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677339 Posts in 27334 Topics by 4045 Members - Latest Member: iggy October 07, 2022, 09:14:13 AM
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Author Topic: The Wilson/Paley Sessions  (Read 12787 times)
MyDrKnowsItKeepsMeCalm
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« Reply #150 on: September 05, 2022, 06:25:32 AM »

I think the reason the Paley sessions are thought of as such a tragedy is because It is in a way, for The Beach Boys. These songs were intended for a Beach Boys album specifically. Brian bounced back and had moments of brilliance, but not The Beach Boys as a group. Instead of what could have been their best work since Holland, everything was scrapped for a half assed "tribute album". Then Carl got sick and died, and the group more or less fizzled out. The time between the buzz generated from the 1993 Good Vibrations box set and the IJWMFTT documentary gave them a valuable window of time/opportunity, but it all went to waste over petty politics that should have been dealt with years ago. Instead a once great band slipped away doing mediocre greatest hits shows. The worst part about all this is that this was their last chance with Carl(of course they didn't know it at the time). Therein lies the real tragedy.

Boom! This exactly.
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« Reply #151 on: September 05, 2022, 01:24:34 PM »

Couldn’t agree any more
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« Reply #152 on: September 06, 2022, 06:57:03 AM »

I'll have more to say, but some of the points I was trying to make is that the BBs not working more on this material may even be *more* of a tragedy because it *wasn't* tantamount to a "don't f**k with the formula" situation. The Beach Boys machine/monster was so complicated and had so many machinations that there are numerous *100% non-musical* reasons they didn't do an album of Paley material. There were some reasons that had *nothing* to do with Brian at all. The other guys had their own BS going on between them as well.

I'm not saying the type of music being made had zero to do with anything, but really, there were many interpersonal and political and business things going on right around that time, as mentioned in past posts.

And, outside of just sort of feeling that in was sort of written in the stars for this to be only a "Beach Boys" album, I also would say it's pretty clear the songs were mostly *not* written or recorded with only a Beach Boys album in mind. Brian was already releasing solo material by 1995, and indeed a few Brian/Andy tracks were released around this time under Brian's name.

I'm not trying to not put any blame on the Beach Boys; I've pointed out specifics before regarding how they were clearly not super supportive about the material.

But I think it's dangerous to combine the "the project was intended to be a Beach Boys album specifically" reasoning with the "it was all about telling Brian not to f**k with the forumula" reasoning, because that then sets things up to make it pretty easy to just say it's the other Beach Boys' fault that this music was not released. And that is just not historically accurate. The other guys' ambivalence and potential objection to material is one part of the story, a BIG part, certainly one of the most *interesting* parts of the story. But the other four Beach Boys were not anywhere near the only obstacle for an album of this material materializing. I say that not out of defensiveness for the other guys (I've said many times they clearly didn't want to embrace some great material, and they certainly weren't doing anything great on their own), but for the sake of something approaching historical accuracy.
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« Reply #153 on: September 06, 2022, 07:20:00 AM »

It's pretty easy to stitch together the most basic situations from that time: Brian was free of Landy and actively working on new music, the Beach Boys had no label, no label interest, no new songs, a true dead-in-the-water flop of an album-of-record at the time, and were touring with dancers, giant surf boards, and fake palm trees on stage. There was a major producer working with Brian and bringing the group back together with him (baby steps, as there were still the issues between all sides), and both Brian and the legacy music had been getting a lot of attention and praise from new generations through the reissues and the box set, and also the Was documentary.

Brian expressed how he wanted to be a Beach Boy again, and work with the band again. Once it came out that the band was without a label, needed new material, and basically needed something to bring them back with renewed interest, Brian had all of these songs to choose from and a producer with enough industry clout to make it happen. They chose songs to work on, Mike and Brian started collaborating again, the media began picking up on it, and it looked like something would happen.

I don't see a stretch in saying when the band needed songs, and Brian and the band started interacting again, that those songs became Beach Boys songs intended for the band to work on and hopefully release (or at least generate label interest which was non-existant at the time). And they obviously started working on those songs, not as solo Brian songs but as Beach Boys potential releases.

