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Author Topic: When There was no INTERNET....We were fools for this stuff  (Read 11677 times)
petsite
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« on: February 21, 2009, 09:31:30 PM »

Reading alot of the posts about Here Comes The Night gotme thinking back to 1979 -1982. We didn't have the internet to get information on the Beach Boys. We had to grab the little tidbits thrown out by the group to Fanzines, Billboard, GoldMine, Cash Box etc. I was looking back over old articles this afternoon and it took me back. The fans from back then (like me) we breathless waiting for all of these releases and projects that never came to fruition, and then all it took was another announcement to get us pumping again. Case in point are two blurbs from Bruce Johnston:

From 11/78:

PS: You had (indicated) that the album might include some “SMiLE” tracks …

BJ: I have decided that I’m going to wait until Brian would really give his permission to do it. Guercio wants
to open the album with “Rock Plymouth Rock/Roll” and end with “Been Way Too Long”. I wanted to make up
a collage, but I want Brian to be the one to put the collage together. I can tell he still feels funny about that stuff.
You know, there a lot of “SMiLE” stuff intact …


From 02/81:

Bruce: You never asked me about the "Fire" tapes? They're all there. Desper and I have
assembled all that stuff. It's all there.

Brad: Is it going to come out?

Bruce: It's better not to put it out.

Brad: Why?

Bruce: 'Cause if you put it out now, it's going to be a disappointment. We're going to collage the
"Smile" album in this cornpilation. We're gonna just take . . . go through the "Smile" album -
Brian doesn't know this - and just take little sections of the tunes we have and put it out as kind
of a sampler of the "Smile" album. 'Cause it'll be better as a teaser than the whole thing. It's
great, but a lot of these things aren't finished. So it's better to go and collage them and ... for
instance, if I played you the whole "Fire" part, it's Interesting, but it's kind of interesting like
hearing Stravinsky do something.

Brad. "Fire" was just one part of an "Elements Suite."

Bruce: Oh, true, but it goes on and on and on and on.

Brad. Does the "Elements Suite" exist, completely?

Bruce: Everything's there.

Brad: The water section was somewhat similar to "Cool, Cool Water?"

Bruce; Mmmmmm.

Brad: The air section ... Brian has told someone.. . it's in an interview ... that "Air" was a piano
Instrumental. Is that right?

Bruce: I'd have to just go back and look at everything. I'm just telling you the tapes are sitting
around. We're just going to skim the "Smile" tapes and make a beautiful six-minute collage.
You'll love it. It's better to do it that way, because musically now, as opposed to '66 or '67, it
would be more interesting to just give you a peek at it than to do the whole thing. There's been
too much press on it. It's like talking about bringing out the '67 Rolls Royce and they finally show
it in '81. You go, "Oh, no."

Brad: What Is the status of a new album, a studio album, this year?

Bruce: Hah. Are you kidding?

Brad: No.

Bruce: No. Singles. I'm trying to get everyone to go and record "Rock And Roll Lullaby," the B.J.
Thomas record. I think it would be a great hit for us, just the way "Barbara Ann" was. I think it's
good to do an old outside song.

Brad: So there are no plans for an album this year?

Bruce: Well, we'll have to. And it'll come because we'll do groups of singles.

Brad: When will it come?

Bruce: We wouldn't have an album out until the middle of the summer and that's probably too
soon. We're gonna start with some singles around May. You know, the production gets passed
around. Maybe I won't be the producer. Maybe it will be (James William) Guercio, 'cause it's his
label. You've seen the production pass around. Ultimately, it should always be Brian, but
sometimes he doesn't want to take the ball.

Brad: Is there a chance "I'm a Man" will be a single?

Bruce: Well, if I'm around, I'll get that onto the album ... and "Doo Ron Ron."



No wonder we kept thinking that the next great thing was just around the bend.........
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« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2009, 10:18:33 PM »

A 6 minute collage? Interesting, kind of, but that would have been a ridiculous tease. Bruce's comments also make me think that they didn't know where a lot of the SMiLE material was at around that time. For example, he says that "Fire" goes on an on, but there are complete takes that are very short. I wonder why they weren't able to find it then...

Also, he says that the "Elements" was basically done. He must not have known what he was talking about, OR... we essentially have "The Elements" on bootlegs, it's just that they're the missing sound effects and vocal overdubs that Brian would have done to make it all make 'sense'. That seems to be the biggest thing we're missing in terms of SMiLE material. There's been a lot of talk about takes of with all kinds of different sound effects that have never really shown up, such as "Do A Lot" with the sounding of brushing teeth and faucets, or the "Wind Chimes" tag with the overdubbed sound of wind chimes. I think little things like that, and some more finalized vocal takes, are what Brian destroyed when he said he "destroyed the SMiLE tapes". He didn't want to completely get rid of all traces of SMiLE, probably out of both personal attachment and legality, but he got rid of enough so that no one could ever complete SMiLE without his help. He just exaggerated it all when talking to the media, as he seems wont to do.

