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Author Topic: Peter Bagge’s “In Defense Of (And Praise For) Mike Love”  (Read 2499 times)
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« on: March 19, 2018, 05:36:24 PM »

This article dates back to 2001 and be warned, the writer goes out of his way to slaughter sacred cows with a most contentious piece. It does not reflect my opinion on the Beach Boys, but I think it contains enough home truths that it should be posted here. Bagge is very tongue-in-cheek and deliberately tries to provoke. But I admire his singular stand in some ways, flying in the face of popular opinion. If nothing else, perhaps it can redress the imbalance of negative bias against Mike Love. Have at it: http://www.mbird.com/2012/05/beach-boys-101-peter-bagges-in-defense-of-and-praise-for-mike-love/
« Last Edit: March 19, 2018, 06:11:27 PM by GoogaMooga » Logged
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« Reply #1 on: March 19, 2018, 07:42:56 PM »

f*** Mike Love.... Wink
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And production aside, I’d so much rather hear a 14 year old David Marks shred some guitar on Chug-a-lug than hear a 51 year old Mike Love sing about bangin some chick in a swimming pool.-rab2591
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« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2018, 06:27:00 AM »

Not a fan of the article. It seems to have strange motives. It doesn't even work well as a "contrarian" or "slaughtering sacred cows" type of piece.

It's too long, it meanders, and has the same tone as those "Sgt. Pepper is actually the WORST ALBUM EVER!!!!" sorts of articles.

There are also numerous factual errors, especially when it gets down near the end where it gets kind of "meh, whatever" about the numerous BB-related lawsuits, etc.

If the point of the article is simply that Mike was an important part of the band, especially during it's heyday, then I don't think anybody but a few anti-Mike internet trolls ever contended otherwise. But all of the band politics (lawsuits, business maneuvers, personnel changes, etc.) are part of the story, and in some cases did impact the music. The writer of that article seems pretty quick to dismiss a TON of Mike's "flaws."

The article is especially laughably out of date and non-applicable in light of the events of the 2012 reunion.

Probably not a good idea to lead off early with a paragraph like this:

It’s Brian’s story that so many poor, misunderstood, hyper-sensitive idealists can’t get enough of. Not only was Brian the main musical genius behind all those great records, but he’s also that most romantic type of Genius: the Idiot Savant, the Tortured Soul. He’s become the straight male nerd’s Judy Garland. Hey, who DOESN’T love a gifted re tard (assuming you don’t have to live or work with one, that is)? This Lovable Eccentric (so the legend now goes) was only interested in expressing himself through his music, ma-an, only people around him couldn’t leave this Goose who Laid the Golden Records alone and nearly killed him because of it. He “just wasn’t MADE for these times,” MA-AN! He’s too maldito BEAUTIFUL for this world! *Sob!*

Now, an insightful look at how Brian has at various points been overly-romanticized, or an look at how Brian fans can be overly-forgiving at times and/or too defensive, is something worth writing about. I've done it myself. But the stuff above is just hack, masturbatory writing. He probably thinks the Judy Garland analogy is *genius*, but it's actually off the mark because the reason his stereotypical view of a "Garland fan" actually enjoys Judy Garland is *far* different than even his exaggerated stereotype of why Brian fans like Brian.

The paragraph above ironically probably *does* give a bit of a sense of how Mike Love has felt about Brian at various times over the years. Hopefully not in those precise words, but I'm sure he's been frustrated by the "tortured genius" trope for nearly his entire life.
« Last Edit: March 20, 2018, 06:54:18 AM by HeyJude » Logged

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« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2018, 06:37:43 AM »

This article dates back to 2001 and be warned, the writer goes out of his way to slaughter sacred cows with a most contentious piece. It does not reflect my opinion on the Beach Boys, but I think it contains enough home truths that it should be posted here. Bagge is very tongue-in-cheek and deliberately tries to provoke. But I admire his singular stand in some ways, flying in the face of popular opinion. If nothing else, perhaps it can redress the imbalance of negative bias against Mike Love. Have at it: http://www.mbird.com/2012/05/beach-boys-101-peter-bagges-in-defense-of-and-praise-for-mike-love/

I thought it was a pretty interesting read.   Offers a different POV that's often dismissed. 
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« Reply #4 on: March 20, 2018, 06:56:58 AM »

Please note that in the above excerpt of the piece in my previous post, for some reason this board's software edited the content. For the sake of specifically quoting this guy's article, I'm going to try to point out that what the guy says sarcastically about Brian in the article is:

"who DOESN'T love a gifted re tard (assuming you don't have to live or work with one, that is)?"

