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Author Topic: Don't F**k With the Formula  (Read 19818 times)
clack
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« on: August 18, 2015, 01:02:47 PM »

1) Was this ever said by anyone?
2) If it was said, was it said by Mike, or, as some say, a record exec?
3) If this was said, was it said in relation to Pet Sounds, or to SMiLE?
4) And what was this "formula"? Does it refer to subject matter, to lyrical style (direct or allusive?), to album sequencing, to song structure, to recording technique, or to something else?
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« Reply #1 on: August 18, 2015, 01:10:59 PM »

After we crack this one, I say we get our teen gang working on the "Murry and the sh*t on the plate" legend. It's like Rashomon!
« Last Edit: August 18, 2015, 01:52:16 PM by ontor pertawst » Logged
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« Reply #2 on: August 18, 2015, 01:43:46 PM »

After we crack this one, I saw we get our teen gang working on the " Murry and the sh*t on the plate" legend.

Hey, I'll have you know one of those books helped solve whether or not Van was stuck with the entirety of the gas bill during the SIP sessions....

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Stephen W. Desper
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« Reply #3 on: August 18, 2015, 02:52:16 PM »

1) Was this ever said by anyone?
2) If it was said, was it said by Mike, or, as some say, a record exec?
3) If this was said, was it said in relation to Pet Sounds, or to SMiLE?
4) And what was this "formula"? Does it refer to subject matter, to lyrical style (direct or allusive?), to album sequencing, to song structure, to recording technique, or to something else?

1) Was this ever said by anyone?
2) If it was said, was it said by Mike, or, as some say, a record exec?
3) If this was said, was it said in relation to Pet Sounds, or to SMiLE?
4) And what was this "formula"? Does it refer to subject matter, to lyrical style (direct or allusive?), to album sequencing, to song structure, to recording technique, or to something else?

COMMENT:   In the course of authoring a book or scripting a movie, it sometimes becomes necessary to take here-say and innuendo collected from numerous interviews of third-hand accessories, and focus what is being communicated in the story being told in print or on the screen into a concise statement or action. The statement can be a formulation of many viewpoints that the author of the book/movie wishes to use as a pivot point in the plot or documentation. Having said that, it is well within Mr. Gaines privilege as an author to concoct such an event as being real, even though it may not have happened exactly as it is written – this is the “screen play” application of writing.

This is a writer's license, a vehicle used to make a point. Looks like this little story was also picked up by the writer of Love and Mercy, thus magnifying an imaginary event into a virtual event on the screen. And we all know that if it's in the movies it must be real.  

I will say this: it may be a sentiment that Michael discussed with several people – who later were interviewed – upon analyses by the author, a consensus may be reached by a consistency about Michel’s concerns stated in each interview. To make the point about this realization to the reader, the author modifies an event to give the impression to the reader the same conclusion the author has deduced from all his interviews. He can’t describe all the interviews, no time. So all these attitudes noted by the author are condensed into an event, hence Michael may have made it well know how he felt about abandoning the Surf motif, but actually never confronted Brian with his sentiment in an angry confrontation. I would put the way Michael is portrayed confronting Brian about the formula as pure theatrics.  

As I said before, Michael went on (after this supposed ‘formula’ statement) to support, write, sing, and promote many non-surf motif songs. But that was on the creative level. What about the touring level?

Michael may have been heard saying something like “we’ve got to stay with the formula” with regard to his touring shows. You will note that Brian has his own band, and Mike + Bruce are “The Beach Boys” as an official act representing the music of that group. The two acts are different. Brian does a few standards, but adds his own music. Whereas, the Mike + Bruce show is about nostalgia, surfing magic, reliving your youth, -- hence, the old formula, girls, beach, cars, fun and summer love. This is the personification of Michael staying with “the formula.” And Bruce is right there in his Hawaiian shirt and creased shorts.

