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Author Topic: Dean Torrence joining Mike's band?  (Read 8816 times)
NateRuvin
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« on: February 13, 2019, 09:14:20 AM »

For a while now, I have thought that Dean Torrence would make a great addition to Mike's Beach Boys. Of course BRIAN, AL, DAVID, BLONDIE, and RICKY would be ideal, but given the band's politics and all that bullsh*t, I can really only see David or Dean really joining Mike  .... (although Al did hint at something at a recent show, discussed in his tour thread)


Anyway, I noticed that several articles promoting Beach Boys shows in spring of 2019 (https://journalrecord.com/2019/01/30/around-town-beach-boys-to-raise-funds-for-two-agencies/ ,  https://okcfox.com/news/local/the-beach-boys-to-play-benefit-concert-in-oklahoma-city) mention that Dean will be playing with The Beach Boys.

This might be, and probably is, just a Stamos-esque guest appearance situation. But for sake of conversation, let's say there was a great reception, or Dean really gelled with the band,  and got a permanent spot.  What could this mean about The Beach Boys current band, J&D's legacy, etc?

I'm going to get into the age old 'who invented CA sound' argument and others like that as little as possible... Many of you probably know how I feel about J&D, and their importance to the "California Sound" ,  or maybe you just saw my profile pic  LOL      Both Jan and Brian were pioneers of not only Surf music, but Pop in general. I'll leave it at that. In my opinion, the California Sound is a result of both Jan and Brian's, as well as others,  efforts.

Jan & Dean ripping off (copying, paying homage, whatever) The BBs can be traced all the way back to 1963, with their covers of Surfin and Surfin Safari. This was followed by a series of songs that, at the very least, were inspired by what The BBs were doing. But to be fair, Surfin, as well as other early BBs tunes, have very obvious J&D influences. OKAY- done with that,  I'll try to avoid the whole who created what argument behind at this point. The whole argument is also somewhat pointless, considering how many songs (hits, at that) Brian and Jan wrote together, and The BBs and J&D sang on together. Many people feel that Jan & Dean's music started to lose it's magic towards 65 and 66, I disagree, and think it just lost its cultural sweet spot, and because of Jan's accident, he was never truly given the chance to make his Pet Sounds or Pepper. (COS and SFARD were great efforts by both Jan and Dean, but between Jan's recovery and Dean's legal issues regarding his album, the whole situation was a mess) Because of this, J&D became remembered solely for the goofy Hot Rod/Surf stuff, and not for Jan being a serious Arranger/Producer like Brian Wilson and others... With the Dead Man's Curve movie and Surf/Oldies (probably Endless Summer induced) Nostalgia, J&D's legacy as second-tier Beach Boys was cemented. So by the time J&D began playing shows again, they started playing Beach Boys songs. In Bob Greene's book about J&D's touring, Dean justified this by saying there isn't enough J&D material to fill a show, and more importantly, that all of the music, as well as both J&D and The Beach Boys, are blended together in people's minds. I can attest to this. When I saw The Beach Boys perform Surf City or Little Old Lady, or Dean Torrence perform California Girls or Do It Again, no one in the audience seemed to know the difference, and sang along as if it was to the original artist. There have been countless compilations (I own many) of Beach Boys and J&D hits packaged together. Not only do the songs fit nicely together, but it is probably financially savvy to have an album with JAN AND DEAN and THE BEACH BOYS.

Why does this all matter? Why did I just delve into this history and politics?

I'm very fascinated by the current status of the touring operations of The BBs and J&D for this reason. In August of 2018, I saw "The Beach Boys" featuring only Mike Love and Bruce Johnston and "The Jan & Dean Beach Party" featuring only Dean Torrence. But did a single person in the audience care or even seem to notice? Not really. It seems like they  remember the harmonies, the falsetto, the lyrics about surfing and girls, but the men on the album covers, or who stand on the stage, don't really matter. Hell, The BBs were able to continue touring easy as pie after the deaths of Carl and Dennis, and "on and off statuses" we'll call it of Brian, Al, and David, without any hesitation or audiences really caring that much. Can you imagine a Beatles with only Paul and Ringo? Or a Stones with only Jagger? Maybe it would totally work, and people really only do care about the music, and not the performers. But something tells me people would be much more angry at Paul McCartney and a backing band playing as "The Beatles", than Mike Love and a backing band playing as "The Beach Boys". There are many oldies acts that have the "mike and bruce" format, such as The Temptations and The Drifters, so I can understand why it works for Mike Love, and especially for Dean Torrence, who like I said has been cemented as an oldies act. But The Beatles and the Stones are remembered as Classic Rock, a more prestigious remembrance.  The Beach Boys tread this weird gray area between Rock and Oldies, and they have since the 70's! C50 almost totally cemented them as the definitive Classic Rock act, but the collapse of it, and Mike's "Now and Then" tour and UTL disc two, put them right back in the Oldies bin....

Hopefully you can now see why this such a fascinating situation. Is Dean just a famous guest star?yeah, probably ... But if he joined the group (and I do remember reading that he actually did for a while, while Bruce was sick) how could that impact the way The Beach Boys are perceived? Or would it even? I can almost gurantee not a single audience member truly cared about the transition from Christian Love to Foskett as rhythm guitarist  after C50 (for example).

In the public eyes, are The Beach Boys just an oldies act whose songs we love, but faces we can't recall, or are they a Classic Rock band who's members obtain God-like status??

and where do Jan & Dean fall into this?

