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Author Topic: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread  (Read 28197 times)
DonnyL
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« Reply #125 on: February 21, 2017, 10:50:32 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.

As is typical on this board, once again this thread has derailed into "Mike did it".

That is a fair point in some instance, but ultimately ... I highly doubt Mike not liking BW working with collaborators was the reason the Paley sessions didn't happen. Seriously.

It's getting tough to have a reasonable conversation about the Beach Boys lately.
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« Reply #126 on: February 21, 2017, 11:00:03 AM »


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.

Thing is: Mike not only wants money for songwriting credits, but he also wants everyone in the world to feel that he - and his songwriting expertise - is an incredibly valuable, essential element to BB songs, and I truthfully think he is deeply resentful that large swaths of fans/critics view the material WITHOUT his input as being the very best in the catalog, and in some cases, the only worthy material in the catalog.

That of course is a silly, shortsighted view for any critic/fan to have, and of course Mike has cowritten some great songs... but the bottom line is that for someone with a super fragile ego (Mike), an entire album for HIS BAND that is cowritten by Brian with an outsider was always, always gonna be an issue, especially if that project is a high profile project that isn't getting Mike an ounce of public accolades/respect in terms of influential people saying "wow, look what Mike's songwriting contributed to these amazing songs". If that isn't even on the table as something that Mike could strive towards happening, I think he was not only going to be disinterested/disheartened by the project, but I believe he went so far as to do passive aggressive moves to sabotage the project/elements of the project in all sorts of untold ways.

Again, if Joe Thomas had been on as weak footing in 2012 as a young VDP was in 1966 (and no Melinda lurking in the shadows), I have every reason to believe that TWGMTR wouldn't have been finished at all, or certainly not with Mike (and perhaps not with Bruce either). Perhaps Joe and/or Melinda did or said whatever they had to do to retain Mike's presence, and do all sorts of Herculean convoluted moves in order to get Mike to stick around (maybe he had signed contracts which if he violated, could have turned really ugly).

Consider this: if Mike had a literal team of people whose specific job it was to make sure that he stayed in line, acted as a buffer, etc in 1966, I have every reason to believe that Van would not have been harangued, would have stayed, and the project could likely have gotten finished. For all his faults in terms of questionable production choices, we are lucky to have had Joe Thomas in 2012 because there's no way a BB reunion album could have gotten done without him. The lack of a Joe Thomas figure in the 1990s has to be why the Paley material fell apart. What a damn shame.


As is typical on this board, once again this thread has derailed into "Mike did it".

That is a fair point in some instance, but ultimately ... I highly doubt Mike not liking BW working with collaborators was the reason the Paley sessions didn't happen. Seriously.

It's getting tough to have a reasonable conversation about the Beach Boys lately.

I don't think that there's evidence that Mike not liking BW working with collaborators was the single reason for the Paley sessions not happening, but I think it's fair to surmise, based on numerous other examples, that there's a solid chance this *may* have been a contributing factor. Examples of Brian's work with Kalinich don't hold much water in an argument implying that Mike was ok with other collaborators, because again that example wasn't for an entire BB album, and certainly not a high profile project at all.

There are literally zero examples of Brian cowriting an entire BB album with an outsider and it not devolving into some major drama with at least some of his bandmates, with Mike being the one with the biggest problem every single time. The examples we have are Pet Sounds, SMiLE, and TWGMTR.  I imagine with the Paley material there were other factors, and there are certainly unknowns with regards to Carl's mindset. And I don't *want* to blame Mike, I don't get any pleasure out of it. But I can't ignore what seems to have been a decades-long pattern, and it seems unlikely that suddenly in the 1990s, Mike was hunky dory with another collaborator swooping in - ESPECIALLY right after winning a bunch of songwriting credits in the lawsuit, when Mike getting credits was surely at the forefront of his mind.

Do you really think it's logical to think that Mike would just be cool with it, particularly considering his mindset in 2012, and how he publicly complained about how he didn't get to write this, that, and the other thing on that project? Why would the guy who felt that way in 2012 have been passive about being the main collaborative Brian Wilson songwriter on BB material just a decade and a half earlier? Respectfully speaking, I just don't see how that's a logical conclusion to make.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2017, 11:43:28 AM by CenturyDeprived » Logged
DonnyL
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« Reply #127 on: February 21, 2017, 11:50:26 AM »


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.

