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Author Topic: Meeting at Brian's house after the 1977 airport tarmac incident...?  (Read 1548 times)
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« on: May 17, 2019, 04:22:28 AM »

Hey guys, hope you are all well.

The details of the airport tarmac incident in New York in 1977 seem to be pretty well known. However, I have found it more difficult to find significant information on the meeting that occurred a couple of weeks after at Brian's house, which apparently brought the group to some kind of an agreement.

I've had a look around the forums and as far as I can tell I don't think this meeting has been covered in a lot of detail (although I see there have been some pretty large threads in the past and it might be buried in one of those -- if it has already been discussed in detail, apologies in advance!)

Wikipedia:

The band broke up for two and a half weeks, until a meeting on September 17 at Brian's house. In light of a potential new Caribou Records contract the parties negotiated a settlement resulting in Love gaining control of Brian's vote in the group, allowing Love and Jardine to outvote Carl and Dennis Wilson on any matter.

Unfortunately I do not have access to the source given for this excerpt ("The Beach Boys: The Definitive Diary of America's Greatest Band, on Stage and in the Studio" by Keith Badman). So, does anyone know the details of this supposed agreement?

Regardless of the scenario it seems rather f*cked up to me; not only did Brian end up with essentially no voice in the band, but another band member was given twice the power of all other members. For a band already split into camps (Wilsons vs. Love/Jardine) this kind of arrangement seems like it was an awful idea.

Did Brian willingly cede his vote or was it taken from him? Why did the vote even go to another band member in the first place? Was this some kind of deal-breaker for the Caribou Records contract?

Any information would be very much appreciated  Smiley
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Ian
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« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2019, 05:25:30 AM »

Stephen Gaines book has all the details and,not trying to hawk my own book, but The Beach Boys In concert by Jon Stebbins and myself also discussed it pretty well
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« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2019, 06:45:36 AM »

Plus, and I know I'm stating the obvious, the "tarmac incident" is probably also documented in more detail because there was a journalist there witnessing the whole thing. Whereas, the later meeting was much more private. I'm sure there are TONS of band/business meetings that would be quite intriguing to get more details on.

As an aside, an intriguing curio mentioned in a BB book for which there is literallly NO additional information is the report in Peter Ames Carlin's Brian biography that there was an attempt to oust Al from the band/corporation back in *1990*. This would have predated not only his later 1998 departure, but would have even predated the circa 1992 issues (e.g. not participating in much of the SIP sessions, etc.).
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« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2019, 07:29:02 AM »

Thanks Ian, will have a look at those  Smiley

HeyJude, yes, very curious case with regard to Al a couple of years before Summer in Paradise. I wonder if the issue arose during the Problem Child session. If so, I suppose it would make sense for the band to then keep it quiet during the lead up to the album (hence only being referenced in one book).
« Last Edit: May 17, 2019, 07:31:21 AM by Signed Sincerely » Logged
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« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2019, 11:11:21 AM »



Regardless of the scenario it seems rather f*cked up to me; not only did Brian end up with essentially no voice in the band, but another band member was given twice the power of all other members. For a band already split into camps (Wilsons vs. Love/Jardine) this kind of arrangement seems like it was an awful idea.

Did Brian willingly cede his vote or was it taken from him? Why did the vote even go to another band member in the first place?


Brian is susceptible to bullying by others, and Brian is also famous for doing all sorts of measures to avoid conflict.
I'll never believe that Brian's giving up of his vote wasn't at least partly due to these factors.
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« Reply #5 on: May 17, 2019, 11:16:53 AM »

Thanks Ian, will have a look at those  Smiley

HeyJude, yes, very curious case with regard to Al a couple of years before Summer in Paradise. I wonder if the issue arose during the Problem Child session. If so, I suppose it would make sense for the band to then keep it quiet during the lead up to the album (hence only being referenced in one book).


Al does make an appearance in a promo EPK for the Problem Child video/song. So at minimum, he was willing to promote it.  And to also promote the worst haircut he ever had in the history of the band (sorry, Al!). Sideburns were apparently persona non-grata in 1990.

But does Al's face look like the expression of a guy who's happy to be there? I could easily believe he was unhappy at this time from the look on his face.



Interestingly, Carl - the song's lead singer - who also appears in sunglasses in the video itself (which many have speculated could have been an in-joke due to Carl being embarrassed by the song) - is completely absent in the EPK interview. That to me, coupled with the sunglasses thing, does lend not one but two pieces of evidence that he was maybe not proud of being associated with that song or movie. Still, Carl is still without a doubt the best (and only listenable) part of that song.

It's interesting to note that Al doesn't appear onscreen with Mike at the same time. For whatever reason (could have been scheduling, could have been Mike wanting to have a 1-on-1 bromance with Stamos, or Al being on bad terms with Mike, who knows)... Al and Bruce appear, then Stamos and Mike (and a plant) appear.

« Last Edit: May 17, 2019, 11:19:45 AM by CenturyDeprived » Logged
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« Reply #6 on: May 17, 2019, 12:24:47 PM »

For those that haven't already, check out Mike’s 1992 Goldmine interview. While he seems to lack much empathy for or willingness to understand *why* Al was feeling the way he was, Mike’s description is probably a reasonably accurate (if not thorough) description of Al’s attitude at the time.

Once you digest a good amount of 80s and 90s audio and video of live shows, other interviews, reviews of shows (especially reviews from fans), it’s pretty clear Al was at times standoffish and/or difficult and/or annoyed and/or grumpy, etc. As someone once put it, sometimes at shows he just seemed pissed off at his wedge monitor. He didn’t seem to always be having fun up there the way he did years later.

