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Author Topic: 2014 Ernie Knapp Interview (1981-82 Beach Boys Touring Bass Player)  (Read 1892 times)
HeyJude
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« on: June 04, 2019, 12:33:04 PM »

Found an interesting interview with 81/82 touring bass player Ernie Knapp. Apparently he had some early connection to Manson and stuff, which is the main sort of click-baity crux of this interview, but he also goes into his time with the BBs. The article also has a couple of pics, including an interesting one that I'll go into in the next post:

Also interesting is that he also played with I'm assuming the later incarnation of "American Spring" prior to the BBs.

Here's the interview:

https://sonnyvincent77.wordpress.com/i-was-in-in-a-band-with-charles-manson-ernie-knapp-2/

Below is most of the pertinent stuff regarding the Beach Boys (note his reference to "Jeff Austin" is surely actually Jeff Foskett):

SV: OK, now let’s go again to the point of your connection/ contact and on to playing with The Beach Boys. You played bass for The Beach Boys for a number of tours. That’s way impressive man. I’m sure some of the readers are drooling by now, just like me!! For me to even be near one of those guys from The Beach Boys it would be, I mean, you know what I am sayin’.

ERNIE: Oh yeah.

SV: Like those guys were so unbelievably talented. The Aeolian harmonics… I listen to them all the time, it just blows me away. It’s like, you know, other worldly and you were playing with them!! Dang, Ernie!! Can you tell me a little bit about how you hooked up with them and what it was it like playing with them?

ERNIE: Yeah. I was, as I said, from west LA and I knew their long time bass player and their long time drummer, Ed Carter and Mike Kowalski. Ed was their bass player from 1966 to 1998. I knew those guys; they were also like five years older than me and musicians that I looked up to in high school. I’d go hear then in clubs and then later on, around the mid-70s, I actually started playing with them. Whenever Ed and Mike were off the road with The Beach Boys, we’d get together and write songs and do little gigs together around LA. I started getting tied in with The Beach Boys through them and by playing first with a group called ‘American Spring’. That was Brian Wilson’s wife, Marilyn, and her two sisters. So I played with The Beach Boys for about a year. That was in the late 70s. What actually happened is Carl Wilson decided to do a solo album and take a year off and tour on his own. And so my friend Ed saw that coming up, and I remember this, I think I still have this on part of a tape, Ed sat me down at his house and said, “Ernie, here’s the bass parts for the show.” And I had my little cassette running and he played every single song, the bass parts for it. I’d kind of tap my food to keep the time going and he’d hum the vocals just to cue it through the progressions. It was incredible! He gave me all the bass parts for the whole show, straight from Brian Wilson, to him, to me.

SV: So Ed played you Brian’s parts?

ERNIE: Yes, exactly!

SV: Whoa!

ERNIE: I went home and I practiced them and practiced them and got them down. And then I was really disappointment because Ed said, “Well, Carl, canceled his thing so it’s not happening.” So, you know, that was that and I kind of forgot about it. And then, like six months later, I got home one day and there’s a message on my machine saying, “Ernie, if you can be in New York in three days you got the gig.”

SV: WOW!!!!

ERNIE: (laughs) I found that cassette and started practicing and practicing!! And then they had a guy deliver a live tape of a whole show, exactly as they did it, a show they had done just a couple of weeks before. I practiced with that for like for 24 hours straight and got on a plane and the next day just walked in. We did a sound check, did like three songs just to kind of get together, and then started doing shows!!

SV: And how long did you play with The Beach Boys? How many years?

ERNIE: Full time, exactly a year. And then Carl came back and got rid of me. He brought Ed back and it kind of shifted but that was really kind of the agreement with Ed. What happened was, while Carl was gone, Ed shifted to play guitar and covered Carl’s guitar parts, and I took over Ed’s place on bass. So, when Carl came back, Ed just jumped back on the bass and Carl plugged himself into his place. You know, I did play with them again a few times when they came to Santa Barbara. I’d sit in. Actually, in 1986, my dad was killed in a tragic accident. They flew me in to meet them out on the road to join them and kind of take my mind off it. So then I played with them again during that time.

SV: Hey, sorry to hear that about your dad and that’s really sweet of them to support you that way.

ERNIE: I actually had difficulties sleeping during that whole period because it was so exciting to be playing with that level of artistry. One time at Anaheim Stadium, at the sound check in the afternoon, I went out into the middle of the field and had Ed played the bass for me, just the bass by itself for me, through the giant PA! Just to hear that! God! So gnarly!!

SV: (laughs) Did they play ‘God only knows’ when Carl wasn’t there?

ERNIE: Oh yeah, we did.

