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Author Topic: New interview with Blondie on Brian's website  (Read 1638 times)
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« on: November 08, 2021, 10:07:40 AM »

Title says it all. Very nice:

https://www.brianwilson.com/blondie-chaplin
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« Reply #1 on: November 08, 2021, 12:51:35 PM »

Very interesting interview, it's good to get Blondie's perspective on things.

But why does Brian's website have a pop-up for the story on the page with the story??
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« Reply #2 on: November 08, 2021, 02:13:22 PM »

It's revelatory that Brian was so involved in the making of the Holland album. My previous impression was that he was very reluctant participant and channeled most of his focus towards Mt Vernon.
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« Reply #3 on: November 09, 2021, 04:10:18 AM »

It's revelatory that Brian was so involved in the making of the Holland album. My previous impression was that he was very reluctant participant and channeled most of his focus towards Mt Vernon.

That was my impression as well, nice to hear otherwise. That really is one of my favorite Beach Boys albums - I mean it doesn’t get much better than Steamboat.

That interview was great - a lot of solid questions. Brian’s mix of SOS Funky Pretty sounds fascinating!
« Last Edit: November 09, 2021, 06:12:15 AM by rab2591 » Logged

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« Reply #4 on: November 09, 2021, 05:36:29 AM »


That interview was great - a lot of solid questions. Brian’s mix of SOS sounds fascinating!

Don't you mean FP?
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« Reply #5 on: November 09, 2021, 06:09:53 AM »


That interview was great - a lot of solid questions. Brian’s mix of SOS sounds fascinating!

Don't you mean FP?

Yeah, thanks!
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« Reply #6 on: November 09, 2021, 02:10:30 PM »

It's revelatory that Brian was so involved in the making of the Holland album. My previous impression was that he was very reluctant participant and channeled most of his focus towards Mt Vernon.

There is a surprising amount about the Holland album in the I Am Brian Wilson book. It seems evident that he was quite firm with Ben Greenman that he was a major driver of that album and is partial to it -- he keeps returning to it in different contexts.
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« Reply #7 on: November 09, 2021, 11:12:57 PM »

It's revelatory that Brian was so involved in the making of the Holland album. My previous impression was that he was very reluctant participant and channeled most of his focus towards Mt Vernon.

That was my impression as well, nice to hear otherwise. That really is one of my favorite Beach Boys albums - I mean it doesn’t get much better than Steamboat.

That interview was great - a lot of solid questions. Brian’s mix of SOS Funky Pretty sounds fascinating!

You know I've never been one to subscribe to the oh-so-romantic theory that The Beach Boys as an entity stifled a lot of Brian's creativity over the years. At least not at the level where he was truly impeded from making the music that he wanted.

However, I do think some of his music may have been futzed with after he was done with it to make it more "commercial." We definitely know that happened with Carl's work on Love You after Brian was finished with. And now we seem to have the same situation with "Funky Pretty." Perhaps the mix that Blondie describes was honestly ridiculous and would've come off horribly on vinyl. But more likely it probably woulda been awesomely nuts (in a good way). And isn't something like that what we love to hear from Brian?

Now I should clarify that I don't think things were done without Brian's knowledge to his recordings. But that maybe having the second guessing and tinkering going on after he had finished something might've got to be a bit of pain for him.
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« Reply #8 on: November 10, 2021, 05:45:33 AM »

It's revelatory that Brian was so involved in the making of the Holland album. My previous impression was that he was very reluctant participant and channeled most of his focus towards Mt Vernon.

That was my impression as well, nice to hear otherwise. That really is one of my favorite Beach Boys albums - I mean it doesn’t get much better than Steamboat.

That interview was great - a lot of solid questions. Brian’s mix of SOS Funky Pretty sounds fascinating!

You know I've never been one to subscribe to the oh-so-romantic theory that The Beach Boys as an entity stifled a lot of Brian's creativity over the years. At least not at the level where he was truly impeded from making the music that he wanted.