Unfortunately, by BWPS, he no longer had the will (plus, he probably forgot a lot of it out of neglect) to complete SMiLE, so his band and Van Dyke Parks had to hold his hand and walk him through the material, guessing on their own what was left to be done by the available bootlegs. Van Dyke Parks added some lyrics to round out the material, almost all of which (except "Roll Plymouth Rock") seem to be from 2004, not 1966. That fact that BWPS brought very few epiphanies, if any, would seem to confirm this. We got back almost nothing that was lost to us in '66/'67. We just got polished up versions of the remnants that had already been floating around and were never really lost to begin with.
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Jay
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« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2009, 10:38:08 PM »

Reading alot of the posts about Here Comes The Night gotme thinking back to 1979 -1982. We didn't have the internet to get information on the Beach Boys. We had to grab the little tidbits thrown out by the group to Fanzines, Billboard, GoldMine, Cash Box etc. I was looking back over old articles this afternoon and it took me back. The fans from back then (like me) we breathless waiting for all of these releases and projects that never came to fruition, and then all it took was another announcement to get us pumping again. Case in point are two blurbs from Bruce Johnston:

From 11/78:

PS: You had (indicated) that the album might include some “SMiLE” tracks …

BJ: I have decided that I’m going to wait until Brian would really give his permission to do it. Guercio wants
to open the album with “Rock Plymouth Rock/Roll” and end with “Been Way Too Long”. I wanted to make up
a collage, but I want Brian to be the one to put the collage together. I can tell he still feels funny about that stuff.
You know, there a lot of “SMiLE” stuff intact …


From 02/81:

Bruce: You never asked me about the "Fire" tapes? They're all there. Desper and I have
assembled all that stuff. It's all there.

Brad: Is it going to come out?

Bruce: It's better not to put it out.

Brad: Why?

Bruce: 'Cause if you put it out now, it's going to be a disappointment. We're going to collage the
"Smile" album in this cornpilation. We're gonna just take . . . go through the "Smile" album -
Brian doesn't know this - and just take little sections of the tunes we have and put it out as kind
of a sampler of the "Smile" album. 'Cause it'll be better as a teaser than the whole thing. It's
great, but a lot of these things aren't finished. So it's better to go and collage them and ... for
instance, if I played you the whole "Fire" part, it's Interesting, but it's kind of interesting like
hearing Stravinsky do something.

Brad. "Fire" was just one part of an "Elements Suite."

Bruce: Oh, true, but it goes on and on and on and on.

Brad. Does the "Elements Suite" exist, completely?

Bruce: Everything's there.

Brad: The water section was somewhat similar to "Cool, Cool Water?"

Bruce; Mmmmmm.

Brad: The air section ... Brian has told someone.. . it's in an interview ... that "Air" was a piano
Instrumental. Is that right?

Bruce: I'd have to just go back and look at everything. I'm just telling you the tapes are sitting
around. We're just going to skim the "Smile" tapes and make a beautiful six-minute collage.
You'll love it. It's better to do it that way, because musically now, as opposed to '66 or '67, it
would be more interesting to just give you a peek at it than to do the whole thing. There's been
too much press on it. It's like talking about bringing out the '67 Rolls Royce and they finally show
it in '81. You go, "Oh, no."

Brad: What Is the status of a new album, a studio album, this year?

Bruce: Hah. Are you kidding?

Brad: No.

Bruce: No. Singles. I'm trying to get everyone to go and record "Rock And Roll Lullaby," the B.J.
Thomas record. I think it would be a great hit for us, just the way "Barbara Ann" was. I think it's
good to do an old outside song.

Brad: So there are no plans for an album this year?

Bruce: Well, we'll have to. And it'll come because we'll do groups of singles.

Brad: When will it come?

Bruce: We wouldn't have an album out until the middle of the summer and that's probably too
soon. We're gonna start with some singles around May. You know, the production gets passed
around. Maybe I won't be the producer. Maybe it will be (James William) Guercio, 'cause it's his
label. You've seen the production pass around. Ultimately, it should always be Brian, but
sometimes he doesn't want to take the ball.

Brad: Is there a chance "I'm a Man" will be a single?

Bruce: Well, if I'm around, I'll get that onto the album ... and "Doo Ron Ron."



No wonder we kept thinking that the next great thing was just around the bend.........
Thank you so much for posting this! Now, something like the above is the reason why I hang around message boards! Would you happen to have other vintage articles or interviews like this to post? Man, this would make for a great new section of the Smily board: vintage articles.  Smiley
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« Reply #3 on: February 21, 2009, 10:41:22 PM »

Am I the only one here who got that slightly sick-in-the-gut feeling when Bruce slyly mentioned that all this Smile activity was going on without Brian's knowledge, let alone his approval?
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« Reply #4 on: February 21, 2009, 11:02:36 PM »

Quote
Thank you so much for posting this! Now, something like the above is the reason why I hang around message boards! Would you happen to have other vintage articles or interviews like this to post? Man, this would make for a great new section of the Smily board: vintage articles

You mean like this?


The Beach Boys - No More Fun Fun Fun
John Swenson - RollingStone Magazine 10/20/77 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
After sixteen years together and the triumphant comeback of leader Brian Wilson, the Beach Boys recently came perilously close to disbanding completely. Shortly after they signed a multimillion-dollar contract with CBS-distributed Caribou Records, an argument over their management situation nearly split the group at the seams.

The immediate problem, according to a source close to the Beach Boys, centered on Dennis and Carl Wilson's dissatisfaction with manager Steve Love (brother of Beach Boy Mike Love and Brian's .bodyguard, Stan Love). On September 2nd, the last day of their whirlwind East Coast tour and the day after a large free concert in Central Park, the simmering disagreement erupted into a bitter shouting match between Dennis Wilson and Mike, Steve and Stan Love. The confrontation brought to light the irony that this band, which has seemed the embodiment of harmony for so long, has harbored hidden tensions for the whole of its existence.

The first indication that something was amiss came during an interview at the. Sherry Netherland Hotel, where Dennis stayed while the band was in New York. Dennis had been talking about the free concert the day before and about his recently released solo album, Pacific Ocean Blue, when he suddenly announced: "This could be the last Beach Boys concert tonight [in Providence, Rhode Island). I see the Beach Boys coming to a close, and there's a lot of back stabbing and maliciousness going on.