STORY:   One afternoon I observed Brian in the studio pacing around. Soon Carl, then Alan, Michael, Dennis and Bruce all showed up for session work. They talked about what songs they wanted worked on that day. But soon Brian said he wanted to have a business meeting. Everyone said, oh come on Brian, can’t we do this later?” But Brian insisten on a meeting at that time. What he said surprised me. He said, “ I want to change the name of The Beach Boys to The Beach. He went on to say how they are not “boys” anymore so why should be beach boys?  Well this went on for ten minutes or so, and then Brian wrote out a statement on a piece of paper that read, “The Beach Boys official change their name to The Beach.” Brian actually got four of the six to sign the paper. Then everyone was ready to start recording and Brian was in a good frame of mind. That evening I was cleaning up and found the slip of paper Brian had written with its signatures. I still have it. It is legally meaningless, but just a memento now. (I haven’t seen it for several years, but it’s around here somewhere). The point is that during these business meetings, many things are said, just the same as during any business meeting, and you can take anything made during a discussion, out of context, to serve your needs. – or to tell a story.

Good Listening, ~Stephen W. Desper
 


« Last Edit: August 18, 2015, 02:58:33 PM by Stephen W. Desper » Logged
chaki
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« Reply #4 on: August 18, 2015, 03:22:35 PM »

Wow that's amazing. I genuinly think changing the name to "The Beach" would have been a brilliant, career defining move. The connotation and imagery of "The Beach" is so heavy. 
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« Reply #5 on: August 18, 2015, 03:36:54 PM »

Changing the name of the band that deep into a career would have been a terrible mistake. Maybe not an obvious one, in say 1970, but ultimately a career killer. Please.
« Last Edit: August 18, 2015, 03:38:22 PM by Moon Dawg » Logged
bgas
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« Reply #6 on: August 18, 2015, 03:43:37 PM »

1) Was this ever said by anyone?
2) If it was said, was it said by Mike, or, as some say, a record exec?
3) If this was said, was it said in relation to Pet Sounds, or to SMiLE?
4) And what was this "formula"? Does it refer to subject matter, to lyrical style (direct or allusive?), to album sequencing, to song structure, to recording technique, or to something else?



COMMENT:   In the course of authoring a book or scripting a movie, it sometimes becomes necessary to take here-say and innuendo collected from numerous interviews of third-hand accessories, and focus what is being communicated in the story being told in print or on the screen into a concise statement or action. The statement can be a formulation of many viewpoints that the author of the book/movie wishes to use as a pivot point in the plot or documentation. Having said that, it is well within Mr. Gaines privilege as an author to concoct such an event as being real, even though it may not have happened exactly as it is written – this is the “screen play” application of writing.

This is a writer's license, a vehicle used to make a point. Looks like this little story was also picked up by the writer of Love and Mercy, thus magnifying an imaginary event into a virtual event on the screen. And we all know that if it's in the movies it must be real.  

I will say this: it may be a sentiment that Michael discussed with several people – who later were interviewed – upon analyses by the author, a consensus may be reached by a consistency about Michel’s concerns stated in each interview. To make the point about this realization to the reader, the author modifies an event to give the impression to the reader the same conclusion the author has deduced from all his interviews. He can’t describe all the interviews, no time. So all these attitudes noted by the author are condensed into an event, hence Michael may have made it well know how he felt about abandoning the Surf motif, but actually never confronted Brian with his sentiment in an angry confrontation. I would put the way Michael is portrayed confronting Brian about the formula as pure theatrics.  

As I said before, Michael went on (after this supposed ‘formula’ statement) to support, write, sing, and promote many non-surf motif songs. But that was on the creative level. What about the touring level?

Michael may have been heard saying something like “we’ve got to stay with the formula” with regard to his touring shows. You will note that Brian has his own band, and Mike + Bruce are “The Beach Boys” as an official act representing the music of that group. The two acts are different. Brian does a few standards, but adds his own music. Whereas, the Mike + Bruce show is about nostalgia, surfing magic, reliving your youth, -- hence, the old formula, girls, beach, cars, fun and summer love. This is the personification of Michael staying with “the formula.” And Bruce is right there in his Hawaiian shirt and creased shorts.

