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Author Topic: "Wild Honey" discussion with David Beard on WFDU  (Read 2195 times)
GhostyTMRS
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« on: October 22, 2017, 12:33:46 PM »

ESQ's David Beard joined us today to talk about the Wild Honey album. Listen here..... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z68SZupsV0k
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« Reply #1 on: October 22, 2017, 02:20:05 PM »

Trying to figure out the logic of the discussion that starts around 7:45 or so...David said "Brian was still, I'm not going to say calling the shots because that would be inaccurate...Brian was active" followed by comments about Brian pulling back.

Did David *not* listen to the Sunshine Tomorrow box set with the Wild Honey sessions? Brian is the one calling the shots! I asked months ago when the set was released publicly if someone (or anyone) could pick out and post an example of Carl or another band member "calling the shots" on those tapes, and I don't believe anyone did.

Simply because, they can't find any.

So why is this mythology still allowed to stand and in this case, broadcast to fans who may or may not have a clue or even waded through the session tapes to hear the real story?

Seriously, guys - There has been enough whitewashing and ersatz history to last multiple lifetimes given to the really loyal and invested fans especially over the past 5 years, so why continue it unless there is something on "Sunshine Tomorrow" that proves otherwise?

On another topic, some of the discussion felt a little misleading regarding the use of session players (i.e. The Wrecking Crew) on Wild Honey since there were outside session players on the album and also it was implied the album was done at the home studio where in reality, a good portion of it was cut at Wally Heiders new studio specifically Wally's room "3" which was a near-exact replica of Brian's favorite room Western 3. The studio at the house was still a work in progress, if any album was done where it was a fully installed and operational studio that would be Friends obviously. But Wild Honey was cut almost as much at Heiders as it was at the house, and again the session info on the recordings backs that up.

One more.

Was the fact that the blowup between Mike and Brian at the Redwood session deliberately not brought up, was it not on the docket of topics, or did the ol' clock on the wall simply dictate it couldn't be included? The track Darlin came out of that mess, as did of course Time To Get Alone.

Bottom line the Beach Boys did not want Brian to be producing an album for Redwood, instead they needed him to come back to produce their upcoming album which became Wild Honey after Brian had cut the lead single which became the title cut. So Mike put the kibosh on Brian and Redwood, in dramatic fashion at Heiders during a redwood session as we know. It would have been a topic I think would have been crucial to telling the full story, but as there were attempts by some like Doe and others to call the episode "apocryphal" and try to wipe it off the books until the truth actually came out, I guess maybe there is no surprise if that chapter of the story doesn't make the cut.
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« Reply #2 on: October 22, 2017, 07:01:38 PM »

I wouldn't speak for David but the purpose of these chats (for me) is to introduce the Beach Boys' music to an audience that is largely unfamiliar with their music outside of the hit singles up through "Good Vibrations". Usually the discussions last around a half hour, split with the music. Yes, the clock IS a factor in radio and I think we spent maybe a minute or two on each track. For me, the story of rewriting Sharon Marie's "Thinkin' Bout You Baby" as "Darlin" is the kind of trivia I know my audience loves (and it gives me an excuse to play an edit of one right into the other). To give you some perspective, I did a show two weeks ago on The Beatles in 1967 with author Robert Rodriguez which included discussion of Sgt. Pepper, "All You Need Is Love", and Magical Mystery Tour...and that was all of 21 minutes. I'm very conscious of not testing the audience's patience with a single topic and if anything I'm trying to make these darn things shorter. That's one of the reasons I decided not to do a 3 hour Beach Boys special this August (we're in danger of Beach Boys overkill).     

I think David and I were both pretty effusive in our praise for Brian (as always) and his work on Wild Honey. And to be accurate David said Brian was "kind of pulling away" during this period, hardly a controversial statement. He also further elaborates that Wild Honey "feels" like a Brian and Carl with The Beach Boys album. Again, suggesting that Carl had more of a role on this album than previous ones, statements historically backed up by the Beach Boys themselves, is not some ridiculous heresy, or an attempt to strip Brian of his credit or a slam against Brian. Frankly, it seems silly to even have to explain that.
     
