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618819 Posts in 24939 Topics by 3548 Members - Latest Member: leafy October 21, 2017, 01:21:42 AM
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Author Topic: Brian Wilson & Joe Thomas  (Read 3421 times)
RubberSoul13
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« Reply #50 on: October 11, 2017, 10:22:00 AM »

The Imagination DVD actually gives a decent idea of the approach Joe presumably had in mind. Footage from the 1998 St. Charles show features a very AC approach -- along with Bruce and Christopher Cross auditioning for the Jeff Foslett role ...

I have no idea what you're talking about (not doubting it, just confused)...are you referring to Bruce as in Bruce Johnston? As in, Bruce Johnston showed interest in being with Brian Wilson over Mike Love?
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« Reply #51 on: October 11, 2017, 10:31:10 AM »

The Imagination DVD actually gives a decent idea of the approach Joe presumably had in mind. Footage from the 1998 St. Charles show features a very AC approach -- along with Bruce and Christopher Cross auditioning for the Jeff Foslett role ...

I have no idea what you're talking about (not doubting it, just confused)...are you referring to Bruce as in Bruce Johnston? As in, Bruce Johnston showed interest in being with Brian Wilson over Mike Love?

Sorry, I meant that Cross was auditioning for the role. Bruce did perform at the concert, but it was presumably a gesture of support.
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RubberSoul13
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« Reply #52 on: October 11, 2017, 12:54:27 PM »

Gotcha...I can't quite picture Bruce in Brian's lineup!
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« Reply #53 on: October 11, 2017, 01:03:45 PM »

I think you'd more likely see Nelson Bragg join Mike's band than Bruce joining Brian's. For numerous reasons.
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« Reply #54 on: October 11, 2017, 07:50:11 PM »

I think you'd more likely see Nelson Bragg join Mike's band than Bruce joining Brian's. For numerous reasons.

 LOL LOL LOL

Has Bruce's role in the late 90's ever been explored or explained? Was it ever a thought for him to NOT continue with Mike? Obviously it behooves Mike to have him (and at the time David) to up the "official member" tally, but I can't picture Bruce doing anything else in the genre, like attempting to have his own outfit like Alan. If he were to hang it up then, I think he'd have gone in a totally different direction again...maybe classical composition, modern record production (again), or just simply surfing.

What a strange, strange asshole he is.
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« Reply #55 on: October 11, 2017, 09:39:51 PM »

I would love if Bruce was in Brian's band (well, if he wan't so crucial to Mike's band, as we saw during his absence) because he sang so many iconic parts on a lot of classics like California Girls ("I wish they all could be" on the outro) and the coda of God Only Knows. I also think his musicality would be displayed more if he maybe played keys or bass, instead of clapping. I just think having Bruce in Brian's band (which is taken more seriously as an artistic performance) would push Bruce to do more than clap and wave. Imagine Bruce playing the organ solo on Wild Honey and then having Blondie play his guitar solo!!!!!!!!!  Evil Evil Evil
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« Reply #56 on: October 11, 2017, 09:45:09 PM »

The sad part is, for the fans as Bruce already made his choices and has to deal with them good or bad, go back to those late 60's and early 70's live concerts. Bruce is one hell of a keyboard man. He's a terrific Hammond B3 player. Any keyboards actually, he has that great feel...I'd love to hear Bruce let rip on a B3 or electric piano solo, but he never does. Hasn't for many years that I'm aware of.

And fans have only seen him clowning, adjusting mic stands, clapping, egging on the crowd to cheer Mike's silly schtick, etc. He's a great musician with a fantastic resume and a lot of rock history in his front pocket, and he became Mike's set-up man, a second banana.

Sad, really. But choices were made.
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« Reply #57 on: October 12, 2017, 06:50:15 AM »

I would love if Bruce was in Brian's band (well, if he wan't so crucial to Mike's band, as we saw during his absence) because he sang so many iconic parts on a lot of classics like California Girls ("I wish they all could be" on the outro) and the coda of God Only Knows. I also think his musicality would be displayed more if he maybe played keys or bass, instead of clapping. I just think having Bruce in Brian's band (which is taken more seriously as an artistic performance) would push Bruce to do more than clap and wave. Imagine Bruce playing the organ solo on Wild Honey and then having Blondie play his guitar solo!!!!!!!!!  Evil Evil Evil

Bruce was essentially in Brian's touring band in 2012, and I think all we learned is that when there are *even more* musicians on stage than there already are in the Mike/Bruce configuration, Bruce is even less likely to actually do much musically on stage. I'm glad Bruce was there; "Disney Girls" was cool to hear on C50, especially with Brian's guys backing the song, and I do think Bruce was a key part of some of the vocal mix.

