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Author Topic: Mike's leadership of the band  (Read 19239 times)
Cam Mott
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« on: May 05, 2013, 05:23:45 PM »

Third move's a charm.

I have to ask again, what is the evidence for the notion Mike was in control or taking control of....anything Beach Boy after 1973 or anytime before 1997? He didn't produce a single album, the others in the group had control of the music and albums. The best evidence is that Carl took control of their #1 single from the period. Carl was the band leader and musical director except for a very brief period in the early 80s up until the mid to late 90s as far as I know. How is this a supposed given in BB history?

Is it because he suggested a less generic title for the "Endless Summer" comp which was a Capitol controlled comp which supposedly had no input from the group beyond Mike's title change suggestion? Or is there something I'm missing?
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« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2013, 06:09:44 PM »

I would say the lack of participation of Carl as a songwriter or producer in the two post BB85 albums is strongly suggestive. And I have heard no evidence -- except someone saying they remembered Bruce once saying it -- that Carl was creatively involved in Kokomo (besides singing, of course).

As for the stage show, Carl did have a role in overseeing the backing musicians. But I'm not sure if he was officially the music director, especially in the later years. Does anyone know for sure?
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Cam Mott
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« Reply #2 on: May 05, 2013, 08:43:14 PM »

I would say the lack of participation of Carl as a songwriter or producer in the two post BB85 albums is strongly suggestive. And I have heard no evidence -- except someone saying they remembered Bruce once saying it -- that Carl was creatively involved in Kokomo (besides singing, of course).

As for the stage show, Carl did have a role in overseeing the backing musicians. But I'm not sure if he was officially the music director, especially in the later years. Does anyone know for sure?

That leaves Brian and Al in control of the recordings after BB85 [plus outsiders] but not Mike. Anyone have that eyewitness account of Bruce's about Carl's involvement with Kokomo or maybe some track sheets or something? Isn't Terry Melcher the producer of record for Kokomo? Didn't Carl put the brakes to the mid-90s BB project?


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« Reply #3 on: May 05, 2013, 09:48:24 PM »

I would say the lack of participation of Carl as a songwriter or producer in the two post BB85 albums is strongly suggestive. And I have heard no evidence -- except someone saying they remembered Bruce once saying it -- that Carl was creatively involved in Kokomo (besides singing, of course).

As for the stage show, Carl did have a role in overseeing the backing musicians. But I'm not sure if he was officially the music director, especially in the later years. Does anyone know for sure?

That leaves Brian and Al in control of the recordings after BB85 [plus outsiders] but not Mike. Anyone have that eyewitness account of Bruce's about Carl's involvement with Kokomo or maybe some track sheets or something? Isn't Terry Melcher the producer of record for Kokomo? Didn't Carl put the brakes to the mid-90s BB project?

Uh. Brian in control of the recordings after the 1985 album? Not so much. Considering he barely appeared on Still Cruisin' and wasn't on Summer in Paradise. Al? He had one song of his on Still Cruisin' and was banned from the group during the recording of the masterpiece Summer in Paradise. I'd say it's much more likely that it was the Love-Johnston-Melcher triumvirate that was in charge after the 1985 album, seeing as Terry produced most of the stuff, and either he, Bruce, or Mike co-wrote a great deal of the material ("Happy Endings", "Problem Child", a great majority of the material on Still Cruisin' and Summer in Paradise). This era produced much of what made it embarrassing to say you were a Beach Boys fan. And then to hear that Brucie boy still likes Summer in Paradise. Wow those guys are clueless.

I understand that you're a Mike Love apologist Cam. But try harder next time. It's obvious Mike (with the help of Bruce and Terry) ran the show from at least 1986-on *drops mic*
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« Reply #4 on: May 05, 2013, 09:51:04 PM »

I must be a masochist....

There is no "evidence", just common sense. Just use some process of elimination.