I'd love to hear your thoughts.
« Last Edit: February 13, 2019, 09:18:44 AM by NateRuvin » Logged
Juice Brohnston
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« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2019, 09:57:31 AM »

I think the point that there are probably large numbers of people who go to The Beach Boys concerts, not really knowing, or caring about who's on stage, might be the very reason adding Dean as a regular to the roster might not make sense. This from a purely financial, as opposed to any artistic or 'credibility' angle.

If Mike is running a fairly lean operation, what kind of compensatory agreement would Dean be looking for. If Dean can book his own shows under the J&D banner, can he take home more than being part of The Beach Boys touring outfit?

Personally, I'd be good with Dean in the band!!
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« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2019, 10:42:37 AM »

Maybe Mike can sue for songwriting credits for all the Jan and Dean hits!

Then Rocky and Ron can put together another book...

ENDLESS SIDEWALK!  An inside look on how Rocky saved Jan Berry!
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HeyJude
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« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2019, 12:08:19 PM »

There are a number of angles to look at when stewing on the idea of Dean Torrence in 2019 joining Mike’s licensed Beach Boys.

First, in modern-day industry terms, adding Dean wouldn’t bring in any additional revenue or better bookings. Dean has far fewer bookings than Mike presently, and the gigs he plays are also lower-tier. Up until Al rejoined Brian’s band, Al, David Marks, and Dean were all doing gigs in various permutations. They still do, though Al obviously has done few in the last few years. If Mike added Dean as essentially an *additional* act on the bill, perhaps that would get a bit more money out of some promoters working on multi-act oldies shows. But if like Dean Torrence replaces a guy in Mike’s backing band, I don’t think it brings any more money.

Performance-wise, while I appreciate Dean and I would assume he’s a competent guitar player and might still have an okay mid-range singing voice, I don’t think he’d bring anything to a “Beach Boys” show in any permutation, in terms of the nuts and bolts of the music and vocals.

Dean presumably would indeed have far less if any political baggage compared to any actual Beach Boys joining the band. Dean has played gigs with both Mike and Al (and Dave) separately. But this is true for literally almost anybody on the planet other than, mainly, Al an Brian.

Going back to Jan & Dean doing predominantly Beach Boys material when going back out on the road in the late 70s/early 80s and on, I’d have to agree with what Howie Edelson mentioned in a J&D thread a while back. Jan & Dean were essentially a farm league version of the “Beach Boys”, and were doing very low-end gigs, and were touring essentially a near-Beach Boys show, but without a license. Dean noting how the catalogs are conflated is not an incorrect assertion, but it is a lame and lazy one. As Howie mentioned in passing, it’s actually surprising BRI didn’t send J&D cease and desist letters for touring the Beach Boys’ show without a license. I’m sure the goodwill between the bands (and J&D not exactly burning up the touring circuit) dictated that never happened, but the only reason “name” bands would typically add in new members culled from “tribute band” variants would be to bring in a strong performer to carry a show (e.g. bands like Journey and Boston getting tribute band singers as lead singers).

I just don’t see any upside for anyone for Dean joining Mike’s band, other than Dean maybe having more steady work and everybody feeling “oh wow, look, Dean’s in the Beach Boys now!” This isn’t like Joe Walsh joining the Eagles. Heck, this isn’t even like Mike Campbell joining Fleetwood Mac.

Again, no disrespect to Dean. All the BBs seem to like him, and I have no problem with him popping up at shows and guesting. I have no vested interest in what he does with Mike’s Beach Boys, but objectively, I see very little upside to it on any level.

And frankly, while it was acknowledged that Dean joining wouldn’t be the same as an actual Beach Boy, I do think when Mike starts adding people to his band or otherwise featuring people in his show, it’s not invalid to point out the irony of bringing in, say, John Stamos while Brian and Al aren’t there, or of singing along to tapes of Dennis or Carl, resulting in the paradox of a 2010s “Beach Boys” concert featuring the deceased Carl and Dennis, but not the still-living and active Al and Brian. 

As for the actual shows taking place, as far as I can tell it’s indeed an extended “guest” run sort of thing.
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NateRuvin
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« Reply #4 on: February 13, 2019, 01:23:39 PM »

Hey Jude,

I'll try to reply point by point, to my best ability without getting carried away.

I agree that adding Dean, wouldn't provide a huge increase in revenue. Who knows what the cost would be to add another member to the roster for lodging, travel, and food, let alone Dean's equipment. Nonetheless, if Dean became a "Beach Boy" or got a spot in the show, I can see promoters, and even Mike himself, capitalizing on having another, well, legend on stage. I'm interested to see how a Jan & Dean set during Mike's show would work. They've played Surf City and Little Old Lady for years, you could round that out with Dead Man's Curve, Drag City, New Girl In School and maybe put Barbara Ann in that part of the set (Afterall, it was a J&D song first!). That could be a nice little set to pay tribute to J&D's contribution to Pop music. I'd say Dean has earned it. But honestly, I think Dean playing a similar role to Stamos is what's likely to happen. Him at the front of the stage singing and strumming his guitar with Mike and Bruce. I assume Surf City will be in the set, at the very least.

Funny you mention Dean's performance skills. His singing gets criticized by many on here. I think he has one of the signature voices of the California sound. Not as iconic as Mike's nasal lead or Carl's smooth delivery, but you can't tell me that Dean jumping into falsetto at 0:52 in this video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cMUsYHZgZ-U), doesn't bring a smile to your face. The fact that Dean can still reach those notes is impressive. I actually talked to him about it, and he told me he needs to take breaks between shows to maintain his voice- doesn't sound ideal for Mike's band. Anywhoo, Dean can still competently cover falsetto parts, which he did on most, if not all the songs when I saw him August. He could take some of the falsetto parts sung by Foskett and co on a whim, I'm sure. He's been singing these songs for 50 years. As for his guitar skills, Dean's guitar has always been completely muted during shows. Most of the time he isn't even plugged into an amp, like in the video I linked above. He just strums the guitar to compensate for awkwardness, same as BW with a bass or piano. Although according to Bob Greene's book, he does know how to play piano and guitar well. Funny that the BBs world features so many underutilized instrumentalists... Bruce, Al, Brian, and Dean all have instrumental chops they don't show off onstage these days...

