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638861 Posts in 25533 Topics by 3626 Members - Latest Member: Julia October 16, 2018, 09:30:09 AM
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Author Topic: California Music  (Read 2176 times)
NateRuvin
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« on: January 08, 2018, 07:12:45 AM »

So from what I could find online, California Music was a super group of sorts led by Bruce Johnston and Curt Boettcher. And Brian Wilson was in it to some extent? Can I get some more information about CM and where I can hear their music?
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Zesterz
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« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2018, 07:34:35 AM »

Afraid I dont know much more......although tbey had recorded at one stage for Bruce and Terrys label, Equinox, released via CBS in UK I think. A Gloria Grinel sang on record with them for at least one tune . Curt sang lead on Jamaica Farewell.......sort akin to Sloop John B. Best thing in my opionion to search for is the song Brian W sang lead on.........think it was a very 4/ 4 version of Why do fools fall in Love. If I can check, shall do so. It is nice production....accordion an' all
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Zesterz
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« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2018, 07:40:08 AM »

Oops....via youtube...thats Terry on lead. Check the production though.......nearness to Male Ego   ( in a good way). Think I bought this arond early to mid 70s....on vinyl 45 at time of release
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Rocky Raccoon
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« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2018, 08:01:42 AM »

The Wikipedia entry is pretty informative.  Seems that Brianís involvement was the source of some conflict due to The Beach Boys being under contract with Warner Bros.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/California_Music
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HeyJude
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« Reply #4 on: January 08, 2018, 08:45:08 AM »

Did they really have high hopes that a faceless band, a "supergroup" with only one or two truly known names outside of industry circles (the Traveling Wilburys this was not), was going to be particularly successful, especially by doing covers of 50s and 60s tracks in 1975?

I'm not saying it had no chance, but all of this coupled with Brian clearly in 1975 not being on his a-game had to spelled disaster for this thing from the outset.

It's not even like in retrospect it sounds like it would have been a really great project. Not that those guys weren't talented, but most of those guys didn't have an awesome resume going circa mid-late 70s. If Brian had had an album's worth of brand new songs we've never otherwise heard, and had plans to have someone else with a pleasant (even if kind of bland) voice to sing them like Terry Melcher, then maybe it would at least be in the "lost potential gems" category.
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« Reply #5 on: January 08, 2018, 08:53:03 AM »

fortunately the old RCA WDFFIL? single is a stereo pressing

the lead vocal Gloria Grinell shares with Terry Melcher.  Brians' voice is very prominent in the BGV's

I've always liked it
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NateRuvin
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« Reply #6 on: January 08, 2018, 09:11:35 AM »

According to a comment on WDFFIL, Dean Torrence sings on the track too.
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Jay
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« Reply #7 on: January 08, 2018, 10:03:01 AM »

I seem to recall a recording supposedly by CM of "Don't Worry Baby" with Bruce singing newly re-written lyrics.
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Matt H
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« Reply #8 on: January 08, 2018, 10:08:59 AM »

I seem to recall a recording supposedly by CM of "Don't Worry Baby" with Bruce singing newly re-written lyrics.

I have that 45, will have to check and see if the lyrics are different.
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Zesterz
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« Reply #9 on: January 08, 2018, 10:14:07 AM »

The melody is different !!   It is very good to my ears....
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Jay
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« Reply #10 on: January 08, 2018, 09:20:32 PM »

I seem to recall a recording supposedly by CM of "Don't Worry Baby" with Bruce singing newly re-written lyrics.

I have that 45, will have to check and see if the lyrics are different.
I've heard one version of the song with alternate lyrics. I remember one line was "There's magic in her eyes, that makes me come alive when she says..." right before the chorus. I can't remember who does it though.
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Malc
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« Reply #11 on: January 10, 2018, 12:11:30 AM »

On eBay...

https://www.ebay.com/itm/CURT-BOETTCHER-CALIFORNIA-MUSIC-CD-PROD-BRIAN-WILSON-BRUCE-JOHNSTON-T-MELCHER/253344635551

although really only worth it for Bruce's exquisite "Brand New Old Friends" (aka the original source for "Happy Endings")
« Last Edit: January 10, 2018, 12:16:20 AM by Malc » Logged

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Zesterz
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« Reply #12 on: January 10, 2018, 02:46:55 AM »

got that cd when it came out. Good music......havent gone upstairs to check...but think it was on Poptones label
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phirnis
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« Reply #13 on: January 10, 2018, 05:25:32 AM »

I have the California Music CD, it's kind of OK. Love their version of Jamaica Farewell.
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Willy Wilson
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« Reply #14 on: January 14, 2018, 08:17:23 AM »

Is California Music album available to download anywhere? Cannot find it on either amazon or iTunes.
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kreen
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« Reply #15 on: January 14, 2018, 07:22:17 PM »

I have the California Music CD, it's kind of OK. Love their version of Jamaica Farewell.

