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Author Topic: Why was Carl not replaced?  (Read 2670 times)
juliansuess
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« on: May 05, 2022, 01:53:16 PM »

So after Dennis drowned it didn't take the remaining Beach Boys long to announce that they would continue as a band, and they replaced him with various drummers.

Whenever Brian was absent he was replaced by other musicians, like Ed Carter or Jeff Foskett.

However, when Carl died he wasn't replaced. Why not?

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HeyJude
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« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2022, 02:33:43 PM »

So after Dennis drowned it didn't take the remaining Beach Boys long to announce that they would continue as a band, and they replaced him with various drummers.

Whenever Brian was absent he was replaced by other musicians, like Ed Carter or Jeff Foskett.

However, when Carl died he wasn't replaced. Why not?



By the 70s and 80s, when the band was already using supplemental musicians, they were no longer “replacing” members who were permanently out of the band. That member’s role would simply be assumed by one or several backing musicians. The band was clearly no longer interested in taking on like “real/core” full members of the group by the 80s.

When Carl was gone in 1981/82, they simply rejiggered the backing band, moving Ed Carter to Carl’s lead guitar spot (while giving most of Carl’s leads to Brian), and adding a new bass player (Ernie Knapp), and then also adding another guitarist/vocalist in Adrian Baker. Eventually Ed Carter missed some gigs, and that’s how Jeff Foskett entered the picture at the very end of 1981.

Dennis wasn’t really “replaced” as such in 1984. Mike Kowalski (and Bobby Figueroa before him) had been present for years as second-string/understudy drummers. Bobby Figueroa drummed solo for almost an entire year when Dennis was gone in 1979-1980, and Mike Kowalski did the same during stints where Dennis was absent while he was still alive. And then Kowalski (eventually along with Figueroa) continued on in 1984. But they weren’t brought in as “replacements”, they simply continued what they had already been doing.

Phil Bardowell was brought in as a sort-of “backup” to Carl in 1997 as I recall, and he continued on after Carl left the road in late 1997. Eventually, by 1998 when both Al and Carl were gone, their guitar and lead vocal spots were being taken up by a continually rotating group of backing members.

There were some very short-term cases where a member had to miss one or a few shows in the 80s and 90s where another person was specifically brought in short term. Brian “filled in” for both Al and Mike in 1990 as I recall for one or short strings of shows they had to miss. Though, strangely, when Carl missed some gigs in 1990, Brian didn’t fill in, and instead a temp lead guitarist was brought in, and in at least one case Al missed a gig in 1990 and nobody was brought in to fill in; his leads were handed over to Matt Jardine as I recall. Also, Mike missed some gigs in 1990 where Gerry Beckley was added to the band, but Al took on most of Mike's leads.

The return of David Marks in 1997-99 is kind of a grey area. It *seemed* like he was replacing Carl because he showed up not too long after Carl had to leave the road in late 1997. But Marks had actually been recruited with an eye towards replacing Al (according to the Marks/Stebbins book), and by the time Al was gone and David was still with the band, the band had kind of ceased to exist as a fully functioning band and was really just Mike’s licensed tour. Was David a full-fledged member in 1997-99? Depends on how you define it I guess.
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Emdeeh
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« Reply #2 on: May 05, 2022, 09:12:03 PM »

Because Carl is irreplaceable!!

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c-man
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« Reply #3 on: May 06, 2022, 05:55:36 AM »

Yep...you can't "replace" someone like Carl, with that magical voice, tight guitar chops, and skill at leading the band onstage - all in one. What did happen, though, was an assignment of those roles to various people within the band. Most of his lead vocals were given initially to Matt Jardine, and upon his exit from the band in early 1998, Bruce started singing "God Only Knows" for a few years, then it eventually went to Christian Love, and ultimately to "virtual Carl", a recording of whom was synced up to the live band. Other Carl lead vocals were handed to Chris Famer, Adrian Baker, and eventually Christian Love. His guitar parts were divvied up between David Marks and Phillip Bardowell (the latter of whom was brought on board when Carl became sick, likely so that in the event Carl missed a gig, he could step up and cover those parts). The role of band leader (technically, "musical director") was given to bass player Chris Farmer, and upon his departure years later, current lead guitarist Scott Totten.
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HeyJude
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« Reply #4 on: May 06, 2022, 06:36:54 AM »

Yeah, I mean, I'd say Al and Carl were both pretty irreplaceable for the live band, at least that iteration that had been the core for a couple decades by that point.

