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Question: Rate Brian Wilson & the Beach Boys: How Deep the Ocean
5 - 5 (31.3%)
4 - 8 (50%)
3 - 2 (12.5%)
2 - 1 (6.3%)
1 - 0 (0%)
0 - 0 (0%)
Total Voters: 12

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Author Topic: Brian Wilson & the Beach Boys: How Deep the Ocean  (Read 12061 times)
Charles LePage @ ComicList
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« on: February 14, 2006, 11:32:19 AM »

Discuss, review and rate Brian Wilson & the Beach Boys: How Deep the Ocean, released September 1, 2003.

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« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2006, 08:50:22 AM »

I like this book. The Williams/Anderle pieces from 67/68 are reprinted here. As are other articles and excerpts from Crawdaddy! in 66/67 and from other Paul Williams books. Also contains a very long celebratory review of the Good Vibrations box set. Cool. Also contains a new Williams/Anderle conversation with the prophetic title "Smile is done". Good stuff.
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« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2006, 06:37:40 PM »

I really enjoyed this book as well.  I enjoy the reviews of the old albums as well as the long 1993 box set essay.  Great reading!
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« Reply #3 on: February 16, 2006, 08:59:45 AM »

I liked this one a lot because of the snapshot it captures of the Smile and just post-Smile era. Wild Honey gets discussed in detail, and it’s interesting to note that Paul and David didn’t like the album and thought that Brian had failed until they heard John Wesley Harding by Dylan and realized that roots rock was the way to go.

I rank this one pretty high. It’s a good one. I review it often. Only "Back to the Beach" and "LLVS" get reviewed more.
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« Reply #4 on: February 22, 2006, 07:26:19 AM »

As mentioned, right up there with Back to the Beach.

Its fun to read those old articles by the original "Brianistas" , discussing his eccentricities  and creativeness long before very many others got around to it.

And I love the review of the Box.  Best review ever written.

Another must have for the serious BB fan.
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« Reply #5 on: June 09, 2006, 12:32:37 PM »

I enjoy the reviews of the old albums as well as the long 1993 box set essay.  Great reading!

The box-set essay/review alone is worth the price of the book. But most of the rest is worthwhile too, particularly the discussions with Anderle and the IJWMFTT-era Q&A with Brian.
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MBE
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« Reply #6 on: June 24, 2006, 06:53:40 AM »

I like the book too and think Paul is a sincere guy. My only problem with him is that he uses arty words where regular ones would do fine. He also is a bit over the top, but hey I get that way too when I like something.
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« Reply #7 on: August 03, 2006, 08:52:40 AM »

Buy it.  You gotta have it to read discussions and anecdotes about Brian writtten by those on the "inside" back when this stuff wasn't such ancient history.  An interesting perspective time wise.
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« Reply #8 on: October 03, 2007, 06:58:01 PM »

I recently finished this book after reading it over a long period of time in little segments and it is a really enjoyable read. I really enjoy Paul Williams writing style, it is really different but he comes up with some great points and arguments and really gets you thinking with his unique writing style. Its great reading David Anderle's thoughts about Brian as well as Paul Williams as they both were around Brian during the SMiLE era. As has been mentioned it is interesting to see how they reacted to Wild Honey at first and then came to love them album later on and other things like that
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« Reply #9 on: September 16, 2008, 06:20:17 AM »

By the way did anyone else read how Paul Williams has been diagnosed with dementia or something like that? Not sure if it's true but if it is, that's really sad. Sad
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« Reply #10 on: October 12, 2008, 05:40:50 AM »

Sadly, it's all too true - he doesn't even recognise the music that used to mean so much to him.
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« Reply #11 on: October 12, 2008, 01:40:08 PM »

Oh my God.... I did not know about this. When was he diagnosed, and where did you read it? This is terrible... I know his girlfriend Cindy Lee Berryhill (herself an outstandingly gifted singer-songwriter) used to post on the various boards, but haven't seen her online in a while...I wonder how she's coping with this.