There was no way they were ever going to allow Dennis Wilson to control the group; too much baggage. Dennis was a drug addict, an alcoholic, a man who befriended Charles Manson and his family, pulled his songs from Surf's Up because of sequencing issues, was financially irresponsible, was personally irresponsible, was releasing solo recordings, and had a personal musical vision that was not compatible with most of the other Beach Boys. Dennis was probably not a good candidate to lead the group during that time period.

Brian Wilson was drug addict and very ill man who was institutionalized for periods of time. While under the care of Dr. Landy, he would not have been a good candidate to lead The Beach Boys for obvious reasons. After he was no longer under the care of Dr. Landy, a conservator was appointed for his care. After he married Melinda, Brian was determined to have a solo career instead of focusing his efforts with The Beach Boys.

Alan Jardine for a short period of time (1977) did step up in a semi-leadership role, producing the M.I.U. album. However, Al, while at times being opinionated, seems to have  the personality of a follower more than a leader - not that there's anything wrong with that - and that has served him well for a number of years. It is doubtful that the other members would have been receptive to an Al Jardine-led Beach Boys.

That leaves Mike and Carl.

In my opinion, after Carl's production work with The Beach Boys in the early to mid 1970's, he needed a break. I mean, Carl kind of became the producer by default; he didn't ask for the job. He probably welcomed turning the reins back over to Brian (of course he still helped out) and then Bruce Johnston. Unfortunately, Carl developed some serious drug, alcohol, and family problems which set him back. Carl then spent the better part of three years on his solo projects. After Carl returned to the band, why didn't HE take control? I heard/read Carl say a few times that if (a healthy) Brian couldn't produce a new Beach Boys album, then it wouldn't be worth doing. I think Carl really meant that. He probably knew that no future Beach Boys albums would be worth their salt without Brian functioning at a high level, and Carl knew that Brian wasn't functioning at a high level. Could've Carl quit? Yeah, I guess. Should've he quit? I don't know...But I don't think Carl wanted to control THOSE Beach Boys, not THAT version of The Beach Boys. No Dennis. No Brian. Subpar album material. It's not that he was embarrassed, but maybe he just wasn't moved. I think he was happy being in the Beach Boys, I think he enjoyed the lifestyle, but I also think his days of confrontation and "hassles" were behind him. Does Carl remind you of a controlling person?

So that leaves Mike. Almost by default. And, he wanted the job. That's worth something. Actually, that's worth a lot. That's very important. It's important when somebody cares. You can debate what kind of job Mike did "controlling" The Beach Boys. But he cared. And they're still here.

One final note on this "controlling" thing. I've said it several times that I'd love to read the meeting minutes if they even took them. See, I think all the Beach Boys are full of sh*t and have a hard time telling the truth. But, I believe that when major issues were brought up and discussed and maybe even voted on, the vote always went toward the money. Mike is always blamed for the commercialism, the (wrong) album directions, "jukebox" setlists, etc. I believe the others wanted to make just as much money as Mike did, but, because it appeared that Mike was controlling things, he took the hit, still does, and always will actually.
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Cam Mott
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« Reply #5 on: May 05, 2013, 10:00:17 PM »

So, so far there is evidence that other Beach Boys [or outsiders] were in control but regarding Mike the evidence says no or there is no evidence for it, just fan supposition.
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« Reply #6 on: May 05, 2013, 10:17:38 PM »

So, so far there is evidence that other Beach Boys [or outsiders] were in control but regarding Mike the evidence says no or there is no evidence for it, just fan supposition.

The f*** are you talking about? It's obvious he was in control. I just told you that Mike, Melcher and Bruce seemed to be making the creative decisions. It is borne out in the credits of the songs, just as all the "B. Wilson" credits bear themselves out in earlier material. It's well understood that Summer in Paradise was Mike and Melcher's baby. You know this. Don't play stupid. I'm pretty sure Mike has also said it was his idea to do the "songs in movies" album,  Still Cruisin', but both Brian and Al had their songs "forced in" via group politics. Otherwise, it's the Mike, Melcher, and Bruce show.
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Mike's Beard
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« Reply #7 on: May 06, 2013, 01:30:44 AM »

After the self titled 85 album Mike and Melcher were clearly in control, esp once Kokomo was such a mega hit.
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« Reply #8 on: May 06, 2013, 01:52:12 AM »

So, so far there is evidence that other Beach Boys [or outsiders] were in control but regarding Mike the evidence says no or there is no evidence for it, just fan supposition.

