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663572 Posts in 26587 Topics by 3815 Members - Latest Member: ILikeTheBeachBoys October 28, 2020, 01:30:59 PM
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Author Topic: Did The Beach Boys Play To Segregated Audiences  (Read 1208 times)
harrisonjon
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« on: September 15, 2020, 05:14:08 AM »

9.18.64 Montgomery, Alabama. Surely segregated?

https://www.beachboysgigs.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/64-918-BBsMontgomeryAd-copy-600x923.jpg

Has this ever been discussed and regret expressed?
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Ian
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« Reply #1 on: September 15, 2020, 05:17:40 AM »

Well, even though I love the BBs, I think that far worse was the decision to play in apartheid South Africa in dec 1981 and January 1982 and in an interview at the time Mike thumbed his nose at the complainers. But times change-he May feel much different in hindsight
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SenorPotatoHead
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« Reply #2 on: September 16, 2020, 08:56:13 AM »

For ML $$ trumps (pun intended) scruples, basic human decency, et al. 
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c-man
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« Reply #3 on: September 16, 2020, 10:26:46 PM »

For ML $$ trumps (pun intended) scruples, basic human decency, et al. 

It's important to remember that ALL the guys (except Carl) played those South African shows. I don't think Mike deserves all the heat.
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>PapaLaPap<
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« Reply #4 on: September 17, 2020, 02:43:23 AM »

"The Bleach Boys"? One flippant reply would be:  ALWAYS  Afro
« Last Edit: September 18, 2020, 04:08:17 AM by >PapaLaPap< » Logged

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marcella27
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« Reply #5 on: September 17, 2020, 09:26:18 AM »

Well, even though I love the BBs, I think that far worse was the decision to play in apartheid South Africa in dec 1981 and January 1982 and in an interview at the time Mike thumbed his nose at the complainers. But times change-he May feel much different in hindsight

His insistence on playing the trophy hunting show last year seems to indicate he still enjoys thumbing his nose at those who criticize.
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Pretty Funky
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« Reply #6 on: September 17, 2020, 12:37:34 PM »

For ML $$ trumps (pun intended) scruples, basic human decency, et al.  

It's important to remember that ALL the guys (except Carl) played those South African shows. I don't think Mike deserves all the heat.

Seriously? I didn’t know Carl skipped those. Thanks...Just more cred to the guy.

Edit..ok, just realised it was 1981 when Carl was out of the band.
« Last Edit: September 17, 2020, 12:47:22 PM by Pretty Funky » Logged
Lonely Summer
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« Reply #7 on: September 17, 2020, 04:57:10 PM »

For ML $$ trumps (pun intended) scruples, basic human decency, et al.  

It's important to remember that ALL the guys (except Carl) played those South African shows. I don't think Mike deserves all the heat.

Seriously? I didn’t know Carl skipped those. Thanks...Just more cred to the guy.

Edit..ok, just realised it was 1981 when Carl was out of the band.
Just one more reason Carl was the coolest guy in the band.
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CenturyDeprived
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« Reply #8 on: September 17, 2020, 05:59:34 PM »

For ML $$ trumps (pun intended) scruples, basic human decency, et al. 

It's important to remember that ALL the guys (except Carl) played those South African shows. I don't think Mike deserves all the heat.

Personally I'd give somewhat of a pass to the judgment of Denny and Brian who were pretty deeply f*cked up on substances at the time. 
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c-man
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« Reply #9 on: September 18, 2020, 07:29:46 PM »

For ML $$ trumps (pun intended) scruples, basic human decency, et al. 

It's important to remember that ALL the guys (except Carl) played those South African shows. I don't think Mike deserves all the heat.

Personally I'd give somewhat of a pass to the judgment of Denny and Brian who were pretty deeply f*cked up on substances at the time. 

Yeah, I don't know about that - f*cked up as they were at times, Brian sounded pretty darn lucid in that hotel room chat with Les Chan and his buddies. He even said he hoped Carl would return for the shows in South Africa, and thought that he would. No hint of guilt or dismay that they would be playing in Apartheidland...event though his then-girlfriend, Carolyn (an African-American) was in the very next room. Maybe the guys had the mindset that the Byrds claimed they had, when they played Apartheidland more than a decade earlier, which was "Well, maybe us being there will a good thing for the culture, and will maybe result in a positive change". Who knows.
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CenturyDeprived
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« Reply #10 on: September 18, 2020, 07:44:19 PM »

For ML $$ trumps (pun intended) scruples, basic human decency, et al.  

It's important to remember that ALL the guys (except Carl) played those South African shows. I don't think Mike deserves all the heat.