I can tell you, however,  that whenever I do one of these album reviews I always hear from people who say "I've never heard this stuff before" or "I never took The Beach Boys seriously until you started doing these reviews". That happened again today. Mission accomplished.
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« Reply #3 on: October 22, 2017, 07:35:43 PM »

I wouldn't speak for David but the purpose of these chats (for me) is to introduce the Beach Boys' music to an audience that is largely unfamiliar with their music outside of the hit singles up through "Good Vibrations". Usually the discussions last around a half hour, split with the music. Yes, the clock IS a factor in radio and I think we spent maybe a minute or two on each track. For me, the story of rewriting Sharon Marie's "Thinkin' Bout You Baby" as "Darlin" is the kind of trivia I know my audience loves (and it gives me an excuse to play an edit of one right into the other). To give you some perspective, I did a show two weeks ago on The Beatles in 1967 with author Robert Rodriguez which included discussion of Sgt. Pepper, "All You Need Is Love", and Magical Mystery Tour...and that was all of 21 minutes. I'm very conscious of not testing the audience's patience with a single topic and if anything I'm trying to make these darn things shorter. That's one of the reasons I decided not to do a 3 hour Beach Boys special this August (we're in danger of Beach Boys overkill).     

I think David and I were both pretty effusive in our praise for Brian (as always) and his work on Wild Honey. And to be accurate David said Brian was "kind of pulling away" during this period, hardly a controversial statement. He also further elaborates that Wild Honey "feels" like a Brian and Carl with The Beach Boys album. Again, suggesting that Carl had more of a role on this album than previous ones, statements historically backed up by the Beach Boys themselves, is not some ridiculous heresy, or an attempt to strip Brian of his credit or a slam against Brian. Frankly, it seems silly to even have to explain that.
     
I can tell you, however,  that whenever I do one of these album reviews I always hear from people who say "I've never heard this stuff before" or "I never took The Beach Boys seriously until you started doing these reviews". That happened again today. Mission accomplished.

If the audience is as you say perhaps unfamiliar with The Beach Boys, I think that makes such a statement coming from David even more irresponsible if not difficult to rationalize. The audience listening, if unfamiliar, would probably not have bought or listened to the Sunshine Tomorrow box and heard audio evidence as in hard fact on tape that Brian was indeed "calling the shots" at those sessions! Brian is the one in control, and you have a guest on the show telling your audience it would be inaccurate to say Brian was calling the shots, when anyone can listen to the tracks and hear it firsthand.

I don't understand that. But I do know it's been something that has been erroneously said for some time to the point where the tapes themselves finally seeing a wide release had to be the proof. If the tapes were full of Carl directing things, i.e. calling the shots, it would be a done deal, right? But Carl simply is not on the tapes acting in that capacity.

So why make such a statement especially to audiences who don't know the history let alone have never listened to the whole album? It's irresponsible.

The Redwood thing, that's it's own topic. I understand time limitations and trying to make a tight, compact show for the listeners. But it seems to be a factor of the story that some have tried and others might like to see swept under the rug rather than have the facts of what happened be told.

I would add another point - David said Carl was the impetus more or less behind the shift to the R&B sound.

Carl is quoted and the quote appeared in the Preiss book back in '78 saying that the shift to the R&B sound on Wild Honey was Brian's call. So having it said or suggested on the show that Carl was the one behind that stylistic shift after Carl himself said Brian wanted to go for the R&B sound just doesn't add up. And it's not just a case of it involving Brian, but more of getting the story right especially for fans who don't know.

I'd also point out for all the time spent on "With A Little Help From My Friends" on the show, the fact that they covered "The Letter" wasn't even mentioned, nor was the fact they attempted other covers like (specifically) "Game Of Love" during this same period, which was of course the Wayne Fontana record done BB's style, as was the Box Tops tune and even how they gave an obscure nod to a Thee Midniters record at the Hawaii concert. It seemed like a little too much weight was placed on the Beatles thing putting more context than necessary into that cover when that was hardly the only cover they were working up from August to November 1967.

