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678643 Posts in 27431 Topics by 4045 Members - Latest Member: reecemorgan March 23, 2023, 01:23:50 AM
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126  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Brian Wilson - 2019 Tour Thread on: September 24, 2019, 11:18:01 AM
I too was at the Milwaukee show...and I gotta say, it's not the worst I've seen Brian, and of course by far not the best. He was ill. Literally (nasty cold or something): during one song his vocal was suddenly interrupted by a coughing fit, and other times when he'd sing, he obviously needed to clear his throat. In terms of his singing...he sounded a bit tired, but always on key. He had trouble with the high notes on "God Only Knows." Sounded great doing the bridge on "Long Promised Road."

Brian didn't really say much; Al did most of the talking. Maybe Brian would announce a song or introduce Blondie or Darian to sing a song, but that was it. But I did notice he was more peppy than he had been in the last two years...more of his (in)famous gesturing than I've seen in a long time, and he didn't zone out nearly as much. Most of the time he was pretty engaged. Even in songs when he didn't contribute a thing, he was still kind of bopping along, and from my seat, it looked like he was playing along on his keyboard.

If what I saw last night is something that I'll have to see again...I'm okay with it. Again, not Brian's worst, and I sure felt a HELL of a lot better last night than I did when I saw the Mike'n'Bruce version of the Beach Boys back in July. It felt right. It felt home. And "Diamond Head"...wow...just stunning!

I almost shed a few tears looking over and not seeing Nick, but dammit...Rob put on some amazing performances!
127  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Summer Days (And Summer Nights!!) Sessions CD on: September 19, 2019, 05:35:37 PM
If this were twenty years ago, BRI would have sent the freakin' mob after them.
128  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Brian Wilson - 2019 Tour Thread on: September 11, 2019, 06:59:10 AM
For what it's worth, someone in the BB community that many people trust (and miss dearly) told me that the famous "drunk" concert in Perth in 1978 wasn't alcohol but Carl sharing his brother Brian's habit of snorting heroin; he was strung out, not drunk. The "two maitais and a Valium" thing was just a fabricated excuse.
129  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: RIP Nicky Wonder on: August 19, 2019, 07:03:52 PM
There's a GoFundMe now to raise money for:

  • Nick's funeral
  • Finishing his album Memories of Tomorrow
  • Donations to the SPCA in honor of his rescued chihuahua Ringo

URL: https://www.gofundme.com/f/aqwfm-nicky-wonder-nick-walusko-memorial-fund


130  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Brian Wilson - 2019 Tour Thread on: August 15, 2019, 04:35:29 AM
heh. Actually, last time I saw Brian, there WAS some Brian solo stuff in the show; several songs, actually. (Actually, every single Brian Wilson show I've been to has had at least one song from his solo career!)
131  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Al's show in Florida cancelled! on: August 14, 2019, 07:34:04 PM
We caught his show when he was in town last year. I gotta say...I really, really liked it! I'd definitely check it out again. There was a hearty debate among audience members as to how old Carl was when he did his "God Only Knows" vocal, and Al had this "Oh, gawd, what did I get myself into?" look on his face!
132  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Brian Wilson - 2019 Tour Thread on: August 14, 2019, 07:28:56 PM
Well, I'll tell ya...I went because my mother-in-law was in town, and she always had a spot in her heart for Ringo Starr, so we took her to see the double-header with Ringo and "the Beach Boys."

Now...one big thing with me is that I just cannot acknowledge Mike and Bruce as "the Beach Boys." They're only using that name because a lawyer said they could. But having said that...the band was spot-on. Mike sounded really good. The band did a really nice Scott Totten arrangement of "Here Comes The Sun" that I honestly am considering buying if it's available anywhere. But...something was off. Again, the music was fine, the band was fine, the vocals were fine...but...it sounded so...sterile, I guess. And as I watched the projections on the screen, I was reminded how Dennis and Carl weren't there. Two Wilsons gone. And Brian wasn't going to show up. No Wilsons. Beach Boys without Wilsons?? Al on the projections...aw, man, he COULD be there, theoretically! Even David Marks! (And John Stamos' presence didn't help things.)

I guess the best comparison I can make...ever watch Mad Men? Did you see the episode where Sal was directing a Patio commercial, and the folks at Pepsi wanted a shot-for-shot re-make of Ann-Margret's "Bye Bye Birdie" performance? So Sal had it done, right down to a singer who looked and sounded like Ann-Margret? It was note-perfect, frame-perfect...but...everybody who screened it ended up not liking it, but they couldn't put their fingers on exactly what they didn't like about it, until Harry Crane spoke up: "It's not Ann-Margret."
133  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Brian Wilson - 2019 Tour Thread on: August 14, 2019, 01:09:40 PM
I heard that Probyn was playing some of the guitar parts, meaning he had to play *three* instruments during "Let's Go Away For Awhile"!
134  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Brian Wilson - 2019 Tour Thread on: August 14, 2019, 10:51:36 AM
Yeah -- because I can't keep track of where I write that stuff. Smiley
135  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Brian Wilson - 2019 Tour Thread on: August 14, 2019, 07:09:18 AM
I guess these are my thoughts...

