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Author Topic: Top five bad career moves  (Read 5176 times)
guitarfool2002
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« Reply #25 on: December 22, 2020, 09:13:01 AM »

I'm gonna vote blowing the reunion album in '95.

All the stars were aligned: Brian was functional, willing, and had great material in the waiting from the Paley sessions: they had A-list record companies and producers with sympathetic aims ready to back the project; and the marketplace had come around to the point where a neo-retro Beach Boys album full of quirky BW originals would have had a warm reception.

This was just a head-slapping missed opportunity and I seem to recall Bruce being unusually blunt (even for him) and frustrated about it at the time.

That's one of the top entries on the list, for sure. I don't know if fans who were too young or just not invested at that specific time would understand how much of a buzz there was from roughly 1993-1996 around this band, and more specific to Brian's re-emergence after ties were cut with Landy, and that included his unreleased work from the 60's.

The buzz was in the right places and with the right people. You would pick up any number of more underground leaning music publications or 'zines and you'd see references being dropped about Brian, Smile, the band in general, etc. And it was not what the touring Beach Boys were doing at that time generating the buzz - Hell, they were still touring with cheerleaders and Hula girls at that time and trying to recapture Kokomo's fluke success. Rather it was like a rediscovery or just a plain old discovery of how great some of this music truly was, both the widely known hits and the bootleg material which started to become more available thanks to more available silverdisc CDR technology and releases that didn't exist in the years prior. Tom Petty was quoted in an interview at the time saying how he drives his family crazy listening to Pet Sounds bootlegs. Billy Corgan was quoted as saying he took inspiration from Smile bootlegs to work on his own ideas with a modular track he was working up. Rivers Cuomo was using production and arranging techniques on that first Weezer "Blue Album" that sounded like he was listening to a lot of Brian's PS and Smile material...and it turned out he was indeed a big fan of BW. Todd Rundgren was reported as being involved in an interactive CD-ROM for the Smile material. Don Was came onboard and was literally all-in with Brian and wanting to bring in the Beach Boys to join the creativity. The band with all surviving members was on Letterman singing the top-ten list, and the crowd went nuts for them. As you said above, major labels, one in particular, came calling when the Beach Boys previously couldn't beg borrow or steal *any* interest from the labels in the 90's.

So what all happened...it literally blew up to where barely any of those traces of "street cred" and industry buzz courtesy of the right people chiming in made it to the public.

Carl nixed new material. The band was invited to hear new tracks Brian was working on, and they literally blew him off and didn't show. Mike seemed into it originally, and was actively writing with Brian again, but then all of that reverted back to dancing girls on stage and doing a horrible rap song featuring Mike basically singing about himself and playing word games with his name on Baywatch...as the newly reunited Beach Boys stood on the beach with Brian wearing black clothes and Chucks watching Stamos play electronic drums in the sand as Mike mugged for the camera. None of the new material was followed through. Rather, Mike went country and thought playing Nashville fan fair events was the way to go. It wasn't. Bruce for one suggested outside producers, along with Carl...none of it worked out. Mike offended one one of them right out of the gate with an off-the-cuff comment.

Blame goes all around, of course. But it's also worth remembering how all of these gaffes and blown opportunities led Brian on a path to the musicians that would surround him for the next 20+ years and led directly to the Smile tour which is still one of the greatest musical accomplishments and tours fans will ever see.
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« Reply #26 on: December 22, 2020, 11:55:32 AM »

It’s hard to answer the question about Beach Boys career moves, because it seems to assume that the Beach Boys were all of one mind, and one personality – a group of people making either good or bad career decisions for itself as a whole. But that’s not what they were; they were not of one mind.  Most obviously, what might be a good career decision for Brian is not necessarily a good career decision for Mike.  What’s good for Carl in 1972 might not be what’s good for Dennis (or, it might)  "Brian is Back" (in effect, the decision to commercialize and monetize his damaged personality) was good business for the organization, but it was not good for Brian.  Brian coming off the road in late’64/early ‘65 is a good decision for Brian, but was it a good decision for the overall group? In Murry’s letter to Brian in 1965, he is telling him, in so many words, that what Brian is doing (whatever that was) is not good for the group (the family).  That was neither the first nor the last time Brian received that message from somebody in the organization.  Deciding to hire Tony Asher and move forward with Pet Sounds – was that a group decision, or a unilateral decision made by Brian without the group’s knowledge (until they return from Japan)?  I would bet on the latter – because Brian instinctively believed that he would receive push-back if he had made it a group decision and asked for everyone to agree to his writing Rubber Soul-inspired songs with guy from an advertising agency.

