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Author Topic: Christopher Cross could have filled for Carl  (Read 2651 times)
GoogaMooga
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« on: December 31, 2017, 03:48:58 PM »

Twenty years ago we lost Carl Wilson, and the Beach Boys splintered into factions. Carl had been the mediator, with the voice of an angel. Since his passing, his leads have been meted out to whoever was capable.

If only they had hired Christopher Cross, no-one has a vocal closer to Carl's than Cross. Wasn't he mooted as a successor at some point?

Had Cross joined, Al might have stayed, and it would have been easier to cajole Brian into the group again. They would have gotten over SiP and Stars and Stripes, and gone ahead with more group efforts like Still Cruisin' before.

Instead we got the traveling oldies jukebox and Brian's Wondermints.

Christopher Cross:

ďBrian Wilsonís writing was a big influence on me and Carl Wilson was my No. 1 vocal influence growing up. Years later, we became very close.  Carl sang on my second album (1983ís Another Page), and we did a lot of touring together and vocal sessions for other artists. Heíd always say, ĎWe make a nice soundíóI just treasure that.Ē
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CM Punky Brewster
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« Reply #1 on: December 31, 2017, 03:58:34 PM »

Al was going to be sacked anyway. David was originally going to rejoin in 97 as Al's replacement, not Carl's.
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GoogaMooga
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« Reply #2 on: December 31, 2017, 04:28:28 PM »

Al was going to be sacked anyway. David was originally going to rejoin in 97 as Al's replacement, not Carl's.

I thought Al quit of his own accord. David did join briefly, but then he had the hepatitis to struggle with.
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zatch
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« Reply #3 on: December 31, 2017, 08:38:43 PM »

Iím not sure that there is that strong a similarity in their voices. Crossís is quite a bit more high-pitched in timbre. He would have made a fine fill-in though, he has a beautiful voice.
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Lonely Summer
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« Reply #4 on: January 01, 2018, 12:54:34 AM »

Iím not sure that there is that strong a similarity in their voices. Crossís is quite a bit more high-pitched in timbre. He would have made a fine fill-in though, he has a beautiful voice.
Maybe they should have tried to get Peter Cetera.
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Rocky Raccoon
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« Reply #5 on: January 01, 2018, 10:31:28 AM »

I remember reading that Cross was originally going to be the falsetto vocalist on Brian's first solo tour but had to back out for whatever reason so enter Jeff Foskett.
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KDS
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« Reply #6 on: January 01, 2018, 06:46:50 PM »

Cross did a very good job with Carl's part on Kokomo with The Beach Boys in Japan in 2012.
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« Reply #7 on: January 02, 2018, 09:25:31 AM »

I thought Al quit of his own accord. David did join briefly, but then he had the hepatitis to struggle with.

I truly don't mean this in a condescending or dismissive way, but I would suggest combing through old threads (and also reading the Marks/Stebbins book at least) regarding Al's 1998 departure. I acknowledge that trying to comb through all of that old discussion is no small task, but if you think the narrative goes simply that Al chose to leave, then you definitely need to read through old threads to pick up a ton more of the story.

Whatever happened, it certainly was not a case of Al quitting "of his own accord."

I don't know if I'd call David's tenure brief, as it lasted from about September or October or so of 1997 through July of 1999. And yes, as someone else pointed out, according to the Marks/Stebbins book, David was brought it with an eye towards replacing Al, not Carl. Carl's illness and then absence from the road simply through a wrench apparently into those plans. But ultimately, that's pretty much what happened.

The romanticized as some might want to make the idea that David and Carl were meant to tour side by side (as opposed to Dave taking Carl's place) in 1997/98, such a scenario would have occurred at the peril of Al.
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« Reply #8 on: January 02, 2018, 09:28:55 AM »

Iím not sure that there is that strong a similarity in their voices. Crossís is quite a bit more high-pitched in timbre. He would have made a fine fill-in though, he has a beautiful voice.
Maybe they should have tried to get Peter Cetera.

While I'm actually a defender of Peter Cetera in that, to the degree I dig the work of Chicago, I think Cetera was an  indispensable member of that band, and I also don't subscribe to the theory that his ego led to his departure from Chicago, I *do* think he also has a big (or perhaps a weird) ego. That, coupled with the simple economics of the situation, would have dictated that Cetera would never have joined the Beach Boys as a permanent member.