Yeah, that *sure is* a "different" POV.
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« Reply #5 on: March 20, 2018, 07:01:55 AM »

It's a hack, self-pleasuring piece that, within the BB world/realm, strikes me as *very* early 2000s, during that era where there were ill feelings in the aftermath of the breakup of the band in 1998 and Carl's death, where the "beefs" with Mike at least kind of *seemed* a bit more apocryphal or kind of visceral (e.g. "he's a jerk", with no specific reason stated).

What's sad about the BBs story, and Mike, and what also severely dates this article is what has occurred *since* 2001. 17 more years of inflammatory interviews, insulting comments about the Wilsons, rolling his eyes at Brian's new music for the BB album (or, to be more specific, miming suicide), and Mike *walking away* from the reunion. Not to mention a nasty 2004 lawsuit that said *awful* things about Brian and Al (even though Al wasn't even part of the lawsuit). 17 more years of Mike putting band politics and resentment ahead of the music, ahead of keeping the band together, and ahead of the fans.

This article was questionable in 2001. In 2018, it's borderline useless.

As I said previously, an insightful look at how some fans are too forgiving of Brian, and/or too hard on Mike, could be an informative, thought-provoking topic. That 2001 article is *not* such a piece.
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« Reply #6 on: March 20, 2018, 07:59:09 AM »

Please note that in the above excerpt of the piece in my previous post, for some reason this board's software edited the content. For the sake of specifically quoting this guy's article, I'm going to try to point out that what the guy says sarcastically about Brian in the article is:

"who DOESN'T love a gifted re tard (assuming you don't have to live or work with one, that is)?"

Yeah, that *sure is* a "different" POV.

I will admit that calling Brian a mentally handicapped person was taking it too far. 
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« Reply #7 on: March 20, 2018, 09:12:31 AM »

One point where I do agree with Bagge, though, is when he postulates that the Wilson brothers wouldn't have made it without Mike. The oft-repeated cliché in BB fandom is that "Mike would still be pumping gas, if it hadn't been for Brian". The Wilson brothers were gifted alright, but I don't think they would have become America's band without (1) the initial thrust of Murry, and (2) Mike's lyrics, vocals, and showmanship. They'd have been some best kept secret like Millennium or Curt Boettcher. Just my opinion.
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« Reply #8 on: March 20, 2018, 09:26:36 AM »

One point where I do agree with Bagge, though, is when he postulates that the Wilson brothers wouldn't have made it without Mike. The oft-repeated cliché in BB fandom is that "Mike would still be pumping gas, if it hadn't been for Brian". The Wilson brothers were gifted alright, but I don't think they would have become America's band without (1) the initial thrust of Murry, and (2) Mike's lyrics, vocals, and showmanship. They'd have been some best kept secret like Millennium or Curt Boettcher. Just my opinion.

I think Mike's lyrics and showmanship, particularly during the early years, often get overlooked. 
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« Reply #9 on: March 20, 2018, 09:50:53 AM »

One point where I do agree with Bagge, though, is when he postulates that the Wilson brothers wouldn't have made it without Mike. The oft-repeated cliché in BB fandom is that "Mike would still be pumping gas, if it hadn't been for Brian". The Wilson brothers were gifted alright, but I don't think they would have become America's band without (1) the initial thrust of Murry, and (2) Mike's lyrics, vocals, and showmanship. They'd have been some best kept secret like Millennium or Curt Boettcher. Just my opinion.

Yes, it depends on what "made it" constitutes. If you read Mark Lewisohn's "Tune In", you learn that the Beatles wouldn't have made it without talent and skill, but that they also experienced a number of fortunate turns, luck, happenstance, etc.

I don't think much of anyone would ever argue that the BBs would have been the exact same popular group in the 60s if you just erased Mike Love from the picture. His lyrics and stage presence were important, no question. As was his voice, both lead and backing vocals.

When someone makes some reference to how the Wilsons (especially) Brian, would have "made it" without Mike whereas Mike would not have "made it" without Brian, to me that pertains more to having some sort of career in music, or attaining some level of success or notoriety in that field. I do think the Wilsons, especially Brian, would have carved something out in the music field. Brian had too much music running through him to not.