SV: Who sang it?

ERNIE: I have to say, that period is kind of infamous of being one of the weakest periods on The Beach Boys concerts because Carl wasn’t there. Because Carl really was the band leader and pushed everybody and really made sure it was tight. And he was a great singer. They brought in a guy named Jeff Austin who is a great singer and he could sing those high parts. So he covered a lot of the high harmonies, but they had to make do. Al Jardin had to sing some and Bruce would sing some and Brian was on the road with us full time. So Brian mostly sang ‘God Only Knows’.

SV: Brian was there, too!! Oh, Ok!! Now my heart rate is increasing, you didn’t say that before.

ERNIE: Yes, but they had it worked out where Brian would sing kind of the lower part and then, when it kicked into one of the higher range parts, Bruce or somebody else will kind of take over or double him.

SV: Oh, great!

ERNIE: Yeah. We did all the great songs and we had some great shows too!

SV: No doubt.

ERNIE: We played Washington D.C. on the 4th of July for 530,000 people. That was unbelievable.

SV: That’s certainly a lot of humanoids. Wow, man. You had a lot of stuff going on.

ERNIE: (laughs) Yeah!

SV: You had a lot of amazing stuff, man. A lot of stuff going on!
« Last Edit: June 04, 2019, 12:47:53 PM by HeyJude » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: June 04, 2019, 12:38:53 PM »

It has always been mentioned that when Carl came back, he got rid of Ernie Knapp. Knapp's own interview confirms this, and it made sense from a logistical point of view with Carl going back to lead guitar and Ed Carter going back to bass. However, the article above curiously has a pic of Knapp with Carl in the background (included below in this post). Looking at the venue, this appears to be Jack Murphy Stadium in San Diego, which would apparently make this pic from May 2, 1982, which was Carl's first show back with the band once he returned full time (he did a few shows in March-April and then left again for a bit before returning full time on May 2).

This is hardly top-tier BB trivia, but it appears Knapp played at least one show after Carl returned on May 2. I'm curious if this may have literally been Knapp's final show. (Also, do we know whether Knapp was at the March/April '82 shows Carl attended? I'd assume so, but I'm also unclear as to what the purpose/intention was when Carl did those hand full of shows but then departed again; perhaps just finishing up work on his "Youngblood" album).

Also interesting is that Knapp describes that Ed Carter told him Carl planned to take a leave from the touring band, but then that plan was canceled and it was another six months until Carl ended up taking off. I'm curious if Carl really initially planned to depart earlier. Was his solo album originally going to come out sooner, like late 1980?

Knapp also describes his apparent first gig with the band being in New York. But there was a month of gigs in May 1981 prior to their first post-Carl NY gigs in June (Westbury Music Fair), so I'm curious if Knapp is just remembering incorrectly or if they did a month of shows post-Carl prior to Knapp joining up.


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« Reply #2 on: June 04, 2019, 05:56:22 PM »

It makes sense-the first gigs after Carl let were at Valley Forge in Devon, PA-it is certainly possible they flew to NYC first-though he could be mis-recalling
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« Reply #3 on: June 04, 2019, 11:21:56 PM »

This is just guess work on my part, but my girlfriend at the time had Carl's Youngblood album on cassette, and she was really disappointed that What You Do to Me wasn't on it. I only had the vinyl, but later on I got myself a cassette of the album, and it was the same as my girlfriends. Side two kicked off with Too Early to Tell IIRC, followed by Of the Times. I wonder if Carl submitted the album as a 10 track album, but was told by CBS that the album lacked a hit single? Maybe these cassettes were the original running order of the album. Anyway, that would explain the gap in Carl's appearances with the BB's in 82, if he had to go back to the studio to cut another track for the album.
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« Reply #4 on: June 05, 2019, 04:02:29 AM »

 Your guess is correct-that is indeed what happened-which caused the album to not come out until 1983
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« Reply #5 on: June 05, 2019, 07:56:09 AM »

Interesting stuff.

So commercial copies of "Youngblood" made it out on cassette without the album's lead single? That's odd, as in this timeline/scenario, Carl would have been recording "What You Do To Me" in April of 1982 for inclusion on the album, and the album didn't come out until February 1983.

Looking at available info online, it looks like Carl may have been sent back to record "What You Do To Me" in July of 1982 rather than April. It looks like he did have "Youngblood" sessions in April of '82, but it may have been for other tracks, perhaps ostensibly to "finish" the original version of the album before the label asked for the catchy single.

So Carl's April absence may have been for other "Youngblood" sessions.

