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675256 Posts in 27255 Topics by 4016 Members - Latest Member: J.krefetz July 03, 2022, 05:44:06 PM
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1  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Mike Love just announced a \ on: October 07, 2021, 02:05:56 PM
I would be very surprised if Mike Nesmith is doing this, so I imagine it will just be Monkee, singular.
2  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Jan & Dean are terrible singers on: September 29, 2021, 06:08:07 AM
It's interesting that you bring up Pop Symphony as an example oj Jan's artistic vision. IF I recall the liner notes to the record, Jan writes about how he is trying to show, by doing orchestral versions of his songs, how his music--and pop music in general--can be appreciated as "serious" music. Thus his aim with Pop Symphony seems to be to convince older people of the value of popular music. Basically, Jan is aiming for the parents of his typical audience, people in their thirties and forties, etc.

At the same time, Brian's PS record, Pet Sounds, is a "teenage symphony to God." So, you have Brian doing an album designed to advance the tastes of his regular audience, while Jan is writing music for their parents. That in a nutshell probably explains why Jan wasn't cool, as his ultimate artistic expression was essentially muzak, the kind of stuff that is played in elevators.

For lack of a better word, much of Jan's music lacked soul. It is all technically well-done, but it is not music that touches you emotionally, nor was it designed to. Jan just didn't have it in him to be emotional in his music. When he tried--for example, A Beginning From An End from Folk n' Roll, which talks about a woman dying in childbirth, and may have been based on Jan's experiences in medical school--it comes off a heavy handed. His most soulful music was Carnival of Sound, where he was expressing the real suffering of his physical and mental handicaps.
3  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Jan & Dean are terrible singers on: September 25, 2021, 08:46:15 AM
I agree that it is hard to tell where Jan's political sympathies lie back then--if he really even had any--because of the conflicting messages. Someone like Mark Moore would likely know better. I just base my assumption that he was right-wing on the fact that he included two songs, Universal Coward and Only A Boy, that clearly reflect that position. Add to that the fact that Dean wouldn't appear on Universal Coward, plus I think a comment that Dean made that Jan was pro-war as long as he didn't have to fight. If Universal Coward really were a parody, it is a terrible one, as no one gets the joke.
4  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Jan & Dean are terrible singers on: September 24, 2021, 08:28:42 PM
I think that Universal Coward was a totally serious song from Jan. He was a right-winger. The song was actually released as a single under his name alone, as Dean refused to appear on it. Jan also did Only A Boy right before his accident, which is in the same vein, so I think there is little doubt that this was how he felt at the time.

I am a big J&D fan, but I would never put Jan in Brian's orbit musically. I think there was a time in 1963 and 64 when both were in their surf and hot rod phase where Jan was ahead of Brian in terms of production and arranging, which is why they worked together. However, Brian had equaled or passed Jan in that regard by late 1964, and was always far superior in terms of vocals and songwriting, of course. Did Jan and Brian even work together after 1964? By 1966, Brian was doing Pet Sounds, and Jan was doing Batman, so whatever common musical threat they shared was likely gone by then.

I think Jan and Dean are a very good second tier 1960s act. I know it was mentioned that they belong in the company of groups like Gary Lewis and the Playboys, but Gary Lewis did not produce or arrange his records, or write his own songs for the most part. If you treat the California pop music of the early to mid-1960s as an important moment in American musical history, the two most important groups of that time are the Beach Boys and Jan and Dean, in that order. That is why I think J&D deserve more respect, despite their shortcomings.



5  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Jan & Dean are terrible singers on: September 22, 2021, 06:23:21 AM
Yeh I guess I’m using “artistry” in a particular way- meaning the shift beginning in 1965 to the pop musician as ARTIST. Seems like Jan & Dean were “exposed” as mere entertainers when Highway 61, Revolver, and Pet Sounds were out- but J&D were doing Popsicle and Batman.

But I do think Jan was a very creative and innovative producer, in his way. I just think his way was so of the time and place (‘60s SoCal) that it doesn’t make a lot of sense in the context of how the ‘60s are perceived by most today.

I think The Further Adventures of Charles Westover proves that Del Shannon was a serious musical force. As you say, unrecognized in this way. But he was a great songwriter and a big influence on people in a way that is maybe not realized. I don’t think it’s easy to put him into a box or a soundbite (“he was the guy to do XYZ”).

I agree about J&D not really fitting into the overall arc of the 1960s. They don't really sound like anyone else, for better or worse, their well-known records are dominated by trite, teenage themes, and they stopped suddenly in 1966 after Jan's accident. And having Batman as their final album was cringe-worthy. I know some people like the comedy aspect, but I find it unlistenable. (BTW, Popsicle was actually recorded and released in 1963, and then re-released after the accident, so it wasn't indicative of what they were doing in 1966.)

Of course, the great what if is what they would have done if Jan hadn't had the accident. They would have had a TV show on the air in the fall of 1966 which, even if it had just run for a season, could have dramatically changed the perception of them. (The Monkees only ran for two seasons.) Now, they would have needed to produce Monkees-level music, and we will never know if Jan had it in him. It is interesting to take a look at Carnival of Sound. Is that the direction Jan would have gone in if he hadn't had the accident? Much of the music on that album is wonderful, in my opinion, and would have fit in perfectly in 1966/67. Songs like Carnival of Sound, I Know My Mind, Girl, You're Blowin My Mind (which Jan had started work on before the accident), Mulholland, etc. are great mid-60s California pop. If J&D could have combined that kind of music with a TV show, they would likely be considered classic artists. Or, would Jan have just continued on in the Batman, Only A Boy direction?