Thing is: Mike not only wants money for songwriting credits, but he also wants everyone in the world to feel that he - and his songwriting expertise - is an incredibly valuable, essential element to BB songs, and I truthfully think he is deeply resentful that large swaths of fans/critics view the material WITHOUT his input as being the very best in the catalog, and in some cases, the only worthy material in the catalog.

That of course is a silly, shortsighted view for any critic/fan to have, and of course Mike has cowritten some great songs... but the bottom line is that for someone with a super fragile ego (Mike), an entire album for HIS BAND that is cowritten by Brian with an outsider was always, always gonna be an issue, especially if that project is a high profile project that isn't getting Mike an ounce of public accolades/respect in terms of influential people saying "wow, look what Mike's songwriting contributed to these amazing songs". If that isn't even on the table as something that Mike could strive towards happening, I think he was not only going to be disinterested/disheartened by the project, but I believe he went so far as to do passive aggressive moves to sabotage the project/elements of the project in all sorts of untold ways.

Again, if Joe Thomas had been on as weak footing in 2012 as a young VDP was in 1966 (and no Melinda lurking in the shadows), I have every reason to believe that TWGMTR wouldn't have been finished at all, or certainly not with Mike (and perhaps not with Bruce either). Perhaps Joe and/or Melinda did or said whatever they had to do to retain Mike's presence, and do all sorts of Herculean convoluted moves in order to get Mike to stick around (maybe he had signed contracts which if he violated, could have turned really ugly).

Consider this: if Mike had a literal team of people whose specific job it was to make sure that he stayed in line, acted as a buffer, etc in 1966, I have every reason to believe that Van would not have been harangued, would have stayed, and the project could likely have gotten finished. For all his faults in terms of questionable production choices, we are lucky to have had Joe Thomas in 2012 because there's no way a BB reunion album could have gotten done without him. The lack of a Joe Thomas figure in the 1990s has to be why the Paley material fell apart. What a damn shame.


As is typical on this board, once again this thread has derailed into "Mike did it".

That is a fair point in some instance, but ultimately ... I highly doubt Mike not liking BW working with collaborators was the reason the Paley sessions didn't happen. Seriously.

It's getting tough to have a reasonable conversation about the Beach Boys lately.

I don't think that there's evidence that Mike not liking BW working with collaborators was the single reason for the Paley sessions not happening, but I think it's fair to surmise, based on numerous other examples, that there's a solid chance this *may* have been a contributing factor. Examples of Brian's work with Kalinich don't hold much water in an argument implying that Mike was ok with other collaborators, because again that example wasn't for an entire BB album, and certainly not a high profile project at all.

There are literally zero examples of Brian cowriting an entire BB album with an outsider and it not devolving into some major drama with at least some of his bandmates, with Mike being the one with the biggest problem every single time. The examples we have are Pet Sounds, SMiLE, and TWGMTR.  I imagine with the Paley material there were other factors, and there are certainly unknowns with regards to Carl's mindset. And I don't *want* to blame Mike, I don't get any pleasure out of it. But I can't ignore what seems to have been a decades-long pattern, and it seems unlikely that suddenly in the 1990s, Mike was hunky dory with another collaborator swooping in - ESPECIALLY right after winning a bunch of songwriting credits in the lawsuit, when Mike getting credits was surely at the forefront of his mind.

Do you really think it's logical to think that Mike would just be cool with it, particularly considering his mindset in 2012, and how he publicly complained about how he didn't get to write this, that, and the other thing on that project? Why would the guy who felt that way in 2012 have been passive about being the main collaborative Brian Wilson songwriter on BB material just a decade and a half earlier? Respectfully speaking, I just don't see how that's a logical conclusion to make.

I see Iíve been sucked into ďBrian vs. MikeĒ.

