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Author Topic: The Steven Gaines Thread  (Read 39052 times)
The Heartical Don
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« Reply #25 on: August 26, 2008, 04:45:07 AM »

Personal thanks go out to Steven Gaines for contributing (hope he will continue to do so!). Already it's a great prompter to re-read the book.
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Zander
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« Reply #26 on: August 26, 2008, 02:39:41 PM »

Steven,

Just wanted to say your book is fantastic - have you ever considered updating it to present day?

Zander
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« Reply #27 on: August 26, 2008, 08:43:52 PM »

Zander--thanks!  But I think I should just leave the book as is, and leave it to somebody else to write the second half of the story.

It pains me that there are mistakes in Heroes and Villains, and if I had the chance I'd love to correct the errors. 

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Jay
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« Reply #28 on: August 26, 2008, 09:29:25 PM »

Stan and Rocky sold me a copy of the "heroin tape" from Australia.  They hid a tape recorder in the room under a chair.  You can actually hear the sound of the punch connecting with Carl's face. 
I would sell my mother to hear that tape.  Grin Speaking of the Australian tour, have you ever heard the infamous show where Carl passed out/fell, and was forced off the stage?
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Surfer Joe
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« Reply #29 on: August 26, 2008, 10:42:55 PM »

It's certainly not an error-filled book, and isn't perceived that way.  When you write on a subject that's this passionate and personal for a lot of people, you're usually going to come under attack from some quarter, and while Heroes & Villains stirred some strong response (and still does), the first two things you would usually hear- "error-filled" and "a work of fiction", in that order, have never been applied to it and couldn't be. 

In re-reading it, the only thing that strikes me is that in some cases new information has become available, especially in connection with the recording of SMiLE and so forth, that could be incorporated into a revised text. There are cases where I don't think "error" so much as "this is based on the information that was available then."

I'm sure I will spot some legitimate errors as I go, because just about every book of any scope contains them.  If you do a revised edition, it will contain errors as well.  My brother has a sports-related book coming out in a few weeks, and he sent the manuscript to me and another of our brothers, and we spotted a half dozen or more small errors each that the publisher wouldn't have caught. That guy didn't play in that game, etc. And each of us missed errors that someone else caught- and often about events we all witnessed recently.

I agree that a fully updated version would be a bad idea- the story at hand really ends with Dennis' death, and what follows would be a different book.  But I'd love to read a new afterward (afterword?) that would give us a postscript on some of the people that had a larger role in this story than in any other Beach Boys book- most especially, I'd love to read a really extended piece of journalism (or anything at all)  on the last twenty years of Shawn Love's life- I think there's a very real and tragic story there. She must have gotten to be almost exactly Dennis' age.  I've also been interested in how Gage has managed to muddle through.

« Last Edit: August 27, 2008, 12:11:30 AM by Surfer Joe » Logged

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« Reply #30 on: August 27, 2008, 12:40:39 AM »

Thanks for the insight about the tape. Rocky sure doesn't come off good on the tape but I guess he saw the value in keeping it. It was worth what you paid, it is very compelling.

Here's what doesn't come off good: why the hell were they hiding a tape recorder in the room?
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« Reply #31 on: August 27, 2008, 04:01:35 AM »

So they could sell it of course.
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Ian
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« Reply #32 on: August 27, 2008, 06:29:24 AM »

I like the book (though I personally would prefer more emphasis on the music-I can't deny that it is one of the more entertaining things I've read) but since its release in the 80s research has  proven a few things in it are wrong.  To point out a few things (This is not a criticism-research builds on previous authors
1) Page 91 of the 1986 paperback states that the BBs launched a forty day tour across the midwest in the summer of 1962.  We now know that the BBs never even left the state of California till Jan 1963 and didn't do there first tour of the midwest till April 1963 .  Bizarrely-Keith Badman repeats this error on page 24 of his book and on page 32 of his book states that they did an east coast tour in Jan 1963, but then on page 35 describes "the group's first concert outside California"-talk about poor editing!  The Gaines book (paperback pages 91-93 is actually describing the Summmer 63 tour).  2) Page 109 of the paperback suggests that the group signed with William Morris in mid 63-they actually seem to have begun being represented by Marshall Berle in the fall of 1962 as described in Stebbins book-they got a gig in Sept playing at a party for Uncle Milties daughter  3) page 117 of paperback states that they played Ed Sullivan on Sept 17-it was actually Sept 27 1964   4) Page 118 suggests that first European tour was in October 1964, but it was in November   5) Page 121 suggests that the group did a second tour of Australia in 1964, but they did not .  In actuality-group in Europe till Nov 24, than a short US tour till end of Nov   6) Page 197 mixes up two tours-the April 1968 tour was not canceled after 4 performances, in actuality it was the May 1968 tour with Maharishi  7) Page 236 is not quite correct-Brian played the first full night of the Whiskey engagement and part of the second night. No evidence from any eyewitnesses that he was "stoned"   Cool Page 242-Filmore closed on June 27 not 22  9) Page 255-group did not spend "eight months" in Holland- in fact they were only there for about two and a half months (June-Aug 15 1972) 
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Surfer Joe
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« Reply #33 on: August 27, 2008, 07:38:19 AM »


