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Author Topic: Group Interview On PBS - Charlie Rose Show Tonight  (Read 43180 times)
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« Reply #50 on: May 19, 2012, 11:07:51 AM »

Mike wasn't very supportive of PS in its day, not to mention SMiLE. He's gotten on board with the former, but still won't acknowledge the latter, either because he still doesn't see the merit (doubtful) or because he can't swallow his pride and praise it belatedly, for fear he'll look bad.

Check out the official videos posted about The Smile Sessions last year, they're on YouTube. Mike talks a lot about Smile, and his story was basically that he was genuinely unsure what their fanbase would think of Van Dyke Parks' lyrics. He uses some analogy about a fan in a particular state, wondering what they would think of these lyrics, and for the first time I kind of felt a, "Hm, that's actually a fair point," toward Mike's attitude back in those days. Not saying I agree with him by any means, but still, fair point. And again, let's not forget that despite his concern, he still sang the lyrics because he trusted Brian. In the videos, he goes on to praise the music and the project as a whole in various spots. He's spoken about it plenty recently.

Honestly, as interesting as this stuff is, the guys are in their 70s and are seemingly genuinely getting along really well. Now is not the time to dig up the uglier parts of their past with "hardball" questions.
This is the problem - what if McCartney had been scared about how fans would react to the lyrics on Sgt Pepper? This attitude (in general, not just Mike's) is what held the Beach Boys back commercially post-Pet Sounds, which is ironic considering that Mike' concern was commerciality.

The events of 2003-2004 and the release of the box set last year both show that SMiLe was commercially viable, at least in the past decade. Hindsight is always 20-20, but it is somewhat upsetting that Mike and the rest (aside from Al) still apparently dismiss SMiLe in this manner.

This leads into what was written in the new SPIN article about the upcoming album. According to the author, a band
(...)
Perhaps Van Dyke was onto something with his post about the reunion. I want to believe it is all good times, but I don't like hearing about Brian's magnum opus being dismissed by the rest of the group. Kudos to Al for sticking up for him.

I guess I missed this.  What did Van Dyke say?

it was for money and not genuine i think. 
Of course it is for money. Hell, Mike admits as much in the lyrics to "Spring Vacation." That doesn't mean it isn't also genuine on some level - the boys seem to be enjoying each others' company, they've made what seems to be a good album, and they've been playing excellent shows.

The part of Van Dyke's comment that I was referring to was that he wasn't happy to see Brian back with this specific group of people. I don't know if he was referring to Mike or just the whole group. I am wondering what we are going to read 5 years from now about the suite - hopefully it wasn't a conflict where they made Brian pare down his artistically ambitious contribution.
The part of t
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« Reply #51 on: May 19, 2012, 12:54:50 PM »

The reunion was/is not about Smile, though. It's about the greatest band ever celebrating their 50th anniversary. And why should Mike take back his opinion if it's sincere ? I don't agree with him and think his reasons are stupid. But if that's how he feels, it's ok. It's great and a sign of true love between family and friends that they can get together and be happy without having to hide their opinions. That's what is called respect. Brian probably still doesn't like Student Demonstration Time and won't change his mind abou that just because of the reunion
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« Reply #52 on: May 19, 2012, 01:13:04 PM »

The reunion was/is not about Smile, though. It's about the greatest band ever celebrating their 50th anniversary. And why should Mike take back his opinion if it's sincere ? I don't agree with him and think his reasons are stupid. But if that's how he feels, it's ok. It's great and a sign of true love between family and friends that they can get together and be happy without having to hide their opinions. That's what is called respect. Brian probably still doesn't like Student Demonstration Time and won't change his mind abou that just because of the reunion
I enjoy the reunion and I'm happy they are back together. I don't think Mike should take back his opinion, but he (and the rest of the group) should consider being more respectful towards SMiLe at this point, in public and around his cousin, who is clearly very fragile... I'm glad to see that Al jumped in with his defense of SMiLe. This snatch of conversation is endemic of a significant problems that faced Brian duing the production of SMiLe in the 1960s.

It is not right or accurate to blame it all on Mike, as the entire band had reservations at the time, which is understanadble. Today, SMiLe has been released in two forms, one of which was against all odds, and it is rightly considered one of the greatest albums of all time. Brian deserves for SMiLe to be acknowledged by those around him, whether grudgingly, insincerely, or whatever.

