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Hank Briarstem
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« on: August 30, 2016, 07:25:57 AM »

The year was 1966 or possibly 1972 or any year in between except 1968 when I was indisposed following the mayonnaise jar incident. I was at Brian’s house listening to a boogie woogie take on “Edelweiss” about which the Great Man had been obsessed for months. I recall him pleading with the boys to include it on the new album, but there was much resistance, though Michael – then in his “Gilligan hat” phase – saw potential and had written new lyrics, hoping to re-title the song “Mary Ann’s Pie.” Alan objected to the suggestiveness  – “Professor please perfect my chemistry. I’d maroon on a tropical isle just to get a taste of coconut cream pie.” Bruce wasn’t on board merely because he was a Ginger guy.

Jealousy among band members had reached a bit of an apex. Michael was quite proud of a new spatula he acquired while at a Medallion store in Ottumwa, or perhaps Des Moines or even somewhere other than Iowa. Who am I, Rand McNally? Michael was quite proud of his omelet-making prowess and claimed the little twist he employed when flipping the eggs made his the world’s most exquisite. Denny bought a cheap knock-off spatula from a fence who specialized in kitchen appliances, altered it to look exactly like Mike’s and made the switch, resulting in Mike’s eggs sticking to the pan and a ruined breakfast.

Ever the peacemaker, Carl tried to salvage the eggs with some ketchup, but Mike was furious, much to Denny’s delight. The incident was opaquely recounted in “Slip on Through” and contributed mightily to the discomfort Bruce felt at the time – though it’s also true he never quite got past being forced to squeeze into Alan’s pants. Matters weren’t helped when a highly amused Brian greeted Michael every time he saw him the next three months with “That your spatula?”

Denny loved to gig Michael – I recall him referring to his band mate as Linus during Michael’s white robe phase and showering him with peanuts during a performance of “Monster Mash” in Sacramento. Come to think of it, the song might have been “Long Tall Texan” and the venue might have been Tulsa. “If time were not a moving thing,” as the well-covered pop song laments…

In any event, Brian became obsessed, at one point, with my third wife’s cousin – Martha, I believe her name was, though it might have been Mark at the time, as she was a bit of a sexual pioneer. Martha/Mark frequently wore a pair of chartreuse pedal pushers, and Brian begged Marilyn to buy a pair. Young and insecure, Marilyn became quite upset and confessed to Carl that she and her husband were growing apart – and that chartreuse simply wasn’t her color.

Brian and his brothers were at the time hitting rather too heavily a potent concoction of Tang and Moet, occasionally chasing it with Cheerwine. Denny was known to use a double scoop of Tang. Michael was concerned, as was his wont, and in a private meeting with Al said – “Tang is going to kill this band.” Alan told Michael he was being a bit paranoid. Years later the comment would lead to Alan’s ouster, though not before Michael had his own little bout with Tang…

These and other seminal Beach Boys events are recounted in my upcoming memoir “Briarstem, the Fifth or is it the Sixth, Seventh, Eighth or Even Ninth Beach Boy,” which will likely be published if and when my sixth wife Netta Faye drops her unfortunate lawsuit and releases the garnishment of my property. Many photos will be included – most of them reproductions of slides taken during my various summer vacations.

You’ll learn that Brian was convinced once that Phil Spector was lurking in a chest of drawers, that Michael, during a brief “back to nature phase” had a torrid emotional affair with a raccoon (loosely recounted in the song “Wrinkles”), that Denny authored under a pseudonym a children’s book called “Spot the Red Dog,” that Carl had a guitar built in the shape of an abacus, that Alan has tattooed on his left buttocks “Dirty Al,” that Bruce was the inspiration for the ZZ Top classic “Legs” and that David Marks actually wrote the lyrics to every song of which Michael has claimed authorship.

Brian once said – “Hank, if you could write a book...” Of course he was speaking at the time to baseball slugger Henry Aaron, but the spirit of those words lives within me, and voila!
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Gregg
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« Reply #1 on: August 30, 2016, 07:38:18 AM »

Welcome back, Hank! I look forward to hearing more from your memoir.

One thing. I was under the impression that Mike had more than just a little bout with Tang, but actually considered himself a Tang aficionado.
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Hank Briarstem
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« Reply #2 on: August 30, 2016, 07:54:19 AM »

While I am wary of providing too much milk before the cow is procured, you are correct in your assessment of Michael’s “Tang Problem,” which he has, of course, on many occasions, spun as his “Tang Mastery” – many of you might recall the Rolling Stone article, “Mike Love, Master of the Tang.”