"That's all I can tell you for now," he said matter-of- factly, "but if it does happen, I'll explain what caused it. One thing's for sure, if it happens, it's gonna break a lot of hearts."

As Dennis and his wife, Karen, rode out to Newark, Airport later that day, he elaborated on his reaction to a potential split. "I never thought the Beach Boys would end," he said. "I meant I -thought about getting old myself and that doesn't bother me so much, but the Beach Boys, man, I thought there was something about it that would go on forever."

The Beach Boys' entourage includes more than thirty people, so two private planes are used, one jet and one prop. Al Jardine, Brian Wilson and Mike , Stan and Steve Love were travel on the jet, which was faster, newer and more comfortable. Karen wanted to go on the jet, too, but Dennis was against it.

"I have a,bad feeling about that plane," he told her. "It may be just superstition, but I don't want to travel on that jet."

Dennis and Karen sat at the card table in the back of the prop, playing rummy and munching potato chips and curry dip. Carl Wilson and half a dozen members of the band also took this plane. Carl talked to the pilot at the front of the plane for a while, then came back to where we were sitting. "It's all Dennis' fault," he joked immediately. "None of this would have happened if he didn't try to take over the group." It was obvious, despite the banter, that Carl was as upset as Dennis.

Later in the flight I asked Dennis about the breakup. "It's over," he said flatly. "Tonight will be the last Beach Boys concert."

"What about the new contract with CBS?"

"I might as well tell you the figure since we're not going to get it-eight and a half million-that's a real lot of money, but I don't need the money. I own a few apartment buildings."

"Will you have to give that money back?" I asked.

"No, we haven't been given the full amount yet. We were given a down payment of $2 million, but we can afford to pay that back if it comes down to it."

I described my conversation with Dennis, and Carl replied, "He knew more about it than I did. When I found out what he knew, I realized it was over. I can't tell you exactly why because of legal problems. But when I heard about what they were planning to do, the replacements they were planning to bring in for us. I heard Buddy Miles mentioned as a possible replacement for Dennis, and I suppose they felt they didn't need to replace me with another guitarist.

"Brian could have realized what was going on and done something about it." He didn't elaborate, but since all of the band's decisions are made by a five man vote, he may have been referring to Brian's swing vote.

It really didn't seem as though they were heading for their last concert. I asked Carl if he felt anything. special. "I feel incredibly sad," he said, Shaking his head. "My heart is broken."

The melodrama suggested by Dennis and Carl wasn't obvious at the concert, where everything seemed business as usual. But there were touches as sentimental as any Brian Wilson song. Sitting in the refreshment trailer behind the cold-cuts table, drinking from a plastic cup filled with white wine, was the Wilson brothers' mother, Audree, a kindly and sad-looking woman. If there was any indication that something was amiss, it was the look of troubled resignation on Audree Wison's face.

When Dennis visited her and saw she was drinking wine, he took it and poured it into the wastebasket. "Please don't drink this Mom;' he said firmly but without rancor.

"You're not my father," she answered simply.

"No, I'm your son," he replied, "and I'm doing this because I love you. Would you like a kiss?" Dennis kissed her lovingly, then brought her over to the coffee tent, where we all sat at a wooden table.

"Mom, you've gotta realize that sometimes the old ways have to die out to make the new ones possible," Dennis told his mother." We've gotta have human rights even if we are a corporation. Everyone has to be able to do what's right for themselves. If these people want to take this beautiful happy, spiritual music we've made and all the things we stand for and throw it out the window just because of money, then there's something really wrong with the whole thing and I don't want any part of it."

"But Denny," she answered, "you're telling this to me and I'm not the one to say these things to. You have to communicate with the rest of the boys."

"Mom, I already went through it with them over and over. Carl already went through it with them. You were the last to know!"

"I think it's really sad," she said softly. "I wish you could somehow straighten it all out."

After leaving Mrs. Wilson I went to the back of the stage where the band was preparing to go on. Everyone seemed relaxed except Brian. He was dressed in a white polo shirt, white tennis shorts, white, ankle-high sweat socks with a two-inch, royal-blue stripe and white sneakers. His trimmer figure gave him an athletic appearance that seemed to confirm reports of his recovery. Yet Brian was betraying what I took for anxiety. He walked, parrot like, back and forth along a narrow path, all the while nervously twitching his shoulders and fingers. After observing him for a while, I walked up and said, "This is the final night, Brian, the last show of the tour. Does it mean anything special to you?"

Without saying a word, he indicated that it didn't and appeared ready to bolt, so I asked him how he felt.

"Energetic," he said with a sudden rush of enthusiasm. "I'm ready." And that was it. The cue came, and Brian ran with the rest of them up to the stage.

The return flight was scheduled to stop at Newark Airport before the seven-hour flight back to L.A. Dennis and Karen went on the jet with the Loves, Al Jardine and Brian, while Carl still refused to travel on that plane. The atmosphere on the jet was a mixture of easy jocularity and exhaustion. But the calm did not hide the palpable tension suspended over Dennis as he wolfed down a plate of chicken curry, and over Brian as he sat immobile, staring ahead at a focal point somewhere beyond the walls of the plane.

The Beach Boys' horn section then broke into a rendition of "Happy Birthday," played with funereal deliberateness. Half- way through the verse everyone' began to sing along, and Dennis remarked that it was Al Jardine's birthday party. It all seemed strangely childlike, especially in the midst of such uneasiness.

