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Author Topic: 1978 CBS demo -- AGD?  (Read 5671 times)
Jason Penick
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« on: February 05, 2006, 01:27:26 PM »

So I finally found a version of Stephen Gaines' "Heroes and Villains" book at a used book shop in Berkeley, and I bought it and am currently re-reading it.

One thing Gaines mentions is that when the Boys signed their deal with CBS in 1978, Brian was called down to Criterion Studios in Miami to produce the new album.  After working on it a bit, Brian compiled a demo of new material to play for CBS prez Walter Yetnikoff.  Walter went down to Miami to listen to the new material, which prompted the famous "Gentlemen, I think we've just been foda-ed" comment.  Another quote from the book (forget who it was) basically states that Brian and the Beach Boys were rushing through the sessions in an attempt to get the record out, and they were not doing their best work by a long shot.

My question for AGD, or anyone in the know is, what were the contents of the offending demo reel that Brian played for Yetnikoff?
« Last Edit: February 11, 2006, 04:28:29 PM by Charles LePage » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2006, 01:30:48 PM »

Wasn't this the same tape that featured contributions from Dennis and various members of the Love family?
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king of anglia
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« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2006, 02:57:22 PM »

MIU album?
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analogdemon
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« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2006, 04:37:31 PM »

What's the famous "Gentlemen, I think we've just been foda-ed" comment?  I'm not familiar with this.  Someone care to elaborate?
« Last Edit: February 06, 2006, 09:53:27 AM by analogdemon » Logged

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« Reply #4 on: February 05, 2006, 05:14:10 PM »

Read Heroes And Villains by Steven Gaines. A must.
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analogdemon
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« Reply #5 on: February 05, 2006, 05:34:33 PM »

Nevermind.  I found it myself and saved myself the money for a book I'd have otherwise bought just to find out that information.

It sounds like Yetnikoff was pissed off that the Boys signed the contract in 1977 and they didn't have any demos until 1978.  Then when he goes in to hear the demos, he doesn't like what he hears.  The Beach Boys were already a huge gamble for CBS so for Yetnikoff to hear demos of stuff that was way late and then not like what he hears, I think I'd feel like I'd been fodaed too.  That means he had to tell the Boys to start over from scratch, which means more time before CBS had a Beach Boys album to sell.  That's probably the point where they realized that Brian wasn't going to cut it as producer and called Bruce back instead.  Luckily, they did better work than those demos and delivered what I consider to be a great album.

The CBS years are always something that's interested me because it's probably the least written-about period of their career.
« Last Edit: February 06, 2006, 06:15:03 AM by analogdemon » Logged

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« Reply #6 on: February 05, 2006, 05:36:52 PM »

There's many, many more reasons to buy that book.
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Jason Penick
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« Reply #7 on: February 05, 2006, 10:31:02 PM »

I heard that "A Little Something" was one of the songs included on this reel.  If that was typical of the product that Brian was putting together at the time, I think Yetnikoff was justified in his assessment as well.

Just the same, I'd like to see the contents of that reel-- call it morbid curiosity!
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« Reply #8 on: February 05, 2006, 11:48:30 PM »

I would imagjne he would have heard such masterpieces as "Calendar Girl", the original "Santa Ana Winds" and the incomplete "Brian's Back".  If so, I'd say his comment was remarkably restrained.
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« Reply #9 on: February 06, 2006, 02:52:03 AM »

Quote
Nevermind.  I found it myself and saved myself the money for a book I'd have otherwise bought just to find out that information.

God forbid you buy a ten dollar book about the Beach Boys.

Quote
The CBS years are always something that's interested me because it's probably the least written-about period of their career.

That period is written about in Gaines' book.
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« Reply #10 on: February 06, 2006, 05:58:51 AM »

God forbid you buy a ten dollar book about the Beach Boys.

Indeed.  That's $10 that I could put toward something else, like music.  I learn things about the band as I want to know it, and usually I can find out whatever I want to know on the Internet.  If not, then I'd be willing to buy a book if I wanted to know the information that badly.

Quote
That period is written about in Gaines' book.

In what kind of detail?  Is a fair amount of the book devoted to that period (obviously they only put out 3 albums for CBS, so they'd spend a majority of the book on the Capitol and Reprise years)?  If it goes into the CBS years in a fair amount of detail, then I may buy the book anyway just as a resource.
« Last Edit: February 06, 2006, 06:00:26 AM by analogdemon » Logged

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« Reply #11 on: February 06, 2006, 06:03:11 AM »

You can get it for $5 including shipping if you look around carefully enough.
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« Reply #12 on: February 06, 2006, 06:13:15 AM »

You can get it for $5 including shipping if you look around carefully enough.

http://www.bestwebbuys.com/Heroes_and_Villains-ISBN_0451150333.html?isrc=b-compare-otherver
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« Reply #13 on: February 06, 2006, 07:48:48 AM »

Quote
That period is written about in Gaines' book.