I think you are intentionally ignoring the obvious truth there.

I don't think Mike was really in control in the late 70s as at this point they were still a group (albeit a very dysfunctional one). Brian produced a couple of albums and it was Brian's decision to get Bruce back involved apparently.

In the early 1980s when Carl left the band and Brian and Dennis were screwed Mike became much more in control I would say.

But it is from 1986 onwards that Mike was firmly in command. He obviously wrote the vast majority of new material that they recorded. Plus he was in charge of the use of cheerleaders ('Think of the blowjobs') and in the 1990s he got David Marks back in the band without Carl's knowledge.

Finally, Mike had the power to kick Al out of the band in the early 1990s and it is well known that even if Carl had survived, Al would have been fired in 1998 anyway.

Even the most hardened Mikeista couldn't deny that.  Smiley
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« Reply #9 on: May 06, 2013, 03:53:35 AM »

But it is from 1986 onwards that Mike was firmly in command. He obviously wrote the vast majority of new material that they recorded. Plus he was in charge of the use of cheerleaders ('Think of the blowjobs') and in the 1990s he got David Marks back in the band without Carl's knowledge.

Is that a quote? Cheesy
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« Reply #10 on: May 06, 2013, 04:21:22 AM »



Is that a quote? Cheesy

Yep. According to Al that was Mike's sales pitch. A bloody good one if you ask me.  LOL
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« Reply #11 on: May 06, 2013, 05:41:52 AM »



Is that a quote? Cheesy

Yep. According to Al that was Mike's sales pitch. A bloody good one if you ask me.  LOL

That definitely makes Mike at least a little cooler in my eyes. What flawless logic.
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Cam Mott
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« Reply #12 on: May 06, 2013, 06:31:47 AM »

Mike co-wrote half or less of the new songs on two albums in the 90s, the whole band participated [except Brian], Mike wasn't the producer [but two other Boys were producers on one album], Mike has given statement that show he wasn't in control of SC, but some how we are supposed to think Mike was calling the shots. If co-writing some of the songs and knowing the producer means you are controlling the band then Mike was in control during the 60s and early 70s. Even if your suspicions were shown to be true for SC and SIP, which they have not yet, that is a short three year period out of 27 years.

I get you want to believe Mike was in control but so far it is just a rumor.  Mike couldn't kick out or fire Al anymore than Al could kick out or fire Mike. Mike got David back in his licensed version of the band after 1997. This thread is about the period between 1973 and 1997 but even in 2012 Mike is not in control of the group beyond his touring group and then he serves at BRI's pleasure and makes concession within that.
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« Reply #13 on: May 06, 2013, 06:53:11 AM »

Power abhors a vacuum.

nobody else stepped up, eh?  3D
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« Reply #14 on: May 06, 2013, 07:05:24 AM »

Mike co-wrote half or less of the new songs on two albums in the 90s, the whole band participated [except Brian], Mike wasn't the producer [but two other Boys were producers on one album], Mike has given statement that show he wasn't in control of SC, but some how we are supposed to think Mike was calling the shots. If co-writing some of the songs and knowing the producer means you are controlling the band then Mike was in control during the 60s and early 70s. Even if your suspicions were shown to be true for SC and SIP, which they have not yet, that is a short three year period out of 27 years.

I get you want to believe Mike was in control but so far it is just a rumor.  Mike couldn't kick out or fire Al anymore than Al could kick out or fire Mike. Mike got David back in his licensed version of the band after 1997. This thread is about the period between 1973 and 1997 but even in 2012 Mike is not in control of the group beyond his touring group and then he serves at BRI's pleasure and makes concession within that.

Are you on drugs Cam? Has Phil Cohen taken over your body? I've always found your posts intriguing, often presenting the opposite of what might be popular opinion around here. But with this one, you are just so far off the mark that it is unbelievable.

