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Author Topic: John Stamos: Love Him or Hate Him?  (Read 11973 times)
SMiLE Brian
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« Reply #150 on: August 02, 2017, 05:35:23 AM »

CenturyDeprived!  LOL
I want some famous Stamos! Cool Guy
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I don't see the point in punishing Brian's musical output solely because Mike wants to wow the President Elect with how long he can weeze "wheeeeeeen" into a microphone.- rab2591
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« Reply #151 on: August 02, 2017, 06:37:51 AM »

And how can Mike use the BB name on something like this? Doesn't thst violate the license? And doesn't Brian have a right to sue in a case much stronger than the bullshit Mike pulled in 2005? At the very least I'm hearing quite a bit of the 2012 track on this one, right down to the backup vocals.  Doesnt that seem a bit questionable to anyone else?

I can't speak to the issue of what is on the actual DIA remake recording (I would tend to think Mike wouldn't be crazy enough to use elements of the BB 2011/2012 track in any way).

But as far as using the BB name, this has always been the rub with Mike having the "touring" license. He can't release recordings under the BB name, but he can perform any song "live" (even if he's actually miming to a recording) as "The Beach Boys."

So when Mike releases a new song, whether a "new" composition or a re-recorded old BB song, or if Mike records a full album, he can simultaneously perform it live as "The Beach Boys." So he can go out on tour and on TV shows and they can say "Here are the Beach Boys performing Mike Love's brand new single 'Santa's Havin' a Summer in Paradise'."

And I do think when Mike uses the BB name to perform live and promote his brand-new solo material, the line is blurred to the point of being problematic. The line is even more blurred when he's doing a "solo" re-recording of an old Beach Boys songs. So on PBS last month you had "The Beach Boys performing Mike Love's new solo recording of a Beach Boys classic." Few other bands, certainly of the "legacy" variety of the BB's general era, have had this weird anomaly. Plenty of bands have fought over band names and have seen weird contingents of members go out using a "classic" name, but they usually tend to either completely stick to touring, or they have the *full* rights to the name and record *and* tour under the name.

Why hasn't this been a big deal in the now over 19 years that Mike has toured on his own? Because he has rarely released solo material. He still hasn't put an album out, and only in more recent years has made serious strides to release digital singles. I think eventually he probably will get his album out, and he'll have the benefit of being able to use the *Beach Boys* name to promote his solo album, which is something that even Brian or Al aren't able to do.

I think ideally BRI would put some sort of restriction on this, but it's difficult to do, because a given band should generally be able to perform whatever song they want. Mike tours essentially "solo" and licenses the BB name, and he can theoretically do nothing but BB songs, or nothing but Starland Vocal Band songs, or nothing but "Mike Love" solo songs. BRI would have to amend the license and either outline specific songs (or artists) Mike can't cover in concert, and/or put a restriction on promoting (especially on TV, etc.) his solo material under the BB name.

I've always felt the touring band license should be restricted solely to ticketed, live concerts and should exclude any media appearances (TV, internet, radio, etc.), including standard concerts that happen to be televised, because I think doing a TV show is very different from doing a live gig at the Westbury Music Fair or the Cleveland Rib Cook-Off.
« Last Edit: August 02, 2017, 06:39:55 AM by HeyJude » Logged

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« Reply #152 on: August 02, 2017, 08:18:56 AM »

Simple and basic logic at work here. Mike or anyone licensing the "Beach Boys" name cannot play whatever songs they want and use the brand name to sell tickets to those shows any more than an McDonald's franchise owner in Dubuque can decide to change the Big Mac recipe at that restaurant because he or she doesn't like the original recipe.

Sounds silly to compare music to fast food, right? But unfortunately with licensing and branding and everything that has hung over this band's name since 1998, that's as apt a comparison as anything.

But we've all hashed that out before. Fans will either think it's just fine, and Mike can do a full 50 minute set of his own material if he can fill 50 minutes with originals because he licenses the name, or will think there should be a standard adhered to in terms of presenting the music and charging people to attend the shows with expectations of what they're paying to hear.

If Mike wants to do Pisces Brothers or Hungry Heart or Be True To Your Bud or the new Mark McGrath remake on stage, instead of actual BEACH BOYS material, maybe BRI and all related parties are at this point sick of dealing with the bullshit and will say "whatever..." instead of waving the license and contracts in his face in another board meeting with more lawyers at the table than cheese danishes and Stevia packets.

But when that name and brand is presented on television as The Beach Boys and they're not presenting a Beach Boys song to that television audience...yet there is no attempt to separate the two entities from Mike himself as several videos from July 4th pretty clearly show...is it any surprise fans who actually care about the music would take issue?

