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676400 Posts in 27291 Topics by 4032 Members - Latest Member: theangel August 10, 2022, 06:49:21 AM
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1  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Petition to Get Still Cruisin and Summer In Paradise Reissued! on: Yesterday at 10:47:52 AM
While the material on Summer In Paradise is definitely not up to Brian's standards, the actual contents of the songs is in keeping with their earliest subject matters and does fit in thematically with what casual fans associate the band with. Most casual fans don't care about Pet Sounds, Friends, Sunflower, etc.

I'm also not a fan of revisionism. If the group is to be celebrated, they should be wholly celebrated, warts and all.

While I think the various "Sounds of Summer" discussions online have delved perhaps *too* deeply into the topic of getting young/casual fans to listen to the deeper cuts, etc., I think the point here is that there is a concerted effort (e.g. FEEL FLOWS) to get people to change their "perception" of the band.

Also, "Pet Sounds" is pretty mainstream these days. It's not like some curio for hardcore fans. It never was. It has several of their most popular songs on it.

The new "Sounds of Summer" revamp is the perfect way to sort of temper the casual fan from the "surf/summer, etc." stuff into deeper stuff.

Doing an actual PUSH for "Summer in Paradise" right now would be ridiculous. I feel weird even having to explain that. It's not the subject matter even. It's not good music. Yes, I've typed a million times some variation of "Well, 'Lahaina Aloha' and 'Strange Things Happen' aren't that bad." But it's their worst album, by leaps and bounds. If you only ever wanted to simply reinforce the stereotypes casual listeners feel about the Beach Boys, I'd just stick to the early stuff then. "Summer in Paradise" is a poorly recorded, poorly mixed, poorly produced presentation of mostly bad and occasionally okay music.

I can't speak to whether letting something go out of print is "revisionism", but as I've said, I wouldn't oppose keeping all the albums in print, or even just quietly dropping expanded versions, etc. But again, the idea of doing an active promotional push for "deluxe" versions of these albums is so beyond *missing the point* of what's happening right now with the catalog and the team working on stuff. It's like stopping Brian's "Smile" live show from 2004 in the middle, and playing everybody a few tracks off of "Looking Back With Love."
2  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: \ on: Yesterday at 10:38:36 AM
One area where this often gets hung up is that I think you can like “Thing A” more than “Thing B”, but also say from a sort of objective/critical point of view, “Thing B” is stronger/better/more consistent, whatever.

I’ve run into a lot of Brian fans (and I’m not saying anybody here necessarily falls into this category) who have, let’s say, a pretty narrow, insular bubble of music they listen to. And it has to be pretty narrow for *me* to feel that way, because I’ve never considered myself someone with an epically wide-ranging taste in music.

Like the person a few years back that liked Brian’s take on “Wanderlust”, but refused to even listen to or make room for the *possibility* that McCartney’s original was good, let alone better (and of course it is, but Brian’s take is good and one of the only good tracks on that awful tribute album).

To me, Brian’s solo career is similar to the late era/most recent era of Paul’s solo career in that there are always some great things on the albums, but the days of front-to-back stunning albums are long gone. (I think Brian’s “Smile” is kind of its own thing, but certainly if we count that as just his “next album” in 2004, it’s by far his strongest front to back).
3  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: \ on: Yesterday at 06:55:07 AM
I'm as big of a fan of Brian's solo output as can be, but no, I don't think I'd take most of Brian's solo output over McCartney's. In many cases, it's not even close.

Let's be clear: "A Friend Like You" is not a high water moment for either Brian or Paul. I like the chords, I like the sentiment of the song, and it's cool to hear them on a track together. But it's not Brian's best work. McCartney's vocals on the track are fine. He could have been used better vocally; I'd guess they didn't have a ton of time with him in the studio.