Jan and Dean also had no advocte for them after 1966. Jan wasn't able, and Dean didn't care. I am surprised someone like Lou Adler wasn't able to get them into the RnR HOF. He was their manager for years, and even helped Jan record in the 1970s. Lou is in the Hall, so I'm surprised he couldn't or wouldn't use his influence. Whatever you think of their music, having Jan get into the Hall and perform Deadman's Curve at the induction ceremony would have been very emotional and dramatic.
6  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Beach Boys Ch 105 Sirius XM Good Vibrations on: September 21, 2021, 05:02:36 PM
I got a new car this summer, and it came with Sirius, so this was the first time I ever heard the BB channel. At first, it was very cool hearing songs like Forever or Cool Cool Water on the radio. It brought me back to a time when you would hear songs like that on commercial radio. By the time I heard Forever for the fourth day in a row, the novelty was over.

One of the issues with these single artist channels is that even the greatest bands don't have enough songs to avoid having stuff being frequently repeated. Even if you played every song the BB's ever recorded, you have what, 300-400 songs. Maybe 100-200 more if you add in solo stuff? That is probably similar to the typical repetitive classic rock playlist. If you play 10 songs per hour (which is probably a low number, considered how short many BB songs are), you are going to be repeating songs every 3-4 days at the most.

In addition, these channels also expose the uneven quality of many band's catalogs. I listen to the Beatles channel, and I have learned over the past month how horrible Ringo Starr's catalog is. I also have no desire to hear Hey Jude, or Something, again and again, after hearing them on commercial radio for years. The Beatles channel also has a lot of miserable filler programming, either mediocre folk artists doing mediocre covers of Beatle songs, or interviews with artists talking about how the Beatles influenced them. So, while these channels sound like a cool idea, I understand how they can wear thin quickly.
7  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Jan & Dean are terrible singers on: September 21, 2021, 04:41:02 PM
I know what you mean by the "drunken slur" or whatever it is that Jan's voice had. It got more pronounced as time went on. Listen to a song like Space and Time from 1966, where he also seems to be affecting some sort of twang, which he also did on occasion. He was likely trying to stretch his voice beyond where it could go. He was usually better when he had someone singling along with him. For example, he was fine on the early do-wop stuff, many of which were duets with Dean. (Having the two of them sing together helped keep them on-key more often.) He was also okay, as has been mentioned, on stuff where his voice was double-tracked and someone like Brian would join him. When he sang by himself--You Really Know How to Hurt A Guy--is when the flaws showed.
8  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Jan & Dean are terrible singers on: September 21, 2021, 10:37:09 AM
I think Jan did spend a lot of time on the vocals for the most part. All of their hits--Surf City, etc.--have strong, multi-tracked vocals, and even Jan sounds great on his leads, which are frequently double-tracked with Brian and others. It's really just the 1965 material like Folk n Roll, etc. that suffer from poor vocals. J&D were filming a movie and a TV show during that time period, and Jan also broke his leg, which may have affected how much he could do, since his mobility was likely limited for a few months. By early 1966, his leg had healed, and the vocals were up to par again--it you listen to a record like Batman, recorded right before Jan's accident, the vocals are as strong as Surf City and the like. Jan just never sounded good on ballad type leads. While Dean rarely sang lead, he could sound good as well--listen to his 1967 stuff, like Yellow Balloon. Unlike the BB's, who could sound great just singing together on a street corner, J&D needed a lot of studio work to produce good vocals.

I also think the "elevation" of Jan and Dean, particularly Jan, is not about putting him on the level of Brian or Lennon and McCartney, but more about acknowledging that he was an important part of the development of the west coast sound, and that he deserves to be remembered for more than just the guy who had the accident, if people even remember him for that now. Look, for example, at the RnR Hall of Fame list. Among the inductees are Lou Adler, Dave Clark Five, Duane Eddy, The Isley Brothers, Joan Jett, Darlene Love, The Mamas and the Papas, Ricky Nelson, Randy Newman, The Ronettes, Sam and Dave, Del Shannon, Percey Sledge, Patti Smith, The Ventures, etc. Not to mention several 50s doo-wop groups that had a handful of hits and no consistent membership. I am not trying to disparage any of the acts I just listed--I love many of them--but Jan and Dean definitely belong alongside them. Del Shannon, for example, had three top 20 hits, and was obviously inducted because of Runaway. I would say that J&D were much more important than Del.
9  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: New Brian music this Friday ? on: September 21, 2021, 07:29:20 AM
I have listened to GOK several times, and here is my expert opinion:

