's hostility toward me -- a hatred burning with such intensity she refers to me as "the trail of slime left behind a departing worm -- and not one of those 'cute' worms; a disgusting one more mindful of a maggot than anything else." Nonetheless she provided me with a Swanson dinner the day flu raged inside me with the fire of Hades itself. There is comfort in that, though her name often escapes me. For that matter, so does mine.

We are also provided with this chestnut from the talkative Mr. Parks, a relic of a New York Times article. "Also, by 1967 I had been through eight months of Beach Boys experience — or Brian Wilson, really, with one short conversation with one or two of the other Beach Boys. I left that job in the shambles that became so famous. Perhaps the "one short conversation" with other Beach Boys was so hostile as to burn in the good wordsmith's heart lo these many years. Or perhaps the long grudge is a sample of his relationship with Brian.

In any event -- pass me that tomato juice, please, and the Metamucil -- Mr. Parks is quoted frequently regarding his grand efforts to resurrect the Beach Boys' career at its low ebb, and always his role seems to have been to ride in to the firestorm as the Lone Ranger, acting nobly to fashion Shinola from waste product. It is an heroic self-portrait and one that, if accurate, must make him particularly angry at the buffoonery of others. Would that we were all so dashing and guileless!
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« Reply #103 on: December 23, 2014, 02:27:34 PM »

Yes, I think so.
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« Reply #104 on: December 23, 2014, 02:38:28 PM »

Brian should've let Mike re-write the lyrics for Smile, while driving around, much like his excellent lyrics for Good Vibrations.  Worth a bash.  Challenge the man, instead of just using him for the more formulaic ideas.  Mike could've gone psychedelic, but kept it accessible, much like the Beatles did.  Sgt. Pepper isn't clouded by abstract lyrics, but aims for the average joe.  The Smile music with Mike's lyrics would've been the real show-stopper and changed the way the Beach Boys were viewed, a real album follow-up to Good Vibrations.  Smile, as it was going, with the VDP lyrics, would never have shook the world.  Mike was in his peak years then too.   Should've used him.
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« Reply #105 on: December 23, 2014, 02:42:27 PM »

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« Reply #106 on: December 23, 2014, 03:46:52 PM »

He should've written the lyrics with a lyrics writing-robot

time machine that was better than VDP and mike combined.

For Mike to really show there are no hard feelings as he claims (because of course, the Summer in Paradise musician-for-hire attempt at that was derailed by the infamous Mike-reneging-on-covering-VDP's-airfare-incident), Mike just simply needs to name a child of his Van Dyke Love.  Grin
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« Reply #107 on: December 23, 2014, 04:46:00 PM »

The fact is many artists could have used the "Mike Love touch" over the years. I recently read about a couple of paintings that were discovered by an unknown artist named Picassoe (sp?). Apparently this guy thought he could have a major cultural impact with his art, but talk about confusing! There's no way this stuff could have ever possibly caught on - it's like it's the very definition of abstract.

Reminds of the story of this author from the same time. His name was James Joyce. He was very well known for a short story collection called The Dubliners but then he started to write some really difficult stuff with tons of allusions and really strange turns-of-phrases. Too bad - had he kept up the style of the Dubliners he could have really shaken things up.

It's too bad too that Mike Love couldn't have re-written the lyrics by Bob Dylan. I mean, "you used to be so amused by Napoleon in rags and the language that you used"? What the hell? It's pretty easy to see why that never caught on.
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« Reply #108 on: December 23, 2014, 04:55:23 PM »

riverrun, fun, fun, fun past the hamburger stand, from swerve of shore to bend
of bay,  brings us by a commodius vibration of excitation back to Hawthorne and environs.
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« Reply #109 on: December 23, 2014, 05:02:00 PM »

Brian should've let Mike re-write the lyrics for Smile, while driving around, much like his excellent lyrics for Good Vibrations.  Worth a bash.  Challenge the man, instead of just using him for the more formulaic ideas.  Mike could've gone psychedelic, but kept it accessible, much like the Beatles did.  Sgt. Pepper isn't clouded by abstract lyrics, but aims for the average joe.  The Smile music with Mike's lyrics would've been the real show-stopper and changed the way the Beach Boys were viewed, a real album follow-up to Good Vibrations.  Smile, as it was going, with the VDP lyrics, would never have shook the world.  Mike was in his peak years then too.   Should've used him.

