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Author Topic: The Times article: The Beach Boys — yes, they’re back  (Read 3059 times)
BeachBoysCovers
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« on: June 02, 2018, 03:47:03 AM »

Article by the Times yesterday on the Philharmonic album and upcoming UK dates. https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/the-beach-boys-yes-theyre-back-wr2q8228l

It's your standard "promote the new album/Hampton Court Palace/Brian's tour" piece, with comments by Brian, Mike, Al and Bruce. Nothing too amazing, but some choice Brian quotes:

Quote
What does the orchestral treatment add to the Beach Boys oeuvre? “Each song is different. Surfin’ USA, Surfer Girl . . .” he says, citing two early Beach Boys favourites that are not on the album.

Quote
In My Room is one of the most poignant songs. What inspired it? “Being in my room.”



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Rocker
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« Reply #1 on: June 02, 2018, 03:55:06 AM »


Quote
What does the orchestral treatment add to the Beach Boys oeuvre? “Each song is different. Surfin’ USA, Surfer Girl . . .” he says, citing two early Beach Boys favourites that are not on the album.






Love Brian! He cares as much about this project as I do  Grin



and the surviving members go back on tour


Are they saying that the Beach Boys will get on tour again or do they mean the various incarnations (Bran+Al+Blondie - Mike+Bruce)? I thought nothing had changed yet regarding another reunion...
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« Reply #2 on: June 02, 2018, 07:45:13 AM »

They just mean the latter. And unlike some recent articles, they actually explain there are two touring camps (and plug both camps upcoming shows at the end)
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« Reply #3 on: June 02, 2018, 09:09:58 AM »

Can someone please post the full article? Thanks.
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« Reply #4 on: June 03, 2018, 02:01:08 AM »

The Beach Boys — yes, they’re back
As the Beach Boys get a symphonic makeover and the surviving members go back on tour, they talk to Will Hodgkinson about 50 years of turmoil
Will Hodgkinson
June 1 2018, 12:01am, The Times
 
Western Recorders Studio, Hollywood, March 10, 1966. From the control room, 24-year-old Brian Wilson is putting tuba, harpsichord, cello and flute players, among a host of other musicians, through their paces. “It’s starting to lose it. Gotta be that happy shuffle,” he tells the drummer Hal Blaine. “Let’s make it tight. Less jerky! It was sloppy, that part. OK, take 20.”

This is a session, captured on tape and archived on the 1993 Good Vibrations box set, for God Only Knows, the heartbreakingly tender existentialist love song from one of the greatest albums: the Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds.
It is a very different Brian Wilson to whom I speak 52 years later about The Beach Boys with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, an album of classic recordings augmented by symphonic arrangements. “The Philharmonic album?” says Wilson, sounding childlike and a little confused when I remind him why we are talking to each other. “Oh yeah. I loved it.”
 
What does the orchestral treatment add to the Beach Boys oeuvre? “Each song is different. Surfin’ USA, Surfer Girl . . .” he says, citing two early Beach Boys favourites that are not on the album.

Good Vibrations, a masterful blend of sunny optimism and spiritual mystery that remains the high-water mark of pop, is on there, so I ask Wilson about that. “My mother told me dogs pick up vibrations from people and if the vibrations are bad the dogs start barking,” he says in a semi-shout. “I wanted it to be really great . . . yah . . . a pocket symphony. We used five different studios to record it. Took six months!” He sounds surprised even now.
“It was one of the most expensive records ever made,” says Mike Love, the Beach Boys’ pragmatic lead singer, who tours under the band name and identifies himself as the one who would rather be on the road than in the studio. “It was a complete departure, extremely avant-garde. Then, driving along on the final day of recording, I dictated the lyrics to my wife as I came up with them spontaneously. They were about flower children, the summer of love. It was our first UK No 1.”

The Beach Boys have been called “America’s band”, which is apt. They sold to the world an American dream of cars, girls and endless summers, but it was on the back of a darker reality. Growing up in suburban, middle-class Hawthorne in southwest Los Angeles, Brian, Dennis and Carl Wilson were beaten and humiliated by their monstrous father, Murry, a frustrated songwriter who lived through and was jealous of his sons’ talent and success. With the help of their cousin, Love, and their neighbourhood friend Al Jardine, they concocted the perfect mix of Chuck Berry-style rock’n’roll, Four Seasons-style harmonising and Californian sunshine.