1. The piano playing is obviously autotuned. If you listen to the notes as they fade away it is clear that someone--likely Melinda--is pushing the autotune button all the way to 11.
2. It is obvious that Brian is not playing at all, despite his name being on the album. I have heard Brian play many times on YouTube, and based on the bending of the notes and the fingering, it is clearly not Brian. Also, many insiders who I cannot name publicly have told me that Brian is not playing on the album. As a matter of fact, Brian was forced years ago by Melinda to sell all his pianos, and all he has now is a toy Casio that he is only allowed to play in the bathroom.
3. As to the album cover, Brian looks like some old man in this seventies. What were they thinking in using this photo? Also, he is smiling, and it is obvious that he was forced to smile, since Brian never smiles voluntarily.
4. It is obvious that the genesis of this record is the fact that Brian--as well as his brothers--took drugs.
5. The version of GOK is very melancholy, and lacks the positivity that made the BB's popular in the first place.
10  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Jan & Dean are terrible singers on: September 20, 2021, 08:04:08 PM
Jan and Dean vocals were very hit and miss. I think their stuff from the 1950s/early 1960s, when it was just the two of them singing, sound fine. Songs like Baby Talk, Heart and Soul, etc. They actually did all of the vocals on Linda, which are very strong. As you move into 1963 and 1964, the vocals--and Jan's leads--are excellent on songs like Surf City, Deadman's Curve, Little Old Lady, Ride the Wild Surf, and many of their other surf and hot rod tunes.

I think their vocals declined as they tried to move away from the surf and hot rod sound in 1965, until Jan's accident the following year. For example, I heard "You Really Know How to Hurt A Guy" on the radio today, and Jan's vocal ruins the song. And it wasn't just being out of key--at times, Jan could sound like a bad lounge singer, with poor phrasing, etc. That song needs a really powerful singer, and Jan couldn't deliver that kind of performance.

J&D were also pretty much always bad live in the 1960s (though not terrible on the TAMI show, where I believe that had off-stage backing vocalists.)

Jan's studio vocals were actually fairly strong in the early to mid-1970s, post-accident, when he had to really concentrate on his singing.

I actually like Dean's falsetto--its no Brian Wilson, but its unique, and I miss it on songs when PF Sloan or someone else is doing the falsetto.

Overall, I think that Jan and Dean were average singers. On the right type of material--such as on their big surf and hot rod classics or early doo wop--they could sound good. However, if the material didn't suit their voices, the vocals could be mediocre. They were also both full-time students, so there is material that Jan probably didn't work on as much due to time considerations.
11  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Beach Boys bought on: February 22, 2021, 12:43:13 PM
One of the things that is different with The Beach Boys that almost all other major bands is that the most talented and creative member is not the most dominant personality. You go through all the other major bands of the 1960s--The Beatles (Lennon and McCartney), The Who (Townshend), Led Zeppelin (Plant and Page), etc--and, for the most part, the person(s) who creates the music is usually the strongest personality. You rarely see a band where the guy who writes the songs and sings at least half of them is probably the most passive members (for many reasons, obviously, in the Brian's case.) Think how odd it is that Brian has to tour under his own name, but Mike gets the tour as The Beach Boys. It would be like Roger Daltrey touring as The Who with Townshend relegated to being a solo artist, or Robert Plant touring as Led Zeppelin without Jimmy Paige and John Paul Jones. In your typical rock band set-up, Brian would have always been in control of the direction and branding of The Beach Boys, and Mike would have little to no say. However, with the BB's, it has been screwed up for a long time, with Mike often acting like he is the creative force behind the band, as well as periods when Carl was in charge. If you ask yourself, who is the central mover behind the group, you get different answers depending on what time period you are discussing. You had Brian up to 1966/67, kind of a shared dynamic after that, followed by Carl being in control, followed by various iterations of Carl and Mike running things. That is why you have never had a clear direction for the band, because there have been different people with different agendas and visions running the band at different times.
12  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Brian Wilson - 2019 Tour Thread on: June 11, 2019, 09:55:41 AM
Re: The Gene Vincent example, that kind of thing was likely easier to do back in the days before the internet, when major artists weren't as physically recognizable to a large majority of fans. There is a story in Mark Moore's book The Jan & Dean Record about a J&D show back in the 1960s where Dean for some reason, didn't show up. I don't recall the specific details, but Jan played the show, and I think had someone stand on stage and pretend to be Dean, and no one knew or cared. As I said, you could get away with that back then, but even by the 70s, people wanted the actual artists on stage. Jan himself got into trouble touring with a fake Dean, and there is also the famous example where a fake Deep Purple played a few shows in 1980 with Rod Evans, the original lead singer who hadn't been in the back since the late 1960s, and four other hired musicians, and there were lawsuits and fan backlash. Despite how little he might contribute to a show these days, its not a Brian Wilson show without Brian present. I also don't think we will ever have a Brian Wilson Orchestra type scenario. At some point in the next few years, neither Brian nor Mike will be touring, and there will probably just be a "Beach Boys" touring. I can't really see a scenario where there is a Brian Wilson Orchestra AND The Beach Boys touring separately.
13  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Dean Torrence joining Mike's band? on: February 15, 2019, 10:14:24 AM
As someone who became a J&D fan after seeing Deadmans Curve as a twelve-year old, I find this discussion fascinating.

First off, Dean is not going to join the BB's for one simple reason: money. Dean and Mike are good friends, and like Mike, Dean is a very bottom line guy, and is not going to tour with Mike unless he gets paid, probably alot more than any of the current BB's back-up guys. You could make the argument that Dean should get paid whatever Bruce does, since he is an iconic name of sixties California music. Plus, at the age of 79 in a month, I don't think Dean is going out on the road for 150 dates a year.

