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Author Topic: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread  (Read 26118 times)
the captain
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« Reply #100 on: February 17, 2017, 05:03:39 PM »


I really don't think it was about collaborators ... the group has had so many over the years that I can't imagine "collaborators" (in any form) being a problem in a general sense.


I think that's right. Everyone in the band had worked with outside collaborators by the mid-90s, including Mr "Get me in a room alone with Brian" Love. It wouldn't surprise me if there were tinges of jealousy or hurt now and then when someone did good work with someone else, but on the other hand, it's hard to imagine any of them really resenting it to the point of not doing the good material.
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« Reply #101 on: February 17, 2017, 05:52:23 PM »


My basic point is regardless of how much Mike wanted to sit down with Brian in a room and write songs, it didn't seem to stop any of the other records from being recorded and released (including the 2012 record).

Not sure I agree with that. Again, the only BB post-SMiLE record on which Brian was the main songwriter of most of the material (Brian along with a non BB member collaborator)  is TWGMTR, and that record was apparently made with Mike's involvement only under some sort of promise (at least as how he saw it) that Mike and Brian would get to write some material from scratch on that album, and that such a promise was broken.

So I don't think it's easy to say that it didn't stop any of the other records from being recorded and released. I think TWGMTR may have barely made it to fruition and release (and the accompanying tour) as a result of Mike being very displeased over what he viewed as broken promises. His prerogative, regardless of what one thinks of it being "fair" or not. And as mentioned, it probably only happened with lots of negotiation from Joe Thomas.

I just think that Brian plus outside collaborator being the main songwriting team on a given album was going to be a problem for this band for some members. I don't think Mike *ever* was okay with that scenario, going back decades. Not sure about Carl's feelings, but at some point perhaps Carl agreed with Mike on that.

Also, one needs to take into account what the BBs having to deal with Landy might have done to their frame of mind. That alone might have just soured them to anyone else being a major collaborator with Brian on a BB project.
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« Reply #102 on: February 17, 2017, 05:59:30 PM »


I really don't think it was about collaborators ... the group has had so many over the years that I can't imagine "collaborators" (in any form) being a problem in a general sense.


I think that's right. Everyone in the band had worked with outside collaborators by the mid-90s, including Mr "Get me in a room alone with Brian" Love. It wouldn't surprise me if there were tinges of jealousy or hurt now and then when someone did good work with someone else, but on the other hand, it's hard to imagine any of them really resenting it to the point of not doing the good material.

Quite the contrary; I think that even though Mike sang his parts on SMiLE, that he probably didn't mind being a contributing factor to Van ditching the project; I think it's possible he may have subconsciously wanted that result. Maybe he didn't consciously connive to exactly do that, but I cannot imagine Mike would be unaware of what sarcastic/tactless repeated haranguing of an outsider could do to said collaborator's relationship with the Brian.

There's doing good material (Mike singing his parts well, concurrent with also making the environment untenable), and there's doing the material and just going with the flow. There are many ways to torpedo a project, and while I'm glad that he sang his parts, that doesn't mean his resentment didn't help to quash the project. Like SMiLE, I think the Paley material must have been impacted by resentment within the band, in one way or another. There were probably multiple factors, but I cannot imagine band politics and resentment not being part what sank it.

And in discussing the fact that there have been collaborators in the past with the band... just realize that none of them attempted to cowrite and ENTIRE project for the BBs with Brian except Tony and Van. And in both cases, there were some mighty rough patches with regards to interference by jealous bandmates.

I think it's a totally different scenario than a handful of one-off songs in the early days cowritten with Brian by outsiders.

Mike did contribute little (at least in terms of released material) to the LA Light album, but if Brian in 1979 had just decided to start writing up a storm of songs to contribute (with an outside collaborator) to the project, I think that's when you'd start to get Mike finding ways to c*ckblock those songs, or to nitpick them in SOME way in order to make sure that no other outside collaborator would ever find it easy to be Brian's main go-to collaborator guy. Jealousy ain't a pretty thing. I get it, the guys are human. But let's not try to minimize what affect it could have had on messing up projects. It seems pretty obvious to me based on decades-long patterns. I think Mike has an absolute pattern of it; Carl is far more of a mystery for sure.
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« Reply #103 on: February 17, 2017, 06:03:49 PM »


The Paley stuff could have been the BB or Brian equivalent of that. But everyone involved still wanted a Kokomo-level hit. But, as Craig points out, Kokomo was the equivalent of the lucky winning lotto ticket.

This is true but I think Brian ended up not needing it: his run from the touring of after Imagination through at least the BBs reunion, seems to have re-re-re-solidified his place, even with uneven new material. The big loss, I think, is for the BBs. They could have had the kind of critical adoration that they did eventually, briefly, get for TWGMTR, almost 20 years earlier, and could have avoided a full generation just writing their modern selves off as casino-and-carnival clowns. (Not that this was a fair write-off, just that I think it mostly went that way.) Forget homerun, even a double of a Paley sessions album by the band would have gone a long way, in my opinion.

I agree with this too. Remember that prior to hooking up with Rick Rubin, Johnny Cash was thought of as a washed-up has been doing Branson shows and Taco Bell commercials.  But he reinvented himself by doing what he did best which is a lesson the Boys should have heeded.
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« Reply #104 on: February 17, 2017, 06:11:51 PM »


The Paley stuff could have been the BB or Brian equivalent of that. But everyone involved still wanted a Kokomo-level hit. But, as Craig points out, Kokomo was the equivalent of the lucky winning lotto ticket.