This is the kind of attitude in the Beach Boys organization that was a factor in hs abandonment of the album. It is also partially responsible for Brian demurring from any substansive talk of SMiLE until the early 2000's, saying only "The music wasn't appropriate." The people around him felt that way, so he did too.

As for Brian badmouthing "Student Demonstration Time," I would think that to be bad form. It is a strawman you set up in your post though; first of all, Mike did not badmouth SMiLe; the whole group, sans Al, was apparently dismissive of it.

Second of all, Mike worked on "Student Demonstration Time" for a short period and released it without any hectoring or opposition from those around him (as far as I know).

In stark contrast, Brian worked on the writing and recording of SMiLe for many months, striving to get it perfect - working with session musicians, Van Dyke Parks, and the other boys, painstakingly crafting his magnum opus. He eventually had a nervous breakdown and has never been the same since.

Even if SMiLe was objectively terrible, given Brian's mindset and his clear artistic sensitivity, it would behoove the rest of the group, 40+ years later, to be supportive about it, if only for the sake of Brian's well-being and mindset.

All that said, I don't think that this was meant as a slight against Brian - it was an off-the-cuff answer in an interview, and Mike et. al. probably felt bad afterwards when they realized that they were being dismissive. We can't all watch what we say at all times, and as you said, we can't ask Mike or Bruce to change their opinions.

Many would laugh off something like that, but Brian is very sensitive. I  think this exchange is endemic of the situation surrounding SMiLe and Brian's post-1966 work with the group. It is probably part of the reason he feels so secure with his backing band.

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« Reply #53 on: May 19, 2012, 01:23:53 PM »

bOOts, I haven't seen the interview and please don't get take the Student Dem.... thing too seriously. I just had the feeling that this discussion would end with Mike getting blamed for making Brian do this reunion for the money (of course money is a part of it) but not changing his mind about Smile. Student D.T. was just an example for my point that they don't have to agree on everything and still can get along enjoying the reunion. Therefor it's allright if Mike still is not a fan of Smile. That doesn't mean that his joy of being together with the boys and especially Brian aren't sincere.
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« Reply #54 on: May 19, 2012, 01:33:25 PM »

bOOts, I haven't seen the interview and please don't get take the Student Dem.... thing too seriously. I just had the feeling that this discussion would end with Mike getting blamed for making Brian do this reunion for the money (of course money is a part of it) but not changing his mind about Smile. Student D.T. was just an example for my point that they don't have to agree on everything and still can get along enjoying the reunion. Therefor it's allright if Mike still is not a fan of Smile. That doesn't mean that his joy of being together with the boys and especially Brian aren't sincere.
Sorry Rocker, I wasn't trying to jump down your throat. As for your statement that they don't have to see eye to eye on everything to enjoy the reunion, I concur!
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« Reply #55 on: May 19, 2012, 01:55:41 PM »

Mike wasn't very supportive of PS in its day, not to mention SMiLE. He's gotten on board with the former, but still won't acknowledge the latter, either because he still doesn't see the merit (doubtful) or because he can't swallow his pride and praise it belatedly, for fear he'll look bad.

Check out the official videos posted about The Smile Sessions last year, they're on YouTube. Mike talks a lot about Smile, and his story was basically that he was genuinely unsure what their fanbase would think of Van Dyke Parks' lyrics. He uses some analogy about a fan in a particular state, wondering what they would think of these lyrics, and for the first time I kind of felt a, "Hm, that's actually a fair point," toward Mike's attitude back in those days. Not saying I agree with him by any means, but still, fair point. And again, let's not forget that despite his concern, he still sang the lyrics because he trusted Brian. In the videos, he goes on to praise the music and the project as a whole in various spots. He's spoken about it plenty recently.

Honestly, as interesting as this stuff is, the guys are in their 70s and are seemingly genuinely getting along really well. Now is not the time to dig up the uglier parts of their past with "hardball" questions.
This is the problem - what if McCartney had been scared about how fans would react to the lyrics on Sgt Pepper? This attitude (in general, not just Mike's) is what held the Beach Boys back commercially post-Pet Sounds, which is ironic considering that Mike' concern was commerciality.

The events of 2003-2004 and the release of the box set last year both show that SMiLe was commercially viable, at least in the past decade. Hindsight is always 20-20, but it is somewhat upsetting that Mike and the rest (aside from Al) still apparently dismiss SMiLe in this manner.