As far as the J&D setlist, it's a complicated issue. Part of it was that Jan sang lead on almost all of their songs, and was no longer capable of doing that after the accident. Also, Dean, post-accident, wasn't doing things that much differently than Jan had done pre-accident, as their 1960s era sets were filled with cover songs. Listen to the "live" album, Command Performance, which is filled with BB, Beatles and even Everly Brothers songs, or the original version of Filet of Sole. Jan and Dean's live sets had always been a combination of their biggest hits, and covers of other artists. While Jan was more artistic-minded than Dean, he wasn't Bob Dylan--or Brian Wilson. Even after the accident, I doubt that Jan was putting much pressure on Dean to do deep cuts.

Now, could you put together a 60 90-minute set made up mostly of popular J&D songs? Yes, I think you could:

Jennie Lee
Baby Talk
Linda
Surf City
Drag City
Honolulu Lulu
Deadmans Curve
New Girl in School
Barbara Ann
Little Old Lady From Pasadena
Sidewalk Surfin
Ride the Wild Surf

That's a dozen songs right there, all of which they regularly did in concert from 1979-1981. You can also add in the following:

Popsicle
Anaheim, Azuza
Batman

The first two are fun songs which I think an audience could easily get into, (Popsicle reached #21 on the Billboard charts). And, the Micheal Keaton Batman movies came out in the late 1980s, so people would probably have been into Batman.

You could also thrown in

Heart and Soul (reached #25)
You Really Know How to Hurt A Guy (#27)
I Found A Girl (#30)

That's a total of 18 songs, most of which were top 40 hits. If you throw in a few BB songs that J&D did in the original era such as Little Deuce Coupe, Surfin Safari, etc. and even a Beatles song like You've Got to Hide Your Love Away, which they did before and after Jan's accident, and you have a nice 20-25 song setlist that is heavy on J&D songs, but which would also appeal to a non-hardcore audience. Of course, they weren't realistically going to do many of these songs after Jan's accident, but its not true that they didn't have the back catalog to do a J&D-heavy set. I am not arguing that they were anywhere near the quality of the BB's, but J&D were popular in their time, with a bunch of hit songs. (And I didn't even mention many deeper cuts that I, as a fan, would have loved to hear.) After 1966, they were essentially silenced as an act, with no active presence to keep their backlist in the public eye. Even during their less popular period, the BBs always toured and released records.

Frankly, Dean just didn't care about J&D songs. He had a lot of resentment towards Jan after the accident, and often publicly criticized Jan and Dean songs. This resentment, coupled with the fact that Dean was not involved in anyway with the creation of many of these songs, meant he had no interest in putting a large number of Jan and Dean songs in the set.

Now, in terms of quality, I would put a post-accident J&D set in the same league as a current Brian Wilson show. Jan, the creative force behind J&D, was a shell of himself after the accident, and could not sing or run a show the way he could beforehand. Thus, you were not going to get high quality vocals from Jan after the accident. The same is true with Brian today, where you are really going to see the back-up band and Al carry the load, with little expectation that you are going to get a solid vocal performance from Brian. Now, other than Papa Doo Run Run in the late 1970s/early 1980s, Jan and Dean did not have the same quality back-up band that Brian has. I actually think the Ontario concert you posted is pretty good. Papa is really driving the tunes, and Jan was much better at keeping up during the early days of post-accident touring, as he was younger, in better shape, and both he and Dean were probably thrilled at being out there again. Also, neither Jan and Dean were close to the vocalists that the BBs were. Even the worst BB shows usually had Carl and Al, and even Mike was on and not too nasal, is better than either J&D as a singer.
14  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Dean Torrence influence on Brian Wilson on: March 02, 2018, 10:30:44 AM
HeyJude,

Phase II of J&D's career (post-accident era) was all about two things

1. Boosting Jan's confidence: He worked his ass off to remember the lyrics to the Jan & Dean songs. He continued to f*ck up the lyrics for years and years, but he worked his hardest to remember those lyrics. That's why he could only sing so many of his own songs. I'm sure they would have played more J&D songs, as they actually did at the beginning of Phase II, if Jan could remember the words.

2. Please fans/nostalgia/etc: Just like people who see Mike Love, the people who saw J&D during Phase II were there to dance and sing along to surf/hot rod hits. They could care less if it was BBs material or J&D material. Just like how most people seeing Mike's current show, wouldn't even know that Unleash The Love is a Mike Love song, and not The Beach Boys. They were just playing crowd pleasers.

I saw Jan And Dean live in the summer of 1998. It was a good show and I'm glad I went, but I have to say what I've said here and elsewhere before. Even standing there listening at the show I had the feeling that they were playing too many Beach Boys songs, BB songs that actually had nothing to do with Jan And Dean at all. If they had done BB's tunes they covered on their own releases, that would be fine. But if I recall they did Do It Again among others that had no connection to J&D...

So count me as someone who went to a Jan And Dean show in the late 90's to hear Jan And Dean music on a summer's night, and I left wondering why it felt like half their set was Beach Boys music.