However, I do think some of his music may have been futzed with after he was done with it to make it more "commercial." We definitely know that happened with Carl's work on Love You after Brian was finished with. And now we seem to have the same situation with "Funky Pretty." Perhaps the mix that Blondie describes was honestly ridiculous and would've come off horribly on vinyl. But more likely it probably woulda been awesomely nuts (in a good way). And isn't something like that what we love to hear from Brian?

Now I should clarify that I don't think things were done without Brian's knowledge to his recordings. But that maybe having the second guessing and tinkering going on after he had finished something might've got to be a bit of pain for him.

I wasn't aware that Love You was "futzed with" in the name of being "commercial" -- whatever Carl did in the hopes of making that record more commercial, he very clearly didn't succeed! (Full disclosure: Love You is one of my favorite albums by anyone, not just the BBs)
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« Reply #9 on: November 10, 2021, 09:51:39 PM »

Perhaps there's a way to recreate the "hot" mix of FP as part of what gets released in the next retro-compilation...I mean, really, what does anyone have to lose at this point by giving that a whirl?
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« Reply #10 on: November 10, 2021, 11:18:42 PM »

I wasn't aware that Love You was "futzed with" in the name of being "commercial" -- whatever Carl did in the hopes of making that record more commercial, he very clearly didn't succeed! (Full disclosure: Love You is one of my favorite albums by anyone, not just the BBs)

Yeah I mean I'm sure c-man or a number of other posters might know better but basically I think Carl was crediting as something like "mixdown producer" or something like that. So he probably just cleaned up the mixes or something. I'm not sure he overdubbed any vocals or instruments or anything, but perhaps somebody else knows. And yeah, as you said, this just wasn't a very commercial record, though I must say that a lot of the music is very catchy nonetheless.

Perhaps there's a way to recreate the "hot" mix of FP as part of what gets released in the next retro-compilation...I mean, really, what does anyone have to lose at this point by giving that a whirl?

I mean, maybe Blondie has been reminded of this mix with work likely ongoing for what we assume will be next year's release of some type of collection covering the Beach Boys Carl and the Passions / Holland era? So maybe he's heard that mix recently if it still exists. Or maybe there will be a "faders up" mix of "Funky Pretty" a la the "2012 mix" of "Rock And Roll Music" that featured on Made In California.
« Last Edit: November 10, 2021, 11:19:46 PM by Jim V. » Logged
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« Reply #11 on: November 11, 2021, 03:19:02 AM »

I wasn't aware that Love You was "futzed with" in the name of being "commercial" -- whatever Carl did in the hopes of making that record more commercial, he very clearly didn't succeed! (Full disclosure: Love You is one of my favorite albums by anyone, not just the BBs)

Yeah I mean I'm sure c-man or a number of other posters might know better but basically I think Carl was crediting as something like "mixdown producer" or something like that. So he probably just cleaned up the mixes or something. I'm not sure he overdubbed any vocals or instruments or anything, but perhaps somebody else knows. And yeah, as you said, this just wasn't a very commercial record, though I must say that a lot of the music is very catchy nonetheless.

Perhaps there's a way to recreate the "hot" mix of FP as part of what gets released in the next retro-compilation...I mean, really, what does anyone have to lose at this point by giving that a whirl?

I mean, maybe Blondie has been reminded of this mix with work likely ongoing for what we assume will be next year's release of some type of collection covering the Beach Boys Carl and the Passions / Holland era? So maybe he's heard that mix recently if it still exists. Or maybe there will be a "faders up" mix of "Funky Pretty" a la the "2012 mix" of "Rock And Roll Music" that featured on Made In California.




Re: Funky Pretty
That song's release is very interesting imo, as you have two such different versions of it. The studio version seems to be a laid back recording with a lot of focus on the vocals. While the live version rocks hard and seems to be more about the groove and the funk (no pun - or maybe). I would be interested in knowing how that early mix sounded and if it gave the song a different feel than what was released on Holland.
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- 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.