Dennis was planning to avoid the seven-hour flight back to L.A. by staying overnight in. New York and catching a commercial flight the following day. In saying goodbye to everyone, Dennis and Karen mentioned their plans, and Brian decided it would be a good idea to stay too. But the Love contingent overruled him.

Dennis had been working on a short fuse and this ignited him. He said something to Al Jardine, the white cowboy suited Beach Boy who was still wearing his ten-gallon hat. Jardine turned on Dennis with controlled fury. "We don't need you." he said. "We can make it without you.

Dennis left the plane in a rage. Meanwhile, the plane carrying Carl landed. Carl had chosen not to go back on the jet to avoid this very scene, and when Dennis told him what was going down he threw up his hands in disgust. "Brian is a grown man," he yelled. "If he wants to get off that plane, he should be able to come out of there. What is going on here?" He returned to his plane visibly upset.

Dennis ran back inside the jet, and a full-force confrontation erupted. Dennis played his hand, indicating that the group was through. Brian sat with his head bowed, unable to react. Mike Love walked out, followed closely by Dennis and Mike's two brothers. The three Loves, Dennis and Dennis' bodyguard ended up standing in a tight circle about three feet from where I was sitting in the limousine. It was a scene right out of Casablanca. Both planes had their motors running, ready for' takeoff, as the group of men stood and yelled at each other.

"You got into this band on Brian Wilson's coattails!" Stan Love screamed as he towered over the others, gesticulating wildly, the veins in his neck bulging. "You've been riding on his coattails! I'm the one that's brought him around. I'm the one that keeps him from walking out in front of buses. And you're gonna quit on us after all that?"

Love was yelling very loudly and his was the only clearly intelligible part of the argument. Dennis was facing away from me, so it was hard to tell what he was saying,. but it was something about being Brian's brother for thirtytwo years and where did Love get off thinking he was so important? I stepped out of the car to get a bead on Dennis' actual words. The band's road manager charged at me and said, "John, why don't you get back in the car until this blows over. Or, if you want, I'll take you inside the waiting room and we can wait there until it's over."

Since this battle had been raging for some time, I was surprised he suddenly felt I was in the way. I looked at him quizzically and turned around as if to get into the car, then turned back to face him again. His teeth were bared and he was clenching his fists. "Now I'm team' you nice and if you know what's good for you get back in that fuckin' car. This is a family argument that's been going on for sixteen years, and you're not supposed to see this!"

Back in the car I could still hear Stan Love screaming at Dennis that he was riding on Brian's coattails. He must have said it twenty times. I kept expecting the whole thing to break out into a fistfight. After a while the Loves went back on the jet, and Dennis got into the limousine.

It was after midnight as the limousine headed toward Manhattan. Dennis sighed heavily. "What's today's date?" he asked. "September 3rd? I'll remember it. The Beach Boys broke up on Al Jardine's birthday." We sat in silence for a few minutes, silence broken by Karen's indignation at the way she and her husband had been treated. "It was Al Jardine who really knifed me in the heart," Dennis responded, "when he said they didn't need me. That was the clincher. And all I told him was that he couldn't play more than four chords." He laughed softly. "They kept telling me I had my solo album now, like I should go off in a corner and leave the Beach Boys to them. The album really bothers them. They don't like to admit it's doing so well; they never even acknowledge it in interviews."

The last exchange in front of the car had really gotten to him. "Stan Love thinks it's a big deal that he's been taking care of Brian for a while," he recounted. "He says I'm quitting on them. What does he think I've been doing all these years? Carl and I kept group going through all the hard times. At one point or another they we're all out of the group, but we kept it together."

The one thing really puzzled me was the road manager's suggestion that the feud between Dennis and the Loves was a family argument that had extended throughout the group's career. I asked Dennis what it meant.

"Mike Love never wanted me in the band," Dennis answered wearily. "For that matter apparently Brian didn't either, or at least not at first. My mother took my part and told Brian I had to be in the group. I never even knew about " myself until about two years ago."

A week later, the situation apparently resolved itself. "The group got back together," Dennis explained at the band's Brother Studio. "Brian didn't sign anything; he didn't vote. We were going to have a corporate meeting and Brian went to Hawaii instead."

"What does that mean?", I asked.

"It means everyone was happy and we got back together."

When reached for comment, Mike Love insisted there was no real problem. "We're not breaking up. You witnessed an argument. There's nothing really cataclysmic about it; it was just the end of the tour, Dennis had a lot on his mind, Carl had a lot on his mind. We're working out our thing. Everybody feels a lot calmer now that we've had some time to relax. It was just one of those things that happen over the years between people in the same family."

Mike also said he didn't know of any problems with his brother Steve. "He's handled the Beach Boys' business for quite a while now. He is the personal business manager for Brian and Al, and he's the overall business administrator for the group. He used to handle all of us personally as well, but now Carl, Dennis and myself are handled separately."

"Being on the road, these things do happen," he concluded. "There are sibling rivalries and that sort of thing, I will say that. But that doesn't negate the fact that we've been singing together for sixteen years, and we're not likely to stop now. This is only an incident in the overall spectrum of Beach Boy life."

Dennis Wilson insisted, however, that the reconciliation may only be temporary. "What you witnessed is what you witnessed. What happened to you was real, and it was an indication of what's been going on with us in general. This has been building up, but you witnessed the all-time thing. That was as far as it ever went. I can assure you that the group broke up and you witnessed it. If there's more to come, then there's more to come."
 
 
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« Reply #5 on: February 21, 2009, 11:03:44 PM »

Or this?