I do not believe Mike would have done much if anything in the music business had Brian and the BBs not come along. I suppose I could envision him pulling a bit of a Gary Usher/Roger Christian solely in the lyric department had he maintained enough of an interest in music to be a lyrics guy for someone else. But Mike has said that even within the huge level of success the BBs attained, he didn't enjoy working in the studio. He never really truly learned to play an instrument, and his "composing" skills were mainly in the lyric department. So he had little in the way of the skills or talent or training, nor the drive, to even go for a big music career.

Whether Brian could have put together a band on the level of the BBs without Mike, or if instead he had attained a sort of cult "Emitt Rhodes" level of success, it's hard to say.
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« Reply #10 on: March 20, 2018, 10:01:04 AM »

One point where I do agree with Bagge, though, is when he postulates that the Wilson brothers wouldn't have made it without Mike. The oft-repeated cliché in BB fandom is that "Mike would still be pumping gas, if it hadn't been for Brian". The Wilson brothers were gifted alright, but I don't think they would have become America's band without (1) the initial thrust of Murry, and (2) Mike's lyrics, vocals, and showmanship. They'd have been some best kept secret like Millennium or Curt Boettcher. Just my opinion.

I think Mike's lyrics and showmanship, particularly during the early years, often get overlooked.  

I don't think so these days, especially when it comes to commentators, journalists, writers, and experts whose opinion matters. Anyone trying to write about the band while trying to say Mike's role in those early years wasn't a key to their success would (or should) not be taken seriously.

But I think the "Mike is underrated" argument is at least partially a straw man. There are a few tiny elements of his story that (ironically) parallel George Harrison in the Beatles. Mike had talent, but was in a group with a guy with immensely more talent. Mike still played a *key* role in the band and its success. Similarly, George Harrison was talented (and actually was a *bigger* part of the Beatles' act pre-EMI), but was in a band with two of the most talented composers/singers/musicians/people on the planet. It's impossible to not be overshadowed. But, just as any Beatles commentator/biographer would be dismissed if they argued George was a talentless hack who rode the coattails of Lennon/McCartney, the same goes for Mike Love.

When we look at the later years of the BBs, the discussion and the band dynamic change. As they created less and less and capitalized more and more on their back catalog and legacy (both via reissues of old music and concert setlists), the Brian-Mike thing took on a different element, one that often ends up drawing in personal viewpoints/politics/ethos. Namely, who is more important, the guy that dreamed all of that music up and created it, or the guy that schlepped it on his back and took it to the masses in concert.

My position is that, as long as we're not being held to sum up the band in one sentence, then there is plenty of room to highlight all of their contributions. And Mike's were very important. To this day, his presence is important. (As I often say, lost on those who take my criticism of Mike ending C50 as being dismissive of Mike, it's actually the opposite; I'm saying Mike *needs* to be a part of it!).

But, if cornered and forced to put it into one sentence, if forced to name the most important lynchpin of the whole thing, I'm happy to go back to Dennis Wilson's artful quote, which shows Brian the ultimate respect and also displays the appropriate (if extreme) level of humility on the part of Dennis:

"Brian is The Beach Boys. He is the band. We're his f***ing messengers. He is all of it. Period. We're nothing. He's everything"
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« Reply #11 on: March 20, 2018, 10:21:16 AM »

One point where I do agree with Bagge, though, is when he postulates that the Wilson brothers wouldn't have made it without Mike. The oft-repeated cliché in BB fandom is that "Mike would still be pumping gas, if it hadn't been for Brian". The Wilson brothers were gifted alright, but I don't think they would have become America's band without (1) the initial thrust of Murry, and (2) Mike's lyrics, vocals, and showmanship. They'd have been some best kept secret like Millennium or Curt Boettcher. Just my opinion.

I think Mike's lyrics and showmanship, particularly during the early years, often get overlooked. 

Of all the existing examples from the early years, where are the examples of Mike's showmanship on display that we can see for ourselves? I agree on the vocals, naturally - His bass voice was a key element in the blend. I somewhat agree on the lyrics, but in the early years there were at least three or more (some uncredited) people contributing lyrics to those key early-years songs that put the band on the charts, namely Gary Usher, Roger Christian, Brian Wilson, and uncredited folks like the girlfriend's brother who listed all the hot surfing spots...and I think Dennis to some degree (uncredited).