Dean, Stamos, and Video Wilsons being present (maybe all together sometime soon!) without Brian, Al, or David being there, at face value is quite strange and unsettling. Unfortunately, the BBs world is very complicated, and it's not easy to get everyone on one stage together. Like I have said many times on here, The BBs touring group has literally always been changing. From the rotation between Brian, Al, and Dave all the way in 1962 to the swap of Ike for Keith as bassist most recently. I'm not sure how long the band has ever had the same members! Correct me if wrong but maybe somewhere in the 90's, there was a stretch of the same  lineup? Probably not, as Carl was already bringing in guys like Phillip Bardowell ... Maybe it was the pre-C50 lineup Mike had. He seemed to have had that for quite a few years without change. ANYWAY, my point is that I try not to get frustrated about principle members being absent, when I realize that I could have seen The Beach Boys live in 1963 without Brian , David or Al!

Maybe I am actually part of the crowd I talk about that doesn't care about principles being absent. Sure, I wasn't in blissful unawareness, but I've had a blast every time I've seen Mike's band. They put on a great show, and when I was there, I really felt like I was watching The Beach Boys. Or perhaps, was listening to The BEach Boys! LOL

I could go on and on all day about this. Despite his vocal pitchy-ness or coasting on guitar, Dean is a super talented guy, who's voice embodies the classic Surf sound. I'm glad to see him on board, and wouldn't even mind if he got a permanent spot.

Why would Mike add Dean? If I try to get inside Mike's mind I'd say Dean provides authenticity and he's a utility. Weather or not people know the history, Dean certainly looks like a Beach Boy , and not to mention when he opens his mouth, you know you're hearing classic California music. He also could fill in on lead and backing vocals easily, probably on guitar too, if he's up to the challenge.  I'm really interested to see where this goes, and to see when he starts joining the band.
« Last Edit: February 13, 2019, 01:28:33 PM by NateRuvin » Logged
NateRuvin
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« Reply #5 on: February 13, 2019, 01:49:55 PM »

And as for J&D's Phase II show just being a cheap BBs knockoff show, I'd say it's more complicated than that. I don't think for a single minute that J&D set out to tour as a BBs tribute band. Keep in mind that after Jan's accident, music was all he had. It was the silver lining that he was working towards. Having Jan onstage was a miracle, just like how we feel with Brian Wilson. Jan went through hell, and to see him performing again, should inspire everyone. That's a huge part of why Phase II worked in my opinion. Jan came back from Dead Man's Curve. America knew the story after the TV movie in the 70's, and that story, combined with the previously mentioned haze/confusion/blur of BBs/J&D, gave them the perfect opportunity to hit the road. Jan had about 6 or 7 leads in a 30+ J&D concert, and he practiced constantly to remember the words to those. I don't think Jan would have physically been able to perform 30+ Jan & Dean songs, most of which had lead vocals by him. Not to mention, that while I'm a die hard J&D fan, I can understand that a huge audience of people doesn't really want to hear "Schlock Rod" in the same way they wouldn't want to hear "Ding Dang". The J&D shows of the 70's and onwards began as about 50/50 J&D/BBs material and gradually became filled with more and more BBs tunes. Songs like "Sail On Sailor" and "In My Room" started showing up in the sets. These songs had nothing to do with J&D. At least "Little Deuce Coupe", "Barbara Ann" "Little Honda", "I Get Around", "Help Me Rhonda" all make sense, since they are somehow tied to J&D's Phase I career either in the studio or onstage. It wasn't at all out of line to see J&D singing "Little Deuce Coupe" or "I Get Around", because they had made these songs their own in the 60's. But "God Only Knows" or "I Can Hear Music"? Stretching things a little.

But after hearing about my girlfriend's opinion of the Dean Torrence concert, it all made sense. We were talking about which songs were highlights. I think she said "Wouldn't It Be Nice"  or something, that stuck out to me as a clear BBs song. I said something like "I wish they played more J&D songs, over half the show was BBs!" To which she replied "Really?" She just couldn't really tell the BBs songs from the J&D songs. And it's not like she's unfamiliar with them. She knew every word to every song. She listens to me go on and on about the BBs and J&D. She's watched documentaries, been to concerts, etc... and yet, if I put on "Heart And Soul" or "Don't Worry Baby" she would just as likely say they're both BBs songs, as both J&D songs. I have a feeling this is the situation with most people, otherwise J&D's Phase II would've been very different.  A BBs or J&D show is about the perfect harmonies, soaring falsettos, great arrangements, pounding drums, and reverb soaked guitars on a warm summer night. All BBs related touring operations capitalize on this basic setup. At the end of the day the current Beach Boys show, Brian Wilson "Greatest Hits" show, and "Jan &Dean Beach Party" show feature largely the same set.