Surfiní Safari happened (more or less a BW-Usher LP), Pet Sounds happened (more or less a BW-Asher LP) Ö and most records in-between were not writing collaborations with specific lyricists. Most records since were not writing collaborations with specific lyricists. This leads me to believe that Brian does not have a consistent history of writing complete albums with specific collaborators, but it does happen occasionally.

The idea that beginning with Pet Sounds, Brian set out on a series of potential albums which would subsequently feature a specific songwriting collaborator, and this was thwarted by Mike Love (and to a lesser degree, the rest of the band) is conjecture and I donít think the historical data supports it. Smile is the only example of that POSSIBLY occurring, and there are plenty of other (more likely, in my opinion) reasons why Smile wasnít finished.

Once again, I donít really think Mike was totally cool with the songwriting on Surfin' Safari and Pet Sounds. But I also donít think it stopped the albums from being released. I honestly donít think Mike has very much power in a studio setting. Heís a supporting player on recordings, and I believe thatís partially why he focuses so much on live shows, which is where he has full control.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2017, 11:54:27 AM by DonnyL » Logged

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« Reply #128 on: February 21, 2017, 12:26:04 PM »

As is typical on this board, once again this thread has derailed into "Mike did it".

That is a fair point in some instance, but ultimately ... I highly doubt Mike not liking BW working with collaborators was the reason the Paley sessions didn't happen. Seriously.

It's getting tough to have a reasonable conversation about the Beach Boys lately.

I don't think this thread is breaking down into some epic "Mike vs. Brian" thing.

I don't think anybody has asserted that Mike not liking Brian working with outside collaborators led to the demise of the Paley sessions.

Rather, the discussion moved back to the more broad topic of Mike's attitude towards the concept of Brian working with others. All things considered, I think the evidence suggests Mike tolerated it, often didn't care one way or the other, and on rare occasions seemed to celebrate it. It would be weird if Mike *didn't* have some level of jealousness or uncomfortable feelings with Brian ditching him and working with other lyricists.

I think he's so protective of his and Brian's "writing team" reputation that he doesn't tend to gush about how great other writers were. Even guys like Roger Christian are often relegated to forms of faint praise, with Mike often noting how he simply didn't know all of the idioms and jargon of hotrods and whatnot.

I don't think Mike walked into the Paley sessions, saw that Brian had worked with someone else, and walked on the sessions because of it. Indeed, he didn't "walk" at all. However, I find it very plausible that Mike would take issue not so much with it being Andy Paley, but more with it *not* being him, with Brian writing with others *to the exclusion* of writing with Mike.

Brian's co-writer *not* being Mike may not *kill* any given project. But it often plays a part in ambivalence if not negative feelings towards a project. TWGMTR is a great example of this.

I *also* think that folks have in the past made compelling arguments that Mike, at least in 1966-67 (not so much in the present day) had a *valid* argument to make that he could have written more lyrics to "Pet Sounds" and "Smile", and done so successfully. Maybe not that he could have written *all* the lyrics, but the "Good Vibrations" edition of Mike, the guy that could write *those* lyrics, I think could have argued he could do more than he did on the PS and Smile. I had never thought much of this idea until Howie Edelson touched on it in a thread some time back when the topic of alternate universes where Mike wrote lyrics for PS and Smile were discussed. It was a compelling way to look at it.
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« Reply #129 on: February 21, 2017, 12:34:29 PM »

Once again, I donít really think Mike was totally cool with the songwriting on Surfin' Safari and Pet Sounds. But I also donít think it stopped the albums from being released. I honestly donít think Mike has very much power in a studio setting. Heís a supporting player on recordings, and I believe thatís partially why he focuses so much on live shows, which is where he has full control.

And this may be where some of the disconnect is happening. I can only speak for myself, but I'm not arguing that Mike having some issue with outside writers (either specific writers of the concept of a non-Mike lyricist) would kill a project all on its own.

I'm simply saying it's pretty clear based on the available evidence that Mike had at a various stages ambivalence, distaste, mixed feelings, jealousy, fear of lost of songwriting income, fear of loss of control, etc. as a result of Brian working with outside writers.