Yet, they were replaced. Not to make it a another thread about Mike and his touring band and all of that, because I think even hardened hardcore fans have kind kind of moved on from that nearly 25 years later. But in the literal sense, Mike did not find other members "irreplaceable", otherwise Al wouldn't have been squeezed out, and both Al's and Carl's parts given to backing members.

The only instance where Mike clearly gave weight to Carl being gone and *didn't* have a backing guy doing Carl's parts after Carl was gone was the initial decision in the first few years to have *Bruce* sing "God Only Knows" instead of a backing member. Other Al and Carl leads were handed over to Bardowell, Farmer, etc., but I think even Mike realized it didn't work to have a random backing guy singing *that* song. Indeed, when Carl left the road in August 1997, it appears as though Mike *dropped* "God Only Knows" from the setlist while Carl was still alive (probably one of the only times it was dropped from setlist), during that short period of time where it was a Mike/Bruce/Al and then Mike/Bruce/Al/David lineup. Then, after Carl's death and Al being squeezed out, Bruce assumed the lead.
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juliansuess
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« Reply #5 on: May 07, 2022, 06:28:50 AM »

Thanks a lot for all your comments!

I agree, nobody actually replaced Carl and became a full/core member of the Beach Boys. Nobody replaced Dennis and became a core member either. I think the only time this happened was when Bruce replaced Brian. Although Brian still contributed to the band with compositions and occasional appearances.

I think when Dennis died the loss was not so apparent as with Carl. He didn't sing. He was important in a more subtle way, having brought the surfing theme to the band. He also added credibility, having surfed himself.

For me the Beach Boys died the day Carl died. He sang the lead on some of their signature songs, and his voice was so beautiful. I think he also had a stabilizing presence, which was needed with all the arguing going on between the band members. IMHO he also had a lot of charisma on stage.

I agree with Brian when he said that with Carl they lost one of their main men. (The main men being Carl and Mike)



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Lonely Summer
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« Reply #6 on: May 08, 2022, 08:03:59 PM »

Thanks a lot for all your comments!

I agree, nobody actually replaced Carl and became a full/core member of the Beach Boys. Nobody replaced Dennis and became a core member either. I think the only time this happened was when Bruce replaced Brian. Although Brian still contributed to the band with compositions and occasional appearances.

I think when Dennis died the loss was not so apparent as with Carl. He didn't sing. He was important in a more subtle way, having brought the surfing theme to the band. He also added credibility, having surfed himself.

For me the Beach Boys died the day Carl died. He sang the lead on some of their signature songs, and his voice was so beautiful. I think he also had a stabilizing presence, which was needed with all the arguing going on between the band members. IMHO he also had a lot of charisma on stage.






I felt the same way for a long time. I had last seen the group in 1991; then SIP came out, and I just felt "if this is the best they can do, it's not worth bothering with them anymore". Of course, when Carl died, I immediately regretted not having seen them for several years. And then I stubbornly refused to see Mike's group when they came to down. I did go see Brian once, early 00's, but I found it depressing to see him on stage at the same venue where I had seen the group so many times. I kept thinking "Mike, Al and Bruce should be singing these songs with him".
People kept telling me I should go see Mike's Beach Boys; finally decided to give them a chance back in 2019 - and I loved it. No, it's not the original Beach Boys, the original Beach Boys can never be, because two of them are gone. Mike has some strong talent on the stage with him, though. I'm glad they are touring today - and thankful I don't have to mortage my house to buy concert tickets.
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adamghost
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« Reply #7 on: May 09, 2022, 08:22:49 PM »

So after Dennis drowned it didn't take the remaining Beach Boys long to announce that they would continue as a band, and they replaced him with various drummers.

Whenever Brian was absent he was replaced by other musicians, like Ed Carter or Jeff Foskett.

However, when Carl died he wasn't replaced. Why not?



By the 70s and 80s, when the band was already using supplemental musicians, they were no longer “replacing” members who were permanently out of the band. That member’s role would simply be assumed by one or several backing musicians. The band was clearly no longer interested in taking on like “real/core” full members of the group by the 80s.