Al Jardine supposedly toyed with the idea of having Cetera along in a "Pet Sounds" tour in the late 90s, and I suppose it's slightly more plausible that he would have done something with them as a one-off tour sort of situation.
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« Reply #9 on: January 04, 2018, 07:29:40 PM »

I wonder if Carl did sign off on David to replace Al? That is really a shot to the gut of Al.
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Lonely Summer
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« Reply #10 on: January 04, 2018, 10:44:48 PM »

Iím not sure that there is that strong a similarity in their voices. Crossís is quite a bit more high-pitched in timbre. He would have made a fine fill-in though, he has a beautiful voice.
Maybe they should have tried to get Peter Cetera.

While I'm actually a defender of Peter Cetera in that, to the degree I dig the work of Chicago, I think Cetera was an  indispensable member of that band, and I also don't subscribe to the theory that his ego led to his departure from Chicago, I *do* think he also has a big (or perhaps a weird) ego. That, coupled with the simple economics of the situation, would have dictated that Cetera would never have joined the Beach Boys as a permanent member.

Al Jardine supposedly toyed with the idea of having Cetera along in a "Pet Sounds" tour in the late 90s, and I suppose it's slightly more plausible that he would have done something with them as a one-off tour sort of situation.
Cetera had left Chicago by the time Carl passed, but yeah, I know it wasn't a realistic proposition.
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Tony S
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« Reply #11 on: January 05, 2018, 03:58:13 AM »

I always wondered the same thing about Carl...did he sign off of David replacing Al, and moreso, why did he sign off on replacing tour vets Ed Carter and his former Bro in Law Billy Hinsche, who he was close with. So many unanswered questions from those last few years of Carl's as a Beach Boy. I wish someone would write a book that covered that stuff in t's true light.
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« Reply #12 on: January 05, 2018, 06:32:45 AM »

I always wondered the same thing about Carl...did he sign off of David replacing Al, and moreso, why did he sign off on replacing tour vets Ed Carter and his former Bro in Law Billy Hinsche, who he was close with. So many unanswered questions from those last few years of Carl's as a Beach Boy. I wish someone would write a book that covered that stuff in t's true light.

So many of those touring band guys came and went, I think it was just par for the course.

As far as David, considering *Al* wasn't told Dave was in the band full-time, even after Al and Dave started playing together (the Marks/Stebbins books describes, in "Spinal Tap" fashion, how Al eventually just noticed the obvious fact that Dave was showing up night after night and that it wasn't a quickie guest spot), I don't think Carl was left in the loop on that, as he was out at that time. I think it was the Marks/Stebbins book that described that Carl was told of David joining and simply offered a "good luck" to Dave via intermediaries, and went back to taking care of his mother and himself.

As the Marks/Stebbins book describes, Dave was supposedly eyed as a replacement for Al, not Carl. What would be interesting to know is whether *Carl* knew that, or whether he felt, however much he was polite and generously encouraging about Dave joining, that maybe Dave was replacing him even if that wasn't the intention.
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CenturyDeprived
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« Reply #13 on: January 05, 2018, 03:00:09 PM »

I always wondered the same thing about Carl...did he sign off of David replacing Al, and moreso, why did he sign off on replacing tour vets Ed Carter and his former Bro in Law Billy Hinsche, who he was close with. So many unanswered questions from those last few years of Carl's as a Beach Boy. I wish someone would write a book that covered that stuff in t's true light.

So many of those touring band guys came and went, I think it was just par for the course.

As far as David, considering *Al* wasn't told Dave was in the band full-time, even after Al and Dave started playing together (the Marks/Stebbins books describes, in "Spinal Tap" fashion, how Al eventually just noticed the obvious fact that Dave was showing up night after night and that it wasn't a quickie guest spot), I don't think Carl was left in the loop on that, as he was out at that time. I think it was the Marks/Stebbins book that described that Carl was told of David joining and simply offered a "good luck" to Dave via intermediaries, and went back to taking care of his mother and himself.

As the Marks/Stebbins book describes, Dave was supposedly eyed as a replacement for Al, not Carl. What would be interesting to know is whether *Carl* knew that, or whether he felt, however much he was polite and generously encouraging about Dave joining, that maybe Dave was replacing him even if that wasn't the intention.

I hate to assume the worst... but it almost seems like Carl having way too much to handle on his plate (his own health matters, which we don't really know when they started with him having knowledge of them), his mother's aging, etc. might have made Carl easier to simply fold or for him to be distracted and not able/willing to deal with band drama. One could make the assumption/argument (again, not saying this as fact, but saying it could possibly seem like this) that the timing of Carl being in over his head may not exactly have made it harder for Mike to implement a power grab scheme involving his ultimate plan of getting Al out of the band and assuming as much control as possible - and I mean all of this in the context of talking about within Carl's lifetime, before he got really sick.

