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Author Topic: Endless Harmony doc interviews  (Read 1558 times)
GoogaMooga
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« on: April 17, 2017, 08:14:16 AM »

I am halfway through Endless Harmony, breaking there because my mother is also watching. I like having interview footage with seven main Beach Boys, and even Glen Campbell! Not to mention Carol Kaye and Hal Blaine from the Wrecking Crew. And Terry Melcher and Dean Torrance. Must be the only doc with so  many interviews. But I think all interviews fall short of their goal. I never expected much from Brian, as he is wary of interviews, but the others, well, in that company, Brian actually does rather well. The problem is everyone is reduced to soundbites, as the filmmakers are too keen on cutting fast to avoid boring the audience. So we never really get to the bottom of anything much. Dennis and Carl of course appear in old clips, so there would be some constraints there, but I'd have let the others go on a bit more. It was a bold move to do without narration, but the idea of letting soundbites carry the whole film, well, the subjects should have had more to say. I think the definitive BB doc has yet to be made, though that might be too late now.
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« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2017, 09:04:14 AM »

I am halfway through Endless Harmony, breaking there because my mother is also watching. I like having interview footage with seven main Beach Boys, and even Glen Campbell! Not to mention Carol Kaye and Hal Blaine from the Wrecking Crew. And Terry Melcher and Dean Torrance. Must be the only doc with so  many interviews. But I think all interviews fall short of their goal. I never expected much from Brian, as he is wary of interviews, but the others, well, in that company, Brian actually does rather well. The problem is everyone is reduced to soundbites, as the filmmakers are too keen on cutting fast to avoid boring the audience. So we never really get to the bottom of anything much. Dennis and Carl of course appear in old clips, so there would be some constraints there, but I'd have let the others go on a bit more. It was a bold move to do without narration, but the idea of letting soundbites carry the whole film, well, the subjects should have had more to say. I think the definitive BB doc has yet to be made, though that might be too late now.

Even though, to date, it's still the best documentary on The Beach Boys, telling the full (at the time) 38 year history of the group was a tall order in under two hours. 

I think they took a page from The Beatles Anthology with letting the interviews and music tell the story, and I definitely prefer this method to the Behind the Music style narration. 

There was talk of another doc in 2012, but I guess Doin It Again was the result. 
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« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2017, 09:41:17 AM »

In my view, this is an excellent film - and Alan Boyd is a very gifted filmmaker who happens to combine his tremendous talents with his unique insider perspective on the band.   I saw another thread, in response to an upcoming Grateful Dead documentary from Scorsese, which asked why the "definitive" documentary about the Beach Boys has never been made.

To tell the story properly would need - literally - hours of screen time.  It took episodes to tell the story of the Beatles - and that only covered 13 years.  You'd need at least three times that to cover the Beach Boys' checkered history.

So for me, from a feature film perspective, Boyd's Endless Harmony IS the definitive Beach Boys film.
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« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2017, 09:44:04 AM »


There was talk of another doc in 2012, but I guess Doin It Again was the result. 

Never heard of that one, available on DVD?
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« Reply #4 on: April 17, 2017, 09:44:16 AM »

Would love to see all the outtakes for these interviews, but I won't hold my breath at all that they'll ever see the light of day. I think that the definitive, multi-part, extensive Ken Burns-style documentary has yet to be made about the band. I hope it will one day. Yet I sadly think that it won't be until the principal players are no longer with us that this could be possible.

Every current documentary on the band, not to mention interview footage that is going to get released, has to toe the line of pleasing everyone and not offending the living players too much. To give an analogy, any documentary about the band made during everyone's lifetime is going to be the documentary equivalent of the album TWGMTR. A compromise to make sure that ego issues are dealt with, and that there won't be legal or other repercussions for getting into the nitty gritty too deeply. It's really never gonna be a fully honest doc.

It's kind of how I wonder how much of the real sh*t talking about Murry in interviews/docs would be different if Murry lived until his late 90s and was still alive today. I think the interviewees would attempt to tackle the subject matter, but their statement would *have* to be reserved in order to keep peace in the family.