Mike could have just added the word "now" to the end of all of VDP's sentences in the lyrics. That's what SMiLE really needed, come to think of it. That would have made the music more relatable to listeners, plus the deceptively simple "now" lyric would have had a deeper intentional dual meaning by the Lovester, with the added bonus of bringing a subliminal, yet impactful early feminist Pro-N.O.W. stance (later explored in "When Girls Get Together").

 
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halblaineisgood
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« Reply #110 on: December 23, 2014, 05:09:37 PM »

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« Reply #111 on: December 23, 2014, 05:36:49 PM »

riverrun, fun, fun, fun past the hamburger stand, from swerve of shore to bend
of bay,  brings us by a commodius vibration of excitation back to Hawthorne and environs.


As someone who took a graduate seminar on Finnegans Wake, this is awesome.
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« Reply #112 on: December 24, 2014, 03:36:03 AM »

Brian should've let Mike re-write the lyrics for Smile, while driving around, much like his excellent lyrics for Good Vibrations.  Worth a bash.  Challenge the man, instead of just using him for the more formulaic ideas.  Mike could've gone psychedelic, but kept it accessible, much like the Beatles did.  Sgt. Pepper isn't clouded by abstract lyrics, but aims for the average joe.  The Smile music with Mike's lyrics would've been the real show-stopper and changed the way the Beach Boys were viewed, a real album follow-up to Good Vibrations.  Smile, as it was going, with the VDP lyrics, would never have shook the world.  Mike was in his peak years then too.   Should've used him.

Mike could have just added the word "now" to the end of all of VDP's sentences in the lyrics. That's what SMiLE really needed, come to think of it. That would have made the music more relatable to listeners, plus the deceptively simple "now" lyric would have had a deeper intentional dual meaning by the Lovester, with the added bonus of bringing a subliminal, yet impactful early feminist Pro-N.O.W. stance (later explored in "When Girls Get Together").

"It starts with just a little glance, now
Right away, you're thinkin' 'bout romance, now"

Tony Asher used the Lovesterism and Pet Sounds got realeased. Van Dyke didn't. Asher's the smarter man.
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« Reply #113 on: December 24, 2014, 06:23:48 AM »

The fact is many artists could have used the "Mike Love touch" over the years. I recently read about a couple of paintings that were discovered by an unknown artist named Picassoe (sp?). Apparently this guy thought he could have a major cultural impact with his art, but talk about confusing! There's no way this stuff could have ever possibly caught on - it's like it's the very definition of abstract.

Reminds of the story of this author from the same time. His name was James Joyce. He was very well known for a short story collection called The Dubliners but then he started to write some really difficult stuff with tons of allusions and really strange turns-of-phrases. Too bad - had he kept up the style of the Dubliners he could have really shaken things up.

It's too bad too that Mike Love couldn't have re-written the lyrics by Bob Dylan. I mean, "you used to be so amused by Napoleon in rags and the language that you used"? What the hell? It's pretty easy to see why that never caught on.

Too bad that kid Joyce never made it...and who is this Dylan guy?
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« Reply #114 on: December 24, 2014, 02:58:27 PM »

Brian should've let Mike re-write the lyrics for Smile, while driving around, much like his excellent lyrics for Good Vibrations.  Worth a bash.  Challenge the man, instead of just using him for the more formulaic ideas.  Mike could've gone psychedelic, but kept it accessible, much like the Beatles did.  Sgt. Pepper isn't clouded by abstract lyrics, but aims for the average joe.  The Smile music with Mike's lyrics would've been the real show-stopper and changed the way the Beach Boys were viewed, a real album follow-up to Good Vibrations.  Smile, as it was going, with the VDP lyrics, would never have shook the world.  Mike was in his peak years then too.   Should've used him.