This sole issue didn't tend to kill any projects. But it certainly didn't help in many cases. Mike being the third wheel in the Brian-Joe Thomas-Mike relationship certainly was a part of why C50 didn't last. I'm willing to wager that wasn't all due to non-musical business machinations (though that was surely a big part as well), but also a case of Mike looking at the sleeve and seeing "B.Wilson/J.Thomas" over and over and over, with Milias, Peterik and even Jon Bon Freaking Jovi on there to boot.
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« Reply #130 on: February 21, 2017, 12:49:20 PM »

Once again, I donít really think Mike was totally cool with the songwriting on Surfin' Safari and Pet Sounds. But I also donít think it stopped the albums from being released. I honestly donít think Mike has very much power in a studio setting. Heís a supporting player on recordings, and I believe thatís partially why he focuses so much on live shows, which is where he has full control.

And this may be where some of the disconnect is happening. I can only speak for myself, but I'm not arguing that Mike having some issue with outside writers (either specific writers of the concept of a non-Mike lyricist) would kill a project all on its own.

I'm simply saying it's pretty clear based on the available evidence that Mike had at a various stages ambivalence, distaste, mixed feelings, jealousy, fear of lost of songwriting income, fear of loss of control, etc. as a result of Brian working with outside writers.

This sole issue didn't tend to kill any projects. But it certainly didn't help in many cases. Mike being the third wheel in the Brian-Joe Thomas-Mike relationship certainly was a part of why C50 didn't last. I'm willing to wager that wasn't all due to non-musical business machinations (though that was surely a big part as well), but also a case of Mike looking at the sleeve and seeing "B.Wilson/J.Thomas" over and over and over, with Milias, Peterik and even Jon Bon Freaking Jovi on there to boot.

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« Reply #131 on: February 21, 2017, 01:12:02 PM »

As is typical on this board, once again this thread has derailed into "Mike did it".

That is a fair point in some instance, but ultimately ... I highly doubt Mike not liking BW working with collaborators was the reason the Paley sessions didn't happen. Seriously.

It's getting tough to have a reasonable conversation about the Beach Boys lately.

I don't think this thread is breaking down into some epic "Mike vs. Brian" thing.

I don't think anybody has asserted that Mike not liking Brian working with outside collaborators led to the demise of the Paley sessions.

Rather, the discussion moved back to the more broad topic of Mike's attitude towards the concept of Brian working with others. All things considered, I think the evidence suggests Mike tolerated it, often didn't care one way or the other, and on rare occasions seemed to celebrate it. It would be weird if Mike *didn't* have some level of jealousness or uncomfortable feelings with Brian ditching him and working with other lyricists.

I think he's so protective of his and Brian's "writing team" reputation that he doesn't tend to gush about how great other writers were. Even guys like Roger Christian are often relegated to forms of faint praise, with Mike often noting how he simply didn't know all of the idioms and jargon of hotrods and whatnot.

I don't think Mike walked into the Paley sessions, saw that Brian had worked with someone else, and walked on the sessions because of it. Indeed, he didn't "walk" at all. However, I find it very plausible that Mike would take issue not so much with it being Andy Paley, but more with it *not* being him, with Brian writing with others *to the exclusion* of writing with Mike.

Brian's co-writer *not* being Mike may not *kill* any given project. But it often plays a part in ambivalence if not negative feelings towards a project. TWGMTR is a great example of this.

I *also* think that folks have in the past made compelling arguments that Mike, at least in 1966-67 (not so much in the present day) had a *valid* argument to make that he could have written more lyrics to "Pet Sounds" and "Smile", and done so successfully. Maybe not that he could have written *all* the lyrics, but the "Good Vibrations" edition of Mike, the guy that could write *those* lyrics, I think could have argued he could do more than he did on the PS and Smile. I had never thought much of this idea until Howie Edelson touched on it in a thread some time back when the topic of alternate universes where Mike wrote lyrics for PS and Smile were discussed. It was a compelling way to look at it.

Not epic, but certainly derailing ...

The discussed indeed moved to Mike having a problem with Brian working with outside collaborators. I don't believe this lead to albums not being completed (based on many albums with outside collaborators having been completed and released).