Another example, Brian with his own lips said that Mike was one of the main reasons for SMiLE's demise (in the Beautiful Dreamer doc). Yet Mike has publicly ignored that this statement was ever made.  So let's say that a multi-part documentary wants to expound upon that statement, and do a good 15-20 minutes in the documentary talking about that specific subject in the context of the band's history. I just don't see that ever happening without that filmmaker feeling like their vision will be muzzled; a section in a film like that could probably never be made for many years. Until a filmmaker can honestly get into talking about any/all subjects that they feel are pertinent to the story, the end result is going to be a compromise, and not anything approaching the definitive story.

That said, Endless Harmony is rad for what it is.
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GoogaMooga
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« Reply #5 on: April 17, 2017, 09:45:31 AM »

In my view, this is an excellent film - and Alan Boyd is a very gifted filmmaker who happens to combine his tremendous talents with his unique insider perspective on the band.   I saw another thread, in response to an upcoming Grateful Dead documentary from Scorsese, which asked why the "definitive" documentary about the Beach Boys has never been made.

To tell the story properly would need - literally - hours of screen time.  It took episodes to tell the story of the Beatles - and that only covered 13 years.  You'd need at least three times that to cover the Beach Boys' checkered history.

So for me, from a feature film perspective, Boyd's Endless Harmony IS the definitive Beach Boys film.

Yes, as it stands. But wouldn't you have preferred the interviews to go on just a little bit longer?
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« Reply #6 on: April 17, 2017, 09:47:41 AM »

Would love to see all the outtakes for these interviews, but I won't hold my breath at all that they'll ever see the light of day. I think that the definitive, multi-part, extensive Ken Burns-style documentary has yet to be made about the band. I hope it will one day. Yet I sadly think that it won't be until the principal players are no longer with us that this could be possible.

Every current documentary on the band, not to mention interview footage that is going to get released, has to toe the line of pleasing everyone and not offending the living players too much. To give an analogy, any documentary about the band made during everyone's lifetime is going to be the documentary equivalent of the album TWGMTR. A compromise to make sure that ego issues are dealt with, and that there won't be legal or other repercussions for getting into the nitty gritty too deeply. It's really never gonna be a fully honest doc.

It's kind of how I wonder how much of the real sh*t talking about Murry in interviews/docs would be different if Murry lived until his late 90s and was still alive today. I think the interviewees would attempt to tackle the subject matter, but their statement would *have* to be reserved in order to keep peace in the family.

Another example, Brian with his own lips said that Mike was one of the main reasons for SMiLE's demise (in the Beautiful Dreamer doc). Yet Mike has publicly ignored that this statement was ever made. So let's say that a documentary wants to expound upon that statement, and do a good 15-20 minutes in the documentary talking about that specific subject in the context of the band. I just don't see that ever happening without that filmmaker feeling like their vision will be muzzled; a section in a film like that could probably never be made for many years. Until a filmmaker can honestly get into talking about any/all subjects that they feel are pertinent to the story, the end result is going to be a compromise, and not anything approaching the definitive story.

That said, Endless Harmony is rad for what it is.

Such a doc (series) would definitely require narration.
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CenturyDeprived
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« Reply #7 on: April 17, 2017, 09:49:51 AM »

Would love to see all the outtakes for these interviews, but I won't hold my breath at all that they'll ever see the light of day. I think that the definitive, multi-part, extensive Ken Burns-style documentary has yet to be made about the band. I hope it will one day. Yet I sadly think that it won't be until the principal players are no longer with us that this could be possible.

Every current documentary on the band, not to mention interview footage that is going to get released, has to toe the line of pleasing everyone and not offending the living players too much. To give an analogy, any documentary about the band made during everyone's lifetime is going to be the documentary equivalent of the album TWGMTR. A compromise to make sure that ego issues are dealt with, and that there won't be legal or other repercussions for getting into the nitty gritty too deeply. It's really never gonna be a fully honest doc.