But it is clear that during at least one concert Michael was under the influence of Tang, forced as he was to depart the stage in the middle of “Shut Down” in order to relieve himself. Which one of us wouldn’t have emulated Denny’s practical joke by bestowing upon Michael a box of adult diapers during the next night’s performance?

Michael was infuriated, of course, and accused Denny of treachery.  But insiders knew that Carl accompanied Denny to the pharmacy and might have actually paid for the contraband.

In any event, Michael seemed to cut back rather dramatically on the Tang, at that point, so who is to say that the Wilson brothers’ prank didn’t save Michael a good deal of further embarrassment?  This band has, as you know, a rather complicated history. He said, she said, though who “she” is escapes me at the moment.

Perhaps a nap.
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mrski
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« Reply #3 on: August 30, 2016, 07:59:17 AM »

This is one book I'm looking forward to!

If only to revisit that airport lounge incident, that card game when I think it was Van Dyke who led with a trump and all hell broke loose...

Can't wait me...
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JK
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« Reply #4 on: August 30, 2016, 08:58:27 AM »

If only to revisit that airport lounge incident, that card game when I think it was Van Dyke who led with a trump and all hell broke loose...

LOL

Mr Briarstem, you have been missed! That said, your timing is perfect!

Like Gregg and mrski I look forward to more goodies from your rich storehouse of memories. :=)
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« Reply #5 on: August 30, 2016, 09:24:26 AM »

Love it! But may I suggest a more catchy title? Perhaps "I am Hank Briarstem"?
« Last Edit: August 30, 2016, 09:25:03 AM by J.G. Dev » Logged
filledeplage
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« Reply #6 on: August 30, 2016, 09:27:32 AM »

While I am wary of providing too much milk before the cow is procured, you are correct in your assessment of Michael’s “Tang Problem,” which he has, of course, on many occasions, spun as his “Tang Mastery” – many of you might recall the Rolling Stone article, “Mike Love, Master of the Tang.”

But it is clear that during at least one concert Michael was under the influence of Tang, forced as he was to depart the stage in the middle of “Shut Down” in order to relieve himself. Which one of us wouldn’t have emulated Denny’s practical joke by bestowing upon Michael a box of adult diapers during the next night’s performance?

Michael was infuriated, of course, and accused Denny of treachery.  But insiders knew that Carl accompanied Denny to the pharmacy and might have actually paid for the contraband.

In any event, Michael seemed to cut back rather dramatically on the Tang, at that point, so who is to say that the Wilson brothers’ prank didn’t save Michael a good deal of further embarrassment?  This band has, as you know, a rather complicated history. He said, she said, though who “she” is escapes me at the moment.

Perhaps a nap.
You have been missed, Hank!  Love
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Hank Briarstem
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« Reply #7 on: August 30, 2016, 09:59:08 AM »

Van Dyke was cheeky, without question, and not just after he put on the extra weight. But Michael is, as you know, quite competitive, and the idea of a trump being played right out of the box infuriated and perplexed him. “Who leads with a trump???!!!” he screamed, tossing a chair that nearly struck a group of nuns fresh from Belize and waiting for a connecting flight. When the nuns retaliated by each flinging trays at the hapless Beach Boys, it was “on,” as you young folks so colorfully say.

Alan managed to duck a ham salad sandwich, but Carl was hit flush in the face by a cucumber. Carl recognized, of course, that Michael’s action precipitated the food fight. Thus Carl sneaked his own tuna salad into Michael’s nearby turban, while Van Dyke distracted Michael by playing a jaunty “Happy Wanderer” on his ever-present accordion. Bruce would later cop the wonderfully engaging “Val-deri,Val-dera! Val-deri! Val-de-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha! Val-deri,Val-dera!” section as the bridge of “I Write the Songs,” leading Michael to threaten a lawsuit.

Meanwhile an ever clever Denny slipped a stashed ace of hearts from the knapsack on his back, and when he won a disputed hand, created even more chaos. Alan has said the band nearly broke up over the incident. My recollection is that the situation wasn’t quite so dire, though Billy Hinsche did force Van Dyke to watch him pack his luggage at the hotel that evening, causing the tick that Van Dyke still suffers with to this day.

The joke was on our entire entourage, of course, as the supposed “nuns” were in fact extras from the Elvis movie “Change of Habit,” and Denny spent the evening teaching Mary Tyler Moore everything she would ever know about the fade-out of a rock song. Elvis himself was not on the scene, though he and I met later to compare our recipes for pickle relish (his was too salty, in my estimation). At the concert that evening, when Michael donned the turban, well shall we say, you can tune a piano, but you can’t tuna fish, not on stage in front of thousands of bellowing fans.

