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652241 Posts in 26062 Topics by 3717 Members - Latest Member: My1stBonerWasCamDiaz November 20, 2019, 07:07:21 PM
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Author Topic: What did Brian contribute to the writing of "Deirdre"?  (Read 2833 times)
Jim V.
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« on: January 20, 2019, 08:44:57 PM »

Hey there, so most longtime Beach Boys fans probably know Bruce's story about "Deirdre." By that I mean that apparently he went to Brian with this tune hoping to turn it into a co-write but was instead disappointed when all Brian offered was lyrics like "my friend Bob, he has a job" or something like that. Now, I guess maybe I took that at face value for a bit, but now I wonder...

First off, Brian does indeed get a credit as co-writer. Bruce says Brian wrote five percent or something like that. Personally (and of course this is without evidence), I wouldn't be surprised if it was the "Good things turn bad but it's over now..." part that Brian possibly wrote the melody and/or lyrics for. My reasoning for that, is that it's his prominent part on the tune.

And lastly, while I think that Bruce didn't get exactly what he wanted for Brian for this song, it must have been substantial enough to warrant a credit, right? Or did he just want a Brian Wilson co-write in his back pocket, even if Brian barely participated? My gut tells me Brian was more involved than we may think, but possibly I'm wrong. Regardless, it's not really a great song either way. I used to like it, but I kinda got the feeling of eating too much candy when I listen to it now. Ya know, the feeling that it was just too much sweetness, and now I got a bellyache and a toothache!

Discuss friends...!
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Crack Smokerson
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« Reply #1 on: January 20, 2019, 10:16:40 PM »

It was the "good night sleep tight" part. For sure.
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« Reply #2 on: January 21, 2019, 04:36:34 AM »

For some reason I feel like his contribution was lyrical. I have no idea why I think that. Maybe I read it here many years ago? I also recall the "His name is bob and he's got a job"story. Perhaps that is how the song began? Perhaps Brian wrote that one line with that lyric and Bruce kept the melody of that line, and made a song out of it, changing the lyrics?

I've also wondered if the credit wasn't just a way to appease Warner Brothers/Reprise who may have expected a certain number of Brian Wilson credits per album? Just speculation.
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SBonilla
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« Reply #3 on: January 21, 2019, 06:23:50 AM »

The verse is not that special. Someone copped THE JOKER WENT WILD and fashioned a new song out of it. It's possible Brian wrote the "Good things turn bad but it's over now..." section; it sounds like him and the contour of the melody is related to THE LITTLE GIRL I ONCE KNEW. Or, Bruce could have been inspired to put a Brian sounding melody in that part. Who knows.
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c-man
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« Reply #4 on: January 21, 2019, 08:24:47 AM »

I think you're right about Brian contributing the part(s) on which is voice can be heard prominently - at least some of them. In that same interview (I think it was in Beach Boys STOMP! around 1990 or so), Bruce said or implied that despite the lack of much in the way of useable contributions from Brian, he gave him 50% of the song any way out of respect.
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wjcrerar
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« Reply #5 on: January 21, 2019, 09:55:46 AM »

I came across an article the other day from 1970 where Bruce mentions Deirdre as a song he co-wrote with Michel Colombier, the string arranger, but no mention of Brian (the 'Fading Rock Group Revival' interview). Reckon there's any truth to this?
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Shane
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« Reply #6 on: January 21, 2019, 11:47:48 AM »

The verse is not that special. Someone copped THE JOKER WENT WILD and fashioned a new song out of it. It's possible Brian wrote the "Good things turn bad but it's over now..." section; it sounds like him and the contour of the melody is related to THE LITTLE GIRL I ONCE KNEW. Or, Bruce could have been inspired to put a Brian sounding melody in that part. Who knows.

Great.  Now I'm never going to be able to hear "Deirdre" or "The Joker Went Wild" the same ever again.  

But seriously though, you have a very sharp ear to catch this!
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c-man
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« Reply #7 on: January 21, 2019, 01:22:23 PM »

I came across an article the other day from 1970 where Bruce mentions Deirdre as a song he co-wrote with Michel Colombier, the string arranger, but no mention of Brian (the 'Fading Rock Group Revival' interview). Reckon there's any truth to this?

Michel Colmbier is credited on the Sunflower sleeve with arranging both "Deirdre" and "Tears In The Morning". I'm sure that's what Bruce was referring to. Sometimes the line between composition and arrangement is blurred, but in the end, they obviously settled on the credits as printed on the sleeve. 
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tpesky
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« Reply #8 on: January 21, 2019, 02:22:24 PM »

It may be more of an appreciation to Brian to give him 50 percent . Al has said he did this for Brian a few times
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wjcrerar
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« Reply #9 on: January 21, 2019, 03:24:20 PM »

The Michel Colombier arranger-as-writer thing makes sense for Deirdre. Still though, interesting that back in June 1970 not long before release Bruce doesn't even mention Brian in that context -


"We have now got two new albums ready for release. 'The Fading Rock Group Revival', which will be our last for Capitol, should be out around the end of July. It will contain 10 tracks, including 'Loop-de-Loop', 'Deirdre' which I co-wrote with Michel Colombier, our previous hit 'Breakaway', possibly an unaccompanied version of the 'Lord's Prayer', and a song called 'Forever' which we are also considering as our next single. After that album, we shall be bringing out 'Sunflowers', which will be on our own re-activated Brothers label."

