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Author Topic: Group Interview On PBS - Charlie Rose Show Tonight  (Read 43182 times)
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« Reply #100 on: May 20, 2012, 10:57:15 AM »

If you read quotes from the original pre-release articles on "Smile," Mike Love said a thing or two similar to Dennis Wilson, that "Smile" was going to be great.  What he said in private may have been something else, but they both were out there being pitchmen for the latest Beach Boys project of the time.  Dennis's quote was also said in that context, so that may not have been what he felt about "Smile" years later.  Who knows?

I don't believe if "Smile" had been released in 1967 it would have put the Beach Boys in an artsy direction that would have resulted in their being taken seriously and would have been a big success.  So saying it's all Mike's fault that the Beach Boys became a surf and car band aren't looking at the way fans back in the '60s saw things.  The FM radio hippie crowd had little use for a band named The Beach Boys and I don't think releasing Smile would have made any difference.  The LP's the Beach Boys released post-Smile were not car and surf albums and they still were rejected in the marketplace.  That argument only would make sense if they released albums that were like "Shut Down II" and not things like "Smiley Smile," "Wild Honey," "Sunflower," and "Hollland."  The BB were still trying to be arty with those later releases, and still failed.  The one thing that did make them huge with the public again was the "Endless Summer" greatest hits package (early surf and car songs).

The public rejected the single release  of "Heroes and Villains" and it did not chart high enough to please Brian, and that devastated him and caused him to pull the plug on "Smile" more than anything Mike said or did.  The public didn't make H & V Top 5 and Brian saw it as a sign that "Smile" would be a relative commercial failure, and he was probably right about that.  The public wasn't ready to hear "Smile" as that time, or at least wasn't ready to hear it from a band like the Beach Boys.
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« Reply #101 on: May 20, 2012, 11:30:24 AM »

I think Dennis's comment was overstated for effect... he really didn't think Smile made pet sounds sound like sh*t, he was just saying that Smile was even better than Pet Sounds... and overstated it for effect.  

So, the point being Dennis' statement shouldn't be taken as gospel, I doubt he meant it to be so profound as to be discussed 45 years later.

On the other side, Mike's comments about how he shouldn't have put down pet sounds, etc. is also not worthy of 45 years of discussion, it was just 2 seconds in Mike's life... nothing to judge by.  


As for the Dennis comment, it was indeed nothing important or to be taken seriously, just to describe how incredible SMiLE was gonna be and get people excited.

But as for the Mike Love comments, that's a whole other thing here..
he was criticizing Brian's masterplan, and what would become his masterpiece and make the band's music really respected and live on for decades, as art and not just dumb summer hits.. this is where it all started to go wrong, for many reasons, and Mike Love is definitely part of it
after that point in their career, it never was the same again ... so yeah, his comments, attitude and what happened during the Pet Sounds era and after (SMiLE) IS part of history of the band and definitely had an impact on Brian and what would come after..
So, you think Brian's pre-Pet Sounds music is dumb? All that work to get to that artistic peak is just dumb summer hits, huh? What a thought process. Wink

In Stebbinsian acrimony, may I say that diminishing Brian's pre-Pet Sounds music as dumb summer hits is stupid. And so is looking at it as a path to Smile. That music stands on its own, as history has shown. And I'm out of this argument over minutia not even the principals are aware of.

Sigh


For christ sake, is this a joke ? you know exactly what i meant, and that i wasn't diminishing Pre-Pet Sounds songwritting ...

What's that quote of Brian Wilson saying how much he loved making music about surf, cars girls and california, but that it was time to create something more mature and adult.. it really says it all and shows what i meant, i love Pre-Pet Sounds as much as the rest,
but if the band didn't let Brian Wilson explore his inspiration and stuck to the surf stuff... well, we wouldn't have had the greatest song ever that is God Only Knows and all the amazingly well written and so unique sounds and songs froim Pet Sounds, SMiLE and other great, deep stuff that came after.



...Dear lord, i can't believe i had to explain myself on that, is this elementary school...
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« Reply #102 on: May 20, 2012, 11:37:40 AM »

Here's something from the interview that hasn't been discussed. I'm going from memory here...

Charlie posed a question, referring to the new single, I believe...using words like "How did "TWGMTR" come about?", as if he expected a response that it was written in the back seat of the car while listening to the radio in five minutes, or that there was some other explanation nothing short of genius.

Brian's answer was concise... "Joe Thomas".

Somebody else then chimed in identifying Thomas as a producer or executive, but the story went no further.

Whooops! I guess the cat's out of the bag on that one.