Wasn't there a hot minute where there was an official replacement considered for Dennis (possibly Scott Matthews?). I swear just after Dennis' death I saw a brief interview with the band and they had a younger guy with them, new member by implication. It wasn't just a thing backstage where someone might have drifted in, it was clearly someone that was supposed to represent as "in the group" though he wasn't introduced.

I never saw the clip again or saw it mentioned again but I distinctly remember being surprised by it at the time. When I saw Scott mention he was asked to join the band at one point, I figured it must have been him (It was no one familiar to me).
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Tony S
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« Reply #8 on: May 10, 2022, 03:54:46 AM »

There was reference made to Scott Matthews possibly joining the band in an issue of Endless Summer quarterly that focused on the recording of the keeping the summer Alive album up in Big Star. It never came to fruition but he was supposedly a very talented performer.
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HeyJude
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« Reply #9 on: May 10, 2022, 10:18:56 AM »

I’ve never bought the idea that Scott Matthews was ever seriously considered to be brought on as a *core* member of the group. It’s strange, because he was never even brought on as a touring drummer. He did some sessions in the KTSA era. I’d perhaps buy that they liked his drumming in the studio enough to consider bringing him into the touring group.

But I don’t buy they wanted or needed another core member, as in another singing and possibly songwriting member. And if they didn’t want Matthews to sing leads or write, then why bother not just continuing to use “backing band” drummers in times where Dennis was gone?

So I don’t buy he was going to be a core member, and/or “replace” Dennis, as if like 1980 publicity photos of the group would have featured Brian, Carl, Mike, Al, Bruce, and Scott Matthews? Naw, don’t buy that.

This was starting to ring more bells, and there was a discussion about Matthews back in 2013 in this thread: https://smileysmile.net/board/index.php/topic,16346

Long story short, a lot of the stories about Matthews’ association with the group have seem to be potentially exaggerated in the past. Many in that 2013 thread strongly suspected Matthews had written large segments if not all of his Wikipedia page, which back then included a bunch of weird details about his association with the Beach Boys that didn’t make sense. Those details are now gone from his Wikipedia page, but the page is still flagged by Wikipedia for a bunch of reasons including the page being written “like a resume”, and a major contributor to the article seeming to have a close connection to the subject, which I think is Wikipedia’s way of saying “we think the subject of this article may have written it.”

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scott_Mathews

I think Matthews did work with the BBs for a brief period of time as a session musician, and I think he has had some kind of ongoing friendship or acquaintanceship with some members (he did sit in with Brian and Al when I saw their 2007 gig in Oakland, CA). But I don’t think he was some sort of big mover and shaker behind the scenes as some sources seemed to indicate many years ago, and I don’t buy that he was ever considered to become an actual full-fledged member of the Beach Boys as a replacement for Dennis.
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« Reply #10 on: May 11, 2022, 05:49:33 AM »

That all may well be, but I still remember seeing the clip in early '84. It may have been on MTV.

I'd normally chalk it up to bad recollection, but I was already a BBs fan at the time and the implications of what I was seeing struck me immediately. That's the only reason I remember the clip.
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HeyJude
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« Reply #11 on: May 11, 2022, 06:34:21 AM »

That all may well be, but I still remember seeing the clip in early '84. It may have been on MTV.

I'd normally chalk it up to bad recollection, but I was already a BBs fan at the time and the implications of what I was seeing struck me immediately. That's the only reason I remember the clip.

Oh, for sure, I certainly buy that at some point occasionally over the years someone has reported the story that consideration was given to him "replacing" Dennis. I've only heard of the story circling around Dennis's 1979-1980 absence from the group, not after Dennis's death (Matthews was playing sessions with the BBs during that 79-80 absence; which presumably is where the connection was made).

But I don't buy that this ever actually happened, as in serious consideration. It just doesn't wash with anything we know about the band. Given the political workings within the band and its organization (concerning both "corporate members" and others), I just don't buy they ever had any interest in bringing in another core/full-fledged member. A bunch of other evidence doesn't add up either. He doesn't appear to have done much of anything with the band before or after those KTSA sessions (he has worked on a few Al things in later years as I recall), and he never was added to the touring band despite many musicians coming and going in the late 70s and early 80s.