It's kind of how I wonder how much of the real sh*t talking about Murry in interviews/docs would be different if Murry lived until his late 90s and was still alive today. I think the interviewees would attempt to tackle the subject matter, but their statement would *have* to be reserved in order to keep peace in the family.

Another example, Brian with his own lips said that Mike was one of the main reasons for SMiLE's demise (in the Beautiful Dreamer doc). Yet Mike has publicly ignored that this statement was ever made. So let's say that a documentary wants to expound upon that statement, and do a good 15-20 minutes in the documentary talking about that specific subject in the context of the band. I just don't see that ever happening without that filmmaker feeling like their vision will be muzzled; a section in a film like that could probably never be made for many years. Until a filmmaker can honestly get into talking about any/all subjects that they feel are pertinent to the story, the end result is going to be a compromise, and not anything approaching the definitive story.

That said, Endless Harmony is rad for what it is.

Such a doc (series) would definitely require narration.

If the narration could be spoken or sung in multi-part harmony, I'm all for it.
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« Reply #8 on: April 17, 2017, 11:32:44 AM »


There was talk of another doc in 2012, but I guess Doin It Again was the result. 

Never heard of that one, available on DVD?

It is.  It was released towards the end of the summer 2012.   It's only about 55 minutes, and tells a brief history of the band, with some talk about the reunion.  It also includes some in studio footage of the recording of Good Vibrations, and five songs from the C50 Tour. 

If you can get it on the cheap, it's worth having. 

In regards to Endless Harmony.  Another thought I had is that there are great bands who don't even have a documentary this good (Pink Floyd comes to mind). 
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« Reply #9 on: April 17, 2017, 11:43:54 AM »

I think Alan Boyd has always done absolutely as much as he can within the confines of whatever the project is. Sometimes more.

You have to remember that "Endless Harmony" wasn't a case of an independent filmmaker setting out to make whatever documentary he wanted. I don't know all of the particulars of how the EH doc deal came about, but I would imagine BRI (possibly in conjunction with Capitol) gave Boyd a timeline and budget and some basic framework for the project (e.g. "Do a 90-minute cut for VH1, and then we can maybe go to 105 minutes for home video"). The film also surely had a limit as to how "warts and all" it could get. The Landy saga alone could make a two hour documentary, but Boyd's film handles the Landy situation as well as it possibly can within a BRI-approved film and within the span of only a few minutes of screen time.

Boyd's film is not only the best currently available, I have no doubt that it's the best a film *could have* been made within the constraints put on that project. (Also keeping mind he did in 1998 during one of the most testy/trying times as far as BRI politics were concerned; Carl had just died, Al and Mike were on the outs, etc.). It's probably a small miracle Marks, Chaplin, and Fataar were even mentioned (the latter two only in the DVD edit as I recall), none of whom were even mentioned in 1984's "An American Band." Even mentioning Brian's post-Landy 1977-1982 decline was revelatory at the time the doc was aired.

That all being said, a much longer, better, more definitive documentary *could* and *should* be made, and the clock is ticking on how long these guys have left to sit for *IN-DEPTH* interviews. While I'd love a 50-hour documentary on the BBs, I don't even think it would require like *three times* as long as the "Beatles Anthology" because, let's face it, there's a point in the BB story starting in the 80s where there isn't a ton to talk about, especially musically. (I'd love two hours just on the 1981-82 Carl-less tour, but that's unrealistic). There's also likely less 60s press conference and music footage to mine for the BBs compared to the Beatles. But I think even something like a 6-hour doc, maybe three two-hour parts, would be great. Even better would be something more approaching ten hours. BRI should commission a filmmaker to do it, and do it without whitewashing it. They could even do a shorter, 2 or 2 1/2 hour edit on the film and service it to film festivals and the like.

Not only is the BBs music *more* important than countless other music documentaries, I would also say that even if one were simply looking for a salacious, "Behind the Music" type story filled with tragedy and epic disagreements and sex and drugs and rock and roll and all of that, the Beach Boys' story is pretty unrivalled.

I get why, say, a definitive documentary on ELO will never be made. The music is great, and hardcore fans want to hear the story, but nobody else cares and Jeff Lynne, while wrapped up in some business deals that led to some politics, is a pretty boring guy.