But yeah, if we're looking at Paul's entire catalog, or even just the concurrent 1988-present time frame, I don't think Brian's albums hold up nearly as well. Both made far from perfect, A+ albums, but I'll take "Flaming Pie" over "Imagination" any day, and I'll take "Chaos and Creation in the Backyard" over "Gettin' In Over My Head" (and I seem to like GIOMH more than a lot of BB/Brian fans). McCartney's last few, especially "Egypt Station", were pretty weak. But I don't need to point out that Brian hasn't done much studio work past "No Pier Pressure." The "Long Promised Road" soundtrack is cool, but that's mostly old stuff. "At My Piano" is nice (McCartney had a slightly similar moment with his material on his "Working Classical" album in 1998).

There's obviously no need to pick one over the other, and I'm not sure how "A Friend Like You" would ever remind anybody that Brian's material is better than anybody else's, especially McCartney.

HeyJude, your preference is obvious, considering your nickname. Smiley
Tastes differ. I love Sir Paul myself.
On the other hand, I feel free of being reminded of Brian and Paul by a song by Brian and Paul...

The name came first actually! I'd like to claim I was a BB and Beatles fan right out of the womb, and I guess I sort of was, but not really.

I get that the song makes one think of these guys and their links and their careers. I was only saying I don't think a middling track from the two should reflect particularly for better or worse on the *quality*, or *comparative quality*, of their catalogs. This is definitely not the song that makes me thing "Wow, I prefer Brian's solo albums to Paul's" (or vice versa). The track reminds me of that "Walk With You" track off whatever Ringo album that Paul was on (ironically, co-written by Van Dyke Parks!); it's a pretty anti-climactic collaboration. Though, "Walk With You" is actually truly bad, whereas "A Friend Like You" has some good stuff going for it.
4  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Petition to Get Still Cruisin and Summer In Paradise Reissued! on: Yesterday at 06:50:42 AM
The ironic thing is that these albums desperately need remixing (and partial re-recording), yet they'd be the least likely to get the time and budget to do so (again, as we've long talked about, assuming the SIP stuff was saved to some sort of future-proof multi-track format).

There's no way to ever make SIP a *good* album, but just removing that awful snare drums sample used on *everything*, and either re-recording the drums or even re-triggering it with a different, less awful-sounding sample, would elevate the material at least so it doesn't grate on the ears.

But it was also interesting in Howie Edelson's recent interview, he mentioned talking with Alan Boyd about remixing, as an example, "Rock and Roll to the Rescue" to liberate it a bit from that 80s sound, and Boyd kind of mentioned that there's not a lot that can be done for some of that material to remove that element (my words, and I'm loosely paraphrasing another paraphrasing).

But some of that stuff could sound a bit better with just a fresh remix; something like "Still Cruisin'", which is basically the prototype for the SIP album in terms of the drum sample and the mixing. That mix sounds paper thin, so a remix boosting the bass and thickening the whole thing up would help.

But again, is there time and budget for this? Maybe eventually. But not now. Drop the old CDs on streaming if you must, but let's get the unreleased 70s and 80s stuff first.
5  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: \ on: August 08, 2022, 11:59:46 AM
I'm as big of a fan of Brian's solo output as can be, but no, I don't think I'd take most of Brian's solo output over McCartney's. In many cases, it's not even close.

Let's be clear: "A Friend Like You" is not a high water moment for either Brian or Paul. I like the chords, I like the sentiment of the song, and it's cool to hear them on a track together. But it's not Brian's best work. McCartney's vocals on the track are fine. He could have been used better vocally; I'd guess they didn't have a ton of time with him in the studio.

But yeah, if we're looking at Paul's entire catalog, or even just the concurrent 1988-present time frame, I don't think Brian's albums hold up nearly as well. Both made far from perfect, A+ albums, but I'll take "Flaming Pie" over "Imagination" any day, and I'll take "Chaos and Creation in the Backyard" over "Gettin' In Over My Head" (and I seem to like GIOMH more than a lot of BB/Brian fans). McCartney's last few, especially "Egypt Station", were pretty weak. But I don't need to point out that Brian hasn't done much studio work past "No Pier Pressure." The "Long Promised Road" soundtrack is cool, but that's mostly old stuff. "At My Piano" is nice (McCartney had a slightly similar moment with his material on his "Working Classical" album in 1998).