Given that the authorship of the song was established a couple of months ago -- Peterik, Millas and Thomas did a demo in 98, and BW and Joe took it up again last year -- it's not really a surprise to anyone here.


Yet in an interview posted in the Record Room, Brian mentioned that he and Joe started with TWGMTR in the late 90s.

My guess is that Brian and Joe did start work on some stuff but never finished it. Thomas then might've taken those snippets and finished/worked on with other collaborators because Brian had no interest. When this reunion came up Brian remembered the songs they started in the 90s (and I guess he was planning to give them to the Beah Boys before Carl died) and contact with Thomas was made who then made sure that he would be a part of it. Just my guess but imo it sounds plausible
« Last Edit: May 20, 2012, 11:43:02 AM by Rocker » Logged

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« Reply #103 on: May 20, 2012, 11:45:53 AM »

Anyone, including Mike, who thinks Dennis was in any way derisive of Pet Sounds by making that statement about Smile is an idiot. As many people with functioning depth and awareness have pointed out, Dennis loved Pet Sounds, he was constantly touting its greatness, and to him Smile was so unbelievably fantastic it made one of the greatest records ever recorded pale in comparison. Dennis was on the front lines of the Smile cult...and only Al had the guts to point out that Dennis was right. "Surf's Up" is better than anything on Pet Sounds.

I personally found this exchange during the interview to be very revealing. Brian was unable or unwilling to personally defend Cabin Essence in 1966 when he was the undisputed leader at the top of his game, so he's certainly not going to step up to the plate now in 2012 with essentially the most conservative members of the group there in the room with him. Their laughter at the very idea that Smile surpasses Pet Sounds... I wonder if that stings Brian on any level. Well, it stings ME. In fact, it pisses me off! I know it's not au courant to criticize Mike these days, but I found it disingenuous of him to twist Dennis's enthusiastic contemporary comment regarding SMiLE (a regard that Mike and Bruce obviously don't share for the work, outside of the official press junkets that they were clearly obligated to participate in) into the suggestion that Dennis was disparaging Pet Sounds. That's slimy, especially when the person in question can't defend himself, and laughable, to anyone with even a passing knowledge of Beach Boys history and how things went down. I've been very positive regarding Mike during this tour and I think overall he's great... but I'll call this one like I see it.

Al Jardine... he may be a little late to the party, but my respect for the guy has increased exponentially in the last year. Apparently he actually meant what he was saying in the SMiLE youtube series... good for him! He defended VDP in the recent Mojo article too, and is the only Beach Boy on the stage who even mentions the huge SMiLE release that occurred just 6 short months ago. This all would be a lot harder to take without Al 's perspective and willingness to speak up. Since Carl died, he stopped toeing the line for Beach Boys INC and so now he tends to have the most interesting things to say of any of the surviving members of the band. Wherever Dennis is on a spiritual level, and Carl for that matter, I'm sure that Al's gesture was appreciated. Maybe even Brian appreciated it, but who the hell knows!?!?

I love all the Beach Boys and am greatly appreciative of this tour, but I needed to get this off my chest. Just one man's opinion.
« Last Edit: May 20, 2012, 11:50:26 AM by mammy blue » Logged
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« Reply #104 on: May 20, 2012, 11:48:37 AM »

If you read quotes from the original pre-release articles on "Smile," Mike Love said a thing or two similar to Dennis Wilson, that "Smile" was going to be great.  What he said in private may have been something else, but they both were out there being pitchmen for the latest Beach Boys project of the time.  Dennis's quote was also said in that context, so that may not have been what he felt about "Smile" years later.  Who knows?

In the late 70s, Dennis was personally responsible for circulating the SMiLE tapes within the music industry. That makes him the original SMiLE freak. True story.
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« Reply #105 on: May 20, 2012, 12:22:54 PM »

I dunno, you think Capitol Records had something to do with Brian not feeling very confident in "Smile," after they put him in his place by not promoting "Pet Sounds" and also criticizing the music on that record to his face?  The Beach Boys also sued Capitol around the time of "Smile," which put them in a bad place in the industry.  Mike also participated in "Smiley Smile," which not only included songs from "Smile," but required that he lay down on the ground and make animal noises and do vocals in an empty swimming pool during the sessions.  Which he did.  The Beach Boys also continued to release songs from "Smile" on other albums, including finishing "Surf's Up" and putting out on an album titled "Surf's Up."  Which, according to accounts of the time, greatly upset Brian, who did not want the song "Surf's Up" to get finished or released.  That wasn't Mike who objected most vociferously at that time, but Brian himself.  If Mike didn't like "Surf's Up" or "Cabinessence," he clearly did not have the power over the other members of the band to prevent their release on albums after "Smile," because the other band members went around him and did just that.  People need to put Mike's power in perspective.  He didn't have that much, at least not any more than Al or Carl or Dennis or Brian collectively or even individually.
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« Reply #106 on: May 20, 2012, 12:33:04 PM »