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« Reply #4 on: October 22, 2017, 07:45:48 PM »

It's a cool mission, for sure, to introduce music fans to this kind of music and hip them to something they weren't aware of. And I dig your radio voice, it's old-school and has a level of craft and skill in the way I enjoy hearing tapes of Jon Facenda, Harry Kalas, and Robert W. Morgan.

But at the same time I'd suggest getting more of a filter or fact-check for the content and statement of fact from guests when statements being made to those fans unfamiliar with the music let alone the history are being told things that can be disputed if not refuted by things as easy to find as session tracks on a new BB archival release promoted on the show as well as a book of quotes from band members including Carl himself that was published almost 40 years ago. What the fans heard on the show doesn't jive with what they can hear on tape and hear from Carl himself, so in that regard getting the historical facts spot-on correct should be part of the mission too.
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« Reply #5 on: October 22, 2017, 08:30:31 PM »

Having heard what exists of the Wild Honey session tapes - beyond just what's been released on ST - I can say that Brian did indeed call the shots, in terms of producing, virtually the whole album, with the exception of "I Was Made To Love Her" (produced by Carl and Bruce, with Al and Dennis present for the basic track - but not Brian). It seems "How She Boogaloed It" was a co-production of Brian, Carl and Bruce (with Carl playing most of the instruments), and Bruce helped produce the a cappella "Mama Says". Other than those titles, from what I can tell, Brian produced all the basic track sessions. Maybe Carl or the others had some production input as far as finishing "Darlin'", for instance, but Brian was the main producer on this album. Production-wise, it IS a very simple album (compared to Pet Sounds and SMiLE) - but there are still many nice production touches scattered throughout (for instance, the organ and guitar on "Aren't You Glad", and the organ effect on the title song).
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« Reply #6 on: October 23, 2017, 12:15:34 AM »

Hey Ghostly - Thanks for posting the link to your Wild Honey interview with David Beard. And even more importantly, thanks for recording and broadcasting the interview with David Beard in the first place, as there is not a lot of radio attention paid to such great music 50 years after the fact.

And thank you c-man for adding your expertise and first hand knowledge to the discussion.

GF - IMO your points would be more well taken by many readers if you weren't so darn confrontational. You've made some very good points, but they way your comments are stated come across like you're ragging on Ghostly for going to the trouble of promoting the music of the Beach Boys. Perhaps you might ask Ghostly if he'd consider you as an interview subject, although despite your strong background knowledge of the Beach Boys music, I wouldn't be surprised if he felt a degree of trepidation in accepting such an offer.

One more thing, Ghostly, as GF said, you've got a very cool radio voice. Looking forward to hearing more BB related programs from you.

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« Reply #7 on: October 23, 2017, 03:51:16 AM »

 I can tell you, however,  that whenever I do one of these album reviews I always hear from people who say "I've never heard this stuff before" or "I never took The Beach Boys seriously until you started doing these reviews". That happened again today. Mission accomplished.

Good to hear, Ghosty.
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« Reply #8 on: October 23, 2017, 06:11:36 AM »

Hey Ghostly - Thanks for posting the link to your Wild Honey interview with David Beard. And even more importantly, thanks for recording and broadcasting the interview with David Beard in the first place, as there is not a lot of radio attention paid to such great music 50 years after the fact.

And thank you c-man for adding your expertise and first hand knowledge to the discussion.

GF - IMO your points would be more well taken by many readers if you weren't so darn confrontational. You've made some very good points, but they way your comments are stated come across like you're ragging on Ghostly for going to the trouble of promoting the music of the Beach Boys. Perhaps you might ask Ghostly if he'd consider you as an interview subject, although despite your strong background knowledge of the Beach Boys music, I wouldn't be surprised if he felt a degree of trepidation in accepting such an offer.

One more thing, Ghostly, as GF said, you've got a very cool radio voice. Looking forward to hearing more BB related programs from you.



I have had email exchanges and conversations with David and Ghosty off the board multiple times on a multitude of issues - This was a public radio show linked to on a public fan forum and it should be open for comments and criticism. In this case, David said several things that were simply wrong or inaccurate on the show posted in this thread.