But I'm genuinely curious to see examples of Mike's showmanship in the early years on display if it is as big a factor in the band's success as is being mentioned here and previously in other sources.
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« Reply #12 on: March 20, 2018, 10:31:54 AM »

One point where I do agree with Bagge, though, is when he postulates that the Wilson brothers wouldn't have made it without Mike. The oft-repeated cliché in BB fandom is that "Mike would still be pumping gas, if it hadn't been for Brian". The Wilson brothers were gifted alright, but I don't think they would have become America's band without (1) the initial thrust of Murry, and (2) Mike's lyrics, vocals, and showmanship. They'd have been some best kept secret like Millennium or Curt Boettcher. Just my opinion.

I think Mike's lyrics and showmanship, particularly during the early years, often get overlooked. 

Of all the existing examples from the early years, where are the examples of Mike's showmanship on display that we can see for ourselves? I agree on the vocals, naturally - His bass voice was a key element in the blend. I somewhat agree on the lyrics, but in the early years there were at least three or more (some uncredited) people contributing lyrics to those key early-years songs that put the band on the charts, namely Gary Usher, Roger Christian, Brian Wilson, and uncredited folks like the girlfriend's brother who listed all the hot surfing spots...and I think Dennis to some degree (uncredited).

But I'm genuinely curious to see examples of Mike's showmanship in the early years on display if it is as big a factor in the band's success as is being mentioned here and previously in other sources.

The "Lost Concert" and the TAMI Show offer pretty good examples as do the many TV appearances that are floating around on the You Tube or the secondary DVD market. 
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« Reply #13 on: March 20, 2018, 10:41:32 AM »

One point where I do agree with Bagge, though, is when he postulates that the Wilson brothers wouldn't have made it without Mike. The oft-repeated cliché in BB fandom is that "Mike would still be pumping gas, if it hadn't been for Brian". The Wilson brothers were gifted alright, but I don't think they would have become America's band without (1) the initial thrust of Murry, and (2) Mike's lyrics, vocals, and showmanship. They'd have been some best kept secret like Millennium or Curt Boettcher. Just my opinion.

I think Mike's lyrics and showmanship, particularly during the early years, often get overlooked.  

Of all the existing examples from the early years, where are the examples of Mike's showmanship on display that we can see for ourselves? I agree on the vocals, naturally - His bass voice was a key element in the blend. I somewhat agree on the lyrics, but in the early years there were at least three or more (some uncredited) people contributing lyrics to those key early-years songs that put the band on the charts, namely Gary Usher, Roger Christian, Brian Wilson, and uncredited folks like the girlfriend's brother who listed all the hot surfing spots...and I think Dennis to some degree (uncredited).

But I'm genuinely curious to see examples of Mike's showmanship in the early years on display if it is as big a factor in the band's success as is being mentioned here and previously in other sources.

The "Lost Concert" and the TAMI Show offer pretty good examples as do the many TV appearances that are floating around on the You Tube or the secondary DVD market.  

And it's subjective opinion whether Mike's showmanship is or was as big of a factor in the band's success based on what film or video exists. I've seen pretty much everything that exists in terms of film, and if we're talking stage presence or "showmanship" there are some appearances where Mike doesn't do much of anything beyond what anyone else in the band is doing on stage. And in the really early years, apart from being told how much of a showman he was, I've yet to see any evidence to suggest his showmanship was anything beyond the norm, or proof that Mike on stage at those early shows was as key a factor as anything else, namely the music.

If anyone was a dynamic stage performer who seemed to elicit the biggest responses from the crowd on nearly every live clip or film I've seen or heard in the early 60's to mid 60's, it was Dennis. And he was behind the drums at the back of the stage.
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“Some people think you have to knock somebody down in order to build yourself up, I don’t look at it that way. To the mentality that likes to disparage other people, I say perhaps you should get a life. It’s just wrong thinking in my opinion and I don’t mind saying that.” - Mike Love

"Every single person who criticized Brian for having She & Him, Kacey Musgraves, Sebu and Nate Ruess guesting on his solo album can now officially go heartily f*** themselves." - Wirestone
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« Reply #14 on: March 20, 2018, 10:46:34 AM »

One point where I do agree with Bagge, though, is when he postulates that the Wilson brothers wouldn't have made it without Mike. The oft-repeated cliché in BB fandom is that "Mike would still be pumping gas, if it hadn't been for Brian". The Wilson brothers were gifted alright, but I don't think they would have become America's band without (1) the initial thrust of Murry, and (2) Mike's lyrics, vocals, and showmanship. They'd have been some best kept secret like Millennium or Curt Boettcher. Just my opinion.