Either way, even if "What You Do To Me" was cut in July of '82, it would still be surprising for commercial copies of the album to be missing the song. Even if they started pressing copies a few months before the February '83 release, that's a long gap. I guess it could be a "We Got Love/Holland" sort of scenario, only with the "early" version of the album in this case not having a different song, but just one less song.

Advance/review/promotional copies being sent out and not having the track would make more sense, though still would require the label to have essentially approved the first version of the album, pressed promo copies, then haulted the whole thing and had a song added.

A quick Google image search shows that both US and international copies of "Youngblood" that I could find *do* include "What You Do To Me", so I'm curious to see any variants without the song.





So that all explains the April 1982 absence.

I'm curious what's at the root of Knapp's story of being told many months before joining May 1981 that Carl was going to take a leave, only for that plan to be canceled. Was it perhaps a similar scenario? Perhaps the first "Carl Wilson" self-titled solo album originally being planned to come out much earlier than its eventual March 1981 release date? Was it originally going to come out in late 1980, with Carl originally planning to leave near or at the end of 1980 rather than staying on the first few months of 1981?
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« Reply #6 on: June 05, 2019, 09:05:59 AM »

Great stuff.

My guess is Ernie is somewhat misremembering the "six month" thing, and that it was really maybe more like three months:  Carl's album was finished around the first of the year, but not released until late March, he did a month of solo shows in April while the BBs weren't touring, but then left the band in May to do further solo shows that summer.

When Carl played a handful of shows with the band at the end of March/beginning of April '82, it was during a break in Youngblood sessions, and was a way to "test the waters", so to speak, for Carl's eventual permanent return. He then flew back to L.A. for mixing sessions. Jeff Foskett (aka Austin) did a great interview for the Add Some Music fanzine, published in early '84. He went into some depth about the lineup changes in '81-'82, and how both Ed Carter and Bobby Figueroa left toward the end of '81 due to health issues (Ed had a hernia, Bobby had a bad back). Eddie's temporary depature resulted in Jeff joining the band for their South African residency and beyond. Upon his return, Carl wasn't happy with the sound of the band, and therefore decided to make some changes, i.e. he invited Ed Carter back in the band to play bass, and asked "the other guy" (meaning Ernie) to stay home. Adrian Baker returned, primarily to play electric piano while Bruce took over the grand piano in Brian's absence. Jeff thought he'd be dismissed, too, but Carl considered Jeff's voice "a real asset", and so he stayed.

Interestingly, Ernie Knapp's name is on a couple of AFM session contracts from May and June '82 - these were Brian-produced sessions for the titles "Why Don't You Tell Me Why", "Cry Like A Baby", and a third untitled number. Shame THAT subject didn't come up in this interview!

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« Reply #7 on: June 05, 2019, 09:56:02 AM »

Great stuff.

My guess is Ernie is somewhat misremembering the "six month" thing, and that it was really maybe more like three months:  Carl's album was finished around the first of the year, but not released until late March, he did a month of solo shows in April while the BBs weren't touring, but then left the band in May to do further solo shows that summer.

When Carl played a handful of shows with the band at the end of March/beginning of April '82, it was during a break in Youngblood sessions, and was a way to "test the waters", so to speak, for Carl's eventual permanent return. He then flew back to L.A. for mixing sessions. Jeff Foskett (aka Austin) did a great interview for the Add Some Music fanzine, published in early '84. He went into some depth about the lineup changes in '81-'82, and how both Ed Carter and Bobby Figueroa left toward the end of '81 due to health issues (Ed had a hernia, Bobby had a bad back). Eddie's temporary depature resulted in Jeff joining the band for their South African residency and beyond. Upon his return, Carl wasn't happy with the sound of the band, and therefore decided to make some changes, i.e. he invited Ed Carter back in the band to play bass, and asked "the other guy" (meaning Ernie) to stay home. Adrian Baker returned, primarily to play electric piano while Bruce took over the grand piano in Brian's absence. Jeff thought he'd be dismissed, too, but Carl considered Jeff's voice "a real asset", and so he stayed.

Interestingly, Ernie Knapp's name is on a couple of AFM session contracts from May and June '82 - these were Brian-produced sessions for the titles "Why Don't You Tell Me Why", "Cry Like A Baby", and a third untitled number. Shame THAT subject didn't come up in this interview!



Great info!

Yeah, I assumed “six months” was a very rough estimate based on 30+ year old memory. But it is interesting that he mentions a sort of “false start” to Carl’s 1981 departure. While the timing may be off in his memory, I’d wager he’s not misremembering that there *was* that false start, with an offer, which was then rescinded, and then he was asked back at some point later. Probably, as you say, a few months rather than six.

While there are some 1981/82 pics out there, there aren’t exactly a ton of them, but we can track the changes in the backing band to some degree.

