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Author Topic: Nick Laird-Clowes discusses working with Brian in 2015 interview  (Read 689 times)
“Big Daddy”
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« on: March 01, 2022, 07:15:48 PM »

https://www.rhino.com/article/interview-nick-laird-clowes-of-the-dream-academy

I happened into this interview with Nick Laird-Clowes from 2015 that I can’t remember getting discussed here before (apologies if a reshare). If you scroll to towards the end of the interview, Nick is asked about working with Brian on “Walkin’ the Line” and he has a bit to say about how that collaboration came about and his frustrating experience dealing with Landy. Not a lot of it is terribly surprising if you’ve read other accounts of what it was like working with Brian at the time, but some of it is unique and very entertaining, such as Nick’s story of Brian singing “Roll Out the Barrel” for the first 40 minutes of their session LOL
« Last Edit: March 01, 2022, 07:33:04 PM by “Big Daddy” » Logged

For those who believe that Brian walks on water, I will always be the Antichrist.
sloopjohnb72
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« Reply #1 on: March 01, 2022, 08:02:58 PM »

Interesting. Walkin' the Line went through a few rewrites before Nick's involvement, but the final lyrics that Nick seems to be taking credit for here were actually written by Gary Usher back in 1986. Landy tried out a few versions along the way, but Gary's original lyrics were ultimately used, with the exception of 2 lines that were changed to rhyme. The only change made to Gary's chorus was the addition of "runnin' out of my mind", which apparently came from Paley. I'm not sure Nick can take credit for any of the lyrics in the song, unless he came up with "and that's no lie" and "'til we find a way", but that's minor anyways. His big contribution was changing the melody in the verses from the repetitive, march-like "I walk the line, I walk the line..." to the held "Iiiiii walk the liiiiine."

I liked Brian's melody better.
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jeremylr
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« Reply #2 on: March 02, 2022, 09:23:49 AM »

Rhino Interviewer Will Harris:  Well, I was just curious about the experience of writing with Brian Wilson on his self-titled solo album.


Nick Laird-Clowes of The Dream Academy:.......Ah, well, that was amazing. So I'm in L.A. with Kate, and we're at this point where Lenny has said, “Stay here and do the mixing,” Gilbert's back in London, and I'm working with Lindsey and mixing with James Guthrie, who did all the great Floyd things like The Wall and everything. And then when it was done and finished and we were going to shoot the video, I get a call from Lenny. I've now been away from home for three and a half months, I've got so much at home to do, and he says, “How are you feeling?” I said, “Oh, great. The record's done, we're just going for the weekend to shoot the video, and then I'm going home.” He said, “So you're longing to go home?” “I am longing, yes.” And he said… [Sighs.] “Look, I know you are. But if you stay, I want you to try and work with Brian Wilson.” I said, “Oh, uh… Ooooooooh…” [Laughs.] He said, “Look, come in, I'm going to play you some things, and I want to tell you some… Well, look, just come in.”

So I put down the phone, of course, and called my manager, who said, “Oh, no, you're not staying! You've got to come back!” I said, “They want me to work with Brian Wilson.” “Fucking hell!” [Laughs.] Because Brian Wilson, he might've been in a bad way at that point - nobody had seen him for a long time at that point - but…it was Brian Wilson! So I went in and listened to the stuff, Lenny played it, and he said, “What do you think?” And I said, “Well, the lyrics aren't good.” He said, “Right, we're going in tomorrow, and Dr. (Eugene) Landy's going to be there, everyone's going to be there, and you've got to say what you actually think. That's the deal.” So we went in, there's Brian, he looked very…odd. I mean, now I look back at the pictures, he looks young, but at the time, he looked very odd to me. He was in one shirt, and they put another shirt over him, and…he looked very much like the guy in a village who's the outcast.

Anyway, they put the music on, and luckily Landy wasn't there, and he said, “What do you think?” And I said, “I don't think the lyrics are right.” And immediately Andy Paley said, “Hey, those aren't his lyrics. Landy said he had to write that. He's got this one with these great lyrics about being frightened of the animals and things.” I said, “I really want to hear that!” [Laughs.] I mean, being frightened of the animals? That sounds like exactly what we want to hear from him! Anyway, Brian said, “Why don't you come in tomorrow?” And I said, “Okay,” and I went in on my own the next day, but then it was like Fort Knox. It was very, very strange. It was, like, “You're not to use a tape.” I said, “I have to use a tape if I'm working with Brian. I always tape when I'm working.” They said, “Well, you have to leave it when you leave.” I said, “Fucking… Whatever.” So I sat with him, and for about the first 40 minutes, Brian sat at an upright piano singing “Roll Out the Barrel” for a lot of the time and saying, “It's like when we were in London and we were in the back of the limousine in the '60s! Roll out the barrel…” It was just completely… [Trails off.]

Well, anyway, finally I kept kind of edging toward this one song that he had that I liked, but we were nowhere near getting to a place where we were discussing his lyrics. He really, like, out there, and I could just see he was going to be there. So finally I said, “You know that song 'Walkin' the Line'”? He said, “Yeah, 'Walkin' the Line.' Yeah, what are you saying?” I said. “I think it's got brilliant words in the chorus, but…I don't like the verse.” I mean, it sounded like “Sparky's Magic Piano.” It just wasn't good. But the song was great. So he said, “Well, how do you think it should go?” And I said, “Well, I think it should be like” [Singing.] “I walk the line / I walk the line every day for you…” And he just went, “It's genius! I'm going to tell Dr. Landy you've got to work on our whole album!” And he went out and called Dr. Landy, and I had my tape of Brian saying, 'It's genius!'” Well, I got out of the studio, and they called me when I got home and said, “You've taken the tape.” I said, “It's my cassette that tells me what I did.” They said, “No! You bring it back here!” I said, “Well, I'm leaving in the morning.” And they said, “Well, if you give it back, you might get to work with Brian on the rest of the album.” And I said, “Well, I can't.” So that's what happened.


And, you know, it's even more thrilling now. It's played a lot more now than it was then, since Brian's return. I don't know if you've seen any of his concerts - he's done Pet Sounds and Smile - but, man, it was brilliant. Just incredible. And it was brilliant and incredible to work with him. And Landy did come in that afternoon, and I don't know if you ever met him or if you've seen pictures of him, but…Brian was odd, but you'd go, “Who's the mad one here?” [Laughs.] But what a thing. What a chance to have gotten. It was wonderful.

https://www.rhino.com/article/interview-nick-laird-clowes-of-the-dream-academy
Interview: Nick Laird-Clowes of The Dream Academy
« Last Edit: March 02, 2022, 09:25:06 AM by jeremylr » Logged
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