I think Mike's lyrics and showmanship, particularly during the early years, often get overlooked.  

Of all the existing examples from the early years, where are the examples of Mike's showmanship on display that we can see for ourselves? I agree on the vocals, naturally - His bass voice was a key element in the blend. I somewhat agree on the lyrics, but in the early years there were at least three or more (some uncredited) people contributing lyrics to those key early-years songs that put the band on the charts, namely Gary Usher, Roger Christian, Brian Wilson, and uncredited folks like the girlfriend's brother who listed all the hot surfing spots...and I think Dennis to some degree (uncredited).

But I'm genuinely curious to see examples of Mike's showmanship in the early years on display if it is as big a factor in the band's success as is being mentioned here and previously in other sources.

The "Lost Concert" and the TAMI Show offer pretty good examples as do the many TV appearances that are floating around on the You Tube or the secondary DVD market.  

And it's subjective opinion whether Mike's showmanship is or was as big of a factor in the band's success based on what film or video exists. I've seen pretty much everything that exists in terms of film, and if we're talking stage presence or "showmanship" there are some appearances where Mike doesn't do much of anything beyond what anyone else in the band is doing on stage. And in the really early years, apart from being told how much of a showman he was, I've yet to see any evidence to suggest his showmanship was anything beyond the norm, or proof that Mike on stage at those early shows was as key a factor as anything else, namely the music.

If anyone was a dynamic stage performer who seemed to elicit the biggest responses from the crowd on nearly every live clip or film I've seen or heard in the early 60's to mid 60's, it was Dennis. And he was behind the drums at the back of the stage.

Well, then we'll agree to disagree.   
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« Reply #15 on: March 20, 2018, 11:02:17 AM »

One point where I do agree with Bagge, though, is when he postulates that the Wilson brothers wouldn't have made it without Mike. The oft-repeated cliché in BB fandom is that "Mike would still be pumping gas, if it hadn't been for Brian". The Wilson brothers were gifted alright, but I don't think they would have become America's band without (1) the initial thrust of Murry, and (2) Mike's lyrics, vocals, and showmanship. They'd have been some best kept secret like Millennium or Curt Boettcher. Just my opinion.

I think Mike's lyrics and showmanship, particularly during the early years, often get overlooked.  

Of all the existing examples from the early years, where are the examples of Mike's showmanship on display that we can see for ourselves? I agree on the vocals, naturally - His bass voice was a key element in the blend. I somewhat agree on the lyrics, but in the early years there were at least three or more (some uncredited) people contributing lyrics to those key early-years songs that put the band on the charts, namely Gary Usher, Roger Christian, Brian Wilson, and uncredited folks like the girlfriend's brother who listed all the hot surfing spots...and I think Dennis to some degree (uncredited).

But I'm genuinely curious to see examples of Mike's showmanship in the early years on display if it is as big a factor in the band's success as is being mentioned here and previously in other sources.

The "Lost Concert" and the TAMI Show offer pretty good examples as do the many TV appearances that are floating around on the You Tube or the secondary DVD market.  

And it's subjective opinion whether Mike's showmanship is or was as big of a factor in the band's success based on what film or video exists. I've seen pretty much everything that exists in terms of film, and if we're talking stage presence or "showmanship" there are some appearances where Mike doesn't do much of anything beyond what anyone else in the band is doing on stage. And in the really early years, apart from being told how much of a showman he was, I've yet to see any evidence to suggest his showmanship was anything beyond the norm, or proof that Mike on stage at those early shows was as key a factor as anything else, namely the music.

If anyone was a dynamic stage performer who seemed to elicit the biggest responses from the crowd on nearly every live clip or film I've seen or heard in the early 60's to mid 60's, it was Dennis. And he was behind the drums at the back of the stage.

Well, then we'll agree to disagree.   

I'm curious where the notion that Mike's showmanship was such a key factor in the band's early success is coming from. It's been written and is being repeated, but I've yet to see anything overwhelming (even on the film that exists) that puts Mike's stage presence and showmanship on such a high level of importance in the band's early success and climb up the charts.
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"Every single person who criticized Brian for having She & Him, Kacey Musgraves, Sebu and Nate Ruess guesting on his solo album can now officially go heartily f*** themselves." - Wirestone
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« Reply #16 on: March 20, 2018, 11:12:42 AM »

One point where I do agree with Bagge, though, is when he postulates that the Wilson brothers wouldn't have made it without Mike. The oft-repeated cliché in BB fandom is that "Mike would still be pumping gas, if it hadn't been for Brian". The Wilson brothers were gifted alright, but I don't think they would have become America's band without (1) the initial thrust of Murry, and (2) Mike's lyrics, vocals, and showmanship. They'd have been some best kept secret like Millennium or Curt Boettcher. Just my opinion.