"You're too late mama, there's nothing upside your head..."  3D

Love that song, but let's face it, the world was neither shaken nor stirred by Mike's lyrics "celebrating"  that bald chick.

(Anybody know if BW ever saw Sam Fuller's THE NAKED KISS? From "dove-nested towers to Constance Towers"--a hidden furrow in subliminal BBs history...)  Cool Guy
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« Reply #115 on: December 25, 2014, 04:00:41 AM »

It's too bad too that Mike Love couldn't have re-written the lyrics by Bob Dylan. I mean, "you used to be so amused by Napoleon in rags and the language that you used"? What the hell? It's pretty easy to see why that never caught on.

Here's the chorus to that song.

How does it feel?
How does it feel?
To be without a home
Like a complete unknown
Like a rolling stone ?


Clear as day, and provides, as well as other parts of the lyrics, a easy-to-understand general theme that can be used to interpret lines like the one quoted.  More importantly, it doesn't lose the personal connection.   I'm not sure that Mike wanted only to write about surfing and hot rods.  Perhaps he just saw, with the too-abstract Smile lyrics, that the baby was being thrown out with the bathwater in that there was nothing for the average radio-listener to connect with.  The Good Vibrations lyrics are a fine example of him working with a more psychedelic angle. But that song also doesn't lose the personal connection.

Similarly, the Beatles, in their most far-out tunes of the time, never lost the connection, putting the personal subject of the song, the 'I' or the 'you', first and foremost.

'Turn off YOUR mind, relax and float downstream.'

'Picture YOURSELF on a boat on a river'.

'Living is easy with eyes closed, misunderstanding all YOU see.'

'Life goes on within YOU and without YOU.'

This is pop music.  Joyce and Picasso are irrelevant.  Dylan, however, was smart enough to keep the identifying subject in his songs, in order to evoke direct personal feeling, even if all the lyrics are not clear.  Dylan understood this.  The Beatles understood it.  Mike Love understood it.  Brian Wilson lost sight of it.  Perhaps he realised this as the project began to collapse.

Smile should have had lyrics akin to those of Good Vibrations.  That would have been the album to shake the world and have the impact that Sgt. Pepper had.  From the beginning of the involvement of VDP and the Smile project, the Beach Boys stopped being a contender.  Smile, as it was going, would have ended up a beautiful curio, respected by Mojo-readers, beard-scratchers and internet dweebs as probably the best, most beautiful album of the sixties, but not the all-conquering album that was hoped for, raising the Beach Boys to another level in the eyes of the world.  That's little different to how it is regarded now.
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« Reply #116 on: December 25, 2014, 09:06:44 AM »

Different would be the word I'd use. Not better. It's just a different style. It's all good stuff. Smiley
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« Reply #117 on: December 25, 2014, 06:30:53 PM »

The lyrics mentioned above have a style that's always perplexed me.

"It starts with just a little glance, now
Right away you're thinking bout romance, now"

The "Now" is completely frivolous.  It's not needed to make the lines rhyme, and although the melody as we know it has that one extra syllable, you could easily sing it slightly different and ditch the now.

Fun Fun Fun has the SAME DAMN THING in it.

"Well she got her daddy's car and she cruised to the hamburger stand, now
Seems she forgot all about the library like she told her old man, now"

I will add, though, that I've seen rappers do the same damn thing.  They'll rhyme sh*t that has a word on the end that's the same, although the word preceding it rhymes already. 

