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Author Topic: Don't F**k With the Formula  (Read 22504 times)
terrei
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« Reply #350 on: June 16, 2017, 08:59:29 AM »

Thanks for those quotes, HeyJude. Better than what I was looking for.
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GhostyTMRS
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« Reply #351 on: June 16, 2017, 05:56:37 PM »

One of the key points in all this has been and will always be that Mike thinks he should be thought of as the "leader" of the band and all tangential issues around the band. So it's not only the formula, but trying to elevate one's self to a level where the so-called "formula" can be both defined and dictated in terms of following it or not fucking with it. Murry became the same way after the records really started to sell nationally, it was going overboard trying to project a facade of leadership rather than actually leading.

What cracks me up, and relates to this "formula" stuff, is a story Hal Blaine told about working with Lawrence Welk. Murry was apparently always on Brian's ass about how he should cut cleaner sounding records, like Welk. And in the meantime, Lawrence Welk himself according to Blaine who played sessions for him, was trying to get those newer sounds that Brian was recording and producing and selling by the truckload, mostly at Western.

It's too bad Brian had to deal with multiple "leaders" whose egos far outweighed their actual leadership qualities.

As I look at it, a lot of this conflict is less about Mike "wanting to be the leader" and more about Brian absolutely not wanting to be the leader of "Beach Boys Proper" as years went on.  In that sense, if you were Mike, how would you behave?  You would probably think that you were a very good choice to fill whatever vacuum that Brian started leaving as the 60s went on.  (which is obviously very arguable)

Also, I always viewed "the formula" as being less about specific notions like writing surf/girl hits, and more as an abstract concept of how Mike viewed their band "organically" and how they always went about their business throughout the early and mid-60s. 

I wish they would have just given Brian the space to be a solo artist in the late 60s while throwing the BBs some songs for their albums each year, and let Mike and whoever horse around with the name and a touring band in the same manner that he does nowadays.  Then again I also wish they would have spun off a part-time power trio called Wilson. 

I agree with some of this. I DO think Mike viewed himself (and probably still does) as something like the co-captain of The Beach Boys along with Brian: a kind of rock and roll George and Ira Gershwin. Obviously Brian did not see it that way...and I have to wonder if Brian felt too intimidated to just come right out and say that to Mike. I don't mean intimidated just by Mike but by the rest of his family, the band, etc. (you've got that whole Love family vs Wilson family competitiveness going on in the background. It would have made family gatherings unbearably awkward that's for sure).
I think some pretense was kept up that Mike was Brian's main collaborator when that was clearly no longer the case, possibly as a way to placate Mike and/or placate the family. In a way, that continued into the 70's by which time Brian and Mike were almost like entirely different people and could never recapture what they had in the early 60's. When they tried to duplicate past victories, it never came close. Pleasant but never the same. 

And I also would've liked the Wilsons to have formed a power trio or at least have seen Dennis have a stint in another band where he could've flexed his songwriting muscle a little more.
 
   
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« Reply #352 on: June 16, 2017, 07:07:09 PM »

What hurt Brian was the fact that he was and is very non-confrontational. An admirable trait (and one that I myself share) but that can cause issues big time (again, I can personally relate). If Brian had stood up to Mike (and Landy, for that matter) things would have been very different.

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And I also would've liked the Wilsons to have formed a power trio or at least have seen Dennis have a stint in another band where he could've flexed his songwriting muscle a little more.

Me too, and eventually Al would've likely joined up.  To this day, I don't know WHY the band stayed together for so many years when they really should've split, yet split in 2012 when they really should have stayed together. Go fig.
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« Reply #353 on: June 17, 2017, 06:05:22 AM »

What hurt Brian was the fact that he was and is very non-confrontational. An admirable trait (and one that I myself share) but that can cause issues big time (again, I can personally relate). If Brian had stood up to Mike (and Landy, for that matter) things would have been very different.

Quote
And I also would've liked the Wilsons to have formed a power trio or at least have seen Dennis have a stint in another band where he could've flexed his songwriting muscle a little more.

Me too, and eventually Al would've likely joined up.  To this day, I don't know WHY the band stayed together for so many years when they really should've split, yet split in 2012 when they really should have stayed together. Go fig.