Then there’s the idea of “career” – which implicates both musical creativity and development and also putting money in the bank. What’s right in terms of one aspect of the career is not always right for the other.  (see: Brian is Back and a million other examples)

With the Beach Boys, I would say that the bad career moves were made exclusively by the Wilson Brothers.  This is because they were the ones who had options to make “career moves” in the first place. Owing their talent, they at least had the potential (as narrow as options might have been) to evolve and do things in music other than what they ended up doing.  In other words, you can’t really second-guess someone’s moves unless they have such options in the first place.  So I would say that Mike has made no bad career moves – what could they have been? He fastened himself to the brand – for him that seems to have been the right thing.  But for Brian and Dennis, the brand was poison.

Anyway, doing Beach Boys Party at the end of 1965 seems to have been, in hindsight, a very bad career decision - for Brian that is, as a developing artist in commercial medium, at a time during which artistic development in pop was itself somewhat commercial (meaning acceptable)
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« Reply #27 on: December 22, 2020, 03:16:53 PM »

On the original topic, there are quite a few, actually a laundry list of bad career moves that could fill a long list.

But for me, in my opinion, there is one that stands out above the rest.

When Carl died, the Beach Boys name should have been retired and not offered as a license to a sole original member. That decision alone has done more to divide the fans and followers than perhaps any other single decision in the band's history. If there cannot be a Wilson and a Love and a Jardine on stage performing and being billed as The Beach Boys, there should have been no Beach Boys. Is it any indication of the seriousness of the arrangement in general that the name can be used for live shows but NOT new recordings unless the aforementioned original members are involved? Why is that even a stipulation if it's all and only about generating revenue for the parent company BRI? When you ponder that question, the situation overall starts taking shape and realization sets in that there is more at stake with that name than a franchise to be licensed.

Some issues are about more than making money or appeasement. That's my take and it's been my take since 1998. No Wilsons, no Beach Boys. There were other ways to handle this after Carl's passing.

I agree completely.

Yet it seems that everything is so interconnected in the universe of this band, and I feel this bad decision would never have happened if Murry hadn't sold the publishing for peanuts.

I think that tragically shortsighted action of Murry's led to Mike (and eventually to a lesser degree, maybe Brian too) to feel like they were OWED buckets of more money than they had in their bank accounts. On one hand, I see Mike's Terminator WILL-NOT-STOP-AT-ANY-COST type of attitude about neverending touring as a way to get more acclaim on a personal level (that he also feels cheated for), and also he's just simply doing what he loves.

But I can't help but feel that the urge/compulsion is to get VERY wealthy in a way that he thought he SHOULD have been, and would have been had Murry not done what he did. Which, to some degree, I understand.

But yeah, bad, bad idea to give Mike the sole rights to the name for live shows. Literally selling out the brand name to pad pockets of all who voted to allow it to happen - but at what cost? We all know what cost, as GF sadly described above.
« Last Edit: December 22, 2020, 03:18:05 PM by CenturyDeprived » Logged
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« Reply #28 on: December 22, 2020, 05:16:27 PM »

1. Monterey Pop. If only someone had been able to convince them to ditch the striped shirts, play "Pet Sounds" tracks, "Good Vibrations" and tease "Heroes and Villains." A good reception there might have gotten to finish "Smile" -- and kept the group cool in the eyes of the general public.

2. Releasing "Breakaway" and "Celebrate the News" for Capitol. With the relationship shot, Capitol wasn't going to promote it. They should have given them "We're Together Again" and another track for the B-side and saved those two gems for the new album. Maybe Fred Vail is able to get this one on the radio, and replacing "Got to Know the Woman" and either "At My Window" with "Breakaway" and "CTN" turns "Sunflower" into an all-time classic.

3. So many oldies on "15 Big Ones." When the concept of a double-album of oldies and originals died, they should have scrapped most of the oldies, saving them for B-sides and maybe to sprinkle one or two on each successive album. Replace some of them with tracks already done like "San Miguel," "Soulful Old Man Sunshine" and "Loop de Loop," which were done or almost done, would have made them seem like less of an oldies act. (Sure, those songs had been recorded years earlier, but in the pre-internet days, very few people would have known).

4. Disco version of "Here Comes the Night." I don't think the Beach Boys should have been doing disco at all, but even so, they were far too late. Take off that 10 minutes and replace them with a finished "California Feeling" and a couple of those in No. 3, and L.A. is a solid debut for CBS.