I'm just saying it's a strange style, now.
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« Reply #118 on: December 26, 2014, 12:18:14 PM »

Re. “arty”

Here are a couple of more quotes:

“Well we got a little arty about it, and it got to the point where we were too selfishly artistic and we weren't thinking about the public enough. It got to that level. Partially because of the drugs…” Brian Wilson  1976 (In Their Own Words p. 32)

“We didn't finish it because we had a lot of problems, inner group problems. We had time commitments we couldn't keep, so we stopped. Plus for instance, we did a thing called the Fire Track. We cut a song called Fire and we used fire helmets on the musicians and we put bucket with fire burning in it in the studio so we could smell smoke while we cut. About a day later a building down the street burned down. We thought maybe it was witchcraft or something, we didn't know what we were into. So we decided not to finish it. Plus I got into drugs and I began doing things that were over my head. It was too fancy and arty and was doing things that were not Beach Boys at all.” Brian Wilson (In Their Own Words p. 32)


"Early 1967, I had planned to make an album entitled SMILE. I was working with a guy named Van Dyke Parks, who was collaborating with me on the tunes, and in the process we came up with a song called 'Surf’s Up,' and I performed that with just a piano on a documentary show made on rock music.

The song 'Surf’s Up' that I sang for that documentary never came out on an album, and it was supposed to come out on the SMILE album, and that and a couple of other songs were junked ... because I didn't feel that they ... I don't know why, I just didn't, for some reason, didn't want to put them on the album ... and the group nearly broke up, actually split up for good over that, that one ... the decision of mine not to put a lot of the things that we'd cut for the album SMILEY SMILE on the album, and so for like almost a year, we're just now kind of getting back together ... because I didn't think that the songs really were right for the public at the time, and I didn't have a feeling, a commercial feeling, about some of these songs that we've never released, and ... maybe I ... some people like to hang onto certain things and ... just as their own little songs that they've written almost for themselves. And a lot of times, you know, a person will write and will realize later that they're ... it's not commercial, you know, but what they've written is nice for them, but a lot of people just don't like it."  Brian Wilson 1968 (KHJ History of Rock and Roll)

Also this:

"DAVID: Michael was just starting to get into the picture. Paul Robbins was starting to get into the picture at this time. Then when I started coming up to the house a whole bunch, when the Brother Records thing started to happen. Van was there like all the time. And Van and Brian were running together, very hot and heavy. And Van was blowing Brian's mind, and Brian was blowing whole situation and I said, at that time, that's never to work. Those two are never gonna be able to work together.
And they never have, they never really did. They had a great moment of creativity. I think Van Dyke is one of the few, very few people that Brian truly looked at on an equal level, or maybe that's a little presumptuous to say. Van Dyke blew Brian's mind and I hadn't seen anyone else do that. And Van used to walk away from his evenings with Brian, very awe-struck at what Brian was doing musically. I think to this day Van Dyke is the first one to admit — again, not influence, but the effect that Brian had, or has, on Van Dyke. Very strong. Their parting was kind of tragic, in the fact that there were two people who absolutely did not want to separate but they both knew that they had to separate, that they could not work together. 'Cause they were too strong, you know, in their own areas.

PAUL: When, February?

DAVID: Right around February, yeah. Van was getting — his lyric was too sophisticated, and in some areas Brian's music was not sophisticated enough, and so they started clashing on that.

PAUL: They missed each other.

DAVID: Yeah. They were together to a certain point, and then zingo! they bypassed each other, and never the twain shall meet with those two."

David Anderle and Paul Williams 1967 (Brian Wilson/The Beach Boys - A Celebration Of Wild Honey: a discussion with David Anderle)



Re. “Old fashioned”

“BUT ALAS…
Brian Wilson began to stare at the glittering ships of tape and as the day of the launch became nearer than a date on the never-never calendar, he gazed at his plans and he turned his mind’s ear inwards and the longer he stared and the more he heard, the clearer it became that he was now in his jet age, building steamships.

Which couldn't be right.