.
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« Reply #107 on: May 20, 2012, 12:35:25 PM »


I dunno, you think Capitol Records had something to do with Brian not feeling very confident in "Smile," after they put him in his place by not promoting "Pet Sounds" and also criticizing the music on that record to his face?  The Beach Boys also sued Capitol around the time of "Smile," which put them in a bad place in the industry.  Mike also participated in "Smiley Smile," which not only included songs from "Smile," but required that he lay down on the ground and make animal noises and do vocals in an empty swimming pool during the sessions.  Which he did.  The Beach Boys also continued to release songs from "Smile" on other albums, including finishing "Surf's Up" and putting out on an album titled "Surf's Up."  Which, according to accounts of the time, greatly upset Brian, who did not want the song "Surf's Up" to get finished or released.  That wasn't Mike who objected most vociferously at that time, but Brian himself.  If Mike didn't like "Surf's Up" or "Cabinessence," he clearly did not have the power over the other members of the band to prevent their release on albums after "Smile," because the other band members went around him and did just that.  People need to put Mike's power in perspective.  He didn't have that much, at least not any more than Al or Carl or Dennis or Brian collectively or even individually.

I wrote nothing about my theories regarding the demise of SMiLE. I did write that Brian seemed unable to personally defend the work with the Boys (capital B) in the room, then or now.
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« Reply #108 on: May 20, 2012, 12:37:49 PM »

With all the bonheur over the 50 celebration it's great to see the Brianistas and the Kokomaoists at each others throats again.

The status quo has returned to the beach Boys world ...  Razz
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« Reply #109 on: May 20, 2012, 12:45:48 PM »

If you read quotes from the original pre-release articles on "Smile," Mike Love said a thing or two similar to Dennis Wilson, that "Smile" was going to be great.  What he said in private may have been something else, but they both were out there being pitchmen for the latest Beach Boys project of the time.  Dennis's quote was also said in that context, so that may not have been what he felt about "Smile" years later.  Who knows?

In the late 70s, Dennis was personally responsible for circulating the SMiLE tapes within the music industry. That makes him the original SMiLE freak. True story.
That's right...he leaked the material.
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« Reply #110 on: May 20, 2012, 12:47:38 PM »

With all the bonheur over the 50 celebration it's great to see the Brianistas and the Kokomaoists at each others throats again.

The status quo has returned to the beach Boys world ...  Razz
kokomaoists. LOL
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And production aside, I’d so much rather hear a 14 year old David Marks shred some guitar on Chug-a-lug than hear a 51 year old Mike Love sing about bangin some chick in a swimming pool.-rab2591
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« Reply #111 on: May 20, 2012, 12:50:46 PM »

With all the bonheur over the 50 celebration it's great to see the Brianistas and the Kokomaoists at each others throats again.

The status quo has returned to the beach Boys world ...  Razz

It doesn't take a "Brianista", whatever that means (I think it suggests a certain mindless devotion to Brian which I don't think would be a fair description of myself) to be a little disappointed seeing the Beach Boys being so sneeringly dismissive of Smile in a national TV interview. Call me naive, or too sensitive, fine. I just don't know any other band of the Beach Boys' stature that appears to be so seemingly out of touch with its own creative legacy, and brazenly dismissive of it. It's staggering, actually. Anyway, God Bless Al Jardine, and I'll shut up about it now. Return to your regularly scheduled group hug.
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« Reply #112 on: May 20, 2012, 12:52:09 PM »


I dunno, you think Capitol Records had something to do with Brian not feeling very confident in "Smile," after they put him in his place by not promoting "Pet Sounds" and also criticizing the music on that record to his face?  The Beach Boys also sued Capitol around the time of "Smile," which put them in a bad place in the industry.  Mike also participated in "Smiley Smile," which not only included songs from "Smile," but required that he lay down on the ground and make animal noises and do vocals in an empty swimming pool during the sessions.  Which he did.  The Beach Boys also continued to release songs from "Smile" on other albums, including finishing "Surf's Up" and putting out on an album titled "Surf's Up."  Which, according to accounts of the time, greatly upset Brian, who did not want the song "Surf's Up" to get finished or released.  That wasn't Mike who objected most vociferously at that time, but Brian himself.  If Mike didn't like "Surf's Up" or "Cabinessence," he clearly did not have the power over the other members of the band to prevent their release on albums after "Smile," because the other band members went around him and did just that.  People need to put Mike's power in perspective.  He didn't have that much, at least not any more than Al or Carl or Dennis or Brian collectively or even individually.