This leads into what was written in the new SPIN article about the upcoming album. According to the author, a band member told her that "From there to Back Again" and "Pacific Coast Highway" were part of a seven-minute suite ("My Life Suite") but that The Beach Boys camp resisted the suite, and it was pared down to just those two songs.


Interesting story, considering that it was per the Beach Boys (namely Bruce and Mike) that we heard about that suite. This seems normal group dynamics.

Dennis meant what he meant. But he chose his words.
The time I heard about the suite was when Brian said "There is a suite and it goes on and on until just like that, there's no more album." Didn't realize Mike and Bruce also mentioned it.

And yes, "Surf's Up" is probably better than any one song on Pet Sounds.

I'm sure the suite was mentioned before the interview you mention (btw, wasn't that a joint telephone interview with Brian and Mike?).

Regarding the suite concept, I find it amusing that fans have wet dreams for such a thing. As if the suite form was elevated art per se, miles up above a string of 3-minute songs. There is also this bizarre idea that Brian gives free reign to his creativity through suite composition. In this sense, the suite in an album would be his most sincere artistic approach. That's bullshit. Brian's a songwriter. It was Lenny Waronker who first insisted on a suite in a BW album. Since then it seems to have become mandatory for every BW album statement to have some sort of suite to be legitimate. Rio Grande was strong, Happy Days weak, and TLOS can be enjoyed as an album of songs without the transitions or spoken parts (which are ok). And each of them is a collection of individual songs, conceived as such, only to be glued into a suite when it's time to make the "Brian's a genius" statement again. As if needed.
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« Reply #56 on: May 19, 2012, 01:58:31 PM »

No problem. It was nothing against you or any other member. Was just a feeling I had and that something I thought should be prevented


@Dr. Lenny:

I agree. I'd rather have some good pop music than a forced so and so suite
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« Reply #57 on: May 19, 2012, 02:21:15 PM »

Mike wasn't very supportive of PS in its day, not to mention SMiLE. He's gotten on board with the former, but still won't acknowledge the latter, either because he still doesn't see the merit (doubtful) or because he can't swallow his pride and praise it belatedly, for fear he'll look bad.


Honestly, as interesting as this stuff is, the guys are in their 70s and are seemingly genuinely getting along really well. Now is not the time to dig up the uglier parts of their past with "hardball" questions.
This is the problem - what if McCartney had been scared about how fans would react to the lyrics on Sgt Pepper? This attitude (in general, not just Mike's) is what held the Beach Boys back commercially post-Pet Sounds, which is ironic considering that Mike' concern was commerciality.

The events of 2003-2004 and the release of the box set last year both show that SMiLe was commercially viable, at least in the past decade. Hindsight is always 20-20, but it is somewhat upsetting that Mike and the rest (aside from Al) still apparently dismiss SMiLe in this manner.

This leads into what was written in the new SPIN article about the upcoming album. According to the author, a band member told her that "From there to Back Again" and "Pacific Coast Highway" were part of a seven-minute suite ("My Life Suite") but that The Beach Boys camp resisted the suite, and it was pared down to just those two songs.


Interesting story, considering that it was per the Beach Boys (namely Bruce and Mike) that we heard about that suite. This seems normal group dynamics.

Dennis meant what he meant. But he chose his words.
The time I heard about the suite was when Brian said "There is a suite and it goes on and on until just like that, there's no more album." Didn't realize Mike and Bruce also mentioned it.

And yes, "Surf's Up" is probably better than any one song on Pet Sounds.

I'm sure the suite was mentioned before the interview you mention (btw, wasn't that a joint telephone interview with Brian and Mike?).

Regarding the suite concept, I find it amusing that fans have wet dreams for such a thing. As if the suite form was elevated art per se, miles up above a string of 3-minute songs. There is also this bizarre idea that Brian gives free reign to his creativity through suite composition. In this sense, the suite in an album would be his most sincere artistic approach. That's bullsh*t. Brian's a songwriter. It was Lenny Waronker who first insisted on a suite in a BW album. Since then it seems to have become mandatory for every BW album statement to have some sort of suite to be legitimate. Rio Grande was strong, Happy Days weak, and TLOS can be enjoyed as an album of songs without the transitions or spoken parts (which are ok). And each of them is a collection of individual songs, conceived as such, only to be glued into a suite when it's time to make the "Brian's a genius" statement again. As if needed.
Good point, Lenny. Just because there is a suite doesn't mean it is good quality. Brian is a consummate master of the two to three minute pop song, and suites are certainly not the only thing he creates that are of of artistic interest.