In truth, every beautifully designed, finely-wrought inspirationally-welded piece of music made these last months by Brian and his Beach Boy craftsmen has been SCRAPPED.” What, then? I don’t know. The Beach Boys don’t know. Brian Wilson, God grant him peace of mind…he doesn't know. He is waiting with his nearest Mike and Al and Bruce and his dearest Carl and Dennis. And if it is difficult for them, it is absolutely unbearable for Brian. It has to come. New single, new album.” Derek Taylor (published May 6 67)

How do you interpret building steamships in his jet age?
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« Reply #119 on: December 27, 2014, 01:35:06 PM »

...and then Brian did "Smile," - LIVE for heaven's sake - in London in 2004.  Working with VDP, Darian and the rest of Brian's amazing band.  Lots of quotes from Brian around that time as well, of course...They don't seem to be posted here.  It seems the "jet age" finally happened.

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« Reply #120 on: December 27, 2014, 02:21:14 PM »

It does reach a point where there's really little more that can be said other than 'SMILE' is brilliant...[I mean even better than 'Moon Dawg' or even '10 Little Indians' for goodness sake]...and if it took a little POSITIVE assistance from Darren and Van Dyke to get 'er done...well...GOOD ON YA Brian. 

Music is like comedy.  Timing really IS everything.  2004 and whenever the Beach Boys replication arrived...was it 3 or 4 years ago?...notwitstanding.

1967 would have been better...and would have re-shaped music history.

All this prattle about the lyrics not being whatever...

What a PILE.
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« Reply #121 on: December 27, 2014, 03:30:49 PM »

 Azn
It does reach a point where there's really little more that can be said other than 'SMILE' is brilliant...[I mean even better than 'Moon Dawg' or even '10 Little Indians' for goodness sake]...and if it took a little POSITIVE assistance from Darren and Van Dyke to get 'er done...well...GOOD ON YA Brian. 

Music is like comedy.  Timing really IS everything.  2004 and whenever the Beach Boys replication arrived...was it 3 or 4 years ago?...notwitstanding.

1967 would have been better...and would have re-shaped music history.

All this prattle about the lyrics not being whatever...

What a PILE.

 Azn
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« Reply #122 on: December 27, 2014, 05:02:53 PM »

  The Good Vibrations lyrics are a fine example of him working with a more psychedelic angle. But that song also doesn't lose the personal connection.

Similarly, the Beatles, in their most far-out tunes of the time, never lost the connection, putting the personal subject of the song, the 'I' or the 'you', first and foremost.

'Turn off YOUR mind, relax and float downstream.'

'Picture YOURSELF on a boat on a river'.

'Living is easy with eyes closed, misunderstanding all YOU see.'

'Life goes on within YOU and without YOU.'

This is quite easy to do when you are cherry picking. Watch:

I'VE been this town so long

SHE'S still dancing

SHE belongs there left with her liberty

Lost and found YOU still remain there/I'LL find a meadow filled with rain there

Bicycle rider, see see what YOU'VE done

I know that YOU feel better when YOU send me in YOUR letter and tell me the name of YOUR, YOUR favourite vegetable

By your own standards, Parks's lyrics are perfectly mainstream.

Quote
This is pop music.  Joyce and Picasso are irrelevant. 

You didn't say anything about "pop music" -- the point is, can abstract art "shake up the world?" History proves that it absolutely can - in fact, if history tells us anything, it's that abstract art can perhaps have an even bigger impact on the world than other forms of artistic representation. If you think pop music can't do what other forms of art do, that's you placing a limitation on it. Personally, I don't believe pop music to be an inferior art form.
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« Reply #123 on: December 27, 2014, 05:18:53 PM »

Re. “arty”

Here are a couple of more quotes:

“Well we got a little arty about it, and it got to the point where we were too selfishly artistic and we weren't thinking about the public enough. It got to that level. Partially because of the drugs…” Brian Wilson  1976 (In Their Own Words p. 32)

“We didn't finish it because we had a lot of problems, inner group problems. We had time commitments we couldn't keep, so we stopped. Plus for instance, we did a thing called the Fire Track. We cut a song called Fire and we used fire helmets on the musicians and we put bucket with fire burning in it in the studio so we could smell smoke while we cut. About a day later a building down the street burned down. We thought maybe it was witchcraft or something, we didn't know what we were into. So we decided not to finish it. Plus I got into drugs and I began doing things that were over my head. It was too fancy and arty and was doing things that were not Beach Boys at all.” Brian Wilson (In Their Own Words p. 32)


"Early 1967, I had planned to make an album entitled SMILE. I was working with a guy named Van Dyke Parks, who was collaborating with me on the tunes, and in the process we came up with a song called 'Surf’s Up,' and I performed that with just a piano on a documentary show made on rock music.