As for *why* he was grumpy, etc., I’ve seen a lot of theories but not much hard information. Mike doesn’t offer much in that 1992 Goldmine interview. But I’ve seen several theories: One is that he was suffering severely from tinnitus around that time in the early 90s, and if true, that is certainly known to be not only potentially debilitating, but can cause irritability (and worse). I don’t know *how* severe this may have been, because I haven’t seen any evidence that Al missed any large number of shows at any point. But it seems an odd report to have been completely fabricated, so I would imagine there’s likely some amount of truth to this.

Another theory is that he was unhappy with the direction of the live show as far as cheerleaders (and thus setlist), etc.

Some have suggested Al sat out most of the “Summer in Paradise” sessions because he thought the material sucked. While this would be understandable, it sounds too convenient to me. They *all* (including Carl) participated in a lot of dreck around this time. Wipe Out, Problem Child, Crocodile Rock, and so on. And Al *did* eventually come in for some SIP sessions anyway. I have no problem buying he wasn’t super fond of that album (we haven’t seen him do any songs from it at his shows certainly).

I’ve never heard of any particular reason why Al would have taken *extra* issue with the “Problem Child” single. Indeed, as we’ve discussed in the past, one of the reasons they kept working with Melcher is that he was helping to score them deals to get songs into movies, and getting your song into a major studio movie can be *very* lucrative, even when the movie and/or song bomb or just kind of fizzle.

We have much stronger indication for why Al ended up on the outs with Mike in 1997/98, having to do with a change in how to run the BB tours and so on, and that has been discussed in past threads.

But I’ve always thought I wouldn’t be surprised if, at various points, perhaps including that 1990 instance mentioned in Carlin’s book, Mike (and/or others) could have made at attempt to buy Al out of the organization. Good for Al that he never gave up his stake. Although, he has largely remained relatively impotent when it comes to BRI decisions and whatnot. But he still has his vote, and he still gets his cut.

What we do know is that by the time he was off on his own in 1998/99, and certainly by the mid-2000s, Al had very much mellowed and really came into his own when it comes to being chilled-out and appreciative of his legacy in the BB story. Now, both in interviews and at shows, he seems much more in his element, enjoying himself on stage and giving introspective interviews, and so on. Not only has his voice aged better than anyone in the band, his temperament has aged the best as well. Despite Mike just in the last couple years suggesting Al is unhappy, it is *Mike* who comes across as bitter and hung up on the past in interviews these days.

Keep in mind that for the C50 tour in 2012, Al could have and maybe *should have* had a much bigger beef with the project. Much like how the Eagles squeezed out Don Felder when they did the “Hell Freezes Over” reunion (e.g. forming a separate company without Felder to run the reunion tour rather than running it through the band’s main corporate entity that *did* include Felder), Al was marginalized on the reunion tour and was salaried despite being a BRI corporate member. Further, he seemed to have little say or input into either the album or tour. Mike got one solo song flown into the TWGMTR album. Al got none, and Jason Fine in Rolling Stone documented how Brian (and the others) blew off Al’s idea to use “Waves of Love” for the album. On the tour, Al seemed to have little input, noting before the tour started he would have to “ask Mike” about including any specific songs. It seems as though his only setlist pick that made it was “California Saga” a month into the tour. All this, and Al was 100% positive during the tour, enjoyed himself on stage, and seemed *more* bummed about the reunion ending than anybody.
« Last Edit: May 17, 2019, 12:28:23 PM by HeyJude » Logged

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« Reply #7 on: May 17, 2019, 09:08:02 PM »

After the 2015 BW show I went to, as many of the band was leaving he actually stopped briefly to ask my daughter ( who was 7 at the time) if she enjoyed the show. I was talking to Paul at the time so I didn’t interact with Al but to this day that’s stuck with her. He seems like a great guy.

Heck, so was Paul, Probyn , Nelson, Matt, and Blondie
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« Reply #8 on: May 18, 2019, 12:16:54 PM »

Sideburns were apparently persona non-grata in 1990.

 LOL
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« Reply #9 on: May 18, 2019, 12:24:22 PM »

Excellent post, HeyJude. 100% agree with regard to Al's apparent change in attitude around the turn of the century. And yes, since then, he certainly appears to be the Beach Boy who has aged the most gracefully in that respect, with the possible exception of David Marks (although admittedly I don't know enough about Blondie and Ricky to say this for sure). Same goes for his voice.

Either way, regardless of his situation in the band at different stages over the years, I think the overall lack of major drama involving Al personally (at least compared to his bandmates) says a lot about his character.
« Last Edit: May 18, 2019, 12:26:26 PM by Signed Sincerely » Logged
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« Reply #10 on: May 20, 2019, 07:03:40 AM »

Excellent post, HeyJude. 100% agree with regard to Al's apparent change in attitude around the turn of the century. And yes, since then, he certainly appears to be the Beach Boy who has aged the most gracefully in that respect, with the possible exception of David Marks (although admittedly I don't know enough about Blondie and Ricky to say this for sure). Same goes for his voice.

Either way, regardless of his situation in the band at different stages over the years, I think the overall lack of major drama involving Al personally (at least compared to his bandmates) says a lot about his character.

Yeah, Dave is pretty chilled out too. While he was definitely hosed on financial/business stuff going back to the early days (as described in the Stebbins/Marks book), I think in terms of interpersonal acrimony among band members, Dave being pretty easy going and friendly with all factions is probably due to his having the relative luxury of not having been tied up in 50 years of lawsuits and acrimony within the band.

Had Dave sued and been sued numerous times, had major ongoing creative and business beefs with other members, etc. over the span of half a century, he might well have ended up with some of the same hangups, gripes, and personality downsides that the other members faced.

I'm not saying it has been all rosy on the business/financial side; again that's all explored in his book. But it's mainly confined to that one period in 1962-63. Or so we can only assume.
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