STORY:   One afternoon I observed Brian in the studio pacing around. Soon Carl, then Alan, Michael, Dennis and Bruce all showed up for session work. They talked about what songs they wanted worked on that day. But soon Brian said he wanted to have a business meeting. Everyone said, oh come on Brian, can’t we do this later?” But Brian insisten on a meeting at that time. What he said surprised me. He said, “ I want to change the name of The Beach Boys to The Beach. He went on to say how they are not “boys” anymore so why should be beach boys?  Well this went on for ten minutes or so, and then Brian wrote out a statement on a piece of paper that read, “The Beach Boys official change their name to The Beach.” Brian actually got four of the six to sign the paper. Then everyone was ready to start recording and Brian was in a good frame of mind. That evening I was cleaning up and found the slip of paper Brian had written with its signatures. I still have it. It is legally meaningless, but just a memento now. (I haven’t seen it for several years, but it’s around here somewhere). The point is that during these business meetings, many things are said, just the same as during any business meeting, and you can take anything made during a discussion, out of context, to serve your needs. – or to tell a story.

Good Listening, ~Stephen W. Desper
 

None of us were there, not even you, Stephen, when David Anderle  heard  Mike talking.
Everyone can doubt all they want, but his( DA's) comments are in print and he's, unfortunately, not here to comment.
the only person(s) still around that were there would seem to be Brian and Mike.
Until someone gets comments from them, on the record, as to whether this statement attributed to  Mike is real, my sense is David rules.
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« Reply #7 on: August 18, 2015, 03:58:35 PM »

COMMENT:
Don't you see? This was Brian's way of saying he wanted to move away from The Beach Boys and their surfing motif. He wished to evolve to melodies beyond. It was Brian's way of reaching out and saying, we need to evolve beyond our boyhood. We are not boys, we are now men. Beach Men -- well I don't like that, I heard him say, but I do like the beach.  So let's be The Beach from now on. What do you say, he said. More discussion follows and then they sign the paper so as to get back to recording. Brian was in a good mood that day. I expect that even though he knew this was just an exercise, he did make his point to his fellows.

In hindsight, this may have been the beginning of what became the Michael formula statement. 
~swd
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« Reply #8 on: August 18, 2015, 04:21:11 PM »

 bgas - Just for a minute I'm gonna play devils advocate. I think the account of Capitol not wanting to lose their cash cow is more credible. I think they tried to keep the guys "down" to devote their resources for "experimental music" to another band. These guys were in their early 20's, and hardly a match for the sharks.

If Brian and Mike take these recordings to present to Capitol, and are given the "don't mess with the formula" speech, and the result is that very shortly after Pet Sounds the band decides to formulate their own label?  Out of the blue?

The timing is just too telling. People just don't leave a good situation.  It seems this was the beginning of Brother Records.  Why then, unless they were rejected?

It makes absolutely no sense to me that took the rejections of their own work product lying down.  I cannot fathom at that young age, they would make that huge decision to break out on their own, if they weren't getting shafted from the industry. And a form of revolt that they all signed on for.  No one breaks away from a big and lucrative operation unless they are getting shafted.  

And I agree with SWD.  Calling them "Beach" (during a time when bands were changing names trying to be cool) (or thinking they were) or whatever and changing the known brand might have been the dumbest thing they ever could have done.

It would have been a sell-out to their roots.  And people could always allege afterwards, that they "forgot where they came from."  And that they were ashamed of their earlier work which had all the earmarks of brilliance.



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chaki
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« Reply #9 on: August 18, 2015, 04:35:08 PM »

I know you are all going to disagree with me but I think changing the name to The Beach would actually have eventually legitimized the later albums legacies rather than harmed them. Sunflower by The Beach.. man that's would have been so awesome.
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« Reply #10 on: August 18, 2015, 04:56:25 PM »

I know you are all going to disagree with me but I think changing the name to The Beach would actually have eventually legitimized the later albums legacies rather than harmed them. Sunflower by The Beach.. man that's would have been so awesome.

I'm in full agreement.  I believe the name change could have altered the negative perception of the band and would have had almost no negative affect on the perception of the earlier work .