The song 'Surf’s Up' that I sang for that documentary never came out on an album, and it was supposed to come out on the SMILE album, and that and a couple of other songs were junked ... because I didn't feel that they ... I don't know why, I just didn't, for some reason, didn't want to put them on the album ... and the group nearly broke up, actually split up for good over that, that one ... the decision of mine not to put a lot of the things that we'd cut for the album SMILEY SMILE on the album, and so for like almost a year, we're just now kind of getting back together ... because I didn't think that the songs really were right for the public at the time, and I didn't have a feeling, a commercial feeling, about some of these songs that we've never released, and ... maybe I ... some people like to hang onto certain things and ... just as their own little songs that they've written almost for themselves. And a lot of times, you know, a person will write and will realize later that they're ... it's not commercial, you know, but what they've written is nice for them, but a lot of people just don't like it."  Brian Wilson 1968 (KHJ History of Rock and Roll)

Also this:

"DAVID: Michael was just starting to get into the picture. Paul Robbins was starting to get into the picture at this time. Then when I started coming up to the house a whole bunch, when the Brother Records thing started to happen. Van was there like all the time. And Van and Brian were running together, very hot and heavy. And Van was blowing Brian's mind, and Brian was blowing whole situation and I said, at that time, that's never to work. Those two are never gonna be able to work together.
And they never have, they never really did. They had a great moment of creativity. I think Van Dyke is one of the few, very few people that Brian truly looked at on an equal level, or maybe that's a little presumptuous to say. Van Dyke blew Brian's mind and I hadn't seen anyone else do that. And Van used to walk away from his evenings with Brian, very awe-struck at what Brian was doing musically. I think to this day Van Dyke is the first one to admit — again, not influence, but the effect that Brian had, or has, on Van Dyke. Very strong. Their parting was kind of tragic, in the fact that there were two people who absolutely did not want to separate but they both knew that they had to separate, that they could not work together. 'Cause they were too strong, you know, in their own areas.

PAUL: When, February?

DAVID: Right around February, yeah. Van was getting — his lyric was too sophisticated, and in some areas Brian's music was not sophisticated enough, and so they started clashing on that.

PAUL: They missed each other.

DAVID: Yeah. They were together to a certain point, and then zingo! they bypassed each other, and never the twain shall meet with those two."

David Anderle and Paul Williams 1967 (Brian Wilson/The Beach Boys - A Celebration Of Wild Honey: a discussion with David Anderle)

Good. Now we know for a fact that the many times that you have claimed on this board that Brian directly referred to Parks's lyrics as "too arty" is flat out false. You also have made it seem as if Brian had a problem with the lyrics. But in these quotations, Brian never mentions the lyrics directly at all. What he does do mostly is suggest that the music was too personal for the public to enjoy. The idea that this suddenly translates into Brian complaining that Parks's lyrics were "too arty" is totally a fiction that you have concocted out of these statements where he says absolutely nothing of the sort. And, quite unbelievably, you've repeated this myth for years on this board. This is the second time, by the way, that your penchant for quoting others can be traced back to no quote at all. In most fields, that's referred to as fabrication.

Quote
Re. “Old fashioned”

“BUT ALAS…
Brian Wilson began to stare at the glittering ships of tape and as the day of the launch became nearer than a date on the never-never calendar, he gazed at his plans and he turned his mind’s ear inwards and the longer he stared and the more he heard, the clearer it became that he was now in his jet age, building steamships.

Which couldn't be right.