Then, after Brian had a panic attack on a flight to Houston in 1964, he stayed in Hollywood to work on Pet Sounds and its aborted follow-up, Smile, determined to match up to the challenges set by Phil Spector and the Beatles.
 
Depending on which Beach Boy you talk to, the guys either welcomed Brian’s experiments in sound or wanted him to stick to the old formula of Surfin’ USA and I Get Around. Enthusiasm for psychedelics was also taking its toll, and by the time Wilson was working on Smile with the lyricist Van Dyke Parks in 1967 he was falling apart. He thought the black magic he inadvertently conjured up in one song, Mrs O’Leary’s Cow, caused a bunch of fires to break out across LA.

Drug addiction, depression and schizophrenia followed. By the early 1970s Wilson was so out of it that he dug a grave in his back yard and asked his wife at the time, Marilyn, to bury him. In 1976 he was taken over by the notoriously controlling psychiatrist Dr Eugene Landy, whose ideas of therapy included putting a chain-lock on the ballooning Wilson’s fridge, which led to Love and the other Beach Boys hiring men to kidnap Wilson and sneak him off to a photo shoot. Wilson has intermittently made great music since, and says his return to live performance with the Beach Boys in 1976 was his “favourite time in the band and fun for us all”, but he has never been the same.
“As Brian once put it, ‘Haven’t I done enough?’ ” says Love of the musical mastermind’s deterioration. “But I would rather not talk about it.”

Bruce Johnston replaced Wilson as a touring member of the Beach Boys in 1965 and remains in the band. “If you listen to those sessions from God Only Knows and hear Brian’s talkback from the booth to the floor, he’s on fire,” he says. “He’s totally in control. You will hear the exact opposite of a damaged guy. But then on Smile he worked so hard, he lost his oxygen. He was trying to do something too big. He couldn’t connect the dots.”

What about the popular view that the Beach Boys, Love in particular, were threatened by and hostile to Wilson’s innovations? “Hogwash,” Love says, stridently. “It’s completely untrue. I used to call Brian ‘Dog Ears’ because he could hear sounds normal mortals couldn’t. I named the Pet Sounds album. Brian and I went in and played it to Capitol Records and they didn’t know what to do because it was such a departure. I’m known for my lead singing on California Girls and Fun, Fun, Fun, but one doesn’t participate in an album like Pet Sounds unless you believe in it.”Johnston adds: “You listen to our voices on those songs, and tell me the Beach Boys didn’t support Brian.”
As Jardine points out, however, it wasn’t easy to roll off tour and be thrown head first into whatever new world Wilson was exploring. “We came home after a month in Japan to hear playbacks of Pet Sounds, and we weren’t given time to think about it. This was our normal, but it was not normal. We were being exposed to greatness without knowing. It was extremely exhausting and we were forever playing catch-up. I can only appreciate it now.”

Other Beach Boys had their own demons. The athletic, good-looking Dennis Wilson, the only real surfer of the group, fell in with Charles Manson, became an increasingly heavy drinker, ended up homeless and drowned off the coast of Marina Del Rey in 1983. The youngest Wilson brother, Carl, the quietest of the three and a heavy smoker since 13, died of lung cancer in 1998. Love, who became the de facto leader after Wilson retreated from view, credits the transcendental meditation he studied in India under Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in 1967 for giving him the energy and positivity to keep going, but in 1992 he sued Wilson for defamation, one of several lawsuits to bounce back and forth between the Love and Wilson camps. Everyone came together for a 50th-anniversary reunion tour in 2012, then split again. Now Love and Johnston tour as the Beach Boys, and Wilson and Jardine tour in Wilson’s band.

It’s a hard truth for those of us who love and admire him to admit, but it can be painful to see Wilson in concert. In 2002 he presented Pet Sounds in its entirety at the Royal Festival Hall in London, and it was fantastic, a note-perfect rendition of a masterpiece by its revitalised creator. Last year he did a similar concert at the Palladium and he was a spectral figure, cowed and uncertain. A month previously Love’s Beach Boys played the Albert Hall, and it was exactly the kind of fun, lightweight, energetic concert you would wish for. It brings up questions about who owns the Beach Boys, whether Wilson should be touring and where it’s all going.