Regarding the topic at hand, the Paley sessions ... I simply don't think this was much of a factor at all. In fact, wasn't Mike involved in writing lyrics for some of the potential songs?

So yes, this topic is getting derailed by the typical politics of this board. We just need some jokers to join in with the usual choruses and Smiley faces ... then the thread ends.
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« Reply #132 on: February 21, 2017, 01:19:06 PM »

Once again, I donít really think Mike was totally cool with the songwriting on Surfin' Safari and Pet Sounds. But I also donít think it stopped the albums from being released. I honestly donít think Mike has very much power in a studio setting. Heís a supporting player on recordings, and I believe thatís partially why he focuses so much on live shows, which is where he has full control.

And this may be where some of the disconnect is happening. I can only speak for myself, but I'm not arguing that Mike having some issue with outside writers (either specific writers of the concept of a non-Mike lyricist) would kill a project all on its own.

I'm simply saying it's pretty clear based on the available evidence that Mike had at a various stages ambivalence, distaste, mixed feelings, jealousy, fear of lost of songwriting income, fear of loss of control, etc. as a result of Brian working with outside writers.

This sole issue didn't tend to kill any projects. But it certainly didn't help in many cases. Mike being the third wheel in the Brian-Joe Thomas-Mike relationship certainly was a part of why C50 didn't last. I'm willing to wager that wasn't all due to non-musical business machinations (though that was surely a big part as well), but also a case of Mike looking at the sleeve and seeing "B.Wilson/J.Thomas" over and over and over, with Milias, Peterik and even Jon Bon Freaking Jovi on there to boot.

Is it pretty clear?

I think aside from looking at the drama surrounding the events, we could take a deep breath and look at the results of these events.

The Paley sessions were not completed by the Beach Boys. Yet they were also not released by Brian as a solo artist.
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« Reply #133 on: February 21, 2017, 01:27:57 PM »

Once again, I donít really think Mike was totally cool with the songwriting on Surfin' Safari and Pet Sounds. But I also donít think it stopped the albums from being released. I honestly donít think Mike has very much power in a studio setting. Heís a supporting player on recordings, and I believe thatís partially why he focuses so much on live shows, which is where he has full control.

And this may be where some of the disconnect is happening. I can only speak for myself, but I'm not arguing that Mike having some issue with outside writers (either specific writers of the concept of a non-Mike lyricist) would kill a project all on its own.

I'm simply saying it's pretty clear based on the available evidence that Mike had at a various stages ambivalence, distaste, mixed feelings, jealousy, fear of lost of songwriting income, fear of loss of control, etc. as a result of Brian working with outside writers.

This sole issue didn't tend to kill any projects. But it certainly didn't help in many cases. Mike being the third wheel in the Brian-Joe Thomas-Mike relationship certainly was a part of why C50 didn't last. I'm willing to wager that wasn't all due to non-musical business machinations (though that was surely a big part as well), but also a case of Mike looking at the sleeve and seeing "B.Wilson/J.Thomas" over and over and over, with Milias, Peterik and even Jon Bon Freaking Jovi on there to boot.

Is it really pretty clear?

I think aside from looking at the drama surrounding the events, we could take a deep breath and look at the results of these events.

The Paley sessions were not completed by the Beach Boys. Yet they were also not released by Brian as a solo artist.

Yes, I think it's pretty clear. Again, I'm talking about Mike's apparent/expressed *feelings*. That is a completely separate issue from the *result*, as in what is released and not released.

I'm not talking about Mike not liking something and therefore refusing to sing on the sessions, or therefore blocking a release. I'm talking about Mike not liking something, but begrudgingly or ambivalently going along with it.

Has anyone here ever worked on any sort of project with someone who is very "meh" about it, maybe mixed in with a bit of passive aggressive resistance? It can be *a* factor in that thing then not happening, and/or it can be an unfortunate roadblock that is overcome.

