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622814 Posts in 25046 Topics by 3556 Members - Latest Member: 13thBB December 16, 2017, 10:33:19 AM
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Author Topic: The Focus and Patience of Brian in the Studio  (Read 1273 times)
Rick5150
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« on: July 30, 2017, 04:54:04 AM »

Every time we get a new release, or when I just feel like going back and listening to the Beach Boys building songs, I am confused by a few things. We read how tedious it was to do multiple takes of songs, or different variations to get the right 'feel' but the boys seem very relaxed and focused while doing this. Brian exhibits so much patience and softness when directing the Beach Boys or the Wrecking Crew and there are only a few times when he seems to be impatient.

I think one of those times was during God Only Knows when the suggestion is made to make the drums more staccato just before the vocal interlude. Brian seemed to get very excited - but never rude. Even during the Help Me Rhonda sessions with Murry he never seemed to lose his temper.

I am not sure why, but one of my favorite moments was during the recording of And Your Dream Comes True (under the working title "You're So Sleepy - Wish That He Could Stay")

"Wait a minute. Get the key Brian on the piano. Get the key."
"I got it. That's good enough."
"No it isn't! "
(plays three notes on the piano)
(sings) You're... (spoken) "well, you were right."(laughter)

I can't help but think these guys respected each other and enjoyed what they were doing most of the time. I rarely hear any negativity that is talked about come through on the bits that are released to us. Are there more tapes with negative attitudes captured?

Brian's ability to do more than 20 takes of the same song and have such a calm demeanor never ceases to amaze me. I would have killed half the people in the studio. He is so gentle to everyone - even the people who keep screwing up his takes.

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MikestheGreatest!!
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« Reply #1 on: July 30, 2017, 01:25:55 PM »

Well sadly those days of patience and focus are apparently long gone....
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rab2591
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« Reply #2 on: July 30, 2017, 01:36:02 PM »

f*** off, Adam.
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« Reply #3 on: July 30, 2017, 01:50:13 PM »

Exactly my sentiments a week ago.... Go f*** off!
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I don't see the point in punishing Brian's musical output solely because Mike wants to wow the President Elect with how long he can weeze "wheeeeeeen" into a microphone.- rab2591
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« Reply #4 on: July 30, 2017, 01:58:14 PM »

How many times must we suffer this twat?
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I don't see the point in punishing Brian's musical output solely because Mike wants to wow the President Elect with how long he can weeze "wheeeeeeen" into a microphone.- rab2591
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« Reply #5 on: July 30, 2017, 02:01:48 PM »

On an actual serious note, I remember a story Carol Kaye told about, I think it was one of the ‘Help Me Rhonda’ sessions. Anyways, Brian had someone on the phone or something and kept having the session musicians play the instrumental over and over again so whoever on the other end could hear this awesome tune. I think Carol said her fingers started to bleed they were playing for so long. When the session finally ended Carol gave Brian the finger on her way out the door...and apparently he never played the crew that hard again.

I think it’s a testament to how much Brian loves music that he willingly sits there for take after take until they get the sound he wants. And to the shmuck blowing a waft of putrid hot air into this forum, Kacey Musgraves herself talked about how Brian kept direcing her to redo one of her leads on ‘Guess You Had To Be There’ because she wasn’t hitting the right note he wanted.
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Wirestone
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« Reply #6 on: July 30, 2017, 02:21:35 PM »

Brian's patience waxed and waned even in the glory days. Some of the classics have mistakes left in -- you can find the lists. But BW was always more concerned about feeling and effect than absolute technical perfection. The Beach Boys weren't Steely Dan.
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SMiLE Brian
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« Reply #7 on: July 30, 2017, 02:22:38 PM »

Exactly, well said Wirestone. Songs like Wendy with the cough left in come to mind.
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I don't see the point in punishing Brian's musical output solely because Mike wants to wow the President Elect with how long he can weeze "wheeeeeeen" into a microphone.- rab2591
JL
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« Reply #8 on: July 30, 2017, 03:10:40 PM »

Exactly, well said Wirestone. Songs like Wendy with the cough left in come to mind.

Yeah. In Be Here in the Morning, I think him or somebody says "Alright then" in the background. I like those little mistakes.

When Murry crashed the party during Help Me Rhonda, I think I remember Brian loses it for a second and goes "Oh *bleep*" and I hear a noise. Other than that I think he handled the situation pretty calmly. lol

I think Brian was probably overall really cool, patient and fascinating to work with in the studio, but no doubt when he wanted a very particular sound or something else (like in Carol Kaye's story above) he could be pretty annoying, honestly. I imagine most geniuses are like that sometimes, though, probably even the studio musicians themselves. In the end he and everyone else are just trying to make the best record possible.
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« Reply #9 on: July 30, 2017, 03:12:43 PM »

Agreed, the talking in "here today" is nice touch that backs that up.
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I don't see the point in punishing Brian's musical output solely because Mike wants to wow the President Elect with how long he can weeze "wheeeeeeen" into a microphone.- rab2591
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« Reply #10 on: July 31, 2017, 05:14:55 AM »

I love those so-called mistakes!

The most curious case of "correcting" such a mistake was in the remastered stereo version of "Kiss Me, Baby", where Mike's endearing flubbed double-tracking of "wo baby" just before the tag ("wo wo baby") was cleaned up for the occasion. Only they removed the wrong "wo"! Unlike all its other appearances, the "wo baby" before a chorus is syncopated (but isn't here at 2:15):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pPBOu-2iHfM

But why change it in the first place?
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« Reply #11 on: July 31, 2017, 10:31:54 AM »

The Beach Boys complained about having to do endless takes of the vocals in Woudn't It Be Nice, for example, but I don't remember anyone saying Brian lost his temper or was angry or shouting or cursing out anybody.  He was just relentless in trying to get on tape what he heard in his head, even if the others didn't hear it or thought they had gotten it but Brian with his "dog ears" knew it wasn't good enough yet.
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mojoman3061
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« Reply #12 on: August 06, 2017, 02:23:38 PM »

From the SMiLE sessions I've heard, Brian was patient and respectful of the Wrecking Crew musicians he worked with.  "Oh, yeah, that's real nice.  Real nice," he'd say when something went well.  They, in turn, were glad to play something more musically challenging than what they played on a lot of other sessions.
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Joel Goldenberg
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« Reply #13 on: August 07, 2017, 06:04:25 AM »

Brian does seem slightly edgy on the Good Vibrations session tapes.
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