I think Mike's lyrics and showmanship, particularly during the early years, often get overlooked.  

Of all the existing examples from the early years, where are the examples of Mike's showmanship on display that we can see for ourselves? I agree on the vocals, naturally - His bass voice was a key element in the blend. I somewhat agree on the lyrics, but in the early years there were at least three or more (some uncredited) people contributing lyrics to those key early-years songs that put the band on the charts, namely Gary Usher, Roger Christian, Brian Wilson, and uncredited folks like the girlfriend's brother who listed all the hot surfing spots...and I think Dennis to some degree (uncredited).

But I'm genuinely curious to see examples of Mike's showmanship in the early years on display if it is as big a factor in the band's success as is being mentioned here and previously in other sources.

The "Lost Concert" and the TAMI Show offer pretty good examples as do the many TV appearances that are floating around on the You Tube or the secondary DVD market.  

And it's subjective opinion whether Mike's showmanship is or was as big of a factor in the band's success based on what film or video exists. I've seen pretty much everything that exists in terms of film, and if we're talking stage presence or "showmanship" there are some appearances where Mike doesn't do much of anything beyond what anyone else in the band is doing on stage. And in the really early years, apart from being told how much of a showman he was, I've yet to see any evidence to suggest his showmanship was anything beyond the norm, or proof that Mike on stage at those early shows was as key a factor as anything else, namely the music.

If anyone was a dynamic stage performer who seemed to elicit the biggest responses from the crowd on nearly every live clip or film I've seen or heard in the early 60's to mid 60's, it was Dennis. And he was behind the drums at the back of the stage.

Well, then we'll agree to disagree.   

I'm curious where the notion that Mike's showmanship was such a key factor in the band's early success is coming from. It's been written and is being repeated, but I've yet to see anything overwhelming (even on the film that exists) that puts Mike's stage presence and showmanship on such a high level of importance in the band's early success and climb up the charts.

That's your opinion, but I think Mike had a certain charisma that comes across on these old concert films and TV appearances. 

He was also a very good emcee.   In fact, he still is IMO. 
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« Reply #17 on: March 20, 2018, 11:28:07 AM »

In my experience going back, well, let's just say a number of decades, Mike's on-stage shtick has *always* had a very MIXED reception.

In the earliest days when the BBs were experiencing their mini version of "Beatlemania", you can see the screaming is happening for everyone. Indeed, watch them do "Wendy" on Sullivan in '64, and you can see the level of enthusiasm for each member. As I recall, it pans to Al who gets a few squeaks from the audience (poor Al), then to Carl who gets a bit more of a response, then Brian who gets more, then Mike who gets more, culminating in Dennis who was by far the most "popular" member of the band on stage.

But even by '66 or so, when the screaming died down and they were doing something closer to "regular" shows, Mike's on stage shtick has always had a mixture of laughs and groans, of tolerance and eye rolling. Mike has *always* been the guy in the room doing the jokes and telling the stories that ride the edge of funny vs. annoying.

Just as Stamos and Full House, or Mike's "wheeeeeeeeeeen" bit on "Be True to Your School", or having cheerleaders on stage, and a bunch of other stuff, his on-stage persona has seemed to be amusing to some, tolerated by others, along with a healthy helping of eye-rolling and groans. Look at his bit on "Cool Cool Water" on David Frost (I think) from 1970. Is that funny and cool, or totally ridiculous and groan-worthy?

We can actually go all the way back to the David Marks era. Watch Mike dance during "Surfin' USA" on that TV appearance seen in "Endless Harmony." I mean, they *all* look like dorks in those outfits, but then Mike goes into his dancing bit. Even in the day when that was "cool", I sense his shtick wore thin on audiences. Especially non-screaming girls.

He's a bit like Bob Hope. Some remember his USO shows and bits fondly, while others *always* had nothing but disdain for the guy. I asked a guy who was in the Army in that era what people actually thought of Bob Hope, and ton of them *hated* the guy.