“People are so fascinated with Brian’s talent that they don’t care what condition he’s in,” Johnston says. “And the people around Brian want him to keep going. Now you can see what we do with the Beach Boys, keeping the music alive, or you can see the guy who dreamt up that music in the first place.”

Jardine offers a quick description of his colleagues. “Dennis was a maverick, nothing he couldn’t or wouldn’t do, a masculine guy. Carl was studious and gentle, very kind. Brian was energetic and fun, although if you were out of tune you were the first to hear about it. Mike stood apart from the rest and became the default lead singer. Wait, that’s not a compliment, is it?”

I ask Jardine what he means. “We all loved to sing in harmony, and Mike has a great baritone, but then it fell to him to be the front man and he developed the ego to go with it. It’s a bit like Mick Jagger. Your instrument is the microphone, so you need to play a role. The rest of us were always tuning up and driving everyone crazy. Mike had to fill the time between songs, so he developed a stage presence, a persona.”

Wilson, on the other hand, seems to have lost any kind of persona to hide behind, and approaches interviews with all the joy of a heretic facing the Spanish Inquisition. He’s notorious for his yes-and-no answers, so I feel I’m doing quite well when my questions are rewarded with actual sentences.

What were his impressions of his musical hero, Phil Spector, who is serving a sentence of 19 years to life for murder? “He had a good sense of humour.” How about the Beatles? “Paul and John called and said they liked God Only Knows.” In My Room is one of the most poignant songs. What inspired it? “Being in my room.”

I ask him what he thinks of the Rolling Stones, pretty much the only major-league Sixties band still on the road. For some reason he finds this extremely funny. “Ha ha ha! The Rolling Stones! They are a fantastic rock’n’roll group!”
How did the other Beach Boys really feel about Pet Sounds? “They liked what I did.” Apparently forgetting what he just said, he continues: “They didn’t like it. They were on tour, and when they came back and heard it they thought it was too advanced. Before that we just had some car songs and surf songs, but after a couple of weeks went by, they started liking it. They said, ‘We like it!’ ”

That unexpected burst of verbosity seems to have exhausted Wilson. “Hey, I have to go,” he says suddenly. “I have . . . uh . . . er . . . an appointment.”

All these years later the Beach Boys with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra is a fitting tribute to this enduring band’s achievements. The brainchild of Jerry Schilling, who put together a similar album of the orchestra augmenting Elvis Presley songs, the symphonic treatment brings out the qualities of the music. From the magical innocence of California Girls to the cosmic Americana of Heroes and Villains to the smooth cadences of Kokomo, Love’s yacht-rock moment of glory from 1988, these are songs sophisticated enough to support an orchestra. It’s the one thing that all four surviving members can agree on.

“We slaved over these songs,” Jardine says. “It’s nice to have them sound fresh again. It is like waking up in the morning and throwing water on your face.”

Johnston says: “The delicacy of the arrangements adds a little bit of fairy dust.” Love goes one farther and calls it “a gift from Heaven”. As for Wilson, he bestows upon the album what I can only assume is his highest praise. “I listened to it a bunch of times. Each time I listened . . .” He thinks for a moment. “. . . it got better!”
There remains something optimistic, innocent even, about the Beach Boys, despite everything that has happened to them. As Love says: “We took a family hobby, which was singing together at birthday parties and family get-togethers, and turned it into a long-lasting profession.” What could be more American than that?

The Beach Boys with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra is out on June 8 on Universal. The Beach Boys play Hampton Court Palace, June 15 and 16, and Brian Wilson plays Doncaster Racecourse, August 18, then touring

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Rick5150
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« Reply #5 on: June 03, 2018, 05:46:20 AM »

Favorite moments...

Brian:

  • What does the orchestral treatment add to the Beach Boys oeuvre? “Each song is different. Surfin’ USA, Surfer Girl . . .” he says, citing two early Beach Boys favourites that are not on the album.
  • In My Room is one of the most poignant songs. What inspired it? “Being in my room.”
  • What were his impressions of his musical hero, Phil Spector, who is serving a sentence of 19 years to life for murder? “He had a good sense of humour.”
  • “Hey, I have to go,” he says suddenly. “I have . . . uh . . . er . . . an appointment.”