After reading this thread, I think maybe some of the posts hit on a possible reason. There just aren't that many chart hits that the duo had which an audience would recognize, and they didn't want to play deep cuts. But that may say a lot about the whole situation where they had to play what felt like too many Beach Boys songs in order to please the crowd, if their own discography was as influential and as big as some have suggested.

In 1998, you were seeing the Dean Torrence Show, and Dean, even more than Mike Love, cares nothing about artistry or legacy--its all about playing hits, no matter whose hits they were, and having a good time.

As far as having an influential and big discography, no one--certainly not me--is saying that Jan and Dean have that. They were a minor group--who I enjoy very much--with a handful of hits. If you listen to oldies radio today, you will still hear Surf City and the Little Old Lady from Pasadena in regular rotation, Linda, Baby Talk, Deadman's Curve semi-regularly, and one or two other songs like Drag City or Honolulu Lulu occasionally.  That's 4-5 songs still being played 50+ years later. Certainly not BB level, but they are not some forgotten one-hit wonders. Even the release of Mark Moore's book and the Carnival of Sound release from a few years ago shows that there is still some interest in Jan and Dean. If no one cared, Rhino wouldn't have wasted their money putting out COS, and no reputable publisher would have touched Mark's book. Again, they have an audience, albeit a small one.

Also, keep in mind that their profile has diminished over time for other reasons. First of all, Jan was the brains behind the act, and with his voice as advocate effectively silenced in 1966--and with Dean's frequent negativity toward their legacy and music--there has no one to champion them. A lot of the respect for the BB today is because Brian has been championed as a visionary artist for the past twenty years. Jan and Dean have basically had no marketing team for decades. If you go back to the late 70s and early 1980s, after the release of the Deadman's Curve film, Jan and Dean were a much bigger act. They might not have played stadiums like the BB's did, but I saw them several times during the time period, and they played places that held 1,000-2,000 people, not dissimilar to the kind of audience Brian draws today. As time went on, and there was no new J&D material, and their original audience aged out and was not replaced by a new one, they became a largely forgotten act playing casinos and the like. When I saw J&D in 1998, they had to make an announcement before the show, telling the audience that Jan had been in an accident in 1966, so that people would understand his appearance. They didn't have to make the same announcement in 1981 because the audience was much more familiar with them.

Also, in terms of songs, Jan and Dean had nothing to draw on post-1966, so their time as an active act was very limited. Not saying that would have had any more hits had the accident never happened, but they did have a TV show scheduled to run in the fall of 1966 on ABC, so that would have certainly kept their profile high.

The point I have been trying to make is that Jan and Dean, while minor, still have SOME resonance all these years later. They may not have been major stars like the BB's, but they weren't Milli Vanilli.

15  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Dean Torrence influence on Brian Wilson on: March 02, 2018, 08:28:55 AM
I'm gonna throw some opinions out there about Jan & Dean.

I must say I kinda appreciate Stebbins and Edelson's unfiltered comments about Jan & Dean.

I also am totally in agreement with Howie about how he loves reading about Jan & Dean thanks to Mark Moore, but that their music is usually....ehhh. I also agree that Jan's post accident (mostly '70s) vocal stuff is usually much more interesting.

Now, I will say that I actually do dig some of Jan's early stuff. I think "Jennie Lee" and "Baby Talk" are both cool little nostalgic '50s things. I also dig "Surf City", "Ride the Wild Surf" and "You Really Know How to Hurt a Guy" among maybe a few others.

However, stuff like his pro Vietnam War "Only a Boy" and the "The Universal Coward" are absolutely fucking pathetic especially when one considers that Jan was a fuckin' chicken hawk. He was all about that war and sending our young men over there, as long as he himself wasn't the one who was gonna be sent over. Cuz when he was drafted, he tried to weasel out of it. In fact, I wouldn't doubt that this was weighing on his mind the day he had his life changing car accident. And if I remember correctly, Jan actually changed stripes after the accident, becoming an anti-war Democrat.

And as far as Dean, dude kinda just seems like a dick. I could go into more later, but basically he just seemed (and still seems) very, very disrespectful of a friend (Jan) who made him a lot of money and opened many doors for him. Not to mention that I remember reading an interview from around 2012 or so where he said he wasn't sure if he'd do any new music* due to the fact that the President at the time was making it so hard for hard working Americans like him to make money. Thud



*Like anybody cares if Dean Torrence puts out new music.
Totally agree about Jan most likely being a dick before the accident, and Dean being one afterwards! Still, that doesn't takeaway from the music--Universal Coward and Only A Boy are actually nice songs from a musical standpoint, but the lyrics are a whole different issue. I try to separate the personal from the music when dealing with artists that I don't know personally. It's the usual Mike Love argument--you can still enjoy the music, even with Mike (who will all know is a hardcore right-winger) singing it. And, as you likely know, Mike and Dean have been good friends for a long time.