This is true but I think Brian ended up not needing it: his run from the touring of after Imagination through at least the BBs reunion, seems to have re-re-re-solidified his place, even with uneven new material. The big loss, I think, is for the BBs. They could have had the kind of critical adoration that they did eventually, briefly, get for TWGMTR, almost 20 years earlier, and could have avoided a full generation just writing their modern selves off as casino-and-carnival clowns. (Not that this was a fair write-off, just that I think it mostly went that way.) Forget homerun, even a double of a Paley sessions album by the band would have gone a long way, in my opinion.

I agree with this too. Remember that prior to hooking up with Rick Rubin, Johnny Cash was thought of as a washed-up has been doing Branson shows and Taco Bell commercials.  But he reinvented himself by doing what he did best which is a lesson the Boys should have heeded.

+1

(insert Jack Rieley quote here)  Undecided
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« Reply #105 on: February 17, 2017, 07:24:02 PM »

On the topic of artists who were maybe thought to be too long in the tooth to have a "hit" around the same time period as Kokomo, let's say 1987 or so up to 1992-3 or so, first factor in MTV which was at that time one of the key driving forces behind having a "hit". It was right there next to commercial radio in terms of gauging what was a public success, and making songs into hits or even smash hits.

I remember this well, and I don't even think there was a starting point or an artist who was the catalyst, but just a sample or a roll call of some of the "legacy" artists who may have been considered in the music biz "too old" or past their primes for the 18-24 demographic to have the hit record mojo, yet managed to score hit songs and albums.

George Harrison: Cloud Nine, the single Got My Mind Set On You was an MTV hit that got radio play.

Roy Orbison: "You Got It", produced by Jeff Lynne, and on top of Roy's "Black And White" cable TV special, Roy Orbison of all people was an MTV and radio hit in the late 80's up to his death.

Related to those: The Traveling Wilburys. Two MTV and radio hits, Handle With Care and End Of The Line.

McCartney: Flowers In the Dirt. Was it a massive hit? No, but I saw that tour and MTV and some radio were playing the single My Brave Face

The Grateful Dead: Never really had a radio or MTV hit, they weren't considered a hit-record-making band by the biz, yet they scored with Touch Of Grey on MTV and radio.

Tom Petty: Another Wilbury brother...Full Moon Fever was a massive hit which spun 3 hit MTV and radio singles.

The Stones: Steel Wheels, the single Mixed Emotions got MTV and radio play, and it launched a huge tour that even got a primetime network TV broadcast and radio simulcast.

Johnny Cash: Perhaps the most unlikely, the guy goes from playing the "Lawn Chair Circuit" of red-blooded trad country for red-blooded Americans who carried their lawn chairs to the open-air venues and fields to hear Johnny play stone-cold country, to being the ultimate rock and roll badass thanks mostly to the American Recordings record and related name-checking by young rock and rollers.

Clapton: Already mentioned Unplugged, but also his Journeyman album as much as I can't stand that production, it also sold well and got I think "Pretending" on MTV and radio.

Those are just a few, maybe the most famous. But it's an example of how at that time, these artists not only made comebacks after they were thought finished due to age and the nature of the music biz in the 1980's, but also made successful albums, had MTV and radio hits, and were in most cases touring behind new albums.

Compare that to the Beach Boys, they were riding the same wave of improbability where artists thought to be too old were scoring hits and popular videos in heavy rotation, but they had no album to capitalize on Kokomo and they had no follow up single either which was worth a damn.

Apply that to the post-Landy decisions and vetoes and the whole lot of it, and the whole thing maybe becomes even more frustrating and puzzling considering there were songs available for them to do something new and fill an album that wasn't the travesty of Summer In Paradise.

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« Reply #106 on: February 17, 2017, 08:37:09 PM »

Good points, Craig. Also add Rod Stewart to the list, as the last decade was his biggest commercially successful over his career (despite artistically being the worst)
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« Reply #107 on: February 17, 2017, 09:54:54 PM »

Much is made of the Brian gaining hipster cred in the 90's, and that might mean a lot to some fans who lived through that era; I don't think it meant squat to the other Beach Boys. Mike was on record as calling Brian's 1988 album "a big turkey of an album" because it only made it to 50-something on the charts; so I can't imagine him being impressed by IJWMFTT and Orange Crate Art, which didn't chart at all. Mike has always been interested in being commercial. If given the choice on gambling for a hit record or an artistic record, Mike is always going to shoot for commercial - even if he falls flat on his face.
Mike did an very in depth interview with Goldmine in 1992, where he explained how SIP came to be. He really thought taking control and not having so many cooks in the kitchen was going to give him a monster hit. He also mentioned in that interview that Carl was working with Gerry Beckley and Robert Lamm, so that project goes back to at least 1992. My take on it was, Carl had given up any thought of writing songs for the Beach Boys; the BB's were stuck in the sun, surf and sand formula once again, and his songs did not fit that mold. He just had to find another outlet for his own, more artistically expressive material.
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« Reply #108 on: February 18, 2017, 07:26:59 AM »

After his brief departure from the Beach Boys tour in the early 80s, Carl spent the rest of his life with the group mostly coasting, despite some fine songs on the BB 85 album. And his production taste had gone totally AC (Like a Brother), so he could have dig Imagination. Anyway, the Carl of 69-73 was, by the time of his death, long gone.
Didn't he recognized this to Sean O'Hagan?
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« Reply #109 on: February 18, 2017, 10:42:18 PM »

After his brief departure from the Beach Boys tour in the early 80s, Carl spent the rest of his life with the group mostly coasting, despite some fine songs on the BB 85 album. And his production taste had gone totally AC (Like a Brother), so he could have dig Imagination. Anyway, the Carl of 69-73 was, by the time of his death, long gone.
Didn't he recognized this to Sean O'Hagan?
I know us muso's are supposed to want our heroes to remain cutting edge, the hippest of the hip, but I seriously doubt Carl or any of the Beach Boys were listening to college radio in the 80's/90's, looking to gain the "hip credentials"; they weren't going to go grunge or alternative. It must puzzle Brian to be considered a hero to so many underground or alternative musicians, i'm pretty sure the music he listens to at home is the same as it's always been - Phil Spector, Beatles, Everly Brothers, Stevie Wonder, Fats Domino, Four Freshman.
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« Reply #110 on: February 19, 2017, 06:39:04 AM »

Good points, Craig. Also add Rod Stewart to the list, as the last decade was his biggest commercially successful over his career (despite artistically being the worst)

And John Fogerty
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« Reply #111 on: February 19, 2017, 04:33:26 PM »


I really don't think it was about collaborators ... the group has had so many over the years that I can't imagine "collaborators" (in any form) being a problem in a general sense.