Mike:
  • “As Brian once put it, ‘Haven’t I done enough?’ ” says Love of the musical mastermind’s deterioration. “But I would rather not talk about it.”
Finally, not talking about it!

Bruce:
  • Johnston adds: “You listen to our voices on those songs, and tell me the Beach Boys didn’t support Brian.”
It is hard to argue that...

Al:
  • Jardine offers a quick description of his colleagues. “Mike stood apart from the rest and became the default lead singer. Wait, that’s not a compliment, is it?”
Hahaha. Good ol' Al.

I think I would like to interview the interview (Will Hodgkinson) and ask to him about Brian. I cannot imagine taking the time to write all of these questions out hoping to get some insightful responses, only to get some of those responses! Brian is hysterical, whether he means it or not.
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Emdeeh
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« Reply #6 on: June 03, 2018, 07:46:52 AM »

Thanks for posting that story. How in the world did the author manage to conflate BRI manager Jerry Schilling with the RPO projects team of Nick Patrick and Don Reedman??
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« Reply #7 on: June 03, 2018, 08:42:38 AM »

Thanks for posting that story. How in the world did the author manage to conflate BRI manager Jerry Schilling with the RPO projects team of Nick Patrick and Don Reedman??

I imagine Schilling was also quite involved in the Elvis one. There are a few interviews with him talking about it and the subsequent tour.
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« Reply #8 on: June 03, 2018, 09:37:45 AM »

Favorite moments...

Bruce:
  • Johnston adds: “You listen to our voices on those songs, and tell me the Beach Boys didn’t support Brian.”
It is hard to argue that...

That old chestnut of a talking point again...

It can be argued rather easily by considering what other choice did they have but to sing on those sessions. At many times in the band's history when they were still making original music, not only were there contractual obligations that Brian be involved in creating or producing the music for the various labels, but also specific to the golden era in the 60's, who else in the band was capable of writing and producing hit records as Brian did, and who else had the name cache in the industry to where labels drew up contracts demanding their involvement in the process? No one.

If the band did not sing as they did on those records, they would have effectively shot themselves in the collective foot, so they had to sing what they were given to sing or else they'd have nothing to offer. It doesn't mean there was not that tension within the band generated by their reactions to the music Brian was bringing in simply because they sang on these sessions.

It's like the old argument about Mike singing Parks' "over and over the crow flies..." line in trying to refute the fact that he raised hell with VDP over that line and it caused some pretty deep rifts within the group. He sang it but his objections and questioning led to a lot of tension, and he did raise those objections and challenges whether he sang it or not. Same with certain Asher lyrics, etc.

Any questions about the validity of all that, go to various comments made by Marilyn Wilson in the documentaries...unless her version of the events gets called into scrutiny if not dismissed as has been done for similar comments by the likes of Vosse, Anderle, etc in recent years when they said basically the same things about the resistance and complaints Brian was getting from the band.

 
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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 #9 on: June 03, 2018, 10:47:22 AM »

Oh, I think it's quite clear that they hated every freaking second of it, singing those artsy songs, instead of " come on baby let's go surfing in my hot rod".  LOL That's why, when they got control of the band, they came up with songs like Long Promised Road and It's About Time.
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« Reply #10 on: June 03, 2018, 11:30:31 AM »

Not the point. LPR was the first song Carl wrote, or so he said. It's About Time was Al and Dennis, and Burchman.

What else did they offer before 1970/71 other than Dennis that could sustain an entire album, writing and/or production of a full album? What songwriting did they offer without Brian after 70/71 that could sustain an entire album and label interest, no less put something on the charts?

Anyway, the point was that this same talking point gets dragged out every time a group project that needs "harmony" from band members to promote the project needs PR. It happened most famously with The Smile Sessions, with that series of "webisodes" on YouTube that had Bruce, Mike, etc saying how much they loved and supported the Smile project, and all that blah blah blah.

And it was as revisionist then as it sounds now. Unless Marilyn Wilson/Rovell/Rutherford was being less than truthful when she described the resistance Brian got from the band at that time period, and added to other eras of the band's history.

Perhaps she changed her tune since the 90's. Maybe Bruce and her can work on getting their comments lined up next time they meet backstage at one of Mike's shows.  Grin

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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 #11 on: June 04, 2018, 08:10:30 AM »

Yes, revisionist no doubt.

