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Author Topic: The Beach Boys: An Authorized Biography by Byron Preiss (1979)  (Read 2582 times)
guitarfool2002
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« on: November 07, 2015, 05:01:17 PM »

The Beach Boys: An Authorized Biography by Byron Preiss (1979)
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"All of us have the privilege of making music that helps and heals - to make music that makes people happier, stronger, and kinder. Don't forget: Music is God's voice." - Brian Wilson
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« Reply #1 on: November 08, 2015, 07:43:51 AM »

This was the first book about The Beach Boys I ever read. Don't let the "authorized" tag fool you. The Beach Boys were never ones to hold back opinions, and there are quotes from the guys in this book that I've still never seen elsewhere (the story of the breakdown of SMiLE depicted here, for example, is one that makes a little more sense than other later retellings).

And of course, all those groovy illustrations make it a wonderful time capsule.
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« Reply #2 on: November 08, 2015, 08:40:27 PM »

This was the first book about The Beach Boys I ever read. Don't let the "authorized" tag fool you. The Beach Boys were never ones to hold back opinions, and there are quotes from the guys in this book that I've still never seen elsewhere (the story of the breakdown of SMiLE depicted here, for example, is one that makes a little more sense than other later retellings).

And of course, all those groovy illustrations make it a wonderful time capsule.

Care to elaborate about SMiLE?Huh
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Aquarian SMiLE>HERE
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« Reply #3 on: November 08, 2015, 09:28:31 PM »

Preiss talks about the other non-musical activities that Brian was preoccupied with at the time. Rather than head to the recording studio it was more like "Hey guys, let's all take this telescope up to the mountains and gaze at the stars all night", etc. Kind of like Brian was in such a creative head space that it extended way past concentrating on just making music, and gradually the focus shifted away from music into other things...or more like a dozen esoteric escapades all at once. This has been articulated in other books but it's depicted really well here.
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« Reply #4 on: November 09, 2015, 12:43:18 AM »

This was the first book about The Beach Boys I ever read. Don't let the "authorized" tag fool you. The Beach Boys were never ones to hold back opinions, and there are quotes from the guys in this book that I've still never seen elsewhere (the story of the breakdown of SMiLE depicted here, for example, is one that makes a little more sense than other later retellings).

And of course, all those groovy illustrations make it a wonderful time capsule.
+1.  This was also the first book I read about the band, although I had also near memorised the Tom Nolan R/S article prior to getting my hands on this book.

While punches are pulled and there's limited reference to the raging band politics of the day, a careful read of this tome nets some pretty interesting little tidbits and insights.

The presentation is great with most direct quotes bolded and framed, also usually heralding a transition in narrative.  As Ghosty say, the illustrations are groovy; ranging from the (imo) sublime (Busy Doin' Nothin', Sunflower) to the inspired (H&V, Darlin'), the amusing (Fun, Fun, Fun - I Wanna Pick You Up) through to the kinda ludicrous but technically proficeint (Surfer Girl, p129 - wtf).

Worth picking up should you come across it.
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« Reply #5 on: November 09, 2015, 03:54:15 AM »

Preiss talks about the other non-musical activities that Brian was preoccupied with at the time. Rather than head to the recording studio it was more like "Hey guys, let's all take this telescope up to the mountains and gaze at the stars all night", etc. Kind of like Brian was in such a creative head space that it extended way past concentrating on just making music, and gradually the focus shifted away from music into other things...or more like a dozen esoteric escapades all at once. This has been articulated in other books but it's depicted really well here.

Thanks for elaborating, and this seems to corroborate what Vosse and some others have said about the period too. I believe it.
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Here are my SMiLE Mixes. All are 2 suite, but still vastly different in several ways. Be on the lookout for another, someday.

Aquarian SMiLE>HERE
Dumb Angel (Olorin Edition)>HERE
Dumb Angel [the Romestamo Cut]>HERE

& This is a new pet project Ive worked on, which combines Fritz Lang's classic film, Metropolis (1927) with The United States of America (1968) as a new soundtrack. More info is in the video description.
The American Metropolitan Circus>HERE
[
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« Reply #6 on: November 13, 2015, 10:52:03 PM »

I used to have a copy of the first edition; parted with it somewhere along the way, but I do have the revised edition from 1983 - published just before Dennis died. The years 1979-1983 are covered in just a few paragraphs. It is a good book, though; the only other BB bio I had read before this one was David Leaf's book, which was really a book about Brian. This one is a nice contrast, featuring many quotes from all the guys, and many insiders.
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« Reply #7 on: November 14, 2015, 03:36:57 AM »

Once I started getting most of the old British magazines with beach boys interviews I realized that the preiss book had very little involvement by the bbs. Almost all the quotes are from various interviews from NME, Melody Maker and Disc and Music Echo but still a fun book
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