There's obviously no need to pick one over the other, and I'm not sure how "A Friend Like You" would ever remind anybody that Brian's material is better than anybody else's, especially McCartney.
6  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Petition to Get Still Cruisin and Summer In Paradise Reissued! on: August 08, 2022, 11:52:04 AM
It indeed really is, just in my opinion, a weird specific point in time, literally in between the "Feel Flows" set and the 72/73 set, to want to have like a strong "deluxe" push for two of their weakest albums (and I say this as a fan who bows to no one in my interest and fascination and enjoyment of their 80s stuff, including a lot of the new stuff on "Still Cruisin'"), from one of their most artistically challenged periods. Especially when the material is VERY EASY to track down on many different formats.

I still sense some younger fans don't fully grasp the full scope of the ups and downs of the band's success/image/perception, etc., and how the current work on the early 70s stuff is making strong strides to move the perception more away from Full House and Uncle Jessie and all of that.

As I mentioned, I don't think anything should be out of print, and I wouldn't be against just dropping these two albums back on digital platforms. 

But no, this is not the material that needs the attention of the casual fans looking at the next high profile Beach Boys archival release. Good luck to all, but yeah, this is I'd say a bit of a tone deaf moment to push for these specific items.
7  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Petition to Get Still Cruisin and Summer In Paradise Reissued! on: August 05, 2022, 12:56:34 PM
I'm all for getting everything in print, and I never turn down bonus tracks.

But it's tough, because Iconic/Brother are right in the middle of running through the early 70s as far as archival releases. I get it, I don't want to wait 20 more years for them to hit the 90s.

I suspect there's a reason "Summer in Paradise" has been more or less quietly "retired", not even making it into album artwork collages on the 50th anniversary tour.

Also, not to be a wet blanket, but some of the proposed bonus tracks for these albums are not owned by the label or BRI. "East Meets West" for sure seems to be owned by the Four Seasons Partnership. I think "Chasin' the Sky" may still be held by whatever label or movie studio put that one out. (Carl was even asked about that track back in 1989, and he mentioned at least back then it couldn't be licensed for the "Still Cruisin'" album). I'm wagering several of those other movie soundtrack songs are not owned by BRI.

I will gladly pick up reissues of anything, especially if they include bonus tracks. But I'd put reissues of these albums pretty low on the list of priorities. Considering they are *very* easy to track down on the secondary market, I'd much rather prioritize getting unreleased 70s material out, and then 80s.

An easy stopgap solution just to get everything "out there" would be to get albums currently unavailable for digital download or streaming back up on those sites, including these two albums as well as Brian's "Gettin' In Over My Head", and a few other things. It would take five minutes to dump those old CDs onto Spotify.
8  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / "A Friend Like You" 2022 Remix on Brian's Website on: August 05, 2022, 09:19:54 AM
"A Friend Like You" - 2022 Remix

https://www.brianwilson.com/video

I like that it's different. There's more Paul vocal riffing in several spots. I like that the mix on the whole is stripped back a bit as well.
9  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Brian Wilson - 2022 Tour Thread (Plus Archived 2021) on: August 04, 2022, 01:23:10 PM
Just to be clear, my post above about factoring Covid risks into the cancellations is not meant to deflect from Brian's condition on stage. If anything, it paints a more dire scenario if his performing condition on stage isn't being looked at and everybody is only looking at Covid (Covid risk should obviously be looked at as well). Hopefully, all of these factors are being looked at by all involved.