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« Reply #12 on: November 16, 2021, 10:40:07 PM »

Really enjoyed this. Blondie's just an all-around amazing guy. It's great to hear about Brian's active participation in the Holland sessions. Iirc, in the Endless Harmony doc Alan said: "We did the whole Holland album really in Brian's absence". So the truth is probably somewhere in between, with Brian absent from several major sessions but really "with it" whenever he happened to be there?
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« Reply #13 on: November 17, 2021, 06:30:57 AM »

Really enjoyed this. Blondie's just an all-around amazing guy. It's great to hear about Brian's active participation in the Holland sessions. Iirc, in the Endless Harmony doc Alan said: "We did the whole Holland album really in Brian's absence". So the truth is probably somewhere in between, with Brian absent from several major sessions but really "with it" whenever he happened to be there?

Brian on the ball for Funky Pretty and Mt Vernon but otherwise hardly making an appearance at the studio throughout the whole trip seems to be the long and short of it.
« Last Edit: November 17, 2021, 06:33:15 AM by WillJC » Logged
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« Reply #14 on: November 17, 2021, 09:36:59 AM »

Really enjoyed this. Blondie's just an all-around amazing guy. It's great to hear about Brian's active participation in the Holland sessions. Iirc, in the Endless Harmony doc Alan said: "We did the whole Holland album really in Brian's absence". So the truth is probably somewhere in between, with Brian absent from several major sessions but really "with it" whenever he happened to be there?

Brian on the ball for Funky Pretty and Mt Vernon but otherwise hardly making an appearance at the studio throughout the whole trip seems to be the long and short of it.

Just for reference, this is what Blondie said about Brian's work on Holland:

Despite Brian being fairly inactive during your time in the band, he did have some songs like “You Need a Mess of Help to Stand Alone,” “Marcella,” “Sail On Sailor” and “Funky Pretty.” Can you tell us what is was like working with Brian in the studio?

Yeah, Brian was around during Holland. He was there on funky little Bond Street. Every time the train came by, we had to stop everything because everything shook because there was this mountain of cords everywhere – everything connected like a makeshift home studio. But we never knew when the trains would come by so whenever we heard the train stop for a few minutes before rumbling by, we’d start up again.

Brian was a little bit there during Carl and the Passions, but he was mostly there in the studio during Holland. I thought he was just completely energetic and all over the place – in a good way –  when he was doing backgrounds and everything. He’s very quick – I mean he will throw a part to each person. You don’t know the full scope of where this part is fitting, but when we start to sing the song, it makes so much sense. So, I was just amazed at how quick he was and how effortless it was for him to put the parts together, and moving parts and the counterparts.

Brian’s been described as having a tough go at it in his life during this time.

Well, there might be that element, but I’m just talking about when he was in the studio – this is what I saw, you know what I mean? And it was a pleasant experience. I enjoyed it on “Funky Pretty” especially.  I wish they had kept the mix that HE had done, where everything was kind of full ball and it made people a little nervous because it went a little in the red (overload), but it was a whole lot more powerful, and very, very like overwhelmingly strong. He was behind the board this time – but not just this one time. He would try certain things and they just sounded fantastic.




Blondie saying "he was mostly there in the studio during Holland" and describing how he'd deal out parts like the "old days" directly contradicts the notion that he was hardly making an appearance throughout the whole trip. Add to that what Brian's book mentions, and there is obviously more to the story than what seems to have been the accepted version for decades about the Holland sessions. As stated previously, the facts probably sit somewhere in the middle, but after reading this and other sources, it's hard to accept that Brian was persona non grata during most of these recording sessions. And further adding weight to correcting a previous narrative, there are all the listeners who have been hearing the released session tapes from Wild Honey up to the Feel Flows material this year and hearing with their own ears a Brian Wilson much more involved in the session work than some historians, his cousin, and previous accounts/narratives tried to suggest.

I'm open to entertaining any corrections to those old narratives.
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« Reply #15 on: November 17, 2021, 10:18:59 AM »

Really enjoyed this. Blondie's just an all-around amazing guy. It's great to hear about Brian's active participation in the Holland sessions. Iirc, in the Endless Harmony doc Alan said: "We did the whole Holland album really in Brian's absence". So the truth is probably somewhere in between, with Brian absent from several major sessions but really "with it" whenever he happened to be there?