I don't know where the divide is in saying these were Beach Boys songs when there were songs picked out and worked on as Beach Boys songs. Brian, Andy, and Don had dozens of songs worked up, naturally not all were going to the Beach Boys, but as soon as the band needed material there were songs specifically targeted to that purpose. And Mike and Brian worked on some beyond that. I don't know where the inaccuracy is in saying some of the Wilson-Paley-Was sessions and songs alongside whatever the Wilson-Love collaborations would be were targeted for the Beach Boys.

It was a marriage of supply and demand, the band needed material and Brian had material for them. Whatever soured the whole thing is the tragedy.
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« Reply #154 on: September 06, 2022, 08:52:51 AM »

Yes, for sure, they selected specific songs for the Beach Boys to work on. They definitely had a Beach Boys album in mind as a potential project and home for Brian/Andy songs (whether an eventual album would have been all Brian/Andy songs, or all Brian/Andy songs with Mike adding some lyrics, or some sort of more “political” thing where non-Paley material was added as well is of course an unknown).

What I’m looking at is the “Wilson/Paley” project/sessions/material on the whole.

Yes, the Beach Boys were a HUGE part of why a *Beach Boys* album with Paley material didn’t materialize. They were pretty much *the* reason, as Brian seemed game and Andy certainly was and again, even said it could have been done quickly in fact if they had been so inclined. I mean, I think “group politics” were at play, and that did involve Brian as well. But yes, the Beach Boys were a huge part of why a group album didn’t happen.

But the reasons were much more complicated than simply not liking the material, or feeling it wasn’t “commercial” enough. I think the other members’ opinion of the actual *material* hasn’t been that explored. Bruce (stupidly and inexplicably) didn’t seem impressed even though the band was given two of the strongest tracks, but who gives a f**k what Bruce thinks. He would and will clearly show up for whatever. Mike expressed in later years mixed messages about the material. I think he told Carlin that they were willing, but not enthusiastic, or something along those lines. Which pretty much matches Bruce’s sentiment of being “willing” to do the material as a “favor” to Brian. To be clear, these sentiments and vibes were part of why a BB album didn’t materialize I’m sure. In other interviews, I believe Mike has been somewhat more positive about the material, though again never like super-enthused about it as if it’s a lost gem of a project. Al, the one time I can think of that he was asked in that 2000 Ken Sharp interview, said he liked the material. Carl, I believe according to Al in a different edit of that same interview, had some sort of issue with the material, and we later learned it was specifically in relation to one backing track on one song. There’s no record of Carl or anybody saying like “Market Place sucks” or something.

And, apart from all of this, another point I was addressing was the possibility of putting a Brian solo album out based on the material. I’m not sure why this is being dismissed. There is obvious evidence a few songs were earmarked for the Beach Boys, and I believe there were a few other comments about a few other tracks that they may have had Mike add some lyrics to. But I never got the impression those sessions and material, from conception to the end, was only ever intended as a Beach Boys project and only a Beach Boys project. It seemed like Brian and Andy wrote a bunch of songs, started recording them, and then Brian and Mike “reunited” post-lawsuit, and they brought Was into the fold, and so on as guitarfool has described. But I never sensed Brian and Andy felt this stuff would *only* be Beach Boys material. And certainly, it’s literally true that it didn’t *have to be*, and indeed a bunch of the tracks were released as solo Brian tracks in subsequent years. They literally released “This Song Wants to Sleep With You Tonight” in 1995 as a Brian solo track. We learned years later that Brian re-worked “You’re Still a Mystery” in 1999 with a new lead vocal, and he cut a couple Paley songs with Joe Thomas in 1997/1998.

My recollection is that the entire “mythos” around the “Paley Sessions” starting in the late 90s was not framed as a “lost Beach Boys album”. It was viewed as a tantalizing, and *large* group of songs that Brian had co-written and performed that fans thought was quite good. That some of the songs leaked very early on in pretty good sound quality certainly helped. I even recall some fans not even knowing the BBs had worked on the material, describing getting a hold of some version of the Paley tapes only be surprised to all of a sudden hear Carl on “Soul Searchin’”, and Mike on a line on “You’re Still a Mystery.”

The first lamenting of this as Beach Boys material I recall was fans wanting the two “reunion” songs to be on the “Endless Harmony Soundtrack” in 1998, and my recollection is that it just wasn’t plausible at that point based on legal/contractual/political issues.
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« Reply #155 on: September 06, 2022, 08:58:45 AM »

It's pretty easy to stitch together the most basic situations from that time: Brian was free of Landy and actively working on new music, the Beach Boys had no label, no label interest, no new songs, a true dead-in-the-water flop of an album-of-record at the time, and were touring with dancers, giant surf boards, and fake palm trees on stage. There was a major producer working with Brian and bringing the group back together with him (baby steps, as there were still the issues between all sides), and both Brian and the legacy music had been getting a lot of attention and praise from new generations through the reissues and the box set, and also the Was documentary.