Mike says in Carlin's Brian bio something to the effect that he was "willing" to work on the Paley material, but he wasn't sure how enthusiastic they were about it. I'll have to dig the book out to get the exact quote. But my takeaway was not at all that Mike thwarted that project. Rather, he and other participants were "meh" about the whole thing and that contributed to a lack of forward momentum. If Mike had come away thinking the material was amazing and was super enthused about, then *maybe* that could have helped. It doesn't mean it's Mike's fault it didn't happen, though.
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« Reply #134 on: February 21, 2017, 01:40:26 PM »

Once again, I donít really think Mike was totally cool with the songwriting on Surfin' Safari and Pet Sounds. But I also donít think it stopped the albums from being released. I honestly donít think Mike has very much power in a studio setting. Heís a supporting player on recordings, and I believe thatís partially why he focuses so much on live shows, which is where he has full control.

And this may be where some of the disconnect is happening. I can only speak for myself, but I'm not arguing that Mike having some issue with outside writers (either specific writers of the concept of a non-Mike lyricist) would kill a project all on its own.

I'm simply saying it's pretty clear based on the available evidence that Mike had at a various stages ambivalence, distaste, mixed feelings, jealousy, fear of lost of songwriting income, fear of loss of control, etc. as a result of Brian working with outside writers.

This sole issue didn't tend to kill any projects. But it certainly didn't help in many cases. Mike being the third wheel in the Brian-Joe Thomas-Mike relationship certainly was a part of why C50 didn't last. I'm willing to wager that wasn't all due to non-musical business machinations (though that was surely a big part as well), but also a case of Mike looking at the sleeve and seeing "B.Wilson/J.Thomas" over and over and over, with Milias, Peterik and even Jon Bon Freaking Jovi on there to boot.

Is it really pretty clear?

I think aside from looking at the drama surrounding the events, we could take a deep breath and look at the results of these events.

The Paley sessions were not completed by the Beach Boys. Yet they were also not released by Brian as a solo artist.

Yes, I think it's pretty clear. Again, I'm talking about Mike's apparent/expressed *feelings*. That is a completely separate issue from the *result*, as in what is released and not released.

I'm not talking about Mike not liking something and therefore refusing to sing on the sessions, or therefore blocking a release. I'm talking about Mike not liking something, but begrudgingly or ambivalently going along with it.

Has anyone here ever worked on any sort of project with someone who is very "meh" about it, maybe mixed in with a bit of passive aggressive resistance? It can be *a* factor in that thing then not happening, and/or it can be an unfortunate roadblock that is overcome.

Mike says in Carlin's Brian bio something to the effect that he was "willing" to work on the Paley material, but he wasn't sure how enthusiastic they were about it. I'll have to dig the book out to get the exact quote. But my takeaway was not at all that Mike thwarted that project. Rather, he and other participants were "meh" about the whole thing and that contributed to a lack of forward momentum. If Mike had come away thinking the material was amazing and was super enthused about, then *maybe* that could have helped. It doesn't mean it's Mike's fault it didn't happen, though.

Obviously, a cheerleader vs. a reluctant participant is a night and day difference.

It does seem apparent (and uncontroversial) that the Beach Boys were not particularly enthused with the material. This seems to be the major contributing factor to why the project did not come together.

The issue is that this has somehow derailed into ďMike has a problem with Brian working with outside collaboratorsĒ. Which may or may not be true. But in my opinion, has little to do with the Paley material not being completed.
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« Reply #135 on: February 21, 2017, 01:52:14 PM »

As the original poster fruitlessly trying to reign in his own thread: Yes there were issues with Mike, but I am more focused on Carl, perhaps Melinda (but I'm not sure about opening that can of worms), Joe Thomas, and Don Was' effects on what ultimately happened, as well as hoping that these tracks will gain a form of release (not counting GiOMH).  Hopefully that made sense lol.
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« Reply #136 on: February 21, 2017, 01:56:41 PM »

Quote
The issue is that this has somehow derailed into ďMike has a problem with Brian working with outside
I certainly don't think it helped, but IMHO the main issue seemed not to be Mike vs Brian, but more  Everybody else (including Mike) vs Brian.
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« Reply #137 on: February 21, 2017, 11:04:54 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.