Similarly, even *years* before Mike's Rock Hall speech and all of that, he had a huge reputation for being one of the major a-holes of rock and roll. Some of it was based on incorrect info or improper context. But much of reputation was well-deserved. He's had *that* reputation since the 60s to some degree.

People think it gets rough for Mike on boards online and stuff, and I can tell you I've heard *far* worse things uttered about Mike from people in the industry and non-fans. All weighed accordingly of course.

But as with the Jan & Dean stuff, it's important to not let history be rewritten. Mike being marginalized as if he played no role in the band's success is absolutely wrong. But Bruce Johnston's "Mike is just as important as Brian" thing is not really quite accurate either, especially if we're taking a broad historical view of the band.
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« Reply #18 on: March 20, 2018, 12:02:06 PM »

Regarding Mike's showmanship: It is true that Dennis was the main attraction in the early years, all he had to do was shake his head and wave those blonde locks and the girls would scream. The whole thing was more democratic in the live shows back then, more evenly split. I still think Mike's showmanship was part of the equation for the early success, though. Can't imagine any of the others handling that many leads and still entertain at that level back then. In the following decades, of course, his mc role became more and more crucial to the success of the live shows.

I've seen Brian and band over twenty times, and the BB's seven, four with only Mike and Bruce. Both at C50 and at the other shows, Mike was the main focus. I enjoyed all the Brian concerts on an artistic and musical level, but there was one key ingredient missing, one that Foskett couldn't pull off.

On a side note, I always liked the cheerleaders.   Azn
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« Reply #19 on: March 20, 2018, 12:05:10 PM »



On a side note, I always liked the cheerleaders.   Azn

The sheer audacity that they would have cheerleaders come on stage at a rock and roll concert, dancing to a song which features in a build in cheerleader vocal response.   

 LOL
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« Reply #20 on: March 20, 2018, 12:27:47 PM »

It did reach the point where I just couldn't read on any further as the author here was going to make his point ... bound and determined ... right or wrong ... no matter what ... and to hell with anything that didn't fit perfectly into his little descriptive baskets of 1/2 truths and banality.  The 'KISS' effect was set at maximum.

Here's the tip-off...

"The thing is this: most of us will never have the opportunity (let alone the desire or intention) to hang out with either of these two fellows, so what they’re like as people is ultimately meaningless to us as far as their musical legacy is concerned."

How they affected those closest to them had everything to do with how it all turned up/down, left/right, inside/out, over, under, sideways, down and back again.  So?  "The thing is this: most of us will never have the opportunity (let alone the desire or intention) to hang out with either of these two fellows, so what they’re like as people is ultimately meaningless to us as far as their musical legacy is concerned." is a wonderful apple basket...or case [if you will]  full of road apples.

Like many here...and along the way...I have always been a fan of the Beach Boys...at least since the late spring of 1963 when I first heard Surfin' USA and then Shut Down...and then Surfer Girl and Little Deuce Coupe followed by Be True to Your School and In My Room...and Fun x3 and Why Do Fools Fall in Love and all of the wonderful albums these songs came from.  The Surfin Safari album?  No...sorry ... Not so much.  Then  or  now.

Mike was OK back then.  NOT GREAT...but OK.  Generally it was either him or Brian up front.  Brian's voice soared and intermingled and rose up above and over then back through the entire production.  Mike's just kind of sat there...'foundationally' sneering at anyone who didn't 'get it'.  And there were still plenty who DIDN'T primarily because right from the start they did NOT like his 'nasality'.   Mike's sound was NEVER the best part of the sound for me.  I 'got' the ying and yang 'thing' and that was effective short term.  But even Brian saw and heard the need to expand away from that.  Brian always got that the band HAD to expand, mature and grow or their 'time' would come to an end.  Mike just wasn't made for THOSE times.

No...Ol' Doofus here doesn't get that REAL fans made it their business to learn more about what made this musical 'unit' tick.  What was it that provided us with that aural magic and ethereal ambiance?  We were also interested in knowing what it was that impacted on it to slowly tear it apart and bring it down to some kind of ground level where growth and a grasp of a hithertofore undefined future became unattainable.

Mike's positive contributions will always be appreciated.  They were real, he was a part of it...sometimes a key and important part.  It doesn't excuse him for having had a hand in ruining a probable better outcome for me.  You don't have to know them.  You could hear it...every inch of the way.
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« Reply #21 on: March 20, 2018, 12:34:23 PM »



On a side note, I always liked the cheerleaders.   Azn

The sheer audacity that they would have cheerleaders come on stage at a rock and roll concert, dancing to a song which features in a build in cheerleader vocal response.  