Brian expressed how he wanted to be a Beach Boy again, and work with the band again. Once it came out that the band was without a label, needed new material, and basically needed something to bring them back with renewed interest, Brian had all of these songs to choose from and a producer with enough industry clout to make it happen. They chose songs to work on, Mike and Brian started collaborating again, the media began picking up on it, and it looked like something would happen.

I don't see a stretch in saying when the band needed songs, and Brian and the band started interacting again, that those songs became Beach Boys songs intended for the band to work on and hopefully release (or at least generate label interest which was non-existant at the time). And they obviously started working on those songs, not as solo Brian songs but as Beach Boys potential releases.

I don't know where the divide is in saying these were Beach Boys songs when there were songs picked out and worked on as Beach Boys songs. Brian, Andy, and Don had dozens of songs worked up, naturally not all were going to the Beach Boys, but as soon as the band needed material there were songs specifically targeted to that purpose. And Mike and Brian worked on some beyond that. I don't know where the inaccuracy is in saying some of the Wilson-Paley-Was sessions and songs alongside whatever the Wilson-Love collaborations would be were targeted for the Beach Boys.

It was a marriage of supply and demand, the band needed material and Brian had material for them. Whatever soured the whole thing is the tragedy.
Another unfortunate aspect of the whole failed Paley sessions is that not only could they have had potential commercial success, but they were also beginning to get "street cred"(for lack of a better term) with indie artists and fans, and that could have proved to be a very valuable asset. More so than being noticed by "mainstream" media. The same thing is happening right now today too, but I think it may be far to late to matter much.
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« Reply #156 on: September 06, 2022, 05:21:14 PM »

Let's not make the mistake of thinking all these problems are only in the past. "Long Promised Road", the album, has disappeared literally at once after its "release". I hope it's still available in digital format...
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« Reply #157 on: September 06, 2022, 11:32:40 PM »

Let's not make the mistake of thinking all these problems are only in the past. "Long Promised Road", the album, has disappeared literally at once after its "release". I hope it's still available in digital format...
Yeah, I was checking discogs last night, and there wasn't even a vinyl release.
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« Reply #158 on: September 07, 2022, 09:18:03 AM »

Another unfortunate aspect of the whole failed Paley sessions is that not only could they have had potential commercial success, but they were also beginning to get "street cred"(for lack of a better term) with indie artists and fans, and that could have proved to be a very valuable asset. More so than being noticed by "mainstream" media. The same thing is happening right now today too, but I think it may be far to late to matter much.

And if the guys over the years, and certainly in the 90s, didn't have much of a grasp on what was "commercial", they had even less ability to discern what would get them "street cred", and they certainly didn't care and in some cases still don't (see: Mike and the 2012 reunion).

The guys, including Carl, seemed to not give much notice to the then-burgeoning indie/nerd scene concerning their music. In 1995, Carl was fine playing stale live setlists (he sounded great of course, I'll never take that away from him) and doing some pretty kind of bland, AOR/AC music. (I actually like several of the Beckley-Lamm-Wilson songs Carl contributed; he sounds great on them, but the production is very AC/mid-90s/bland).

I'm not trying to hammer Carl more than the other guys. But we already know based on subsequent years that Mike and Bruce were all about the touring band, and will sometimes sign on to whatever in terms of studio material. While there's no evidence that Carl like *hated* the Paley material, it wouldn't surprise me if he had more specific issues with the material and its style, whereas I don't think Mike or Bruce cared too much, and I think Al would have joined in on whatever relatively enthusiastically.