Consider that same McDonald's franchisee cannot install a brick oven at their McDonald's location and start cranking out pizzas next to the Happy Meals and fries. The pizza may be excellent, but that's not how licensing a brand works.
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« Reply #153 on: August 02, 2017, 09:59:40 AM »

Simple and basic logic at work here. Mike or anyone licensing the "Beach Boys" name cannot play whatever songs they want and use the brand name to sell tickets to those shows any more than an McDonald's franchise owner in Dubuque can decide to change the Big Mac recipe at that restaurant because he or she doesn't like the original recipe.

Agreed. Without knowing the details of the licensing agreement, we shouldn't assume it's outside the norm.


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HeyJude
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« Reply #154 on: August 02, 2017, 10:30:52 AM »

What Mike performs out on tour and on TV, etc. tells us either what the licensing agreement actually dictates, or at least what BRI is choosing to enforce about the licensing agreement. It's relatively safe to assume one of these possibilities:

1. The licensing agreement doesn't dictate anything regarding setlist/song selection.

2. The licensing agreement has a vague reference to "maintaining" the Beach Boys image by performing "appropriate" songs, and this is either interpreted in a way that Mike hasn't violated yet, or it hasn't been enforced, and/or it has been ignored.

3. The licensing agreement has more specific, strict guidelines regarding setlist and they've either interpreted this in favor of Mike, or it hasn't been enforced, or nobody is paying any attention.

Here's an interesting thing that came up in late 1999/early 2000 in BRI's complaint against Al Jardine:

"Much of Jardine's repertoire with Beach Boys Family & Friends include many songs that the Beach Boys do not regularly play in concert, songs [that] are about many issues that are not traditionally associated with the Beach Boys, i.e. cars, surf, girls, and fun."

So it appears when it was convenient for BRI to get Al off the touring market, they raised the issue of Al's setlist. In subsequent years, Mike's tour went FAR MORE obscure than anything Al was doing on his 1999 tour. In fact, almost every "deep cut" Al did in 1999 barring something like "Lookin' at Tomorrow" was already being played or would subsequently be played on Mike's tour.

Indeed, the Rolling Stone article from late 1999 that excerpted that bit above from the complaint against Al pointed out that Mike's band *at that time* in 1999 was doing atypical songs based on the "cars, surf, girls, fun" criteria such as "In My Room" and "God Only Knows", and was also flouting the "songs regularly played by the Beach Boys" issue by doing covers at that time like "Duke of Earl."

Long story short, BRI *can* raise the setlist issue, but they clearly don't with Mike for whatever reason.

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« Reply #155 on: August 02, 2017, 11:06:15 AM »

Long story short, BRI *can* raise the setlist issue, but they clearly don't with Mike for whatever reason.

Right, but in your previous post (#151) you stated that Mike could play any song he wants and that it's too difficult for BRI to do anything about it. If you just meant, in the practical sense, that Mike could play any setlist he wanted because BRI apparently isn't interested in enforcing the agreement, then, OK. It just didn't read like that. But, assuming Mike's license still includes language about "maintaining the Beach Boys style" (and that's a safe bet for numerous reasons), BRI doesn't need to amend their license, just enforce it. I doubt the licensing agreement gets into specific song selection, but I bet it includes the right of the licensor to exert quality control.
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HeyJude
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« Reply #156 on: August 02, 2017, 11:25:51 AM »

Long story short, BRI *can* raise the setlist issue, but they clearly don't with Mike for whatever reason.

Right, but in your previous post (#151) you stated that Mike could play any song he wants and that it's too difficult for BRI to do anything about it. If you just meant, in the practical sense, that Mike could play any setlist he wanted because BRI apparently isn't interested in enforcing the agreement, then, OK. It just didn't read like that. But, assuming Mike's license still includes language about "maintaining the Beach Boys style" (and that's a safe bet for numerous reasons), BRI doesn't need to amend their license, just enforce it. I doubt the licensing agreement gets into specific song selection, but I bet it includes the right of the licensor to exert quality control.

I think this is all just overcomplicating the issue, because we don't have the licensing agreement to view.

My main points were simply that:

A) Typically, any given band can perform any song they want to. The Rolling Stones can play a stadium and do nothing but Abba songs. And so on.

B) If Mike's license does have some sort of verbiage concerning song selection, it's either restrictive but unenforced, or rather liberal and general/vague and thus largely a non-issue, and/or it remains unenforced.

When a corporation issues a license for something, there aren't hard rules about whether they can either bring the issue up in support of a lawsuit, or use it as the main crux of a lawsuit, or simply ignore it. They can do any or all of those things, or none. If they do any of those things, a court may or may not agree. 