I've been loyally following Brian in concert since 1999. Before 1999, I was resigned to the "fact" that I would just never see him in person, let alone see him do a concert. But since 1999, I've seen him do about 30 shows. I've seen him in California, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, and even Toronto. There are those who say "LET BRIAN RETIRE!!" Well...nobody's stopping Brian from retiring but Brian himself. History has proven that if Brian truly doesn't want to do something, he doesn't. (Remember the passengerless boarding pass in the airplane?) The exception, of course, being escaping from Landy, who was his legal guardian and could have had him committed. You are never going to convince my ass that Brian is being *forced* to do that, while a huge band and crew just sit back and let it happen (especially Darian -- there's no way he'd ever want to see Brian going against his will). Why does Brian keep going out? I don't know. Maybe he was telling the truth when he said a few years ago, "If I don't tour, I'll just be moping around the house feeling sorry for myself because I'm 74 years old" or something to that effect. Maybe it's to get away from Melinda and/or the kids and/or the dogs. Maybe it's because he likes the steaks. Maybe he likes traveling, and touring is a way to get paid to travel. Or that he's grown so accustomed to being around the people who support him on the road that he doesn't want to give that up. I don't know.

The last time I went to a Brian Wilson concert was November 30, 2018. I watched Brian wince in obvious pain as he walked to his keyboard, being helped by Paul. I wished he was in a wheelchair. I heard him sloppily speak-sing the songs from Pet Sounds (it wasn't a Pet Sounds show but they still did a handful of PS songs) -- and I noticed Al was starting to do that too, by the way. Brian's cues were off. Interestingly, though, he was pretty strong and on cue when he sang songs from the 2005 Christmas album. But as much as I hate to use the word "worst," it was by far the worst I'd ever seen Brian.

But I still walked away from that concert feeling thrilled. I guess maybe it's because my dog had died the night before, and music has healing powers. I felt so amazing after that show. It didn't matter that Brian was off for a good deal of the show. It was then that I actually first said out loud that if the band were to go out and tour without Brian, I'd still pay the money to go to their shows -- that's how good they are.

I'm looking forward to seeing Brian and the guys in September (but NOT looking forward to hear "Butcher's Tale," "Friends of Mine," and "This Will Be Our Year" -- yup, I had to say it). If Brian does a show that I can get to, I'm going to see it while I can. (I could have bought a plane ticket to LAX and seen Wondermints at the Knitting Factory in 2002, and now more than ever I regret not doing that.)

As for how the shows are so far? Well, I've heard that Nick left a gaping hole -- not surprisingly; he was so important to the band. I heard that the band has been not quite in sync...which is understandable: the poor guy hasn't even been gone a week, and the rest of the guys obviously are still in shock. (Hell, Darian and Probyn go WAY back with Nick -- over 30 years.) Nick probably isn't even buried yet. Sure, they could have cancelled a few dates -- but remember, they already did, and...well, they were already on the road when Nick died (God, that's so hard to type), so what were they gonna do? Just hole up in the hotel and be sad?

But having said all of that...of all the concerts I've been to in my life, there was only one time a concert *ever* made me sad and literally made me wish I was anywhere but at that concert.

And it wasn't a Brian Wilson concert.

It was a "Beach Boys" concert I went to last weekend.
136  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: RIP Nicky Wonder on: August 09, 2019, 09:24:56 PM
I suppose now itís time to ask... what was the hat all about?

Fashion, that's all. If you're talking about the furry hat he wore sometimes, I'm sure his Russian roots (his name is Walusko, after all) have something to do with it.
137  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Brian Wilson - 2019 Tour Thread on: August 09, 2019, 07:45:07 AM
As long as Brian is going to do a show that I can get to, I will go. For a long time I just accepted it as fact that I would never get to see Brian, but then that bombshell announcement about the 1999 tour...wow. Having said that, I can honestly say there has never been a Brian show I've been to (and I think I've been to 30, the latest being November 30, 2018) in which I wish I wasn't there; can't say the same for The Beach Boys (or "Beach Boys," as it were).

The thing is...they have, once and for all, GOT to stop doing the Pet Sounds album. I love Pet Sounds as much as the next guy (it's literally the reason my life is the way it is -- and I mean that in the absolute best way imaginable), but....Brian did a Pet Sounds tour in 2000. And his band did the entire album at the TNT Tribute in 2001. And they did Pet Sounds dates here in the States in 2002 again. They did a couple of European Pet Sounds tours in the early 2000s. And there was the 40th anniversary mini-tour in 2006. And then the 50th anniversary tour in 2016. And 2017. And didn't he do some PS shows last year? And then now AGAIN. Brian is CLEARLY bored doing that material. And he's not the only one: even AL is starting to do the bored speak-singing too.