5. The 1995 reunion falling apart. Many of us have wondered how Carl could sing on "Summer in Paradise" but think the Wilson-Paley material was too weak.

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« Reply #29 on: December 22, 2020, 06:29:25 PM »

I'm gonna vote blowing the reunion album in '95.

All the stars were aligned: Brian was functional, willing, and had great material in the waiting from the Paley sessions: they had A-list record companies and producers with sympathetic aims ready to back the project; and the marketplace had come around to the point where a neo-retro Beach Boys album full of quirky BW originals would have had a warm reception.

This was just a head-slapping missed opportunity and I seem to recall Bruce being unusually blunt (even for him) and frustrated about it at the time.

That's one of the top entries on the list, for sure. I don't know if fans who were too young or just not invested at that specific time would understand how much of a buzz there was from roughly 1993-1996 around this band, and more specific to Brian's re-emergence after ties were cut with Landy, and that included his unreleased work from the 60's.

The buzz was in the right places and with the right people. You would pick up any number of more underground leaning music publications or 'zines and you'd see references being dropped about Brian, Smile, the band in general, etc. And it was not what the touring Beach Boys were doing at that time generating the buzz - Hell, they were still touring with cheerleaders and Hula girls at that time and trying to recapture Kokomo's fluke success. Rather it was like a rediscovery or just a plain old discovery of how great some of this music truly was, both the widely known hits and the bootleg material which started to become more available thanks to more available silverdisc CDR technology and releases that didn't exist in the years prior. Tom Petty was quoted in an interview at the time saying how he drives his family crazy listening to Pet Sounds bootlegs. Billy Corgan was quoted as saying he took inspiration from Smile bootlegs to work on his own ideas with a modular track he was working up. Rivers Cuomo was using production and arranging techniques on that first Weezer "Blue Album" that sounded like he was listening to a lot of Brian's PS and Smile material...and it turned out he was indeed a big fan of BW. Todd Rundgren was reported as being involved in an interactive CD-ROM for the Smile material. Don Was came onboard and was literally all-in with Brian and wanting to bring in the Beach Boys to join the creativity. The band with all surviving members was on Letterman singing the top-ten list, and the crowd went nuts for them. As you said above, major labels, one in particular, came calling when the Beach Boys previously couldn't beg borrow or steal *any* interest from the labels in the 90's.

So what all happened...it literally blew up to where barely any of those traces of "street cred" and industry buzz courtesy of the right people chiming in made it to the public.

Carl nixed new material. The band was invited to hear new tracks Brian was working on, and they literally blew him off and didn't show. Mike seemed into it originally, and was actively writing with Brian again, but then all of that reverted back to dancing girls on stage and doing a horrible rap song featuring Mike basically singing about himself and playing word games with his name on Baywatch...as the newly reunited Beach Boys stood on the beach with Brian wearing black clothes and Chucks watching Stamos play electronic drums in the sand as Mike mugged for the camera. None of the new material was followed through. Rather, Mike went country and thought playing Nashville fan fair events was the way to go. It wasn't. Bruce for one suggested outside producers, along with Carl...none of it worked out. Mike offended one one of them right out of the gate with an off-the-cuff comment.

Blame goes all around, of course. But it's also worth remembering how all of these gaffes and blown opportunities led Brian on a path to the musicians that would surround him for the next 20+ years and led directly to the Smile tour which is still one of the greatest musical accomplishments and tours fans will ever see.

I can verify that Rivers was heavily into the BBs, or at least PET SOUNDS. The first thing he bought with the Geffen advance was the GV box set; I know because I was there when he brought it home. I can also remember him asking me for BBs recommendations and I suggested SUNFLOWER (which he didn't like).
« Last Edit: December 22, 2020, 06:29:58 PM by adamghost » Logged
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« Reply #30 on: December 22, 2020, 06:38:48 PM »

I'm gonna vote blowing the reunion album in '95.

All the stars were aligned: Brian was functional, willing, and had great material in the waiting from the Paley sessions: they had A-list record companies and producers with sympathetic aims ready to back the project; and the marketplace had come around to the point where a neo-retro Beach Boys album full of quirky BW originals would have had a warm reception.

This was just a head-slapping missed opportunity and I seem to recall Bruce being unusually blunt (even for him) and frustrated about it at the time.