My best guess has always been that Matthews played on some sessions in 1979, he was a relatively young guy, some of the band members became friendly with him, and perhaps they tossed around having him join the touring band during Dennis's absence. And even that story I'm not sure is 100% likely given they had Bobby Figueroa drumming full time, who was a guy who had also played actual sessions with the guys, including on Dennis's solo material, so Bobby wasn't like an "on stage only" kind of backing musician. But with Dennis gone, they could have had a set up of one guy drumming and the other guy doing percussion as had been the case with Bobby and Dennis. So having Matthews in the touring band was plausible, especially during that 79-80 period where Dennis was mostly gone for almost a year. And then, in this hypothetical, the story morphed into "Scott Matthews was considered as a replacement for Dennis" as in being an actual full-fledged member of the band. Given the apparent/alleged penchant Matthews has had over the years for self-promotion and arguably over-blowing his resume, I'd gather Matthews could have potentially been the source of that story morphing back then.

It's interesting that in that 2013 thread about Matthews, a board member contacted him and had started to set up doing a full interview with him, and then that member, according to his post, was essentially ghosted before any interview took place or *any* questions were answered.
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« Reply #12 on: May 14, 2022, 02:06:48 AM »

Just so we're clear, since it may have been misunderstood: I'm not saying I saw a news report that the Beach Boys were considering adding a replacement for Dennis.

I'm saying I saw an interview with the band *where they were together with an unknown implied sixth member* in early 1984. It was only one interview, and only that one time. I indeed never saw it again or heard of it mentioned again, so it's no surprise that no one seems to know about it. But it happened. I took note of it at the time as being extremely weird and thinking who the hell is that young guy. I can understand why people would be inclined to disbelieve this recollection, but the implications were clear to me at the time and that's why I remember it.
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Jim V.
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« Reply #13 on: May 14, 2022, 09:14:42 PM »

Thanks a lot for all your comments!

I agree, nobody actually replaced Carl and became a full/core member of the Beach Boys. Nobody replaced Dennis and became a core member either. I think the only time this happened was when Bruce replaced Brian. Although Brian still contributed to the band with compositions and occasional appearances.

I think when Dennis died the loss was not so apparent as with Carl. He didn't sing. He was important in a more subtle way, having brought the surfing theme to the band. He also added credibility, having surfed himself.

For me the Beach Boys died the day Carl died. He sang the lead on some of their signature songs, and his voice was so beautiful. I think he also had a stabilizing presence, which was needed with all the arguing going on between the band members. IMHO he also had a lot of charisma on stage.






I felt the same way for a long time. I had last seen the group in 1991; then SIP came out, and I just felt "if this is the best they can do, it's not worth bothering with them anymore". Of course, when Carl died, I immediately regretted not having seen them for several years. And then I stubbornly refused to see Mike's group when they came to down. I did go see Brian once, early 00's, but I found it depressing to see him on stage at the same venue where I had seen the group so many times. I kept thinking "Mike, Al and Bruce should be singing these songs with him".
People kept telling me I should go see Mike's Beach Boys; finally decided to give them a chance back in 2019 - and I loved it. No, it's not the original Beach Boys, the original Beach Boys can never be, because two of them are gone. Mike has some strong talent on the stage with him, though. I'm glad they are touring today - and thankful I don't have to mortage my house to buy concert tickets.

So it was depressing to see Brian without the other guys even though it was billed as a performance by Brian Wilson, but you loved seeing Mike and Bruce. Now of course, we like what we like, but it's odd.

I would just like to mention I saw Mike's group earlier this year. The have a lot of energy and play a good show, only really dragged down by goop like from Mike's solo records like "Pisces Brothers" and "Here Comes the Sun," which to me don't seem to have a place at a Beach Boys show. But on up-tempo stuff Mike can really bring. Bruce does a passable "Disney Girls" but his lead vocals otherwise are anemic, and when he recreates his parts on the tags of "God Only Knows" and "California Girls" live, it really is quite a thrill, but he's basically useless as a band member otherwise. He's more of a Ed McMahon figure to Mike Love's Johnny Carson than anything, not really providing the crowd with much besides another guy on stage who is actually a Beach Boy.
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HeyJude
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« Reply #14 on: May 17, 2022, 06:46:20 AM »

Just so we're clear, since it may have been misunderstood: I'm not saying I saw a news report that the Beach Boys were considering adding a replacement for Dennis.