Brian on the ball for Funky Pretty and Mt Vernon but otherwise hardly making an appearance at the studio throughout the whole trip seems to be the long and short of it.

Blondie saying "he was mostly there in the studio during Holland" and describing how he'd deal out parts like the "old days" directly contradicts the notion that he was hardly making an appearance throughout the whole trip. Add to that what Brian's book mentions, and there is obviously more to the story than what seems to have been the accepted version for decades about the Holland sessions. As stated previously, the facts probably sit somewhere in the middle, but after reading this and other sources, it's hard to accept that Brian was persona non grata during most of these recording sessions. And further adding weight to correcting a previous narrative, there are all the listeners who have been hearing the released session tapes from Wild Honey up to the Feel Flows material this year and hearing with their own ears a Brian Wilson much more involved in the session work than some historians, his cousin, and previous accounts/narratives tried to suggest.

I'm open to entertaining any corrections to those old narratives.

Sure, open to new findings, but Ricky said that he couldn't remember seeing Brian in the Baambrugge studio once. Al's memory was similar, but did note that Brian got involved in the project later, and occupied the studio to record the fairy tale, which was worked on in part after the others had returned to the US. The contemporary production credits and accounts from the group already present quite a cohesive picture of Brian's involvement in the Holland sessions, which is that it wasn't frequent, but it was a lot of quick work when he wanted to work. I don't think comparative revisionism is waiting there. In the Long Promised Road documentary, Brian does speak about showing up to watch Carl produce for a few weeks during a depressive episode but not participating himself until the fairy tale came along.
« Last Edit: November 17, 2021, 10:28:27 AM by WillJC » Logged
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« Reply #16 on: November 20, 2021, 08:55:16 AM »

Really enjoyed this. Blondie's just an all-around amazing guy. It's great to hear about Brian's active participation in the Holland sessions. Iirc, in the Endless Harmony doc Alan said: "We did the whole Holland album really in Brian's absence". So the truth is probably somewhere in between, with Brian absent from several major sessions but really "with it" whenever he happened to be there?

Brian on the ball for Funky Pretty and Mt Vernon but otherwise hardly making an appearance at the studio throughout the whole trip seems to be the long and short of it.

Blondie saying "he was mostly there in the studio during Holland" and describing how he'd deal out parts like the "old days" directly contradicts the notion that he was hardly making an appearance throughout the whole trip. Add to that what Brian's book mentions, and there is obviously more to the story than what seems to have been the accepted version for decades about the Holland sessions. As stated previously, the facts probably sit somewhere in the middle, but after reading this and other sources, it's hard to accept that Brian was persona non grata during most of these recording sessions. And further adding weight to correcting a previous narrative, there are all the listeners who have been hearing the released session tapes from Wild Honey up to the Feel Flows material this year and hearing with their own ears a Brian Wilson much more involved in the session work than some historians, his cousin, and previous accounts/narratives tried to suggest.

I'm open to entertaining any corrections to those old narratives.

Sure, open to new findings, but Ricky said that he couldn't remember seeing Brian in the Baambrugge studio once. Al's memory was similar, but did note that Brian got involved in the project later, and occupied the studio to record the fairy tale, which was worked on in part after the others had returned to the US. The contemporary production credits and accounts from the group already present quite a cohesive picture of Brian's involvement in the Holland sessions, which is that it wasn't frequent, but it was a lot of quick work when he wanted to work. I don't think comparative revisionism is waiting there. In the Long Promised Road documentary, Brian does speak about showing up to watch Carl produce for a few weeks during a depressive episode but not participating himself until the fairy tale came along.

Yes, I do think the truth is found somewhere in the middle of all the accounts. But I think some of the previous accounts and assumptions saying Brian was almost entirely checked out of the process veered too much to the tabloid or just plain incorrect territories when Brian actually did more on that album overall than what those previous assumptions would suggest.
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