In 1999, BRI specifically mentioned in a complaint against Al Jardine that his setlist was problematic if not in violation of what the standard would be for a license to use the name. (And/or, BRI was just throwing a whole bunch of stuff against the wall that was negative towards Al). Whatever standard they were using in 1999 they *clearly* are NOT using now. I doubt it's because the license given to Mike was extensively different from the one they could or would have given to Al. Rather, it's all about enforcement.

Back in 1999, BRI wasn't alerted to rogue Al Jardine song selections only to *then* launch a lawsuit. Just like the accusations about using "female" vocalists on stage, the setlist stuff was just something to use against him. They wanted Al to stop using the BBFF name, and then came up with a bunch of stuff to support that. As Rolling Stone pointed out in 1999, the song selection citation didn't hold much water, because Mike was arguably violating those same rather vague criteria.
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« Reply #157 on: August 02, 2017, 12:06:59 PM »

I think this is all just overcomplicating the issue, because we don't have the licensing agreement to view.

My main points were simply that:

A) Typically, any given band can perform any song they want to. The Rolling Stones can play a stadium and do nothing but Abba songs. And so on.

B) If Mike's license does have some sort of verbiage concerning song selection, it's either restrictive but unenforced, or rather liberal and general/vague and thus largely a non-issue, and/or it remains unenforced.

Whatever standard they were using in 1999 they *clearly* are NOT using now. I doubt it's because the license given to Mike was extensively different from the one they could or would have given to Al. Rather, it's all about enforcement.

Sorry, but I don't think I'm over-complicating the issue. Your main point (A) was probably the biggest point of contention (because you used it to explain why it's difficult for BRI to put restrictions on Mike). The touring Beach Boys aren't just any band. They license the name. They can't just play Abba songs. That was guitarfool2002's point, I believe. As for your 2nd point (B), again I (partially) disagree. If vague verbiage similar to "maintaining the Beach Boys style" or more specific language grants BRI the right to exert quality control, then that is NOT a non-issue. That opens the door to BRI contacting Mike and informing him that his decision to perform a certain song isn't acceptable. That's their right as the owner of the trademark and their responsibility to the consumer who relies on the trademark's reputation.

I completely agree with what I 'bolded' above.
« Last Edit: August 02, 2017, 12:18:47 PM by B.E. » Logged
HeyJude
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« Reply #158 on: August 02, 2017, 12:22:04 PM »

I think this is all just overcomplicating the issue, because we don't have the licensing agreement to view.

My main points were simply that:

A) Typically, any given band can perform any song they want to. The Rolling Stones can play a stadium and do nothing but Abba songs. And so on.

B) If Mike's license does have some sort of verbiage concerning song selection, it's either restrictive but unenforced, or rather liberal and general/vague and thus largely a non-issue, and/or it remains unenforced.

Whatever standard they were using in 1999 they *clearly* are NOT using now. I doubt it's because the license given to Mike was extensively different from the one they could or would have given to Al. Rather, it's all about enforcement.

Sorry, but I don't think I'm over-complicating the issue. Your main point (A) was probably the biggest point of contention (because you used it as an explanation for why it's too difficult for BRI to put restrictions on Mike). The touring Beach Boys aren't just any band. They license the name. They can't just play Abba songs. That was guitarfool2002's point, I believe. As for your 2nd point (B), again I (partially) disagree. If vague verbiage similar to "maintaining the Beach Boys style" or more specific language grants BRI the right to exert quality control, then that is NOT a non-issue. That opens the door to BRI contacting Mike and informing him that his decision to perform a certain song isn't acceptable. That's their right as the owner of the trademark and their responsibility to the consumer who relies on the trademark's reputation.

I completely agree with what I 'bolded' above.

I think this is getting overcomplicated because I don't think we're disagreeing at all. I'm not saying it's "too difficult" for BRI to put restrictions on Mike, as if the mechanism for doing so isn't possible. Rather, I'm simply saying the restrictions either aren't there or aren't being enforced, or are there and being abided by.

What we know is that BRI isn't going after Mike. Nobody is saying BRI *can't* go after Mike regarding any or every issue pertaining to the license that they might feel he's not sticking to. As with granting a license in the first place, BRI could change the terms of the license, enforce it differently, or anything and everything else.

The point here is that they don't. Why don't they? My opinion is because it's largely a "let sleeping dogs lie" sort of situation. Nothing is to be gained unless something *seriously* heinous happens. As I've said before, I would guess the only way BRI would ever actually move to strip Mike of the license (or really take any action against him whatsoever) would be something like Mike being convicted of a serious crime, or if some other epic PR scandal was happening.

As has been pointed out, I think even if all three other BRI members voted to do anything that would keep Mike from touring as "The Beach Boys", the whole mess would end up tied up in litigation for years regardless of the final outcome. THAT is why they let sleeping dogs lie.  

