gfxgfx
 
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
logo
 
gfx gfx
gfx
664490 Posts in 26633 Topics by 3819 Members - Latest Member: Occasional grilled cheese November 29, 2020, 12:19:51 PM
*
gfx*HomeHelpSearchCalendarLoginRegistergfx
gfxgfx
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.       « previous next »
Pages: [1] Go Down Print
Author Topic: Elton John Tells Stories About Brian Wilson  (Read 1026 times)
STE
Smiley Smile Associate
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 1103


"I'm not on top like I used to be"


View Profile
« on: November 19, 2020, 11:25:52 PM »


Elton John tells stories about Brian Wilson on the Howard Stern show, November 18th 2020:

https://youtu.be/i4nr8tgQ7hY



Would you buy Brian's sandbox piano?
Logged
juggler
Smiley Smile Associate
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 776


View Profile
« Reply #1 on: November 19, 2020, 11:54:53 PM »

Hate to go into complete nerd mode (but that's why we're here)...   If Brian was greeting EJ with "Your Song," this was 1970 or later.    Did Brian have the sandbox in the Bellagio Road house?   Because I thought it was a Laurel Way house thing.

And in this version, Brian was trying to sell EJ his piano, but Carnie has talked about EJ trying to buy Brian's piano but the Wilsons declining to sell to him.  
« Last Edit: November 19, 2020, 11:55:23 PM by juggler » Logged
Emdeeh
Smiley Smile Associate
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 2648



View Profile
« Reply #2 on: November 20, 2020, 06:26:37 AM »

The sandbox was definitely at the Laurel Way house.
Logged
Gerry
Smiley Smile Associate
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 320


View Profile
« Reply #3 on: November 20, 2020, 09:32:47 AM »

Hearing these stories now ,when these guys are older, always makes me suspect. I think a lot of embellishing goes on. Hal Blaine never let the truth get in the way of a good story
Logged
SaltyMarshmallow
Smiley Smile Associate
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 281


View Profile
« Reply #4 on: November 20, 2020, 09:54:23 AM »

The sandbox was at the Laurel Way house for a few months, tops. That doesn't stop people throwing it into their own stories for colour.

Hey, assuming Elton hasn't always made up every detail in this story, there's an intriguing possibility RE the Good Vibrations multi: Brian took it home. Could yet be behind Marilyn's sofa.
« Last Edit: November 20, 2020, 09:55:30 AM by SaltyMarshmallow » Logged
Matt Bielewicz
Smiley Smile Associate
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 642


View Profile
« Reply #5 on: November 21, 2020, 05:16:39 AM »

Well, who knows how legit this is... but 'Brian' ALSO said in 'his' first autobiography, 1991's 'Wouldn't It Be Nice' (which I'm always tempted these days to call the 'Landyography'...) that he played Elton John the multitrack of Good Vibrations. I can't recall the exact quote, but I seem to recall that Brian (or was it Todd Gold...? we'll never know for sure!) wrote something along the lines that he played the Good Vibrations master to Elton 'with all the faders up to reveal the subtle intricacies in the track'... or something like that.

However, I find it interesting in this interview that Elton says that Brian played him the track... but kept complaining that all he had was the wrong mix. I may be reading far too much into a throwaway Elton comment made on a talk show decades after the fact (hell, I probably AM reading far too much into a throwaway Elton comment made on a talk show decades after the fact! that's what we technically-orientated Beach Boys fans DO, isn't it?) but that to me suggests that maybe what Brian was playing back were some stored mixdowns he had, not a performance from the multitrack. Another possibility is that Brian did have *a* GV multitrack at that time... but that it wasn't the final one with all the parts cut together in the right order and all the final vocals on the tracks from which the 1966 single was made. There were, after all, a lot of versions of GV on tape in Autumn 1966... and maybe Brian still had one of those multis a few years later, but not the final one. If I remember rightly from something Mark Linett said when the upgraded Pet Sounds sessions box came out a few years back, there IS a multitrack tape in the archives for GV (a four-track tape, if memory serves?) that has a few bits of vocals on it, but not all of them. That's the tape that was used to make the true stereo mix of GV that has some of Carl's vocals on it, the track at the very end of the updated PS box (Disc 4, Track 23). And also the few bits of the genuine vocal session that we heard in 'Love and Mercy'. But of course, that still-extant multi doesn't have ALL of the GV vocal overdubs on it. Maybe THAT 4-track tape is the one Brian was live-mixing for Elton in 1970 if indeed that IS what he was doing...?