In this specific case of the Wild Honey production, it is a really sore point with me because the FACTS have been posted and repeated numerous times and that includes things I have said on and off the board as well as the reasons listed above. Yet David either failed to listen to the tapes, hasn't heard as much of them as others have or have heard about, or is listening to the wrong people for the information.

At this point what more proof does anyone need beyond now knowing that there are even more session tapes that make even stronger proof that Brian and NOT Carl was the one "calling the shots" during WH?

Why make a statement that Brian calling the shots would be "inaccurate" when it is actually 100% accurate?

And with David, I wish he'd accept that maybe what he and others have been led to believe for years is simply not true, and now apart from my voice which obviously didn't carry any weight despite being 100% correct on this issue all along (that's confrontational, I know), now we know too there are reels of tape of even more WH sessions to refute the mythology that David must still believe. Even after an email exchange off the board and everything else that has been written and said.

Now we know exactly *what* happened, now perhaps we should ask *why* there are still people talking from a position of authority over the knowledge of the band giving out incorrect information when the truth has been repeated enough times by now on this subject.

I don't blame Ghosty but to a point, it is his show where bad info was dispensed to fans who aren't as up on the topic or the music as we are, and I think he shares some responsibility for correcting it and maybe doing some fact-checking in the future. Overall I enjoy his show and have listened to multiple episodes especially the vintage TV segments. great stuff. But in this case, the ball was dropped.

And Custom Machine...curious you take more of an issue with my reaction than with David giving out bad info to a "new" audience of fans, but I'm used to all that by now. It's important to tell fans the accurate version of the facts, I'm surprised but not surprised you're not as troubled by that aspect being into the history as you seem to be about my commentary.
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« Reply #9 on: October 23, 2017, 08:26:39 AM »

So long
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« Reply #10 on: October 23, 2017, 09:50:32 AM »

At no time do either of us say, “Brian wasn’t calling the shots.”   At no time do either of us say any of the other members were "calling the shots."

The fact that Brian was attempting to produce Redwood speaks to him "pulling away."  There were other indicators; that's just one example.
 
Although Brian approved the R&B direction, it was Carl’s influence of the sound—in particular “I Was Made To Love Her” and his proven guitar acumen—that provided the topic of conversation.  Wild Honey is a very personal album for the group … very family oriented.  In my recent interview with Brian he called the album R&B-influenced with a soft rock (sound). 

There is no area of which we discuss that leads/points to any mythological and/or historical revisionism.  Craig (Guitarfool), I am glad you love the music and are so passionate about the topic, but I strongly suggest you listen more closely to what is actually said, versus what you don't hear being said.  At present, you're attempting to revise what Ghosty and I said.  Worse, you're inserting what you believe our intent was based on something we didn't say …

I know my topics …  But don't take my word for it—

“I’ve known and worked with David Beard for over a quarter century, and in addition to what I’ve experienced in his exemplary personal qualities, his work as a publisher, editor and Beach Boys historian has created an invaluable record of one of America’s most popular and important musical groups.”
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You seem like a lovely guy Mr. Beard.

But first of all, dig this...was working on projects such as The Survivors, Glen Campbell, The Honeys, Jan & Dean and Sharon Marie a sign of him pulling away from 1963 to 1965? I don't think so.

Secondly, who posts a quote of somebody else saying how great they are? I mean, President p*ssy Grabber would likely do such a thing, but what person with a sense of modesty would do that?

Lastly, I know you apologized, but still the fact that you called Brian brain damaged before really kinda bothered me. That was just beyond the pale.

“I’ve known and worked with James Spagett for over a quarter century, and in addition to what I’ve experienced in his exemplary personal qualities, his work as a juggler, punt returner and Jeff Foskett historian has created an invaluable record of one of America’s least popular and least important balding men with shitty falsettos.”
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« Reply #11 on: October 23, 2017, 10:46:53 AM »

But why say that saying Brian was still calling the shots was "inaccurate "? That's what the issue with this is.
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« Reply #12 on: October 23, 2017, 11:06:26 AM »

The solution to all of this is to have a Beach Boys version of Howie Edelson's "Fabcast", which is by and for hardcore fans, and gets into what matters instead of "which band members is your dog most like?" sort of topics.