As a J&D fan, I wish they played more of their own songs. But as a realist, knowing Jan's situation, it's pretty easy to understand why they took the route they did.
« Last Edit: February 13, 2019, 01:53:48 PM by NateRuvin » Logged
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« Reply #6 on: February 13, 2019, 01:50:31 PM »

There was a time in the early '80s when they toured together as Mike & Dean.
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« Reply #7 on: February 13, 2019, 02:18:28 PM »

Don’t they tour some of the same venues on a yearly/bi yearly type of deal? Perhaps it’s more presenting a different show than they had the last time they passed through?
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« Reply #8 on: February 14, 2019, 09:52:47 AM »

The assertion that the phase II Jan & Dean Shows of the late 70s to early 2000s were an "unauthorized Beach Boys show" is ridiculous.  Both Jan & Dean and the Beach Boys covered each others songs in the 60s and have continued that exchange over the last 5 decades.  In terms of the Jan & Dean post accident set lists, Jan sang most of the leads.  And the more he struggled, certain songs were dropped. Jennie Lee was an early casualty.  Ditto Ride the Wild Surf, which by the late 80s became an instrumental band intro.   Doing Beach Boys covers was a no brainer, to fill the time.  The audiences ate it up and the band loved performing them.

As for being a "farm team," Dean himself referred to the duo as that very thing... but they were playing huge venues in the 80s and 90s... Three River Stadium... the Daytona Beach Band Shell shows, some of them on the same bill with the Beach Boys.  It's all documented in Bob Greene's wonderful book WHEN WE GET TO SURF CITY.  They also managed to be the first western rock group to play Red China, which is an amazing and bizarre tale of its own.

Quality of the show?  I saw Jan & Dean in the summer of 1981, in DuQuoin, Illinois.  I saw The Beach Boys a couple of months later, in Terre Haute, Indiana.  Anyone who saw any of those shows that year knows who put on the better concert, lol...
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NateRuvin
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« Reply #9 on: February 14, 2019, 10:16:18 AM »

Steve Latshaw, I couldn't have put it better myself. J&D and The BBs have been playing each other's songs since the very beginning. I think the ratio of J&D vs BBs material in Phase II shows has much more to do with Jan's condition than people think. Hell, I never knew Jan, but I definitely think he'd rather play his own hits that he crafted like "Jennie Lee" or "I Found A Girl" (early casualties like you mentioned) over "Sail On Sailor" or "Kokomo" which he had nothing to do with in the slightest. As I mentioned earlier, "Help Me Rhonda", "Barbara Ann", "I Get Around" all make sense in a J&D context due to the group's studio/stage history. And as for J&D just playing small venues, like you said, they had some massive gigs detailed in Bob Greene's book. J&D's Phase II touring operation was not simply a BBs tribute band, and people who assert that notion probably don't understand Jan's condition.

You could make a better argument that Dean's current show is a cheap BBs tribute, but I don't think it's a strong one. When I saw Dean over the summer I think the ratio was something like 6 J&D songs and 25 BBs tunes, and even Eagles. Hard to remember. There's also crossover with stuff like "Little Deuce Coupe" or "Surfin Safari" which J&D recorded and released on their albums. So now You could easily make the argument that, due to that ratio, Dean is simply putting on a cheap BBs tribute. Not that easy ...   like I said earlier, my girlfriend, and probably most of the audience, couldn't tell the J&D songs from BBs songs. They didn't go for Dean solely, it wasn't marketed that way. The website and marquee all said "Jan & Dean Beach Party". That's what people went for. That name in itself is very interesting, because the "Jan & Dean" implies a J&D show, but the "Beach Party" is what, I think, gives the band as much leeway in terms of playing non-J&D material. People went for a fun(fun,fun) J&D Beach Party, and that's what they got. "Dead Man's Curve", "Surfin USA", "Hotel California", all songs by different artists, yet, it all culminated into what truly felt like a Jan & Dean Beach Party. That, in itself, is different than what you get at a Beach Boys or BW show. There are obvious levels of sonic quality (BWs band is like a f*ckin rock n roll orchestra!) , but it's a real disservice to the work that Dean, David Logeman, Aaron Broering, Chris Farmer, Philip Bardowell (also David Marks, , Randell Kirsch, Gary Griffin, Bob Greene, Al Jardine, Jeff Baxter, who also play with the Allstars) put in, to simply toss his show away as a knock off without a license.
« Last Edit: February 14, 2019, 10:19:44 AM by NateRuvin » Logged
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« Reply #10 on: February 14, 2019, 10:36:51 AM »

The idea that they could sue Jan & Dean for basically just playing the same set the The Beach Boys did surely would suggest they should be able to sue every tribute band as well.
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« Reply #11 on: February 15, 2019, 07:06:58 AM »

I'll respond in more detail soon, but folks, the characterization of the later era J&D shows as de facto Beach Boys shows is obviously a bit hyperbolic.

BRI obviously would have had a very difficult time actually successfully suing J&D (the promotion of the shows would have been the target in such cases rather than solely the setlist itself; I'm well aware that J&D could have done a set full of Elvis songs if they had wanted), and as I mentioned, they had an ongoing relationship (in some cases a business relationship) with at least Dean in that same time period. I don't think a lawsuit was ever likely to happen. My point was more that, considering other legal action BRI took or considered over the years, a closely-associated band performing a setlist that *was* in some cases more Beach Boys than the actual band itself would lead to a not-unwarranted moment of pause for BRI.

Apart from any unlikely legal action, I absolutely think it was lame and embarrassing and opportunistic to tour as "Jan & Dean" and rely HEAVILY on the song catalog of a SINGLE other band. J&D weren't just augmenting their small collection of well-known hits with an all-purpose oldies show. They leaned HEAVILY specifically on Beach Boys songs. Even some of the original J&D-associated songs from the 60s were BB-related, including "Sidewalk Surfin'."

The Beach Boys NEVER did a show made up for more J&D songs than BB songs.