1981, prior to Carl’s departure, and it’s still the standard 1980 lineup (Core BBs plus Carter, Figueroa, and Meros)
February 12, 1981 - The Summit, Houston



1981, after Carl’s departure, Knapp but no Baker. (Core BBs plus Carter, Figueroa, Meros, Knapp)
May 15, 1981 - Anaheim Stadium



1981, after Carl's departure and Baker joining. (Core BBs plus Carter, Figueroa, Meros, Knapp, Baker)
July 5, 1981 - Long Beach



1981-1982, still during Carl’s departure and without Carter or Figueroa or Baker, with Foskett added. (Core BBs plus Meros, Knapp, Kowalski, Foskett) (Note: Not sure if Carter and Figueroa’s departures line up precisely with Foskett joining)
Unknown Early 1982 Show



1982, Carl returns, Knapp still present, Baker possibly present? (Core BBs plus Carter, Meros, Knapp, Baker?, Kowalski, Foskett)
May 2, 1982 - Jack Murphy Stadium, San Diego



1982, post-Knapp, Baker is back (Core BBs plus Carter, Meros, Baker, Kowalski, Foskett)
Unknown Date, possibly Valley Forge Music Fair in June 1982



September 5, 1982 - Allentown, PA


1982 or 83, Baker is out and Hinsche is back (not sure when this occurred)
March 1983 - Louisville, KY




« Last Edit: June 05, 2019, 09:59:43 AM by HeyJude » Logged

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« Reply #8 on: June 05, 2019, 10:06:54 AM »

Great stuff.

My guess is Ernie is somewhat misremembering the "six month" thing, and that it was really maybe more like three months:  Carl's album was finished around the first of the year, but not released until late March, he did a month of solo shows in April while the BBs weren't touring, but then left the band in May to do further solo shows that summer.

When Carl played a handful of shows with the band at the end of March/beginning of April '82, it was during a break in Youngblood sessions, and was a way to "test the waters", so to speak, for Carl's eventual permanent return. He then flew back to L.A. for mixing sessions. Jeff Foskett (aka Austin) did a great interview for the Add Some Music fanzine, published in early '84. He went into some depth about the lineup changes in '81-'82, and how both Ed Carter and Bobby Figueroa left toward the end of '81 due to health issues (Ed had a hernia, Bobby had a bad back). Eddie's temporary depature resulted in Jeff joining the band for their South African residency and beyond. Upon his return, Carl wasn't happy with the sound of the band, and therefore decided to make some changes, i.e. he invited Ed Carter back in the band to play bass, and asked "the other guy" (meaning Ernie) to stay home. Adrian Baker returned, primarily to play electric piano while Bruce took over the grand piano in Brian's absence. Jeff thought he'd be dismissed, too, but Carl considered Jeff's voice "a real asset", and so he stayed.

Interestingly, Ernie Knapp's name is on a couple of AFM session contracts from May and June '82 - these were Brian-produced sessions for the titles "Why Don't You Tell Me Why", "Cry Like A Baby", and a third untitled number. Shame THAT subject didn't come up in this interview!



Other interesting points: I too was going to mention the implication that when Carl temporarily returned in March-April 1982, it was a "testing the waters" situation. The question then is, did the band fail the test at that time, or did Carl take leave again mainly or solely to work more on his album? I would guess more the latter, as he did return pretty quickly full time at the beginning of May. I would guess he felt he could return with a few tweaks (mainly setlist changes, more rehearsals, and getting rid of Knapp to move Carter back to bass).

When did Adrian Baker leave during 81/82 prior to returning? Was he still with the band in December 1981 at Sun City when Foskett joined? I would have previously guessed Foskett had been brought on to replace Baker on falsetto, but it sounds like he was brought in to replace Carter on guitar. And then, why did Baker return in later 1982? Was it just due to Brian missing more shows? Why wasn't Billy Hinsche brought back at that point? It seems at some point by the end of 1982 or early 1983 Hinsche replaced Baker; I'm also curious when and why Baker left at that point. Carl's decision?

Also interesting to know that Knapp did a few sessions. Curious that Knapp discussed working with American Spring in the late 70s, but not doing those May and June 1982 sessions (which presumably occurred after he was dismissed from the touring band). Was Ed Carter on those same AFM contracts? It sounds like Knapp's main connection was through Carter.

One other note concerning that 2014 interview: I think it's quite possible the interviewer heard/transcribed Foskett's name as "Austin" rather than Knapp getting it wrong.
« Last Edit: June 05, 2019, 10:11:10 AM by HeyJude » Logged

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« Reply #9 on: June 05, 2019, 10:10:54 AM »

Interesting stuff.