Personally I'd give somewhat of a pass to the judgment of Denny and Brian who were pretty deeply f*cked up on substances at the time.  

Yeah, I don't know about that - f*cked up as they were at times, Brian sounded pretty darn lucid in that hotel room chat with Les Chan and his buddies. He even said he hoped Carl would return for the shows in South Africa, and thought that he would. No hint of guilt or dismay that they would be playing in Apartheidland...event though his then-girlfriend, Carolyn (an African-American) was in the very next room. Maybe the guys had the mindset that the Byrds claimed they had, when they played Apartheidland more than a decade earlier, which was "Well, maybe us being there will a good thing for the culture, and will maybe result in a positive change". Who knows.

It's possible, and most certainly you do know your BBs history far better than me Smiley But I do believe Brian was most especially at that time period particularly susceptible to going along with stuff and not rocking the boat. And most likely there was an element of financial desperation at play too. I think if Brian had close people around him who would have told him how bad this was to do, and how much him bowing out might have meant positively for them on a personal level, he might have indeed bowed out of the show. Don't you think? I get that it was a totally different time. But I also get that it was the guy at near the lowest point in his life.

But I guess when Mike made the particularly inflammatory comment saying "Screw the UN", it kicks it up to a whole other level, and gives the optics of it having been an intentional f*ck you to anyone who dare tell him how he wants to make money, regardless of ethics. Which I can't help to be reminded of the similar attitude in terms of his stubbornness and "how dare you tell me what to do" attitude to go ahead and play the gross pro-hunting show in February of this year.  I can't help but to see those repeated actions by him in a way that paints whatever decision he made in '81 as being more on him, and causes me to think of him in more of a negative light. I know we're talking about just one incident here, but it's hard to unsee patterns. Just IMHO.
« Last Edit: September 18, 2020, 08:01:12 PM by CenturyDeprived » Logged
Gerry
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« Reply #11 on: September 20, 2020, 11:02:42 AM »

As the person who was in that hotel room with Brian, Les Chan and John Pickens in 1981 I can tell you that Brian was perfectly normal at that time. I doubt he even knew what was going on in South Africa at that time. I'm not giving him a pass, I just think he was oblivious to it. His main concern at that time was food and cocaine.
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« Reply #12 on: September 20, 2020, 11:22:46 AM »

^ Thanks for that Gerry! 👍
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« Reply #13 on: September 30, 2020, 01:14:05 AM »

Not saying it was a wise decision to perform in S.A., but I do want to put it in a broader context. One might want to check out the Wiki page on Sun City, and it's controversial status, both within South Africa and internationally.:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sun_City_(South_Africa)

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History

Sun City was developed by the hotel magnate Sol Kerzner as part of his Sun International group of properties. It was officially opened on 7 December 1979, then located in the Bantustan of Bophuthatswana.

As Bophuthatswana had been declared an independent state by South Africa's apartheid government (although unrecognized as such by any other country), it could provide entertainment such as gambling and topless revue shows, which were banned in South Africa. Those factors, as well as its relatively-close location to the large metropolitan areas of Pretoria and Johannesburg, ensured that Sun City soon became a popular holiday and weekend destination.

The United Nations had imposed a cultural boycott on South Africa in condemnation of apartheid. To overcome this, Kerzner offered substantial financial incentives to performing artists to use Sun City as a venue. Several famous performers disregarded the boycott and performed at the venue, such as the Beach Boys,[1] Linda Ronstadt,[1] Cher,[1] Millie Jackson,[1] Liza Minnelli,[1] Frank Sinatra (1981),[2] Paul Anka,[2] Status Quo,[3] Rod Stewart (July 1983),[2][3] and Elton John (October 1983).[2] British rock band Queen's series of performances at the venue in October 1984—in transgression of the boycott—caused considerable controversy, prompting criticism in the British music press, a fine from the Musicians' Union, and Queen's inclusion on the United Nations' blacklisted artists. Following the criticism, Queen strongly defended their decision, citing the fact that they had insisted they played only to desegregated audiences. They also donated to a school for the deaf and blind to prove their philanthropic values.[3] In the late 1980s, Queen's song "We Will Rock You" was used as the sound track to Sun City's 60-second video promo, which was shown as commercial on SABC-TV and also when opening shows in Sun City's Superbowl auditorium.







The last 2 pictures were taken at the Sun City Hotel, with a view on the Sun City lagoon (and a few outskirts of Pilanesberg/mountain). Here's a picture of the mountain (at the lake) as it looks these days.





« Last Edit: September 30, 2020, 01:16:02 AM by SMiLE-Holland » Logged

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