Michael is not without legitimate grievances – and that night was not without a fan club of very hungry cats.

Hmmm… “I Am Hank Briarstem.” Catchy. But too avant-garde?
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« Reply #8 on: August 30, 2016, 11:07:35 AM »

If only Rocky's "Wipe Out" were co-written by Hank, we'd have a million and one seller!
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Hank Briarstem
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« Reply #9 on: August 30, 2016, 11:42:02 AM »

Ah Rocky and Bullwinkle, the Beach Boys world’s own Glamour Twins.  The times they had reading their Archie comic books and dead-lifting the maid’s Volkswagen Beetle! Where have those days gone? I think of those boys when I see Saturday Night Live reruns of Hans and Franz. Those two jokesters, dressing as Phil and Ronnie Spector for a Halloween party!

Let’s all remember there were good times. I was thinking today how Brian used to say “Man could I go for a peanut butter and jelly sandwich!” Simpler times. How is eyes would sparkle!

But sleaze sells so I won’t recount in my memoir many of the giddier tales – the time Alan spent two days in front of Brian’s house pretending to be a garden gnome. Now that is dedication to a practical joke! Yes Brian was badly flustered when the “gnome” suddenly spoke to him – “Hey, how about trimming the lawn, Mr. Rock Star?” But I’m convinced the prank was the genesis of the “Mount Vernon and Fairway” fable so it served a grand purpose.

The time Denny hid Bruce’s Nair and nearly caused him to refuse to take the stage that evening – the real reason “Disney Girls” was added to the live set…

The time Brian had the Wrecking Crew join him in convincing the Boys they were recording a cover of the Bosco commercial jingle for their next album… “Oh, I love Bosco! That's the drink for me! Chocolate flavored Bosco is mighty good for me. Mommy puts it in my milk for extra energy. Bosco gives me iron and sunshine vitamin D. Oh, I love Bosco! That's the drink for me!” It took a darker tone, though, when Brian became convinced Phil Spector had bugged the session and would do the project Brian really coveted – a cover of the Brylcreem jingle. “Brylcreem, a little dab'll do ya. Brylcreem, you'll look so debonair. Brylcreem, the gals will all pursue ya. They'll love to run their fingers through your hair.” The project died in any case over Michael’s obvious lyrical objection.
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HeroesandVillains
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« Reply #10 on: August 30, 2016, 12:14:52 PM »

Ah Rocky and Bullwinkle, the Beach Boys world’s own Glamour Twins.  The times they had reading their Archie comic books and dead-lifting the maid’s Volkswagen Beetle! Where have those days gone? I think of those boys when I see Saturday Night Live reruns of Hans and Franz. Those two jokesters, dressing as Phil and Ronnie Spector for a Halloween party!

Let’s all remember there were good times. I was thinking today how Brian used to say “Man could I go for a peanut butter and jelly sandwich!” Simpler times. How is eyes would sparkle!

But sleaze sells so I won’t recount in my memoir many of the giddier tales – the time Alan spent two days in front of Brian’s house pretending to be a garden gnome. Now that is dedication to a practical joke! Yes Brian was badly flustered when the “gnome” suddenly spoke to him – “Hey, how about trimming the lawn, Mr. Rock Star?” But I’m convinced the prank was the genesis of the “Mount Vernon and Fairway” fable so it served a grand purpose.

The time Denny hid Bruce’s Nair and nearly caused him to refuse to take the stage that evening – the real reason “Disney Girls” was added to the live set…

The time Brian had the Wrecking Crew join him in convincing the Boys they were recording a cover of the Bosco commercial jingle for their next album… “Oh, I love Bosco! That's the drink for me! Chocolate flavored Bosco is mighty good for me. Mommy puts it in my milk for extra energy. Bosco gives me iron and sunshine vitamin D. Oh, I love Bosco! That's the drink for me!” It took a darker tone, though, when Brian became convinced Phil Spector had bugged the session and would do the project Brian really coveted – a cover of the Brylcreem jingle. “Brylcreem, a little dab'll do ya. Brylcreem, you'll look so debonair. Brylcreem, the gals will all pursue ya. They'll love to run their fingers through your hair.” The project died in any case over Michael’s obvious lyrical objection.



