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Author Topic: Thrasher Magazine Reviews The Beach Boys' July 13, 1982 Concert  (Read 1428 times)
HeyJude
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« on: April 04, 2019, 12:31:09 PM »

What a weird time capsule. Apparently Thrasher Magazine was running light on content for their October 1982 issue, and sent a skateboarding, punk-loving non-fan to a Summer 1982 Beach Boys show in Concord, CA. Ironically, while they have utter contempt for the band and the genre of music in general, they actually probably overly-praise the vocal performances, as 1982 was not exactly a peak for the band (though by this point Carl had returned).

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« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2019, 01:08:22 PM »

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« Last Edit: April 04, 2019, 01:10:30 PM by Rocker » Logged

a diseased bunch of mo'fos if there ever was one… their beauty is so awesome that listening to them at their best is like being in some vast dream cathedral decorated with a thousand gleaming American pop culture icons.

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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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HeyJude
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« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2019, 01:10:29 PM »

This might be the audio of the reviewed show:


The Beach Boys Live In Concord 5/18/1981 Full Concert

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ZKNRIKwjnw

The show reviewed is from the 1982 Concord show. I think that YouTube audio is from the 1981 show.

The issue is from October 1982, and it uses a 1982 band publicity photo taken after Carl's return in early-mid 1982.
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« Reply #3 on: April 04, 2019, 01:10:59 PM »

This might be the audio of the reviewed show:


The Beach Boys Live In Concord 5/18/1981 Full Concert

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ZKNRIKwjnw

The show reviewed is from the 1982 Concord show. I think that YouTube audio is from the 1981 show.

The issue is from October 1982, and it uses a 1982 band publicity photo taken after Carl's return in early-mid 1982.


You're right. I just realized that too and edited my message
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a diseased bunch of mo'fos if there ever was one… their beauty is so awesome that listening to them at their best is like being in some vast dream cathedral decorated with a thousand gleaming American pop culture icons.

- Lester Bangs on The Beach Boys


PRO SHOT BEACH BOYS CONCERTS - LIST


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.

- Jack Rieley
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« Reply #4 on: April 04, 2019, 01:19:45 PM »

If I didn't see the cover date and the photo used in the article, it would probably be hard to tell the precise date; the "review" of course doesn't address the musical chairs of the preceding year or two in the band.

But seriously, I'm trying to imagine someone with that much disdain going to a show. Disdain for the band and the audience. It's like, go see a show from a band you like!
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« Reply #5 on: April 04, 2019, 01:22:12 PM »

Ironically, while the gist of the article is that the band are old, bloated, and washed up, and clearly are not edgy and "punk" like other bands covered in the magazine, it's a bit ironic that a couple of the band members (and I don't say this proudly) could have probably snorted and drank under the table any of the punk bands appearing in the magazine.
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CenturyDeprived
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« Reply #6 on: April 04, 2019, 01:59:43 PM »





That PHOTO.  LOL
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HeyJude
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« Reply #7 on: April 04, 2019, 02:32:13 PM »

I'd say Mike may have come out looking the coolest in that doctored photo.....
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« Reply #8 on: April 04, 2019, 03:32:19 PM »

I'd say Mike may have come out looking the coolest in that doctored photo.....

There's a first time for everything...
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The LEGENDARY OSD
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« Reply #9 on: April 04, 2019, 08:13:06 PM »

I'd say Mike may have come out looking the coolest in that doctored photo.....

There's a first time for everything...


 LOL LOL LOL LOL w00t! w00t! w00t! w00t!
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« Reply #10 on: April 06, 2019, 12:51:52 AM »

some of you may or may not know in grateful dead lore theres a review from irvine meadows 85 that says like "this is a show black flag fans woudlnt be caught dead at" or something to that sort---- and then in the next issue the guitarist for black flag wrote in and was all screw you guys i was actually at that show.
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« Reply #11 on: April 06, 2019, 10:43:03 AM »

This pretty much shows how The Beach Boys were REALLY perceived at the time by the rock press. Sure, they were given polite lip service for the hit singles era, but this review sounds like what they actually thought of the BB, but would never have the balls to say out loud.
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« Reply #12 on: April 06, 2019, 05:28:00 PM »

That is the time frame of my early fandom days and yes it wasn't cool to be into the Beach Boys during the punk period. Even the people in the record shops thought that I was wasting my money.
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« Reply #13 on: April 08, 2019, 06:34:27 AM »

This pretty much shows how The Beach Boys were REALLY perceived at the time by the rock press. Sure, they were given polite lip service for the hit singles era, but this review sounds like what they actually thought of the BB, but would never have the balls to say out loud.

If you read the Rusten/Stebbins "In Concert" book, it was to the band's benefit that they largely *weren't* perceived at all by the rock press in that era. Hence they didn't get flak for awful decisions like playing Sun City in December 1981/January 1982, and went relatively unscathed doing wonky shows in 1981/82.

That being said, I wouldn't call the people writing for "Thrasher" in that era the "rock press." Sure, it sounds like they gained press credentials for their writers, but it's clear they didn't regularly review old, tired "classic rock/oldies" era bands, and the whole article was an exercise in finding something to make fun of.