Hit the nail on the head, here.
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« Reply #31 on: December 22, 2020, 07:06:27 PM »

I certainly don't think that single songs can be classed as among the BB's top career blunders.  Sure, a lot of people dislike the disco version of HCTN  (I happen to like it) but it can hardly be blamed for any kind of longlasting effect on the band's reputation.  These things are but a drop in the bucket.  And on the topic of single songs, it surprises me that anyone can suggest that Kokomo was a career mistake.  You might not like the song, but it was THE song when it came out and completely brought them into the spotlight for a considerable amount of time.  I mean, it was a phenomenon.  It can hardly be called a bad career move. 

Looking at the bigger picture, I think the tour/license arrangement (and all of the decisions leading up to it, including continuing to tour right after Carl's death) is really THE bad career move.  Sure, they made many missteps and lost opportunities, but nothing failed to put a dent in their status as rock legends and the recognition of Brian as a genius.  However, what Mike has done as a result of having the license truly does threaten the band's image and legacy.  Playing piddly little shows, shilling for very questionable political interests, remaking i.e. destroying beloved songs...all of this slowly chips away at their legacy.  They should be widely recognized as the greatest American band ever but sadly the average listener just sees them as an oldies act, and I really, really think Mike is to blame for that.   
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« Reply #32 on: December 22, 2020, 09:31:43 PM »

I'm gonna vote blowing the reunion album in '95.

All the stars were aligned: Brian was functional, willing, and had great material in the waiting from the Paley sessions: they had A-list record companies and producers with sympathetic aims ready to back the project; and the marketplace had come around to the point where a neo-retro Beach Boys album full of quirky BW originals would have had a warm reception.

This was just a head-slapping missed opportunity and I seem to recall Bruce being unusually blunt (even for him) and frustrated about it at the time.

Hit the nail on the head, here.

I used to feel this way. And was baffled what Carl was possibly thinking when he pulled the plug on the '95 project.  And then a clip surfaced of Brian the day of one of those sessions.  He was exhibiting severe symptoms of tardive dyskinesia.  He was smoking again (a tobacco cigarette? a joint? the jury was out on that).  Overall, his mental and physical state didn't seem to be the greatest.  I don't know what meds Melinda and his doctors got him off or on, but by '99 on, he was obviously doing much better and it's a shame that Carl wasn't around for all that.  But we see things from the perspective of fans who always want more.  "Sing us the song you're the piano man," as Billy Joel once said.  But back in '95 Carl undoubtedly saw things from the perspective of a brother who simply wanted to see Brian healthy and happy. So when I saw that old of clip of Brian at those '95 sessions, I thought, "Okay, Carl, now I  get it."
« Last Edit: December 22, 2020, 09:32:35 PM by juggler » Logged
Lonely Summer
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« Reply #33 on: December 22, 2020, 10:12:02 PM »

I'm gonna vote blowing the reunion album in '95.

All the stars were aligned: Brian was functional, willing, and had great material in the waiting from the Paley sessions: they had A-list record companies and producers with sympathetic aims ready to back the project; and the marketplace had come around to the point where a neo-retro Beach Boys album full of quirky BW originals would have had a warm reception.

This was just a head-slapping missed opportunity and I seem to recall Bruce being unusually blunt (even for him) and frustrated about it at the time.

That's one of the top entries on the list, for sure. I don't know if fans who were too young or just not invested at that specific time would understand how much of a buzz there was from roughly 1993-1996 around this band, and more specific to Brian's re-emergence after ties were cut with Landy, and that included his unreleased work from the 60's.

The buzz was in the right places and with the right people. You would pick up any number of more underground leaning music publications or 'zines and you'd see references being dropped about Brian, Smile, the band in general, etc. And it was not what the touring Beach Boys were doing at that time generating the buzz - Hell, they were still touring with cheerleaders and Hula girls at that time and trying to recapture Kokomo's fluke success. Rather it was like a rediscovery or just a plain old discovery of how great some of this music truly was, both the widely known hits and the bootleg material which started to become more available thanks to more available silverdisc CDR technology and releases that didn't exist in the years prior. Tom Petty was quoted in an interview at the time saying how he drives his family crazy listening to Pet Sounds bootlegs. Billy Corgan was quoted as saying he took inspiration from Smile bootlegs to work on his own ideas with a modular track he was working up. Rivers Cuomo was using production and arranging techniques on that first Weezer "Blue Album" that sounded like he was listening to a lot of Brian's PS and Smile material...and it turned out he was indeed a big fan of BW. Todd Rundgren was reported as being involved in an interactive CD-ROM for the Smile material. Don Was came onboard and was literally all-in with Brian and wanting to bring in the Beach Boys to join the creativity. The band with all surviving members was on Letterman singing the top-ten list, and the crowd went nuts for them. As you said above, major labels, one in particular, came calling when the Beach Boys previously couldn't beg borrow or steal *any* interest from the labels in the 90's.