There is sometimes a (not unwarranted) strain of pinpointing Mike and his "don't f**k with the formula" ethos (whether he ever actually said that or not) when it comes to the band's position on the Paley material specifically, and this is one case where I think Carl was possibly more iffy on the material than even Mike was, in part because Carl might have cared more about discerning material in the first place, which isn't a bad thing in and of itself.
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« Reply #159 on: September 07, 2022, 10:51:01 AM »

One of the big mysteries is how it was reported at the time that Carl was enthusiastic about the new tracks and was working on them, then he was the one who pulled the plug. I've never seen it discussed why he made that decision after his initial enthusiasm.
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« Reply #160 on: September 07, 2022, 12:29:02 PM »

Another unfortunate aspect of the whole failed Paley sessions is that not only could they have had potential commercial success, but they were also beginning to get "street cred"(for lack of a better term) with indie artists and fans, and that could have proved to be a very valuable asset. More so than being noticed by "mainstream" media. The same thing is happening right now today too, but I think it may be far to late to matter much.

And if the guys over the years, and certainly in the 90s, didn't have much of a grasp on what was "commercial", they had even less ability to discern what would get them "street cred", and they certainly didn't care and in some cases still don't (see: Mike and the 2012 reunion).

The guys, including Carl, seemed to not give much notice to the then-burgeoning indie/nerd scene concerning their music.
I was the same. Sure, I heard scattered comments about the Beach Boys from the alternative music world - and there was that Sub Pop single released as a preview of the PS box. But the people I knew that were into the whole indie/alternative scene were not Beach Boys fans. If it didn't have guitars with amps turned up to 11, screaming yelling vocals, pounding drums, and lyrics about suicide and heroin addiction, they weren't interested. Oh, I tried to get them interested, but no luck. Pet Sounds, for example, widely praised in the rock press - the music is far too mellow for that crowd. Jimi Hendrix - they could relate to that. Fuzzed out, heavy guitars, trippy lyrics, heavy beat; contrast that with "God Only Knows". 'Oh, this is sweet, pretty - I hate it!" I was always reading that so-and-so claimed the Beach Boys, or at least name checked Brian Wilson as an influence - but I sure didn't hear it in their music. I got so bombarded by heavy alternative rock and metal from the people around me, my personal taste went more towards A/C - something to calm down with.
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« Reply #161 on: September 07, 2022, 12:52:13 PM »

One of the big mysteries is how it was reported at the time that Carl was enthusiastic about the new tracks and was working on them, then he was the one who pulled the plug. I've never seen it discussed why he made that decision after his initial enthusiasm.

I don't know that anybody needed to pull the plug, as it wasn't an ironclad "album project" with a record deal, etc. It sounds like it was exploratory similar to what they did in May 2011 recording that "Do It Again" remake just to see if they could record a track and survive being in the room recording together.

The whole thing seemed to be kind of a loosey-goosey thing. I'm not even sure who was footing the bill for the group vocal sessions. Does anybody know?

Bruce described the vocal sessions as a "favor" to Brian.

So it was easier to sort of passively "pull the plug" on the project when it was so loose to begin with.

I'm not absolving the other guys of anything. I think those two tracks they worked on were very strong, and it's disappointing that nobody seemed to be showing enough enthusiasm. But this is where group politics may have usurped any musical misgivings, as it sounds like Carl just had more of nitpick issue specifically with a Don Was backing track. If he thought the material was garbage, he could have easily just not shown up.

I think the other guys in the band had less of an issue with the songs, and more of an issue with Brian. I think some of the guys were still having a sort of antagonistic situation with Brian (whether it was justified or not). There are of course ten million reasons that could have happened. I've gone on about a bunch of them before, with lingering ill will about Landy being a potential major source.
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« Reply #162 on: September 07, 2022, 01:13:07 PM »

So, so interesting. All of this. Points to consider —

Circa 1995, Brian was arguably a bigger name than the band. That may have complicated things. It was cool to like BW, less so the other guys. He was cooler than the other guys.

I’d never considered BW viewing that work as BB material, but it makes sense. We know he earmarked co-writes with Thomas just a few years later for the band and not himself. Could it be the reason we haven’t seen a full release is that BW only saw a handful of songs as “solo” tracks?

Some in the band wanted BW to be _more_ avant-garde than the Paley sessions. Bruce brought in Sean O’Hagen of the High Llamas as a possible producer and co-writer after listening to “Hawaii.” That didn’t go well, but O’Hagen was in the mix for a time.

Brian marries Melinda in the middle of this. Now, her role was debated back then, but it’s pretty clear that Brian’s life was in transition as he moved from an independent conservator to having Melinda fill that role and guide his business affairs. The move to Chicago and some other big decisions around this time (a country album?!) suggest an artist recalibrating his career and personal life.
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« Reply #163 on: September 07, 2022, 01:17:23 PM »

And let’s not forget the partial album with his daughters from 1997. He also got together with Asher and co-wrote a bunch of songs after Paley but before Joe Thomas.

