gfxgfx
 
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
logo
 
gfx gfx
gfx
644764 Posts in 25781 Topics by 3672 Members - Latest Member: MikeLover41 March 24, 2019, 08:43:09 PM
*
gfx*HomeHelpSearchCalendarLoginRegistergfx
gfxgfx
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.       « previous next »
Poll
Question: Rate Heroes and Villains: The True Story of the Beach Boys
5 - 8 (25%)
4 - 9 (28.1%)
3 - 9 (28.1%)
2 - 3 (9.4%)
1 - 3 (9.4%)
0 - 0 (0%)
Total Voters: 26

Pages: [1] 2 Go Down Print
Author Topic: Heroes and Villains: The True Story of the Beach Boys  (Read 18195 times)
Glenn Greenberg
Smiley Smile Associate
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 307


View Profile
« on: February 12, 2006, 11:37:58 AM »

I know a lot of people who post here have recommended this book, and I'm seriously considering getting it.

One thing I need to know, though:

Does it perpetuate the myth that Brian dropped out of the Beach Boys after SMiLE collapsed and didn't really have anything to do with them again until 15 BIG ONES?

Because I believed that myth for a long long time... until I bought the CDs featuring WILD HONEY and FRIENDS.  Quite a revelation for me, as you could probably imagine!
Logged

Glenn
Jason
Guest
« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2006, 11:40:35 AM »

Brian's mentioned a bit during the passages from 1967-75, but like life, he doesn't factor in too much there, unless Gaines is talking about Brian's drug abuse or his diseases.
Logged
Reverend Joshua Sloane
Smiley Smile Associate
*
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 27


Since I cannot rouse heaven I intend to raise hell


View Profile
« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2006, 12:41:04 PM »

It's a great gossip book.

Hardly mentions the music but rather the troubles in making it.
Logged

Did it ever occur to you, Cable, how wise and bountiful God was to put breasts on a woman? Just the right number in just the right place. Did you ever notice that, Cable?
Charles LePage @ ComicList
Chairman Of The Board
*
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 977


Hit me with your pet shark.


View Profile WWW
« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2006, 01:58:45 PM »

Discuss, review and rate Heroes and Villains: The True Story of the Beach Boys, released October 1, 1986.

Logged

"quiet here, no one got crap to say?" - bringahorseinhere
TV Forces
Smiley Smile Associate
*
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 592



View Profile
« Reply #4 on: February 13, 2006, 07:30:19 AM »

this was the first beach boys book i read when getting into the band..  the above comment is right.  it's more gossip then music.  really makes them all seem like immoral assholes.  while they do talk about brian in that period, when i got those albums i was also surprised how much he was on there..  even today, i'm finding out a lot of the vocals i thought were carl or al, are actually brian..  while being told brian was all but committed to an asylum at this point.
Logged
Bubba Ho-Tep
Guest
« Reply #5 on: February 14, 2006, 09:33:23 AM »

I like it because it gives you the dirt. Sure, other books are more fair and balanced, but everyone should get a glimpse of the dark side that lurks within America's Band. It's gossipy, but a solid read nonetheless.
Logged
Daniel S.
Smiley Smile Associate
*
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 896



View Profile
« Reply #6 on: April 01, 2006, 09:15:07 PM »

I love it.
Logged

Let us all stay teenage gamblers listening to the radio.
busy doin nothin
Smiley Smile Associate
*
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 209



View Profile
« Reply #7 on: April 18, 2006, 07:34:32 AM »

I just finished reading this for the third time. To me, it is a fantastic biography. Given that there are so many personalities to cover, I think Gaines (who has actually had a long and successful career as a nonfiction writer) does a pretty phenomenal job with them. I think he gets Brian -- who is the most important -- the best. Certainly Gaines doesn't cover up any of Brian's misdeeds and craziness, but ultimately the portrayal comes across (to me) as deeply sympathetic. We see Brian from the beginning, as a very sweet, extraordinarily talented young man who used to love harmonizing with his brothers and cousin Mike while at the same time dealing with his father's abuse, who achieved extraordinary early success without (all things considered) letting it go to his head hardly at all, and then who somehow went wildly off track in his personal life, starting around the time of SMiLE.