The Past Is Present And The Future Is Tense.
BY MARTY RACINE Houston Chronicle Staff 8/22/82 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
THE BEACH BOYS play the Astrodome Tuesday night in a bonus concert for those attending the Astros-Mets game, and though the Boys will probably produce more hits than these two fifth-place clubs combined, Bruce Johnston didn't care to talk about that.

No, Johnston, the sixth Beach Boy ever since 1965 when he replaced Glen Campbell in the road show, had more on his mind than chumming up to some rock journalist over the phone and hyping this baseball-music doubleheader concept which will be repeated in Cleveland and San Francisco.

"Listen, what do you want to get out of this thing?" Johnston asked, calling from Louisville. "You know, I don't want to waste your time with and the group was formed and that crap. "

Excuse me?

I like it. This sunshine harmony has gotten a little old by now, anyway, 20 years and 35 albums after Wilsons Brian, Carl and Dennis, plus Mike Love and Al Jardine formed the Beach Boys in the eternal California summer of 1961 and created surf consciousness with their first record, Surfin'.

Admittedly the Beach Boys have never been one of my fave groups, probably because we native Californians saw through their larger-than-life image. But I will give them this: They are a unique group in pop. No one sounds like the Beach Boys, and few songwriters have been as prolific as Brian Wilson, the loveable yet fragile bear of a man.

In his old age lead man Mike Love's moves will never be mistaken for Rod Stewart's, but surprisingly the Beach Boys not only didn't go away, they currently are on the longest tour in their history.

But Bruce Johnston didn't care to talk about that. "I don't know why," he starts, talking as one of the few pop stars entrenched enough to shoot from the hip, "but if big is making a lot of money and playing to more people - if that's important, than I suppose it's the biggest.

"To me, important is when we played in '71, '72 when we p!ayed Carnegie Hall and that part of our career. That was more important than what we're doing now. Artistically.

"Now we are cursed with 20 or 30 hits. The growth fights the hits. But that's the creative side talking, not the real crass commercial side. I think a lot of critics punish the band for not going beyond Good Vibrations, know what I mean? I think they love the band so much that they get crazy because we don't top ourselves. But we've become a forever-type of band that seems to be beyond having a record out every five seconds. As opposed to looking at your bank account for motivation, you have to realize you can afford to be artists. It's not fair to just shlock out an album. You have to keep your integrity. "

Is it difficult, then, to keep repeating the hits in concert?

"Well, no, it's fun. It's not difficult. But if you really think about what's important there al- ways seems to be a price for success. People want to see what you won with. They make it harder for you to win with new stuff - on the radio, especially. I think radio stinks. Stations have these flashbacks to a lot of hits that you made instead of flash-forwards to new bands with potentially new hits or maybe more exposure to new records. Radio is in the worst shape I've ever heard it."

So would you rather be performing new material, and has the band been writing lately?

"The non-commercial side of me says I would rather be doing new stuff and creating new albums that might, if we're lucky, be successful in that they'll become what people want to hear. However, every time there's a new Beach Boy record it competes with so many old Beach Boy records on the radio. Not that anything we do new is setting a new standard or is anything great. No one can do that. But a lot of times I feel, our   new stuff, when we do record, gets locked out.

"And every time you play something fragile onstage, someone inevitably yells out at the worst possible moment: Play Barbara Ann when Carl is singing Caroline No, which is fabulous, this track from the Pet Sounds album - it's not that it's so obscure, but that the audience is so young and they're reacting more to the Beach Boys sound-alike commercials on TV and the three or four really big, quadruple platinum repackage albums. I'm not down on any of that stuff, but I'm telling you, growth in this business is tough."

Fans hold you to the past, then?

"Absolutely. You go to a (Rolling) Stones concert, you're going to hear some new songs be- cause their new albums get played a lot more than ours, even though it sounds like the same stuff they've always recorded, but they have basically the same problem we do. People are going to get crazy if they don't hear what they came to hear."

I saw you a few months ago when you played the Summit, and it seemed like a very young crowd, as if you've recycled your audience.

"I suppose the way (the songs) were recorded, plus lyrically whatever it means, causes us to have a continuous turnover. The audience is the same age we've always had since the beginning, and we don't play too many places where the parents might come.

"I must tell you, we tried Las Vegas. We did great there, and we hated it. It was the pits. Honest-to-God, we were so tired. We worked real hard, and there were lots of Beach Boys fans who don't usually come to our shows, people who got a little older, are more prosperous and have become parents and send their own sons and daughters to our concerts. And they got a chance to fly to Las Vegas and gamble!

"It was really a drag, but I'm glad we did it so we don't have to get stuck doing it again."

Then you'd rather play to the kids?

"Well, not that. I'd like to pick up our original fans, but I'd like to see them come out to one of our concerts in the summer where it's comfortable for them. I'd like to play in an environment where people won't shout out, 'Play Barbara Ann,' where maybe we could get a really great mixture in the audience."

Going back to the fact that you're playing to the same ages you were two decades ago-, doesn't that make you feel old or make you question the group's continuance?

"No. No, not really. Try and think about it this way: We went through  that whole drug culture in our country, and people OD'd so much on it  seems to me, that the older fans were glad to get back to high school so to speak in terms of our music that maybe it was a chance for them to be - I don't want to say young - normal again. The end of the '60s made its point and did change our country, but I think the value of the songs - maybe the production, though the songs were always more important than the production - maybe the songs hold up and fit the adolescent that eventually gets into college.

But can you see yourself doing this indefinitely?

"Not by ourselves. The band yes. I don't think any of us are strong enough to go out by ourselves. You're not going to compete with 22 years of a career. But as a band, had you asked me 10 years ago, I would have said no. But it's not our fault. We don't have the grand plan. If we had A grand plan, we'd probably have so much money we'd be too cool to work. There's no plan here."