First off, sure, the thread is about '73 thru '97. I don't think anybody is holding onto the claim that Mike Love was in charge from '73 to '85, if only for the fact that he is not quite visible on a lot of the albums, and the fact that he was still doing solo projects, Celebration, Mike & Dean, etc.

But seriously, are you challenging the fact that Summer in Paradise is not Mike Love's Pet Sounds? That album is him, thru and thru. It's Mike Love and guest vocalists. Anybody that has listened to that material knows that.

Anyways, if Mike couldn't kick Al out, then why was Al out of the band in the early '90s.
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Cam Mott
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« Reply #15 on: May 06, 2013, 08:03:16 AM »

Mike co-wrote half or less of the new songs on two albums in the 90s, the whole band participated [except Brian], Mike wasn't the producer [but two other Boys were producers on one album], Mike has given statement that show he wasn't in control of SC, but some how we are supposed to think Mike was calling the shots. If co-writing some of the songs and knowing the producer means you are controlling the band then Mike was in control during the 60s and early 70s. Even if your suspicions were shown to be true for SC and SIP, which they have not yet, that is a short three year period out of 27 years.

I get you want to believe Mike was in control but so far it is just a rumor.  Mike couldn't kick out or fire Al anymore than Al could kick out or fire Mike. Mike got David back in his licensed version of the band after 1997. This thread is about the period between 1973 and 1997 but even in 2012 Mike is not in control of the group beyond his touring group and then he serves at BRI's pleasure and makes concession within that.

Are you on drugs Cam? Has Phil Cohen taken over your body? I've always found your posts intriguing, often presenting the opposite of what might be popular opinion around here. But with this one, you are just so far off the mark that it is unbelievable.

First off, sure, the thread is about '73 thru '97. I don't think anybody is holding onto the claim that Mike Love was in charge from '73 to '85, if only for the fact that he is not quite visible on a lot of the albums, and the fact that he was still doing solo projects, Celebration, Mike & Dean, etc.

But seriously, are you challenging the fact that Summer in Paradise is not Mike Love's Pet Sounds? That album is him, thru and thru. It's Mike Love and guest vocalists. Anybody that has listened to that material knows that.

Anyways, if Mike couldn't kick Al out, then why was Al out of the band in the early '90s.

I'm on blood pressure medicine but it doesn't have anything to do with this board. Al got let go by the group, BRI, not Mike. Mike couldn't let Al go and Al couldn't let Mike go in the early 90s. Mike still can't let Al go from the BBs but apparently having Al in his licensed touring group isn't a condition of BRI for the touring license. Maybe because of Al's relations with BRI in the late 90s.

OK, so we are down to one album. Mike co-wrote half of the new songs and sang most of the leads but he wasn't a producer but the producer was a friend of his. If that made him leader of the group, he was leader through the 60s. My opinion doesn't matter. Even if it did make Mike leader, which it doesn't show, he was briefly leader on one album among many leaders over the period. But so far no one has shown he was leader of the group for even that one album, so it's just a personal opinion.
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« Reply #16 on: May 06, 2013, 09:46:56 AM »

Even if he wasn't "official leader" from 86-97, Bruce was always kissing Mike's ass and being his little money-boy. That's 2 votes to Mike. Carl was still in charge of the live band, but as far as fighting Mike for creative direction, nada. He had the Beckley-Lamm-Wilson side project. He also had more pressing issues than an album or setlists going on outside the band. He didn't have Dennis around anymore to back him up. He was probably tired of fighting, maybe keeping the peace and preventing another 1977 JFK runway incident was more important than worrying about the group's public perception. Maybe there'd be the occasional veto vote or a quiet sitting-out. Nary a trace of Brian in that period. That leaves Al as the only one who was consistently vocally opposed to Mike's creative decisions.
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« Reply #17 on: May 06, 2013, 09:48:54 AM »