Gaines doesn't fully make it clear what exactly caused Brian to breakdown, but I'm not sure if anyone could. Obviously drugs had a lot to do with it, but also there must have been some underlying mental illness too. It's truly sad to read what happened to Brian in the 70s.

Gaines interviewed almost everyone who was close to the Beach Boys in the 60s and 70s -- including Brian, Dennis, Carl, Mike, and Al, as well as Audree Wilson, Stan and Stephen Love, Marilyn Rovell, Karen Lamm, and many others (even Steve Desper). He devotes a lot of time to Dennis but not very much to Carl or Al. Most of the Dennis material deals with the Karen Lamm period through to his death (about 1976-83). I would have liked more about Dennis in the late 60s and early 70s. I definitely would have liked more about Carl. Mike is pretty well covered in the book and doesn't come across well at all.

Gaines also does a pretty good job with Murry, who comes across as a mean, extremely domineering, and also rather pitiful person, but also one who did want to love his sons but just didn't know how. The fact that Murry's own father was also abusive (and also loved music) is very telling. Audree comes across as a loving woman who was simply unable to stand up to Murry on behalf of her sons. It seems that music and food were Brian and Carl's refuges from their father. Dennis had music, but he never got into food. They all had addictive personalities and all later got into drugs and alcohol of course.

The book gives a good sense of the intense family dynamics involved -- Murry was an overbearing presence in the studio well into 1964, and when he was finally kicked out, he tried to start his own Beach Boys knock-off group, the Sunrays. It seems this was particularly hard for Brian. As the oldest child, the songwriter, arranger, and producer, he had an almost unbelievable burden and responsibility to provide for his brothers, his mother, and even his cousins and extended family by producing hit music -- not to mention his own self-imposed burden to compete with and top all the other pop music acts out there, especially the Beatles. Amazingly, he shouldered that burden with incredible success. I think more than anything else what happened with SMiLE was that Brian, still only 24, just wanted more freedom to branch out and do things his own way, for his own creative gratification. And when the band -- his family -- came down on him for it, he realized he was never going to escape and part of him just gave up. He couldn't keep it up anymore. He would keep making music because he loved it too much to stop, but he would no longer take responsibility for everyone and everything.

Gaines describes very well how Brian liked to latch onto creative partners outside the family, even in the early 60s, starting with Gary Usher, then Bob Norberg, Roger Christian, and later Tony Asher and Van Dyke Parks. And unfortunately also people like Loren Schwartz, who got him started on drugs.

When you consider, as Gaines points out, that Brian was still living at home and writing songs in the Wilson family music room after "Surfin' USA," you realize how trapped he must have felt (as did Dennis and Carl too, who were still in high school when the Beach Boys hit it big). He finally moved out in 1963 for the first time to a one-bedroom apartment with Bob Norberg. The Beach Boys never had the experience the Beatles did, of being on their own, having a wild and crazy youth (in Hamburg) before becoming superstars. One day, they were living at home, under Murry's thumb, and the next, they were a pop music sensation. There was no transition, no time in which they learned to live as normal adults on their own.

I had never fully appreciated how young Marilyn Rovell was. She was fourteen when she first met Brian, and only 16 when they got married! And that Dennis started having sex with his 17-year-old first cousin once removed, Shawn (Mike Love's illegitimate daughter!!!), when Dennis was in his late thirties. And that Carl marred Annie Hinsche at about the time of her 16th birthday! And Mike's fifth wife (who he married in the 80s) was only 17. Puts songs like "Hey Little Tomboy" and "Roller Skating Child" in a slightly different light.

Ultimately, though, the Wilsons come off pretty well in this book, even though Gaines tells it like it is. It's clear how much everyone in the family loved and admired Brian (even if they didn't always treat him well), and Dennis was, well, just cool (at least until the last few years), despite all his problems. Carl just seems like a level-headed (relatively speaking) guy.