I'm saying I saw an interview with the band *where they were together with an unknown implied sixth member* in early 1984. It was only one interview, and only that one time. I indeed never saw it again or heard of it mentioned again, so it's no surprise that no one seems to know about it. But it happened. I took note of it at the time as being extremely weird and thinking who the hell is that young guy. I can understand why people would be inclined to disbelieve this recollection, but the implications were clear to me at the time and that's why I remember it.

I've had many moments of recollections like this, and I've had some memories pan out, others proven as at least partially mis-remembered, and others as yet unconfirmed one way or the other.  I'm always open to any possibility. And certainly, some of the guys over the years have said supremely strange stuff in interviews.

The band was pretty inactive in the early days of 1984. I don’t know where or when they would have been giving a group interview in early 1984. I think they did the press conference about Dennis right around New Years, and then the first block of live dates in early 1984 were canceled. They were laying low in early ’84.

They were barely gearing back up for live dates, and were barely a “studio” band at that stage. The sessions for the BB ’85 album began a few months later. In the midst of all of this would have been the strangest, and least useful time to integrate a “new” member into the band. The only person serving anything approaching that function would have been Foskett, who by that stage was a strong presence in the live show and was already doing vocal sessions in the studio with the group. And apart from occasionally Matt Jardine in the 90s, Foskett is the only person I’ve seen any media outlets ever imply or outright claim was like a full-fledged member of the group as opposed to a backing band member. The only other “young” guy in their orb in the 80s that would have been doing interviews alongside them would have been Stamos I would think.
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« Reply #15 on: May 17, 2022, 09:53:22 AM »

You can believe it or not, and recollections are indeed notoriously unreliable, but everything you are saying was within my understanding in early 1984. I was a fan of the band. I knew what I was seeing and why it was improbable and strange. That's the precise reason it struck me then and sticks in my memory now. I remember thinking "huh, is this random dude supposed to be replacing Dennis?"

I'm not saying there isn't another explanation - there may well be - but what I describe happened, and it looked like what it looked like. Misrecollection might account for it being something other than what it appeared to me, but not for forming that impression at the time.

Whoever this person was, I never saw him before or since. But he was male and considerably younger than the other guys. I'm quite clear on that.

It's not particularly surprising that such a video, whatever it was, would have occurred and gone down the rabbit hole. It was just a short clip that probably only aired once or twice in the days where not everything in the world was taped and thrown on youTube.
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« Reply #16 on: May 19, 2022, 10:38:24 AM »

One of the things that lends credence to The Beach Boys being a 'brand band' as opposed to a group of specific named individuals. Most people don't know who Brian or Mike are (let alone Carl), but they could perhaps tell you who Paul McCartney, John Lennon or Freddie Mercury are/were. There is a difference.
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« Reply #17 on: May 19, 2022, 07:27:49 PM »

One of the things that lends credence to The Beach Boys being a 'brand band' as opposed to a group of specific named individuals. Most people don't know who Brian or Mike are (let alone Carl), but they could perhaps tell you who Paul McCartney, John Lennon or Freddie Mercury are/were. There is a difference.
A friend of mine did a sample poll in a store back in 1995, asking people to name all 4 Beatles. Everyone got John, Paul and Ringo.
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« Reply #18 on: May 19, 2022, 11:35:25 PM »

Thanks a lot for all your comments!

I agree, nobody actually replaced Carl and became a full/core member of the Beach Boys. Nobody replaced Dennis and became a core member either. I think the only time this happened was when Bruce replaced Brian. Although Brian still contributed to the band with compositions and occasional appearances.

I think when Dennis died the loss was not so apparent as with Carl. He didn't sing. He was important in a more subtle way, having brought the surfing theme to the band. He also added credibility, having surfed himself.

For me the Beach Boys died the day Carl died. He sang the lead on some of their signature songs, and his voice was so beautiful. I think he also had a stabilizing presence, which was needed with all the arguing going on between the band members. IMHO he also had a lot of charisma on stage.