Based solely on the aesthetic (and what little history I know) -- I've always seen the "post-85 Beach Boys" as the sole property of one Mike Love & Friends Enterprises.  Out of necessity really.  That would include Bruce and Terry as Board members and Mike as CEO.  Carl was the "Wilson Ambassador" and with that title came a lot of power, trust and support.  He may have rarely, if ever, attended the Board meetings.  Or maybe he did, I don't know.   Razz

The fact remains... the Beach Boys were in a state of total purgatory without Brian.  And they knew it, cause they lived it.  It may be a moot point to say who was "in control" of what was essentially nothing.  I mean, seriously... 1985-2010, what did they do???  How much stuff did they release during these years???  It's lean.  We're talking 25+ years and it's essentially ZIPPY.

A quarter of a century -- Nada.  Lean times. (Might that have been a better title than Summer in Paradise or Still Crusin'?)


They knew they didn't have the creative chops to do much of value on a regular basis, so Mike focused on doing live shows, because he gave a sh-t and wanted to do something.  They tried, I guess.  They tried to keep the band's recorded output from being a total null and void.  And when they did, they often muscled Brian in, and it was still sub-par.  A total hassle.  None of it did doo-doo for their career anyway.  (Which was basically the same story as 1973-1985, except then -- Denny was there and Brian was still lurking.  And they were a hell of a lot younger.)



So... I'm thankful for what we got post-1985.  Is it bottom of the barrel? -- yes, mostly.  More damage than good? -- I'm sure.  But the good, for me, was that the Beach Boys stayed alive.  Treading water, yes.  But still.  I do listen to SIP and Still Crusin' on occasion.  I like it.  I wish there was more and I wish they were able to have gotten Brian in more too.

There's really not much here -- a few decent tracks and a lot of nostalgia tours.   It's essentially a badge, a brand-name and a logo:  Summer.  Beach.  Fun.  Girls. Somewhere... a lurking genius (if they could only find him and get him to record).  And until then, enjoy these Summer nick-knacks from our gift shop!  Don't forget to grab your copy of Summer in Paradise on the way out!!   angel

It is what it is.
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Cam Mott
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« Reply #18 on: May 06, 2013, 10:25:44 AM »

I think we treat too lightly Carl's leadership. Carl like Mike and the rest of them [maybe not Al in the late 90s] were team players. My guess is Carl's leadership was "allowing" the other guys to take a shot and then supporting what they did. That explains how everybody [except Mike because he's not into producing] got their shot at leading the music through the 80s. It explains how he was band leader and music director and was doing it apparently mostly democratically [allowing cheerleaders and ouster of Al] while cracking the whip when needed [walk out in early 80s]. It also explains how Carl's wish could still cancel an album in 1995 even over Brian's wishes.

I mean they still all to this day describe Carl as the peacemaker of the group, I would guess his leadership style was why. 
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« Reply #19 on: May 06, 2013, 12:04:51 PM »

I think we treat too lightly Carl's leadership. Carl like Mike and the rest of them [maybe not Al in the late 90s] were team players. My guess is Carl's leadership was "allowing" the other guys to take a shot and then supporting what they did. That explains how everybody [except Mike because he's not into producing] got their shot at leading the music through the 80s. It explains how he was band leader and music director and was doing it apparently mostly democratically [allowing cheerleaders and ouster of Al] while cracking the whip when needed [walk out in early 80s]. It also explains how Carl's wish could still cancel an album in 1995 even over Brian's wishes.

I mean they still all to this day describe Carl as the peacemaker of the group, I would guess his leadership style was why. 

Sorry but I think some of your comments are seriously skewed.

Mike got David Marks back into the band in 1997. The first that Carl knew about David being a Beach Boy again was when he read it in the newspaper.

It is amusing to see how you ignore the facts of Mike introducing the cheerleaders, Mike admitting in the liner notes that Summer in Paradise was his album etc.
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« Reply #20 on: May 06, 2013, 12:13:35 PM »

I think we treat too lightly Carl's leadership. Carl like Mike and the rest of them [maybe not Al in the late 90s] were team players. My guess is Carl's leadership was "allowing" the other guys to take a shot and then supporting what they did. That explains how everybody [except Mike because he's not into producing] got their shot at leading the music through the 80s. It explains how he was band leader and music director and was doing it apparently mostly democratically [allowing cheerleaders and ouster of Al] while cracking the whip when needed [walk out in early 80s]. It also explains how Carl's wish could still cancel an album in 1995 even over Brian's wishes.