I wrote nothing about my theories regarding the demise of SMiLE. I did write that Brian seemed unable to personally defend the work with the Boys (capital B) in the room, then or now.

Its called "Conflation"...and this thread is full of it.  The practice of treating two distinct concepts as if they were one...becoming a fusion or blurring of distinct subjects, which tends to obscure analysis.
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« Reply #113 on: May 20, 2012, 01:01:51 PM »

Mike was never unsupportive of Pet Sounds.

Brian and Tony Asher would beg to differ.


Brian? When or where?

In the A&E doc for one. Mike himself referred to part of the album as nauseating.
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« Reply #114 on: May 20, 2012, 01:03:14 PM »

Paul and John fought about lyrics and ideas and direction all the time, but both of them had the balls to stand by their  convictions. 


Brian didn't. 

The difference is that John and Paul were pretty close to being equals. Mike was in no position to comment with any real authority, yet acted as if he did. I wonder how many times you could find Ringo fighting Paul and John about their lyrics.
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« Reply #115 on: May 20, 2012, 01:05:30 PM »

Paul and John fought about lyrics and ideas and direction all the time, but both of them had the balls to stand by their  convictions. 


Brian didn't. 

The difference is that John and Paul were pretty close to being equals. Mike was in no position to comment with any real authority, yet acted as if he did. I wonder how many times you could find Ringo fighting Paul and John about their lyrics.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=68edB_Q1e4g

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« Reply #116 on: May 20, 2012, 01:17:34 PM »

As the guy assigned as singer of many of the songs,  he was going to have the right to object to the lyrics.  He didn't feel comfortable singing them.  They didn't fit the image he felt the Beach Boys had, and it didn't fit the kind of guy he was (he's not that good of an actor that he can sing songs that don't fit his personality).  You can hate Mike all you want, but if he had to sing the lyrics, he was going to say something.  If Brian and the rest of the band didn't like it, they could have fired him.  They never did.  That was their problem.  They could have got Glen Campbell to replace Mike (he wasn't a hit recording artist at that point, and had singing talents and looks), they could have gotten any number of guys.  I'm not even sure why they insisted Mike sing the cornfield lyrics in Cabinessence if he didn't like them.  It wasn't even a baritone part.  Al could have sung those lines, Carl could have sung it, Dennis could have sung it, Bruce could have sung it. Some blame many things on Mike, but even if that's the case, why were the Beach Boys such nitwits that they kept him around?  They wanted it both ways, because he had a track record of singing on a lot of the hits.  But they stopped having hits so it didn't matter who was the lead singer.  Murry tried to get rid of him, but the band wouldn't let him. 
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« Reply #117 on: May 20, 2012, 01:33:04 PM »

That Mike is obviously a huge fan of Brian's talent doesn't mean he's going to like all of his co-writers. Smile is not iconic for him like it is for us. It's different when it's part of your career and I've never met one musician that sees their music the same as the masses. Mike has said he likes Heroes and a few other things, but it's not his favorite period. I love Smile myself, but not as much as Pet Sounds, Today, Wild Honey, or Sunflower. Still in my top five but I prefer those other four albums personally. Does that mean I am a bad fan or writer because my tastes are a bit different than others? Again I want to stess I LOVE Smile, but it's not my favorite Beach Boys LP.
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« Reply #118 on: May 20, 2012, 01:47:33 PM »

Paul and John fought about lyrics and ideas and direction all the time, but both of them had the balls to stand by their  convictions. 


Brian didn't. 

The difference is that John and Paul were pretty close to being equals. Mike was in no position to comment with any real authority, yet acted as if he did. I wonder how many times you could find Ringo fighting Paul and John about their lyrics.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=68edB_Q1e4g

 Grin


That video popped into my mind too when I read rockandroll's message    Cheesy
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« Reply #119 on: May 20, 2012, 02:20:00 PM »

With all the bonheur over the 50 celebration it's great to see the Brianistas and the Kokomaoists at each others throats again.