But the Beach Boys have the music story to beat everyone, and could also get into countless squabbles and relationship problems and drugs and booze and all of that, and they could even do it *without* even mentioning Charles Manson.
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« Reply #10 on: April 17, 2017, 11:45:51 AM »


There was talk of another doc in 2012, but I guess Doin It Again was the result. 

Never heard of that one, available on DVD?

It is.  It was released towards the end of the summer 2012.   It's only about 55 minutes, and tells a brief history of the band, with some talk about the reunion.  It also includes some in studio footage of the recording of Good Vibrations, and five songs from the C50 Tour. 

If you can get it on the cheap, it's worth having. 

In regards to Endless Harmony.  Another thought I had is that there are great bands who don't even have a documentary this good (Pink Floyd comes to mind). 

"Doin' It Again" is a must for the C50 album/tour coverage and the unearthed GV '66 session footage. As a "documentary" as such it isn't really substantive. It's kind of a really good EPK; it would have made more sense as the bonus DVD in a "TWGMTR" deluxe set or something. To relegate all of that to 55 minutes was ridiculous. Better than nothing of course.
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« Reply #11 on: April 17, 2017, 11:48:18 AM »


There was talk of another doc in 2012, but I guess Doin It Again was the result. 

Never heard of that one, available on DVD?

It is.  It was released towards the end of the summer 2012.   It's only about 55 minutes, and tells a brief history of the band, with some talk about the reunion.  It also includes some in studio footage of the recording of Good Vibrations, and five songs from the C50 Tour. 

If you can get it on the cheap, it's worth having. 

In regards to Endless Harmony.  Another thought I had is that there are great bands who don't even have a documentary this good (Pink Floyd comes to mind). 

"Doin' It Again" is a must for the C50 album/tour coverage and the unearthed GV '66 session footage. As a "documentary" as such it isn't really substantive. It's kind of a really good EPK; it would have made more sense as the bonus DVD in a "TWGMTR" deluxe set or something. To relegate all of that to 55 minutes was ridiculous. Better than nothing of course.

I think Doin It Again was paired with the C50 concert DVD in the UK.   
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« Reply #12 on: April 17, 2017, 11:49:01 AM »

Would love to see all the outtakes for these interviews, but I won't hold my breath at all that they'll ever see the light of day. I think that the definitive, multi-part, extensive Ken Burns-style documentary has yet to be made about the band. I hope it will one day. Yet I sadly think that it won't be until the principal players are no longer with us that this could be possible.

Every current documentary on the band, not to mention interview footage that is going to get released, has to toe the line of pleasing everyone and not offending the living players too much. To give an analogy, any documentary about the band made during everyone's lifetime is going to be the documentary equivalent of the album TWGMTR. A compromise to make sure that ego issues are dealt with, and that there won't be legal or other repercussions for getting into the nitty gritty too deeply. It's really never gonna be a fully honest doc.

It's kind of how I wonder how much of the real sh*t talking about Murry in interviews/docs would be different if Murry lived until his late 90s and was still alive today. I think the interviewees would attempt to tackle the subject matter, but their statement would *have* to be reserved in order to keep peace in the family.

Another example, Brian with his own lips said that Mike was one of the main reasons for SMiLE's demise (in the Beautiful Dreamer doc). Yet Mike has publicly ignored that this statement was ever made. So let's say that a documentary wants to expound upon that statement, and do a good 15-20 minutes in the documentary talking about that specific subject in the context of the band. I just don't see that ever happening without that filmmaker feeling like their vision will be muzzled; a section in a film like that could probably never be made for many years. Until a filmmaker can honestly get into talking about any/all subjects that they feel are pertinent to the story, the end result is going to be a compromise, and not anything approaching the definitive story.

That said, Endless Harmony is rad for what it is.

Such a doc (series) would definitely require narration.

Nah, the Beatles Anthology pulled off 10 hours without narration. It works better that way. Of course, to do that, one needs *extensive* interview access to all living members and a good archive of interviews as well.