I wish and hope that before too long maybe I have the time to get something like that up and going (at least an attempt to do so). And/or, I'll slowly try to convince Howie to do it. Such a thing would undoubtedly have a limited, niche audience (to start with, anyway). But we’re all getting older and we’re 56 years into this band. So it’s not out of line for us to ask for something the delves deeper and doesn’t need to cater to a wide, novice, “casual fan” or “non-fan” audience. But I also realize asking for it doesn’t get it done. 
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« Reply #13 on: October 23, 2017, 11:40:48 AM »

But why say that saying Brian was still calling the shots was "inaccurate "? That's what the issue with this is.

The exact quote (and we were talking about Carl's lead vocal on the song "Wild Honey", for context) is as follows:

"Carl was the right guy for the job. Brian was still...I'm not going to say calling the shots because that would be inaccurate...Brian was active but I think the reason that Carl is so present on this Wild Honey album is because this is where Brian is kind of pulling away, because Brian could've easily sang a lot of this stuff that Carl's singing but we do hear Brian singing on the album where the stuff is more personal".

I don't know where someone gets "Carl produced the album" out of that, nor is that ever said during the course of the conversation. We do say that Carl's love of RnB may have influenced Brian's songwriting. In the liner notes for "Sunshine Tomorrow" Al Jardine states that Carl was getting into production at this time, presumably learning from Brian. We don't even go THAT far.  Lol

Anyway, thanks to the folks who said they enjoyed it and even if you didn't that's cool too.
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« Reply #14 on: October 23, 2017, 12:02:48 PM »

David, I quoted you exactly in my initial comment, and again this is a direct quote from the broadcast, your own words:

"Brian was still, I'm not going to say calling the shots because that would be inaccurate...Brian was active" followed by comments about Brian pulling back.

Where did I revise what you said? The comment speaks for itself, and it's simply not true nor accurate to the history.

I'm repeating myself on a few points, but I need to make this clear: What upset me was that you made that statement after the Sunshine Tomorrow set which has audio evidence of Brian calling the shots, and also after an email exchange you and I had on this exact topic after you took issue with something I wrote after the Sunshine Tomorrow set was released officially. I laid out the case at that time both public and in whatever replies I sent, they have been confirmed even further, and you still must not accept the facts. I really don't understand where that logic comes from. If you have a specific reason why you ignore all of that to perpetrate a falsehood and broadcast it on a radio show, please share so we can understand what's going on here.

Now on top of that, Craig S. backed up and confirmed even further that there are more session tapes in the vault that have not been released which prove Brian was the one calling the shots for most of these WH era sessions. And having been at this for a fair amount of time myself, Craig S's hard evidence which he provided is the same kind of solid proof that isn't in question (which I was made aware of previously doing my own research) which makes me challenge anything being reported to the contrary, i.e. that someone other than Brian produced or called the shots for most of the WH project. It definitely was not Carl, otherwise he'd be heard acting as producer or calling the shots on the existing tapes.

The Carl quote, about Brian taking the group in an R&B direction with WH, was widely published in the Preiss book and has been known for almost 40 years among fans who have that book or who have read up on the band beyond the surface. That's a pretty cut-and-dry case where Carl himself is quoted saying something that directly refutes what you told fans on the broadcast about bringing in the R&B sound for the band, whether it was stated as opinion or fact. It was Brian's idea and Brian's call. It's no wonder Carl sang with as much energy and joy as he did on the album, to the point where David Anderle reported seeing Carl dancing around the studio as he was working on his vocals.

I'll repeat again that I quoted exactly what you said on the broadcast and even gave the time when you said it, and did not twist or revise a single word.

And I ask yet again, after all the evidence, the actual tapes, the confirmations from those who have heard and studied even more of those same tapes:

*Why did you tell fans it was inaccurate to say Brian was calling the shots?* It's actually 100% accurate and supported by the most primary sources available in the form of the actual tapes to say Brian was calling the shots.

I'm most interested in getting the 100% accurate facts about this band and their history to the fans, especially those new to the band and the music. I still question why you chose to go with incorrect facts if not mythology when the truth can be heard by anyone who listens to the Sunshine Tomorrow release and in light of everything else that has debunked whatever falsehoods were being spread about this album's creation for too long.
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« Reply #15 on: October 23, 2017, 12:08:52 PM »

But why say that saying Brian was still calling the shots was "inaccurate "? That's what the issue with this is.