Singing a song Brian is producing even if you're not sure of the commercial potential and don't particularly like the lyrics would be the expected route.  What else are you going to sing, what other songs are you going to offer to the record company?  There was no alternative, other than quitting the band.  Plus at this time Brian had altered his usual song lead vocalist choices where Mike was getting less and less leads - and with little else to offer but his singing, Mike had to try and get and keep as many leads on as many songs as he could.  Notice he even offered to sing the entire lead of Hang on to Your Ego by himself (displacing Al), despite eventually objecting to the lyrics and getting them changed. 

Pet Sounds is interesting because although I fully believe there was resistance to the PS music from Mike and possibly other members of the group upon coming back from Japan, and some resentment to Brian's taskmaster duties as he made them redo vocals over and over again to get them to his satisfaction (Mike's "dog ears" comment), they did in fact realize as they worked on the songs how special the music was and did all come on board to support it.

Smile was another kettle of fish.
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« Reply #12 on: June 04, 2018, 09:32:22 AM »

I think a large of Mike's like or dislike of "esoteric Brian material", whether it's "Smile" or the 2012 album "suite", etc., has to do with his level of involvement.

More specifically, Mike has always struck me as a guy who likes an idea MUCH more when it's his idea. I think there's a ton of armchair psychology that can be attempted to delve more into why that is, but I won't attempt that, and it has limited usefulness anyway.

But you can see, he has written some rather fluffy, non-car/surf lyrics for stuff like SIP and his solo stuff. Lots of lyrics about meditation, levitation, "cosmic" this and that, "natural law", karma, zodiac signs, etc. When it's HIS idea, then rather topical lyrical topics that haven't been found in the "commercial" stuff, he's fine with it.

Same with something like the live show setlist. I think when he's on his own and doing his own thing, then if he ordains that "Surf's Up" is performed, it's okay. But when it's mostly Brian's band, and Brian says his "family" is suggesting the band do "Marcella" on C50, then Mike is a little weird about it.

Part of this preference for things that are his ideas ends up of course explaining why he was usually kind of begrudging about Brian working with other lyricists (to Mike's credit, he has at least *partially* admitted this).

Also, I would suggest to get a more blunt, truthful view from Mike on "Smile" and Brian and all of those related topics, the 1992 Goldmine interview and the 1993 Bill Holdship interview (published in 1995 by Mojo). You get a pretty unfiltered view of what Mike thinks, and also an insight into his hangups and complexes/defensiveness.

http://troun.tripod.com/mikelove.html

https://www.surfermoon.com/interviews/mike693.html

From the 1993 interview:

MIKE LOVE: What's left of "Smile" is a shell. It would have been a great record but he just didn't have the will or the ability to finish it. See, a lot of the Brian bullshit rests around that album and it's nothing, it's just fragments. Who wants to hea r about Brian's mental problems anyway? I mean, to call a record "Sweet Insanity", imagine that. A whole album of Brian's madness that no one wants to release and still everyone says he's a genius! I make "Kokomo", it goes to number one in the charts and I'm still the dumb, know-nothing, talentless Mike Love.

MIKE LOVE: Within the next five years I think I'll be doing something else. As a matter of fact a TM guru told me recently that I was destined to start a big world TM center in Northern California and that my true vocation in life was that. He said the ba nd was just a prelude to my spiritual destiny, my life as a teacher of TM.

MIKE LOVE: The Beach Boys have always been lovingly irrelevent. There's a great deal more complex concerns than cars and girls, there always was, but we wanted to make people have a good time, take them away for a while. There was always pollution and cri me and starvation. Being the person I am now I find it difficult to be the carefree person I was in the 60's. People have always called us anachronistic and they're right! We want to say something important again.



Now, having said all of this, I don't have a problem with everyone making nice to promote the new symphonic album. If they can't stand to be in the same room together, they should be unified on the PR side, hopefully with more *archival* releases rather than the gimmicky symphonic project. But how they're promoting the symphonic album is a good model for how they could do so for a huge archive project as well. Yes, ideally we'd like to keep the revisionist, ego-pumping comments to a minimum and do something more like their attitude on projects like "Sunshine Tomorrow" where they eschew most of the hot-button stuff and just all celebrate how much they like the music.