The status quo has returned to the beach Boys world ...  Razz

It doesn't take a "Brianista", whatever that means (I think it suggests a certain mindless devotion to Brian which I don't think would be a fair description of myself) to be a little disappointed seeing the Beach Boys being so sneeringly dismissive of Smile in a national TV interview. Call me naive, or too sensitive, fine. I just don't know any other band of the Beach Boys' stature that appears to be so seemingly out of touch with its own creative legacy, and brazenly dismissive of it. It's staggering, actually. Anyway, God Bless Al Jardine, and I'll shut up about it now. Return to your regularly scheduled group hug.
I agree. I choose to believe that it was a faux pas on Mike's part, and he probably didn't realize in the moment that Brian is very sensitive to this kind of dismissal of his work. It is important to remember, though, because from what I can tell, if the people around him don't like Brian's work, it affects his opinion of it (and himself).

This is a big factor in a lot of Beach Boys history, and it doesn't only have to do with Mike. It is about being sensitive to Brian's state of mind.
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« Reply #120 on: May 20, 2012, 02:20:22 PM »

Right, the buck stops with Brian ultimately. I was saying that at this late date, the rest of the group (especially Mike) could be more outwardly accepting of SMiLe, even if they don't like it. Kudos to Al for jumping in.

And then the same people who criticise Mike for saying he doesn't like Smile would instead criticise him for saying he liked it, saying he was being dishonest and trying to rewrite history. If he doesn't like it, he doesn't like it.

I agree with the person who said Mike could show a bit more respect for what Brian went through with Smile, even if he doesn't like the music. Putting that music out was a huge accomplishment for Brian. Since the group was asked about it, showing respect would have been the gracious thing to do, in my opinion. He could even have said, "I don't like the lyrics, but it was a big project that was a struggle for Brian, and I'm happy for him that he released it." It doesn't mean I hate Mike. It just means I think he could be more gracious at times.
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« Reply #121 on: May 20, 2012, 02:55:32 PM »

still dying to see the Charlie Rose interview.


ultimately it was Brian who pulled the plug on SMiLE, but Mike's negative opinions of Brian's art certainly didn't help and he had been expressing those opinions for quite some time. Mike and Brian have been at odds over the musical direction of the band since at least Today! where side 2 is a lot like Pet Sounds. Brian stuck more with "the formula" when it came time to do Summer Days, and it's been said this was to appease Mike to some extent. then Brian created Pet Sounds, and somewhere he says that Mike wasn't into it but they made a deal that it would only be one album. I forget where that quote came from... some interview with Brian.

Brian and Mike were the big boys in the band up until at least '67 or so. Carl and Dennis did a lot of growing up between SMiLE and Surf's Up. also, the band's reputation and revenue was way down by 1971, so it's easy to see how Mike might have changed his mind about releasing SMiLE songs.

the fact that Mike (and Bruce?) are still dismissing SMiLE to any degree is really disappointing, but not really surprising. Mike had lots of good things to say about SMiLE when the box set was being promoted last year, but I don't know if he really meant everything he said. It would be great if he did, and if he could at least take some of the blame for SMiLE's derailment. Mike generally comes across as very gracious and speaks very highly of Cousin Brian. would an apology really be too much to ask for?

as bOOts said, at this stage in the game after all Brian's mental hardships which continue to this day, is it so hard for Mike to just suck it up and admit that SMiLE was an amazing piece of work? at least when he's in Brian's presence and being interviewed by a major talk show host like Charlie Rose. I haven't seen the show yet, but the fact that Mike (and Bruce) were laughing and dismissive of SMiLE and Al had to stand up for Brian shows how little has really changed in the Beach Boys dynamic 50 years down the line.
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« Reply #122 on: May 20, 2012, 03:03:30 PM »

  Mike and Brian have been at odds over the musical direction of the band since at least Today! where side 2 is a lot like Pet Sounds. 

You mean, the album side that Mike wrote the lyrics for?
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« Reply #123 on: May 20, 2012, 03:12:46 PM »

I'm always kind of surprised when people think it is weird/wrong for vocalists to want to have some understanding of or simpatico with the words they are to stake their career on. The Boys may have had questions and even reservations but it is on record [literaly] that they did it Bri's way anyway. It's hard to blame others for a guy getting his way.

I still disagree that Brian cared much what anyone thought or wanted when it came to his music. He would listen but he did whatever he felt and did not do what others felt. IMO.
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« Reply #124 on: May 20, 2012, 03:15:40 PM »

Quote
You mean, the album side that Mike wrote the lyrics for?

yeah I'm aware of that, but Mike still likes to claim that Brian's stuff was too melancholy and Summer Days was a clear attempt to keep the music more upbeat and keep it "positive"
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