I suppose, at the moment, it's more important that Brian's off the road and resting. Whether that's happening with the possibility of being able to get in better shape to tour, or just relaxing and resting and recouping at home and staying off the road (either wholly or mostly), I think this is a rare case where BB fans across the spectrum are pretty united in concern and some relief now that neither Brian nor fans are staring down additional concert dates right now given how things have been going.
10  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: And a place to live, Guess I'm gonna stay....Residences of The Beach Boys on: August 04, 2022, 08:44:33 AM
Truly, it is fascinating that both Mike and Bruce don't seem to have any interest in taking the sunset years of their lives and relaxing on a more extended basis and having more time to enjoy their large houses and gold plated toilets or whatever it is they've got going on. They seem happy to schlepp across the country (and around the world) and just take a few weeks here and there at home. They seem happy spending more time on airplanes and in hotel rooms than in those mansions and non-mansion mansions. I don't know that it's admirable per se, but it's interesting and fascinating.

I mean, we're not talking about retiring from the insurance industry, here! These are rock stars! Last month they played the Royal Albert Hall. So far as I can tell--and to Mike Love's credit--it just never got old for him. He wants to be out on stage singing his hits and doing his bits and signing autographs and hearing the crowd cheer, and I mean, I don't think I'd want to give that up either, if I were him!

Yeah, everybody's different. I just think there are other people of a relatively similar ilk who wouldn't even so much dislike all of the rock star trappings, but would have *some other* interest in life they'd like to pursue that touring doesn't allow enough time for.

It’s worth noting that multiple times in past decades, especially in the 90s, Mike indicated he didn’t envision touring forever and eventually pictured retiring and moving onto TM or other things of that nature. He mentioned this in that infamous 1992 Goldmine interview as I recall, and Elliott Lott said back in 1999/2000 that Mike only had a few years of touring left in him (though I think that was much more a tactic/ploy to try to assert that they should let Mike have the license as if there were only a few years left of touring income to capitalize on).

I think continuing to tour nearly non-stop is both a very pro-active, energized thing to do, and also kind of lazy in some ways at the same time.

Carl called it back in the late 80s, that Mike would be out there touring after everybody else had dropped off for one reason or another. 
11  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Brian Wilson - 2022 Tour Thread (Plus Archived 2021) on: August 04, 2022, 06:46:02 AM
For better or worse, I think people need to also consider the possibility that his “stage presence” at recent gigs actually doesn’t have much or anything to do with the canceled dates. I think it’s quite possible that Al (and apparently Robert Lamm?) getting Covid at the tail end of the tour may have led Brian’s team to realize that it’s better to be overly-cautious right now. Even with boosters, Brian is probably even more at risk of serious Covid complications than Al or someone else of a similar age who seems to be otherwise in good health.

I think this scenario would be both for better and worse, because I do think his stage presence is something they should be looking at too. But, I don’t say this particularly with glee or doom because it is a complicated issue, but I could actually envision the show going back on the road at some point, perhaps early next year, if everybody is otherwise in the same shape and Covid isn’t having any appreciable spikes.

I’m not into telling anybody what to do. But from the fan perspective, I’d be fine if Brian stopped with the full-blown touring. If he can muster some additional performance strength, then maybe a show here and there with Al and Blondie could still be enjoyable. I dunno.
12  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: And a place to live, Guess I'm gonna stay....Residences of The Beach Boys on: August 04, 2022, 06:34:26 AM
Obviously, it's all relative and I understand what "modest" can look like for a wealthy rock star. I suspect Bruce hasn't needed the hugest mansion considering he's out on the road for most of the year.

But even "modest for a rock star" is very, very expensive in the areas where Bruce has had property in Southern California. And, if a house has a "piano room" including a piano, modest then *truly* becomes quite relative. I mean, it isn't Bruce living in a regular two-story housing tract in like L.A. proper. He's not living in a "bachelor pad" apartment or something.