So commercial copies of "Youngblood" made it out on cassette without the album's lead single? That's odd, as in this timeline/scenario, Carl would have been recording "What You Do To Me" in April of 1982 for inclusion on the album, and the album didn't come out until February 1983.

Looking at available info online, it looks like Carl may have been sent back to record "What You Do To Me" in July of 1982 rather than April. It looks like he did have "Youngblood" sessions in April of '82, but it may have been for other tracks, perhaps ostensibly to "finish" the original version of the album before the label asked for the catchy single.

So Carl's April absence may have been for other "Youngblood" sessions.

Either way, even if "What You Do To Me" was cut in July of '82, it would still be surprising for commercial copies of the album to be missing the song. Even if they started pressing copies a few months before the February '83 release, that's a long gap. I guess it could be a "We Got Love/Holland" sort of scenario, only with the "early" version of the album in this case not having a different song, but just one less song.

Advance/review/promotional copies being sent out and not having the track would make more sense, though still would require the label to have essentially approved the first version of the album, pressed promo copies, then haulted the whole thing and had a song added.

A quick Google image search shows that both US and international copies of "Youngblood" that I could find *do* include "What You Do To Me", so I'm curious to see any variants without the song.





So that all explains the April 1982 absence.

I'm curious what's at the root of Knapp's story of being told many months before joining May 1981 that Carl was going to take a leave, only for that plan to be canceled. Was it perhaps a similar scenario? Perhaps the first "Carl Wilson" self-titled solo album originally being planned to come out much earlier than its eventual March 1981 release date? Was it originally going to come out in late 1980, with Carl originally planning to leave near or at the end of 1980 rather than staying on the first few months of 1981?
The cassette insert I have lists What You Do to Me, but on the cassette itself, it's missing. BBFUN said the song was missing due to a factory error and would be added on future "pressings". (do you make a pressing of a cassette?)
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« Reply #10 on: June 05, 2019, 10:12:30 AM »

The cassette insert I have lists What You Do to Me, but on the cassette itself, it's missing. BBFUN said the song was missing due to a factory error and would be added on future "pressings". (do you make a pressing of a cassette?)

Ah, interesting. I was going to mention that as a possibility. Wow, that's a pretty big mistake.
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« Reply #11 on: June 05, 2019, 10:27:42 AM »

The cassette insert I have lists What You Do to Me, but on the cassette itself, it's missing. BBFUN said the song was missing due to a factory error and would be added on future "pressings". (do you make a pressing of a cassette?)

Ah, interesting. I was going to mention that as a possibility. Wow, that's a pretty big mistake.

Also, the name (in script on the LP) is "Youngblood" (1 word), while the cassette incorrectly lists both the song title and the album name as "Young Blood" (2 words). Eesh.
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« Reply #12 on: June 05, 2019, 10:28:03 AM »

To answer some of the questions above:

* I believe Jeff said that Bobby threw his back out around October of '81, and that he couldn't sit for extended periods. He was with the band (standing, playing tambourine) when they appeared on one of those TV shows late in the year - either Dick Clark or Merv Griffin, I forget which. And by the time of the Circle Star Theater shows in San Carlos that December, I believe Adrian was gone, but Bobby was still there - on the tape, they name check him for the falsetto on "I Get Around". Dennis was sick in his hotel room, and so my guess is Mike Kowalski was already back by that point, on percussion and subbing for Dennis on drums when needed, with Bobby still on board mainly to handle the bulk of the falsettos (like he did before Adrian's arrival). Eddie's hernia problem must've happened at some point in December, since he was with them for the filming of the Merv Griffin show that month, on which they mention their upcoming South African shows. By the time they left for South Africa, Eddie was out and Jeff joined them - quite literally at the airport. Again guessing here, but with Bobby unable to sit for the many hours it would take to fly to South Africa, I think they got Jeff in as a one-for-two deal, where he replaced both Bobby on falsettos and Eddie on guitar.

* From what I understand, Adrian's departures over the years had to do with his work visa - presumably, he could only work so many months in the U.S. before having to return to the U.K.

* Eddie Carter's name is not on those AFM contracts from May/June '82 - just Ernie, plus some "classic" Wrecking Crew guys like Hal Blaine and Lyle Ritz, some really legendary horn players like Chuck Findley, Ernie Watts, and Don Myrick (the latter from Earth, Wind and Fire), guitarist Mitch Holder, and guitarist Billy Joe Walker, Jr.