I love this CD, it's got great production throughout. I don't know if there's any BW involvement on it (I don't think so), but this is the great Curt Boettcher's last hurrah. Be aware though that some of the songs are disco -- but it's quality disco.
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JK
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« Reply #16 on: January 15, 2018, 01:36:46 AM »

On eBay...

https://www.ebay.com/itm/CURT-BOETTCHER-CALIFORNIA-MUSIC-CD-PROD-BRIAN-WILSON-BRUCE-JOHNSTON-T-MELCHER/253344635551

although really only worth it for Bruce's exquisite "Brand New Old Friends" (aka the original source for "Happy Endings")

It's certainly a lovely track: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DDXqI8XlnMs
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phirnis
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« Reply #17 on: January 15, 2018, 02:45:31 AM »

I like Brand New Old Friends. What's funny to me is how Bruce Johnston wrote this when he was still in his 20s (or early 30s?). It's nostalgic in a maudlin/sappy way where I find it hard to picture a fairly young person coming up with it.
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SBonilla
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« Reply #18 on: January 15, 2018, 08:12:08 AM »

The supergroup aspect of California Music was pretty much a journalistic hype. All or nearly all of the productions surrounding these releases (the RCA ones), fell under Terry Melcher's Equinox production company deal with RCA. Equinox had to deliver some number of singles and album  masters to RCA over a period of time in order to fulfill their contractual obligation. There was a 'team' of producers/artists/songwriters who, in various combinations, carried out the various creative duties. Mostly it was  Terry Melcher and Bruce Johnston, Curt Becher (as he was known then) and Bill House (check out his album; very good) were also involved.

There was some legal and economic convenience to using the California Music moniker. Equinox would not have to sign individual artists or groups in order to make some of the records. My suspicion is that Terry and/or Bruce owned the name.

From the looks of it, the agreement was structured on singles deals with options, and a small number of guaranteed album releases (Terry Melcher, Bill House, and I believe the David Cassidy - The Higher They Climb, album may have been part that deal).

Equinox may have 'promised' RCA that Brian would be a major participant; they had at least one commitment for Brian's production and arrangement services (Why Do Fools Fall In Love). That would have certainly sweetened the deal, considerably. I think Brian's skimpy involvement may be due to a combination of factors: contractual conflicts, loss of interest on Brian's part, or even an inability for Brian to do more than arrange, sing backgrounds, and co-produce that one track (WDFFIL).

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Juice Brohnston
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« Reply #19 on: January 15, 2018, 11:50:48 AM »

I think Brian's skimpy involvement may be due to a combination of factors: contractual conflicts, loss of interest on Brian's part, or even an inability for Brian to do more than arrange, sing backgrounds, and co-produce that one track (WDFFIL).

Also, wasn't there some concern from BB Management, and maybe Marilyn, that this 'alternative' source of income for Brian might be used to buy drugs? I think they were trying to keep him under wraps in this period.
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Zesterz
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« Reply #20 on: January 15, 2018, 12:23:28 PM »

It was reported that way at the time.
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Malc
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« Reply #21 on: January 16, 2018, 09:23:01 AM »

This is another excellent set that pulls together the best bits from that period...

https://www.ebay.com/itm/California-Music-Disney-Girls-RCA-Equinox-Colle-BVCM-31050-CD-JAPAN-2000-NEW/253142536994
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« Reply #22 on: January 16, 2018, 10:11:57 AM »

I've heard one version of the song with alternate lyrics. I remember one line was "There's magic in her eyes, that makes me come alive when she says..." right before the chorus. I can't remember who does it though.

That's The Tokens version.
« Last Edit: January 16, 2018, 10:12:23 AM by BeachBoysCovers » Logged

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