I suspect Bruce has the housing that would seem to go along with someone who hasn't written or produced a hit in a half century but has some nice royalties and a steady tour paycheck coming in, along with whatever he may have inherited and invested in over the years, being the conservative guy that he is proud to say he is.

Truly, it is fascinating that both Mike and Bruce don't seem to have any interest in taking the sunset years of their lives and relaxing on a more extended basis and having more time to enjoy their large houses and gold plated toilets or whatever it is they've got going on. They seem happy to schlepp across the country (and around the world) and just take a few weeks here and there at home. They seem happy spending more time on airplanes and in hotel rooms than in those mansions and non-mansion mansions. I don't know that it's admirable per se, but it's interesting and fascinating.
13  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Brian Wilson - 2022 Tour Thread (Plus Archived 2021) on: August 03, 2022, 12:41:53 PM
Jon Stebbins' FAQ book had a section on these issues regarding Brian touring, and I think he handled the topic very well.
14  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: And a place to live, Guess I'm gonna stay....Residences of The Beach Boys on: August 03, 2022, 11:18:33 AM
On the old Beach Boys Britain board, I recall Bruce would obnoxiously go on and on about living down the street from Oprah.

Tell me about "Sunflower" Bruce. Because I have to be honest that I don't care particularly about your mansion or your kids marrying into other even richer families.  LOL
15  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Brian Wilson - 2022 Tour Thread (Plus Archived 2021) on: August 03, 2022, 10:57:56 AM
I’ll take the best half dozen tracks off of “A Postcard from California” (and not the covers) over a lot of Brian’s solo stuff. It doesn’t make Al nearly as talented. But it means he was/is capable of putting out good stuff.

I think this gets kind of weird comparing the entirety (I guess?) of the other members’ solo careers (or ability to write/create solo) to like Brian’s peak years. Post-1970-something, I become way less comfortable saying Brian’s ability (or willingness, etc.) to create great music really greatly trumps the others. It really becomes a question of what we’re talking about. Is “Don’t Fight the Sea” better than “Little Children?” Is “Moonshine” better than “Mona?” Is “I’m Begging You Please” better than “Pitter Patter?”

People like Carl and Al especially really got a lot through exposure/osmosis. But that shouldn’t be understated. Some folks stand next to geniuses and take little or nothing away. Carl and Al (and Dennis, though he also operated as well on his own sort of motor), sometimes without seemingly even fully knowing it, got a lot out of working along side Brian. They could have done a lot more on the writing and producing side. And if nothing else, they (or their agents/managers) should have been using their voices more, getting them record deals and setting them up with writers or co-writers and producers. Carl did this a bit; but he stayed a bit too insular with mostly just on co-writer (presumably writing lyrics).

One of the most jaw-droppingly strange things to happen in Carl’s career was to see someone like Tom Petty afford Carl such great reverence, and have Carl sing on a few of his tracks, while Carl was then going out on the road singing backround vocals on “Long Tall Texan” and “Summer in Paradise.” I think Carl’s talent was sometimes untapped. His issue appeared to be motivation to do his own stuff, and also perhaps a questionable taste/judgement as far as his style, as the “Beckley-Lamm-Wilson” stuff is very mid-90s/synthetic/AC type of stuff. I dig a few of those songs, and I would have loved to hear the Beach Boys overdub and re-work a couple of them.

I think there’s just so much stuff to consume from these guys’ careers, that I’ve had plenty of times where I’m fine taking a detour and not focusing so much on just Brian, and appreciate the other stuff the guys did. Yes, some of it is just product that we only consume because it’s BB-related. But frankly that pertains to actual BB and Brian product sometimes too. Cut to purchasing the “Curious George 2” soundtrack….
16  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Brian Wilson - 2022 Tour Thread (Plus Archived 2021) on: August 03, 2022, 08:46:40 AM
If they were all geniuses they would all have been able to produce successful albums.  