This all suggests to me that Brian was interested in going back to Spector-like songwriter and producer role, for both the BBS and his daughters. Melinda and Joe together, I think, persuaded him to take the solo artist route. Carl’s death sealed the deal.

These events happened in only three or so years. It was crazy!
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« Reply #164 on: September 07, 2022, 01:39:44 PM »

And let’s not forget the partial album with his daughters from 1997. He also got together with Asher and co-wrote a bunch of songs after Paley but before Joe Thomas.

This all suggests to me that Brian was interested in going back to Spector-like songwriter and producer role, for both the BBS and his daughters. Melinda and Joe together, I think, persuaded him to take the solo artist route. Carl’s death sealed the deal.

These events happened in only three or so years. It was crazy!

There were definitely a lot of moving parts, that’s for sure.

But yeah, while I’ve often talked about Joe Thomas being involved (apparently/supposedly a preference of Melinda as well) as finally pushing a project to the finish line, it’s certainly worth noting that “Imagination” happened instead of a Brian “Paley Sessions” album. As with most things, it’s usually not a case of “discarding one specifically for another”, but certainly once the decision is made to do “Imagination” with Joe, there certainly isn’t going to be a Paley album (at least, not one that sounds like those Paley sessions and with songs mostly or all written by Brian and Andy).

Just as it’s unclear exactly how much “Stars and Stripes” happened over the corpse of a BBs/Paley Sessions album, it’s also unclear how much the Joe Thomas/Imagination stuff happened literally at the death bed of the Paley material.

Had Joe Thomas never entered the picture, would a Paley album have happened (either a BB or Brian solo album, or both?). We’ll obviously never know. I think there were a lot of internal political/interpersonal things going on apart from any other projects that could have “taken the place” of a Paley album, such that I think, at the very least, it’s quite possible that the “Paley” album wouldn’t have happened in any scenario. If Thomas hadn’t come along, who’s to say someone else wouldn’t have come along with a whole new ethos of how to do an album?

Also, regarding the chaotic nature of the Brian and BB world in the 1994-1998 time frame, it’s worth noting that the Mike-Al stuff was a HUGE issue within the BB organization. If you read the Marks/Stebbins book (and other sources), you can easily see how Al Jardine and Mike Love were quite busy with non-musical matters such that they were probably not thinking about the Paley material. Add to that Carl’s illness. The Beach Boys were busy vying for who was going to run the touring empire during this time, which was always going to be a much bigger financial deal even in a world where a Paley/BB album had hit #1.
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« Reply #165 on: September 07, 2022, 06:46:49 PM »

So, so interesting. All of this. Points to consider —

Circa 1995, Brian was arguably a bigger name than the band. That may have complicated things. It was cool to like BW, less so the other guys. He was cooler than the other guys.


This is true. The Beach Boys were coming off the flop of Summer in Paradise; they were the band with the girls in bikinis on stage, the band that thought Summer of Love was hip. Brian, on the other hand, was back in the spotlight, revitalized, with I Just Wasn't Made For These Times and Orange Crate Art. He was the one earning the praise of John Cale, Thurston Moore, Tom Petty, and Crosby and Nash.
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« Reply #166 on: September 07, 2022, 07:50:09 PM »

Just a year or two after the Beach Boys sessions, Brian also arranges and produces -- on his own -- a backing track for Carnie and Wendy. It's "Everything I Need," which has nothing to do with Andy Paley or Joe Thomas.

Thomas eventually overdubs the bejesus out of it, but the original circulates. It makes me wonder, frankly, if a solo album without Thomas would have included Asher material as well. It's clear that Brian didn't see Andy as an entirely essential piece of what he was putting together.
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« Reply #167 on: September 08, 2022, 06:37:09 AM »

Very good point; Brian was working on a lot of things in that era, and the Paley Sessions was only one album scenario.

What's interesting is that the band still seemed to view Brian as a question mark in this time frame. I'm not sure if they felt Brian could spearhead an album, and they certainly didn't know what he could do on stage. Carl rather infamously balked at the idea of doing a Beach Boys "Pet Sounds" tour with Brian, feeling Brian couldn't do it.