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« Reply #12 on: April 13, 2010, 04:17:48 PM »

..was amazing! Wow!! After all these years of Beach Boys interest, I've never read a book with quite as much insight as this one (with an exception being the David Marks book, as well as LLVS! which provided a lot of context). Especially love the discussions with David Anderle, the reports on his visit with Brian during the Smile sessions and the 1995 interview with Brian. The box set review was great too!! Very lengthy discussions that made me want to jump up and dust off all the various LPs that he was discussing. I guess I just wanted to bring it up in case some people here haven't read it as its really nice to read a rock journalist of Williams' caliber discuss the music of Brian Wilson and the Beach Boys without spending too much time dwelling on the politics of things. Especially when discussing the Smile music. Can't recommend this book more!
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« Reply #13 on: April 13, 2010, 04:22:08 PM »

This is definitely one of the BEST books to find out there. Paul's review of the Good Vibrations box set is absolutely required reading along with the Anderle conversations.
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« Reply #14 on: April 15, 2010, 10:43:49 AM »

Hate to be the onion in the ointment here but I really had a hard time reading this one a few years back and it's the only BB's book in my collection I haven't reread at least once. Yes his writing had improved greatly by the 90's with the GV Boxset but I found his 60's articles to be monumentally pretentious. The two that stand out is a discussion based essay where he blathers on about how bad "Wild Honey" is and how if BW doesn't get it together soon the BB's will go down the toilet (I must add I have summed up in one line what he takes countless pages to do), then in the next chapter he waffles on about how he now GETS "Wild Honey" and how if you don't then you are an imbecile. Sorry to rag on the guy!
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« Reply #15 on: April 15, 2010, 11:35:57 AM »

Hate to be the onion in the ointment here but I really had a hard time reading this one a few years back and it's the only BB's book in my collection I haven't reread at least once. Yes his writing had improved greatly by the 90's with the GV Boxset but I found his 60's articles to be monumentally pretentious. The two that stand out is a discussion based essay where he blathers on about how bad "Wild Honey" is and how if BW doesn't get it together soon the BB's will go down the toilet (I must add I have summed up in one line what he takes countless pages to do), then in the next chapter he waffles on about how he now GETS "Wild Honey" and how if you don't then you are an imbecile. Sorry to rag on the guy!

Are you talking about the interview he does with David Anderle where they talk about how bad Wild Honey is? That always sort of bothered me, too. Like, it sucked until they saw The Beatles and Dylan do something similar, and then they thought 'Oh, if these guys make albums like that, it must be cool!'. That was sort of idiotic.

Although, if you don't read the whole book, at least read the first chapter where Williams talks about spending a couple days with Brian during the SMiLE sessions. They get high, make animal noises in the studio,  and film each other on Brian's new video recorder.
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« Reply #16 on: April 15, 2010, 12:06:33 PM »

That's the one indeed! Fact is Brian got there first although whether it was due to true artistic desire can be debated until the end of time. What bothers me more was the tone of the articles. Knee jerk slagging of Wild Honey at first and then later lecturing how if you don't like the record you are a narrow minded fan who has pigeonholed the Beach Boys. Also somewhere else in the book he compares the bands music amongst other things to "having good sex with someone you love".  

That could perhaps be the worst line of prose in the history of the English language.
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« Reply #17 on: April 15, 2010, 03:01:35 PM »

Shouldn't this be in the Book Reviews section?
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« Reply #18 on: April 15, 2010, 04:07:30 PM »

Paul Williams's ability as a music critic may be debated, but his abilities as a writer are beyond reproach. The sex line is both disarmingly quirky and apropos -- and something that a lot of board members would probably agree with.

Besides, we all know that the worst line in the English language is actually: "Way back when, well our master plan / was having fun fun fun as America's band."
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« Reply #19 on: April 15, 2010, 06:28:59 PM »

Weird, I was just reading this recently and as we were discussing on another thread (during the LA time period), Brian said during the interview called: "there's a lot of love in it" and he said Phil wanted to produce the group 11 years ago (this interview was in 1995)...
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« Reply #20 on: April 16, 2010, 12:12:46 AM »

Shouldn't this be in the Book Reviews section?

good point, I've just merged it with the topic in the book review section
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« Reply #21 on: July 28, 2011, 10:58:16 AM »

I bought this book back in 2000 and it seemed to have blown my mind back then. It certainly made me track down all of the 70's albums for instance.

Having read it again in 2011, I have to say some of the conversations drift way too out of orbit and it's a very slight book (you can read it from cover to cover in a couple of hours). The chapter titled "Outlaw Blues" deserves to be in a separate book on 1960's musicology.

I gave it a 3 and I'll probably pick it back up again in another 7 years or so.
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« Reply #22 on: August 21, 2012, 07:02:08 PM »

One of my favorite Beach Boys books, and one of the first through which I started to understand the character of Brian Wilson. Williams' and Anderle's reversal of opinion on Wild Honey was great, and the box set review from '93 is wondrous.
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« Reply #23 on: February 27, 2013, 10:45:28 AM »

The celebratory angle is what makes this book charming - at this day and age, very heart-warming to read something that is not full of dumb pretentious "I'm-Being-So-Ironic"-besserwisserism. This man loves the music of Brian Wilson and The Beach Boys.
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