On an interesting note, I believe Dean is interviewed briefly during the infamous Diane Sawyer Landy/Brian interview in 1991, as an example of someone who is blocked by Landy from getting in touch with Brian. Brian's response is basically, why would I ever talk to Dean Torrence, we have no relationship. That part actually rang true to me, as it was Jan who Brian had the musical connection with, not Dean. It felt like Dean was doing a Mike Love and trying to paint himself as a creative contemporary of Brian's, with Brian basically shoving that nonsense back down Dean's throat.
16  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Dean Torrence influence on Brian Wilson on: March 02, 2018, 08:21:38 AM
I also think, Nate, that, for the most part, Jan was just happy actually being on stage and performing. He had so many challenges to overcome just being up there, I'm sure the setlist was way down on his list.

You've Got to Hide Your Love Away is song I would also include in a J&D-flavored setlist. While it's obviously a cover, Jan and Dean performed it before the accident, and their versions--both pre and post-accident--were so different than the original as to almost make it a new song. In terms of covers, I am okay with songs that bands have performed for so long that they had basically made them their own. Think Sloop John B. Then I Kissed Her, Cottonfields and Barbara Ann for the BB's. All covers, but they might as well be original BB songs because the group has performed them for so long, and recorded them. Nobody says that the BB's should drop those songs from their setlists because they are not originals. Quite the contrary; Sloop John B is a fan favorite, and I love Al's version of Then I Kissed Her, one of my favorite "Beach Boys" songs.
17  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Dean Torrence influence on Brian Wilson on: March 02, 2018, 06:45:49 AM
"But with that said, even if Brian learned things from Dean, it is not indicative of Dean being better or even on par with Brian. It is more likely to be Brian's ability to recognize what he feels is important or what can be useful and adapt it to "his sound". This is not an "imitation is the sincerest form of flattery" case, but more like, "I like where you were going with that idea, but I am going to take it into a different direction" case. "

I think you mean Jan, but this is the sentiment I was trying to get across, that Brian and Jan were not equals--except, maybe, for a brief time in the studio around 1962, 1963--but that there was definitely some influence on Brian from working with Jan in the studio.

And yes, I'm the one who dislikes the break in DWB. I love the song, but the break has always sounding jarring and amateurish to me. Jan, of course, would have come up with something better  Grin

As far as people talking about the Phase II J&D setlist being filled with BB songs, that was totally Dean's doing. It's no secret there was a lot of tension between Jan and Dean, post-accident, and in concert, Dean would often call J&D songs that Jan had written and produced "stupid." On the One Summer Night Live album, referring to not getting paid for Jennie Lee, he says, "who would pay you for that stupid song." This is said right in front of Jan. Can you imagine what would happen if Mike Love said something like that at a C50 concert with Brian sitting right there. Dean's "humor" post-accident towards Jan gets very testy at times, and reflected their strained relationship. As a result, Dean didn't care if they did a lot of J&D songs in concert, as he was fine with J&D being a BB-covers band. If you listen to Jan's solo concerts in the mid-70s and 80s, they are much more focused on Jan and Dean material, as well as Jan's solo material of the time. However, post-accident, you had a situation where Dean wasn't a proponent of J&D songs, where Jan was unable to sing lead on more than a handful of songs (and Jan sang lead on most J&D songs), and also, they had no post-1966 material to perform. It would be as if the Beach Boys played nothing live after Summer Days. So many people love the 1966-1972 BB's musical output. Well, Jan and Dean never had the opportunity to have any output during those years.

That said, you could still construct a pretty nice J&D-only setlist:

Jennie Lee
Baby Talk
Linda
Barbara Ann (they recorded this years before the BB's did)
Tennessee
Surf City
Drag City
Honolulu Lulu
Deadman's Curve
New Girl in School
Little Old Lady from Pasadena
Ride the Wild Surf
Sidewalk Surfin
Popsicle
I Found A Girl
Batman
Anaheim, Azuza
Here They Come From All Over the World



That's a nice 18-song basis for a J&D-based setlist. Add in 3-4 "deep" album cuts such as Rockin Little Roadster, Someday (a great Four Seasons-like tune), One Piece Topless Bathing Suit, or Horace the Swingin School Bus Driver (to name just a few that I like) and you would have a nice set. Not BB-level obviously, but certainly an enjoyable, interesting set of music. And this doesn't even include some Carnival of Sound or Save For A Rainy Day songs.
18  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Dean Torrence influence on Brian Wilson on: March 01, 2018, 07:21:00 PM
Frankly, I find the Jan bashing in this thread completely over the top. Was Jan as talented as Brian? Of course not. BW is a one of a kind talent. However, to basically say that Jan was some "dude" who only got somewhere because he was good looking and rich, and whose music was nothing without Brian Wilson, is ridiculous. As was mentioned, Jan had hits before Brian--Jennie Lee, Baby Talk, and Linda, to name three. And, if I'm not mistaken, Jan started using the wrecking crew long before Brian, and I believe was one of the people who showed Brian that you can use outside musicians to improve the sound of your records, which of course reached its fruition with Pet Sounds.

While I agree that the Beach Boys had a much rawer sound early on--I wouldn't go so far as to call it punk--Jan's productions from late 1962 through early 1964, for the most part, sound better than Brian's. Think about something like the instrumental break in "Don't Worry Baby." Maybe the most beautiful BB song, but that break is horrid. Now, the break doesn't detract from the quality of the song, but you can't really say that its a model of musicianship and production technique.