But he hasn't been an integral part of the actual musical bed of BB shows since the early-mid 80s.

I don't know if Bruce has picked up a bass and actually played it *live* on stage (as opposed to miming) in over 30+ years. The last time I could say that dropping Bruce out of the live mix would have severely changed the sound coming from the stage would be the late 60s/early 70s when he *was* regularly playing bass and playing the only organ/piano on stage.
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« Reply #58 on: October 12, 2017, 06:53:27 AM »

I would love if Bruce was in Brian's band (well, if he wan't so crucial to Mike's band, as we saw during his absence) because he sang so many iconic parts on a lot of classics like California Girls ("I wish they all could be" on the outro) and the coda of God Only Knows. I also think his musicality would be displayed more if he maybe played keys or bass, instead of clapping. I just think having Bruce in Brian's band (which is taken more seriously as an artistic performance) would push Bruce to do more than clap and wave. Imagine Bruce playing the organ solo on Wild Honey and then having Blondie play his guitar solo!!!!!!!!!  Evil Evil Evil

I could really only see it happening if Mike retired.  But, I think it would be pretty cool to have maybe something like At My Window as a surprise song in BW sets. 
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« Reply #59 on: October 12, 2017, 06:56:54 AM »

I think you'd more likely see Nelson Bragg join Mike's band than Bruce joining Brian's. For numerous reasons.

 LOL LOL LOL

Has Bruce's role in the late 90's ever been explored or explained? Was it ever a thought for him to NOT continue with Mike? Obviously it behooves Mike to have him (and at the time David) to up the "official member" tally, but I can't picture Bruce doing anything else in the genre, like attempting to have his own outfit like Alan. If he were to hang it up then, I think he'd have gone in a totally different direction again...maybe classical composition, modern record production (again), or just simply surfing.

What a strange, strange asshole he is.

From Bruce's point of view, his decision in 1998 was *super* simple. Go with the guy who's going to continue consistently touring and the only guy who's going to hand you a regular paycheck (not to mention whatever other perks these guys dig about touring, the traveling, groupies, whatever).

Back in 1998, Mike I think still needed a certain number of BBs to more easily continue on with a license. Hence bringing David Marks in as well. I think he needed either Al or Bruce. It was probably an easy choice for Mike. Bruce would be cheaper, isn't a corporate member and therefore doesn't really have any say in anything.

Regarding Bruce fronting his own outfit or anything of that nature, the guy has shown ZERO motivation/aspiration to do much of anything in music for 30-40 years. He has hardly ever even done lead vocals at actual BB shows, and has even acknowledged in interviews that his own keyboard playing on stage is done more to accompany *himself* than it is to be a prominent part of the actual band sound/mix. He hasn't even done a solo vanity project (closest he came to that was the "Symphonic Sounds" thing in 1998). I can't imagine Bruce trying to front a band on stage considering he *sometimes* sings a lead or two in concert with Mike.

I think way back in the previous decade, Bruce mentioned online that he had a bunch of demos and made some vague reference to possibly releasing those on a CD. That was like 15 or so years ago.

It doesn't even appear Bruce often sings on Mike's solo recordings. Is he anywhere on the 2004 "Unleash the Love" album stuff? Doesn't sound like it.
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« Reply #60 on: October 12, 2017, 07:00:45 AM »

I would love if Bruce was in Brian's band (well, if he wan't so crucial to Mike's band, as we saw during his absence) because he sang so many iconic parts on a lot of classics like California Girls ("I wish they all could be" on the outro) and the coda of God Only Knows. I also think his musicality would be displayed more if he maybe played keys or bass, instead of clapping. I just think having Bruce in Brian's band (which is taken more seriously as an artistic performance) would push Bruce to do more than clap and wave. Imagine Bruce playing the organ solo on Wild Honey and then having Blondie play his guitar solo!!!!!!!!!  Evil Evil Evil

I could really only see it happening if Mike retired.  But, I think it would be pretty cool to have maybe something like At My Window as a surprise song in BW sets. 

If Mike retired and there was no BB tour any longer (which is probably unlikely; I think BRI will probably license the name out to someone for decades to come), maybe Bruce wouldn't mind joining Brian's band. But I highly doubt he'd get an invitation. I don't think Brian would have any interest in that. While Brian is quite happy to point out Bruce's (and Mike's) contributions to past BB songs/albums and offer praise, I don't sense Brian particularly wants to be around Bruce on a regular basis.

