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Author Topic: The legendary Labor Day weekend, 1961  (Read 31750 times)
Andrew G. Doe
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« on: December 03, 2010, 12:04:45 PM »

Just been having a most interesting email dialog with Carrie Marks, and thought I'd ask for thoughts and musings here, it being after all the best place for such.

While she & David were in LA doing his lastest album, she told me JoAnn (David's mom) said that Murry & Audree didn't go to Mexico, but rather to England to visit the company he imported ABLE's lathes from (she even recalled the name, Binns & Berry of Halifax, who are still in busines !).

So... thoughts ?
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Cam Mott
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« Reply #1 on: December 03, 2010, 12:13:03 PM »

Sounds like an excuse for a daytrip to Halifax.
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Andrew G. Doe
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« Reply #2 on: December 03, 2010, 12:29:33 PM »

Sounds like an excuse for a daytrip to Halifax.

Never been to Halifax, have you, ol' pal ?  Grin
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« Reply #3 on: December 03, 2010, 12:39:24 PM »

I went to Nova Scotia when I was 4...
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« Reply #4 on: December 03, 2010, 12:51:44 PM »

England for the weekend? From California? And after all this time, the story changes? Oh well, historically, that could be a given.
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Andrew G. Doe
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« Reply #5 on: December 03, 2010, 01:10:19 PM »

England for the weekend? From California? And after all this time, the story changes? Oh well, historically, that could be a given.

Who said anything about a weekend ?  That's what we've always believed. Because that's what we've always been told. Think about this: according to the legend, Murry left a fully stocked refrigerator and gave them $300 for food/emergencies. That's roughly $34 per Wilson per day. At 1961 prices, even Carl couldn't have eaten $34 worth of burritos a day for three days. In one interview Carl said it was five days... even so, that's $20 a day each.

Here's another one: Alan's mom signed for the rental of the string bass, for $300 (hmmm... that figure again). Did a bass fiddle rental in 1961 really cost $100 - or even $60 - a day ?
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« Reply #6 on: December 03, 2010, 01:32:53 PM »

Sounds like an excuse for a daytrip to Halifax.

Never been to Halifax, have you, ol' pal ?  Grin

Me neither, pal o' mine. Let me know how it was.
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« Reply #7 on: December 03, 2010, 02:23:55 PM »

As a son of Halifax, I am gladdened.
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Andrew G. Doe
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« Reply #8 on: December 03, 2010, 02:51:49 PM »

As a son of Halifax, I am gladdened.

Ah, excellent - I'll PM you the address, you can save me a train fare.  Grin
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« Reply #9 on: December 03, 2010, 04:09:27 PM »

As a son of Halifax, I am gladdened.

Ah, excellent - I'll PM you the address, you can save me a train fare.  Grin

HA!  I can just see you now, walking in the office and asking if they remember the visit by Murry and Audrey! 
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« Reply #10 on: December 03, 2010, 05:32:20 PM »

Time to update the Beach Boys "Mythbusters" thread again, perhaps ^_^
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« Reply #11 on: December 03, 2010, 07:46:43 PM »

Here's what I'm wondering:

1. Who originated the story that Murry & Audrey went to Mexico over Labor Day weekend.
2. Why, after all these years during interviews, none of the Beach Boys or Wilson/Love/Marks/Jardine family members ever corrected the story from the Wilson parents' vacation to Mexico (or wherever) to a business-related trip to England? Did they forget, or a vacation to Mexico sounded like a better story?
3. Why, after all these years, authors of articles and books never got the story straight? Same reason it was thought for years that Murry fired David?
4. Did Murry ever hit on JoAnne Marks?
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Carrie Marks
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« Reply #12 on: December 03, 2010, 08:43:48 PM »

Here's what I'm wondering:

1. Who originated the story that Murry & Audrey went to Mexico over Labor Day weekend.
2. Why, after all these years during interviews, none of the Beach Boys or Wilson/Love/Marks/Jardine family members ever corrected the story from the Wilson parents' vacation to Mexico (or wherever) to a business-related trip to England? Did they forget, or a vacation to Mexico sounded like a better story?
3. Why, after all these years, authors of articles and books never got the story straight? Same reason it was thought for years that Murry fired David?
4. Did Murry ever hit on JoAnne Marks?

1.  Not sure, but I do know the story was spun sometime in 1964.  The band's first bio, written by Murry himself, credits David with having been there from the start...even including him as part of the Surfin' sessions.

2.  Jo Ann didn't know about the Mexico thing.  She mentioned England when I tried to explain to her why people believe (wrongly) that David wasn't an original BB.  She wasn't totally aware of the fabricated version of the band's genesis before...she operated under the assumption people knew the truth.