Also, comparing specifically the 1981 BB tour, roundly noted by many fans and scholars as the pre-1998 nadir of the band's touring career, with a J&D show is rather selective. Having said that, of the MANY BB and J&D shows from that era I've seen and/or viewed/listened to recordings from in that era, I'd say J&D shows were not markedly better. And certainly, the J&D setlist was pretty uninteresting from examples I've seen, relying on a small selection of the well-known J&D songs, and then rounding it out predominantly with well-known Beach Boys hits.

It's far from a perfect analogy, but imagine the Stones kind of tanking after the late 60s and then going back out in 1980 on tour and doing 20-song setlists where 12 of the songs were Beatles songs. LAME.

I *absolutely* understand why J&D did the shows that way. They wanted to tour (and I'll even acknowledge the theoretical and sometimes practical use of touring to keep Jan active, etc.), and didn't have enough recognizable songs to even fill out a *short* setlist. They were/are most associated (and sometimes conflated with) the Beach Boys among  the most casual of music consumers, so that's what they performed. I don't even have a problem with J&D having done such tours and setlists so much as I'm simply saying it should also be correctly characterized as artistically pretty lame.
« Last Edit: February 15, 2019, 07:21:57 AM by HeyJude » Logged

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« Reply #12 on: February 15, 2019, 07:18:03 AM »

The J&D story is absolutely fascinating, including that later era of touring as retold by Bob Greene.

In the 80s and 90s, did Jan & Dean ever book stadiums on their own? Meaning, as the sole act and/or as the headliner? I recall the 80s and 90s being a lot of fairs, amusement parks, clubs, event openings in parking lots, and, on the higher end, indoor theaters, etc. They undoubtedly appeared at some larger venues as openers for other bands and/or as part of a multi-act "oldies" show and the like.

But did 50,000 people ever fill a stadium in the 80s or 90s for a solely-Jan & Dean show? Did they ever even fill a 15,000-ish seat indoor arena during that time on their own?

Any time they did a gig with the Beach Boys, I'm pretty sure the vast majority of folks were there to see the BBs.

Even the days of the BBs filling stadiums was largely over by the end of the 70s, notwithstanding cases where they piggybacked onto baseball games in the 80s and 90s, where they main draw was the game with a free BB show thrown in after the game. Even the days of filling indoor arenas in the US was waning by the 80s (with some exceptions of course).

Now, what *would* be interesting to know is what kind of setlist J&D did when they toured  for the BBs in the 70s/80s/90s. I would imagine they had to drop most BB songs that overlapped with the actual BB setlist, separate from songs they performed together of course.  

« Last Edit: February 15, 2019, 07:21:07 AM by HeyJude » Logged

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« Reply #13 on: February 15, 2019, 08:30:59 AM »


"Now, what *would* be interesting to know is what kind of setlist J&D did when they toured  for the BBs in the 70s/80s/90s. I would imagine they had to drop most BB songs that overlapped with the actual BB setlist, separate from songs they performed together of course.  "

They only toured once with the Beach Boys... in August-September 1978.  For the Lakeland, FL show, they did Surf City, Dead Man's Curve, Little Old Lady and Barbara Ann during the encore.  For any individual shows where they shared billing with the Beach Boys in the 80s or 90s I doubt they changed the set list for any reason.  Tour set lists remained essentially the same for decades; any deviance from the regular order would throw Jan off.
The set list for the 1982 LP ONE SUMMER NIGHT LIVE, which was recorded in the fall of 1981, is pretty typical for the 80s... and a wildly entertaining show, when compared to the 1981 Beach Boys.

CRACK THAT WHIP
NEW GIRL IN SCHOOL
JENNY LEE
BABY TALK
LINDA
DRAG CITY/
LITTLE DEUCE COUPE/SHUT DOWN
HIDE YOUR LOVE AWAY
BACK IN THE USSR
SURFIN USA
HONOLULU LULU
DO YOU WANNA DANCE/DANCE DANCE DANCE
RIDE THE WILD SURF
SIDEWALK SURFIN'
HELP ME RHONDA
CALIFORNIA GIRLS
LITTLE OLD LADY FROM PASADENA
DEAD MAN'S CURVE
GOOD VIBRATIONS
I GET AROUND
FUN FUN FUN
SURF CITY
BARBARA ANN

Creating great art was not Dean's intent at that stage.  He knew that was impossible given Jan's condition.  By 1981, audiences were largely made up of new fans - people who had seen the TV movie.  That audience identified it all as California music... Beach Boys... Jan & Dean... whoever.  They didn't differentiate.  The whole point of the exercise was to get bookings.  Lots of bookings.  And provide a good, solid, surf and drag oldies show for 60 or 90 minutes, whatever the promoter wanted to buy.  And to keep the price down; you could book Jan & Dean for less than the Beach Boys cost you.  In 1978, when Dean was contemplating going back on the road with Jan and Papa Doo Run Run, he told me the idea was to mix it up... do the Jan & Dean hits that everyone knew and expected... and to do a certain amount of Beach Boys covers, because it would give the audience the California music they expected, and would give Jan a chance to lay back and sing bg vocals between his leads on J&D songs that he struggled with every day.  It was a winning formula and it worked for them for 25 years.
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« Reply #14 on: February 15, 2019, 08:54:29 AM »

I'd be curious to know if J&D ever did a double booking with the Beach Boys outside of the 1978 tour, meaning playing at least a full "opening act"-length setlist, and actually went up on stage and did like 10 songs that the Beach Boys were about to come on stage and also perform within the hour.  

That would be supremely odd. I would guess/hope any shows where J&D opened or were otherwise featured on a BB show, they did a shortened set of their own stuff and then maybe a combined bit on "Barbara Ann", etc.