 LOL

Someone else a while back in an old thread tried to posit that having the cheerleaders on "Be True to Your School" wasn't a big deal. The problem was that they came on *multiple* times during the concert, dancing during a number of songs. In that old thread, some video links were posted pointing to some other songs they came on during ("Do You Wanna Dance", "California Girls", etc.).

One of the supposed sticking points for Al was apparently that the already stale setlist would have to be locked even tighter with even fewer variances because the show had to be timed out for costume changes for the cheerleaders.

The cheerleaders were embarrassing and they made the show look like a novelty act, as if their music wasn't enough. Mike eventually relented (I'm guessing either due to attrition due to resistance from within the band, and/or because it was a cost-cutting decision).

The idea of *occasionally* having cheerleaders in a town here and there, some local troop to come one for "Be True...." wasn't too bad. I still think even that was tacky (to anyone who likes looking at the cheerleaders, how about just watching the Beach Boys play and then go home and look at porn or whatever?), but one song at a show here and there, something like McCartney bringing on bagpipes for "Mull of Kintrye" when he plays Canada gigs or something, wasn't too awful.

But there was a point in the 90s where they had a full-time group of cheerleaders touring *with* the band from show to show. And every time I saw footage of it, I was embarrassed. It was dumb. Period.

Al mentioned in his 1999/2000 Goldmine interview that when he had, earlier in the 90s, criticized the cheerleaders being on stage in some interview, he got "in trouble" for it.
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« Reply #22 on: March 20, 2018, 12:39:33 PM »

Bagpipes make a sound.  A sound indigenous to the place and the song.  Fitting for Sir Paul to use 'em.  Cheerleaders [at least some of them] make a sound too.  I think you can hear 'it' on 20/20.  Perhaps not quite as fitting.

[the old lech]
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« Reply #23 on: March 20, 2018, 12:41:45 PM »



On a side note, I always liked the cheerleaders.   Azn

The sheer audacity that they would have cheerleaders come on stage at a rock and roll concert, dancing to a song which features in a build in cheerleader vocal response.   

 LOL

Yeah, I remember all those shows where McCartney went into "Magical Mystery Tour" and the full-size tour bus drove on stage. And those gigs where Ringo had a Yellow Submarine hoisted from up above, and sang "Yellow Submarine" INSIDE the actual Yellow Submarine.

What was that band that actually had a set on stage to re-enact one of their songs? Oh yeah, SPINAL TAP.

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« Reply #24 on: March 20, 2018, 12:57:35 PM »



On a side note, I always liked the cheerleaders.   Azn

The sheer audacity that they would have cheerleaders come on stage at a rock and roll concert, dancing to a song which features in a build in cheerleader vocal response.  

 LOL

Someone else a while back in an old thread tried to posit that having the cheerleaders on "Be True to Your School" wasn't a big deal. The problem was that they came on *multiple* times during the concert, dancing during a number of songs. In that old thread, some video links were posted pointing to some other songs they came on during ("Do You Wanna Dance", "California Girls", etc.).

One of the supposed sticking points for Al was apparently that the already stale setlist would have to be locked even tighter with even fewer variances because the show had to be timed out for costume changes for the cheerleaders.

The cheerleaders were embarrassing and they made the show look like a novelty act, as if their music wasn't enough. Mike eventually relented (I'm guessing either due to attrition due to resistance from within the band, and/or because it was a cost-cutting decision).

The idea of *occasionally* having cheerleaders in a town here and there, some local troop to come one for "Be True...." wasn't too bad. I still think even that was tacky (to anyone who likes looking at the cheerleaders, how about just watching the Beach Boys play and then go home and look at porn or whatever?), but one song at a show here and there, something like McCartney bringing on bagpipes for "Mull of Kintrye" when he plays Canada gigs or something, wasn't too awful.

But there was a point in the 90s where they had a full-time group of cheerleaders touring *with* the band from show to show. And every time I saw footage of it, I was embarrassed. It was dumb. Period.

Al mentioned in his 1999/2000 Goldmine interview that when he had, earlier in the 90s, criticized the cheerleaders being on stage in some interview, he got "in trouble" for it.

So the girls appeared during California Girls and showed up to dance during Do You Wanna Dance? 

I can kind of understand the issue if the cheerleaders came out during God Only Knows or In My Room. 
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