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672450 Posts in 27078 Topics by 3981 Members - Latest Member: Toxic34 October 25, 2021, 12:30:04 AM
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Author Topic: Dennis Wilson article in "Shindig"  (Read 1113 times)
Dove Nested Towers
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« on: October 07, 2021, 02:55:59 AM »

There's an excellent piece on DW in the new issue of Shindig, a British (I think) music magazine. I believe it's the first article to appear anywhere specifically about his first solo stuff and his role in the early '70s Beach Boys, and was inspired by the Poops/Hubba Hubba material on disc 5 of the box set.

I haven't read that whole thing yet, but I was intrigued by the account of how two of his songs (4th of July and Wouldn't It Be Nice (To Live Again)) were left off of Surf's Up. Contrary to what was first relayed by Jack Rieley a few years ago, which was that supposedly Dennis pulled his songs from the album impulsively in a fit of pique, after negotiating with Carl over the track order on Side Two of the album, and Carl refusing to let WIBNTLA be the album closer, the article says that Rieley himself removed Dennis's songs, in an overcompensatory effort to spread the contents of the album around between the band members to keep everyone happy, but Dennis claimed that he had done it. "It didn't sound like the Beach Boys. They said it did. I said "Bullshit" and pulled my songs off" he said in an interview with Al Aronowitz in Melody Maker. Ah, if only those songs had taken the place of a couple of lesser ones, SU could have been more of an introspective masterpiece than it already is, much like "Sgt. Pepper's" would have been unbelievable with the inclusion of Strawberry Fields" and "Penny Lane" the decision not to include which the late George Martin said was one of his greatest regrets during his time with the Beatles.

Rieley has said that certain other band members were jealous of Dennis's tremendous creativity at that time, which sounds about right. Interestingly, Stephen Desper has said here, if I remember correctly, that he recalls nothing about these things and doubts them, saying that the elusive and mercurial Wilson brother would come into the studio only in the mornings, and if he had anything to contribute that he thought might be useable, he would record a rough version of it and "put it up on the shelf" for the rest of the band to find later and do with what they wished. I guess he may not have been in the middle of all the political maneuverings going on, but I was surprised by his blanket denial because I thought he would at least know a little bit about them.

The article also related that when Sunflower was not selling well, Rieley began compiling songs for a follow-up, to be called Landlocked, but he was unimpressed by the Sunflower rejects that were available, and wanted to get Brian back into the studio, so he began rejecting songs for the album, including Dennis's "Lady", and Dennis was very unhappy about having "one of his best songs" rejected.

It's a very well-written piece and deserves to sell out on your local independent bookstore shelves, get it while it's hot!
« Last Edit: October 11, 2021, 01:02:37 AM by Dove Nested Towers » Logged

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Don Malcolm
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« Reply #1 on: October 07, 2021, 10:26:52 PM »

I believe this is the essay in question:

https://www.shindig-magazine.com/?p=4986

What's here is quite like fodder for a long, complicated thread, but if the description in the section of the essay pertaining to "Wouldn't It Be Nice (to Live Again)" is any indication, there was (as Jack Rieley has been quoted as saying) simply too much music being created in the time frame after SUNFLOWER's release for the group to process it properly. The question of how the "Poops" songs were supposed to seque is worth some time from some of our more advanced musicians/musical thinkers, and I hope that some folks will take it up.

But the central mystery that I'd love to have solved is why "Make It Good" and "Cuddle Up" got selected for CATP over "Wouldn't It Be Nice (to Live Again)." Neither of those tracks could possibly have been seen as singles, and it must have been apparent even then that WIBNTLA was a superior track.
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« Reply #2 on: October 08, 2021, 05:44:09 AM »

I believe this is the essay in question:

https://www.shindig-magazine.com/?p=4986

What's here is quite like fodder for a long, complicated thread, but if the description in the section of the essay pertaining to "Wouldn't It Be Nice (to Live Again)" is any indication, there was (as Jack Rieley has been quoted as saying) simply too much music being created in the time frame after SUNFLOWER's release for the group to process it properly. The question of how the "Poops" songs were supposed to seque is worth some time from some of our more advanced musicians/musical thinkers, and I hope that some folks will take it up.

But the central mystery that I'd love to have solved is why "Make It Good" and "Cuddle Up" got selected for CATP over "Wouldn't It Be Nice (to Live Again)." Neither of those tracks could possibly have been seen as singles, and it must have been apparent even then that WIBNTLA was a superior track.

Perhaps Dennis thought that if he was going to have two cuts on CATP, they should be those two similarly-styled orchestral pieces. He had reportedly really gotten into Wagnerian symphonies at the time, and probably just decided to finish those two in that style for release (the orchestra wasn't added to the basic tracks until spring '72, after the decision had been made to include them on the album).
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CenturyDeprived
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« Reply #3 on: October 08, 2021, 02:17:45 PM »

I believe this is the essay in question:

https://www.shindig-magazine.com/?p=4986

What's here is quite like fodder for a long, complicated thread, but if the description in the section of the essay pertaining to "Wouldn't It Be Nice (to Live Again)" is any indication, there was (as Jack Rieley has been quoted as saying) simply too much music being created in the time frame after SUNFLOWER's release for the group to process it properly. The question of how the "Poops" songs were supposed to seque is worth some time from some of our more advanced musicians/musical thinkers, and I hope that some folks will take it up.

But the central mystery that I'd love to have solved is why "Make It Good" and "Cuddle Up" got selected for CATP over "Wouldn't It Be Nice (to Live Again)." Neither of those tracks could possibly have been seen as singles, and it must have been apparent even then that WIBNTLA was a superior track.