I think that's right. Everyone in the band had worked with outside collaborators by the mid-90s, including Mr "Get me in a room alone with Brian" Love. It wouldn't surprise me if there were tinges of jealousy or hurt now and then when someone did good work with someone else, but on the other hand, it's hard to imagine any of them really resenting it to the point of not doing the good material.

Quite the contrary; I think that even though Mike sang his parts on SMiLE, that he probably didn't mind being a contributing factor to Van ditching the project; I think it's possible he may have subconsciously wanted that result. Maybe he didn't consciously connive to exactly do that, but I cannot imagine Mike would be unaware of what sarcastic/tactless repeated haranguing of an outsider could do to said collaborator's relationship with the Brian.

There's doing good material (Mike singing his parts well, concurrent with also making the environment untenable), and there's doing the material and just going with the flow. There are many ways to torpedo a project, and while I'm glad that he sang his parts, that doesn't mean his resentment didn't help to quash the project. Like SMiLE, I think the Paley material must have been impacted by resentment within the band, in one way or another. There were probably multiple factors, but I cannot imagine band politics and resentment not being part what sank it.

And in discussing the fact that there have been collaborators in the past with the band... just realize that none of them attempted to cowrite and ENTIRE project for the BBs with Brian except Tony and Van. And in both cases, there were some mighty rough patches with regards to interference by jealous bandmates.

I think it's a totally different scenario than a handful of one-off songs in the early days cowritten with Brian by outsiders.

Mike did contribute little (at least in terms of released material) to the LA Light album, but if Brian in 1979 had just decided to start writing up a storm of songs to contribute (with an outside collaborator) to the project, I think that's when you'd start to get Mike finding ways to c*ckblock those songs, or to nitpick them in SOME way in order to make sure that no other outside collaborator would ever find it easy to be Brian's main go-to collaborator guy. Jealousy ain't a pretty thing. I get it, the guys are human. But let's not try to minimize what affect it could have had on messing up projects. It seems pretty obvious to me based on decades-long patterns. I think Mike has an absolute pattern of it; Carl is far more of a mystery for sure.

Not saying that Mike didn't have issues with other writers ... also not saying that didn't potentially affect BW's state of mind, decisions, etc ... but I'm not really trying to psychoanalyze these guys and interpret these dynamics (though they are often fascinating to speculate about) ...

What I am saying is the results show (in my opinion) that the records were recorded, completed, and released despite these kinds of issues. Because there are plenty of examples of tons of records that do not include many Mike Love co-writes (in fact I would argue most of their albums don't have that many). I honestly think the stories about Mike opposing certain tracks (like "Cabinessence", "'Til I Die", or "Summer's Gone", which were all released anyway - case in point) have more to do with him actually having a real issue with the lyrical content. We also have the rumor that he blocked "Carry Me Home" from Made in California ... again, for whatever reason he seems to have actual objections to the material (which I strongly disagree with if it's true). Mike also reportedly didn't like the Adult Child album ... though I'm sure it wasn't released for other reasons (such as a Warner rejection), that record didn't have a writing collaborator either.

Your point seems to be that Brian would have collaborated with specific writers for entire albums after Pet Sounds/Smile if given the chance. I have to say I simply disagree ... I don't think he was particularly interested in seeing any record through from start to finish after Pet Sounds. Don't think Mike or potential issues with collaborators would have changed that ... possibly the opposite; you could argue that without the group nudging him along (particularly Mike co-writing and Carl co-producing), BW might not have completed much of anything himself throughout the '70s.

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« Reply #112 on: February 20, 2017, 05:49:54 PM »


Your point seems to be that Brian would have collaborated with specific writers for entire albums after Pet Sounds/Smile if given the chance. I have to say I simply disagree ... I don't think he was particularly interested in seeing any record through from start to finish after Pet Sounds. Don't think Mike or potential issues with collaborators would have changed that ... possibly the opposite; you could argue that without the group nudging him along (particularly Mike co-writing and Carl co-producing), BW might not have completed much of anything himself throughout the '70s.


Yeah, but that's very much *because* Brian was given such a hard time for having had the "temerity" to collaborate with specific writers for entire albums the only two times he tried it with The BBs (Pet Sounds + SMiLE). Brian's issues with finishing material grew out of the damage that occurred partly as a result of BB bandmate hostility to doing material that would have necessitated outside cowriters.

It's ironic, because the toxic/dysfunctional lesson for Brian to learn was that if Brian had an urge to do material that wasn't what his bandmates (one especially) wanted to/were able to cowrite, then Brian getting another outside writer for a whole project wasn't an acceptable solution; writing material for an outside band like Redwood wasn't an acceptable solution; really, the only solution was to just to be pressured to fall back in line into making "appropriate" music for The BBs, and to quash the urge to evolve as an artist the way he wanted to. It's no wonder Brian developed such complexes and writer's block.