The exact quote (and we were talking about Carl's lead vocal on the song "Wild Honey", for context) is as follows:

"Carl was the right guy for the job. Brian was still...I'm not going to say calling the shots because that would be inaccurate...Brian was active but I think the reason that Carl is so present on this Wild Honey album is because this is where Brian is kind of pulling away, because Brian could've easily sang a lot of this stuff that Carl's singing but we do hear Brian singing on the album where the stuff is more personal".

I don't know where someone gets "Carl produced the album" out of that, nor is that ever said during the course of the conversation. We do say that Carl's love of RnB may have influenced Brian's songwriting. In the liner notes for "Sunshine Tomorrow" Al Jardine states that Carl was getting into production at this time, presumably learning from Brian. We don't even go THAT far.  Lol

Anyway, thanks to the folks who said they enjoyed it and even if you didn't that's cool too.

"calling the shots" is producing the album in that context, Ghosty. C'mon, I dig your show but let's not get into parsing words or backpedaling. And if you equate which band member other than Brian would be chosen to sing lead on a given track, would that mean Brian was "pulling away" when he had Carl, Al, or Mike sing leads on Pet Sounds or any previous album when Brian himself could have sung them and actually did in the early stages to be replaced later? There is no logic to the connection between pulling away and not singing leads when it's the way Brian was working since 1965 and still works today as recent as the NPP album regarding who sings his songs.
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« Reply #16 on: October 23, 2017, 12:32:09 PM »

But why say that saying Brian was still calling the shots was "inaccurate "? That's what the issue with this is.

The exact quote (and we were talking about Carl's lead vocal on the song "Wild Honey", for context) is as follows:

"Carl was the right guy for the job. Brian was still...I'm not going to say calling the shots because that would be inaccurate...Brian was active but I think the reason that Carl is so present on this Wild Honey album is because this is where Brian is kind of pulling away, because Brian could've easily sang a lot of this stuff that Carl's singing but we do hear Brian singing on the album where the stuff is more personal".

I don't know where someone gets "Carl produced the album" out of that, nor is that ever said during the course of the conversation. We do say that Carl's love of RnB may have influenced Brian's songwriting. In the liner notes for "Sunshine Tomorrow" Al Jardine states that Carl was getting into production at this time, presumably learning from Brian. We don't even go THAT far.  Lol

Anyway, thanks to the folks who said they enjoyed it and even if you didn't that's cool too.

"calling the shots" is producing the album in that context, Ghosty. C'mon, I dig your show but let's not get into parsing words or backpedaling. And if you equate which band member other than Brian would be chosen to sing lead on a given track, would that mean Brian was "pulling away" when he had Carl, Al, or Mike sing leads on Pet Sounds or any previous album when Brian himself could have sung them and actually did in the early stages to be replaced later? There is no logic to the connection between pulling away and not singing leads when it's the way Brian was working since 1965 and still works today as recent as the NPP album regarding who sings his songs.


I'm backpedaling by posting the full quote?  (sigh)
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wjcrerar
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« Reply #17 on: October 23, 2017, 12:43:56 PM »

Thought it was a great discussion. Some of you need to fucken chill

Also whoa, Brian didn't produce I Was Made to Love Her but did co-produce How She Boogalooed It? I didn't see that one coming. Adds even more mystery to the 'Produced by Brian Wilson' credit on the original lineup when IWMTLH was still part of the album then. Now I'm super interested to know how much of Friends Brian actually produced, because that's always felt like a more Brian-centric album than anything between Smiley and Love You but it also seems to be around the time Carl and the others were stepping up to contribute a lot more.
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guitarfool2002
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« Reply #18 on: October 23, 2017, 01:12:47 PM »

I'm not going to play that roundabout wordplay game Ghosty. David made statements that were not accurate during your interview, it can be heard on the broadcast, and it appears that he decided to delete his original reply, then bails out instead of answering even the issue Billy asked him about directly again. The comment was made, it's inaccurate even in the context you're trying to suggest he made it, and he didn't address it yet. We could go into any number of facts that also contradict things said in the broadcast and in this thread, like the "pulling away" stuff...Brian was doing *exactly* what Brother was set up to do, which is allow the band members to bring in and work with outside artists and have a label in place to release them. Mike did the same thing with The Pickle Brothers, Carl did it later with The Flame, heck you could argue Dennis could have been trying to do that with Manson!