I think viewing the prospect of Brian doing such a tour as questionable was totally warranted in that era.

But in terms of writing and recording, I have to question a lot of the potential misgivings the band members may have had. Brian released TWO albums of material in 1995, and by the end of 1995 the band also knew he had written and recorded TWO MORE albums worth of material with Andy Paley. That wasn't even touching on anything Brian could have gone on to write with Mike, also doesn't include any Tony Asher collaborations, and doesn't even factor in the 500 unreleased songs from the 80s Brian had banked. To be sure, not all of this was like A-game material.

But Brian, even if you feel he was being given plenty of "assists" in the writing and in the studio recording, was still FAR more active recording in that 1994-1995 time frame than the Beach Boys were. At least, as far as we know.

I think in the bizarro world of the Beach Boys, some band members could have possibly been both *skeptical* of Brain's abilities, and also kind of weirdly jealous or intimidated by the 27 studio projects he was busy working on while the band slogged through "Under the Boardwalk" and "Wipe Out" in concert night after night.
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« Reply #168 on: September 08, 2022, 06:57:47 AM »

That's what I've been saying for years, and a few of us said it earlier in this discussion: For all of the doubts or hesitation the band had with Brian, he had a literal backlog of material he had been writing that could have easily formed a new album for the Beach Boys, and he had been working on music pretty consistently since the Landy sh*t ended. During that time, just look at the list of songs he was working on, and the list of people he was working with in the studio on various projects.

If the Beach Boys couldn't see what was happening, if they couldn't find something worth releasing, or if they thought Brian wasn't "up to the task" of making music...that's all on them, they were clearly going on factors other than whether Brian was able to make new music that could be a viable release. And again the question since 1967 with the band was if they didn't want or like what Brian was offering them, what did they offer in return, and what could they do without him that was commercially viable? The only fluke of the whole history was Kokomo. When the band did get an international showcase on Baywatch, they performed one of the absolute worst songs in their entire catalog history.

And Brian was the one who wasn't up to the task? Unreal.


Also don't forget the track that came out on the Rob Wasserman "Trios" album, Fantasy Is Reality / Bells Of Madness, featuring Brian and Carnie with Wasserman. For fans of Brian's music, that was a pretty solid track that had key elements of Brian in there, and I remember being very, very excited at the news this track was coming out back in the day. If the band could have collected more songs in that vein, they could easily have had a solid album of new material to plug, as we've said before.
« Last Edit: September 08, 2022, 06:58:47 AM by guitarfool2002 » Logged

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« Reply #169 on: September 08, 2022, 07:21:43 AM »

Just a year or two after the Beach Boys sessions, Brian also arranges and produces -- on his own -- a backing track for Carnie and Wendy. It's "Everything I Need," which has nothing to do with Andy Paley or Joe Thomas.

Thomas eventually overdubs the bejesus out of it, but the original circulates. It makes me wonder, frankly, if a solo album without Thomas would have included Asher material as well. It's clear that Brian didn't see Andy as an entirely essential piece of what he was putting together.

I'm glad you brought this up! The most revealing perspective on this track came from Hal Blaine, who was called to play on the original sessions. From a Steve Escobar interview with Hal:

<<<<<<<<
SE:     I recently spoke with Brian and I asked him if he ever thought of re-    uniting the Wrecking Crew for a record.  He said that he thought it was a good idea.

HB:     Well not too long ago, that we did this song, “Everything I Need,” with his two daughters, and he called me to contract, saying to “get the guys together.”  This was about two and a half, three years ago?   we did this beautiful record with Wendy and Carnie, and Brian playing piano.  We just had an incredible day recording. Then three or four days later he called me.  I got all the strings together and we did the string overdub.  I said, “Brian, I have a hunch that this could be record of the year!  And I hope it is because I’d love to have nine, instead of eight.” And we laughed about that, and Wendy and Carnie, they were just sweethearts you know, they showed a lot of love for me.  Then I get a call from this guy who’s producing him now, it was just a work call at A & M for Brian Wilson.  I thought, ok, whatever, so I go in and here’s Brian, Wendy, Carnie, and their producer.  They said, “We’re gonna play that song you that you guys just did, ‘Everything I Need’.” I said,oh, man, I loved that song!  And they played it.  and it was gorgeous, really gorgeous.  I said, “Jesus, I love that song!”  And I sincerely meant that.   The producer told me that he’d like for me to do some more drum fills and I said, “Really!”  he said “well do you feel like you want to, or could?” and I said, if it was me [doing the drum fills] I wouldn’t touch the record -I think it could go on the air just like that tomorrow and be a major hit.  The girls said “you know? we feel the same way, it’s absolutely beautiful”  I told them that their vocals were all gorgeous, but  I’m  talking about the general picture of the track, and the strings, and everybody had done such a beautiful job . . . So [the producer] says “We thought that was the way you did records with Brian.  You’d come in a week or two later and do some      more stuff . . .”  I told him that I’d be happy to do that for you, but that I didn’t think it needed anything else, but, whatever you want.   “Yeah,just play, and let’s do some fills”  All of a sudden it became a fucking drum solo, so I told them, “Look, I’ll do whatever you want.”  And I did it, you know of course, that was the end of it. And then Brian sent me the record three months later and I couldn’t believe it was the same song or the same record.  It was terrible.