The Beach Boys, at least in press accounts, always seemed to be on the edge of breaking up. Inner turmoil was sometimes as fascinating as their creative side.

"Sometimes when you work a lot and you're stupid enough to have serious discussions and try and make serious decisions when there's a lot of fatigue from touring, you can have short tempers. But I don't think the band has ever considered breaking up. You have to remember, this is a family band, and that's different than a band band. A family band can argue and appear to be a lot more intense in the argument, I think, knowing these three brothers and the cousins can heal an argument five minutes later a lot easier than people who didn't grow up together."

That's what's kept the band together, then, that suppleness?

"Absolutely. And, Marty, the band has fun. We really enjoy doing this. The only time you don't enjoy it - and I hope I'm speaking for the band - is Las Vegas and this room in Atlantic City where everybody just sat there. They didn't know how to handle it. I guess what I'm leading up to is that I think we're pretty good, but I don't think we're good unless the audience is good.

One of the fascinations of the Beach Boys has always been resident genius Brian Wilson. As chief songwriter his contributions have been central to the band, but his mental state has (partly due to drugs) unraveled over the years. He even needs "handlers" to watch over him. I ask Johnston how Brian is doing these days.

"I don't think Brian is doing very well at all," he answers without hesitation. "He's one of the most fragile talents I've ever met. I just don't think he's doing very well on the road. Some- times he doesn't want to play the shows. He's very consistent, I think, with his genius. I've never met a brilliant woman or man in the arts that's as normal as 'the image of, say, people on TV like My Three Sons. I think a man like Brian should probably stay home and not be exposed to the pressure of the road.

"I joined the band because he wasn't on the road. I think he wants to come on the road because it's exciting, but I think it wears him down. I just think he's too fragile to be out here. He's not the guy now, anyway, sitting around taking a lot of drugs or anything. He's just one of those incredibly gifted people that shouldn't be expected to be your next-door neighbor. '

Have you ever had to cancel a gig because he didn't want to play?

"No. The band has worked on the road for so many years without Brian. The only place I think we fall down is when he's not into it making records. We don't ever fall down on the road. We do a great show with or without him. His presence onstage - and this may sound corny - is really inspiring. We love him. We know that our band has always been his orchestra. He's always been the resident composer-conductor. But we do fall down in the studio when he's not into it."

Does he still have people to take care of him? "He always seems to travel with a couple people wait, don't go away from that. That's a tough question, because it's a tough answer. The guy is so gifted and complex he needs things that you and I don't. He has things you and I don't. And it's a terrible trade-off, terrible trade-off.

"I don't know drug-wise what he did in his past, because the drug culture always scared the hell out of me. I'm not stupid enough or courageous enough to have ever gotten involved with drugs. I don't know what impact that had on him, but I think he probably would have been as eccentric with or without the success. I don't think being successful means a guy is necessarily more creative. I think we would've written the same music even if hadn't been in vogue, I've just never met anyone that's like your next-door, neighbor, who's brilliant at the same time. I think there's a very sad trade off for that."
 
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« Reply #6 on: February 21, 2009, 11:51:01 PM »

JUst a few observations...Hadn't read the 77 article in awhile. I still believe the Band lost something that day it never recovered. Something died, passion, being a true group/band, I can't name it. There were too many family members, allowing the Loves to get involved like that was ridiculous, I'm sorry. In any business, that many family members around means trouble. 
I think Dennis was certainly hurt by this and shortly after, he seemed to begin to his downturn, always wondered if this had some effect. It seems like he appealed to Al  as a voice of reason to stand up against Mike and his brothers and Al lashed out at Dennis instead. I got the feeling Dennis expected this crap from the Loves, but it cut him deeper coming from a friend. I have always been an Al fan, but this is one I will always hold against him. He had a chance to swing things and didn't. Was it lifestyle differences? Personal? Money? No idea, but he came up short (no pun intended) in a big spot. I think Al harbored this guilt for a long time, maybe still does and I think he does try to make up for his mistake in the next few years by getting close to Carl again, but its too late. Not to psychoanalyze, but I think Al's guilt/anger at himself  for not siding with Carl and Dennis more festered and is part of his dispute with Mike that existed starting the late 80's through recently.
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« Reply #7 on: February 22, 2009, 02:32:39 AM »

JUst a few observations...Hadn't read the 77 article in awhile. I still believe the Band lost something that day it never recovered. Something died, passion, being a true group/band, I can't name it. There were too many family members, allowing the Loves to get involved like that was ridiculous, I'm sorry. In any business, that many family members around means trouble. 
I think Dennis was certainly hurt by this and shortly after, he seemed to begin to his downturn, always wondered if this had some effect. It seems like he appealed to Al  as a voice of reason to stand up against Mike and his brothers and Al lashed out at Dennis instead. I got the feeling Dennis expected this crap from the Loves, but it cut him deeper coming from a friend. I have always been an Al fan, but this is one I will always hold against him. He had a chance to swing things and didn't. Was it lifestyle differences? Personal? Money? No idea, but he came up short (no pun intended) in a big spot. I think Al harbored this guilt for a long time, maybe still does and I think he does try to make up for his mistake in the next few years by getting close to Carl again, but its too late. Not to psychoanalyze, but I think Al's guilt/anger at himself  for not siding with Carl and Dennis more festered and is part of his dispute with Mike that existed starting the late 80's through recently.