I have to think it ultimately was politically advantageous for Mike to not have Carl be on his full game in terms of what Carl was willing to prioritize/fight for within his life at the time. Doesn't mean it was concocted as a scheme, but Carl's apparent inaction may have just been something Mike could still use for his advantage. Maybe the timing was simply a coincidence, but honestly I don't feel that some of these assumptions are completely unrealistic either.  

Yet of course I suppose it's possible that Carl independent grew to really resent Al's "attitude problem" and truly wanted him out of the band too, and that he just happened to feel completely the same way as Mike, coincidentally right around the time that he (Carl) was getting sick and dealing with his mom, etc. Not sure how likely this is though.

But I honestly just feel that someone (Mike) trying to oust a band member (Al) in the middle of a time when another band/family member (Carl) is dealing with life/death stuff is just really, really, really weird behavior. 
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Lonely Summer
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« Reply #14 on: January 05, 2018, 08:44:37 PM »

I always wondered the same thing about Carl...did he sign off of David replacing Al, and moreso, why did he sign off on replacing tour vets Ed Carter and his former Bro in Law Billy Hinsche, who he was close with. So many unanswered questions from those last few years of Carl's as a Beach Boy. I wish someone would write a book that covered that stuff in t's true light.

So many of those touring band guys came and went, I think it was just par for the course.

As far as David, considering *Al* wasn't told Dave was in the band full-time, even after Al and Dave started playing together (the Marks/Stebbins books describes, in "Spinal Tap" fashion, how Al eventually just noticed the obvious fact that Dave was showing up night after night and that it wasn't a quickie guest spot), I don't think Carl was left in the loop on that, as he was out at that time. I think it was the Marks/Stebbins book that described that Carl was told of David joining and simply offered a "good luck" to Dave via intermediaries, and went back to taking care of his mother and himself.

As the Marks/Stebbins book describes, Dave was supposedly eyed as a replacement for Al, not Carl. What would be interesting to know is whether *Carl* knew that, or whether he felt, however much he was polite and generously encouraging about Dave joining, that maybe Dave was replacing him even if that wasn't the intention.

I hate to assume the worst... but it almost seems like Carl having way too much to handle on his plate (his own health matters, which we don't really know when they started with him having knowledge of them), his mother's aging, etc. might have made Carl easier to simply fold or for him to be distracted and not able/willing to deal with band drama. One could make the assumption/argument (again, not saying this as fact, but saying it could possibly seem like this) that the timing of Carl being in over his head may not exactly have made it harder for Mike to implement a power grab scheme involving his ultimate plan of getting Al out of the band and assuming as much control as possible - and I mean all of this in the context of talking about within Carl's lifetime, before he got really sick.

I have to think it ultimately was politically advantageous for Mike to not have Carl be on his full game in terms of what Carl was willing to prioritize/fight for within his life at the time. Doesn't mean it was concocted as a scheme, but Carl's apparent inaction may have just been something Mike could still use for his advantage. Maybe the timing was simply a coincidence, but honestly I don't feel that some of these assumptions are completely unrealistic either.  

Yet of course I suppose it's possible that Carl independent grew to really resent Al's "attitude problem" and truly wanted him out of the band too, and that he just happened to feel completely the same way as Mike, coincidentally right around the time that he (Carl) was getting sick and dealing with his mom, etc. Not sure how likely this is though.

But I honestly just feel that someone (Mike) trying to oust a band member (Al) in the middle of a time when another band/family member (Carl) is dealing with life/death stuff is just really, really, really weird behavior. 
I agree - very weird behavior. And I agree that Carl already had too much on his plate to deal with the ongoing band nonsense. I doubt anyone will ever write about this period in detail - at least, anyone in a position to know what was really going on - because it's just too painful to relive.
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southbay
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« Reply #15 on: January 06, 2018, 09:01:20 AM »

If David was originally hired to replace Al (which I know are indeed the reports), why did he start touring only after Carl left the road?  Honest question.
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« Reply #16 on: January 08, 2018, 08:03:06 AM »

If David was originally hired to replace Al (which I know are indeed the reports), why did he start touring only after Carl left the road?  Honest question.

This is a *very good* question, and it hasn't ever been directly, specifically answered. But I think the answer is that it's just coincidence. Maybe.

Mike was apparently pursuing Dave while both Al and Carl were still touring, at some point during 1997. According to Marks/Stebbins, this was with eye towards Dave replacing Al. I'm not sure how or if Mike thought Carl would go along with this.