SE:     Really?

HB:     It was a piece of sh*t!  This guy, whoever he was, the producer, Maybe Brian would talk about some of the wood block sounds and some of the sounds I used to do, the whole thing was covered with percussion.  It went click, boom, bang, clack, boom, bing . . .  I couldn’t believe what I was hearing!

SE:     Nowadays they tend to put the drummer up front and everything else is buried behind them.

HB:     That’s something else, but this song was so fuckin’ gorgeous.  You’d think that Barbara Streisand would be singing it.

SE:     Sometimes less is more.

HB:     Absolutely!  That’s exactly what I preach!
>>>>>>>

So there was Brian creating what was, according to Hal, a beautiful piece of music only to see it overdubbed and tinkered with to the point where Hal had that strong of a negative reaction. It's not like Brian couldn't do it, in this case another cook unfortunately was one too many cooks in the kitchen and spoiled the broth.

I guess the point could be that there was a "formula" at play here too, where what Brian originally did wasn't what the search for a commercial "hit" or whatever was dictating it should sound like. But remove the tinkering and fatuous overdubbing, and consider in the two or three years previous to this song, something good definitely could have come out of Brian's work which the Beach Boys could have used. I think the Wasserman track and the original work on this Wilsons track shows there was more that could have been tapped into.
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« Reply #170 on: September 08, 2022, 10:00:43 AM »



Circa 1995, Brian was arguably a bigger name than the band. That may have complicated things. It was cool to like BW, less so the other guys. He was cooler than the other guys.
Honestly, that doesn't make much sense to me, Brian was always the number 1 guy in charge straight from the beginning.
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« Reply #171 on: September 08, 2022, 10:11:28 AM »

Just a year or two after the Beach Boys sessions, Brian also arranges and produces -- on his own -- a backing track for Carnie and Wendy. It's "Everything I Need," which has nothing to do with Andy Paley or Joe Thomas.

Thomas eventually overdubs the bejesus out of it, but the original circulates. It makes me wonder, frankly, if a solo album without Thomas would have included Asher material as well. It's clear that Brian didn't see Andy as an entirely essential piece of what he was putting together.

Yeah, listening the kind of production Brian, "left to his own devices", had meant for Carnie and Wendy, and then hearing the Thomasised version, is a (sad) ear opener. Reason I am SO happy the latest Brian album is not NPP, but the criminally underrated and/or ignored, and delightfully "raw", Long Promised Road.
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« Reply #172 on: September 08, 2022, 11:26:37 AM »



Circa 1995, Brian was arguably a bigger name than the band. That may have complicated things. It was cool to like BW, less so the other guys. He was cooler than the other guys.
Honestly, that doesn't make much sense to me, Brian was always the number 1 guy in charge straight from the beginning.

There were a number of years/eras where Brian was either literally not there, or not all there emotionally/performance-wise. Certainly when it comes to live touring.

Brian in 1979 or 1980 wasn't in charge of anything. He was a stage decoration.

And there are of course a million layers to all of that stuff. But rightly or wrongly, by whatever circumstance, there was definitely an element of the band potentially having moments of resentment because they were schlepping out on tour (and sometimes in the studio) while Brian was either not there at all, or was in rough shape (78-82), or perhaps even more grating, post-Landy '83 through 1990 Brian would mostly only show up for high profile gigs and TV appearances (and on rare occasions was a fill-in for one of the other guys).