I don't need a Beach Boys documentary narrated by Jeff Bridges or Ewan McGregor or Sigourney Weaver or something.
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« Reply #13 on: April 17, 2017, 11:50:02 AM »


There was talk of another doc in 2012, but I guess Doin It Again was the result. 

Never heard of that one, available on DVD?

It is.  It was released towards the end of the summer 2012.   It's only about 55 minutes, and tells a brief history of the band, with some talk about the reunion.  It also includes some in studio footage of the recording of Good Vibrations, and five songs from the C50 Tour. 

If you can get it on the cheap, it's worth having. 

In regards to Endless Harmony.  Another thought I had is that there are great bands who don't even have a documentary this good (Pink Floyd comes to mind). 

"Doin' It Again" is a must for the C50 album/tour coverage and the unearthed GV '66 session footage. As a "documentary" as such it isn't really substantive. It's kind of a really good EPK; it would have made more sense as the bonus DVD in a "TWGMTR" deluxe set or something. To relegate all of that to 55 minutes was ridiculous. Better than nothing of course.

I think Doin It Again was paired with the C50 concert DVD in the UK.   

Yep, it makes more sense as a sort of "Value Pack" along those lines. I like having both separately on Blu-ray as far as cultivating a collection, but they indeed don't really actually warrant separate releases.
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« Reply #14 on: April 17, 2017, 11:50:15 AM »

I think Alan Boyd has always done absolutely as much as he can within the confines of whatever the project is. Sometimes more.

You have to remember that "Endless Harmony" wasn't a case of an independent filmmaker setting out to make whatever documentary he wanted. I don't know all of the particulars of how the EH doc deal came about, but I would imagine BRI (possibly in conjunction with Capitol) gave Boyd a timeline and budget and some basic framework for the project (e.g. "Do a 90-minute cut for VH1, and then we can maybe go to 105 minutes for home video"). The film also surely had a limit as to how "warts and all" it could get. The Landy saga alone could make a two hour documentary, but Boyd's film handles the Landy situation as well as it possibly can within a BRI-approved film and within the span of only a few minutes of screen time.

Boyd's film is not only the best currently available, I have no doubt that it's the best a film *could have* been made within the constraints put on that project. (Also keeping mind he did in 1998 during one of the most testy/trying times as far as BRI politics were concerned; Carl had just died, Al and Mike were on the outs, etc.). It's probably a small miracle Marks, Chaplin, and Fataar were even mentioned (the latter two only in the DVD edit as I recall), none of whom were even mentioned in 1984's "An American Band." Even mentioning Brian's post-Landy 1977-1982 decline was revelatory at the time the doc was aired.

That all being said, a much longer, better, more definitive documentary *could* and *should* be made, and the clock is ticking on how long these guys have left to sit for *IN-DEPTH* interviews. While I'd love a 50-hour documentary on the BBs, I don't even think it would require like *three times* as long as the "Beatles Anthology" because, let's face it, there's a point in the BB story starting in the 80s where there isn't a ton to talk about, especially musically. (I'd love two hours just on the 1981-82 Carl-less tour, but that's unrealistic). There's also likely less 60s press conference and music footage to mine for the BBs compared to the Beatles. But I think even something like a 6-hour doc, maybe three two-hour parts, would be great. Even better would be something more approaching ten hours. BRI should commission a filmmaker to do it, and do it without whitewashing it. They could even do a shorter, 2 or 2 1/2 hour edit on the film and service it to film festivals and the like.

Not only is the BBs music *more* important than countless other music documentaries, I would also say that even if one were simply looking for a salacious, "Behind the Music" type story filled with tragedy and epic disagreements and sex and drugs and rock and roll and all of that, the Beach Boys' story is pretty unrivalled.

I get why, say, a definitive documentary on ELO will never be made. The music is great, and hardcore fans want to hear the story, but nobody else cares and Jeff Lynne, while wrapped up in some business deals that led to some politics, is a pretty boring guy.

But the Beach Boys have the music story to beat everyone, and could also get into countless squabbles and relationship problems and drugs and booze and all of that, and they could even do it *without* even mentioning Charles Manson.

