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618833 Posts in 24939 Topics by 3548 Members - Latest Member: leafy October 21, 2017, 10:31:25 AM
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Author Topic: Threads or Books Recommended for New Members  (Read 345 times)
All Summer Long
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« on: September 21, 2017, 07:07:24 AM »

Hi,

I've been a Beach Boys fan for years, but I'm only getting into deep tracks and deep facts now.  Do any members have recommendations of threads or Beach Boy-related books for me?

Thanks

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KDS
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« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2017, 07:10:32 AM »

I would recommend the Peter Carlin book "Catch a Wave" which was published in, I think, 2004. 

It serves as a great history of the band and Brian Wilson. 

Also, Jon Stebbins' Beach Boys FAQ is a great read. 

Then, I'd recommend reading both Mike Love's and Brian Wilson's autobiographies that were released late last year.   Mike's book is more of a linear history of the Beach Boys, while Brian's book is a little more conversational, and he tends to jump from subject to subject. 
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Any opinions posted by me regarding the music of The Beach Boys, and their members, is in no way a show of disrespect towards any member of The Beach Boys, past or present.
HeyJude
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« Reply #2 on: September 21, 2017, 07:18:14 AM »

I think there are a bunch of old threads asking about "intro" books for new fans.

Jon Stebbins's "Beach Boys FAQ" is a must, whether you're a new fan or a long-time fan.

"Becoming the Beach Boys" by Jim Murphy is a must; a Mark Lewisohn-esque book that is essentially a super-detailed biography on the group's formative years through to 1963.

Even with the salacious stuff and some biographical/song/album facts that need fixing, the infamous "Heroes and Villains" book by Steven Gaines is a solid bio on the group through whatever year that was published (mid 80s?).

The Peter Ames Carlin book on Brian/the BBs, "Catch a Wave" is another good overview, though as stated in the title more focused on Brian than the other BBs. And it has a penchant now and then for dropping random tantalizing factoids without following up (wait, what, they tried to oust Al from the band in 1990? Wtf? More info please?)

The Jon Stebbins books on Dennis and David Marks are great as well. The book with David Marks, "The Lost Beach Boy", is still relatively easily found I believe (the Dennis book is out of print but hopefully will see a reissue before too long).

Ian Rusten and Jon Stebbins's "The Beach Boys In Concert" is a must as well. The go-to book (and really the only book) covering their entire live career, and its narrative also serves as a (brief) bio on the band as well as it goes along.

Brian and Mike's "autobiographies" from last year have to be on the list. Brian's is more stylized and personal and jumps around, while Mike's has some important/interesting stories buried within an expected self-serving, often defensive framework. I would say getting a pretty firm relatively objective grasp on the band from *other* authors and sources prior to reading Brian and Mike's books (especially Mike's) would be advisable, so that you can give their books the proper context.

McParland's 2013 edition of "The Wilson Project" is important. It only covers a brief period of Brian's life in 1986-87-ish, but it's essentially a really focused bio on that 1-2 years in Brian's life, based on the recollections of Gary Usher.

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« Reply #3 on: September 21, 2017, 07:32:13 AM »

As for threads at Smiley, this one on who sings what is fairly indispensable:

http://smileysmile.net/board/index.php/topic,5525.0.html

Not to forget Mr. Desper's study videos: http://swdstudyvideos.com/index.html

Outside of Smiley, there's this: http://www.beachboysarchives.com
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« Reply #4 on: September 30, 2017, 02:29:37 AM »

First BBs book I ever read was Wouldn't It Be Nice by Charles Granata, detailing the making of Pet Sounds. If you like seedy gossip try Heroes and Villains by Steven Gaines. A more balanced perspective, but with a focus on Brian, can be had from Catch a Wave by Peter Ames Carlin. The Lost Beach Boy by David Marks and Jon Stebbins covers the early days in great detail. If you don't mind endless conjecture and speculation, there's Domenic Priore's 2005 SMiLE book. Look Listen Vibrate Smile, also by Domenic Priore, is a 2-inch thick cut and past 'zine with writings and ramblings by all sorts of BBs superfans (including Darian Sahanaja, Nicky Wonder, and Probyn Gregory a good decade before they joined the BW band.)
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"I thought Brian was a perfect gentleman, apart from buttering his head and trying to put it between two slices of bread"  -Tom Petty, after eating with Brian.
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