I think there are much warmer feelings and more ease in being with Al, and even then, it took a couple of attempts before having Brian and Al together worked and gelled and was a truly warm thing without weird background politics.
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« Reply #61 on: October 12, 2017, 07:04:43 AM »

I would love if Bruce was in Brian's band (well, if he wan't so crucial to Mike's band, as we saw during his absence) because he sang so many iconic parts on a lot of classics like California Girls ("I wish they all could be" on the outro) and the coda of God Only Knows. I also think his musicality would be displayed more if he maybe played keys or bass, instead of clapping. I just think having Bruce in Brian's band (which is taken more seriously as an artistic performance) would push Bruce to do more than clap and wave. Imagine Bruce playing the organ solo on Wild Honey and then having Blondie play his guitar solo!!!!!!!!!  Evil Evil Evil

I could really only see it happening if Mike retired.  But, I think it would be pretty cool to have maybe something like At My Window as a surprise song in BW sets. 

If Mike retired and there was no BB tour any longer (which is probably unlikely; I think BRI will probably license the name out to someone for decades to come), maybe Bruce wouldn't mind joining Brian's band. But I highly doubt he'd get an invitation. I don't think Brian would have any interest in that. While Brian is quite happy to point out Bruce's (and Mike's) contributions to past BB songs/albums and offer praise, I don't sense Brian particularly wants to be around Bruce on a regular basis.

I think there are much warmer feelings and more ease in being with Al, and even then, it took a couple of attempts before having Brian and Al together worked and gelled and was a truly warm thing without weird background politics.

It's unlikely, and I doubt Brian or his camp would approach Bruce to join.  But, if Bruce approached Brian, it wouldn't shock me.  Even if it was something along the lines of Bruce joining the rotation of players who fill in when Darian has other obligations. 
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« Reply #62 on: October 12, 2017, 08:38:41 AM »

It doesn't even appear Bruce often sings on Mike's solo recordings. Is he anywhere on the 2004 "Unleash the Love" album stuff? Doesn't sound like it.

Well, as far as Mike's non Beach Boys recordings, I can say pretty comfortably that Bruce is on both the 2016 (Beach Music Classics) and 2017 (Unleash the Love) versions of "Do It Again" doing the "hey now" part. And while we are at it, I wouldn't be surprised if both of those versions are based on the same exact recording. I'd also assume that since he's on "Do It Again" on that Beach Music Classics compilation series, he would also be on the version of "Surfin' U.S.A."

And then, expanding from that, it's likely that those are recordings from Mike's recent Michael Lloyd produced sessions, and ergo, Bruce will probably be appearing somewhere on Mike's new album. Since there is no mention of him being "featured" probably no lead vocals, but I'm sure beyond "Do It Again" you'll probably hear him on their, at the very least on the second disc, which seems to be Mike and his band running through many songs which appear in their set (minus "Brian's Back) of course.
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« Reply #63 on: October 12, 2017, 08:44:43 AM »

I may be a lone voice saying this but it was not really Bruce's vocals or voice overall that was the draw or is the attraction (he's a background singer), it's the fact that Bruce is a terrific keyboard player and fans have not gotten a chance to really hear the man play live or in studio for too long considering his history and credentials as a musician. But maybe he just doesn't want to play real keys anymore and is content to play second banana to Mike.
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« Reply #64 on: October 12, 2017, 08:59:31 AM »

It's unlikely, and I doubt Brian or his camp would approach Bruce to join.  But, if Bruce approached Brian, it wouldn't shock me.  Even if it was something along the lines of Bruce joining the rotation of players who fill in when Darian has other obligations. 

I don't know. I don't think I'd put Bruce along the lines of Gary Griffin or Billy Hinsche or those other guys, if only because he's actually a fully fledged member of The Beach Boys (though not a member of BRI).

I also do agree it's unlikely that Bruce would ever be part of Brian's solo team. I don't think his personality and general way of being would really mesh with Brian's band.
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« Reply #65 on: October 12, 2017, 09:14:20 AM »

I may be a lone voice saying this but it was not really Bruce's vocals or voice overall that was the draw or is the attraction (he's a background singer), it's the fact that Bruce is a terrific keyboard player and fans have not gotten a chance to really hear the man play live or in studio for too long considering his history and credentials as a musician. But maybe he just doesn't want to play real keys anymore and is content to play second banana to Mike.