... Bizarrely-Keith Badman repeats this error on page 24 of his book and on page 32 of his book states that they did an east coast tour in Jan 1963, but then on page 35 describes "the group's first concert outside California"-talk about poor editing!  

I was crazily confused on this point while reading the Badman book.
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« Reply #34 on: August 27, 2008, 07:51:37 AM »

Jo Ann Marks diary shows that first BB shows outside California were probably at the end of January 1963 in Arizona, than the Midwest tour April-May (for which I have most of the ads that appeared in the papers in the various cities) and then a big tour July-Aug 1963 (again I have most of the ads and one review-which I believe is the earliest review of a BB concert- of their Aug 8 show). 
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Andrew G. Doe
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« Reply #35 on: August 27, 2008, 11:12:14 AM »

Steven - I'm just fascinated to know how you felt when you read Brian's pseudo-autobiography and realised that your book had been pillaged without credit.
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« Reply #36 on: August 27, 2008, 02:14:17 PM »

It serves no purpose making long lists of what's wrong in Heroes and Villains.  I've already said that there are mistakes that are regrettable.  I'm not interested in participating in an orgy of "what's wrong with Heroes and Villains."  So, for a while, I'm going to say goodbye to all of you and wish you luck.
« Last Edit: August 27, 2008, 02:42:46 PM by Beach Boy Author » Logged
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« Reply #37 on: August 27, 2008, 04:12:56 PM »

Gee, thanks, "error"-pointer-outers!  You get someon on the board who's interacted with the band who's interested in sharing and participating, someone who's never posted on any of these various communities, and you promptly discourage him from posting.  Why are some Beach Boys/Brian Wilson fans so anal retentive?  Considering that your sources of information may be no better than Steven's (and Badham's book has been said to have errors, too), why go point by point, page by page to pick his book apart for things like exact concert dates?  But maybe that's just me. 

Mr. Gaines, please come back some day if you ever get the time or the mood strikes.  You actually had contact with these people, and human insights to me are more valuable than dates and numbers.  I've enjoyed all of your posts here and found them enlightening.
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Zander
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« Reply #38 on: August 27, 2008, 04:24:47 PM »

I agree forget marie. For God's sake, if you want to put out a book with the perfect gigography go and write the book yourself. I think Steven's would still be a hell of lot better, errors or not. Steven did the best he could at the time when there was no internet or (let's face it) requirement for that information in his book.

Why the hell do some people care so much about one day of a concert tour being wrong etc?  Ahhh!

In any case, in the great words of the late Anthony Wilson "when it comes to print and choosing the fact or the myth, print the myth".
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« Reply #39 on: August 27, 2008, 04:41:12 PM »

I think Steven's book is a great narrative biography, and that he's an excellent writer.  The book tends to get rapped by some fans, too, for being too sensationalistic, but he was just reporting the facts.  His book was the one that really got me into the Beach Boys.  I went from having one greatest hits collection to buying (almost) everything they released.  It also got me interested in "Smile," which I'd only read about in bit and pieces in articles.  Steven made their story very compelling, as well as making one sympathize with the people involved.  Sort of the exact opposite of a Goldman.
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the captain
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« Reply #40 on: August 27, 2008, 04:52:24 PM »