So Billy...go pee up a tree. Wink LOL Razz
YA!!!  The Wilsons would have made for a terrific triumvirate...if they hadn't had that issues issue.
Some of the 'group' were more loyal that a certain [unnamed] cousin has really ever been...well...at least for the past 50 years.  And in splitting up the band in 2012...wasn't THAT the ultimate in terms of fucking with the formula?  Dumb f*cker!!!
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« Reply #354 on: June 17, 2017, 09:26:19 AM »

One of the key points in all this has been and will always be that Mike thinks he should be thought of as the "leader" of the band and all tangential issues around the band. So it's not only the formula, but trying to elevate one's self to a level where the so-called "formula" can be both defined and dictated in terms of following it or not fucking with it. Murry became the same way after the records really started to sell nationally, it was going overboard trying to project a facade of leadership rather than actually leading.

What cracks me up, and relates to this "formula" stuff, is a story Hal Blaine told about working with Lawrence Welk. Murry was apparently always on Brian's ass about how he should cut cleaner sounding records, like Welk. And in the meantime, Lawrence Welk himself according to Blaine who played sessions for him, was trying to get those newer sounds that Brian was recording and producing and selling by the truckload, mostly at Western.

It's too bad Brian had to deal with multiple "leaders" whose egos far outweighed their actual leadership qualities.

As I look at it, a lot of this conflict is less about Mike "wanting to be the leader" and more about Brian absolutely not wanting to be the leader of "Beach Boys Proper" as years went on.  In that sense, if you were Mike, how would you behave?  You would probably think that you were a very good choice to fill whatever vacuum that Brian started leaving as the 60s went on.  (which is obviously very arguable)

Also, I always viewed "the formula" as being less about specific notions like writing surf/girl hits, and more as an abstract concept of how Mike viewed their band "organically" and how they always went about their business throughout the early and mid-60s. 

I wish they would have just given Brian the space to be a solo artist in the late 60s while throwing the BBs some songs for their albums each year, and let Mike and whoever horse around with the name and a touring band in the same manner that he does nowadays.  Then again I also wish they would have spun off a part-time power trio called Wilson. 

I agree with some of this. I DO think Mike viewed himself (and probably still does) as something like the co-captain of The Beach Boys along with Brian: a kind of rock and roll George and Ira Gershwin. Obviously Brian did not see it that way...and I have to wonder if Brian felt too intimidated to just come right out and say that to Mike. I don't mean intimidated just by Mike but by the rest of his family, the band, etc. (you've got that whole Love family vs Wilson family competitiveness going on in the background. It would have made family gatherings unbearably awkward that's for sure).
I think some pretense was kept up that Mike was Brian's main collaborator when that was clearly no longer the case, possibly as a way to placate Mike and/or placate the family. In a way, that continued into the 70's by which time Brian and Mike were almost like entirely different people and could never recapture what they had in the early 60's. When they tried to duplicate past victories, it never came close. Pleasant but never the same. 

And I also would've liked the Wilsons to have formed a power trio or at least have seen Dennis have a stint in another band where he could've flexed his songwriting muscle a little more.
 
   

Oh I think that combination of ego and wanting to be seen as or considered the leader has played a role in the history of the band and Mike for a very long time. Look at the press releases, official bios, etc even to this day. There is always some reference to Mike being the "captain" of the ship, steering it through rough waters, all of that hyperbole. And in modern times, the telling of the story usually reverts to some reference of the Wilson brothers and the drugs, suggesting Mike's steady hand as skipper of the ship helped guide them through the rough seas. And look at the 70's period, Grillo gets axed as manager, Reiley takes over, Reiley puts Mike more into the back shadows of the band musically and live, then boom - he's gone and Mike's brothers get management roles. And even that eventually went to hell. It's been, what, close to 35-40 years and the Love brothers are still estranged.
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« Reply #355 on: June 17, 2017, 09:30:30 AM »

Mike and his brothers running things was more like shuffling deck chairs on the titanic.... Wink
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I don't see the point in punishing Brian's musical output solely because Mike wants to wow the President Elect with how long he can weeze "wheeeeeeen" into a microphone.- rab2591
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« Reply #356 on: June 17, 2017, 09:40:09 AM »

It's kind of funny to trace at least two watershed moments in the band's history in terms of something that happened out of the blue as a fluke or just one of those winning lottery ticket scenarios where a "comeback" happened, followed by Mike's desire to repeat it, followed by the ship hitting an iceberg. Endless Summer, Kokomo are the two most obvious I'd say. This is just my opinion of course, but both were taken as a mandate or considered the "formula" for sales spikes and popular success after a drought, and what followed in both cases pretty much almost sunk the band. Or in some ways the attempted follow ups did scupper what was built up in terms of public image. The captain of the ship, indeed. Move those deck chairs.
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"Every single person who criticized Brian for having She & Him, Kacey Musgraves, Sebu and Nate Ruess guesting on his solo album can now officially go heartily f*** themselves." - Wirestone