I’ll have more to say on this all soon, but I’d like to point out that there’s not a lot of correlation between these guys’ talent and their ability to generate and release solo albums. Dennis’s lack of additional album, well, I think we can see how that didn’t happen, and it wasn’t for lack of talent to make the material. With the other guys, I think Carl clearly just set aside doing material (group or solo) much and did the touring thing. Arguably lazy perhaps, but I have little doubt that there are quality Carl songs we haven’t heard yet. It was a similar deal with Al; he did the touring thing. Couple that with his infamous ability to over-workshop stuff for years if not decades, and I think the same thing applies. He surely has multiple album’s worth of some good material.

The reason we never got more solo albums from these guys has much more to do with lack of name recognition (and thus ability to get record deals), lethargy or laziness (or whatever one wants to call it) regarding touring and making money that way instead of schlepping in the studio, and lack of logistical/organizational skills to make things happen.

I’m not saying they all had dozens of A+ solo albums just waiting to be released. But their vocal/writing/producing talents were easily sufficient that all of these guys could have easily made a half dozen solo albums over the last 30-40 years if not for other factors including those listed above.


I think the point was more about producing successful Beach Boys records, not solo efforts, after Brian backed out of his role as producer/arranger/writer/performer in the 60's that made all the hits. Truth be told, nothing ever came close to what they did when Brian was the main guy at the helm, and the most success they did have after the 60's was Kokomo which was Terry Melcher producing. Carl did some great work for the band, but nothing ever had the same magic as when Brian was making the records, and it definitely didn't sell anywhere near what it had under Brian's direction.

True, I was looking more at overall productivity than looking at successful solo albums. I have a lower bar I suppose when it comes to rating solo albums in some cases, and in most cases if they can get the album released and it has some good moments, I rate that as a relative success. Carl's albums for instance are kind of bland, but I rate them as successful in that it kept him busy, he sounded good, some of the songs were solid, and it showed a path he could have continued to follow and evolve. Same with Al's solo album. Even some of Mike's stuff. Certainly Dennis. Brian has of course been far more productive than the rest.

But, then we also have to say, depending on how we define success, that very, very few of any their solo albums, including Brian's, have been hugely successful critically or commercially. Some have done well with critics, and some in retrospect have seen greater appreciation. A few have had decent chart showings. And of course nobody ever generated a hit single. The closest they probably came to that was Celebration's "Almost Summer."

I think, especially as time goes by, and especially as we get into delving into the archives of 70s material, that it doesn't do anybody a lot of favors to downplay the talents of the other members. I think it's totally possible to subscribe to Dennis's assertion that "Brian is the Beach Boys", and also, without just blowing smoke and stroking egos in an unwarranted fashion, look at what we can maybe call some "genius aspects" to the other members as well. I don't think anybody, short of sometimes Mike and sort of Bruce, think anybody in the group's orb has ever been as talented as Brian. But they brought some genius moments to the table. Howie Edelson has recently spoken a lot about Mike's bass part on "San Miguel", and I think he has a number of moments like that. I think all of the guys do.

I think all of the guys, especially Dennis, Carl, and Al; their biggest flaw was how much they didn't tap into their talent and genius, and or didn't follow through on it. Al has had an amazing voice for decades, and he did almost NOTHING with it after being s**tcanned from the touring band in 1998. He should have had five albums out by 2012. Carl should have been asking Tom Petty to co-write stuff and convince Rick Rubin to produce him. Dennis obviously needed to get relatively clean and he could have produced a lot more.
17  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Brian Wilson - 2022 Tour Thread (Plus Archived 2021) on: August 03, 2022, 07:21:13 AM
If they were all geniuses they would all have been able to produce successful albums. 