So what all happened...it literally blew up to where barely any of those traces of "street cred" and industry buzz courtesy of the right people chiming in made it to the public.

Carl nixed new material. The band was invited to hear new tracks Brian was working on, and they literally blew him off and didn't show. Mike seemed into it originally, and was actively writing with Brian again, but then all of that reverted back to dancing girls on stage and doing a horrible rap song featuring Mike basically singing about himself and playing word games with his name on Baywatch...as the newly reunited Beach Boys stood on the beach with Brian wearing black clothes and Chucks watching Stamos play electronic drums in the sand as Mike mugged for the camera. None of the new material was followed through. Rather, Mike went country and thought playing Nashville fan fair events was the way to go. It wasn't. Bruce for one suggested outside producers, along with Carl...none of it worked out. Mike offended one one of them right out of the gate with an off-the-cuff comment.

Blame goes all around, of course. But it's also worth remembering how all of these gaffes and blown opportunities led Brian on a path to the musicians that would surround him for the next 20+ years and led directly to the Smile tour which is still one of the greatest musical accomplishments and tours fans will ever see.
Okay, if the Beach Boys were suddenly hip again in that time period, why didn't that translate into strong albums sales for I Just Wasn't Made For These Times and Orange Crate Art? I mean, if we're talking popular in an alternative rock way, an artsy Brian Wilson way, as opposed to a commercial sell out Mike Love way, then those two albums should have attracted the young, hip people who dug the uncommercial side of the Beach Boys.
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« Reply #34 on: December 22, 2020, 10:19:56 PM »

I'm gonna vote blowing the reunion album in '95.

All the stars were aligned: Brian was functional, willing, and had great material in the waiting from the Paley sessions: they had A-list record companies and producers with sympathetic aims ready to back the project; and the marketplace had come around to the point where a neo-retro Beach Boys album full of quirky BW originals would have had a warm reception.

This was just a head-slapping missed opportunity and I seem to recall Bruce being unusually blunt (even for him) and frustrated about it at the time.

Hit the nail on the head, here.

I used to feel this way. And was baffled what Carl was possibly thinking when he pulled the plug on the '95 project.  And then a clip surfaced of Brian the day of one of those sessions.  He was exhibiting severe symptoms of tardive dyskinesia.  He was smoking again (a tobacco cigarette? a joint? the jury was out on that).  Overall, his mental and physical state didn't seem to be the greatest.  I don't know what meds Melinda and his doctors got him off or on, but by '99 on, he was obviously doing much better and it's a shame that Carl wasn't around for all that.  But we see things from the perspective of fans who always want more.  "Sing us the song you're the piano man," as Billy Joel once said.  But back in '95 Carl undoubtedly saw things from the perspective of a brother who simply wanted to see Brian healthy and happy. So when I saw that old of clip of Brian at those '95 sessions, I thought, "Okay, Carl, now I  get it."
I've seen that footage, and to me, it was just Brian being real. I would take that Brian, or the Brian we saw in IJWMFTT, over the guy we see now, any day. He had things to say back then - often very insightful or illuminating things. Like the scene where he talks about ego and humour. These days, it's just pulling teeth to get anything quote worthy out of him.
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« Reply #35 on: December 22, 2020, 10:20:21 PM »

I'm gonna vote blowing the reunion album in '95.

All the stars were aligned: Brian was functional, willing, and had great material in the waiting from the Paley sessions: they had A-list record companies and producers with sympathetic aims ready to back the project; and the marketplace had come around to the point where a neo-retro Beach Boys album full of quirky BW originals would have had a warm reception.

This was just a head-slapping missed opportunity and I seem to recall Bruce being unusually blunt (even for him) and frustrated about it at the time.

Hit the nail on the head, here.