Regarding Dean's ethos for putting together his shows and setlists, I don't think there's any disagreement. What he did made total sense. It just isn't artistically particularly interesting. The BB shows and setlists of the 80s and 90s could often be rather stale and uninteresting, but they did largely their own songs (and songs they covered on record), only occasionally delving into actual covers they had never released on record. "Surf City" was perhaps the longest-standing exception in the setlist, and I know a lot of BB fans (not casual fans obviously) were supremely annoyed at getting "Surf City" while the band ignored most post-1968-ish material during those years.

But the ability of the BBs to do their own songs for 90-120 minutes, and to occasionally dig into a huge back catalog, and actually intermittently perform *new* songs, all relate to how much more substantive the Beach Boys were than a band like J&D. I don't want to get back into the same rut where some folks are bluntly honest about J&D and then some other folks feel the need to defend, but J&D and the BBs were something more akin to Gerry & The Pacemakers and the Beatles. No, it's far from a perfect analogy.

But Jan's obviously tragic accident and subsequent struggles were not the *only* reason J&D didn't have a lot of substance to offer on stage. They just weren't as successful and talented as other bands like the Beach Boys, even back in the heyday of J&D. J&D were already in a rut artistically and commercially before Jan's accident, right? I'm not saying they never wrote or recorded anything of interest after Jan's accident or after the hits stopped happening. But the catalog on the whole wasn't full of albums and albums full of unknown gems.

As for the quality of the J&D show setting aside setlist considerations, I'd say something like this from 1980: ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eXm3cL-mjdE ) is pretty on-par with 1981 Beach Boys (give or take, depending on which 1981 BB show we're talking about), and far less substantive than 1980 or 1982 Beach Boys shows. I'll take Knebworth or DC 1980 over this any day. I'll frankly even take the awful 1981 Queen Mary show, where Brian sounds okay on the mid-range vocals, Dennis actually does a pretty solid job on drums, Al is solid if unremarkable, and some of the backing band (Carter, Figueroa, Meros) do a fine job.

Also take a look at something like this short 1986 J&D show:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oSOXHPrwo98

It's literally a farm league BB show, including featuring *multiple* at-the-time former and future Beach Boys touring band members. And it's less interesting and more generic-sounding than even a 1986 Beach Boys show (which wasn't exactly their peak either).
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« Reply #15 on: February 15, 2019, 10:14:24 AM »

As someone who became a J&D fan after seeing Deadmans Curve as a twelve-year old, I find this discussion fascinating.

First off, Dean is not going to join the BB's for one simple reason: money. Dean and Mike are good friends, and like Mike, Dean is a very bottom line guy, and is not going to tour with Mike unless he gets paid, probably alot more than any of the current BB's back-up guys. You could make the argument that Dean should get paid whatever Bruce does, since he is an iconic name of sixties California music. Plus, at the age of 79 in a month, I don't think Dean is going out on the road for 150 dates a year.

As far as the J&D setlist, it's a complicated issue. Part of it was that Jan sang lead on almost all of their songs, and was no longer capable of doing that after the accident. Also, Dean, post-accident, wasn't doing things that much differently than Jan had done pre-accident, as their 1960s era sets were filled with cover songs. Listen to the "live" album, Command Performance, which is filled with BB, Beatles and even Everly Brothers songs, or the original version of Filet of Sole. Jan and Dean's live sets had always been a combination of their biggest hits, and covers of other artists. While Jan was more artistic-minded than Dean, he wasn't Bob Dylan--or Brian Wilson. Even after the accident, I doubt that Jan was putting much pressure on Dean to do deep cuts.

Now, could you put together a 60 90-minute set made up mostly of popular J&D songs? Yes, I think you could:

Jennie Lee
Baby Talk
Linda
Surf City
Drag City
Honolulu Lulu
Deadmans Curve
New Girl in School
Barbara Ann
Little Old Lady From Pasadena
Sidewalk Surfin
Ride the Wild Surf

That's a dozen songs right there, all of which they regularly did in concert from 1979-1981. You can also add in the following:

Popsicle
Anaheim, Azuza
Batman

The first two are fun songs which I think an audience could easily get into, (Popsicle reached #21 on the Billboard charts). And, the Micheal Keaton Batman movies came out in the late 1980s, so people would probably have been into Batman.

You could also thrown in

Heart and Soul (reached #25)
You Really Know How to Hurt A Guy (#27)
I Found A Girl (#30)

That's a total of 18 songs, most of which were top 40 hits. If you throw in a few BB songs that J&D did in the original era such as Little Deuce Coupe, Surfin Safari, etc. and even a Beatles song like You've Got to Hide Your Love Away, which they did before and after Jan's accident, and you have a nice 20-25 song setlist that is heavy on J&D songs, but which would also appeal to a non-hardcore audience. Of course, they weren't realistically going to do many of these songs after Jan's accident, but its not true that they didn't have the back catalog to do a J&D-heavy set. I am not arguing that they were anywhere near the quality of the BB's, but J&D were popular in their time, with a bunch of hit songs. (And I didn't even mention many deeper cuts that I, as a fan, would have loved to hear.) After 1966, they were essentially silenced as an act, with no active presence to keep their backlist in the public eye. Even during their less popular period, the BBs always toured and released records.

Frankly, Dean just didn't care about J&D songs. He had a lot of resentment towards Jan after the accident, and often publicly criticized Jan and Dean songs. This resentment, coupled with the fact that Dean was not involved in anyway with the creation of many of these songs, meant he had no interest in putting a large number of Jan and Dean songs in the set.