I felt the same way for a long time. I had last seen the group in 1991; then SIP came out, and I just felt "if this is the best they can do, it's not worth bothering with them anymore". Of course, when Carl died, I immediately regretted not having seen them for several years. And then I stubbornly refused to see Mike's group when they came to down. I did go see Brian once, early 00's, but I found it depressing to see him on stage at the same venue where I had seen the group so many times. I kept thinking "Mike, Al and Bruce should be singing these songs with him".
People kept telling me I should go see Mike's Beach Boys; finally decided to give them a chance back in 2019 - and I loved it. No, it's not the original Beach Boys, the original Beach Boys can never be, because two of them are gone. Mike has some strong talent on the stage with him, though. I'm glad they are touring today - and thankful I don't have to mortage my house to buy concert tickets.

So it was depressing to see Brian without the other guys even though it was billed as a performance by Brian Wilson, but you loved seeing Mike and Bruce. Now of course, we like what we like, but it's odd.


Well, if the billing meant anything, it should have been 2 hours of Brian singing songs from his acclaimed solo albums. I think he did Lay Down Burden, Let it Shine, and Love and Mercy that night. It was a Beach Boys show in all but billing; and Brian is not much of a showman, so yes, I did miss the guys I had seen performing these songs year after year in the 80's/early 90's - Carl (who obviously couldn't be there), Mike, Al, and Bruce.
True, Bruce doesn't appear to do much onstage, other than clap a lot, adjust his mic stand, and periodically touch his keyboard. Fortunately, Mike has a very talented group of musicians to help bring those songs to life night after night.
Now, in a better world, Al and David would join Mike onstage - but this is the world of the Beach Boys; a group right up there with the Kinks in terms of dysfunctional relationships.
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« Reply #19 on: May 20, 2022, 06:40:41 AM »

I've never understood the assumption or assertion that "Brian Wilson" shows would be a showcase of his solo material. It's a showcase of Brian Wilson music. Look at his setlists over the years, and you'll see the general rule is that it's songs written or co-written by Brian. He skips most BB covers, and almost all BB originals not at least co-written by him (a few exceptions for Al tunes, or Dennis/Carl tributes). Brian has never done like "Kokomo" or "Still Cruisin'" or "Getcha Back" as his shows.

Brian shows were never positioned as the same thing as like McCartney doing Wings shows in the early 70s where he went out of his way to *not* do Beatles songs.

In 1999, Brian would have barely had enough "solo" material to even make up a full setlist. He would have had to do like almost all of the '88 album and the "Imagination" album.

I don't remember anybody thinking back in 1999 that his solo gigs were going to be anything but what they ended up being: BB tunes with a few solo things sprinkled in, plus maybe an odd item or two. I remember a few fans clamoring for more solo material. I obviously would never have minded a few solo bits, and he eventually did dig a bit more into the '88 album, and eventually he did several full solo albums in concert.
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« Reply #20 on: May 21, 2022, 08:14:19 AM »

Thanks a lot for all your comments!

I agree, nobody actually replaced Carl and became a full/core member of the Beach Boys. Nobody replaced Dennis and became a core member either. I think the only time this happened was when Bruce replaced Brian. Although Brian still contributed to the band with compositions and occasional appearances.

I think when Dennis died the loss was not so apparent as with Carl. He didn't sing. He was important in a more subtle way, having brought the surfing theme to the band. He also added credibility, having surfed himself.

For me the Beach Boys died the day Carl died. He sang the lead on some of their signature songs, and his voice was so beautiful. I think he also had a stabilizing presence, which was needed with all the arguing going on between the band members. IMHO he also had a lot of charisma on stage.






I felt the same way for a long time. I had last seen the group in 1991; then SIP came out, and I just felt "if this is the best they can do, it's not worth bothering with them anymore". Of course, when Carl died, I immediately regretted not having seen them for several years. And then I stubbornly refused to see Mike's group when they came to down. I did go see Brian once, early 00's, but I found it depressing to see him on stage at the same venue where I had seen the group so many times. I kept thinking "Mike, Al and Bruce should be singing these songs with him".
People kept telling me I should go see Mike's Beach Boys; finally decided to give them a chance back in 2019 - and I loved it. No, it's not the original Beach Boys, the original Beach Boys can never be, because two of them are gone. Mike has some strong talent on the stage with him, though. I'm glad they are touring today - and thankful I don't have to mortage my house to buy concert tickets.