That brings up another issue, the fact that Jan always used top flight musicians, while Brian used mainly the other BB's early on. That gave the BB their raw, harder driving sound, but that sound had nowhere the polish that J&D records of the same period had. Now, "sound" doesn't mean "song." No Jan and Dean song comes close to the beauty of Surfer Girl, In My Room, etc. etc. Brian's songs are amazing, no matter the quality of the production. As a fan, I can enjoy both--the hard drive, melody and incomparable harmonies of early 1960s BB records, and the great, polished sound of J&D records. Obviously, by 1965 Brian had surpassed Jan in every way, and if you listen to Jan's productions in 1965 and 1966, they are not good, and seem stuck in 1963, without the same quality of music. We will never know what would have happened with Jan if he hadn't had the accident, but I imagine he would have become a producer, and worked mainly behind the scenes. Or, maybe gone to medical school and left music completely. I actually think the most beautiful music to come from Jan is post-accident, as there are several songs on Carnival of Sound--the title track, I Know My Mind, Girl You're Blowing My Mind, and even later stuff like Mother Earth--that I find to be better musically than anything he did pre-accident.

And, saying the BB's rocked, while Jan and Dean didn't, is absurd, especially as Brian--as shown by Summer Days and Pet Sounds, among others--rocked less and less the more sophisticated his productions became. I would argue that one of the reasons the BB's reputation suffered in late 1960s is because they completely eschewed the guitar-driven heavy sound that was popular. Basically, they didn't rock. If it is hypothesized that Jan and Dean were out of step with the music of 1967 and beyond--which I tend to believe would have been the case even if Jan hadn't had his accident--Brian and the BB's actually proved that they were out of step with those times, as demonstrated by poor album sales. Again, I am not criticizing the BB's music of the time, much of which is wonderful. But, you can't say that Jan and Dean were big nothings who would have disappeared in the psychedelic late 60s without acknowledging that the BB's in fact did disappear commercially during the time period.

Ultimately, I don't understand the need to pump the BB's and Brian up by tearing down other musicians. Brian Wilson is already widely celebrated as one of the greatest composers in modern pop history, while Jan Berry is a minor musicial footnote. However, minor doesn't mean bad, or that he had no influence at all on Brian, or that he was talentless and his records sucked. I LOVE the BB's, and LIKE Jan and Dean.
I think much of your post and especially your last paragraph misses the simple context that generated some fairly passionate opinions here. The "bashing" as you call it, is an at times tongue in cheek, but no less pointed illustration of our reaction to the absurdity of the Beach Boys and Jan & Dean being compared as equals, which some folks just seem to do over and over. You make a giant point of saying Jan wasn't as talented as Brian...your words... "Of course not".  Considering Nate's sentence that began this thread was "I'd say that Jan & Dean and The Beach Boys had an equal role in terms of developing what we know as the California Sound." I'll defend the Beach Boys against that opinion and other historical inaccuracies any time. It's what I do.
My reaction was mainly against the Jan and Dean are an amateur, novelty act type of comments, which I believe is highly inaccurate.
19  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Dean Torrence influence on Brian Wilson on: March 01, 2018, 05:38:41 PM
Frankly, I find the Jan bashing in this thread completely over the top. Was Jan as talented as Brian? Of course not. BW is a one of a kind talent. However, to basically say that Jan was some "dude" who only got somewhere because he was good looking and rich, and whose music was nothing without Brian Wilson, is ridiculous. As was mentioned, Jan had hits before Brian--Jennie Lee, Baby Talk, and Linda, to name three. And, if I'm not mistaken, Jan started using the wrecking crew long before Brian, and I believe was one of the people who showed Brian that you can use outside musicians to improve the sound of your records, which of course reached its fruition with Pet Sounds.

While I agree that the Beach Boys had a much rawer sound early on--I wouldn't go so far as to call it punk--Jan's productions from late 1962 through early 1964, for the most part, sound better than Brian's. Think about something like the instrumental break in "Don't Worry Baby." Maybe the most beautiful BB song, but that break is horrid. Now, the break doesn't detract from the quality of the song, but you can't really say that its a model of musicianship and production technique.

That brings up another issue, the fact that Jan always used top flight musicians, while Brian used mainly the other BB's early on. That gave the BB their raw, harder driving sound, but that sound had nowhere the polish that J&D records of the same period had. Now, "sound" doesn't mean "song." No Jan and Dean song comes close to the beauty of Surfer Girl, In My Room, etc. etc. Brian's songs are amazing, no matter the quality of the production. As a fan, I can enjoy both--the hard drive, melody and incomparable harmonies of early 1960s BB records, and the great, polished sound of J&D records. Obviously, by 1965 Brian had surpassed Jan in every way, and if you listen to Jan's productions in 1965 and 1966, they are not good, and seem stuck in 1963, without the same quality of music. We will never know what would have happened with Jan if he hadn't had the accident, but I imagine he would have become a producer, and worked mainly behind the scenes. Or, maybe gone to medical school and left music completely. I actually think the most beautiful music to come from Jan is post-accident, as there are several songs on Carnival of Sound--the title track, I Know My Mind, Girl You're Blowing My Mind, and even later stuff like Mother Earth--that I find to be better musically than anything he did pre-accident.