EoL
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« Reply #11 on: August 18, 2015, 05:13:28 PM »

And they would have reverted back to The Beach Boys after the release of Endless Summer.
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Your Kingdom Come,
Your Steak Well Done,
On Stage As It Is In Studio,
Give Us This Day, Our Shortenin' Bread
And Forgive Us Our Bootlegs,
As We Also Have Forgiven Our Wife And Managers,
And Lead Us Not Into Kokomo,
But Deliver Us From Mike Love.
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« Reply #12 on: August 18, 2015, 05:15:20 PM »

Wasn't the don't f with the formula in the 2 part RS article?  Are Nolan and Gaines still alive that we can verify their source for the quote, or if they were taking artistic liberties to make a point about Mike's overall attitude?

The timing of this supposed quote is Around Pet Sounds but David Anderle wasn't really involved until GV and Smile, right?  Did Brian relate the story to David after the fact?  It would be nice to get some answers about this.  Mike has commented on this and denies he said it.  He also denies he was critical or disapproving of Pet Sounds or  Smile other than a few lyrics from the latter, yetBrian and the Vosse posse/Van Dyke definitely felt otherwise.

It is a mistake to assume "don't f with the formula"means Mike wanted to do more surf and car songs.  How many surf and car songs are on Today and Summer Days, Summer Nights?  Yet those didn't bother Mike and fell within whatever formula he thought they needed to follow for commercial success.  Mike may not have been the hippest Beach Boy but he surely realized surf and car songs in 1965 and 1966 was not going to compete with Rubber Soul and Revolver.  He just didn't want to take the music and lyrics too far from the sound and themes they had been doing.  

Without Gaines or Nolan I don't think we'll ever resolve if Mike said this, or even something like it.
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« Reply #13 on: August 18, 2015, 05:25:05 PM »

Gaines used to post here until some nerd fanboy chased him away by pointing inaccurate minutiae. It'd be great if he showed up again.
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« Reply #14 on: August 18, 2015, 05:27:26 PM »

The comment isn't in the Crawdaddy interview.

I wonder how GV would not be seen as fucking with the formula?
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« Reply #15 on: August 18, 2015, 05:32:02 PM »


Mike has commented on this and denies he said it.  He also denies he was critical or disapproving of Pet Sounds or  Smile other than a few lyrics from the latter, yetBrian and the Vosse posse/Van Dyke definitely felt otherwise.
 

And that discrepancy is truly at the heart of the matter. Latter day Mike seems to go out of his way to minimize his issues with that material, but these guys obviously picked up deeply on a negative vibe. Does *anyone* really believe it was a minimal disagreement over "a few" lyrics, and that there wasn't additionally some deep resentment going on which probably greatly colored his attitude?  Anyone?

I just wish Mike could own up to that and say that he had deep resentment over the songwriting snafu, being passed over as a lyricist, feeling less wanted than before, and that these emotions may have inadvertently informed and amplified some of his actions at the time, and that it wasn't ALL just about a minor quibble over a few lyrics. These are all understandable, if some regrettable things to have happened, but trying to skirt part of the reasons only makes the whole thing seem like a cover-up, and unfortunately makes many people have no empathy for him. I have empathy for him feeling misunderstood, but feel sad that he is missing an opportunity to be better understood.

For all the many, many interviews he's given over the years, as many times as he's been asked about this era and his differences, I don't know why he's never addressed any of this himself whatsoever. It's the elephant in the room.
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« Reply #16 on: August 18, 2015, 05:34:43 PM »

Until someone gets comments from them, on the record, as to whether this statement attributed to  Mike is real, my sense is David rules.

I haven't seen Brian comment on it but I'm pretty sure there is a published interview where Mike says he never said it and I think AGD said Mike also denied it in an interview with him. There is also Mike's contemporaneous interview where he is complaining about Capitol trying to promote the band in England as a surf band or something and I've seen other interviews where he complains about the same thing being done by Capitol I believe.
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« Reply #17 on: August 18, 2015, 05:36:54 PM »

Until someone gets comments from them, on the record, as to whether this statement attributed to  Mike is real, my sense is David rules.