I could be mistaken but I seem to recall reading, possibly on this board, that WIBNTLA was written during one particular period in Dennis's love life, but at a future point when it might have been released on a later album, he was in a different place in his love life where that song was incongruous with his current feelings, and maybe that impacted its non-release.

It is still baffling, although it would perhaps seem that he learned a thing or two from his big brother as far as keeping some of his best material locked away, if perhaps that material experienced some sort of rejection in its original incarnation. I mean, Brian essentially normalized that behavior within the Wilson brothers,  I think it had much to do with heavy emotions and feelings of rejection.

When those heavy feelings were at play, I think there was no way for them to be objective about what was "better material" when it came to releasing songs. Maybe a song was "tainted" or just had heavy feelings associated with it, and that probably took precedent over any objective reasoning  when it came to  releasing comparatively lesser material in its place.
« Last Edit: October 08, 2021, 02:19:56 PM by CenturyDeprived » Logged
Dove Nested Towers
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« Reply #4 on: October 09, 2021, 05:22:23 PM »

"Make it Good" and "Cuddle Up", with their mellow, introspective, elaborate productions, were probably seen as more in the CATP mold than the more splashy WIBNTLA. As for the other Poops/Hubba Hubba tracks, that ship might have been thought to have sailed by '73, their delicate circa 1070 vibe passed.

Such a shame that they never saw their own dedicated release, because Dennis was right that they didn't sound like typical BB tracks, they were the unique products of Dennis and Daryl's ethereal mind-set at that time.

Very unfortunate also that vocals were never recorded for "I've Got a Friend".
« Last Edit: October 09, 2021, 09:15:30 PM by Dove Nested Towers » Logged

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« Reply #5 on: October 22, 2021, 08:43:03 AM »

Have you seen Stanley Shapiro's reply to the Shindig article regarding "Wouldn't It Be Nice To Live Again"? Posted on October 20th.  Some great info!




Stanley Shapiro says:

October 20, 2021 at 11:36 am

My name is Stanley Shapiro…
I wrote 100% of the words in the song WOULDN’T IT BE NICE TO LIVE AGAIN. I wrote those words long before Dennis met Barbara Charren and the song had NOTHING to with Barbara whatsoever… As a matter of fact I was with Dennis when we met Barbara for the very first time at the Hamburger Hamlet in the Westwood Village next door to the theater on the corner.
I wrote the song as a part of a six page letter appealing to my girlfriend to come back after she moved out and moved in with an older man who was an associate of Bill Hayward (the co-producer of EASY RIDER).
Dennis and I agreed to write the songs for the movie… but, NOT that particular song. I wrote that song in 1969… not 1971.
These are the facts… my girlfriend came to ‘Hollywood’ from the Midwest to visit her long time friend who was living with Hayward at the time. She moved in with me before production on EASY RIDER began. She was smitten with the movie business and, after we were invited to a dinner party at Hayward’s home in the Hollywood hills, met a picture producer who was 26 years older than she. She was an aspiring actress and he enticed her with the loan of a Mercedes Benz 280 SE convertible and the use of his Bel Air residence. She fell for that and moved in with him. I was heart broken and pleaded with her to come back in a six page letter, in which I penned the poetic song.
I sent the letter to her and a few days later it was returned unopened. I opened the envelope and left the letter on my kitchen table. Dennis read the letter and pleaded with me to let him use it in a song. I turned him down…
(and, for the record, at that point Darryl had nothing to do with it)…
I didn’t like his suggestion that Dennis was a reincarnation of ‘Wagner’ … an anti-Semitic Nazi who was sympathetic to Hitler in WW2.
A couple of weeks later I got a call from another producer who asked me if I heard what happened to my girlfriend..
I was devastated to learn that she had taken her own life after a falling out with the movie maker, and Dennis begged me, once again, to let him put the words to music. This time I acquiest to his persistence and let him record it…
the two of us own that song 50/50 and Daryl Dragon owns none of it.
Mike Love hated the song and the two of us as well. Dennis went to war over the inclusion of the song on the Surf’s Up album and decided to yank it off after a bitter fight over the lack of interest on the Beach Boys part, telling them they weren’t worthy of the song.
On the way out of the studio he turned and told Mike to go back and write something ‘earth shaking’… like a few more stupid ‘car’ songs. It was a bitter disappointment and wound up in the vaults at Capitol Records.
It was rediscovered by Alan Boyd (the Beach Boys archivist and award winning documentarian after Dennis died).
It was subsequently covered by a little known group called CHAOS and wound up being placed on the ballot for a Grammy nomination as the SONG OF THE YEAR.
In the end, the Beach Boys did nothing to use it or promote it, and it stayed hidden in the vaults for an eternity.
Mike Love replaced the song with an inappropriate ‘tune’
called Student Demonstration Time using the music from another song composed by Mike Stoller… WHAT A GENIUS!!!
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Theydon Bois
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« Reply #6 on: October 23, 2021, 03:15:06 AM »

Quote from: Stanley Shapiro
I didn’t like his suggestion that Dennis was a reincarnation of ‘Wagner’ … an anti-Semitic Nazi who was sympathetic to Hitler in WW2.

Wagner was certainly antisemitic and held extremely problematic political and social views, but "Nazi who was sympathetic to Hitler in WW2" is a bit of a reach given that he died in 1883.
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MyDrKnowsItKeepsMeCalm
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« Reply #7 on: October 23, 2021, 08:28:07 AM »

In the end, the Beach Boys did nothing to use it or promote it, and it stayed hidden in the vaults for an eternity.
Mike Love replaced the song with an inappropriate ‘tune’
called Student Demonstration Time using the music from another song composed by Mike Stoller… WHAT A GENIUS!!!

Ouch!

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