The real weakness of the book is in its treatment of the music. Consistent with conventional wisdom from the mid-80s (when it was published), the book does a solid job in discussing and describing the creative and recording process up through SMiLE. But then Gaines pretty much dismisses everything that comes after. "Wild Honey" and "Surf's Up" are praised, but "Smiley Smile," "Friends," "Sunflower," "Carl and the Passions," "Holland," "Love You," "MIU," "LA," and "KTSA" are all pretty much dismissed, and worse, very little attention is given to the writing and recording process (with a few exceptions, such as the move to Holland in 1972 and the story behind "Sail on Sailor"). The definite impression is that nothing the Boys did musically after 1967 is worth much consideration -- an idea I could not disagree with more strongly.

Also, the book is riddled with glaring errors regarding the music. For instance, he misquotes the words to "In My Room" quite severely as "There's a place where I can go, to tell my troubles to." If he had just listened to the song he would have known it was "world," not "place," and "secrets," not "troubles." He refers to the group's seventh album, "The Beach Boys," which hurtled to the number one position on the charts (apparently a reference to "Beach Boys Concert," which did hit number one and was their seventh album). He dismisses "Holland," except for "a pretty song called 'Clear Cool Water.'" Obviously there was no such song on Holland or any other Beach Boys album, and it's not clear if he's referring to "Cool Cool Water" or "California" (with the chorus of "get yourself in that cool, clear water"). Again, just a glance at the album sleeve was all Gaines had to do. But clearly he doesn't think much of the Beach Boys' post-SMiLE music.

Ultimately, this is a relatively minor criticism, because Gaines really did a tremendous amount of research. He spent ten years writing the book and truly delves into life behind the scenes for the group. The wealth of detail is amazing. It's not a pretty picture, but it is certainly a moving one.
Logged

"Your rent bill is high, so you work to try and get by . . . "
Daniel S.
Smiley Smile Associate
*
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 896



View Profile
« Reply #8 on: April 19, 2006, 10:04:37 PM »

I didn't like how he dismissed the Today! album saying it had too many car songs and then heaps praise on the Party album, but you don't read this book to learn about the Beach Boys music.
Logged

Let us all stay teenage gamblers listening to the radio.
punkinhead
Smiley Smile Associate
*
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 4506


what it means to be human


View Profile
« Reply #9 on: April 22, 2006, 08:32:39 AM »

i was thinking the same thing. he really trashed Today for no good reason
Logged

To view my video documentation of my Beach Boys collection go to www.youtube.com/justinplank

"Someone needs to tell Adrian Baker that imitation isn't innovation." -The Real Beach Boy

~post of the century~
"Well, you reached out to me too, David, and I'd be more than happy to fill Bgas's shoes. You don't need him anyway - some of us have the same items in our collections as he does and we're also much better writers. Spoiled brat....."
-Mikie

"in this online beach boy community, I've found that you're either correct or corrected. Which in my mind is all in good fun to show ones knowledge of their favorite band."- punkinhead
JRauch
Smiley Smile Associate
*
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 386



View Profile
« Reply #10 on: April 22, 2006, 10:39:19 AM »

 Shocked "Today" has car-songs?!?! Do I have an alternative version? Does he??
Logged

Dance as if no one's looking. Wrestle things out to bring moment to your own sense of discovery, and make the world a better place. This is no time for whiners. Van Dyke Parks
punkinhead
Smiley Smile Associate
*
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 4506


what it means to be human


View Profile
« Reply #11 on: April 22, 2006, 01:41:23 PM »

i'll take my version over his !!!
Logged

To view my video documentation of my Beach Boys collection go to www.youtube.com/justinplank

"Someone needs to tell Adrian Baker that imitation isn't innovation." -The Real Beach Boy

~post of the century~
"Well, you reached out to me too, David, and I'd be more than happy to fill Bgas's shoes. You don't need him anyway - some of us have the same items in our collections as he does and we're also much better writers. Spoiled brat....."
-Mikie