For an ELO doc, you'd have to hope a super fan tasks the task of putting a story together.  Somebody like filmmaker Sam Dunn, who put together an excellent documentary on the history of Rush a few years ago.  
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« Reply #15 on: April 17, 2017, 11:53:22 AM »


There was talk of another doc in 2012, but I guess Doin It Again was the result. 

Never heard of that one, available on DVD?

It is.  It was released towards the end of the summer 2012.   It's only about 55 minutes, and tells a brief history of the band, with some talk about the reunion.  It also includes some in studio footage of the recording of Good Vibrations, and five songs from the C50 Tour. 

If you can get it on the cheap, it's worth having. 

In regards to Endless Harmony.  Another thought I had is that there are great bands who don't even have a documentary this good (Pink Floyd comes to mind). 

"Doin' It Again" is a must for the C50 album/tour coverage and the unearthed GV '66 session footage. As a "documentary" as such it isn't really substantive. It's kind of a really good EPK; it would have made more sense as the bonus DVD in a "TWGMTR" deluxe set or something. To relegate all of that to 55 minutes was ridiculous. Better than nothing of course.

I think Doin It Again was paired with the C50 concert DVD in the UK.   

Yep, it makes more sense as a sort of "Value Pack" along those lines. I like having both separately on Blu-ray as far as cultivating a collection, but they indeed don't really actually warrant separate releases.

Yeah.   In a perfect world, Doin It Again would've been a nice bonus feature on a full length concert DVD from C50. 

But, The Beach Boys are a perfect band for an imperfect world. 
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« Reply #16 on: April 17, 2017, 12:01:07 PM »

I think Alan Boyd has always done absolutely as much as he can within the confines of whatever the project is. Sometimes more.

You have to remember that "Endless Harmony" wasn't a case of an independent filmmaker setting out to make whatever documentary he wanted. I don't know all of the particulars of how the EH doc deal came about, but I would imagine BRI (possibly in conjunction with Capitol) gave Boyd a timeline and budget and some basic framework for the project (e.g. "Do a 90-minute cut for VH1, and then we can maybe go to 105 minutes for home video"). The film also surely had a limit as to how "warts and all" it could get. The Landy saga alone could make a two hour documentary, but Boyd's film handles the Landy situation as well as it possibly can within a BRI-approved film and within the span of only a few minutes of screen time.

Boyd's film is not only the best currently available, I have no doubt that it's the best a film *could have* been made within the constraints put on that project. (Also keeping mind he did in 1998 during one of the most testy/trying times as far as BRI politics were concerned; Carl had just died, Al and Mike were on the outs, etc.). It's probably a small miracle Marks, Chaplin, and Fataar were even mentioned (the latter two only in the DVD edit as I recall), none of whom were even mentioned in 1984's "An American Band." Even mentioning Brian's post-Landy 1977-1982 decline was revelatory at the time the doc was aired.

That all being said, a much longer, better, more definitive documentary *could* and *should* be made, and the clock is ticking on how long these guys have left to sit for *IN-DEPTH* interviews. While I'd love a 50-hour documentary on the BBs, I don't even think it would require like *three times* as long as the "Beatles Anthology" because, let's face it, there's a point in the BB story starting in the 80s where there isn't a ton to talk about, especially musically. (I'd love two hours just on the 1981-82 Carl-less tour, but that's unrealistic). There's also likely less 60s press conference and music footage to mine for the BBs compared to the Beatles. But I think even something like a 6-hour doc, maybe three two-hour parts, would be great. Even better would be something more approaching ten hours. BRI should commission a filmmaker to do it, and do it without whitewashing it. They could even do a shorter, 2 or 2 1/2 hour edit on the film and service it to film festivals and the like.

Not only is the BBs music *more* important than countless other music documentaries, I would also say that even if one were simply looking for a salacious, "Behind the Music" type story filled with tragedy and epic disagreements and sex and drugs and rock and roll and all of that, the Beach Boys' story is pretty unrivalled.