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.
I think part of Mike's problem with the reunion album was that it didn't stay on the charts for 6 months. I don't think Mike was particularly tuned into how albums by "legacy artists" do in the 2010's. Bob Dylan's come out, debut in the top 10, and are completely off the charts within weeks. Paul McCartney and the Rolling Stones don't have radio hits these days. Mike probably expected that the reunion would give them a hit of "Kokomo" proportions - true, it was only #1 for a week, but it was on the singles chart for half a year, and everybody knows it. The only people that know TWGMTR material are the ones that bought the album. Mike's expectations were unrealistic. I'm sure he doesn't listen to current music on the radio, unless he's got some of his kids playing it to him. But these days recording is secondary to playing live; the fans don't care about hearing anything new, they want the old material, specifically deep cuts from beloved albums. I doubt there is anyone at Mike's or Brian's concerts calling out for "Isn't it Time" or "Spring Vacation".
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« Reply #138 on: February 22, 2017, 12:19:24 AM »

I believe this is the full list of Paley Session tracks that have made it out on bootleg:

1.   Gettin' In Over My Head
2.   You're Still a Mystery feat. The Beach Boys
3.   Chain Reaction of Love
4.   Soul Searchin' feat. The Beach Boys
5.   It's Not Easy Being Me
6.   Desert Drive
7.   Saturday Morning in the City
8.   This Song Wants to Sleep With You Tonight
9.   Market Place
10.   I'm Broke
11.   Must Be a Miracle
12.   In My Moondreams
13.   Mary Anne
14.   Slightly American Music
15.   Proud Mary
16.   Frankie Avalon    
17.   Elbow 63'    
18.   Dancing The Night Away (Vocal)    
19.   Dancing The Night Away (Instrumental)    
20.   God Did It    
21.   Going Home    
22.   Some Sweet Day    
23.   What Rock 'n' Roll Can Do

I remember in an article from ESQ there were other songs mentioned as well, but I can't remember any of those titles now.
Thanks for that. Sorry for not thanking you before. I must have missed it somehow.  Smiley
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« Reply #139 on: February 22, 2017, 05:42:05 AM »

I don't really care about what went on between Carl and Brian during the 90s - too complex to understand it seems, so best to just focus on the music, which I think is great. Too bad Brian released some inferior versions of several Paley songs on GIOMH. I think that was a mistake.
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« Reply #140 on: February 22, 2017, 06:07:47 AM »

Three more songs mentioned here (Lee Dempsey's post):

http://smileysmile.net/board/index.php?action=printpage;topic=19876.0.
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« Reply #141 on: February 22, 2017, 07:02:54 AM »

Obviously, a cheerleader vs. a reluctant participant is a night and day difference.

It does seem apparent (and uncontroversial) that the Beach Boys were not particularly enthused with the material. This seems to be the major contributing factor to why the project did not come together.

The issue is that this has somehow derailed into ďMike has a problem with Brian working with outside collaboratorsĒ. Which may or may not be true. But in my opinion, has little to do with the Paley material not being completed.


The conversation did indeed shift over to Mike's attitude towards outside collaborators, and we certainly have plenty of circumstantial and anecdotal evidence to chew on in that regard.

However, considering that that "Paley Sessions" were made literally exclusively of material Brian wrote with an outside writer (aside from apparently some Mike contributions to "Dancing the Night Away/Baywatch Nights"), I don't think the admittedly murky question of Mike's attitude towards "outside collaborators" is totally unrelated to the Paley sessions.

While not a driving factor, I don't think it's out of line to wonder if Mike was not a big fan of doing the "Pet Sounds" thing over again where he comes in do just do bass vocals and possibly some leads set to music Brian wrote *and* recorded outside of the group.

That detailed account of one of the 1995 "reunion" sessions from Cindy Lee Berryhill was interesting, and shows an arguably antagonistic Mike in the studio, seeming either unaware or feigning unawareness of who has even written the stuff he's singing, the stuff in question being "You're Still a Mystery" and "Soul Searchin'." Again, as was the case with his attitude towards the "ending suite" to TWGMTR, Mike seems to have trouble connecting with lyrics he didn't write in some cases. A genuine inability to connect to someone else's writing in *some* cases may be yet another reason he tended to have mixed feelings about outside collaborators. It seems to be an attitude that not much of anyone else in the band seemed to have, as they were of course regularly singing stuff other people wrote. But it's interesting; can you imagine Brian showing up to the "Getcha Back" session grumbling "Who's writing is this?"
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« Reply #142 on: February 22, 2017, 07:44:12 AM »

Food for thought.