"in this online beach boy community, I've found that you're either correct or corrected. Which in my mind is all in good fun to show ones knowledge of their favorite band."- punkinhead
punkinhead
Smiley Smile Associate
*
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 4506


what it means to be human


View Profile
« Reply #12 on: April 23, 2006, 01:02:56 PM »

oh, and he said Summer Days was a quick album to follow up...like they didn't take anytime on it...

that's a dern fine album. to me, it's the pet sounds of summer...production wise
Logged

To view my video documentation of my Beach Boys collection go to www.youtube.com/justinplank

"Someone needs to tell Adrian Baker that imitation isn't innovation." -The Real Beach Boy

~post of the century~
"Well, you reached out to me too, David, and I'd be more than happy to fill Bgas's shoes. You don't need him anyway - some of us have the same items in our collections as he does and we're also much better writers. Spoiled brat....."
-Mikie

"in this online beach boy community, I've found that you're either correct or corrected. Which in my mind is all in good fun to show ones knowledge of their favorite band."- punkinhead
planet_jake
Smiley Smile Newbie

Offline Offline

Posts: 5

The hypnosis of our minds can take us far away.


View Profile
« Reply #13 on: May 06, 2006, 06:31:08 AM »

Gaines also trashes Friends and Holland... two of my personal favorites...

Good book though!
Logged

Lorenschwartz
Smiley Smile Associate
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 176


View Profile
« Reply #14 on: May 06, 2006, 01:36:08 PM »

it goes into full detail on the Australia tour problems w/ David Frost's crew
where a near all out brawl occurs concerning carl, dennis, mike/stan love, & heroin!!!!

Read all about it,.. i don't think ive read as much info. on that fateful tour/issue than in Gaine's book.
Logged
Aegir
Smiley Smile Associate
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 4679



View Profile
« Reply #15 on: June 08, 2006, 10:09:27 PM »

I didn't like how he dismissed the Today! album saying it had too many car songs
What. An. Idiot.

Seriously, how could you let something like that slip?
Logged

Every time you spell Smile as SMiLE, an angel's wings are forcibly torn off its body.
MBE
Guest
« Reply #16 on: June 24, 2006, 07:04:43 AM »

I think it's good as far as the quotes being right etc. I think its bad because of it's tone. We could have had the same info presented  without tabloid styled exageration. I mean The Beach Boys were weird enough to freak people out anyway without making it worse. You know and I'm sorry but if you don't know the music don't write about the band. Good business details and very good on the Stan and Rocky era.
Logged
Music Machine
Smiley Smile Associate
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 177


View Profile
« Reply #17 on: August 16, 2006, 06:43:48 PM »

I just bought this one and read it over three days. I agree with most of what's been said here, some good gosip and facts, but the music isn't paid attention to much, I spotted several album detail and music trivia errors as well as a couple of typos. Also, even though the book was over 300 pages I found it rushed through events too much especially when it comes to the post '67 years. For four dollars though, I don't feel to ripped off though. I don't think I'll be re-reading this one alot though.
Logged
melissalynn
Smiley Smile Associate
*
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
Posts: 248


View Profile
« Reply #18 on: February 03, 2007, 05:11:35 AM »

I like the book overall...it's what got me really interested in the Boys...the first read I ever had on them. It kept me interested, that's for sure...couldn't put it down. Some errors, but that's the way in pretty much all biographical works. The author's opinions on certain issues/albums...not the best...but it's pretty good about detail, though, as far as I'm concerned...nice quotes, nice stories...it's a good read.
Logged
My3kGT
Smiley Smile Newbie

Offline Offline

Posts: 4


View Profile
« Reply #19 on: April 20, 2007, 01:08:04 PM »

I think Busy Doin' Nothing's post sums up the book and it's purpose perfectly.  Not much about the music, but an amazing (and sometimes frightening) look at what life inside of the Beach Boys is all about.