I get why, say, a definitive documentary on ELO will never be made. The music is great, and hardcore fans want to hear the story, but nobody else cares and Jeff Lynne, while wrapped up in some business deals that led to some politics, is a pretty boring guy.

But the Beach Boys have the music story to beat everyone, and could also get into countless squabbles and relationship problems and drugs and booze and all of that, and they could even do it *without* even mentioning Charles Manson.

For an ELO doc, you'd have to hope a super fan tasks the task of putting a story together.  Somebody like filmmaker Sam Dunn, who put together an excellent documentary on the history of Rush a few years ago.  

But Jeff Lynne ain't doin' it unfortunately. He seems nearly unwilling to even utter the names of some past ELO members, let alone go into any detail. It appears he and Bev Bevan in settling the "ELO Part II" lawsuit stuff are legally bound by their agreement to not discuss the details.

So you either end up with a doc with Jeff Lynne participation like "Mr. Blue Sky" from a few years ago, which is little more than bunch of his buddies saying how great Jeff is (which is true), or you get one of those cheapie, sketchy "In Review"-style UK docs where Jeff Lynne is nowhere to be seen and the interviews are mostly with UK journalists nobody has ever heard of, mixed in with a few ex-band members with an axe to grind.

A bit ironically, the "Mr. Blue Sky" documentary from around 2012 didn't get released on DVD/Blu-ray for another 2 or 3 years when it was tacked on as a little bonus feature on the "Live in Hyde Park" release.

Compared to the Lynne doc from 2012, even "Endless Harmony" is a warts-filled tell-all.
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« Reply #17 on: April 17, 2017, 12:17:46 PM »

I think Alan Boyd has always done absolutely as much as he can within the confines of whatever the project is. Sometimes more.

You have to remember that "Endless Harmony" wasn't a case of an independent filmmaker setting out to make whatever documentary he wanted. I don't know all of the particulars of how the EH doc deal came about, but I would imagine BRI (possibly in conjunction with Capitol) gave Boyd a timeline and budget and some basic framework for the project (e.g. "Do a 90-minute cut for VH1, and then we can maybe go to 105 minutes for home video"). The film also surely had a limit as to how "warts and all" it could get. The Landy saga alone could make a two hour documentary, but Boyd's film handles the Landy situation as well as it possibly can within a BRI-approved film and within the span of only a few minutes of screen time.

Boyd's film is not only the best currently available, I have no doubt that it's the best a film *could have* been made within the constraints put on that project. (Also keeping mind he did in 1998 during one of the most testy/trying times as far as BRI politics were concerned; Carl had just died, Al and Mike were on the outs, etc.). It's probably a small miracle Marks, Chaplin, and Fataar were even mentioned (the latter two only in the DVD edit as I recall), none of whom were even mentioned in 1984's "An American Band." Even mentioning Brian's post-Landy 1977-1982 decline was revelatory at the time the doc was aired.

That all being said, a much longer, better, more definitive documentary *could* and *should* be made, and the clock is ticking on how long these guys have left to sit for *IN-DEPTH* interviews. While I'd love a 50-hour documentary on the BBs, I don't even think it would require like *three times* as long as the "Beatles Anthology" because, let's face it, there's a point in the BB story starting in the 80s where there isn't a ton to talk about, especially musically. (I'd love two hours just on the 1981-82 Carl-less tour, but that's unrealistic). There's also likely less 60s press conference and music footage to mine for the BBs compared to the Beatles. But I think even something like a 6-hour doc, maybe three two-hour parts, would be great. Even better would be something more approaching ten hours. BRI should commission a filmmaker to do it, and do it without whitewashing it. They could even do a shorter, 2 or 2 1/2 hour edit on the film and service it to film festivals and the like.

Not only is the BBs music *more* important than countless other music documentaries, I would also say that even if one were simply looking for a salacious, "Behind the Music" type story filled with tragedy and epic disagreements and sex and drugs and rock and roll and all of that, the Beach Boys' story is pretty unrivalled.

I get why, say, a definitive documentary on ELO will never be made. The music is great, and hardcore fans want to hear the story, but nobody else cares and Jeff Lynne, while wrapped up in some business deals that led to some politics, is a pretty boring guy.