I'm not even opposed to a witty, snarky lashing from a critic back in that era, when the band didn't deserve rave reviews and absolutely were phoning it in at times. This "Thrasher" review unfortunately wasn't it. I sense they would have given largely the same review to a tight-sounding 1975 era show or a relatively solid-sounding 1980 or 1993 show, etc. A large hunk of the review makes fun of the *audience* attending this 1982 BB show, and that middle aged, upper-middle class, baby boomer, Hawaiin-shirt clad demographic of BB fan only increased proportionately as the 80s wore on and into the 90s. It's funny how much this Thrasher article makes fun of a 1982 BB audience, as late 70s and early 80s BB audiences still had at least *some* in the audience that were more of the (vastly generalizing of course) hippy variety, Deadhead-type fans, the sort of fans that were going to Doobie Brothers gigs and that sort of thing.
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« Reply #14 on: April 08, 2019, 09:03:17 AM »

some of you may or may not know in grateful dead lore theres a review from irvine meadows 85 that says like "this is a show black flag fans woudlnt be caught dead at" or something to that sort---- and then in the next issue the guitarist for black flag wrote in and was all screw you guys i was actually at that show.


LOL. That's great!

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« Reply #15 on: April 08, 2019, 12:36:59 PM »

Yes, the reviewer had a chip on his shoulder towards people from suburbia.  I wonder why.  I was one of those people from suburbia who attended multiple Beach Boys concerts in New York and New Jersey and loved every minute of it.  Even with all of the personal issues that some of the band members had, for 90+ minutes I heard songs that I loved played reasonably close to the originals.  It was a time of great joy for me as I immersed myself in the California sound.  Judging by the way the other people reacted at the concerts I attended, I wasn't alone in my feeling.    
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HeyJude
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« Reply #16 on: April 08, 2019, 01:13:50 PM »

To be clear, the Beach Boys in 1981/82 often sounded pretty shambolic. By the time of this Concord Pavilion review, Carl was back in the lineup. The shows did improve upon Carl’s return (not only due to Carl being there, but his supposed insistence on more rehearsal, and supposed insistence on changing up the setlist more), but even late 1982 (or 83 for that matter) was not peak Beach Boys.

I have no problem with reviews taking the live show to task; I think they often went on autopilot in the 80s and 90s. Sometimes they were still great, sometimes just okay. It wasn’t too often they were a 100% train wreck, but 1981/82 at times did veer in that direction.

The “Thrasher” review is amusing because it has little to do with rating the performance itself. Indeed, the reviewer actually seems to think this 1982 band is “just about the same” as the old days, and suggests their voices were *better* in 1982 than in the 60s. A clear indication (obviously) that the reviewer doesn’t care one bit about the Beach Boys’ music and isn’t paying attention much to it.

So it’s kind of cute and ironic that the most glaring justifiable criticism one could level against the 1982 band was *not* sounded in this review. Instead, they are annoyed the band’s management didn’t want to read a stack of issues of “Thrasher” nor grant an interview, and seem oddly confused as to why a then 20-plus-year-old band was servicing a middle-aged crowd.

Anybody from the Bay Area would have been well aware that Concord Pavilion is not a club venue for punk bands; it was a large outdoor amphitheater (my recollection is that, again ironically, the Beach Boys shot one of the “Summer in Paradise” promo videos at the Concord Pavilion a decade later) that would tend to host “mainstream” acts, catering not to 18-year-olds.
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« Reply #17 on: April 08, 2019, 01:32:14 PM »

Having written a book on The Beach Boys and another on The Rolling Stones-I find it amusing how often the reviewer would discuss their age and the fact that they’d have to hang it up soon. I mean they were in their late 30s or early 40s! Not so old! But aging rockers was a new concept I guess. Funny that both bands are still playing shows almost forty years later
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« Reply #18 on: April 08, 2019, 01:59:13 PM »

I’m willing to cut reviewers of the era plenty of slack; the idea of “rock stars” heading into their 40s still playing arenas and stadiums and amphitheaters was pretty new. The previous era of performer from the 50s and back, especially of the “rock and roll” era, were playing packaged oldies shows and low-tier gigs in Vegas/Reno, etc. around that time.

And some acts were doing a better job than others of proving that they could still do it. The Beach Boys in 1981/82 were not the best “reference quality” material for proving that aging rockers could still perform well and be relevant. I mean, they were *doing* it, they were proving that, technically, *a* touring band could remain out there. But certainly, if, say, Carl hadn’t returned in 1982, I don’t think a Mike/Al/Bruce lineup would have survived into the late 90s, at least not in the same iteration.

Once Carl returned, and then into the mid-late 90s, the Beach Boys proved, I guess, that they could be a well-oiled professional presentation. But, with some specific and short-term exceptions, they weren’t challenging themselves and were defaulting to the easiest, most lucrative option.

The era of the Beach Boys’ live show *consistently* being true art ended around 1975, and then made a quick return in 2012.

To be very clear, I very much enjoy all those in between years. I bow to nobody in my weird admiration for the 1980 tour lineup. I bow to few in my head knowledge of weird setlist picks and familiarity with every era of the touring band. I’ve listened to more 1996 concerts than anybody probably should.
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« Reply #19 on: April 08, 2019, 02:38:38 PM »

I agree with you and if you are familiar with Rock Dreams-the author notes that the Beach Boys were "prematurely middle aged" in 1974!  I mean-if you think about it-Brian was only 34 in 1976-but there he is wistfully discussing his long ago youth in interviews of the time.  Mick Jagger was still trying to act like the coolest man in the room in 1975, the Beach Boys really just did not care about that aspect. 
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