Take David Leaf's Beach Boys book and the Gaines book, mix them together, and you get a pretty good overview of the music and realities of the band.
Logged
sherryluvsbrian
Smiley Smile Associate
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 113


View Profile
« Reply #20 on: October 20, 2007, 10:29:15 PM »

This is my fave of all. I normaly read a book once and that's it but, I read this one twice. I give a big 5 Cheesy
Logged

If you want to know me, listen to my music.
the captain
Smiley Smile Associate
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 7255


View Profile
« Reply #21 on: October 21, 2007, 12:13:23 PM »

I think the book is great if you want gossip, but awful if you want any insight into music. Gaines is either clueless or has awful taste in music.

"Friends ... a boring, emotionless LP. ... Brian's solo contribution to the album was called "Busy Doin' Nothin'."

The album is certainly not emotionless, and is boring only if a person is looking for a different style of music. Friends, to my ears, is almost exactly what the band set out to make it. And it's one of their greatest successes. As for that second sentence, it doesn't make sense. If by "solo," Gaines means "sole," or "only," he's way, way off. And if he means literally solo, as in written by just Brian, it is one of two solo contributions, the other being "Passing By." And in that case, it's bad writing. (He should have said, "One of Brian's two solo contributions..." or some such thing.)

Or:

"The Beach Boys Today! ... was not one of Brian's best works, consisting mostly of a melange of uninspired car tunes..."

The album is widely regarded as among the top few Beach Boys albums, and I don't think it has a single car song on it.

Or:

"In reality, [Holland] was not very good. ... a forgettable tune called "Funky Pretty," composed with a little help from Brian ... The only outstanding part of the album was a small segment of the "California Saga" and a pretty song called "Clear Cool Water.""

Again, Holland is an album a lot of people really like, both Beach Boys fans and (in my experience) non-fans. "Funky Pretty" is arguably forgettable, but it wasn't composed "with a little help from Brian," it was composed by Brian. To call a part of the California Saga the only outstanding part of the album, but then not mention which part, is an example of sloppy writing or worse, and there is no "pretty song called "Clear Cool Water."" Presumably, he means "California," which includes that as a lyric.

The book is readable, but every single time Gaines discussses music, he is either demonstrably incorrect or demonstrating questionable taste (or both). I suppose it's a good thing he rarely discusses music ... although that's an odd thing for a book about a band.
Logged

Demon-Fighting Genius; Patronizing Twaddler; Argumentative, Sanctimonious Prick; Sensationalist Dullard; and Douche who (occasionally to rarely) puts songs here.

No interest in your assorted grudges and nonsense.
sherryluvsbrian
Smiley Smile Associate
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 113


View Profile
« Reply #22 on: October 21, 2007, 06:06:07 PM »

Your right about the music but, I like to hear about  what went on behind closed doors. I know, some is untrue but, again it's a good read. We all know brian was kinda weird at times, but what part is true and what part is real  we will never know.
Logged

If you want to know me, listen to my music.
Robav63
Smiley Smile Associate
*
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 17



View Profile
« Reply #23 on: October 24, 2007, 03:59:20 PM »

I liked it, it was one of the first Beach Boys books I ever read.

After reading this, and other tomes, am I alone in wanting to rearrange Rocky Pamplin and Stan Loves faces with a baseball bat???
Logged

If I Could Live My Life Again........
Daniel S.
Smiley Smile Associate
*
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 896



View Profile
« Reply #24 on: October 24, 2007, 08:32:08 PM »

Don't forget that Stan Love was the one who began the legal action to separate Brian from Eugene Landy. The other family members at first were hesitant to get involved and he got a lawyer and held a press conference and went after Landy.

http://youtube.com/watch?v=WFPjJSI5sc4   watch this clip, at around the 6 minute mark, give or take 10 seconds, is the press conference with Stan Love and Brian Wilson shows up out of the blue to defend Landy.
Logged

Let us all stay teenage gamblers listening to the radio.
gfx
Pages: [1] 2 Go Up Print 
gfx
Jump to:  
gfx
Powered by SMF 1.1.21 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines Page created in 0.306 seconds with 24 queries.
Helios Multi design by Bloc
gfx
Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!