Not cool at all. If someone takes a position of authority on the history of the band and makes questionable statements that can be challenged if not refuted by the facts, they could at least step up and say "my bad", or "I got it wrong". Instead I get accused of revising a direct quote and other stuff when the facts don't support David's comments?

I guess the follow up is to ask why make such statements contrary to the facts then delete replies and bail out? 
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CenturyDeprived
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« Reply #19 on: October 23, 2017, 03:55:51 PM »

Is it just me, or does Mike intentionally omit and not ever mention the bullying Brian at the Redwood session incident, and further... if any interviewer or contact to Mike wants to continue having any sort of ongoing contact/relationship with Mike whatsoever, they must know full well in their hearts that this must be swept under the rug and never mentioned publicly? It's like some game of politics.

Not passing judgment on anybody for doing that (other than Mike himself), since I *get* that people don't want to be at risk of losing their connections to a band member. I don't think it makes it "right", but I can understand it. Heck, I'm sure the same thing happens with people connected to Brian as well (certain things being off limits). It just seems pretty obvious that's probably something that's been going on for years (Mike making it damn well known that nobody who wants to retain any connection to him is ever to publicly bring up any topic like this, for which he has no defense, and goes against the narrative he's trying to push, trying to convince the world he doesn't/didn't have bullying tendencies aimed towards his cousin).

« Last Edit: October 23, 2017, 04:15:03 PM by CenturyDeprived » Logged
clack
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« Reply #20 on: October 23, 2017, 04:28:52 PM »

Brian was in fact in the process of "pulling back" in the latter half of 1967, initially though in name only.

By all accounts, Brian was the sole producer of 'Smiley Smile', yet the lp had a Produced by The Beach Boys credit. That's Brian's 1st step in pulling back. On WH, Brian is the main producer, but, for the first time, had Carl and Bruce lend a hand. And again, a group production credit on the album sleeve, this time slightly more merited.

Do we know the full story on 'Friends'? My impression is that Brian is still in charge production-wise, but that he's opened up the songwriting and is collaborating with Carl, Al, and Dennis on the songs and perhaps the arrangements. Another step back from total control.

Of course, by 20/20 and Sunflower Carl, Dennis, Al, and Bruce are all contributing productions and arrangements. Again, this is just my impression, but I suspect that this gradual album-by-album yielding of control was not an accident, but Brian's post-SMiLE plan. He no longer wanted sole responsibility for the group's successes and failures.
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c-man
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« Reply #21 on: October 23, 2017, 04:36:13 PM »

Thought it was a great discussion. Some of you need to fucken chill

Also whoa, Brian didn't produce I Was Made to Love Her but did co-produce How She Boogalooed It? I didn't see that one coming. Adds even more mystery to the 'Produced by Brian Wilson' credit on the original lineup when IWMTLH was still part of the album then. Now I'm super interested to know how much of Friends Brian actually produced, because that's always felt like a more Brian-centric album than anything between Smiley and Love You but it also seems to be around the time Carl and the others were stepping up to contribute a lot more.

Well, it's always possible that Brian was involved in producing the overdubs for "IWMTLH" - the basic track was VERY sparse:  just minimal guitar by Carl and hi-hat by Dennis - Al was playing bass on the earlier takes, but dropped out well before the final take - so most of what we hear on the record (more guitar, full drums, funky Ron Brown bass playing, keyboards, tambourine - and of course, vocals) were added later.

I've heard most (not all) of the Friends album session tapes, and can tell you - Brian was also the main producer on THAT album. Based on the session tape I've heard, I'd have to say Brian and Dennis co-produced "Little Bird" pretty much 50%/50%. And, honestly, Murry co-produced "Meant For You" and "Transcendental Meditation". But the rest of the album, I believe, was Brian producing. Heck, the other guys weren't even in L.A. when the last three  tracks on that album were cut, as they were away on tour.