So it was depressing to see Brian without the other guys even though it was billed as a performance by Brian Wilson, but you loved seeing Mike and Bruce. Now of course, we like what we like, but it's odd.


Well, if the billing meant anything, it should have been 2 hours of Brian singing songs from his acclaimed solo albums. I think he did Lay Down Burden, Let it Shine, and Love and Mercy that night. It was a Beach Boys show in all but billing; and Brian is not much of a showman, so yes, I did miss the guys I had seen performing these songs year after year in the 80's/early 90's - Carl (who obviously couldn't be there), Mike, Al, and Bruce.
True, Bruce doesn't appear to do much onstage, other than clap a lot, adjust his mic stand, and periodically touch his keyboard. Fortunately, Mike has a very talented group of musicians to help bring those songs to life night after night.
Now, in a better world, Al and David would join Mike onstage - but this is the world of the Beach Boys; a group right up there with the Kinks in terms of dysfunctional relationships.

So a Brian Wilson show should ONLY have solo Brian material??? That’s nuts!
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« Reply #21 on: May 21, 2022, 01:49:16 PM »

Brian is the BBs… Roll Eyes
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« Reply #22 on: May 22, 2022, 06:54:44 AM »

I know this isn't the popular response (at least among general Beach Boys fans), but I personally would've been THRILLED to sit through a concert full of Brian solo material in his touring renaissance heydays rather than hear versions of live songs that I can already hear countless other versions of.

Brian's solo material is strong and though I understand why, I feel its been vastly neglected.

People want the hits and learning/remembering new material at their ages is difficult, I'm sure. Most performances of "That's Why God Made The Radio" were a little rough to say the least, at least the televised ones, so I'm not blaming Brian for not working a lot of his solo catalogue into his sets.

I'm just saying that his solo material is of merit, so it kind of undercuts that when its pretty much neglected altogether. And, in all fairness, outside of his cover of "The Girl From Ipanema," I revisit Mike's solo output VERY rarely. Again, I know its subjective, but just wanted to be fair speaking on the two with the most solo content.

For comparisons sake, though, Tears For Fears put out a brand new album a few months ago and I was more than delighted to see that they currently have 7 out of 10 cuts from the standard version worked into the setlist.

It would've been awesome, for me at least, to get a few more That's Why God Made The Radio tracks played during the C50. Again, I understand why not, but it would've given the album a little more relevance. Plus I absolutely LOVE "Shelter."
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« Reply #23 on: May 23, 2022, 09:58:00 AM »

I’m not sure if some folks weren’t around in 1999 as fans, or don’t remember it well, but a Brian Wilson concert setlist in the 1999-2003 time frame with nothing but solo material wouldn’t have worked. I dig much of the ’88 album, and some of the “Imagination” album, but a concert in those early years of touring would have had to center mostly on those two albums. (I would have loved to hear "Orange Crate Art" stuff, but it's telling that Brian has never pulled one single song from that album for his shows).

Seemingly sometimes forgotten in the era of those great C50 2012 setlists and even Mike evolving his setlists later in the 2000s is that it was a pretty novel approach and breath of fresh air when both Brian and Al went out on their respective tours and tried to do “deep cuts.”

I look at it all as Brian music, so yeah, I’d much rather hear “The Little Girl I Once Knew” or “This Whole World” or “Pet Sounds” or “Kiss Me Baby”, and the other songs Brian did that the touring BBs had either never done or rarely, as opposed to hearing a live version of “Night Time” or “Where Has Love Been?” That’s not to say I’m opposed to any and all deep cuts, including solo material.

But I've never run across a "Brian fan" who would rather see him ignore *any* BB cuts to just stick to his solo albums. I think the hardest of hardcore "Brianistas" would rather hear "Busy Doin' Nothin'" or "'Til I Die" rather than "The Waltz" or "Little Children."

But even setting aside the idea that audiences would want to hear “the hits”, I don’t see how a Brian show would have worked well with all solo material. And, it’s quite possible reviews would have been less than stellar and the idea of Brian touring all the time would have died on the vine.