One thing: let's not villainize or belittle anyone here. Some people are interested in different aspects of the BB's/BW's career than others, and that there are those interested in getting the truth on those issues is great. That said, Mr. Gaines has been pretty clear that his book has some errors: therefore this thread certainly isn't the place to point them out. Hopefully Mr. Gaines returns to discuss the aspects of his memories of the band, writing the book, etc., and those trying to find and catalogue details succeed in that in a more appropriate place.
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Pablo.
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« Reply #41 on: August 27, 2008, 05:12:11 PM »

Steven,

since I've never read Heroes & Villains (it wasn't published in my country, I just gave it a quick look on a bookstore during a holiday overseas. I saw the movie, but I try to remember it just for laughs -that Planet of Apes facial hair!) but The love you make was, if not my first Beatle book, the first serious Beatle bio I read, I'd like to take this chance to make some comments/questions about it.

1. I think is a valuable book when it comes to the private lives and inside stuff of the business, especially the stories that Peter Brown brought to it, although it draws heavily from the Hunter Davies and Philip Norman books (you even repeated a mistake of Norman, writing that the original version of The Long and Winding Road, before Spector's involvement, was just Paul with an acoustic guitar)

2. As you wrote on this thread, your field of writing is not music, but I think you did a disservice to Ringo's reputation with the groundless claim that his drums were usually replaced by Paul's. I mean, even today some journalists repeat that non-fact.

3. As I said before, Brown's insight was one of the main assets of the book, though I think  his attitude was basically unethical to a group of people who trusted him (not that such things as ethics matters when it comes to this kind of tell-all books). My question is, why -bordering on hypocrisy- Brown talked at lenght about Brian Epstein's sex life, but didn't say anything about his own. Other sources claim that  not only Brown is gay, but he also had a relationship with Epstein. Can you confirm/deny this? Are you still in touch with Brown?

4. And the last. Why did you try to make the book look -on the introduction and Brown's publicity press- like it was officially sanctioned by The Beatles? George and Paul's disowned it and with reason: to name an example, I can't imagine Harrison endorsing a book which was going to include his affair with Maureen Starkey.

Anyway, I reread several parts of it recently, and I still think it's an entertaining, interesting, if very flawed look at one side of the Beatles' lives
« Last Edit: August 27, 2008, 05:15:44 PM by Pablo. » Logged
the captain
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« Reply #42 on: August 27, 2008, 05:47:14 PM »

Somehow I don't see that post bringing Mr. Gaines back, either...
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« Reply #43 on: August 27, 2008, 05:58:06 PM »

Without going into nitpicking and details only a fan can notice,  I think my questions/observations about the book are quite common; I never had (neither antother Beatles fan on the Internet, afaik) the chance to try to bring those issues to one of the cowriters, it seemed a good opportunity. And besides, there's no so many things to ask to Steven Gaines as there is with AGD, Alan Boyd of Peter Carlin. I'm posting this instead of pm-ing to Luther in case anyone else disagree with my previous post (I assume that's what's happening)
« Last Edit: August 27, 2008, 07:00:34 PM by Pablo. » Logged
the captain
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« Reply #44 on: August 27, 2008, 06:05:07 PM »

I don't care one way or the other about your post. It's just a little funny that Mr. Gaines basically just said he wouldn't participate in this board if people wanted to spend time pointing out errors in his books, and your post goes right into problems you find with another of his books. Just funny to me. That's all.
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« Reply #45 on: August 27, 2008, 06:12:29 PM »

Well, it's more than obvious that we don't agree. I'll just concede you one thing: when I wrote my first post I hadn't realized that Gaines had quit the thread. Bad timing on my part, I admit. It also seems to me than your last post showed less respect for me than my 1st post to Gaines, but we better leave it at that.
« Last Edit: August 27, 2008, 06:19:31 PM by Pablo. » Logged
the captain
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« Reply #46 on: August 27, 2008, 07:23:18 PM »

I have neither respect nor disrespect for your posts. I don't care. It's just a funny situation on a message board to me. That's all.
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« Reply #47 on: August 27, 2008, 07:39:23 PM »

Well it's known around these parts that Luther is a d*ck.
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the captain
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« Reply #48 on: August 27, 2008, 07:42:58 PM »

You say the sweetest things. But nothing I said was dickish. I pointed out the humor in responding to a special guest's departure due to (understandable? certainly admitted) factual questions in his books by pointing out more. Really ... it's good stuff.
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« Reply #49 on: August 27, 2008, 07:50:38 PM »

Wink
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