"I will never change with what I think happened in here and you will never convince me otherwise." - Dr. Beach Boy.
"There was no up front fees, period. swedishfrog  and I paid for the domain name. As of June 19, 2016 at 4:32pm edt, that is all I was charged for." - Dr. Beach Boy
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« Reply #357 on: June 17, 2017, 09:57:10 AM »

What is the formula anyway, BW's inspired songs from the 1960s have nothing in common with the Kokomo era stuff anyway. The Love Titanic was quite the disaster in 1992.
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I don't see the point in punishing Brian's musical output solely because Mike wants to wow the President Elect with how long he can weeze "wheeeeeeen" into a microphone.- rab2591
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« Reply #358 on: June 17, 2017, 10:19:20 AM »

It's kind of funny to trace at least two watershed moments in the band's history in terms of something that happened out of the blue as a fluke or just one of those winning lottery ticket scenarios where a "comeback" happened, followed by Mike's desire to repeat it, followed by the ship hitting an iceberg. Endless Summer, Kokomo are the two most obvious I'd say. This is just my opinion of course, but both were taken as a mandate or considered the "formula" for sales spikes and popular success after a drought, and what followed in both cases pretty much almost sunk the band. Or in some ways the attempted follow ups did scupper what was built up in terms of public image. The captain of the ship, indeed. Move those deck chairs.
What did Mike do after Endless Summer to try to recreate the success? I don't think the "ship hitting an iceberg" after the comp. came out had anything to do with Mike.
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« Reply #359 on: June 17, 2017, 10:25:24 AM »

The very notion of a "formula" is the exact opposite of the way the true classics of popular music and legendary creations like Pet Sounds, Sgt. Pepper, Ziggy Stardust, Dark Side Of The Moon, etc were envisioned and created. If such a thing as a "formula" were codified and followed, we would not be celebrating the landmark anniversaries of those albums as we are in 2017.

Going against the formula, if one was defined, was what led to those albums and others like it which are in the upper echelon of music as art. And that extends from not only the music, but also the technology, the visuals, the presentation overall, etc.

Following the formula as a guiding principle is what leads to misguided attempts to repeat previous success by thinking elements which went into those successes were more responsible than what really was.
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"Every single person who criticized Brian for having She & Him, Kacey Musgraves, Sebu and Nate Ruess guesting on his solo album can now officially go heartily f*** themselves." - Wirestone

"I will never change with what I think happened in here and you will never convince me otherwise." - Dr. Beach Boy.
"There was no up front fees, period. swedishfrog  and I paid for the domain name. As of June 19, 2016 at 4:32pm edt, that is all I was charged for." - Dr. Beach Boy
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« Reply #360 on: June 17, 2017, 09:48:29 PM »

One of the key points in all this has been and will always be that Mike thinks he should be thought of as the "leader" of the band and all tangential issues around the band. So it's not only the formula, but trying to elevate one's self to a level where the so-called "formula" can be both defined and dictated in terms of following it or not fucking with it. Murry became the same way after the records really started to sell nationally, it was going overboard trying to project a facade of leadership rather than actually leading.

What cracks me up, and relates to this "formula" stuff, is a story Hal Blaine told about working with Lawrence Welk. Murry was apparently always on Brian's ass about how he should cut cleaner sounding records, like Welk. And in the meantime, Lawrence Welk himself according to Blaine who played sessions for him, was trying to get those newer sounds that Brian was recording and producing and selling by the truckload, mostly at Western.

It's too bad Brian had to deal with multiple "leaders" whose egos far outweighed their actual leadership qualities.

As I look at it, a lot of this conflict is less about Mike "wanting to be the leader" and more about Brian absolutely not wanting to be the leader of "Beach Boys Proper" as years went on.  In that sense, if you were Mike, how would you behave?  You would probably think that you were a very good choice to fill whatever vacuum that Brian started leaving as the 60s went on.  (which is obviously very arguable)

Also, I always viewed "the formula" as being less about specific notions like writing surf/girl hits, and more as an abstract concept of how Mike viewed their band "organically" and how they always went about their business throughout the early and mid-60s. 

I wish they would have just given Brian the space to be a solo artist in the late 60s while throwing the BBs some songs for their albums each year, and let Mike and whoever horse around with the name and a touring band in the same manner that he does nowadays.  Then again I also wish they would have spun off a part-time power trio called Wilson. 