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« Reply #13 on: June 04, 2018, 09:35:52 AM »

It's interesting to see the ways that 1993 interview reinforces how Mike still is and has always been, and the ways in which he has changed (or at least changed how he talks).

You'd *NEVER* find Mike in 2018 calling any iteration of the Beach Boys "lovingly irrelevant."

To say nothing of how was foreseeing retiring by 1998 (also note that Elliott Lott said in 1999/2000 that Mike only had a few years left of touring).
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« Reply #14 on: June 04, 2018, 10:34:50 AM »

"Part of this preference for things that are his ideas ends up of course explaining why he was usually kind of begrudging about Brian working with other lyricists (to Mike's credit, he has at least *partially* admitted this)."

But not just because he liked his lyrical ideas because they were his and not someone else's.  He didn't like seeing songwriting royalties going to someone else.

 
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« Reply #15 on: June 04, 2018, 12:50:16 PM »


But not just because he liked his lyrical ideas because they were his and not someone else's.  He didn't like seeing songwriting royalties going to someone else.
 

Of course; it's not hard to imagine royalties/money was an issue as well. But certainly with stuff like the work VDP did with Brian, I don't think that was always the primary concern (especially in retrospect considering the VDP co-authored material was not as lucrative as previous material, to generalize of course).

To vastly generalize, one can presume it's possible that Mike's pre-Tony Asher dislike of outside collaborators was more about ego and money, whereas Asher and VDP issues were about complaints about drug-fueled lyrics/behavior, a general hesitance about their lyrical style (more VDP obviously), and surely *also* still ego and money.

Howie Edelson wrote a great piece in an old thread about the prospect of Mike writing PS or even Smile lyrics, and he made a pretty compelling case for how Mike may have been able to pull it off, especially with PS. Obviously, it would have been different and history would have unraveled differently. But a case can at least be theorized about how Mike could have written some PS-style lyrics, *and* how that might have mitigated some of the ill feelings regarding employing outside writers.

To be clear, I'm not saying that's what I want or would have wanted, nor would I change it if I could jump in a time machine. But it's a compelling sort of thought experiment.

Here's Mike from the 1992 Goldmine interview, acknowledging he "wasn't happy" about Brian's outside writers but seemingly tolerated it and to some degree understood it (his oft-cited admission of not being up on hot rod lingo, etc.):

Were you disappointed when Brian would collaborate with other lyricists like Van Dyke Parks, Tony Asher and Roger Christian?

I was not happy about it but in the case of Roger Christian I wasn't as into the terminology of cars as he was. I wrote "I Get Around," which is, I guess, a cruising song, but it's more generic. It's not "competition clutch with four on the floor." I wasn't into hot rods to the extent that Roger Christian was so he provided some lyrical content to support Brian's musical abilities, so that was good. But when I did come up with a hook or some lyrics it's funny 'cause it was almost like it was not recognized. It was definitely not legally recognized.

How about the case of Tony Asher writing Pet Sounds?

Now, that was a different story. When it got to that period of Brian's life that's when he started doing a lot of drugs. We were touring a lot and we'd come back in and do an album like Pet Sounds, for instance, and some of the words were so totally offensive to me that I wouldn't even sing 'em because I though it was too nauseating.

Was that "Hang On To Your Ego"?

Yeah. That was too much of a doper song to me. I just didn't want to have anything to do with it, therefore I didn't go down that road of acid and the things that destroyed Brian's brain. I didn't want to go that route. I'd still come to the sessions and I still wrote the words for "Good Vibrations" but I didn't participate in a lot of the stuff that was going on there, because I just didn't think the psychedelic route was the way to go.

You could hear Brian's writing starting to progress with the Beach Boys Today record on such songs as "Please Let Me Wonder" and "She Knows Me Too Well." What was your initial reaction to the Pet Sounds material?