While I'm not looking forward to a Nick-less show (nothing I haven't been to before - I've been to at least one or two Brian concerts in which there wasn't a single Wondermint present -- but at least I knew he'd be back), I'm pretty excited about the Surf's Up / Friends-themed concert.
138  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: RIP Nicky Wonder on: August 07, 2019, 06:58:04 PM
This is a sad, sad loss. His own music was freakin' amazing, too.
139  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Jeff Foskett on: August 05, 2019, 12:48:41 AM
Far as I can tell, he didn't even open his mouth. He just kinda moseyed around the stage and played guitar.
140  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Jeff Foskett on: August 03, 2019, 11:42:59 PM
Just got back from the "Beach Boys" / Ringo show at Ravinia. Jeff was there.
141  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Brian postponing tour the day before it starts. on: June 06, 2019, 08:14:07 AM
I question the "physically stronger" part...he was in a wheelchair during the streamed concert a couple of weeks ago, and at the Christmas show, he was struggling to walk, wincing in pain.
142  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Good Timin' / Mike lead - in clip on: May 15, 2019, 05:01:14 AM
Brian sang "Good Timin'" in his solo shows, and I seem to remember David Marks singing it in Milwaukee in 2012.
143  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: 77, 78... when do you think they should retire? on: May 09, 2019, 03:09:30 PM
1) Don't know. I can see Mike going on until the day he dies. Al -- I have a feeling he's okay either way, either eventually retiring or keeping going. Brian -- lord knows. I think he's pretty much done with overseas travel. But whatever the case, I hope he still has a solid studio album or two left in him.

2) They should retire whenever they want to. If they don't, fine. No sense not doing what you want to do.
144  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Brian Wilson - 2019 Tour Thread on: May 09, 2019, 03:07:48 PM
If I'm being honest, at this point, I'm going more for the band than Brian. Brian is basically a non-factor in his own concerts now. He's not very active, and when we saw him in November, he was
obviously suffering from excruciating back pain (why wasn't he in a wheelchair??)....have to say, the few leads he did during the Christmas portion were actually good, but it was more like, "Oh...Brian's here!" than "a Brian Wilson concert." I know this sounds terrible, but I'm convinced the main reason he's still touring is the access to steakhouses while on the road. He's said time and time again that he wants to continue touring, but he...doesn't really do much in the concerts any more. (And I will never be convinced that Brian doesn't want to be touring. History proves that if he truly doesn't want to do something, he doesn't. The exception: getting away from Landy...who was his legal guardian and likely threatened him with institutionalization if he tried to escape.)

I'm really upset that Wondermints technically no longer exist, so this is the only way I'll get to see those guys together. Still kicking myself for not flying out to LA for the Knitting Factory show back in 2002.

Al and Blondie are both great. Amazing how much intact Al's voice is after all these decades! Blondie steals the show. I know some people hate that, but man, he brings such energy!

Having said all that....okay, I guess Brian *is* at least a bit of a factor. When I became a fan, it was during a time that except for very rare one-offs, it was unheard of for Brian to be on stage. I resigned myself to the knowledge that...I'd never get to see him. Even when 1999 happened, I was convinced that it was the only time I'd ever get to see him -- after the Beacon Theater show, I said out loud, "There's NO WAY he'll ever agree to do this again!" Fact is, i got deep into my fandom thinking I'd never see Brian...but man, I'm taking every opportunity I can to see him while I can. Yeah, on his best nights lately he's mediocre performance-wise, but he needs to know his fans love him.

And I'll give him a standing ovation for "God Only Knows." I was lucky enough to hear it the only *truly* acceptable way -- with Carl singing it -- live only one time, but damned if that ain't an ideal song.
145  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Alt. Smile Box Extended & New Link on: May 09, 2019, 02:58:11 PM
Has it ever been agreed on who the ball dribbler is?? I think the only thing that's been definitive is it's not Marilyn. Personally, I think it looks to old to be Barbara (wasn't she like 15 then??), so my money's on Diane.
146  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Something Funny Goin' On on: May 09, 2019, 02:55:54 PM
Never see it second-hand?? Maybe it's so good that nobody wants to part with it.... ?
147  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Al's Restraining Order on: May 07, 2019, 03:42:23 PM
Adam is younger. But are they his only sons? Did he have any kids with Mary Ann?
148  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Al's Restraining Order on: May 06, 2019, 12:15:56 PM
Wow...that is effed up. I hope Al's son isn't involved in drugs or other garbage...
149  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Career mishaps?? on: May 03, 2019, 10:38:51 AM
It didn't have anything to do with liking or not liking anybody - it had to do with an e-mail received that said that Brian was not going to do more dates -- and Brian didn't know about that. By the time Brian found out that it was spoken for on his behalf and told the powers that be that he wanted in, it was too late: the scheduling was already done, the contracts had already been signed.

If this is not true, then please, provide a source.
150  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: I have laughed at this since I found it.. on: May 03, 2019, 09:50:57 AM
Maybe it's Al's revenge for years of Brian calling him "Al Hardon"??  Smiley

I've seen him look at his watch before -- November 21, 2006 at the Beacon, at the end of "Caroline, No." My wife said, "What? Is he afraid he's gonna miss Ugly Betty?"
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