As it is, Brian’s touring career has featured *far more* solo material than any other touring band. He has done multiple full solo albums, and every time he’s toured behind a new album, he’s included several tracks from it.

I dig some stuff on every Brian solo album; some of it is top notch and a lot of it is quite good. But with the partial exception of “Smile”, I don’t think he’s ever released a solo album that is like an A+ front-to-back, so I’ve generally been fine with the amount of solo material he has included.

The “theme” of a given tour has often also dictated elements of the setlist. When he does full albums, the remainder of those respective shows has usually had to include the core meat-and-potatoes numbers.

And, as I’ve said, Brian has been the least slavish to just doing “the hits” in that he has stuck to songs he wrote or co-wrote mostly. In other words, he has never bowed to any pressure to do “Kokomo”. Whereas, Mike (and Al) have done a number of songs they had no hand in writing. Eventually, Mike even started doing *Al* songs without Al, including “Lady Lynda” and “California Saga.”
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« Reply #24 on: May 23, 2022, 12:50:18 PM »

Thanks a lot for all your comments!

I agree, nobody actually replaced Carl and became a full/core member of the Beach Boys. Nobody replaced Dennis and became a core member either. I think the only time this happened was when Bruce replaced Brian. Although Brian still contributed to the band with compositions and occasional appearances.

I think when Dennis died the loss was not so apparent as with Carl. He didn't sing. He was important in a more subtle way, having brought the surfing theme to the band. He also added credibility, having surfed himself.

For me the Beach Boys died the day Carl died. He sang the lead on some of their signature songs, and his voice was so beautiful. I think he also had a stabilizing presence, which was needed with all the arguing going on between the band members. IMHO he also had a lot of charisma on stage.






I felt the same way for a long time. I had last seen the group in 1991; then SIP came out, and I just felt "if this is the best they can do, it's not worth bothering with them anymore". Of course, when Carl died, I immediately regretted not having seen them for several years. And then I stubbornly refused to see Mike's group when they came to down. I did go see Brian once, early 00's, but I found it depressing to see him on stage at the same venue where I had seen the group so many times. I kept thinking "Mike, Al and Bruce should be singing these songs with him".
People kept telling me I should go see Mike's Beach Boys; finally decided to give them a chance back in 2019 - and I loved it. No, it's not the original Beach Boys, the original Beach Boys can never be, because two of them are gone. Mike has some strong talent on the stage with him, though. I'm glad they are touring today - and thankful I don't have to mortage my house to buy concert tickets.

So it was depressing to see Brian without the other guys even though it was billed as a performance by Brian Wilson, but you loved seeing Mike and Bruce. Now of course, we like what we like, but it's odd.


Well, if the billing meant anything, it should have been 2 hours of Brian singing songs from his acclaimed solo albums. I think he did Lay Down Burden, Let it Shine, and Love and Mercy that night. It was a Beach Boys show in all but billing; and Brian is not much of a showman, so yes, I did miss the guys I had seen performing these songs year after year in the 80's/early 90's - Carl (who obviously couldn't be there), Mike, Al, and Bruce.
True, Bruce doesn't appear to do much onstage, other than clap a lot, adjust his mic stand, and periodically touch his keyboard. Fortunately, Mike has a very talented group of musicians to help bring those songs to life night after night.
Now, in a better world, Al and David would join Mike onstage - but this is the world of the Beach Boys; a group right up there with the Kinks in terms of dysfunctional relationships.

So a Brian Wilson show should ONLY have solo Brian material??? That’s nuts!
I never said that. I think half and half would have been a good balance. Sure, do a few of the important BB's songs - California Girls, Good Vibrations, Surfer Girl. But balance that material with songs from BW88, OCA, Imagination, etc. IMHO, Brian's older voice is more suited to his solo material. I've been critical of the Davies brothers for the same thing - relying too much on Kinks songs in their shows, not doing enough solo stuff. A lot of the stuff Dave does in his shows was songs he didn't even write or sing. I feel like telling him "look, you finally got away from your big brother, stop being so dependent on his songs. You're a solo artist, now's your time to shine!"
But these days, people just want to hear the songs from 1960-something to 1972 or 1973. I suppose if Carl were alive today, he'd have to do that kind of show, too. He only did a couple of BB tunes in his solo shows in 1981-83.
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