I used to feel this way. And was baffled what Carl was possibly thinking when he pulled the plug on the '95 project.  And then a clip surfaced of Brian the day of one of those sessions.  He was exhibiting severe symptoms of tardive dyskinesia.  He was smoking again (a tobacco cigarette? a joint? the jury was out on that).  Overall, his mental and physical state didn't seem to be the greatest.  I don't know what meds Melinda and his doctors got him off or on, but by '99 on, he was obviously doing much better and it's a shame that Carl wasn't around for all that.  But we see things from the perspective of fans who always want more.  "Sing us the song you're the piano man," as Billy Joel once said.  But back in '95 Carl undoubtedly saw things from the perspective of a brother who simply wanted to see Brian healthy and happy. So when I saw that old of clip of Brian at those '95 sessions, I thought, "Okay, Carl, now I  get it."

Fair point and the kind of thoughtful perspective I always like to consider.
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adamghost
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« Reply #36 on: December 22, 2020, 10:23:42 PM »

I'm gonna vote blowing the reunion album in '95.

All the stars were aligned: Brian was functional, willing, and had great material in the waiting from the Paley sessions: they had A-list record companies and producers with sympathetic aims ready to back the project; and the marketplace had come around to the point where a neo-retro Beach Boys album full of quirky BW originals would have had a warm reception.

This was just a head-slapping missed opportunity and I seem to recall Bruce being unusually blunt (even for him) and frustrated about it at the time.

That's one of the top entries on the list, for sure. I don't know if fans who were too young or just not invested at that specific time would understand how much of a buzz there was from roughly 1993-1996 around this band, and more specific to Brian's re-emergence after ties were cut with Landy, and that included his unreleased work from the 60's.

The buzz was in the right places and with the right people. You would pick up any number of more underground leaning music publications or 'zines and you'd see references being dropped about Brian, Smile, the band in general, etc. And it was not what the touring Beach Boys were doing at that time generating the buzz - Hell, they were still touring with cheerleaders and Hula girls at that time and trying to recapture Kokomo's fluke success. Rather it was like a rediscovery or just a plain old discovery of how great some of this music truly was, both the widely known hits and the bootleg material which started to become more available thanks to more available silverdisc CDR technology and releases that didn't exist in the years prior. Tom Petty was quoted in an interview at the time saying how he drives his family crazy listening to Pet Sounds bootlegs. Billy Corgan was quoted as saying he took inspiration from Smile bootlegs to work on his own ideas with a modular track he was working up. Rivers Cuomo was using production and arranging techniques on that first Weezer "Blue Album" that sounded like he was listening to a lot of Brian's PS and Smile material...and it turned out he was indeed a big fan of BW. Todd Rundgren was reported as being involved in an interactive CD-ROM for the Smile material. Don Was came onboard and was literally all-in with Brian and wanting to bring in the Beach Boys to join the creativity. The band with all surviving members was on Letterman singing the top-ten list, and the crowd went nuts for them. As you said above, major labels, one in particular, came calling when the Beach Boys previously couldn't beg borrow or steal *any* interest from the labels in the 90's.

So what all happened...it literally blew up to where barely any of those traces of "street cred" and industry buzz courtesy of the right people chiming in made it to the public.

Carl nixed new material. The band was invited to hear new tracks Brian was working on, and they literally blew him off and didn't show. Mike seemed into it originally, and was actively writing with Brian again, but then all of that reverted back to dancing girls on stage and doing a horrible rap song featuring Mike basically singing about himself and playing word games with his name on Baywatch...as the newly reunited Beach Boys stood on the beach with Brian wearing black clothes and Chucks watching Stamos play electronic drums in the sand as Mike mugged for the camera. None of the new material was followed through. Rather, Mike went country and thought playing Nashville fan fair events was the way to go. It wasn't. Bruce for one suggested outside producers, along with Carl...none of it worked out. Mike offended one one of them right out of the gate with an off-the-cuff comment.

Blame goes all around, of course. But it's also worth remembering how all of these gaffes and blown opportunities led Brian on a path to the musicians that would surround him for the next 20+ years and led directly to the Smile tour which is still one of the greatest musical accomplishments and tours fans will ever see.
Okay, if the Beach Boys were suddenly hip again in that time period, why didn't that translate into strong albums sales for I Just Wasn't Made For These Times and Orange Crate Art? I mean, if we're talking popular in an alternative rock way, an artsy Brian Wilson way, as opposed to a commercial sell out Mike Love way, then those two albums should have attracted the young, hip people who dug the uncommercial side of the Beach Boys.

Those albums weren't full of new originals by Brian; but they did go a long way to "setting the table" of appreciation for Brian and expectation for a new BBs album.