Speaking of Al and Brian, is there a general consensus on who wrote (and produced) what for At My Window? I've read one quote about Al remembering writing it (without mentioning Brian) and another from Brian where he says Al wrote the lyrics. Brian responsible for reworking the Raspberries Strawberries chords/melody after Al brought him the song maybe?
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Radio 7
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« Reply #10 on: January 21, 2019, 04:36:42 PM »



I've also wondered if the credit wasn't just a way to appease Warner Brothers/Reprise who may have expected a certain number of Brian Wilson credits per album? Just speculation.
[/quote]

I think this is another example of Brian being listed as the first writier on a song that is mostly another writers work.  Most of his later solo work and TWGMTR are also credited that way.
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Custom Machine
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« Reply #11 on: January 21, 2019, 06:31:30 PM »


The Michel Colombier arranger-as-writer thing makes sense for Deirdre. Still though, interesting that back in June 1970 not long before release Bruce doesn't even mention Brian in that context -

"We have now got two new albums ready for release. 'The Fading Rock Group Revival', which will be our last for Capitol, should be out around the end of July. It will contain 10 tracks, including 'Loop-de-Loop', 'Deirdre' which I co-wrote with Michel Colombier, our previous hit 'Breakaway', possibly an unaccompanied version of the 'Lord's Prayer', and a song called 'Forever' which we are also considering as our next single. After that album, we shall be bringing out 'Sunflowers', which will be on our own re-activated Brothers label."

Speaking of Al and Brian, is there a general consensus on who wrote (and produced) what for At My Window? I've read one quote about Al remembering writing it (without mentioning Brian) and another from Brian where he says Al wrote the lyrics. Brian responsible for reworking the Raspberries Strawberries chords/melody after Al brought him the song maybe?


Thanks for posting that June 1970 quote from Bruce - I hadn't seen it before. Where was it published or broadcast?

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c-man
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« Reply #12 on: January 21, 2019, 07:27:19 PM »



I've also wondered if the credit wasn't just a way to appease Warner Brothers/Reprise who may have expected a certain number of Brian Wilson credits per album? Just speculation.

I think this is another example of Brian being listed as the first writier on a song that is mostly another writers work.  Most of his later solo work and TWGMTR are also credited that way.
[/quote]

Brian is actually listed as the second, not first, writer on both "Deirdre" and "At My Window".

As to why Bruce didn't mention Brian as a cowriter of "Deirdre" in that June 1970 article - perhaps he didn't want to over-emphasis Brian's involvement with the song (if, after all, he only contributed a couple of useable words), regardless of how he intended to credit it.
« Last Edit: January 21, 2019, 07:30:51 PM by c-man » Logged
DonnyL
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« Reply #13 on: January 21, 2019, 08:35:54 PM »

The verse is not that special. Someone copped THE JOKER WENT WILD and fashioned a new song out of it. It's possible Brian wrote the "Good things turn bad but it's over now..." section; it sounds like him and the contour of the melody is related to THE LITTLE GIRL I ONCE KNEW. Or, Bruce could have been inspired to put a Brian sounding melody in that part. Who knows.

WOAH
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Mr. Tiger
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« Reply #14 on: January 22, 2019, 08:52:44 AM »

I always thought Bruce just used the little musical phrase from Brian's "We're Together Again" (which was unreleased) and then went on to do his own thing with it.

Melodically, "We're Together Again" x 2  = "The trouble you had, it wasn't so bad" etc.
« Last Edit: January 22, 2019, 08:54:36 AM by Mr. Tiger » Logged
NateRuvin
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« Reply #15 on: January 22, 2019, 09:00:26 AM »

The possible connection between We're Together Again and Deirdre kinda blows my mind.... You're right, the melodies do sound similar. Considering the collaborative nature of the group from 67-73, it's sometimes hard to tell exactly who played, wrote, produced, and arranged what. But honestly, that's what makes this my favorite era of the group. In this era, they were really firing on all cylinders...
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Don Malcolm
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« Reply #16 on: January 23, 2019, 09:26:39 AM »

Appreciate all of the analysis and background info supplied here, but the answer to the question of what Brian contributed to "Dierdre" has only one real answer:

"Not enough."  Smokin
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Jim V.
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« Reply #17 on: January 23, 2019, 11:28:40 AM »

Appreciate all of the analysis and background info supplied here, but the answer to the question of what Brian contributed to "Dierdre" has only one real answer:

"Not enough."  Smokin

I'll agree with you on that!  LOL
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EgoHanger1966
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« Reply #18 on: January 27, 2019, 08:54:56 AM »

Straight from the horse's mouth on this one. Brian contributed no written portion to the final version of Deirdre,. Bruce kept his name on the song to be cool. Brian's contribution of "his name is Bob/he has a job" (yes, really) was not considered strong enough by Bruce to make the final cut.
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« Reply #19 on: January 27, 2019, 11:45:57 AM »

Straight from the horse's mouth on this one. Brian contributed no written portion to the final version of Deirdre,. Bruce kept his name on the song to be cool. Brian's contribution of "his name is Bob/he has a job" (yes, really) was not considered strong enough by Bruce to make the final cut.

Was that info from Bruce or Brian?
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« Reply #20 on: January 29, 2019, 08:33:37 AM »

I wish Bruce would write a book. Besides his time in the Beach Boys, he probably has a fantastic story to tell about his childhood (he was adopted into a super wealthy family) and his early days in the record industry.
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