I’ll have more to say on this all soon, but I’d like to point out that there’s not a lot of correlation between these guys’ talent and their ability to generate and release solo albums. Dennis’s lack of additional album, well, I think we can see how that didn’t happen, and it wasn’t for lack of talent to make the material. With the other guys, I think Carl clearly just set aside doing material (group or solo) much and did the touring thing. Arguably lazy perhaps, but I have little doubt that there are quality Carl songs we haven’t heard yet. It was a similar deal with Al; he did the touring thing. Couple that with his infamous ability to over-workshop stuff for years if not decades, and I think the same thing applies. He surely has multiple album’s worth of some good material.

The reason we never got more solo albums from these guys has much more to do with lack of name recognition (and thus ability to get record deals), lethargy or laziness (or whatever one wants to call it) regarding touring and making money that way instead of schlepping in the studio, and lack of logistical/organizational skills to make things happen.

I’m not saying they all had dozens of A+ solo albums just waiting to be released. But their vocal/writing/producing talents were easily sufficient that all of these guys could have easily made a half dozen solo albums over the last 30-40 years if not for other factors including those listed above.
18  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Brian Wilson - 2022 Tour Thread (Plus Archived 2021) on: August 02, 2022, 01:10:00 PM
BB fandom could easily warrant its own entire book on the subject. Not that it *should*, but it *could* easily fill a book.

Fandoms are usually not very willing or able to be honest about their own foibles, so it's a very difficult subject to talk about constructively.

It's one of the reasons discussion about an extremely innocuous reissue of a hits package a month or two ago led to unfathomable vitriol from a small cabal of "fans."
19  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Brian Wilson - 2022 Tour Thread (Plus Archived 2021) on: August 02, 2022, 12:01:30 PM
I’m not signaling the demise of Brian, but in any scenario where the rest of the band goes out as a “Brian Wilson Band” sort of thing, one has to remember that not only would there be a question of the type of bookings they could get (which in turn would dictate that it would be difficult to pay for that many musicians), but it’s not clear that all of the members would want to keep doing that. Obviously, some of them already do side gigs with tribute bands and whatnot. But at least a few of them don’t, and I’m not sure they’d want to keep it going without Brian. And obviously, either position/opinion on that is totally justifiable.

I tend to doubt the show *currently* makes a ton of money considering how many musicians are on stage. If they had to book smaller venues, I don’t think they could afford it. What you’d end up with is a scaled-back band along the lines of the band behind Al and his gigs.
20  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: 60th Anniversary Tour on: August 02, 2022, 11:07:19 AM
The McParland/Gary Usher book has a good break down of the 25th Anniversary TV special. That was what Variety/TV Specials were like back then. It’s got some (unintentionally) funny bits. Some of the music bits are okay. It was probably a little less cringy back in 1987 when it aired as compared to now. But I watched it when it aired. It was cheesy back then too. It wasn’t even like A-list status for many of the guests back then. 

It’s been sounding like some sort of tribute show may be in the offing for the 60th. I think as usual the hardcore fans would rather just see the *actual* band perform. How good or awful tribute shows are comes down to who they book. It can go wrong on many fronts.
21  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Brian Wilson - 2022 Tour Thread (Plus Archived 2021) on: August 01, 2022, 11:46:04 AM
Updated the top post with the rest of the setlists for the Chicago tour.
22  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Al Jardine - 2022-2023 Tour Thread (Plus Archived 2018-2021) on: August 01, 2022, 11:39:44 AM
Just to make sure everybody is confused, Al has booked a show for December 9th in Cincinnati. It's an "Endless Summer Band" show, which is usually "Family & Friends" minus Carnie and Wendy. But this time, it will apparently include Matt and Carnie, but not Wendy. I guess at that point either band name makes equal sense. I dunno. Anyway, I've added it to the top post schedule.
23  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: The Wilson/Paley Sessions on: August 01, 2022, 11:13:11 AM
The point was not that Thomas is a great producer, nor a cultivator of all of the best work of Brian's. The point was that Joe Thomas got s**t done. I'm not a fan of his production style (though it eased off on the later 2010s stuff compared to the late 90s). But like him or not, he's one of the main starters behind making the 50th anniversary happen in 2012.