This is why Brian didn't try it again until decades later with Paley when he really needed the assist from a collaborator, and while the Paley sessions suffered a similar fate of rejection by The BBs (ridiculous, considering the drek they'd released for decades sans Brian), in 2012, the one other final time after Pet Sounds/SMiLE that it would be tried with The BBs, fortunately Brian had Melinda (as well as that very collaborator) present to play interference/head off one other member's ego issues, regardless if some of that member's gripes were justified or not.
 
Let's face it: the collaborations Brian did in 1966/1967 led to a passive aggressive cesspool with his cousin (not helped by some other band members, most likely); a situation that was getting worse and worse, with Brian being guilted into "promising" his cousin that the next record would be back to recording with Mike. Incredible that the biggest musical genius of the 20th century was pressured into making promises like that. Nobody makes that kind of promise without being pressured to do so. Ridiculous.

Honestly, yes I *get* how people could get jealous and irked at being cast aside, but if Brian had NOT endured such grief and lack of support (singing ones' parts well, as Mike and The Boys did does not = the internal support that Brian needed) on those two projects, not only would the second of the two likely gotten finished and released, but he'd likely have been more inclined to try writing future BB projects (entire albums) with other collaborators.

Yes, I remain convinced that if his bandmates had been super supportive, they could and would have gotten SMiLE done, come hell or high water. I don't buy it wasn't possible. If Darian was Brian's musical secretary with a laptop (but just one guy), an entire team of 5 other guys willing to be musical secretaries - albeit without laptops - but ready and willing to cut tape, organize Brian's sh*t, and not complain, could have equaled the same result.

Darian was a hired hand who knew he had a job to do, while comparatively, Brian's BB mates didn't have a boss like Melinda, nor did they have an inkling to do anything of the sort. If Darian had complained Mike-style, and acted like a passive aggressive jerk, he probably would have gotten fired; his position was to get results. The Boys in 1966 did not have any such system to make sure they were supportive to their leader - it was a band with a completely different dynamic; the only thing that might have gotten any of them fired would have been completely walking out on a project for good - and even then, family ties - excepting Jardine - would probably have prevented termination.  

Yes, I know it's perhaps not a realistic scenario to retroactively expect a bunch of spoiled, rich young guys in 1966 to have done Herculean tasks like that... but it still could have happened, and I think the myth that it was literally impossible needs to be put to rest.

It's at least partly because Brian grew a negative connotation to the internal resistance and rejection of his more adventurous material that he stopped trying to do entire albums with outside collaborators. It's that very rejection of collaborating with others for entire albums which Brian endured that led to both his increase in self-medication, as well as his motivation drying up.

I don't even want to think what it must *still* have been like, both in the 1990s as well as 2012, for Brian's work with collaborators like Paley and Thomas to yet again have faced rejection from his bandmates. I know Carl bent over backwards in 1977 to make sure that Love You got finished (and as a fan I'm hugely grateful for it), but it's too bad that  internal politics (and a bunch of unknown factors) in the 1990s didn't lead to Carl's similar support happening again with the Paley stuff. Probably it was all still fallout from Landy. Now when it comes to Mike crudely making fun of songs like Summer's Gone - and knowingly having the chutzpah to do it on a PUBLIC level - I really just have no words; that's next level sh*t.
« Last Edit: February 20, 2017, 06:30:33 PM by CenturyDeprived » Logged
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« Reply #113 on: February 20, 2017, 08:24:11 PM »

Yeah, but that's very much *because* Brian was given such a hard time for having had the "temerity" to collaborate with specific writers for entire albums the only two times he tried it with The BBs (Pet Sounds + SMiLE). Brian's issues with finishing material grew out of the damage that occurred partly as a result of BB bandmate hostility to doing material that would have necessitated outside cowriters.

It's ironic, because the toxic/dysfunctional lesson for Brian to learn was that if Brian had an urge to do material that wasn't what his bandmates (one especially) wanted to/were able to cowrite, then Brian getting another outside writer for a whole project wasn't an acceptable solution; writing material for an outside band like Redwood wasn't an acceptable solution; really, the only solution was to just to be pressured to fall back in line into making "appropriate" music for The BBs, and to quash the urge to evolve as an artist the way he wanted to. It's no wonder Brian developed such complexes and writer's block.

This is why Brian didn't try it again until decades later with Paley when he really needed the assist from a collaborator, and while the Paley sessions suffered a similar fate of rejection by The BBs (ridiculous, considering the drek they'd released for decades sans Brian), in 2012, the one other final time after Pet Sounds/SMiLE that it would be tried with The BBs, fortunately Brian had Melinda (as well as that very collaborator) present to play interference/head off one other member's ego issues, regardless if some of that member's gripes were justified or not.
 
Let's face it: the collaborations Brian did in 1966/1967 led to a passive aggressive cesspool with his cousin (not helped by some other band members, most likely); a situation that was getting worse and worse, with Brian being guilted into "promising" his cousin that the next record would be back to recording with Mike. Incredible that the biggest musical genius of the 20th century was pressured into making promises like that. Nobody makes that kind of promise without being pressured to do so. Ridiculous.

Honestly, yes I *get* how people could get jealous and irked at being cast aside, but if Brian had NOT endured such grief and lack of support (singing ones' parts well, as Mike and The Boys did does not = the internal support that Brian needed) on those two projects, not only would the second of the two likely gotten finished and released, but he'd likely have been more inclined to try writing future BB projects (entire albums) with other collaborators.

Yes, I remain convinced that if his bandmates had been super supportive, they could and would have gotten SMiLE done, come hell or high water. I don't buy it wasn't possible. If Darian was Brian's musical secretary with a laptop (but just one guy), an entire team of 5 other guys willing to be musical secretaries - albeit without laptops - but ready and willing to cut tape, organize Brian's sh*t, and not complain, could have equaled the same result.