I haven't seen Brian comment on it but I'm pretty sure there is a published interview where Mike says he never said it and I think AGD said Mike also denied it in an interview with him. There is also Mike's contemporaneous interview where he is complaining about Capitol trying to promote the band in England as a surf band or something and I've seen other interviews where he complains about the same thing being done by Capitol I believe.

Do you really believe, honestly, that Mike doesn't try to downplay past actions of his which are widely seen as being worthy of criticism? And that sometimes he may go too far in that regard? Not saying it's not understandable for someone who is as picked on as he is to be defensive, but don't you think that it's possible to go too far with that? Ever?
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« Reply #18 on: August 18, 2015, 05:38:17 PM »

Gaines used to post here until some nerd fanboy chased him away by pointing inaccurate minutiae. It'd be great if he showed up again.

Is this his website and contact page?

http://www.stevengaines.com/index.html
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« Reply #19 on: August 18, 2015, 05:39:08 PM »

Until someone gets comments from them, on the record, as to whether this statement attributed to  Mike is real, my sense is David rules.

I haven't seen Brian comment on it but I'm pretty sure there is a published interview where Mike says he never said it and I think AGD said Mike also denied it in an interview with him. There is also Mike's contemporaneous interview where he is complaining about Capitol trying to promote the band in England as a surf band or something and I've seen other interviews where he complains about the same thing being done by Capitol I believe.

Do you really believe, honestly, that Mike doesn't try to downplay past actions of his which are widely seen as being worthy of criticism? And that sometimes he may go too far in that regard? Not saying it's not understandable for someone who is as picked on as he is to be defensive, but don't you think that it's possible to go too far with that? Ever?

Yes, I believe he doesn't.
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« Reply #20 on: August 18, 2015, 05:49:28 PM »

Stephen, when did you become involved with the Beach Boys? It has probably already been figured out but I wondered if you associate it with a particular concert or something?  Thanks.
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« Reply #21 on: August 18, 2015, 05:51:04 PM »

Gaines used to post here until some nerd fanboy chased him away by pointing inaccurate minutiae. It'd be great if he showed up again.

  It wasn't me, but Gaines got a lot of stuff wrong that was easily verified.
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« Reply #22 on: August 18, 2015, 05:54:14 PM »

Until someone gets comments from them, on the record, as to whether this statement attributed to  Mike is real, my sense is David rules.

I haven't seen Brian comment on it but I'm pretty sure there is a published interview where Mike says he never said it and I think AGD said Mike also denied it in an interview with him. There is also Mike's contemporaneous interview where he is complaining about Capitol trying to promote the band in England as a surf band or something and I've seen other interviews where he complains about the same thing being done by Capitol I believe.

Do you really believe, honestly, that Mike doesn't try to downplay past actions of his which are widely seen as being worthy of criticism? And that sometimes he may go too far in that regard? Not saying it's not understandable for someone who is as picked on as he is to be defensive, but don't you think that it's possible to go too far with that? Ever?
Why do you not believe anything Mike has stated? You look for reasons not believe his comments. Mike has stated that he never said it and I will take him at his word, especially after reading Stephen's statements on the subject.
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Oh Brian
Thou Art In Hawthorne,
Harmonied Be Thy name
Your Kingdom Come,
Your Steak Well Done,
On Stage As It Is In Studio,
Give Us This Day, Our Shortenin' Bread
And Forgive Us Our Bootlegs,
As We Also Have Forgiven Our Wife And Managers,
And Lead Us Not Into Kokomo,
But Deliver Us From Mike Love.
Amen.  ---hypehat
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« Reply #23 on: August 18, 2015, 05:58:15 PM »

This is like the 3rd Mike Love PR whitewash this week. Roll Eyes
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« Reply #24 on: August 18, 2015, 06:04:49 PM »

This is like the 3rd Mike Love PR whitewash this week. Roll Eyes
Smile Brian - why do "you" think that BRI was formed?
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