But the point was not that Andy Paley didn't have connections in the industry. The point was that Andy was not able to navigate both the Brian and Beach Boys political machine to get his project done. Neither was Don Was. Despite both of them working on some very good material.

Joe Thomas was able to navigate the Brian world, and then eventually also the even more nefarious BB world. Was it by ingratiating himself in ways that led to not the best musical outcomes? Probably. Certainly initially by molding "Imagination" into something that, while it has some good songs and good Brian vocals, is not the musical direction most folks wanted.  

Also, Joe Thomas had $$$$, and access to $$$$. I think by leaps and bounds Thomas's best achievement in the BB world was making the reunion project happen. As someone said back then, the Beach Boys finally had a guy with the organizational skills and the *MONEY* to secure guarantees, and he was the guy clapping his hands and saying "ok, now here's what we're going to do." That worked. For about a year. But that's more than most anybody else could have mustered. He secured a reunion album deal based on the songs he had written with Brian, secured a tour with the money and organizational skills to put together that "50 Big Ones" production company with Brian and Mike, and he also got a live album and two live DVDs/Blu-rays out. All in a year (obviously some of the ancillary stuff didn't make it out until 2013).

So yeah, the point was not to argue the musical merits of these respective collaborators. The point was that the guy LITERALLY got projects out the door, as in he got them released. That was Joe Thomas. I'm not saying there weren't many, many factors. I think in another time and place Don Was certainly could have made something happen.

But I think by 2011 Thomas was pretty aware of what it took to make a BB reunion happen. Specifically, it needed his bag of songs he had started with Brian in the late 90s (a number of which *are* on par with the best Paley material I believe), the ability to secure up front cash advances for the needed parties, and the organizational skill to balance all of the projects. He also clearly learned some lessons from his first run with Brian in the late 90s where he was always by Brian's side in interviews and on camera. How many photos of Joe Thomas from the C50 reunion period even exist? I think I may have seen one? And I think I've seen one 2013 photo of Thomas during the Brian/Al/David tour.
24  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Al Jardine - 2022-2023 Tour Thread (Plus Archived 2018-2021) on: August 01, 2022, 06:55:52 AM
Normally they wouldn't have been able to continue on with the gig without the three "names." I'm guessing because this was a "Fair" gig, where the show is free with admission, they don't have to warranty anything about who is on stage. Had this been a show that required paying for a ticket specifically for the concert, I would imagine the show would have been canceled.

I've seen the YouTube videos; this did up essentially being one of those "California Surf Inc." shows (plus Debbie Shair I guess). Matt is great on vocals and those guys are all good musicians. The harmonies sounded good for what the were; I think Ed Carter and Bobby Figueora are awesome, but they of course can't provide the same harmony stack that Carnie, Wendy, and Al can.

It's still a bit surprising they went ahead with the gig with not even one of the three big names on the billing. Filling the show with stuff like a guitar solo in the middle of "In My Room" is interesting and all, and on clearly very little notice they sound very good, but that's a tough spot for the band and the audience.

But I don't think it's a big deal; this was a unique case where they even had the ability to try to keep the booking.

The In My Room guitar solo was unplanned. People were getting up to slow dance so rather than kill the momentum, the band called an audible.

Yes, and it sounded nice. I just suspect it would not be so loosey-goosey with Al, Carnie, and Wendy on stage. Stuff like that isn't bad, it just adds to the vibe that this was all happening because the main performers weren't there.
25  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Brian Wilson - 2022 Tour Thread (Plus Archived 2021) on: August 01, 2022, 06:53:04 AM
Updated the top post yesterday to reflect the apparent cancellation of dates. I guess we may/will find out more at some point here. I'll go back through and add setlists to the rest of the Chicago shortly, hopefully.
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