Darian was a hired hand who knew he had a job to do, while comparatively, Brian's BB mates didn't have a boss like Melinda, nor did they have an inkling to do anything of the sort. If Darian had complained Mike-style, and acted like a passive aggressive jerk, he probably would have gotten fired; his position was to get results. The Boys in 1966 did not have any such system to make sure they were supportive to their leader - it was a band with a completely different dynamic; the only thing that might have gotten any of them fired would have been completely walking out on a project for good - and even then, family ties - excepting Jardine - would probably have prevented termination.  

Yes, I know it's perhaps not a realistic scenario to retroactively expect a bunch of spoiled, rich young guys in 1966 to have done Herculean tasks like that... but it still could have happened, and I think the myth that it was literally impossible needs to be put to rest.

It's at least partly because Brian grew a negative connotation to the internal resistance and rejection of his more adventurous material that he stopped trying to do entire albums with outside collaborators. It's that very rejection of collaborating with others for entire albums which Brian endured that led to both his increase in self-medication, as well as his motivation drying up.

I don't even want to think what it must *still* have been like, both in the 1990s as well as 2012, for Brian's work with collaborators like Paley and Thomas to yet again have faced rejection from his bandmates. I know Carl bent over backwards in 1977 to make sure that Love You got finished (and as a fan I'm hugely grateful for it), but it's too bad that  internal politics (and a bunch of unknown factors) in the 1990s didn't lead to Carl's similar support happening again with the Paley stuff. Probably it was all still fallout from Landy. Now when it comes to Mike crudely making fun of songs like Summer's Gone - and knowingly having the chutzpah to do it on a PUBLIC level - I really just have no words; that's next level sh*t.
OSD, this sums up my feelings about Brian's psyche regarding the collapse of SMiLE.  I don't buy the drugs messing things up either.  I think first and foremost, Brian didn't want to upset anyone in his creative zone, and as people became impatient, plus ingroup splintering, the project fell apart.  Still wish the Paley stuff was released in high quality though.  It is a true shame that so much of Brian's music has been kept in the vaults.  Heck, I still want to hear Just an Imitation or Song to God, but we will probably never get to hear those because of Beach Boys 'branding issues' or the tapes were lost, or never worked on because the Beach Boys refused, and other such things.

Sorry about that rant though, I let my rage spill out lol.
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« Reply #114 on: February 21, 2017, 09:11:33 AM »

Much is made of the Brian gaining hipster cred in the 90's, and that might mean a lot to some fans who lived through that era; I don't think it meant squat to the other Beach Boys. Mike was on record as calling Brian's 1988 album "a big turkey of an album" because it only made it to 50-something on the charts; so I can't imagine him being impressed by IJWMFTT and Orange Crate Art, which didn't chart at all. Mike has always been interested in being commercial. If given the choice on gambling for a hit record or an artistic record, Mike is always going to shoot for commercial - even if he falls flat on his face.
Mike did an very in depth interview with Goldmine in 1992, where he explained how SIP came to be. He really thought taking control and not having so many cooks in the kitchen was going to give him a monster hit. He also mentioned in that interview that Carl was working with Gerry Beckley and Robert Lamm, so that project goes back to at least 1992. My take on it was, Carl had given up any thought of writing songs for the Beach Boys; the BB's were stuck in the sun, surf and sand formula once again, and his songs did not fit that mold. He just had to find another outlet for his own, more artistically expressive material.

Mike definitely does measure success by chart position and sales, not by critical acclaim. But one thing trumps even that with Mike, and that's his ego. Witness how he has never really discussed the utter failure of "SIP" as arguably the biggest bomb of the BBs career, and how when "That's Why God Made the Radio" WAS a hit (making it to #3 on Billboard, the best chart position of any original studio album in their CAREER outside of "Surfin' USA" and "Summer Days" which both hit #2, and bettering even any live and compilation stuff outside of "Concert" and "Endless Summer", not to mention #1 on Amazon), he even downplayed *that* in later interviews, scoffing at how it didn't sustain its chart position, showing his utter lack of understanding as to how most chart activity occurs, to say nothing of ignoring that "Kokomo" didn't stay at #1 for very long either (wasn't it a single week at #1?).

I do agree that the BBs at large in the early-mid 90s had little knowledge of their building "indie cred", and certainly therefore a lack of interest in it. I think eventually some of the band members, specifically Brian and Al, came to understand this a bit more. I think Carl may have come around eventually had he lived; even if he would have kept his sort of bland MOR/AC proclivities on new material, I think he eventually could have embraced the gaining momentum for appreciation of the band's deeper back catalog and performing that in concert.

For Mike, it seems to be more about control. He'll add deep cuts to his setlist when it's his idea (or one of "his" guys in his band). That he would seem thrown for a loop when Brian suggested "Marcella" in 2012, was arguably/rumored to have rejected doing "Surf's Up" in 2012 (despite Scott Totten saying otherwise), Mike post-C50 was more than happy to do "'Til I Die" and "Surf's Up" without Brian or Al, when it was *his* choice to add them.
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« Reply #115 on: February 21, 2017, 09:19:42 AM »

Consider that Don Was in making the Brian documentary when he did was tapped into that buzz, as he himself experienced firsthand what all the underground began name-checking and discussing, and in the early 90's actually had access to via the CD reissues.