Back specifically to the issue of song selection, that is one of the *least likely* things BRI shareholders would ever go after Mike for, because the setlist is the most changeable, malleable thing about the presentation. If Mike permanently stopped doing BB songs and only did Abba songs, yes, BRI would probably take issue with that. If Mike did one single "Beach Boys" show where they performed nothing but cover versions, I doubt BRI would do anything about it. Again, I think something really heinous and extreme would have to happen for it to become an issue, regardless of whether doing "Pisces Brothers" *might* flout the license terms.
« Last Edit: August 02, 2017, 12:26:52 PM by HeyJude » Logged

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« Reply #159 on: August 03, 2017, 01:32:55 AM »

While it seems like a minor detail now in the grand scheme of their career, Stamos did appear in the Kokomo video.  I imagine that video got some major MTV airplay and a lot of people were probably hearing of the Beach Boys for the first time when Kokomo came out.  So in that context, his appearances with the band isn't that strange to a certain audience, an audience whose first memories of the band involve him.  But it's just the cheap gimmick of it all that bothers me.  Stamos doesn't appear at these shows because he's a great musician or even for his history with the band.  He's asked to appear because he's a good looking C-list celebrity who starred on a bad sitcom in the 90s and people get nostalgic for that sort of thing and supposedly that sells tickets.  It's part of what differentiates Mike Love's interpretation of what the Beach Boys is from the ambitious group that made Pet Sounds.  Here's an interesting quote from a Rolling Stone article about the 2012 reunion.

Quote from: The Beach Boys' Last Wave by Jason Fine
So, the first night at the Beacon, no new songs are added. To make matters worse, at least to those who want the Beach Boys reunion tour to differentiate itself from Mike Love's tour using the Beach Boys name, John Stamos is in the house and jumps onstage for several songs – including one awkward moment when he pulls a petrified-looking little girl from the audience and dances with her on his shoulders. Later, several band members mull around glumly at the afterparty. One calls the show a "travesty." He says, "If they want theater, we can do theater. But I thought this was a rock & roll show."

Great behind-the-scenes look, many good posts in this thread. I don't like our (basically) shared attitudes being marginalized as "nerd rage" or whatever the guy who doesn't believe the band still exists called it. If it still is going to exist (and it clearly does, for better or worse), it should exist in a much different form than the one it exists in now. Just because its recorded legacy is its predominant one doesn't mean that its live legacy can't be tarnished beyond all recognition, which it is and has been for years. And there IS a wonderful live legacy.  Too bad that the previously mentioned list that includes the Beatles among the greats only includes Brian and not the whole band, didn't have to be that way.
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« Reply #160 on: August 03, 2017, 11:34:36 AM »

Under the category of the new DIA single causing confusion between "The Beach Boys" and Mike solo, this article from yesterday promoting an upcoming show erroneously states that *the band* released the new single and made a new video for it:

The music never stops for the Beach Boys. The band just released a new album of archival material, 1967 – Sunshine Tomorrow, as well as a new video of the classic “Do It Again.” The video accompanies the release of a new studio version of the song, featuring Mark McGrath of Sugar Ray and John Stamos on drums. They recently performed the song live at the annual July 4th concert in Washington, DC.

http://whatsupnewp.com/whatsupri-interview-mike-love-and-beach-boys-to-open-bold-point-august-9th/
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« Reply #161 on: August 03, 2017, 10:01:01 PM »

Under the category of the new DIA single causing confusion between "The Beach Boys" and Mike solo, this article from yesterday promoting an upcoming show erroneously states that *the band* released the new single and made a new video for it:

The music never stops for the Beach Boys. The band just released a new album of archival material, 1967 – Sunshine Tomorrow, as well as a new video of the classic “Do It Again.” The video accompanies the release of a new studio version of the song, featuring Mark McGrath of Sugar Ray and John Stamos on drums. They recently performed the song live at the annual July 4th concert in Washington, DC.

http://whatsupnewp.com/whatsupri-interview-mike-love-and-beach-boys-to-open-bold-point-august-9th/

Damn right it causes confusion. This is an unprecedented situation and Mike clearly feels like he IS the band now and can do whatever he wants. For all practical purposes He's right, but a classy person wouldn't.

I think the reason that it bothers me so much is that this kind of crass behavior is becoming the new normal and seems to be taking over completely. It's bad enough to see it happen in the world at large, but you like to feel that some part of one's personal world of favorite things won't inevitably succumb to cheapness, compromise and mediocrity.
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« Reply #162 on: August 07, 2017, 03:26:02 AM »

John Stamos is a has-been who attached himself to another has-been. Simple as that.
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