Hey I agree with you man. I love Bruce's keyboard work on Surfers' Pajama Party. I've consistently said how much I like that album and it's a shame to the extent that Bruce even pushes his own work, it's just as the "Disney Girls" and "I Write the Songs" guy and then also as Mike's sidekick.

And then, though I'm not really a fan of anything he's done since 1966's "Don't Run Away" (or maybe "Disney Girls" if I'm feeling generous), I think it's a shame that he has not felt the need to push himself creatively at all since....well, gosh knows how long? Supposedly he did a re-recording of "She Believes in Love Again" a few years before the C50 and then apparently either added to it or re-recorded it again for C50, but apart from that I'm unsure if he's done anything new creatively since that Symphonic Sounds thing.
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« Reply #66 on: October 12, 2017, 11:08:41 AM »

Yeah I have no issue with Bruce not taking many (if any) lead vocals. He is an incredible background singer. If you don't believe me, look up the shows from 2017 without Bruce- the harmonies just don't sound right. His voice adds a lot to Mike's band.

I don't see him filling in as a keyboardist for Brian's shows simply because I don't think he knows every chord of every song. Just like how I wouldn't replace Nicky or Probyn with Al Jardine.

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« Reply #67 on: October 12, 2017, 11:14:03 AM »

Yeah I have no issue with Bruce not taking many (if any) lead vocals. He is an incredible background singer. If you don't believe me, look up the shows from 2017 without Bruce- the harmonies just don't sound right. His voice adds a lot to Mike's band.

I don't see him filling in as a keyboardist for Brian's shows simply because I don't think he knows every chord of every song. Just like how I wouldn't replace Nicky or Probyn with Al Jardine.



To add to this, listen for his background vocals in TWGMTR, hes got a uniquely awesome voice that does add a lot to the mix.
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« Reply #68 on: October 12, 2017, 11:30:01 AM »

Yeah I have no issue with Bruce not taking many (if any) lead vocals. He is an incredible background singer. If you don't believe me, look up the shows from 2017 without Bruce- the harmonies just don't sound right. His voice adds a lot to Mike's band.

I don't see him filling in as a keyboardist for Brian's shows simply because I don't think he knows every chord of every song. Just like how I wouldn't replace Nicky or Probyn with Al Jardine.



I think there are too many other people in the blend in Mike's band that obscure Bruce. Once Al and Carl were gone from the blend in 1998, it started truly sounding like a tribute/cover band, of increasingly high quality no questions, but there's no "Beach Boys" there.

Conversely, I think it's Al's voice, considering both that it's more intact than any other member's and that he fills in that key mid-range, that truly lends to the group vocal sound and makes it start sounding like "The Beach Boys." Listen to him punch through on something like the vocal intro on "Daybreak Over the Ocean", or the backing vocals during C50 on "Getcha Back."

Al added to Brian sounds more evocative of *The* Beach Boys, especially with Matt in the mix as well, than Mike and Bruce ever have. To be sure, if Al sang with Mike and Bruce, he'd lend a similar sound no questions.

As for musicianship and who would be called on among the BBs, *none* of the guys these days other than David Marks would ever be the guy you'd call on if you need a key *musician* role filled in your band. It's why when they need fill-in guys, they go to touring band stalwarts like Billy Hinsche or Gary Griffin, etc.
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« Reply #69 on: October 13, 2017, 07:20:39 AM »

I don't like Bruce as a lead singer, but as a harmony singer he has always been awesome, and still is. He is in good company too. To name just one, the great William Langford,  who was the falsetto tenor in the original Golden Gate Quartet and was (IMHO) the best harmony singer ever, took few leads and none of them memorable, just like Bruce's.
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« Reply #70 on: October 13, 2017, 07:28:04 AM »

I don't like Bruce as a lead singer, but as a harmony singer he has always been awesome, and still is. He is in good company too. To name just one, the great William Langford,  who was the falsetto tenor in the original Golden Gate Quartet and was (IMHO) the best harmony singer ever, took few leads and none of them memorable, just like Bruce's.

I'm alright with Bruce as a lead singer, with receiving one token lead per album.  But one of the few quibbles I have about the Sunflower album is that there are too many Bruce leads, and not enough of Brian, Al, or Mike. 
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« Reply #71 on: October 13, 2017, 07:30:56 AM »

"Sunflower" is one of my favorite examples of Bruce's weird Jekyll and Hyde personality.

He has often derided fans for being "one percenters" and being barrel scrapers and all of that, yet at other times he'll go on and on about "Sunflower."

Undoubtedly, as he had a larger hand in "Sunflower", he's less likely to get all warm and fuzzy talking about "Love You" or something.
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