It's the fact that, yes, the band didn't seem to acknowledge it or act on it enough to do something with it...and isn't that one of the main problems? It was an issue that carried itself through the immediate future even after Carl's passing, where choices were made to be the stage act in that Yankee Stadium video and in Philly July 4th '95 versus giving an entirely new category of fans (and a lot of them younger musicians) something beyond the live revue to latch onto and connect to the legacy recordings that were not getting on the oldies radio formats.
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ďSome people think you have to knock somebody down in order to build yourself up, I donít look at it that way. To the mentality that likes to disparage other people, I say perhaps you should get a life. Itís just wrong thinking in my opinion and I donít mind saying that.Ē - Mike Love

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« Reply #116 on: February 21, 2017, 09:29:03 AM »

I also think Brian building up his own "brand" in the late 90s and especially 2000s also gave him more weight to throw around within the BB/BRI organization.

Let's say the band had thrown around the idea of marketing a "Reunion" in 1996 or 97 or 98 or so, with Brian fully involved in a new album and tour, and had pitched it as Brian and an outside writer making most of the album without the band, and then Brian had suggested dumping most of the touring band for his own hand-picked players.

I don't think that would have gotten off the ground in the late 90s. But by working more on his live shows, by simply doing more, and then building a provably great band, and then proving he could get good critical notices on solo material, and with a build up of the "Smile" mystique and the band's deep catalog to a larger audience, it was doable in 2012, at least long enough for Joe Thomas to secure enough cash to make people happy for six or nine months.
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« Reply #117 on: February 21, 2017, 09:41:51 AM »


Your point seems to be that Brian would have collaborated with specific writers for entire albums after Pet Sounds/Smile if given the chance. I have to say I simply disagree ... I don't think he was particularly interested in seeing any record through from start to finish after Pet Sounds. Don't think Mike or potential issues with collaborators would have changed that ... possibly the opposite; you could argue that without the group nudging him along (particularly Mike co-writing and Carl co-producing), BW might not have completed much of anything himself throughout the '70s.


Yeah, but that's very much *because* Brian was given such a hard time for having had the "temerity" to collaborate with specific writers for entire albums the only two times he tried it with The BBs (Pet Sounds + SMiLE). Brian's issues with finishing material grew out of the damage that occurred partly as a result of BB bandmate hostility to doing material that would have necessitated outside cowriters.

It's ironic, because the toxic/dysfunctional lesson for Brian to learn was that if Brian had an urge to do material that wasn't what his bandmates (one especially) wanted to/were able to cowrite, then Brian getting another outside writer for a whole project wasn't an acceptable solution; writing material for an outside band like Redwood wasn't an acceptable solution; really, the only solution was to just to be pressured to fall back in line into making "appropriate" music for The BBs, and to quash the urge to evolve as an artist the way he wanted to. It's no wonder Brian developed such complexes and writer's block.

This is why Brian didn't try it again until decades later with Paley when he really needed the assist from a collaborator, and while the Paley sessions suffered a similar fate of rejection by The BBs (ridiculous, considering the drek they'd released for decades sans Brian), in 2012, the one other final time after Pet Sounds/SMiLE that it would be tried with The BBs, fortunately Brian had Melinda (as well as that very collaborator) present to play interference/head off one other member's ego issues, regardless if some of that member's gripes were justified or not.
 
Let's face it: the collaborations Brian did in 1966/1967 led to a passive aggressive cesspool with his cousin (not helped by some other band members, most likely); a situation that was getting worse and worse, with Brian being guilted into "promising" his cousin that the next record would be back to recording with Mike. Incredible that the biggest musical genius of the 20th century was pressured into making promises like that. Nobody makes that kind of promise without being pressured to do so. Ridiculous.

Honestly, yes I *get* how people could get jealous and irked at being cast aside, but if Brian had NOT endured such grief and lack of support (singing ones' parts well, as Mike and The Boys did does not = the internal support that Brian needed) on those two projects, not only would the second of the two likely gotten finished and released, but he'd likely have been more inclined to try writing future BB projects (entire albums) with other collaborators.

Yes, I remain convinced that if his bandmates had been super supportive, they could and would have gotten SMiLE done, come hell or high water. I don't buy it wasn't possible. If Darian was Brian's musical secretary with a laptop (but just one guy), an entire team of 5 other guys willing to be musical secretaries - albeit without laptops - but ready and willing to cut tape, organize Brian's sh*t, and not complain, could have equaled the same result.

Darian was a hired hand who knew he had a job to do, while comparatively, Brian's BB mates didn't have a boss like Melinda, nor did they have an inkling to do anything of the sort. If Darian had complained Mike-style, and acted like a passive aggressive jerk, he probably would have gotten fired; his position was to get results. The Boys in 1966 did not have any such system to make sure they were supportive to their leader - it was a band with a completely different dynamic; the only thing that might have gotten any of them fired would have been completely walking out on a project for good - and even then, family ties - excepting Jardine - would probably have prevented termination.  

Yes, I know it's perhaps not a realistic scenario to retroactively expect a bunch of spoiled, rich young guys in 1966 to have done Herculean tasks like that... but it still could have happened, and I think the myth that it was literally impossible needs to be put to rest.

It's at least partly because Brian grew a negative connotation to the internal resistance and rejection of his more adventurous material that he stopped trying to do entire albums with outside collaborators. It's that very rejection of collaborating with others for entire albums which Brian endured that led to both his increase in self-medication, as well as his motivation drying up.

I don't even want to think what it must *still* have been like, both in the 1990s as well as 2012, for Brian's work with collaborators like Paley and Thomas to yet again have faced rejection from his bandmates. I know Carl bent over backwards in 1977 to make sure that Love You got finished (and as a fan I'm hugely grateful for it), but it's too bad that  internal politics (and a bunch of unknown factors) in the 1990s didn't lead to Carl's similar support happening again with the Paley stuff. Probably it was all still fallout from Landy. Now when it comes to Mike crudely making fun of songs like Summer's Gone - and knowingly having the chutzpah to do it on a PUBLIC level - I really just have no words; that's next level sh*t.