In what kind of detail?  Is a fair amount of the book devoted to that period (obviously they only put out 3 albums for CBS, so they'd spend a majority of the book on the Capitol and Reprise years)?  If it goes into the CBS years in a fair amount of detail, then I may buy the book anyway just as a resource.

You should know that this book is 95% about the band members relationships and 5% about the recorded music. You could learn more abut the CBS era in this thread than in the Gaine's book.  Wink
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« Reply #14 on: February 06, 2006, 07:59:08 AM »

You should know that this book is 95% about the band members relationships and 5% about the recorded music. You could learn more abut the CBS era in this thread than in the Gaine's book.  Wink

Thank you for saving me money.  I read some of the reviews on Amazon.com and it looks like it's basically a trash biography.
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« Reply #15 on: February 06, 2006, 08:23:38 AM »

it looks like it's basically a trash biography.

That's what's so genius about it. It has most of the personal details right, actually. It reads like a factual tabloid.
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« Reply #16 on: February 06, 2006, 10:35:11 AM »

You should know that this book is 95% about the band members relationships and 5% about the recorded music. You could learn more abut the CBS era in this thread than in the Gaine's book.  Wink

Thank you for saving me money.  I read some of the reviews on Amazon.com and it looks like it's basically a trash biography.
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« Reply #17 on: February 06, 2006, 12:23:02 PM »

Well, maybe the printed word will die out eventually like the doomsdaysayers have predicted?  Why read Crime and Punishment when you can read about criminal sociopathy on sociopaths.com?
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« Reply #18 on: February 06, 2006, 08:52:30 PM »

Well, maybe the printed word will die out eventually like the doomsdaysayers have predicted?  Why read Crime and Punishment when you can read about criminal sociopathy on sociopaths.com?

I didn't tell the guy to NEVER buy any Beach Boys' book. I didn't even tell him to not buy Gaine's book! I think it was a fair warning that very little is discussed in that book about recording sessions and studio work.
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« Reply #19 on: February 07, 2006, 06:21:34 AM »

I think he was pretty determined never purchase a book again long before this thread.
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« Reply #20 on: February 07, 2006, 07:34:39 AM »

You should know that this book is 95% about the band members relationships and 5% about the recorded music.

And that's probably a good thing because mr. Gaines' knowledge of the Beach Boys' music is terrible.

He, for instance, called "Today!" and "Friends" bad and uninspired (I believe he also thought "Today!" was an album of car songs) and "Party" excellent. He also mentions an untitled studio album from 1964 that apparently reached #1 in the album charts...

Despite all that, I really enjoyed reading H&V, even the third time.
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« Reply #21 on: February 07, 2006, 08:25:53 AM »

Thank you for saving me money.  I read some of the reviews on Amazon.com and it looks like it's basically a trash biography.

Yeah, don't bother.  It's like buying Albert Goldman's book on John Lennon.
Almost as disappointing as Tim White's "The Nearest Faraway Place."  A
book thats about 350 pages long and Brian isn't even born until halfway
through.  I don't care about his great great great great great grandpa.
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« Reply #22 on: February 07, 2006, 08:54:03 AM »

Unfortunately, that "trash bio" is in some cases the only book source on the topics it is covering.  Thus the problem with BB bios -- they aren't comprehensive and there never has been a definitive one written.  Leaf's book has a great rep and with justification, but it is really a bio of *Brian*, and is slanted toward him.  There is relatively little biographical coverage, for instance, on what AL was doing in the 70's and 80's, and what little there is is often in Gaines' book.

I too am looking forward to Peter Carlin's book, but since "Brian Wilson" appears in the title, I fear that it may suffer the same exclusions to the BB touring group that most BB books have.  Badman is the best resource on the live band out there and it has limits in comprehsiveness (not a slam as it doesn't aspire to be the ultimate resource on the touring band).
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« Reply #23 on: February 07, 2006, 10:03:52 AM »

Thank you for saving me money.  I read some of the reviews on Amazon.com and it looks like it's basically a trash biography.

Yeah, don't bother.  It's like buying Albert Goldman's book on John Lennon.
Almost as disappointing as Tim White's "The Nearest Faraway Place."  A
book thats about 350 pages long and Brian isn't even born until halfway
through.  I don't care about his great great great great great grandpa.

A very unfair trivialization of one of the finer BB-related books. It says right in the sub-title that it is about the world they came from as much as it is about them!! For me, it is invaluable since it creates a framework for what they achieved in a way that no other book has aspired to. Timothy White was an incredible writer and his book gives us more perspective than all the others put together. I'd say -- find it!!!
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« Reply #24 on: February 07, 2006, 10:11:33 AM »

Anyone who comes up with phrases like "nimble conga tattoos" is OK by me, bud !
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