I'm not defending the guys being antagonistic or resentful or whatever in that 90s time frame. But between Landy, and the nasty stuff written about them in the "autobiography", and then Brian not being there much (literally not at all on stage between mid-1990 and 1995), these are all things that may have played into various strains of estrangement/resentment/awkwardness.

And again I refer back to Bruce's interview with Howie Edelson, where Bruce opines that the two Paley tracks weren't that great, and that he felt as through *he* (and the other guys) were the ones doing *Brian* a favor by being there and singing on it. That seems totally asinine to me (Brian hands you two great songs, but what are you doing to do instead, another AC remix of Stamos's "Forever"?), but it's an important insight into the attitude at least some of the guys had about Brian and Brian material in 1995.
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« Reply #173 on: September 09, 2022, 06:40:27 PM »

[/size]
That's what I've been saying for years, and a few of us said it earlier in this discussion: For all of the doubts or hesitation the band had with Brian, he had a literal backlog of material he had been writing that could have easily formed a new album for the Beach Boys, and he had been working on music pretty consistently since the Landy sh*t ended. During that time, just look at the list of songs he was working on, and the list of people he was working with in the studio on various projects.[size=20pt][/size]Even before Landy was gone, Brian was recording a lot of stuff. Two full albums, various songs for b-sides, movies and tribute albums. The group couldn't even come up with enough songs for one full album.

If the Beach Boys couldn't see what was happening, if they couldn't find something worth releasing, or if they thought Brian wasn't "up to the task" of making music...that's all on them, they were clearly going on factors other than whether Brian was able to make new music that could be a viable release. And again the question since 1967 with the band was if they didn't want or like what Brian was offering them, what did they offer in return, and what could they do without him that was commercially viable? The only fluke of the whole history was Kokomo. When the band did get an international showcase on Baywatch, they performed one of the absolute worst songs in their entire catalog history.

And Brian was the one who wasn't up to the task? Unreal.


Also don't forget the track that came out on the Rob Wasserman "Trios" album, Fantasy Is Reality / Bells Of Madness, featuring Brian and Carnie with Wasserman. For fans of Brian's music, that was a pretty solid track that had key elements of Brian in there, and I remember being very, very excited at the news this track was coming out back in the day. If the band could have collected more songs in that vein, they could easily have had a solid album of new material to plug, as we've said before.
« Last Edit: September 09, 2022, 06:41:55 PM by Lonely Summer » Logged
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« Reply #174 on: September 09, 2022, 09:42:08 PM »



Circa 1995, Brian was arguably a bigger name than the band. That may have complicated things. It was cool to like BW, less so the other guys. He was cooler than the other guys.
Honestly, that doesn't make much sense to me, Brian was always the number 1 guy in charge straight from the beginning.

There were a number of years/eras where Brian was either literally not there, or not all there emotionally/performance-wise. Certainly when it comes to live touring.

Brian in 1979 or 1980 wasn't in charge of anything. He was a stage decoration.

And there are of course a million layers to all of that stuff. But rightly or wrongly, by whatever circumstance, there was definitely an element of the band potentially having moments of resentment because they were schlepping out on tour (and sometimes in the studio) while Brian was either not there at all, or was in rough shape (78-82), or perhaps even more grating, post-Landy '83 through 1990 Brian would mostly only show up for high profile gigs and TV appearances (and on rare occasions was a fill-in for one of the other guys).

I'm not defending the guys being antagonistic or resentful or whatever in that 90s time frame. But between Landy, and the nasty stuff written about them in the "autobiography", and then Brian not being there much (literally not at all on stage between mid-1990 and 1995), these are all things that may have played into various strains of estrangement/resentment/awkwardness.

And again I refer back to Bruce's interview with Howie Edelson, where Bruce opines that the two Paley tracks weren't that great, and that he felt as through *he* (and the other guys) were the ones doing *Brian* a favor by being there and singing on it. That seems totally asinine to me (Brian hands you two great songs, but what are you doing to do instead, another AC remix of Stamos's "Forever"?), but it's an important insight into the attitude at least some of the guys had about Brian and Brian material in 1995.

Bruce interview with Howie? I don't remember seeing or hearing that. You sure you don't mean the Peter Ames Carlin? I remember reading some stuff from Bruce (or was it Mike?) in his biography of Brian. Anyways, if there is a digital copy of that Bruce interview, would you be willing to pass it on?
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