And, saying the BB's rocked, while Jan and Dean didn't, is absurd, especially as Brian--as shown by Summer Days and Pet Sounds, among others--rocked less and less the more sophisticated his productions became. I would argue that one of the reasons the BB's reputation suffered in late 1960s is because they completely eschewed the guitar-driven heavy sound that was popular. Basically, they didn't rock. If it is hypothesized that Jan and Dean were out of step with the music of 1967 and beyond--which I tend to believe would have been the case even if Jan hadn't had his accident--Brian and the BB's actually proved that they were out of step with those times, as demonstrated by poor album sales. Again, I am not criticizing the BB's music of the time, much of which is wonderful. But, you can't say that Jan and Dean were big nothings who would have disappeared in the psychedelic late 60s without acknowledging that the BB's in fact did disappear commercially during the time period.

Ultimately, I don't understand the need to pump the BB's and Brian up by tearing down other musicians. Brian Wilson is already widely celebrated as one of the greatest composers in modern pop history, while Jan Berry is a minor musicial footnote. However, minor doesn't mean bad, or that he had no influence at all on Brian, or that he was talentless and his records sucked. I LOVE the BB's, and LIKE Jan and Dean.
20  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Mike Love on Love & Mercy: ‘Poor Brian, He’s Had a Rough, Rough Time’ on: June 11, 2015, 05:52:35 AM


It could be that with nearly 30 years after the dust has settled, Mike just doesn't get as worked up about the Landy situation as he once did. He does seem to have emotionally detached himself from the whole thing somewhat, going by his comments in the interview.

Since Mike and Brian don't have, it seems, any relationship these days, he probably doesn't care that much anymore about stuff that happened to Brian thirty years ago. Also, he still thinks Brian is controlled and medicated, so he probably thinks what Melinda is doing to Brian today is not much different than what Landy did. In his mind, they are all controlling Brian with drugs.

 

Where in the world did you come up with the slanderous notion that Melinda is giving Brian any drugs at all, much less controlling him via drugs?  Where does this non-sense originate?

EoL


I didn't mean that Melinda was giving Brian drugs personally, but that she is the person most responsible for his treatment, hence Mike probably believes she is the one responsible for Brian's presecription drug use, which he equates with street drugs.
21  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Mike Love on Love & Mercy: ‘Poor Brian, He’s Had a Rough, Rough Time’ on: June 10, 2015, 03:22:41 PM
Hi Ray,

Mike has mentioned many times that it is Brian's "people" who keep him and Brian apart, which I always take as a veiled swipe at Melinda. While I am sure Mike knows that Melinda is not prescribing Brian his meds personally, he probably thinks it is Melinda's "control" that keeps Brian drugged up.  
22  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Mike Love on Love & Mercy: ‘Poor Brian, He’s Had a Rough, Rough Time’ on: June 10, 2015, 03:14:00 PM


It could be that with nearly 30 years after the dust has settled, Mike just doesn't get as worked up about the Landy situation as he once did. He does seem to have emotionally detached himself from the whole thing somewhat, going by his comments in the interview.

Since Mike and Brian don't have, it seems, any relationship these days, he probably doesn't care that much anymore about stuff that happened to Brian thirty years ago. Also, he still thinks Brian is controlled and medicated, so he probably thinks what Melinda is doing to Brian today is not much different than what Landy did. In his mind, they are all controlling Brian with drugs.
23  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Mike Love on Love & Mercy: ‘Poor Brian, He’s Had a Rough, Rough Time’ on: June 10, 2015, 02:48:46 PM

(btw, didn't Mike just bitch about Brian's current use of prescription drugs?

What??  Shocked  When was this? If Brian took drugs to control of physical ailment, would Mike still have problems with it?

He has said it many times, in different interviews, that he basically thinks Brian's use of prescription drugs today is the same as his use of illicit drugs in the past.
24  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Mike Love on Love & Mercy: ‘Poor Brian, He’s Had a Rough, Rough Time’ on: June 10, 2015, 02:42:58 PM
Based on his prescription drug comments, it seems that Mike really doesn't think Brian has any mental issues at all, and that it was the drugs that caused all his problems--then and now. It's like in his memory, Brian was a normal child/teen, his "childhood buddy" and then, in the mid-60s, he became a drug addict and destroyed himself. End of story. Has Mike ever acknowledged that Brian has problems that are not somehow related to drugs?
25  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Mike Love on Love & Mercy: ‘Poor Brian, He’s Had a Rough, Rough Time’ on: June 10, 2015, 02:22:30 PM
Mike was openly against Landy back in thr day, it's hard to think he changed his mind now, after living through it.

It seems that it was the cost of Landy that most upsets him.  

I have to say, that despite the admittedly crass and dumbass comment about the cost, I don't think that this is the case.

I'm just going by his comments in the article. The cost thing got the most passionate response--"hell, yeah."

It's also possible that Mike "liked" Brian more in the 1980s than he does now, and because of the deterioration in their relationship over the past thirty years, feels less anger towards Landy. That would help explain the increasingly negative and out of touch comments he has made about Brian in the past few years. Mike is probably hurt that they don't have the relationship they once did. He even says they were childhood buddies in the article, implying that they are not buddies now. Unfortunately, he blames Brian's "people" for their estrangement, and takes no personal responsibility himself for it.
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