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Author Topic: Bobby Figueroa on new episode of Surf's Up: A Beach Boys Podcast Safari  (Read 1604 times)
Mark Dillon
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« on: June 18, 2020, 12:24:07 PM »

The latest episode of our podcast series is now up. Bobby drummed with the band -- with some interruption -- from 1974 to 1988 and gives a compelling behind-the-scenes look at the Ricky Fataar era, the group's 1974 resurgence, Beachago, Brian Is Back, Bruce Is Back, working on Pacific Ocean Blue and L.A. (Light Album), and the biggest concerts the group ever played. He was very candid in recounting all the heady highs and tragic lows. Please have a listen and let us know what you think.

You can find it on Spotify, Apple Podcasts and here on Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/user-93394161/bobby-figueroa-on-drumming-with-the-band
« Last Edit: June 18, 2020, 12:25:07 PM by Mark Dillon » Logged

Alan: “God forbid any other Beach Boys go up onstage and actually be a Beach Boy.”
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« Reply #1 on: June 18, 2020, 01:30:30 PM »

Fascinating, thank you!

EDIT:

I'll have to stop listening now because I'm going to bed, and will continue listening tomorrow. But I have to say, what a great interview and what a cool guy Bobby seems to be, with a very good memory. Can't wait for tomorrow.
« Last Edit: June 18, 2020, 01:55:11 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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« Reply #2 on: June 19, 2020, 10:33:39 AM »

I listened , great interview and a mention of Bobby playing a BB show where I am, in Montreal, in '79. There does seem to be a recollection difference as to where Dennis fought publicly with Mike on stage in '79. The interviewers saw the Universal Amphitheatre, which is what I've read, but Bobby says it was the Greek.
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« Reply #3 on: June 19, 2020, 11:25:39 AM »

Thanks Joel. I'm a Montreal native as well. Another I thing I saw after the interview was that Bobby thought the '79 Montreal Forum show came after the group's trip to Japan. According to Andrew G. Doe's website, it preceded the Japanese tour by three weeks.
« Last Edit: June 19, 2020, 11:27:51 AM by Mark Dillon » Logged

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« Reply #4 on: June 19, 2020, 01:28:40 PM »

Yes, some of the tiny details in the interview were off. But they were off in a totally understandable way. Figueroa seems to be a fully lucid guy whose memory seems fine. None of these guys, either core BB members or backing band guys, remember many if any individual tour dates. Figueroa probably played between 750 and 1,000 shows with the band between 1974 and 87/88. He seems to remember general details (such as the band playing the Japan Jam in 1979).

Seems easy to mistake the Greek and Universal in LA; the band played both venues during that era.

Then he was asked about one random specific show from June or July or whatever of '79, and he was actually pretty close in thinking that was after Japan. I recall Japan was only a few months later in '79.

Nice interview. I wouldn't say it was super forthcoming. I'm not saying anybody else should dictate what he wants to discuss or not discuss, but I'd use the term "diplomatic" rather than "candid" for many of his descriptions. The band was super dysfunctional during much of the era Bobby was in the band. It wasn't just a "family members fight sometimes" sort of situation.

Bobby sounds like a guy much more comfortable telling fun road stories rather than blabbing about all the epic internecine politics of the band. 

I remember Jon Stebbins mentioning that a lot of the backing band guys (understandably considering the litigious nature of the BB world) tend to tell some more hard-edged stories *off the record*.

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« Reply #5 on: June 19, 2020, 06:56:09 PM »

I was at the Universal Amphitheater with Derek Bill when Dennis and Mike fought. 

Now, you could interpret that as “Marty and Derek were at the Universal Amphitheater, while Dennis and mike were fighting at the Greek” but that would be silly.

My recollection is that Dennis took Mike’s hat off and tossed it, that seemed to get things started.
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« Reply #6 on: June 19, 2020, 07:09:32 PM »

Thanks Joel. I'm a Montreal native as well. Another I thing I saw after the interview was that Bobby thought the '79 Montreal Forum show came after the group's trip to Japan. According to Andrew G. Doe's website, it preceded the Japanese tour by three weeks.
I saw you at the Paragraphe bookstore where you did a Q and A on the 50 Sides book. I asked your reaction to a music magazine (I think the NME or maybe MOJO) choosing Surf's Up as the best Beach Boys song.
« Last Edit: June 20, 2020, 06:43:16 AM by Joel Goldenberg » Logged
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« Reply #7 on: June 20, 2020, 01:00:24 PM »

I was at the Universal Amphitheater with Derek Bill when Dennis and Mike fought. 

Now, you could interpret that as “Marty and Derek were at the Universal Amphitheater, while Dennis and mike were fighting at the Greek” but that would be silly.

My recollection is that Dennis took Mike’s hat off and tossed it, that seemed to get things started.