At some point while Carl was touring, Mike, as reported here by Ray Lawlor, sent a letter to BRI saying he didn't want to appear on stage with Carl anymore while Carl was in his current deteriorating health, saying he would quit the group if Carl continued. I'm not sure exactly *when* this occurred (it presumably occurred wihile Carl was still touring, probably in late Summer 1997), but it appears this letter became moot when Carl had to (at the time hoped to be temporarily) leave the road due to illness.

As best as I can tell based on the rough timeline from Marks/Stebbins, Mike was continuously trying to get ahold of Dave and wasn't able to, and then eventually was, and apparently Dave being contacted and agreeing to join just happened to occur as/after Carl left the road.

It certainly gave the impression that Dave was replacing Carl, and I'm not sure if the press was even following the BBs at the stage enough for anyone to specifically ask what the deal was with Carl being gone and Dave being back. I recall seeing a TV report prior to Carl's death on one of those "Inside Edition" type shows reporting on the novelty of the long-lost member rejoining the band, but I don't recall it going much beyond that. I don't recall if Carl was even mentioned.

I would guess that Mike was trying to plan for a Mike-Bruce-Dave-Carl lineup (and/or a Mike-Bruce-Dave lineup based on the possibility that Carl wouldn't survive). Marks/Stebbins describes Carl's illness essentially throwing off Mike's plans regarding Dave replacing Al.

Thus, as Dave began touring, Al was *still* there and hadn't even been told that Dave was joining. As Marks/Stebbins describes, after a few nights playing where it was apparent Dave was not doing a quick guest spot, Al confronted Dave to confirm Dave was full-time and Dave wasn't even aware of Al was at that point, which was that Al knew he was screwed and he was being edged out.

So, the short answer is that it would appear it was a coincidence that Dave began touring right after Carl had to leave the road. Why nobody did much work to quell the incorrect notion from fans that Dave was just being an opportunist by taking Carl's spot, I don't know. Al was gone by early 1998, so at that point the headline wasn't Dave replacing Carl, it was essentially the entire thing blowing up and reforming, and/or the headline became that Carl died, Dave joined (even though he actually joined before Carl's death), Al left, and the band continued on.

I personally find it hard to believe that, had Carl survived, Carl would have continued on with Dave in the band after Mike had booted Al (figuratively if not literally), but I don't think we have any idea of what Carl knew or was being told about Al's relationship vis-ŗ-vis the touring operation. Maybe Carl (correctly or incorrectly) had the impression Al was being difficult.

What is sad is that I find it hard to believe that Carl wouldn't have been at least a bit bummed that Mike sent a letter to BRI refusing to be on stage with him, then Carl had to leave the tour due to health, and then all of a sudden he hears David Marks is in his spot on stage. I know Marks/Stebbins reports Carl sent Dave well wishes (was Carl communicating at all with Al at this point?), and I don't doubt Carl's sentiments were honest. But, even while focusing his attention on his ailing mother and himself, I have to wonder if that whole episode wasn't a bit of a bummer in the back of Carl's mind.

Really, we have no idea what Carl knew in 1997/98. Did he know, while still touring in the summer of 1997, that Mike was trying to track down Dave to join? If so, was he aware it was allegedly being done with an eye towards replacing Al? Presumably Carl was aware Al disagreed with Mike taking on producing the BB tour, but I don't know how far it went beyond that. Marks/Sebbins suggests Carl seemed surprised that Dave had come on board with the band. Was Carl as out of the loop as Al? If so, how was Mike doing all of this without half of the BRI board members being told? Was he taking advantage of Carl having bigger things to deal with, and Al being more or less powerless?

I sense that Al knew that Mike's company producing BB shows had HUGE future ramifications. I think Carl either didn't think so, or didn't care anymore. Either way, it appears what Al feared would happen is exactly what happened. His negative reaction to David Marks's confirming he was back full time seemed to be that Al was confirming what he already feared was going to happen.
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« Reply #17 on: January 08, 2018, 10:47:18 AM »

 I often wonder if Mike had any belief that Brian might tour more regularly with them after Al left.  They seemed on decent terms during 1996, although Brian wasn't much of a live performer. 1997 and 1998 were certainly strange years.
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« Reply #18 on: January 08, 2018, 11:03:27 AM »

I remember reading (could have been in The Lost Beach Boy), that's Mike's original plan for David was to replace Bruce, but then it shifted to replacing Al once Mike decided that was untenable
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« Reply #19 on: January 08, 2018, 11:50:31 AM »