But the Beach Boys have the music story to beat everyone, and could also get into countless squabbles and relationship problems and drugs and booze and all of that, and they could even do it *without* even mentioning Charles Manson.

For an ELO doc, you'd have to hope a super fan tasks the task of putting a story together.  Somebody like filmmaker Sam Dunn, who put together an excellent documentary on the history of Rush a few years ago.  

But Jeff Lynne ain't doin' it unfortunately. He seems nearly unwilling to even utter the names of some past ELO members, let alone go into any detail. It appears he and Bev Bevan in settling the "ELO Part II" lawsuit stuff are legally bound by their agreement to not discuss the details.

So you either end up with a doc with Jeff Lynne participation like "Mr. Blue Sky" from a few years ago, which is little more than bunch of his buddies saying how great Jeff is (which is true), or you get one of those cheapie, sketchy "In Review"-style UK docs where Jeff Lynne is nowhere to be seen and the interviews are mostly with UK journalists nobody has ever heard of, mixed in with a few ex-band members with an axe to grind.

A bit ironically, the "Mr. Blue Sky" documentary from around 2012 didn't get released on DVD/Blu-ray for another 2 or 3 years when it was tacked on as a little bonus feature on the "Live in Hyde Park" release.

Compared to the Lynne doc from 2012, even "Endless Harmony" is a warts-filled tell-all.

I honestly forgot that an ELO doc existed.  I think you were lamenting the complete lack of one.   My mistake. 
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« Reply #18 on: April 17, 2017, 01:12:39 PM »


"Doin' It Again" is a must for the C50 album/tour coverage and the unearthed GV '66 session footage. As a "documentary" as such it isn't really substantive. It's kind of a really good EPK; it would have made more sense as the bonus DVD in a "TWGMTR" deluxe set or something. To relegate all of that to 55 minutes was ridiculous. Better than nothing of course.

What is "EPK"?
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« Reply #19 on: April 17, 2017, 01:16:23 PM »


"Doin' It Again" is a must for the C50 album/tour coverage and the unearthed GV '66 session footage. As a "documentary" as such it isn't really substantive. It's kind of a really good EPK; it would have made more sense as the bonus DVD in a "TWGMTR" deluxe set or something. To relegate all of that to 55 minutes was ridiculous. Better than nothing of course.

What is "EPK"?

Electronic Press Kit - Bands sometimes release a short promotional film with they're about to release something, go on tour, etc.  So, the comparison makes sense since Doin It Again was released to promote the TWGMTR album and also the tour (which was in progress at time of release, they'd already been through my neck of the woods when it hit shelves). 
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« Reply #20 on: April 17, 2017, 01:18:23 PM »

Thanks. And thank you all for your input, I agree with much of what is being said here.
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« Reply #21 on: April 17, 2017, 01:26:10 PM »

Thanks. And thank you all for your input, I agree with much of what is being said here.

Yeah, unfortunately The Beatles set the bar unbelieveably high when it comes to band history documentaries. 

But, as far as trying to tell a band story in under two hours, Endless Harmony does a really good job. 
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« Reply #22 on: April 17, 2017, 02:02:28 PM »

Dennis and Carl of course appear in old clips......

I remember reading somewhere that Carl was interviewed for the documentary, and the style does fit with other living members. Can anyone confirm? Release was August 98 so I guess late 96 could have been possible. He looked far different in 97 of course.
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« Reply #23 on: April 17, 2017, 02:53:18 PM »

Dennis and Carl of course appear in old clips......

I remember reading somewhere that Carl was interviewed for the documentary, and the style does fit with other living members. Can anyone confirm? Release was August 98 so I guess late 96 could have been possible. He looked far different in 97 of course.

The Carl interviews seem to have been done for the "Nashville Sounds" DVD if I remember correctly.
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« Reply #24 on: April 17, 2017, 04:21:17 PM »

You may be right. I don't have either handy to check but I recall 2 different settings. The 'Sounds' was a darkened room from memory.
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