Mike and Dennis actually fought at BOTH Universal Ampithetre and The Greek. The latter incident was two years later, in the summer of '81, and was apparently backstage after the show. There's was a review of the show in Billboard. Sounds like quite a mess, with Carl absent, and Brian slapping his microphone as punishment for it giving him feedback, then storming offstage during "GOK", leaving Al to pick up the lead. Dennis was so hoarse he could barely talk. The review also noted that the Captain and Tenille joined them for "Fun Fun Fun". It was Creem magazine that later reported Mike and Dennis had a "bloody fistfight" backstage afterwards. Bobby probably combined memories of the two incidents.
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« Reply #8 on: June 20, 2020, 02:10:10 PM »

I was at the Universal Amphitheater with Derek Bill when Dennis and Mike fought. 

Now, you could interpret that as “Marty and Derek were at the Universal Amphitheater, while Dennis and mike were fighting at the Greek” but that would be silly.

My recollection is that Dennis took Mike’s hat off and tossed it, that seemed to get things started.

Mike and Dennis actually fought at BOTH Universal Ampithetre and The Greek. The latter incident was two years later, in the summer of '81, and was apparently backstage after the show. There's was a review of the show in Billboard. Sounds like quite a mess, with Carl absent, and Brian slapping his microphone as punishment for it giving him feedback, then storming offstage during "GOK", leaving Al to pick up the lead. Dennis was so hoarse he could barely talk. The review also noted that the Captain and Tenille joined them for "Fun Fun Fun". It was Creem magazine that later reported Mike and Dennis had a "bloody fistfight" backstage afterwards. Bobby probably combined memories of the two incidents.


Oh, the "buckwheat" incident  LOL
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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 #9 on: June 20, 2020, 02:15:55 PM »

I was at the Universal Amphitheater with Derek Bill when Dennis and Mike fought. 

Now, you could interpret that as “Marty and Derek were at the Universal Amphitheater, while Dennis and mike were fighting at the Greek” but that would be silly.

My recollection is that Dennis took Mike’s hat off and tossed it, that seemed to get things started.

Mike and Dennis actually fought at BOTH Universal Ampithetre and The Greek. The latter incident was two years later, in the summer of '81, and was apparently backstage after the show. There's was a review of the show in Billboard. Sounds like quite a mess, with Carl absent, and Brian slapping his microphone as punishment for it giving him feedback, then storming offstage during "GOK", leaving Al to pick up the lead. Dennis was so hoarse he could barely talk. The review also noted that the Captain and Tenille joined them for "Fun Fun Fun". It was Creem magazine that later reported Mike and Dennis had a "bloody fistfight" backstage afterwards. Bobby probably combined memories of the two incidents.


Oh, the "buckwheat" incident  LOL
"You're out of the band, buckwheat!"
Exactly the language i use when talking to my bandmates.
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Mark Dillon
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« Reply #10 on: June 22, 2020, 10:22:50 AM »

Thanks Joel. I'm a Montreal native as well. Another I thing I saw after the interview was that Bobby thought the '79 Montreal Forum show came after the group's trip to Japan. According to Andrew G. Doe's website, it preceded the Japanese tour by three weeks.
I saw you at the Paragraphe bookstore where you did a Q and A on the 50 Sides book. I asked your reaction to a music magazine (I think the NME or maybe MOJO) choosing Surf's Up as the best Beach Boys song.

Hey Joel. I remember. Thanks for coming to that. I have a photo from the event that you're in but I can't find it at the moment.
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« Reply #11 on: June 22, 2020, 07:00:19 PM »

Thanks Joel. I'm a Montreal native as well. Another I thing I saw after the interview was that Bobby thought the '79 Montreal Forum show came after the group's trip to Japan. According to Andrew G. Doe's website, it preceded the Japanese tour by three weeks.
I saw you at the Paragraphe bookstore where you did a Q and A on the 50 Sides book. I asked your reaction to a music magazine (I think the NME or maybe MOJO) choosing Surf's Up as the best Beach Boys song.

Hey Joel. I remember. Thanks for coming to that. I have a photo from the event that you're in but I can't find it at the moment.
Cool!
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« Reply #12 on: June 24, 2020, 09:48:18 AM »

Just wanted to say fantastic job guys! Very well done and entertaining (and informative) interview. That was one of the better BB's related interviews I've heard, and the fact that Bobby is one of the genuine good guys in this whole crazy saga comes shining through as he's talking and answering questions. It left me wanting to hear more, and as there is more to tell obviously about some of the inner turmoil among band members during the late 70's era, it's clear Bobby as a working musician and an honest straight-up kind of guy wouldn't want to go too deep into some of it although he obviously could. I always enjoy hearing a working musician tell his or her story about how their careers developed and some of the chance happenings or even moments of great timing came together to get them to where they eventually got and stayed for years. You can still hear it in Bobby's voice when he describes some of his experiences, how he's both a talented and hard-working guy yet comes across as humble and appreciative of his opportunities and proud of his work. Such a contrast to others in the BB's universe, and not just among band members.

I know it's not easy to book guests, but if you continue to book guests such as Bobby who were actually in the band when they were *The Beach Boys* and were also friends of the band, I'll listen to every episode. It's refreshing to hear first-person accounts rather than lectures from guests.

Just an aside, when I was listening to Bobby's voice, he at times had a similar cadence and accent if you will as Brian Wilson! I can't pinpoint it or label it, but it's a certain Southern California drawl and phrasing that Brian and Bobby share at least to my ears.