The whole shifting of band members around this time period has always entrigued me. If it wasnít for Carlís tragic passing you wonder what might have been. I could certainly see Carl retiring or even sticking with Mike. Couldnít imagine him with Brian touring Pet Sounds or even later Smile. Especially since he evidently vetoed The Beach Boys Pet Sounds tour of the 90ís(?) and him and Brian were on the outs if Iím not mistaken.
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« Reply #20 on: January 08, 2018, 01:58:08 PM »

The whole shifting of band members around this time period has always entrigued me. If it wasnít for Carlís tragic passing you wonder what might have been. I could certainly see Carl retiring or even sticking with Mike. Couldnít imagine him with Brian touring Pet Sounds or even later Smile. Especially since he evidently vetoed The Beach Boys Pet Sounds tour of the 90ís(?) and him and Brian were on the outs if Iím not mistaken.

I like to think that if Carl had been healthy, he could have gotten Mike and Al to sit down and iron out their differences. As it was, he had too much on his plate already. But if Mike, Al, Carl and Bruce had been able to continue touring together - with, or without David - I seriously doubt any of them would have joined Brian's band.
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« Reply #21 on: January 08, 2018, 05:59:22 PM »

Carl cared about the quality of the music. I find it hard to believe that he would have supported removing the second best singer in the band.
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« Reply #22 on: January 08, 2018, 06:04:16 PM »

The whole shifting of band members around this time period has always entrigued me. If it wasnít for Carlís tragic passing you wonder what might have been. I could certainly see Carl retiring or even sticking with Mike. Couldnít imagine him with Brian touring Pet Sounds or even later Smile. Especially since he evidently vetoed The Beach Boys Pet Sounds tour of the 90ís(?) and him and Brian were on the outs if Iím not mistaken.

I like to think that if Carl had been healthy, he could have gotten Mike and Al to sit down and iron out their differences. As it was, he had too much on his plate already. But if Mike, Al, Carl and Bruce had been able to continue touring together - with, or without David - I seriously doubt any of them would have joined Brian's band.

Would Brian have even gone forth with solo touring if Carl had survived?
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« Reply #23 on: January 08, 2018, 09:56:38 PM »

The whole shifting of band members around this time period has always entrigued me. If it wasnít for Carlís tragic passing you wonder what might have been. I could certainly see Carl retiring or even sticking with Mike. Couldnít imagine him with Brian touring Pet Sounds or even later Smile. Especially since he evidently vetoed The Beach Boys Pet Sounds tour of the 90ís(?) and him and Brian were on the outs if Iím not mistaken.

I like to think that if Carl had been healthy, he could have gotten Mike and Al to sit down and iron out their differences. As it was, he had too much on his plate already. But if Mike, Al, Carl and Bruce had been able to continue touring together - with, or without David - I seriously doubt any of them would have joined Brian's band.

Would Brian have even gone forth with solo touring if Carl had survived?

Good point. I think that certainty could have changed things. But let's say Brian continued on as he did with Imagination, etc. Carl did not know the quality of the band Brian would put together. Had he watched from afar the Live at the Roxi, the Pet Sounds tour and then the Smile tour, Carl may have realized an opportunity to join something special. I could see Carl wanting to share that with his brother because at that point Brian was no longer a liability or an embarrassment and the rector of the material (smile) was full circle.
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« Reply #24 on: January 09, 2018, 06:46:38 AM »

The whole shifting of band members around this time period has always entrigued me. If it wasnít for Carlís tragic passing you wonder what might have been. I could certainly see Carl retiring or even sticking with Mike. Couldnít imagine him with Brian touring Pet Sounds or even later Smile. Especially since he evidently vetoed The Beach Boys Pet Sounds tour of the 90ís(?) and him and Brian were on the outs if Iím not mistaken.

I like to think that if Carl had been healthy, he could have gotten Mike and Al to sit down and iron out their differences. As it was, he had too much on his plate already. But if Mike, Al, Carl and Bruce had been able to continue touring together - with, or without David - I seriously doubt any of them would have joined Brian's band.

Would Brian have even gone forth with solo touring if Carl had survived?

Yes, I think so. He was already recording and on the cusp of releasing "Imagination" while Carl was still alive. Had Carl gotten better and went out on the road in 1998, I think Brian still would have released "Imagination" and done TV promotions for it, and probably would have still gone out on tour. The 1998/99 iteration of Mike Love didn't seem *more* interested than in the mid 90s in doing something like a bunch of Brian/Paley songs as a "Beach Boys" album, and clearly Brian saw little value in doing any regular touring with the BBs.

If Carl had survived, we probably would have seen a full group project including Brian within a few years. Some sort of project.
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