Well, Pet Sounds was fine because he was still intact, but from there... I mean "Good Vibrations" was great. That and "Heroes And Villains" was his high point and then from there into the toilet because mentally he was incapacitated and emotionally he was destroyed by the acid. That's my opinion.
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« Reply #16 on: June 04, 2018, 05:13:03 PM »

Those snippets remind me just how delirious Mike was following Kokomo.  He was completely off his rocker with that ego. I think he finally came back down to earth by the mid 2000s. But man, he must have insufferable to work with in that time period.  No coincidence that post Kokomo is when the Al/Mike relationship really deteriorated.
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« Reply #17 on: June 04, 2018, 08:10:15 PM »

Most of this can be boiled down to one thing: Mike thinks and has thought for decades that he's The Beach Boys, and he'd like everyone to think like he does.

All the other points about ego, money/royalties, etc regarding Brian and the various collaborators are valid and true, but ultimately it's about Mike wanting and trying to be captain of the ship.

And that kind of mindset leads to the various reactions and responses we've seen to BB projects where he took a back seat to other collaborators or lyricists.

I've come to the conclusion that it really is as simple as that.
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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

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« Reply #18 on: June 05, 2018, 12:52:16 AM »

Most of this can be boiled down to one thing: Mike thinks and has thought for decades that he's The Beach Boys, and he'd like everyone to think like he does.

All the other points about ego, money/royalties, etc regarding Brian and the various collaborators are valid and true, but ultimately it's about Mike wanting and trying to be captain of the ship.

And that kind of mindset leads to the various reactions and responses we've seen to BB projects where he took a back seat to other collaborators or lyricists.

I've come to the conclusion that it really is as simple as that.



And I think there's some truth to that. Wasn't it Jack Rieley or Stephen Desper who said alsomst verbatim "Mike thinks he's The Beach Boys"? I know I've read that on here and that it was from someone who was in the know. Stuck in my mind, because I never heard anyone say it this clear before.
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« Reply #19 on: June 05, 2018, 03:09:34 AM »

This?

Asked how his bandmates have changed, Jardine says, "Mike has taken it upon himself to carry the flag for the group. Come hell or high water, he's gonna be the last man standing. It's his purpose in life just to be there. Brian's given him this wonderful, amazing opportunity. The lead singer always has the power, in any organization. He develops this condition we call LSD – lead-singer disease." He says this with a laugh, not with resentment. "Mike never played any instruments other than the little bit on the saxophone, so out of necessity he invented himself. He created himself as the lead singer."

Rolling Stone story 2012. The Last Wave
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« Reply #20 on: June 05, 2018, 05:14:16 AM »

It's interesting to see the ways that 1993 interview reinforces how Mike still is and has always been, and the ways in which he has changed (or at least changed how he talks).

You'd *NEVER* find Mike in 2018 calling any iteration of the Beach Boys "lovingly irrelevant."

To say nothing of how was foreseeing retiring by 1998 (also note that Elliott Lott said in 1999/2000 that Mike only had a few years left of touring).

Then Carl got sick. I wonder if Mike changed his retirement plans, knowing the Beach Boys would be without a leader. (Though really, can we see him leading a TM center? He hasn't exactly achieved inner peace.)
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« Reply #21 on: June 05, 2018, 05:22:19 AM »

It's interesting to see the ways that 1993 interview reinforces how Mike still is and has always been, and the ways in which he has changed (or at least changed how he talks).

You'd *NEVER* find Mike in 2018 calling any iteration of the Beach Boys "lovingly irrelevant."

To say nothing of how was foreseeing retiring by 1998 (also note that Elliott Lott said in 1999/2000 that Mike only had a few years left of touring).

Then Carl got sick. I wonder if Mike changed his retirement plans, knowing the Beach Boys would be without a leader. (Though really, can we see him leading a TM center? He hasn't exactly achieved inner peace.)



I have this vision in my mind of a Trump University for TM....  The Love Center? LOL




I don't want to put Mike on a level with Donald Trump  although there are some very obvious similarities in their behavior. I don't think though that Mike would have such an affinity for racketeering
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To sum it up, they blew it, they blew it consistently, they continue to blow it, it is tragic and this pathological problem caused The Beach Boys' greatest music to be so underrated by the general public.

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« Reply #22 on: June 05, 2018, 07:10:27 AM »

It's interesting to see the ways that 1993 interview reinforces how Mike still is and has always been, and the ways in which he has changed (or at least changed how he talks).

You'd *NEVER* find Mike in 2018 calling any iteration of the Beach Boys "lovingly irrelevant."