As for Carl's increasing role in the studio - well, he definitely started singing more leads with the Smiley Smile album (as the back cover credits make a point of mentioning), and that trend certainly continued with Wild Honey. Carl was there for pretty much all the backing track sessions on both '67 albums - in many cases, those tracks were laid down initially with just two instruments - Brian's piano and Carl's bass - and built up later (or not, in the case of some Smiley Smile cuts). So Carl was definitely plugging away in the studio, right next to Bri. And, to be honest, he may very well have helped produce overdubs and mixdowns - I can't be sure about that. But I do seem to remember a radio interview with Carl from around '88 - I think it was a multi-part series - where Carl said the first record he produced was "Do It Again" (which, as we know, is credited as a Brian-Carl co-production on the 20/20 album). I also recall the discussion Pete Fornatale had with Dennis (November '76), where Dennis stated it was Brian's own idea to change the production credit on their albums to read "Produced by The Beach Boys" (instead of saying "Produced by Brian Wilson) - and that this was a way of de-emphasizing his own role, to remove some of the pressure he was feeling. Of course, by the time of the 20/20 album, it was a truthful credit, as Brian had kind of abandoned the group (only to briefly return, production-wise, for Sunflower). And on 20/20, they even made a point of listing individual producers on specific cuts.

So, the point is, what may have initially started as a ruse by Brian to take some of the spotlight off of himself while still making records (simpler ones, for sure) eventually turned into "truth in advertising", as Brian made a deliberate departure from the group's activities, and the others were forced to "step up to the plate".
« Last Edit: October 23, 2017, 04:59:04 PM by c-man » Logged
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« Reply #22 on: October 23, 2017, 04:37:40 PM »

Brian was in fact in the process of "pulling back" in the latter half of 1967, initially though in name only.

By all accounts, Brian was the sole producer of 'Smiley Smile', yet the lp had a Produced by The Beach Boys credit. That's Brian's 1st step in pulling back. On WH, Brian is the main producer, but, for the first time, had Carl and Bruce lend a hand. And again, a group production credit on the album sleeve, this time slightly more merited.

Do we know the full story on 'Friends'? My impression is that Brian is still in charge production-wise, but that he's opened up the songwriting and is collaborating with Carl, Al, and Dennis on the songs and perhaps the arrangements. Another step back from total control.

Of course, by 20/20 and Sunflower Carl, Dennis, Al, and Bruce are all contributing productions and arrangements. Again, this is just my impression, but I suspect that this gradual album-by-album yielding of control was not an accident, but Brian's post-SMiLE plan. He no longer wanted sole responsibility for the group's successes and failures.

Your post hit just before mine - but yes, from what I've ascertained, you have it right. EDIT: I'm talking about your first two paragraphs - as for the third, I don't know if Brian was looking that far into the future, but I do know by the time of 20/20, Brian had apparently been institutionalized for a spell, and came back "not quite the same" (by all accounts). Maybe THAT had something to do with his subsequent dis-interest in the group's output...or maybe he was just bored with the BBs-scene by then...we do know his interest bounced back for Sunflower, and that he was so hurt by that album's lack of commercial success, that he retreated "back to the bushes" (as Carl put it) for the next three albums...
« Last Edit: October 23, 2017, 04:41:52 PM by c-man » Logged
B.E.
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« Reply #23 on: October 23, 2017, 04:55:59 PM »

And, honestly, Murry co-produced "Be With Me" and "Transcendental Meditation".

Did you mean to type, "Be Still" ?


Anyway, thanks so much for the insights, c-man! It's greatly appreciated.
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c-man
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« Reply #24 on: October 23, 2017, 04:58:36 PM »

And, honestly, Murry co-produced "Be With Me" and "Transcendental Meditation".

Did you mean to type, "Be Still" ?


Anyway, thanks so much for the insights, c-man! It's greatly appreciated.

Sorry - neither, actually!  I meant "Meant For You" - goes to show I need to slow down! I'll go back and fix my original post - thanks for catching that!
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