I agree with some of this. I DO think Mike viewed himself (and probably still does) as something like the co-captain of The Beach Boys along with Brian: a kind of rock and roll George and Ira Gershwin. Obviously Brian did not see it that way...and I have to wonder if Brian felt too intimidated to just come right out and say that to Mike. I don't mean intimidated just by Mike but by the rest of his family, the band, etc. (you've got that whole Love family vs Wilson family competitiveness going on in the background. It would have made family gatherings unbearably awkward that's for sure).
I think some pretense was kept up that Mike was Brian's main collaborator when that was clearly no longer the case, possibly as a way to placate Mike and/or placate the family. In a way, that continued into the 70's by which time Brian and Mike were almost like entirely different people and could never recapture what they had in the early 60's. When they tried to duplicate past victories, it never came close. Pleasant but never the same. 

And I also would've liked the Wilsons to have formed a power trio or at least have seen Dennis have a stint in another band where he could've flexed his songwriting muscle a little more.

Actually, I think that from Brian's withdrawal until around 1976 Carl was acknowledged as the leader of the  Beach Boys.
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« Reply #361 on: June 18, 2017, 06:06:09 AM »

True.  He was.  And even after that Carl led the entire ensemble through their paces on stage.  W/O Carl they would collectively trip, stumble, bumble and fall.  That love guy is no more a BAND leader than a faulty metronome.   W/O Scott the current rendition would be sunk.
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"Add Some...Music...To Your Day.  I do.  It's the only way to fly.  Well...what was I gonna put here?  An apple a day keeps the doctor away?  Hum me a few bars."   Lee Marshall [2014]

Y O U  voted for Trump?   "What a disaster."  "Overrated?"... ... ..."BIG LEAGUE."  "Lots of people are saying it"  "Make America Immigrate Again!!!"  2-faced arsewipist!!!
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« Reply #362 on: June 18, 2017, 10:01:17 AM »

It feels like elements of the same power play mentality that has been in place since Reiley's firing are still playing out and have in some ways hampered the band as a result. I think there is no doubt Carl was the leader in terms of the actual music up to where he could no longer do it, specifically the live band, after Brian stepped back. But that was only one element of the business especially when there were two Love brothers in positions of management in the 70's making decisions and the third brother trying to project himself as leader on the inner workings as much as the "frontman" on stage.

Up to the present day bios and press releases and all of that jazz, it still can read like Mike has been the skipper or captain of the band and the live shows for 50+ years, and the question is what about Carl, the musician who actually did lead the live band for most of that time until he could no longer do it?
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"I will never change with what I think happened in here and you will never convince me otherwise." - Dr. Beach Boy.
"There was no up front fees, period. swedishfrog  and I paid for the domain name. As of June 19, 2016 at 4:32pm edt, that is all I was charged for." - Dr. Beach Boy
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« Reply #363 on: June 18, 2017, 10:57:42 AM »

And...ON STAGE...Mike still doesn't lead the band'.  He's just a talking head...who sings through his blinkin' nose.
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"Add Some...Music...To Your Day.  I do.  It's the only way to fly.  Well...what was I gonna put here?  An apple a day keeps the doctor away?  Hum me a few bars."   Lee Marshall [2014]

Y O U  voted for Trump?   "What a disaster."  "Overrated?"... ... ..."BIG LEAGUE."  "Lots of people are saying it"  "Make America Immigrate Again!!!"  2-faced arsewipist!!!
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« Reply #364 on: June 19, 2017, 01:41:48 PM »

The very notion of a "formula" is the exact opposite of the way the true classics of popular music and legendary creations like Pet Sounds, Sgt. Pepper, Ziggy Stardust, Dark Side Of The Moon, etc were envisioned and created. If such a thing as a "formula" were codified and followed, we would not be celebrating the landmark anniversaries of those albums as we are in 2017.

Going against the formula, if one was defined, was what led to those albums and others like it which are in the upper echelon of music as art. And that extends from not only the music, but also the technology, the visuals, the presentation overall, etc.

Following the formula as a guiding principle is what leads to misguided attempts to repeat previous success by thinking elements which went into those successes were more responsible than what really was.
The formula, prior to 1965, was that the lyrics would be from the point of view of a teenager. That formula began to change with the Stones, Dylan, the Byrds, 'Rubber Soul', etc.

'Pet Sounds' was written from the perspective of someone Brian's age, early 20s, with the concerns of a young man, and not those of someone in high school. The music industry was discovering that if the songwriters wrote from their own perspective, adopting the voice of someone their own age, that teenagers would still buy the record, and that now college-age people would as well. Thus, the rise of the lp.

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