To say nothing of how was foreseeing retiring by 1998 (also note that Elliott Lott said in 1999/2000 that Mike only had a few years left of touring).

Then Carl got sick. I wonder if Mike changed his retirement plans, knowing the Beach Boys would be without a leader. (Though really, can we see him leading a TM center? He hasn't exactly achieved inner peace.)

I'm not trying to be extra down on the guy, but I see no evidence that Carl's illness or death impacted his decisions at all, other than that it made it easier eventually for Mike to consolidate power. Again, all only my opinion.

I think the stuff in 1993 about envisioning only "five more years" and then opening a TM center, etc., was just Mike being full of piss and vinegar in 1992/93 gearing up for the songwriting lawsuit. He was clearly disgruntled and, unlike say the 2016 Rolling Stone piece (or the more recent piece this year in Mojo) where Mike had consolidated his power and had full control and thus could complain *while* on top of the mountain so to speak, back in 1992/93 he had less autonomy to just do whatever he wanted with the BB name and legacy, and apparently *very briefly* would *occasionally* think for a split second about the idea of washing his hands of the whole thing and moving on. But I doubt he was ever very serious about that prospect. Certainly, it was only a few years later after that 1993 interview that he moved to consolidate his power (thus things coming to a head with Al by 1997).

As for the 1999/2000 comments from Elliott Lott concerning Mike only having a few years left of touring, my *opinion* is that that was total BS and was 100% about BRI trying to make a case against Al by saying that Al was not simply cutting into the profits of the licensed BB tour, but was cutting into the profits of a tour that had only a few years left to generate revenue. The most sympathetic interpretation of Lott's comments in 1999/2000 would simply be that he didn't recognize the longevity of Mike (or the other guys for that matter). Maybe Lott didn't know for sure that Mike would still be touring as he approached *80 years old*. But I doubt he really thought that by 2005 there was no chance Mike would still be touring.
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« Reply #23 on: June 05, 2018, 07:17:17 AM »

Those snippets remind me just how delirious Mike was following Kokomo.  He was completely off his rocker with that ego. I think he finally came back down to earth by the mid 2000s. But man, he must have insufferable to work with in that time period.  No coincidence that post Kokomo is when the Al/Mike relationship really deteriorated.

One interesting facet of both the 1992 Goldmine interview and his 2018 Mojo interview, interviews that span *26 years*, is that in both interviews he paints Al Jardine as being unhappy and difficult to work with, yet Mike comes across precisely as unhappy (and/or disgruntled) and difficult in both of these interviews.

In particular, the 2018 Mojo interview features Mike calling Al "very unhappy" and therefore "very negative", and then proceeds in the same interview to talk s**t on other band members, and continue to complain about the "Love and Mercy" film soundtrack, and in recent years regularly still complain about the songwriting lawsuit that he *won* 24 years ago. More than any other band member (with the exception of the weird "bad days" Bruce has), it is Mike who often comes across as unhappy and negative.

To be clear, I do think Al could be difficult, especially in the 80s/early 90s timeframe. I've talked to many folks in and around the whole organization and folks who interviewed these guys over many years, and there was certainly a period of time where Al could be "difficult", kind of sour on stage, etc. I have little doubt there were times when he could have been difficult to work with. But that goes for ALL of the guys, and certainly it's hard to claim Al isn't pretty mellow and down to Earth and has dropped ego in favor of deference to Brian and Brian and the band's legacy in the last decade or two.
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« Reply #24 on: June 05, 2018, 07:22:03 AM »

I think Mike even had a hangup, at least initially, with Brian working without him even when it was a solo record. This exchange from the 1992 Mike Goldmine interview about Brian's '88 album is one of my favorites:

Did you like his first solo album?

No.

You didn't like it?

f*** no.

What didn't you like about it?

First of all the lyrics. Second of all the arrangements weren't commercial enough. Third of all it sounded like sh*t compared to what he could sound like.


I wish it was easier to say Mike was just pining to work with Brian, and/or was angry about how Landy was impacting the whole thing including the '88 album, and those things may be true as well. But we have to also remember that Carl, who had more reason to dislike Landy than even Mike, had positive things to say about the '88 BW album. *Also*, let us remember that this is Mike talking s**t about the BW '88 album in the same year that he spearheaded the "Summer in Paradise" album!
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