Or, of course, perhaps he DID have the final GV multitrack in 1970, that IS what he was playing for Elton... and it IS still behind Marilyn's sofa, like down the back of the cushions or something. That would be hilarious if true. And although it is vanishingly unlikely, nothing would surprise me. This IS the Beach Boys, after all...
« Last Edit: November 21, 2020, 05:22:21 AM by Matt Bielewicz » Logged
SaltyMarshmallow
Smiley Smile Associate
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 281


View Profile
« Reply #6 on: November 21, 2020, 09:38:37 AM »

Todd Gold unsurprisingly took that from an anecdote Elton had already told, can't remember exactly where though.

There was only one version of Good Vibrations on 8-track with vocals, and what exists from that is an incomplete 4-track copy of the master (or maybe a second 8-track copy of a 4-track copy... I'm not sure). An Elton John story with other inaccuracies is flimsy evidence, but honestly, Brian keeping the tape would be a reasonable explanation for it vanishing at some point. Almost everything they did at Columbia is accounted for. Maybe he cut it up into little strips to use as replacement bathrobe belts, flossed with it, etc.
« Last Edit: November 21, 2020, 09:49:14 AM by SaltyMarshmallow » Logged
Matt Bielewicz
Smiley Smile Associate
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 642


View Profile
« Reply #7 on: November 22, 2020, 02:49:37 AM »

>snip<...but honestly, Brian keeping the tape would be a reasonable explanation for it vanishing at some point... >snip< Maybe he cut it up into little strips to use as replacement bathrobe belts, flossed with it, etc.

A heartbreaking thought. But there is a precedent. Do you know the story about the long-missing Doctor Who master video tape that it's believed may *literally* have been used for toothpicks in the 60s?

OK, sounds like nonsense, I know... but in case you're NOT familiar with the background: loads of episodes of the long-running UK sci-fi show Doctor Who are missing, because, rather like in US recording studios in the 60s, no-one ever thought these old tapes would ever be wanted again once the weekly episodes had been transmitted (or in the case of 60s recordings, once the single or album had been mixed and released). So the master tapes were wiped and re-used, or just tossed.

There's a 12-part story hardcore Doctor Who fans would love to see from 1965 called The Daleks' Master Plan... but a bit like the first ever recording of Heroes and Villains, or the GV multitrack, the master video tape for one of the episodes, a special fun knock-around Christmas Day episode, has been missing almost since transmission. Film copies of a couple of the pieces of the story have been tracked down, and there is a complete AUDIO recording of all 12 episodes which someone taped off-air in 1965 using a reel-to-reel tape recorder wired into their telly. But the master video tapes are probably gone for good. One of them may have been the tape that (if I recall correctly) a BBC engineer remembered in an interview used to hang on the back of his office door... and he used to rip strips of the tape off it occasionally and use them to pick his teeth after his lunch break!

Can you imagine Brian doing that with the Surf's Up part 2 backing track tape, after too much shrimp at the Radiant Radish...?
Logged
juggler
Smiley Smile Associate
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 776


View Profile
« Reply #8 on: November 22, 2020, 04:09:55 AM »

There are fans who insist that Surf's Up 2nd movement doesn't exist and never existed.  At this point, it's pretty much impossible to disprove them, but I personally suspect it's more likely than not they're wrong.    I believe that the 1/23/67 sessions (Master 57087) with a full Wrecking Crew, plus Carl, plus strings, plus horns,  probably did cut a track.   SU is one of the centerpieces of the album, and the album project was still very much alive in Q1 1967, so it's not very likely IMO that Brian would proceed without a complete instrumental track.  Other than The Elements which was always vague except for Fire, there's a track for everything except SU, pt 2.   It's been repeated here many times that there's a rumor of a "weird strings and horns 2nd movement."  No idea if that's true. But if it did exist, what happened to it?  Lost? Stolen? Intentionally damaged?  It's a mystery wrapped in an enigma, and I think that's why some find it easier and somehow comforting to say, "Oh, well, Brian probably canceled that session, nothing was recorded and that whole crew was probably paid for nothing."
Logged
SaltyMarshmallow
Smiley Smile Associate
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 281


View Profile
« Reply #9 on: November 22, 2020, 05:00:30 AM »

Well, Brian did record the second half of Surf's Up... by himself on piano, while also re-recording the first half. What happened in January '67 could've been an all-new third version, only the first half of a new version, overdubs to the second version, or nothing at all put to tape. I wouldn't discount anything entirely but a companion to the original first half from November '66 is beneath each of those options on the plausibility scale. And any hypothetical recordings were gone four years later.