Most of your post is uncontroversial and I don't really disagree ...

But I don't think the issue is whether or not Mike and the Beach Boys contributed (directly or indirectly) to an environment that was not exactly friendly toward Brian exploring his creativity to the fullest extent. I think that is well-established. The environment in which Smile did not come to fruition is well-established. I just personally don't think it had much to do with outside collaborators as a general thing. Van Dyke Parks (as an individual person) was involved, but my opinion is it was more the content of his lyrics that Mike found objectionable rather than the fact that Brian was collaborating with someone else. Mike might not have liked it personally (in his heart), but I think that those were likely private feelings. You look at someone like Stephen Kalinich, who wrote with all of the Wilson brothers and also was (and still is) friends with Mike. The "outside collaborators" element just doesn't add up to me. If Brian and Stevie wrote an album together (in fact, they kind of did, A World of Peace Must Come), I don't think Mike or the rest of the guys would have a problem with that ... so long as it wasn't taking away from their meat and potatoes.

Redwood is a good example actually ... the issue there was that Brian was taking potential HITS (i.e., income) away from the group. And what did they do? They apparently stifled the project and brought the songs into the Beach Boys and got a Top 20 hit of out it. I don't think we should underestimate the power of the business in the Beach Boys story ... quite frankly, with regard to the Paley material, the guys might have felt they'd be dealing with another Love You and didn't have interest because of $$$ ...

The history of the group's albums shows that Brian very distinctly lost interest in seeing records through to completion in 1967. The only proof we need is the "Produced by The Beach Boys" credit.
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« Reply #118 on: February 21, 2017, 09:44:40 AM »

Consider that Don Was in making the Brian documentary when he did was tapped into that buzz, as he himself experienced firsthand what all the underground began name-checking and discussing, and in the early 90's actually had access to via the CD reissues.

It's the fact that, yes, the band didn't seem to acknowledge it or act on it enough to do something with it...and isn't that one of the main problems? It was an issue that carried itself through the immediate future even after Carl's passing, where choices were made to be the stage act in that Yankee Stadium video and in Philly July 4th '95 versus giving an entirely new category of fans (and a lot of them younger musicians) something beyond the live revue to latch onto and connect to the legacy recordings that were not getting on the oldies radio formats.
Do you have nightmares about Philly July 4 '95 once a month? That is one strange concert from the BBs....
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« Reply #119 on: February 21, 2017, 09:48:31 AM »

Much is made of the Brian gaining hipster cred in the 90's, and that might mean a lot to some fans who lived through that era; I don't think it meant squat to the other Beach Boys. Mike was on record as calling Brian's 1988 album "a big turkey of an album" because it only made it to 50-something on the charts; so I can't imagine him being impressed by IJWMFTT and Orange Crate Art, which didn't chart at all. Mike has always been interested in being commercial. If given the choice on gambling for a hit record or an artistic record, Mike is always going to shoot for commercial - even if he falls flat on his face.
Mike did an very in depth interview with Goldmine in 1992, where he explained how SIP came to be. He really thought taking control and not having so many cooks in the kitchen was going to give him a monster hit. He also mentioned in that interview that Carl was working with Gerry Beckley and Robert Lamm, so that project goes back to at least 1992. My take on it was, Carl had given up any thought of writing songs for the Beach Boys; the BB's were stuck in the sun, surf and sand formula once again, and his songs did not fit that mold. He just had to find another outlet for his own, more artistically expressive material.

Mike definitely does measure success by chart position and sales, not by critical acclaim. But one thing trumps even that with Mike, and that's his ego. Witness how he has never really discussed the utter failure of "SIP" as arguably the biggest bomb of the BBs career, and how when "That's Why God Made the Radio" WAS a hit (making it to #3 on Billboard, the best chart position of any original studio album in their CAREER outside of "Surfin' USA" and "Summer Days" which both hit #2, and bettering even any live and compilation stuff outside of "Concert" and "Endless Summer", not to mention #1 on Amazon), he even downplayed *that* in later interviews, scoffing at how it didn't sustain its chart position, showing his utter lack of understanding as to how most chart activity occurs, to say nothing of ignoring that "Kokomo" didn't stay at #1 for very long either (wasn't it a single week at #1?).

I do agree that the BBs at large in the early-mid 90s had little knowledge of their building "indie cred", and certainly therefore a lack of interest in it. I think eventually some of the band members, specifically Brian and Al, came to understand this a bit more. I think Carl may have come around eventually had he lived; even if he would have kept his sort of bland MOR/AC proclivities on new material, I think he eventually could have embraced the gaining momentum for appreciation of the band's deeper back catalog and performing that in concert.

For Mike, it seems to be more about control. He'll add deep cuts to his setlist when it's his idea (or one of "his" guys in his band). That he would seem thrown for a loop when Brian suggested "Marcella" in 2012, was arguably/rumored to have rejected doing "Surf's Up" in 2012 (despite Scott Totten saying otherwise), Mike post-C50 was more than happy to do "'Til I Die" and "Surf's Up" without Brian or Al, when it was *his* choice to add them.

Bruce was aware of the building cred and attempted to capitalize on it ... Brian was also aware at the time.
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« Reply #120 on: February 21, 2017, 09:54:45 AM »

Most of your post is uncontroversial and I don't really disagree ...