3.  That would be my guess.  Its also the same reason people don't think Dennis played drums on as many songs as he did.

4.  Yes, he did.  This incident occurred after Murry sent Audree and Elmer Marks to Hawaii to road-mange the Boys together and her rejection only compounded the growing tension between the 2 families.  Upon their return, Elmer was fired as road manager and David's share of the touring revenues are cut off.  That was beginning of the end for David. 
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« Reply #13 on: December 03, 2010, 09:55:17 PM »

Thanks for that, Carrie. I was a little hesitant about asking the last question, but was feeling a little smart-assy tonight, so I hope I didn't offend. It may have been touched on in the Stebbins book and/or another board before, but I thought I'd ask about it here. I had a feeling that may have been one of the reasons behind Dave's departure.
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« Reply #14 on: December 03, 2010, 10:20:14 PM »

Jo Ann told me that Murry insisted she sit in between he and Audree in the front seat of the car when they were all going somewhere together...which really creeped her out because the back seat was empty.
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« Reply #15 on: December 04, 2010, 12:07:49 AM »

Isn't there a first person recollection from some British business acquaintance of Murry's about that trip to Mexico? I seem to recall it appeared in somebody's book - not a book on the Beach Boys, but one by somebody who spent a number of years in the music business. Does that ring any bells with anybody? (I've always thought it was concluded some time ago that the story put to rest any questions about the trip. No?)
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Andrew G. Doe
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« Reply #16 on: December 04, 2010, 01:11:37 AM »

Isn't there a first person recollection from some British business acquaintance of Murry's about that trip to Mexico? I seem to recall it appeared in somebody's book - not a book on the Beach Boys, but one by somebody who spent a number of years in the music business. Does that ring any bells with anybody? (I've always thought it was concluded some time ago that the story put to rest any questions about the trip. No?)

Yes, there is, and if I was in any way a good researcher I'd have filed it. I distinctly recall the author said that the song - "Surfin'" - "made you feel like relaxey-vouzing"... which kinda made me do a double take, of course. We'll find it again. We always do. Because it's what we do.  Grin  And of course, just because it's written in a book doesn't make it what actually happened.

I'm more interested in finding out what really happened when the band rehearsed "Surfin'", as when you look closely at the accepted tale, it just starts falling apart. As Carrie said, I don't recall any primary/contemporary sources referring to it being the Labor Day weekend... if I'm wrong, please correct me.

And yes, I can also see the holes in Jo Ann's recollection, but then, we as fans have reconciled, or patched, bigger holes in accepted BB history: Alan leaves the band to go to Ferris U., anyone ?  Grin  Don't know about anyone else, but I'd call Jo Ann Marks a credible first-hand source. One thing I've discovered these last few years is that the Marks family has a dominant memory gene.
« Last Edit: December 04, 2010, 01:13:30 AM by Andrew G. Doe » Logged

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Beach Head
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« Reply #17 on: December 04, 2010, 01:33:16 AM »

As Carrie said, I don't recall any primary/contemporary sources referring to it being the Labor Day weekend.

If memory serves me, even the recollection from Murry's friend - while it does confirm a trip to Mexico (as opposed to England) - doesn't specifically place the trip as being on Labor Day weekend.

Unfortunately, as "mythological" as the story has become, it may be impossible now to pin down the precise facts. Several of the original participants (Murry, Carl, Dennis) are gone, and I'm not sure I'd trust what some of the remaining participants (Brian, Mike, Al) might have to say about it. All of them, at one time or another, have told stories of the group's early days that are proveably false. Has anybody ever asked Audree her recollections of the group's start?
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« Reply #18 on: December 04, 2010, 01:38:04 AM »

England for the weekend? From California? And after all this time, the story changes? Oh well, historically, that could be a given.

Who said anything about a weekend ?  That's what we've always believed. Because that's what we've always been told. Think about this: according to the legend, Murry left a fully stocked refrigerator and gave them $300 for food/emergencies. That's roughly $34 per Wilson per day. At 1961 prices, even Carl couldn't have eaten $34 worth of burritos a day for three days. In one interview Carl said it was five days... even so, that's $20 a day each.

Here's another one: Alan's mom signed for the rental of the string bass, for $300 (hmmm... that figure again). Did a bass fiddle rental in 1961 really cost $100 - or even $60 - a day ?

I've always thought that figure to be high. With inflation factored in, wouldn't that be about $1000 in today's currency? For what? To feed 3 teenagers over a weekend? No wonder Carl was the size he was!
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« Reply #19 on: December 04, 2010, 02:01:11 AM »

Seriously, this is good stuff because the whole story never quite made sense to me.
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Andrew G. Doe
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« Reply #20 on: December 04, 2010, 02:11:12 AM »

Unfortunately, as "mythological" as the story has become, it may be impossible now to pin down the precise facts.

Very likely, but that's never stopped us before... and isn't it fun ?  Grin
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« Reply #21 on: December 04, 2010, 02:37:58 AM »

As a son of Halifax, I am gladdened.

Ah, excellent - I'll PM you the address, you can save me a train fare.  Grin

I'm curious enough to give it a go when I'm next visiting my folks an have an hour to spare!
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« Reply #22 on: December 04, 2010, 04:09:50 AM »

Sounds like an excuse for a daytrip to Halifax.

Never been to Halifax, have you, ol' pal ?  Grin

Well worth a trip to Halifax, surprisingly beautiful place! I went to see the Bootleg Beatles at the theatre there in March. Lovely architecture and scenery which was not what I expected at all. An even more interesting place now...
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« Reply #23 on: December 04, 2010, 04:22:07 AM »

Here's the contact info for the firm...

http://www.uk-local-search.co.uk/business/binns+_+berry+international+ltd/198543/

Funnily enough the contact is called Carl - what a coincidence  Roll Eyes
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« Reply #24 on: December 04, 2010, 05:20:46 AM »

hmmm, used to live within a half-mile of this place. I'll look into legends of one-eyed Americans trying to pick up the biker chicks in the Upper George...!
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