The pop underground zeitgeist was in full flow at this point (source: was there). The timing would have been perfect. However, it's a fair point that such an album might have been a critical success more than a commercial one.
« Last Edit: December 22, 2020, 10:24:18 PM by adamghost » Logged
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« Reply #37 on: December 23, 2020, 06:48:42 AM »

I'm gonna vote blowing the reunion album in '95.

All the stars were aligned: Brian was functional, willing, and had great material in the waiting from the Paley sessions: they had A-list record companies and producers with sympathetic aims ready to back the project; and the marketplace had come around to the point where a neo-retro Beach Boys album full of quirky BW originals would have had a warm reception.

This was just a head-slapping missed opportunity and I seem to recall Bruce being unusually blunt (even for him) and frustrated about it at the time.

Bruce may have been frustrated by the band not pursuing the deals/producers that he was tied into to some degree (the Virgin deal, bringing in O'Hagan to produce), but Bruce was also not particularly enthusiastic or supportive of Brian or the Brian/Andy Paley material.

Bruce said this to Howie Edelson:

"That was a courtesy to Brian for us to be there. Brian certainly wasn't at any kind of peak in those days, but we respected his history and achievements for us to go and record with him and see what it might sound like. We were just trying to support someone who had been successful and good for us. I think if you use your ears, you'll hear that those tapes don't really lift off. It's fine -- but not fine enough."


Whatever Bruce thought the band should be doing in that era, it doesn't sound like it involved the Paley material.
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« Reply #38 on: December 23, 2020, 07:34:07 AM »

Excellent post and points! I also see NPP as having themes of looking back and in some of the more poignant moments, putting the narrator back in a mindset he had as a young man and saying 50+ years later "how nice would it be to do *this*..." as in Sail Away, first lyric "So many years ago but I remember...". Then he says "I guess you had to be there", that same guy looking back and saying "man, it was great, but if you weren't there you'll never fully understand, however I can tell you about it now".

And it does come full circle from the same narrator saying "wouldn't it be nice if we were older" to open Pet Sounds.

Awesome observation Rab, you made my day and I hope people reading will give those specific albums a listen with that frame of mind and see the connections as you did.

Thanks for the kind words and for your own observations! I still say that 'Guess You Had To Be There' is one of Brian's finest songs in his entire solo career - and it really is cool how it does bring things full circle by looking back on the band that sometimes made songs about looking forward. So many gems to be found both sonically and lyrically in every one of these albums.
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« Reply #39 on: December 23, 2020, 08:27:32 AM »

NPP was a great album.
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« Reply #40 on: December 23, 2020, 01:31:54 PM »

Don't think it has been mentioned before
In the rather hot summer of 1976, the Band spent 12 weeks at No1 in the UK Charts with 20 Golden Greats - So their stock was rather big SO in the Summer of 1977 a number of large gigs were planned in the UK (including Wembley Stadium) only to be pulled at short notice BUT they did appear at the CBS Convention (The Golden Goose) at the Grosvenor Hotel London, ironically the night they were meant to play Wembley
This upset an awful lot of fans
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« Reply #41 on: December 23, 2020, 02:25:37 PM »

What about signing the 8 million dollar cbs contract in 77(?).  It gave us a run of ok albums like Light album, etc The band was in a horrible place (think tarmac incident) and probably shouldn’t have been recording but obviously they wanted the money so they kept putting out records that had a few good songs but pretty much killed their recording career after the contract was up. What it from 77-85 they had only put out 1 album when they had enough great material? I know miu wasnt on cbs but including that in the list of albums they never made would be a good idea too imho
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« Reply #42 on: December 23, 2020, 02:39:51 PM »

I've seen that footage, and to me, it was just Brian being real. I would take that Brian, or the Brian we saw in IJWMFTT, over the guy we see now, any day. He had things to say back then - often very insightful or illuminating things. Like the scene where he talks about ego and humour. These days, it's just pulling teeth to get anything quote worthy out of him.