I don't think the issue is whether or not Mike and the Beach Boys contributed (directly or indirectly) to an environment that was not exactly friendly toward Brian exploring his creativity to the fullest extent. I think that is well-established. The environment in which Smile did not come to fruition is well-established. I just personally don't think it had much to do with outside collaborators as a general thing. Van Dyke Parks (as an individual person) was involved, but my opinion is it was more the content of his lyrics that Mike found objectionable rather than the fact that Brian was collaborating with someone else. Mike might not have liked it personally (in his heart), but I think that those were likely private feelings. You look at someone like Stephen Kalinich, who wrote with all of the Wilson brothers and also was (and still is) friends with Mike. The "outside collaborators" element just doesn't add up to me. If Brian and Stevie wrote an album together (in fact, they kind of did, A World of Peace Must Come), I don't think Mike or the rest of the guys would have a problem with that ... so long as it wasn't taking away from their meat and potatoes.

Redwood is a good example actually ... the issue there was that Brian was taking potential HITS (i.e., income) away from the group. And what did they do? They apparently stifled the project and brought the songs into the Beach Boys and got a Top 20 hit of out it. I don't think we should underestimate the power of the business in the Beach Boys story business ... quite frankly, with regard to the Paley material, the guys might have felt they'd be dealing with another Love You and didn't have interest because $$$ ... I disagree, I think it would have actually been commercially viable.

The history of the group's albums shows that Brian very distinctly lost interest in seeing records through to completion in 1967. The only proof we need is the "Produced by The Beach Boys" credit.

While I don't think Mike simply has a problem with *any* outside writer off the bat, no questions asked, I do think it goes a bit beyond simply only objecting to the content of outside writers.

Case in point, I'm *pretty* sure that while Mike poo-pooed the ending suite on TWGMTR, he was mostly annoyed with Joe Thomas in regard specifically to the album because of money/royalties and billing/visibility/ego.

Mike is benevolent or ambivalent about anything, including outside writers, when it's no skin off his back. Kalinich wrote some lyrics to songs that weren't hits. Kalinich *didn't* write a full BB album with Brian, nor did anyone outside of Asher and Parks, and Mike seem to have varying levels of misgivings about both PS and Smile.

I think for both political as well as artistic reasons, I could easily envision the other BBs back in the late 60s or 70s objecting to an album *full* of Kalinich lyrics.

Isn't there some circumstantial evidence that Mike (among others, including Murry) weren't exactly enamored with Brian writing with Gary Usher for instance? I don't think anybody could have strong objections to Usher's lyrics on that early stuff.
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« Reply #121 on: February 21, 2017, 09:57:46 AM »

Bruce was aware of the building cred and attempted to capitalize on it ... Brian was also aware at the time.

Bruce, yes. Sort of. But he's such an odd duck, and the way he angled at the O'Hagan thing in the 90s was ill-advised and seemed stunningly kind of ignorant as to the politics of it all. He had the foresight (I guess) to think of O'Hagan, but then O'Hagan's own description of how Bruce attempted to "prep" O'Hagan for dealing with Mike and the band showed a complete ignorance as to how O'Hagan or someone like him would ever want to approach such a project.
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« Reply #122 on: February 21, 2017, 10:07:27 AM »

Bruce was aware of the building cred and attempted to capitalize on it ... Brian was also aware at the time.

Bruce, yes. Sort of. But he's such an odd duck, and the way he angled at the O'Hagan thing in the 90s was ill-advised and seemed stunningly kind of ignorant as to the politics of it all. He had the foresight (I guess) to think of O'Hagan, but then O'Hagan's own description of how Bruce attempted to "prep" O'Hagan for dealing with Mike and the band showed a complete ignorance as to how O'Hagan or someone like him would ever want to approach such a project.

Didn't say they were good at it, but at least aware Smiley
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« Reply #123 on: February 21, 2017, 10:13:34 AM »

I was reading back through excerpts from the "Uncut" piece that focused on the Bruce/Sean O'Hagan stuff, and I actually found a tiny bit interesting I relation to the large question we've been asking in this thread of what Carl's deal was around that time, and how resigned or enthusiastic he was about what was going on at that time in terms of new material and the live show:

It got madder. Sean was told he was to play live with The Beach Boys in front of 60,000 rednecks in a stadium in Cincinnati, surrounded by pink balloons and ra-ra-skirted cheerleaders. Carl Wilson, already undergoing treatment for cancer, was friendly enough, as was his wife, Gina, Dean Martin's daughter, who O'Hagan recalls cringing at the whole overblown charade.

Now, this doesn't tell us a whole lot, but I think it's interesting that Carl's wife (who as we all know has never said much of anything publicly *ever* about anything to do with Carl or the Beach Boys) was "cringing" at the whole overblown charade of the live show/tour at that time. That's not to say her opinion was identical to Carl's, but I would tend to doubt Carl was super enthused about what the live show had become at that stage.
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« Reply #124 on: February 21, 2017, 10:16:19 AM »

Bruce was aware of the building cred and attempted to capitalize on it ... Brian was also aware at the time.

Bruce, yes. Sort of. But he's such an odd duck, and the way he angled at the O'Hagan thing in the 90s was ill-advised and seemed stunningly kind of ignorant as to the politics of it all. He had the foresight (I guess) to think of O'Hagan, but then O'Hagan's own description of how Bruce attempted to "prep" O'Hagan for dealing with Mike and the band showed a complete ignorance as to how O'Hagan or someone like him would ever want to approach such a project.

Didn't say they were good at it, but at least aware Smiley

True, fair enough. Though, the Uncut piece on the O'Hagan debacle I was just reading through seemed to imply Bruce's (and Brian's for that matter) affinity for O'Hagan's "Hawaii" was more the cause of wanting to work with him than gaining "cred." That is, if the song had been written and produced by Neil Diamond, maybe they would have then sought him out because they liked that song. I'm oversimplifying I'm sure; I would imagine O'Hagan's age and "newness" played a role as well. But all the references to what drew Bruce and Brian to the guy seem to revolve around liking a song he did.
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