In truth, every beautifully designed, finely-wrought inspirationally-welded piece of music made these last months by Brian and his Beach Boy craftsmen has been SCRAPPED.” What, then? I don’t know. The Beach Boys don’t know. Brian Wilson, God grant him peace of mind…he doesn't know. He is waiting with his nearest Mike and Al and Bruce and his dearest Carl and Dennis. And if it is difficult for them, it is absolutely unbearable for Brian. It has to come. New single, new album.” Derek Taylor (published May 6 67)

How do you interpret building steamships in his jet age?


Well, I reiterate that you positioned old-fashioned as a quotation and then attributed the quotation to Brian and then it turned out you were, in fact, making an inference out of a poetic turn of phrase from a press release written by Derek Taylor. Again, my objection was the fabrication and the misattribution. However, I definitely do not agree with your interpretation.  What I think Taylor means (and keep in mind, I've spent a lifetime reading Taylorisms) is what many others have said - that Brian felt that the time had past and that he had lost the production race. That the longer Brian took, the less avant-garde it would be - a belief, that Derek Taylor correctly thought, was unfounded. I suppose if you think you can either be avant-garde or old fashioned then maybe you can take this to mean that Brian thought the music was old fashioned but I doubt that Brian or Derek Taylor would have such an unnuanced way of thinking about music.
« Last Edit: December 27, 2014, 05:57:41 PM by rockandroll » Logged
Debbie Keil-Leavitt
Guest
« Reply #124 on: December 27, 2014, 06:27:49 PM »

Re. “arty”

Here are a couple of more quotes:

“Well we got a little arty about it, and it got to the point where we were too selfishly artistic and we weren't thinking about the public enough. It got to that level. Partially because of the drugs…” Brian Wilson  1976 (In Their Own Words p. 32)

“We didn't finish it because we had a lot of problems, inner group problems. We had time commitments we couldn't keep, so we stopped. Plus for instance, we did a thing called the Fire Track. We cut a song called Fire and we used fire helmets on the musicians and we put bucket with fire burning in it in the studio so we could smell smoke while we cut. About a day later a building down the street burned down. We thought maybe it was witchcraft or something, we didn't know what we were into. So we decided not to finish it. Plus I got into drugs and I began doing things that were over my head. It was too fancy and arty and was doing things that were not Beach Boys at all.” Brian Wilson (In Their Own Words p. 32)


"Early 1967, I had planned to make an album entitled SMILE. I was working with a guy named Van Dyke Parks, who was collaborating with me on the tunes, and in the process we came up with a song called 'Surf’s Up,' and I performed that with just a piano on a documentary show made on rock music.

The song 'Surf’s Up' that I sang for that documentary never came out on an album, and it was supposed to come out on the SMILE album, and that and a couple of other songs were junked ... because I didn't feel that they ... I don't know why, I just didn't, for some reason, didn't want to put them on the album ... and the group nearly broke up, actually split up for good over that, that one ... the decision of mine not to put a lot of the things that we'd cut for the album SMILEY SMILE on the album, and so for like almost a year, we're just now kind of getting back together ... because I didn't think that the songs really were right for the public at the time, and I didn't have a feeling, a commercial feeling, about some of these songs that we've never released, and ... maybe I ... some people like to hang onto certain things and ... just as their own little songs that they've written almost for themselves. And a lot of times, you know, a person will write and will realize later that they're ... it's not commercial, you know, but what they've written is nice for them, but a lot of people just don't like it."  Brian Wilson 1968 (KHJ History of Rock and Roll)

Also this:

"DAVID: Michael was just starting to get into the picture. Paul Robbins was starting to get into the picture at this time. Then when I started coming up to the house a whole bunch, when the Brother Records thing started to happen. Van was there like all the time. And Van and Brian were running together, very hot and heavy. And Van was blowing Brian's mind, and Brian was blowing whole situation and I said, at that time, that's never to work. Those two are never gonna be able to work together.
And they never have, they never really did. They had a great moment of creativity. I think Van Dyke is one of the few, very few people that Brian truly looked at on an equal level, or maybe that's a little presumptuous to say. Van Dyke blew Brian's mind and I hadn't seen anyone else do that. And Van used to walk away from his evenings with Brian, very awe-struck at what Brian was doing musically. I think to this day Van Dyke is the first one to admit — again, not influence, but the effect that Brian had, or has, on Van Dyke. Very strong. Their parting was kind of tragic, in the fact that there were two people who absolutely did not want to separate but they both knew that they had to separate, that they could not work together. 'Cause they were too strong, you know, in their own areas.

PAUL: When, February?

DAVID: Right around February, yeah. Van was getting — his lyric was too sophisticated, and in some areas Brian's music was not sophisticated enough, and so they started clashing on that.

PAUL: They missed each other.

DAVID: Yeah. They were together to a certain point, and then zingo! they bypassed each other, and never the twain shall meet with those two."

David Anderle and Paul Williams 1967 (Brian Wilson/The Beach Boys - A Celebration Of Wild Honey: a discussion with David Anderle)

Good. Now we know for a fact that the many times that you have claimed on this board that Brian directly referred to Parks's lyrics as "too arty" is flat out false. This is the second time, by the way, that your penchant for quoting others can be traced back to no quote at other. In most fields, that's referred to as fabrication.

Quote
Re. “Old fashioned”

“BUT ALAS…
Brian Wilson began to stare at the glittering ships of tape and as the day of the launch became nearer than a date on the never-never calendar, he gazed at his plans and he turned his mind’s ear inwards and the longer he stared and the more he heard, the clearer it became that he was now in his jet age, building steamships.

Which couldn't be right.

In truth, every beautifully designed, finely-wrought inspirationally-welded piece of music made these last months by Brian and his Beach Boy craftsmen has been SCRAPPED.” What, then? I don’t know. The Beach Boys don’t know. Brian Wilson, God grant him peace of mind…he doesn't know. He is waiting with his nearest Mike and Al and Bruce and his dearest Carl and Dennis. And if it is difficult for them, it is absolutely unbearable for Brian. It has to come. New single, new album.” Derek Taylor (published May 6 67)

How do you interpret building steamships in his jet age?


Well, I reiterate that you positioned old-fashioned as a quotation and then attributed the quotation to Brian and then it turned out you were, in fact, making an inference out of a poetic turn of phrase from a press release written by Derek Taylor. Again, my objection was the fabrication and the misattribution. However, I definitely do not agree with your interpretation.  What I think Taylor means (and keep in mind, I've spent a lifetime reading Taylorisms) is what many others have said - that Brian felt that the time had past and that he had lost the production race. That the longer Brian took, the less avant-garde it would be - a belief, that Derek Taylor correctly thought, was unfounded. I suppose if you think you can either be avant-garde or old fashioned then maybe you can take this to mean that Brian thought the music was old fashioned but I doubt that Brian or Derek Taylor would have such an unnuanced way of thinking about music.

All I can say is, anyone who saw the light in Brian's face at the end of the first night of "Smile" at RFH knows that he always knew in his heart that it was timeless.  Anyone who saw the joy on Van Dyke Parks's face that evening, knows it was worth it to him.  Anyone who saw the tears rolling down the cheeks of Abe and Brian from McCartney's band, and saw their boss's stunned look and wild applause knows that THEY knew it was worth it.  And I was lucky enough to have Derek Taylor's wonderful widow sitting in front of me one evening.  She was witty, sweet and as sassy as her husband, loving every second of "Smile."  She also celebrated this work and got to see what her husband wanted fulfilled. 

The early stuff was great as the fans got to grow with the creativity of the art and artist...It was a growth experience - an evolution - not intended for some impossible comparison, as best I can tell. If you prefer to jump off at some point and not go for the entire ride, fine.  I'm still stunned I got to live to see "Smile," and that Brian is still at it.  We are truly blessed to be listening to any part of it.
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