That seems like a very astute summary. It must have been difficult for Jardine and I imagine that he
was genuinely torn, his clean-living lifestyle clashing with the Wilson brothers drug use and other
subtle and not-so-subtle factors influencing his behavior and decisions at the time, but in retrospect
I'll bet that he regrets his stance at that time overall.

It was obviously totally unhealthy and dysfunctional to have all of the Love brothers in such pivotal
positions within the band, and the Wilson brothers definitely suffered from it. Perhaps it was all
inevitable, though. Such a meteoric rise to fame, with an abusive and domineering paternal figure
as an overly controlling influence right in the middle of things, however mitigated by Audree's good
and kind presence, is a breeding ground for faulty coping mechanisms, compounded by the presence of a cousin with a contentious and competitive element to his relationship with at least two of the three brothers.

What a surreal lifestyle it must have been for all of them at that time, euphoric onstage experiences
contrasted with such a distinctly un-harmonious atmosphere offstage, creating what must have been an unbearable cycle of ups and downs and mood swings, often exacerbated by the temporary escap-
ism and physical strain afforded by drug use.

What a long, strange trip it undoubtedly was. (And still is, to some degree). Undecided
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« Reply #8 on: February 22, 2009, 02:43:41 AM »

Here is the thing about Dennis. He chose to do those things. Dennis choose to get into drugs and alcohol. Mike Love, Alan Jardine, or anyone else did not force him or cause so much stress that they HAD to do it. Dennis was a kickass guy. If he truly didn't like the way that Mike was taking the group, stand up and say enough! And not by punching Mike out at the Universal Amp, but by taking charge of the group along with Carl. Remember too, Jerry Schilling at this time was behind BOTH Mike and Carl and was trying to walk that tight rope. So to say that Mike and Al SO upset Dennis that he started his downward slide gives THEM too much power. Dennis did what Dennis did. As Melcher said, he was what rock and roll bullshit was all about. And he was. Dennis throwing my PS LP across the lobby of the Hyatt to see if I would bring it back,  to "test" me, was just macho bullshit. And that's ok. But he should have tried to save himself. He could have been such a great artist and producer away from the group. But he blew it. No body else. That makes me really sad too.
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« Reply #9 on: February 22, 2009, 03:52:48 AM »

I think the idea of hanging out with the 1977 carefree and all fun Dennis beats the reality of actually having to work alongside the guy for weeks or months.

Miek should have known better before hiring his brothers, after having witnessed how the Beach Boys as a Wilson family business was such a bad idea. His loss, apparently he hasn't spoken to Steve for decades. Al should have tried to be the voice of reason, but hindsight is 20/20. Dennis did what he chose to do, and I doubt he would blame anyone but himself, if alive. Carl came back, but Dennis didn't. Our loss.
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« Reply #10 on: February 22, 2009, 09:10:36 AM »

Here is the thing about Dennis. He chose to do those things. Dennis choose to get into drugs and alcohol. Mike Love, Alan Jardine, or anyone else did not force him or cause so much stress that they HAD to do it. Dennis was a kickass guy. If he truly didn't like the way that Mike was taking the group, stand up and say enough! And not by punching Mike out at the Universal Amp, but by taking charge of the group along with Carl. Remember too, Jerry Schilling at this time was behind BOTH Mike and Carl and was trying to walk that tight rope. So to say that Mike and Al SO upset Dennis that he started his downward slide gives THEM too much power. Dennis did what Dennis did. As Melcher said, he was what rock and roll bullmerda was all about. And he was. Dennis throwing my PS LP across the lobby of the Hyatt to see if I would bring it back,  to "test" me, was just macho bullmerda. And that's ok. But he should have tried to save himself. He could have been such a great artist and producer away from the group. But he blew it. No body else. That makes me really sad too.

I agree with you, petsite; very well put.

I always viewed this as more than a battle of wills over money or setlists, but about lifestyles. I think Mike and Al, and some of the spouses (don't forget about them), had enough. To paraphrase Diane Keaton in The Godfather, "This whole Sicilian thing has to stop." Well, this whole drug and alcohol, unprofessional on-stage behavior, and general irresponsibility, had to stop. Probably, Mike and Al saw this resurgence, starting with Endless Summer, as a second chance. They were lucky, most bands don't get a second chance. But it was slipping away - again. Look at Brian, Dennis, and Carl's problems in the next few years. All three were addicts, divorced, and in need of rehab. It would've been hard for anybody, not just Mike and Al, to put the band's future in the Wilson brothers' hands. Did they really want it anyway? Talk is one thing, but....

EDIT: Thanks for posting these articles, petsite. I'm enjoying reading them.
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« Reply #11 on: February 22, 2009, 09:27:04 AM »

I can certainly sympathize with Mike and Al and their situation, and obviously Dennis chose to make these decisions which affected his own personal well being and the groups success as well. There are a number of factors here that came to a head in 77: the lifestyles, Brian's changing state, Dennis's solo album, a lack of new material.  Part of me wonders if the Beach Boys would have been better served to break up for a few years, or not tour for a year or so like many other groups and then come together for a second chance.  Maybe it would have led to less tensions, I don't know. 
KInd of off topic but: I always felt like The Beach Boys toured too much, dont get me wrong I treasured each chance I have gotten to see them, but that strain of constant touring beat them up alot in a number of ways.  Even to this day, the fact that the band has toured over and over and over again so many times affects peoples perceptions of it. When you only get something every once in awhile, it makes you treasure it and want it more. This overtouring would be a factor in any type of reunion today, in many peoples eyes the Beach Boys never went away because there is still a touring faction with that name and makes it a tough sell to say we are bringing back these other 3 guys now, that band you have gone to see since 98 wasnt "really" the Beach Boys these guys are.
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« Reply #12 on: February 22, 2009, 10:06:01 AM »

"In his old age lead man Mike Love's moves will never be mistaken for Rod Stewart's, but surprisingly the Beach Boys not only didn't go away, they currently are on the longest tour in their history."