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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 #143 on: February 22, 2017, 10:24:23 AM »


I think part of Mike's problem with the reunion album was that it didn't stay on the charts for 6 months. I don't think Mike was particularly tuned into how albums by "legacy artists" do in the 2010's. Bob Dylan's come out, debut in the top 10, and are completely off the charts within weeks. Paul McCartney and the Rolling Stones don't have radio hits these days. Mike probably expected that the reunion would give them a hit of "Kokomo" proportions - true, it was only #1 for a week, but it was on the singles chart for half a year, and everybody knows it. The only people that know TWGMTR material are the ones that bought the album. Mike's expectations were unrealistic. I'm sure he doesn't listen to current music on the radio, unless he's got some of his kids playing it to him. But these days recording is secondary to playing live; the fans don't care about hearing anything new, they want the old material, specifically deep cuts from beloved albums. I doubt there is anyone at Mike's or Brian's concerts calling out for "Isn't it Time" or "Spring Vacation".


That is all true, but the other thing is, that you just KNOW if Mike had gotten to write with Brian in a room, and felt respected, then the same reunion album gets to the exact same chart position (and drops off just as fast), Mike would be bragging about that chart position, talking about how it was an amazing comeback, etc. It's all just sour grapes; Mike can spin something any which way he wants to depending on if it suits the narrative he wishes to push. I can empathize that he didn't get to write in the way that he wanted to, but it's laughable to whine about the lack of success of that album. It's as nutty as 50 years later trying to say that he should have added his own lyrical ideas to Pet Sounds in order to make it better/more commercial.
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« Reply #144 on: February 22, 2017, 12:59:09 PM »

Great stuff GF....
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And production aside, Iíd so much rather hear a 14 year old David Marks shred some guitar on Chug-a-lug than hear a 51 year old Mike Love sing about bangin some chick in a swimming pool.-rab2591
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« Reply #145 on: February 22, 2017, 01:52:36 PM »

Here's a blog post with the pertinent parts of the Uncut article featuring Bruce, Sean O'Hagan, etc.:

http://uncanny1.blogspot.com/2005/05/brian-wilsonandy-paleysean-ohagan.html
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« Reply #146 on: February 22, 2017, 02:01:49 PM »

A June 1997 "Request" article:

https://web.archive.org/web/19980630153717/http://www.petsounds.com/request.pdf

Not sure how reliably-sourced this article outside of Paley's direct comments. The article states the other Beach Boys "were politely supportive, but ultimately declined his invitation", yet they obviously did sing on several songs.
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« Reply #147 on: February 22, 2017, 02:08:05 PM »

2000 "Bandwidth" article with a little additional postmortem from O'Hagan:

"I didn't go out of my way to meet Brian, and I wouldn't have wanted to," O'Hagan recently told Bandwidth. "I'm happy enough to have been influenced by Brian Wilson and to still listen to and enjoy the music he made. Plus, Mike Love was pretty much an asshole to me."

http://www.browardpalmbeach.com/music/bandwidth-6324781
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« Reply #148 on: February 22, 2017, 03:07:25 PM »

A June 1997 "Request" article:

https://web.archive.org/web/19980630153717/http://www.petsounds.com/request.pdf

Not sure how reliably-sourced this article outside of Paley's direct comments. The article states the other Beach Boys "were politely supportive, but ultimately declined his invitation", yet they obviously did sing on several songs.

"sound more like Kenny G."  I'm pretty sure that was actually a Joe Thomas quote from the Imagination era.
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« Reply #149 on: February 28, 2017, 02:29:02 AM »

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zQGb379AntA&feature=youtu.be

Brian and Mike on Entertainment Tonight March 1995. Brian plays a lil bit of Dancing the Night Away on a piano
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