* Billy returned in November '82.
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« Reply #13 on: June 05, 2019, 10:34:10 AM »

Adding a thought to the above...even though Carl didn't like the sound of the live band with Ernie on bass, he shouldn't feel bad, 'cause he was obviously good enough to play on sessions for Brian, alongside some of the best studio cats around!
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« Reply #14 on: June 05, 2019, 12:00:43 PM »

Adding a thought to the above...even though Carl didn't like the sound of the live band with Ernie on bass, he shouldn't feel bad, 'cause he was obviously good enough to play on sessions for Brian, alongside some of the best studio cats around!

My thinking is that, assuming Carl would want to keep Ed Carter in the band, Knapp would have been gone whether Carl liked his bass playing or not. Either Knapp or Foskett would have likely needed to go without ballooning the band to *four* guitar players *plus* a bassist. Foskett could add the falsetto parts that, by that point, neither Figueroa or Baker were there to do, so he would seem like a much better "bang for their buck", as a guitarist and prominent backing vocalist.

It's worth noting that, by most "touring band member" standards, Foskett ascended pretty quickly to a pretty prominent place. Granted, the band was somewhat rudderless when Foskett joined; if there was ever a time in the band's touring history where a backing member could step up without much resistance from the rest of the band (and perhaps some active encouragement in fact), it was late 1981/early 1982. A (relatively) lesser known factoid in the touring band history is that by early 1982, before Carl rejoined, the band actually added some of Carl's leads back to the setlist and had Foskett singing them. He sang "Darlin'", and as I recall, at some point also "I Can Hear Music." I think he was also pretty prominent on some other songs in addition to obviously some falsetto parts. Up to that point, backing members weren't often tapped to sing leads. Hinsche and Figueroa had taken over "Sail on Sailor" on some tours prior to that, and a few other rare bits (e.g. Hinsche singing "I'm Waiting for the Day" and "Wishing You Were Here" in '75), but it wasn't very common.

Carl obviously was not only already somewhat displeased with the shape of the band in early 1981 prior to leaving, but he also expressed how painful the band's performances were while he was gone. So I could certainly imagine Carl might be skeptical of anyone who came on board while he was gone. But, especially with other members out of commission, I would imagine he saw the value to the sound of the live show to have a consistent guy in the band in the form of Foskett who could do any of the falsetto/high parts needed.

It's interesting that Foskett thought he'd be let go when Carl returned. I'm curious if this was simply due to an assumption that additional members wouldn't be needed anymore, or if Carl ever expressed any misgivings about Foskett's role in the band. If Carl ever did, he quickly must have been happy enough with Foskett to keep him in the band and by 1983 have him singing "The Warmth of the Sun" and then later other things such as parts of "Don't Worry Baby", "Hushabye", "Little GTO", etc.

Knapp's bass sounds pretty wonky on some of the better sounding extant tapes of his time in the band (e.g. July 4th and 5th of '81), but I think that had as much to do with how it was being processed/miked/mixed at live shows. It had a very metallic, boing-boing sound and had little tone or musicality.

That all being said, knowing how Carl watched that Queen Mary '81 show from his hotel room and expressed that it was "painful", he couldn't have not noticed that amidst most of the band being pretty wonky, Adrian Baker's falsettos were especially painful to listen to. So I'm surprised Carl was okay with bringing Baker back in 1982, and then again in 1990/91/92. During that European "30th Anniversary" TV special, Carl spoke warmly of then-member Adrian Baker.

Carl ran a tight ship, but he did seem to sometimes turn the other cheek to some questionable musicianship. How he seemed fine all those years with Kowalski drumming is something I'll never understand. I'd say he felt some loyalty to Kowalski after all those years, but Carl was in the band while many long-time members were dismissed or left (including Carter and Hinsche).
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« Reply #15 on: June 05, 2019, 12:09:24 PM »

The cassette insert I have lists What You Do to Me, but on the cassette itself, it's missing. BBFUN said the song was missing due to a factory error and would be added on future "pressings". (do you make a pressing of a cassette?)

Ah, interesting. I was going to mention that as a possibility. Wow, that's a pretty big mistake.

Also, the name (in script on the LP) is "Youngblood" (1 word), while the cassette incorrectly lists both the song title and the album name as "Young Blood" (2 words). Eesh.