Now, in terms of quality, I would put a post-accident J&D set in the same league as a current Brian Wilson show. Jan, the creative force behind J&D, was a shell of himself after the accident, and could not sing or run a show the way he could beforehand. Thus, you were not going to get high quality vocals from Jan after the accident. The same is true with Brian today, where you are really going to see the back-up band and Al carry the load, with little expectation that you are going to get a solid vocal performance from Brian. Now, other than Papa Doo Run Run in the late 1970s/early 1980s, Jan and Dean did not have the same quality back-up band that Brian has. I actually think the Ontario concert you posted is pretty good. Papa is really driving the tunes, and Jan was much better at keeping up during the early days of post-accident touring, as he was younger, in better shape, and both he and Dean were probably thrilled at being out there again. Also, neither Jan and Dean were close to the vocalists that the BBs were. Even the worst BB shows usually had Carl and Al, and even Mike was on and not too nasal, is better than either J&D as a singer.
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« Reply #16 on: February 15, 2019, 10:46:03 AM »

Off topic, a bit, but does anyone know how Dean had done, financially, over the years.

I have a lot of respect for the guy, as it seems he always hustled, not relying on being a 'rock star'. He made use of his education with Kitty Hawk, and I seem to remember an interview where he said he was buying and selling real estate.

Just curious if he is well set up on the $ side.
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« Reply #17 on: February 15, 2019, 10:52:00 AM »

I’m someone who has been very honest and blunt about Brian Wilson shows; I don’t tend to be overly-forgiving of his shortcomings on stage. Yes, Brian’s show over the last 20 years has indeed at various moments started to veer into “Weekend at Bernie’s” territory.

But I wouldn’t put Brian’s shows in the same category as a post-accident J&D show. First, I’d say Brian on a good night, especially in the early 2000s, was both better vocally and more animated and a better emcee than Jan (or Dean) was at their shows. I’m not out to criticize Jan and what he could or couldn’t do at shows; I think some folks back then and maybe even now weren’t fully aware of how dire his condition was due to that accident. That he resurfaced at all was absolutely commendable. But if we’re going to be honest, Jan’s vocals were almost always challenged in a far different and more distracting way than Brian has usually sounded.

I saw Brian on the 2000 PS tour, and he was not only in good voice, but carried the show and was full of energy, having back-and-forths with the audience. I’ve never seen a J&D show where anything like that happened.

And then yes, on top of that, everything else about Brian’s show is in a different stratosphere than even the best J&D gig. Setlists with full album performances and deep cuts. Full-time guests in later years that added true substance to the show (Al, Blondie, Dave). And a backing band that easily outstrips even the best of J&D’s backing band. The Papa guys were fine, and then later when they had guys like Cowsill, Farmer, Griffin, etc., those were solid musicians. Many of the same guys who to this day play with Mike, or Al, or the various “Surf City All Star” lineups with varying combos of Al, Dean, and David Marks. But those were not bands that could have pulled off “Pet Sounds” or “Smile” in full.

Regarding the J&D setlist and the idea of playing mostly or all J&D cuts, I absolutely agree they *could* have done that. They could have padded the known J&D songs with other tracks of their own rather than like 10 Beach Boys songs they had nothing to do with. They could have even used backing guys as surrogate singers for songs that neither Jan nor Dean could or wanted to sing. But they (or Dean) chose not to, obviously. It’s why some J&D gigs in later years could be pretty sad; one couldn’t say “well, Jan is trying but really struggling, but at least the band and setlist are mind-blowing!”
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« Reply #18 on: February 15, 2019, 11:06:40 AM »

I'd pay good money to hear Mike and Dean harmonize on Submarine Races. Grin
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« Reply #19 on: February 15, 2019, 02:40:30 PM »

<<Tand then later when they had guys like Cowsill, Farmer, Griffin, etc., those were solid musicians. Many of the same guys who to this day play with Mike, or Al, or the various “Surf City All Star” lineups with varying combos of Al, Dean, and David Marks. But those were not bands that could have pulled off “Pet Sounds” or “Smile” in full.>>

Gary Griffin has been pulling off Pet Sounds in full for the last few years in Brian's band.  And John Cowsill's drumming was a highlight of the 2012 C50 reunion tour.
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« Reply #20 on: February 15, 2019, 09:16:07 PM »

<<Tand then later when they had guys like Cowsill, Farmer, Griffin, etc., those were solid musicians. Many of the same guys who to this day play with Mike, or Al, or the various “Surf City All Star” lineups with varying combos of Al, Dean, and David Marks. But those were not bands that could have pulled off “Pet Sounds” or “Smile” in full.>>

Gary Griffin has been pulling off Pet Sounds in full for the last few years in Brian's band.  And John Cowsill's drumming was a highlight of the 2012 C50 reunion tour.

Yes, I'm well aware that Griffin is in Brian's band and that Cowsill was on C50. What I'm saying is that band in that 1986 clip, while professional, could not have adequately pulled off the entirety of PS or Smile. It just wasn't that type of band. I've never felt a need to compare 80s J&D backing bands to Brian's 1999-present band. I drew the comparison in response to the assertion that J&D shows were of a similar quality as Brian's show.
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« Reply #21 on: February 15, 2019, 11:42:26 PM »

Wow, the recent ideas expressed on this thread have really blown my mind. I never thought  about Dean not including hits like "I Found A Girl" or "You Really Know How To Hurt A Guy" since he simply (supposedly) not even on them, and has even expressed dislike for them. Chris Farmer or Gary Griffin could have sung "I Found A Girl" (which had the falsetto sung by Phil Sloan and NOT Dean) just like how Darian sings "Darlin" or Christian sings "Help Me Rhonda" for example.  There were a lot of J&D songs that were (at least modest) hits in the 50's and 60's. Songs like Anaheim, Heart & Soul, I Found A Girl, Popsicle, and Batman have been mentioned, but if there were to be a slight rotation of songs, like Mike and Brian do, others that could've been included (or Dean could still include today!) are White Tennis Sneakers, One Piece Topless Bathing Suit, Three Window Coupe, or Bucket T.  I'm an avid Dean Torrence supporter, but I'm now starting to understand the frustration behind lack of J&D songs more.