I suppose this quote was intended as a joke, but this seems like pretty offensive journalism. Mike, after all, was only 41 at the time and a mere four years older than Stewart!
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« Reply #13 on: February 22, 2009, 12:28:12 PM »

What happened to Steve Love?  I heard he was criminally prosecuted?
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« Reply #14 on: February 22, 2009, 01:35:10 PM »

This over touring comes up now and again. I guess their lifestyles since their teenage years demanded a lot of cash. Had they had success say 10 years later from 71 onwards I think the touring would have been less important and maybe the Wilsons especially would not have have the associated problems they did.
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« Reply #15 on: February 22, 2009, 02:13:48 PM »

They became very very rich from touring. And after the dry spell of the early 70's, they wanted to keep the money coming in. And still Mike filed for bankruptcy in 1982. In 1982, they played 240 dates. 240! Way too much time on the road.
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« Reply #16 on: February 22, 2009, 02:28:42 PM »

What happened to Steve Love?  I heard he was criminally prosecuted?

The verdict was overturned on appeal.
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« Reply #17 on: February 22, 2009, 10:45:37 PM »

What was he alleged to have done?

I know that Stan Love's son played basketball at UCLA last year as a star player and went pro after one season.  He's a so-so pro-player.  The L.A. Times mentioned that Stan and Brian were at one of Kevin Love's UCLA games, wondered how the two of them get along after all of these years.
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« Reply #18 on: February 22, 2009, 11:28:49 PM »

Hey petsite, thanks a bunch for those articles!  Smiley That 1977 one is pretty depressing. I thought it was odd that Dennis and Carl were so open and honest, considering the rest of the group probably went bat sh*t when they read it. I wonder what Al would say today if he read his comment about not needing Dennis?
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« Reply #19 on: February 23, 2009, 02:10:22 AM »

I know that Stan Love's son played basketball at UCLA last year as a star player and went pro after one season.  He's a so-so pro-player.  The L.A. Times mentioned that Stan and Brian were at one of Kevin Love's UCLA games, wondered how the two of them get along after all of these years.

http://www.latimes.com/sports/printedition/la-sp-crowe20-2009feb20,0,1148772.column?page=2

Rookie hazing: Kevin Love tells Sports Illustrated's Dan Patrick that Minnesota Timberwolves teammate Al Jefferson "will call me to come over and pick up, you know, what his dog leaves in his yard." . . .

So far, Love has not stooped to scoop. . . .

I'll have way more to say regarding these statements about Dennis tomorrow...  Time permitting...
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« Reply #20 on: February 23, 2009, 06:55:37 AM »

I guess we can give an opinion, but no one other than those directly involved can really say what was happening. We shouldn't hold one comment against Al for the rest of his life, a comment that was said in the heat of the moment. This is a pastime for us fans, but it's their work and their lives, rolled into one.

However, imo, Dennis created better music in one song from POB than the rest of the BBs have done, solo or collectively, since 1977.
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« Reply #21 on: February 24, 2009, 02:09:36 AM »

Here is the thing about Dennis. He chose to do those things. Dennis choose to get into drugs and alcohol. Mike Love, Alan Jardine, or anyone else did not force him or cause so much stress that they HAD to do it. Dennis was a kickass guy. If he truly didn't like the way that Mike was taking the group, stand up and say enough! And not by punching Mike out at the Universal Amp, but by taking charge of the group along with Carl. Remember too, Jerry Schilling at this time was behind BOTH Mike and Carl and was trying to walk that tight rope. So to say that Mike and Al SO upset Dennis that he started his downward slide gives THEM too much power. Dennis did what Dennis did. As Melcher said, he was what rock and roll bullmerda was all about. And he was. Dennis throwing my PS LP across the lobby of the Hyatt to see if I would bring it back,  to "test" me, was just macho bullmerda. And that's ok. But he should have tried to save himself. He could have been such a great artist and producer away from the group. But he blew it. No body else. That makes me really sad too.

Well. Addiction is generally seen as an illness these days. Many stable people get in touch with substances a couple of times and then decide to end it before it is too late. I'd say that the Wilson family bears all the hallmarks of having been predestined to substance abuse, most likely genetically plus traumatic life events. So I am not really inclined to judge him and him only for it. Even if one tenth of all the stories is true (Murry beating him up, or scalding him with hot water), that is enough to create scars and a hidden panic that last a lifetime. Alcohol and cocaine is a typical combination for people who suffer from mood swings. And deep fears. As long as it works, it stabilizes and gives self-confidence. And of course the point in time will come when its efficacy is well and truly over. Basically that is what I think troubled him in his last days.
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« Reply #22 on: May 07, 2009, 04:02:37 PM »

Does anyone have any more magazine articles they can post?
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« Reply #23 on: May 09, 2009, 09:59:26 AM »

Now, here's some questions... If the RStone article posted above is a report on the infamous Tarmac episode: isn't Rocky supposed to be there? Wasn't Carl involved in the argument? Didn't Rocky or Stan punch Carl?
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« Reply #24 on: May 09, 2009, 10:06:27 AM »

Now, here's some questions... If the RStone article posted above is a report on the infamous Tarmac episode: isn't Rocky supposed to be there? Wasn't Carl involved in the argument? Didn't Rocky or Stan punch Carl?

Rocky decked Carl during the infamous 1978 Australian tour.
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