The available evidence seem to suggest, oddly enough, that while the album is "Youngblood", the song title is "Young Blood." Even the modern CD reissue lists the song as two words; it was released that way originally apparently back in the 50s.
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« Reply #16 on: June 05, 2019, 12:21:56 PM »

To answer some of the questions above:

* I believe Jeff said that Bobby threw his back out around October of '81, and that he couldn't sit for extended periods. He was with the band (standing, playing tambourine) when they appeared on one of those TV shows late in the year - either Dick Clark or Merv Griffin, I forget which. And by the time of the Circle Star Theater shows in San Carlos that December, I believe Adrian was gone, but Bobby was still there - on the tape, they name check him for the falsetto on "I Get Around". Dennis was sick in his hotel room, and so my guess is Mike Kowalski was already back by that point, on percussion and subbing for Dennis on drums when needed, with Bobby still on board mainly to handle the bulk of the falsettos (like he did before Adrian's arrival). Eddie's hernia problem must've happened at some point in December, since he was with them for the filming of the Merv Griffin show that month, on which they mention their upcoming South African shows. By the time they left for South Africa, Eddie was out and Jeff joined them - quite literally at the airport. Again guessing here, but with Bobby unable to sit for the many hours it would take to fly to South Africa, I think they got Jeff in as a one-for-two deal, where he replaced both Bobby on falsettos and Eddie on guitar.

* From what I understand, Adrian's departures over the years had to do with his work visa - presumably, he could only work so many months in the U.S. before having to return to the U.K.

* Eddie Carter's name is not on those AFM contracts from May/June '82 - just Ernie, plus some "classic" Wrecking Crew guys like Hal Blaine and Lyle Ritz, some really legendary horn players like Chuck Findley, Ernie Watts, and Don Myrick (the latter from Earth, Wind and Fire), guitarist Mitch Holder, and guitarist Billy Joe Walker, Jr.

* Billy returned in November '82.

Regarding Bobby doing the late '81 TV gig, it was indeed the infamous Dick Clark "30 Years of American Bandstand" TV special. More info than anybody probably cares about, but it looks like the TV special was shot on September 13, 1981, and aired on October 30, 1981. Interestingly, there are a number of pics of both rehearsals and the actual finished TV taping up on Getty Images, and it shows Bobby sitting in for Dennis at drums at rehearsal (Dennis ended up at the kit for the actual final taping, looking about the worst he ever had even without any close-ups, and Bobby took front stage with Ed Carter, etc.).





Bobby is indeed missing from the later Merv Griffin TV appearance once again miming to the "Medley". Dennis looks in better shape for that one. Unsure of the date. It apparently aired on January 6, 1982, so it was probably taped in very late 1981? They had just wrapped up the Sun City shows on January 3, 1982, and Foskett isn't on that Merv Griffin show (though it's already a pared-back band with only a few backing guys), so I would guess it was taped more than a few days in advance. Here's that appearance:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K3PdP7ikQZM
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« Reply #17 on: June 05, 2019, 12:38:48 PM »

I'm also curious if there was any gap between when Figueroa departed and Kowalski came back on board in late 81/early 82. Were there any gigs that Dennis did without a backup? I know that it was more in the late '82 into '83 era where they often *literally* needed a backup on stage to fill in at a moment's notice (hence the awkward 1983 set up with two drum kits on stage), whereas even into 1980 and 81 while Bobby Figueroa did fill in on drums, it was less likely he was needed to literally finish a show if Dennis took off or couldn't finish the gig. In other words, he at least more often knew how much he was going to be drumming by the morning of the show date.

But it would be interesting if Dennis as late as Late 1981/early 1982 did any shows with no backup drummer/percussionist. For that matter, when was the last time Dennis was on stage with nobody available who could have sat in on drums? Like 1967/68 or so? After that, there was Kowalski, Dragon, Fataar, Figueroa, or someone most of the time.
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« Reply #18 on: June 05, 2019, 12:43:44 PM »

I also just noticed, looking at tours schedules, that "American Spring" opened for the Beach Boys for at least a couple of gigs in January 1981. I'm curious if this is the time in the band that Knapp mentions in his interview regarding American Spring. He seems to suggest it was the late 70s rather than literally months before he joined the touring BBs. But I'm not super familiar with the touring activity of American Spring in the late 70s and early 80s. It doesn't seem they did many gigs.
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« Reply #19 on: June 05, 2019, 02:11:40 PM »

 Great thread. Curious where you got the taping date for the dick Clark show from as that’s a date I’m missing. Should note that photos at Getty archives aren’t always accurate (I’ve told this story before but I personally dated a lot of their 60s photos for them-they had tons of photos from 1964 labeled as 1962, etc
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« Reply #20 on: June 05, 2019, 02:23:55 PM »

Great thread. Curious where you got the taping date for the dick Clark show from as that’s a date I’m missing. Should note that photos at Getty archives aren’t always accurate (I’ve told this story before but I personally dated a lot of their 60s photos for them-they had tons of photos from 1964 labeled as 1962, etc

It is indeed from Getty:

https://www.gettyimages.com/detail/news-photo/american-bandstands-30th-anniversary-special-host-dick-news-photo/93403554

They do indeed have a lot of incorrect dates (as well as a lot of stock "JANUARY 1 1980" type entries). They often have years completely wrong.