But to be fair, as many of us have concluded, people don't go to a BBs or J&D show for specific songs, but for California music. Mike & co can play Little Old Lady and Surf City no problem and Dean (with Jan until 2004) can perform God Only Knows or Darlin. I agree that Phase II and Dean's current shows aren't meant to be fine art, they're meant to be a Beach Party. And if playing BBs predominently helps to create a Beach Party, I suppose they've done their job. Jan certainly enjoyed himself, singing backgrounds on those BBs tunes (some of which he had a part of creating in the 60's) thats whats most important.     To be fair, both J&D and BBs shows have always consisted of many covers. The BBs played Papa Oom, Long Tall Texan, etc in the early years and Rock And Roll Music, Barbara Ann, Come And Go With Me, Why Do Fools, etc all for years.(and DUKE OF EARL Shocked)    Hell, even The Beatles played a ton of covers- Twist And Shout, Til There Was You, Kansas City, etc.. I guess people are opposed to a group's set consisting of many covers of one specific group, that they were in competition (friendly) with. Again, like the Beatles-Stones analogy. At the end of the day J&D and later just Dean's setlists are the way they are because of the following reasons we discussed: Jan's condition, Dean's distaste for some of Jan's work (despite being hits) created in his absence, and the audience love/desire for California music.  

Back to Dean joining Mike later this year. I can't wait to see how this unfolds. I will be equally happy with either scenario; Dean having a "J&D Set" or him simply being  a guest member of the band like Stamos. Maybe it'll be like Blondie in BW's shows, where he'll get songs of his own to play, but will also sit in with the band on certain songs. I really hope it's not like that one for C50 show where Dean just sang on Barbara Ann. I'm not complaining about that event, it was legendary and well earned for Dean to be onstage for a C50 show. But, with the promotion of Dean's attendance, I hope he gets proper stage time. Anyway, I will be happy with either scenario because if Dean gets his own set of J&D songs, it will be a great chance to 1) honor Jan 2)rejuvinate interest in J&D's music (if it's more than just Surf City and Little Old Lady) and 3) make obvious J&D's great contribution to Rock.

If I can fantasize, I'd wish for Dean to have an acoustic set, focus on him (like on Bruce with Disney Girls), performing Dean's OWN songs like "Like A Summer Rain", "California Lullaby", with Dean maybe taking a solo on Acoustic guitar. Followed by a couple tunes, played with an electric-rock band setting, with other great J&D tunes like "Popsicle", "Heart & Soul", and "Anaheim..." --- Save Surf City and Little Old Lady for where they respectively land in Mike's normal setlist , and have Dean come on stage with his guitar (just like Blondie at BW shows for his songs)   and yeah, I know Mike dropped LOLFP a few years ago, and Surf City is a night by night song. anyway, with the set I explained above I would be one happy camper!!!!!    well, a guy can dream can't he


One more thing, for those of you who are curious why myself and a few others are such adament defenders of J&D playing predominantly BBs tunes, or maybe you're just curious about J&D in general- check out WHEN WE GET TO SURF CITY by Bob Greene. Great book. Couldn't put it down.
« Last Edit: February 15, 2019, 11:52:02 PM by NateRuvin » Logged
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« Reply #22 on: February 17, 2019, 06:01:56 PM »

Just some memorabilia and various stuff from when Mike and Dean previously collaborated, maybe some that hasn't been seen as much as others.





































That's the rundown, mostly early 80's from when Mike/Dean signed the deal with Radio Shack for the new label "Hitbound" which was Radio Shack's attempt to get into the record label business, to the Budweiser "Be True To Your Bud" tour which saw Mike and Dean playing colleges and spring break blow-outs while handing out lyrics for the crowd to sing the Bud anthem and whatnot, to the Radio Shack and Hitbound label's TV special Scrooge's Rock And Roll Christmas where Mike and Dean appeared in a sleigh and Mike sang to a sheep. And there's Mike and Dean hawking Radio Shack stereo equipment under their house brand Realistic in print ads.

(Just my opinion here...the actual music from these collaborations is some of the worst Beach Boys and oldies related schlock I've heard, really weak attempts to remake oldies using drum machines and synths, some of which were apparently produced by Daryl Dragon. The "Be True To Your Bud" thing speaks for itself. I've never heard any tapes from the spring break Budweiser concerts, but the TV appearances where Mike and Dean lip-sync to the various Radio Shack tracks are painful.)

So I guess that asks the general question have Mike and Dean ever had success with their musical collaborations in the past?
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« Reply #23 on: February 17, 2019, 06:35:12 PM »

I think Hitbound was Mike’s label and they worked with Radio Shack’s label Realistic for the various releases. Realistic had already been already for a while at that point. The Mesa Lane address at the bottom of the Hitbound press release was Mike’s home address I believe.
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« Reply #24 on: February 17, 2019, 07:35:09 PM »

I think Hitbound was Mike’s label and they worked with Radio Shack’s label Realistic for the various releases. Realistic had already been already for a while at that point. The Mesa Lane address at the bottom of the Hitbound press release was Mike’s home address I believe.

Thanks for the info. Do you know of any other releases like these, done with Radio Shack/Realistic/Tandy as the parent company, other than those connected to Mike and Dean on Hitbound? The Scrooge album and the first release had other artists too, did they sign with Mike or Radio Shack? I thought Hitbound was a Radio Shack deal.
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