Well, that's the thing.... *you* (someone who likely has no real skin in the game) will indeed take that Brian... full of pharmacologically-induced tics and spasms, back on the smokes (in one form or another), nervous and agitated and being "real" because why?  Well, because he's cutting some interesting tracks and saying some interesting things, so why the hell not?  And, as a fellow fan, I'm right there with you on some level.  At the same time, if Carl saw the whole thing differently from the perspective not of a fan but of a brother and didn't like what he's seeing and said, "No thanks, I don't want to do this" well, I understand that too because I'd probably feel the same way.
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« Reply #43 on: December 23, 2020, 03:23:15 PM »

In case people haven’t seen it I believe this is the interview in question
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=a1mg5p-49C8
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« Reply #44 on: December 23, 2020, 08:48:18 PM »

The whole thing's here....https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WUHUGXDIhz0

Man, I REALLY wish we had footage of Carl doing those guitar overdubs...but it goes from Brian and Mike in the studio, Brian telling Mike how Carl's on his way down...to the Brian interview from later that night, where he talks about how great Carl just played. Wonder if Carl demanded the cameras be turned off while he was there? Can't imagine any other reason for that part to not be on film...
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« Reply #45 on: December 23, 2020, 09:38:34 PM »

The whole thing's here....https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WUHUGXDIhz0

Man, I REALLY wish we had footage of Carl doing those guitar overdubs...but it goes from Brian and Mike in the studio, Brian telling Mike how Carl's on his way down...to the Brian interview from later that night, where he talks about how great Carl just played. Wonder if Carl demanded the cameras be turned off while he was there? Can't imagine any other reason for that part to not be on film...
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In my opinion, this interview is rather disturbing
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« Reply #46 on: December 23, 2020, 10:48:40 PM »

I've seen that footage, and to me, it was just Brian being real. I would take that Brian, or the Brian we saw in IJWMFTT, over the guy we see now, any day. He had things to say back then - often very insightful or illuminating things. Like the scene where he talks about ego and humour. These days, it's just pulling teeth to get anything quote worthy out of him.

Well, that's the thing.... *you* (someone who likely has no real skin in the game) will indeed take that Brian... full of pharmacologically-induced tics and spasms, back on the smokes (in one form or another), nervous and agitated and being "real" because why?  Well, because he's cutting some interesting tracks and saying some interesting things, so why the hell not?  And, as a fellow fan, I'm right there with you on some level.  At the same time, if Carl saw the whole thing differently from the perspective not of a fan but of a brother and didn't like what he's seeing and said, "No thanks, I don't want to do this" well, I understand that too because I'd probably feel the same way.
It's possible that for Brian to get into that real creative side of his personality requires going through a bit of personal hell. The times he was at his creative peaks, it sure didn't sound like he was peaceful or happy. So, yeah, I get the idea that "hey, I'd rather be calm and peaceful in my personal life, even if it means I'm not creating life changing works of art". I think that's the struggle a lot of artists go through. So much of the time, their greatest art comes from pain; when things are smooth and easy, the music becomes smooth and easy, too.
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« Reply #47 on: December 23, 2020, 10:53:06 PM »

That may legit be the most uncomfortable interview I’ve ever seen
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« Reply #48 on: December 23, 2020, 10:55:38 PM »

I've seen that footage, and to me, it was just Brian being real. I would take that Brian, or the Brian we saw in IJWMFTT, over the guy we see now, any day. He had things to say back then - often very insightful or illuminating things. Like the scene where he talks about ego and humour. These days, it's just pulling teeth to get anything quote worthy out of him.

Well, that's the thing.... *you* (someone who likely has no real skin in the game) will indeed take that Brian... full of pharmacologically-induced tics and spasms, back on the smokes (in one form or another), nervous and agitated and being "real" because why?  Well, because he's cutting some interesting tracks and saying some interesting things, so why the hell not?  And, as a fellow fan, I'm right there with you on some level.  At the same time, if Carl saw the whole thing differently from the perspective not of a fan but of a brother and didn't like what he's seeing and said, "No thanks, I don't want to do this" well, I understand that too because I'd probably feel the same way.
It's possible that for Brian to get into that real creative side of his personality requires going through a bit of personal hell. The times he was at his creative peaks, it sure didn't sound like he was peaceful or happy. So, yeah, I get the idea that "hey, I'd rather be calm and peaceful in my personal life, even if it means I'm not creating life changing works of art". I think that's the struggle a lot of artists go through. So much of the time, their greatest art comes from pain; when things are smooth and easy, the music becomes smooth and easy, too.


There’s an interview from Brian from the time his autobiography was published a few years ago where he says pretty much the exact same thing. He’s then asked if it was all worth it, to which he responds somewhat emphatically “no”.
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If and when the project picks up steam -- I promise you guys will be first to know.





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« Reply #49 on: December 24, 2020, 06:48:18 AM »

That may legit be the most uncomfortable interview I’ve ever seen

Yes, Bri looks VERY uncomfortable in his own skin. But I doubt it was the interview per se making him feel that way!
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