I lean towards this particular date being accurate. It's a specific date, and date that seems very plausible. The air date of October 30 is pretty well confirmed I believe, and it would have to have been taped prior to that date, but not too much prior given the band's appearance and lineup. If Figueroa indeed was having back problems in October, then the September 13th date seems pretty accurate. The 9/13 date also doesn't seem to conflict with anything on the BB tour schedule.

If it was a multi-day taping, then the date for the BBs might be a day before or after perhaps. But they had all those musicians there at the same time for the awful "all star jam" at the end, so I'm guessing it was all done in a day, or mostly done in a day.
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« Reply #21 on: June 05, 2019, 02:38:10 PM »

Also worth mentioning is that, assuming the date and time of that May 15, 1981 Anaheim Stadium pic is correct, Knapp's memory is either incorrect, or the band flew out of NY to get to the first post-Carl gigs in PA, because Knapp was definitely there before June '81, and before Adrian Baker joined. I would guess he probably joined right away at the beginning of May 1981 in PA, which would mean he started off by doing SIX shows in THREE days! May 1, 2, and 3 were all two-show days. And he did 13 shows in his first nine days! I guess that's a bit of trial by fire if nothing else.
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« Reply #22 on: June 05, 2019, 10:54:01 PM »

I highly, highly doubt they did any gigs in '81-'82 without a percussionist/backup drummer...in fact, probably not since the early '70s. They always did a few songs without Dennis, either because he refused to play them, or because they felt a different skill level was needed for those tunes. At the 7/5/81 Long Beach show, I think there were only two songs performed without Dennis ("Lady Lynda" and "Long Tall Texan"), plus they did one with Dennis on piano ("Help Me, Rhonda"). But even more than that, they would've needed a backup in case Dennis was too blitzed to play - which, even with bodyguards protecting him from himself, still obviously happened fairly often (read Ian's book).

On the other hand, Bruce once told me about how HE had to jump behind the drum kit mid-song at one show in Lake Tahoe, because Karen Lamm was in the audience flipping her middle finger at Dennis, who then abandoned the drums to dive into the audience after her. Surprised that Bobby or Mike K. didn't, but Bruce said he did.
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« Reply #23 on: June 05, 2019, 11:00:39 PM »

Did Bruce ever play drums before or after, either live or in the studio?
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« Reply #24 on: June 06, 2019, 06:20:06 AM »

I highly, highly doubt they did any gigs in '81-'82 without a percussionist/backup drummer...in fact, probably not since the early '70s. They always did a few songs without Dennis, either because he refused to play them, or because they felt a different skill level was needed for those tunes. At the 7/5/81 Long Beach show, I think there were only two songs performed without Dennis ("Lady Lynda" and "Long Tall Texan"), plus they did one with Dennis on piano ("Help Me, Rhonda"). But even more than that, they would've needed a backup in case Dennis was too blitzed to play - which, even with bodyguards protecting him from himself, still obviously happened fairly often (read Ian's book).

On the other hand, Bruce once told me about how HE had to jump behind the drum kit mid-song at one show in Lake Tahoe, because Karen Lamm was in the audience flipping her middle finger at Dennis, who then abandoned the drums to dive into the audience after her. Surprised that Bobby or Mike K. didn't, but Bruce said he did.

There were definitely a few songs on even the 1980 tour, after Dennis rejoined, that he didn't play, including "Lady Lynda", "Keepin' the Summer Alive", "Cottonfields/Heroes and Villains", and of course "Rhonda" in order to play piano.

Certainly, "KTSA" and probably "Lynda" were songs they needed more elaborate drumming on (especially the former), so that explains those.

Dennis, by 79/80 especially, needed a backup at the ready. I was just curious how quickly Kowalski was brought in once Figueroa was out. It makes sense that it would probably be right away.

A weird side note on the "Dennis's backup" thing I've always been curious about is the band's appearance on "Friday's" in 1980. I believe they taped it in March, while Dennis was still kicked out of the band. But weirdly, they still have Bobby Figueroa's percussion set up even though it wasn't used because Bobby drummed on all three songs. Were they planning at some point for Dennis to make a one-time appearance? It makes even less sense because even if he had been present, he probably wouldn't have drummed on two of the three songs, since they were new album songs. Did the band ever bring on a second percussionist for that year or so between mid-1979 and mid-1980 when Dennis was out and Bobby drummed full time? Did they even have a percussion set-up on stage during that time?
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