I mean they still all to this day describe Carl as the peacemaker of the group, I would guess his leadership style was why. 
I think there's two aspects to the Beach Boys -- and any Super-Group, really.  There's the "management of" and then there's the "artistic pursuits."  The overwhelming bulk of the Beach Boys affairs for last 30 years have been in the basic management - concerts, TV appearances, brand/image.  This is of little concern to me personally.  I rarely go to big shows and want nothing to do with corporate productions... so I couldn't care less what they do.  The extent of my live music experiences will likely be limited to small local festivals and the like.  I'm a no hassle guy.   Grin

The artistic pursuits, however, which are basically singles and albums (and maybe music videos) - is where more of a group effort would lie -- however you choose to define "group."  I really think this is a different slice of the "Control" pie, and one that can often get intermingled with the "management of" side of the business.  The real talent of the group needs to be involved at these "artistic" meetings.  This is obviously and absolutely Brian Wilson's job.  And Carl, as "Wilson Ambassador" probably did the serious negotiations and dealings from 73 onward -- especially in the 80s/90s.

So Carl did have quite a bit of "Leadership" I believe, in the group -- working with Brian, approving/veto projects and the like.  Even if Brian wasn't involved, Carl probably acted as "Quality Control" to say the least, because of his position of arbiter and temperament of concern.  I'm sure he would or could have also played a creative role of his own, if he had something to offer.  I believe he was an honest guy and only offered an opinion based one of those conditions.  BUT -- and here's my point -- the "management of" aspects so ruled the roost during the post-85 period BECAUSE the "artistic pursuits" were nothing but a dried up watermelon vine, incapable of bearing fruit.

This would have left the corporate interests with the lion's share of "control" during this era.  And I think Mike and his side (with Brand Name Rights in tow) probably the most concerned on a day-to-day level.  Carl, probably shrugging here and there at the pursuits discussed as long as they didn't totally disgrace the image.  Cheerleaders were fine.
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« Reply #21 on: May 06, 2013, 12:18:16 PM »



There's really not much here -- a few decent tracks and a lot of nostalgia tours.   It's essentially a badge, a brand-name and a logo:  Summer.  Beach.  Fun.  Girls. Somewhere... a lurking genius (if they could only find him and get him to record).  And until then, enjoy these Summer nick-knacks from our gift shop!  Don't forget to grab your copy of Summer in Paradise on the way out!!   angel

It is what it is.
[/quote]

And what exactly is wrong with this?
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« Reply #22 on: May 06, 2013, 12:28:34 PM »


So Carl did have quite a bit of "Leadership" I believe, in the group -- working with Brian, approving/veto projects and the like.  Even if Brian wasn't involved, Carl probably acted as "Quality Control" to say the least, because of his position of arbiter and temperament of concern.  I'm sure he would or could have also played a creative role of his own, if he had something to offer.  I believe he was an honest guy and only offered an opinion based one of those conditions.  BUT -- and here's my point -- the "management of" aspects so ruled the roost during the post-85 period BECAUSE the "artistic pursuits" were nothing but a dried up watermelon vine, incapable of bearing fruit.

Maybe I missed the point but if you were saying that Carl could have been quality control but after 1985 chose not to then perhaps that is right. I presume that Carl had no interest in Wipeout at all and he didn't appear on the 5 remade Summer in Paradise songs.
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« Reply #23 on: May 06, 2013, 12:31:55 PM »

But what was stopping Carl from writing songs and at least attempting to contribute?
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« Reply #24 on: May 06, 2013, 12:41:24 PM »

But what was stopping Carl from writing songs and at least attempting to contribute?

He could have done. As he knew that his music would be appearing on a crappy Mike-controlled album you can't blame him for not doing so though.
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