I knew about the Doctor Who tapes but not the toothpick detail. Suddenly wishing I hadn't made a joke about flossing with Good Vibrations.
« Last Edit: November 22, 2020, 05:12:59 AM by SaltyMarshmallow » Logged
Matt Bielewicz
Smiley Smile Associate
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 642


View Profile
« Reply #10 on: November 22, 2020, 05:34:39 AM »

I honestly thought maybe it was an in-joke, Salty...! As I think I've mentioned before on here, there is a curious crossover between some slices of BB and DW fandom. And the 'wiped tapes' debacle also has parallels between the BB and DW stories...!!!

The real killer fact about Surf's Up part 2, as you say above, is that no Wrecking Crew-performed 1966 or 1967-era backing track was used for the second part of the 1971 album version. So if one ever existed, it was probably unavailable for use already by 1971.

People sometimes say 'perhaps it was too experimental and Brian forbade its use in 1971, and that's why it wasn't used then'. But Brian didn't want the band to do ANYTHING with Surf's Up in 1971, and he refused to sing any new vocals for it until the last day of recording the tag (or so the legend has it). I always think if there was something, Carl didn't have access to it in 1971. He used all the other vintage 1966 pieces he could, so why wouldn't he have employed a Part 2 backing as well, if one was around then?

I suppose it's *possible* it existed but wasn't any good... but that seems unlikely. given how on fire Brian was musically and as a producer during this period. And also, Carl seems to have worked hard to use any Brian scraps he possibly could...

One final possibility - that a more developed backing track for the second part DID still exist in 1971... but having the second part covered by Brian's December 1966 piano-only performance instead was the easier option. That way, you get Brian's original vision for the instrumental backing for the first part of the song, and OK, the vocals have to be by Carl on that bit, but by using Brian's piano recording for the second bit, and wanging a few overdubs on it, you at least get also some of the composer performing on the song, and that great vocal... which they couldn't have easily overlaid on a completely different backing track at the time, even if said backing track was still around.

Not for the first time, I find myself thinking how great it would be to be the narrator in Lewis Shiner's 'Glimpses'... and just record EVERYTHING as you go on a portable digital dictaphone... how much more of this stuff was there that we still haven't heard? No-one knows, or if they do, they're not saying... or can't remember. Or they're no longer with us!!!! Gaaaahhhhhhh!!!!!
« Last Edit: November 22, 2020, 06:00:39 AM by Matt Bielewicz » Logged
juggler
Smiley Smile Associate
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 776


View Profile
« Reply #11 on: November 22, 2020, 08:56:19 PM »

\
One final possibility - that a more developed backing track for the second part DID still exist in 1971... but having the second part covered by Brian's December 1966 piano-only performance instead was the easier option. That way, you get Brian's original vision for the instrumental backing for the first part of the song, and OK, the vocals have to be by Carl on that bit, but by using Brian's piano recording for the second bit, and wanging a few overdubs on it, you at least get also some of the composer performing on the song, and that great vocal... which they couldn't have easily overlaid on a completely different backing track at the time, even if said backing track was still around.

This scenario has the ring of plausibility, IMO.  

When I hear fans push "if it's not in the vault, it probably doesn't exist and never existed" viewpoint, I often think back to a something that David Leaf said maybe 25 year ago. DL said, "The vault has been raped." He went to say something along the lines there were tapes that he personally saw in the vault in the mid-'70s that were gone 20 years later.
Logged
gfx
Pages: [1] Go Up Print 
gfx
Jump to:  
gfx
Powered by SMF 1.1.21 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines Page created in 0.312 seconds with 22 queries.
Helios Multi design by Bloc
gfx
Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!