What
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Tab Lloyd
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« Reply #11 on: August 31, 2016, 04:04:19 AM »

There must be an inner Hank in all of us. I switch over to it while reading and a strange logic makes everything he says so clear and real. Hank is a free man. Who doesn't want that? Stream of consciousness unburdened by convention. Rave On, it don't come easy...
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« Reply #12 on: August 31, 2016, 07:43:52 AM »

I like the OP's avatar - caricature 4-eyed guy with fat rosy cheeks - but his posts read like trolling.
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« Reply #13 on: August 31, 2016, 07:47:52 AM »

I like the OP's avatar - caricature 4-eyed guy with fat rosy cheeks - but his posts read like trolling.

You have to be joking, RR.

I'm saving the money I was planning to spend on Brian's and Mike's books to buy Hank's, whatever he eventually decides to call it (hopefully nothing too avant-garde)... 
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« Reply #14 on: August 31, 2016, 07:57:01 AM »

I don't have to joke to say his posts read like trolling. It's the way I see it. & no, he will not write book, you do realize it, right?
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« Reply #15 on: August 31, 2016, 08:03:07 AM »

I like the OP's avatar - caricature 4-eyed guy with fat rosy cheeks - but his posts read like trolling.

RRA1 - Hank Briarstem is the 3rd person omniscient!   Wink

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RangeRoverA1
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« Reply #16 on: August 31, 2016, 08:19:16 AM »

Appreciate the cutesy wink smiley but nope, don't see what you say. he's troll.
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« Reply #17 on: August 31, 2016, 08:33:53 AM »

Appreciate the cutesy wink smiley but nope, don't see what you say. he's troll.

No, he isn't.  I disagree.  He has a literary style all his own and is spinning an historic BB yarn.  That is not a troll.
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« Reply #18 on: August 31, 2016, 08:41:49 AM »

I disagree too - he's troll. I don't know what is literary style, it's too difficult. Humor isn't funny either, I didn't get any of his posts. If you did & laughed - that's cool.
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« Reply #19 on: August 31, 2016, 01:04:46 PM »

The joke was on our entire entourage, of course, as the supposed “nuns” were in fact extras from the Elvis movie “Change of Habit,”

I've actually got a copy of this somewhere on an old VHS, as Elvis films go, it's not one of his worst. Few people know that Al was actually offered a small part in this, however he scuppered the audition when he lost his balance and fell off his box. I recall that he wasn't too disappointed though, expressing the opinion that he just didn't possess the necessary acting skills to portray a rhythm guitarist in Elvis' backing band and make it look convincing. I believe the box went on to have a quite successful movie career...

Mike wasn't too pleased at this time given as Al's name was plastered throughout the trade mags of the day, so in a blatent attempt at one-upmanship, at a lavish ceremony Mike donated his very first hat to The Smithsonian. It was gratefully received too, especially by Joe the singing janitor. But we all know The Beach Boys and sure enough everything was not as it appeared. The hat was eventually proven to be some cheap replica knocked up by some sweat-shop in Bangladesh. This created a huge dilema for Capitol Records as they had already manufactured 419,000 hats for promotional purposes, all of which ended up in a dumpster. What happened to the original hat remained something of a mystery until it turned up years later in the collection of a Beach Boy fan, prompting a Police investigation. No charges were brought although the Police Department did issue a statement, quoting a Mr. B. Gas, who claimed that he had never seen said item before and hadn't the slightest notion of how it got there...
« Last Edit: August 31, 2016, 01:07:19 PM by mrski » Logged
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« Reply #20 on: September 01, 2016, 12:00:12 AM »

It always hurts my head when Hank shows up.  Grin
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« Reply #21 on: September 02, 2016, 11:50:59 AM »

I really don't understand why this thread was moved to the Sandbox. With all the bickering and negativity that's so prevalent on the general discussion board, I find Hank's writings to be a refreshing and enjoyable change. The guy is clearly a gifted writer with a clever sense of humor and imagination. And it's completely harmless!

So what's the deal?
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JK
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« Reply #22 on: September 02, 2016, 04:45:27 PM »

I really don't understand why this thread was moved to the Sandbox. With all the bickering and negativity that's so prevalent on the general discussion board, I find Hank's writings to be a refreshing and enjoyable change. The guy is clearly a gifted writer with a clever sense of humor and imagination. And it's completely harmless!

Seconded.
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« Reply #23 on: September 02, 2016, 06:31:06 PM »

OK, mods. If Hank's muse hasn't already been squashed by this travesty, you can make things right by moving this thread back to the main board. So one poster who maybe was having a bad day elicits a tired old internet cliche and you immediately yank creativity in action into oblivion?

Hank has stories to share. Grant him a modicum of respect with the proper, deserved venue and he will inspire and delight!
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« Reply #24 on: September 04, 2016, 12:39:37 AM »

Thirded.

A needed diversion
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