Thanks again for a truly great interview, keep em' coming!
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« Reply #13 on: June 24, 2020, 10:09:41 AM »

Yes- I enjoyed the interview very much.  Nice work! Smiley
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« Reply #14 on: June 24, 2020, 11:48:39 AM »

Just wanted to say fantastic job guys! Very well done and entertaining (and informative) interview. That was one of the better BB's related interviews I've heard, and the fact that Bobby is one of the genuine good guys in this whole crazy saga comes shining through as he's talking and answering questions. It left me wanting to hear more, and as there is more to tell obviously about some of the inner turmoil among band members during the late 70's era, it's clear Bobby as a working musician and an honest straight-up kind of guy wouldn't want to go too deep into some of it although he obviously could. I always enjoy hearing a working musician tell his or her story about how their careers developed and some of the chance happenings or even moments of great timing came together to get them to where they eventually got and stayed for years. You can still hear it in Bobby's voice when he describes some of his experiences, how he's both a talented and hard-working guy yet comes across as humble and appreciative of his opportunities and proud of his work. Such a contrast to others in the BB's universe, and not just among band members.

I know it's not easy to book guests, but if you continue to book guests such as Bobby who were actually in the band when they were *The Beach Boys* and were also friends of the band, I'll listen to every episode. It's refreshing to hear first-person accounts rather than lectures from guests.

Just an aside, when I was listening to Bobby's voice, he at times had a similar cadence and accent if you will as Brian Wilson! I can't pinpoint it or label it, but it's a certain Southern California drawl and phrasing that Brian and Bobby share at least to my ears.

Thanks again for a truly great interview, keep em' coming!

Thanks for listening and for the great review! We definitely plan on mixing up our guests and speaking with more band members. As for the Bobby/Brian similarities in speaking, I didn't think of it before, but I see what you mean!
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« Reply #15 on: June 29, 2020, 07:25:37 PM »

Yes, some of the tiny details in the interview were off. But they were off in a totally understandable way. Figueroa seems to be a fully lucid guy whose memory seems fine. None of these guys, either core BB members or backing band guys, remember many if any individual tour dates. Figueroa probably played between 750 and 1,000 shows with the band between 1974 and 87/88. He seems to remember general details (such as the band playing the Japan Jam in 1979).

Seems easy to mistake the Greek and Universal in LA; the band played both venues during that era.

Then he was asked about one random specific show from June or July or whatever of '79, and he was actually pretty close in thinking that was after Japan. I recall Japan was only a few months later in '79.

Nice interview. I wouldn't say it was super forthcoming. I'm not saying anybody else should dictate what he wants to discuss or not discuss, but I'd use the term "diplomatic" rather than "candid" for many of his descriptions. The band was super dysfunctional during much of the era Bobby was in the band. It wasn't just a "family members fight sometimes" sort of situation.

Bobby sounds like a guy much more comfortable telling fun road stories rather than blabbing about all the epic internecine politics of the band. 

I remember Jon Stebbins mentioning that a lot of the backing band guys (understandably considering the litigious nature of the BB world) tend to tell some more hard-edged stories *off the record*.



Don't forget y'all that most of these guys had to sign a Non Disclosure agreement when they were let go or hired. Bobby was one of the very few who didn't have to sign one. So a lot of the guys in the band won't talk because they can't.
Yes his memories get confusing with some of the many shows they played but he remembers quite a bit on individual details. He can remember theatres and sometimes the years but they do sometimes all meld together. He toured mostly on - not off with them for 15 years. Plus you know he was having "fun" so sometimes the details get a bit fuzzy. :-)
Bobby is writing a book. His years with the Beach Boys will be included in there but it won't be a big tell all of the Beach Boys. He will tell more stories about what he remembers and some of the things they did. I know some of the stories and they will be fun to read.
But to be fair, yes Dennis and Mike fought at both venues plus a few others. This was definitely not a one time thing plus all the times the audience didn't see.
Thanks for giving the good reviews though. He read everyone's comments on here.
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« Reply #16 on: June 29, 2020, 08:45:42 PM »

Rare for me - I listened to this whole interview ... It was eye-opening, and Bobby seems like he still has the vibes of the ‘70s BBs. Tell Bobby thanks!
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« Reply #17 on: June 29, 2020, 09:03:23 PM »

Joanne, I'm glad to hear that Bobby is writing a book. I know he's got some great stories.

Welcome to SmileySmile!
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« Reply #18 on: June 30, 2020, 10:48:23 AM »

Really enjoyed the podcast.  Bobby comes off as very humble, considering he was the drummer for one of the most amazing bands in the world, for many years.

I'm looking forward to the book very much.
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« Reply #19 on: June 30, 2020, 03:05:08 PM »

Joanne, I'm glad to hear that Bobby is writing a book. I know he's got some great stories.

Welcome to SmileySmile!


Emdeeh, if you want to share any of your photos of Bobby for the book let me know we can work out something for you if you would like? I know you had some really great shots.
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« Reply #20 on: July 01, 2020, 05:48:07 PM »

Joanne, please check your PMs.
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