It does seem, however, that Brian puts a lot of musical and creative energy into suites: each song on SMiLe is a suite unto itself, as is the totality of the album; Mount Vernon and Fairway, and of course "Rio Grande" and "Happy Days," as you mentioned.

I would be willing to bet that if Brian decided to write a suite to close the first Beach Boys album in many years, and possibly their last album ever, that it would be high-quality. It also gives Beach Boys fans a new "white elephant" - the lost suite from the reunion album. What happened to it? Why wasn't it included? I'm sure we will hear it eventually, and until we do, it is fun to speculate.
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« Reply #58 on: May 19, 2012, 04:05:50 PM »

Interview not showing at 7 p.m. ET Saturday on Bloomberg -- it's the Picasso-related one running again. I'll try again at 10.....

Edit: Not at 10 either, Picasso again.
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« Reply #59 on: May 19, 2012, 04:17:49 PM »

If it's the BB's one at 10 tonight (like you, I just checked for the one at 7), they have episodes running at 7 and 10 on Monday.
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« Reply #60 on: May 19, 2012, 04:56:36 PM »

Still no video of this, damn!
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« Reply #61 on: May 19, 2012, 05:03:49 PM »

This is the problem - what if McCartney had been scared about how fans would react to the lyrics on Sgt Pepper?

He would have gotten himself a problem then. But the Pepper lyrics are not as far out as SMiLE's, more "relatable" and less cryptic.

"Surf's Up" is better than anything on Pet Sounds.

Actually that's an opinion, not a fact. Although Surf's Up is a fascinating piece, I think that some Pet Sounds stuff is better. I liked your last book though. Smiley

It's true that Mike said he was concerned about how the fans would react to the lyrics, but that was 45 years ago. The album was released and the fans love it.

Today's fans love it, but would the fans of the time would have loved it? I'm not so sure about that. Most people I played it to don't like it, one friend even found it depressing. And generally she like the Beach Boys. I love it, but by far not everybody does.
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« Reply #62 on: May 19, 2012, 05:10:42 PM »

Was it a full hour of The Beach Boys being interviewed?
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« Reply #63 on: May 19, 2012, 05:19:10 PM »


Today's fans love it, but would the fans of the time would have loved it? I'm not so sure about that. Most people I played it to don't like it, one friend even found it depressing. And generally she like the Beach Boys. I love it, but by far not everybody does.

I'd imagine that such bombastic lyrics would have been even more well received than they are today in that golden age of psychedelia.
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« Reply #64 on: May 19, 2012, 05:25:44 PM »

This is an anticlimatic thread. We're having a blast with the reunion. The BBs give an honest and relaxed interview and we get a thread about Smile's possible reception and Mike being an idiot!
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« Reply #65 on: May 19, 2012, 05:40:10 PM »

"Surf's Up" is better than anything on Pet Sounds.

Actually that's an opinion, not a fact. Although Surf's Up is a fascinating piece, I think that some Pet Sounds stuff is better. I liked your last book though. Smiley

Mmmmh.. pretty sure Surf's Up is far more complex and deeper than anything from Pet Sounds.
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« Reply #66 on: May 19, 2012, 05:42:19 PM »

"Surf's Up" is better than anything on Pet Sounds.

Actually that's an opinion, not a fact. Although Surf's Up is a fascinating piece, I think that some Pet Sounds stuff is better. I liked your last book though. Smiley

Mmmmh.. pretty sure Surf's Up is far more complex and deeper than anything from Pet Sounds.
It is probably deeper and more complex than anything The Beatles have done, and I am a huge Beatles fan.
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« Reply #67 on: May 19, 2012, 05:45:41 PM »

"Surf's Up" is better than anything on Pet Sounds.

Actually that's an opinion, not a fact. Although Surf's Up is a fascinating piece, I think that some Pet Sounds stuff is better. I liked your last book though. Smiley

Mmmmh.. pretty sure Surf's Up is far more complex and deeper than anything from Pet Sounds.

Musically, God Only Knows beats the crap out of most of Smile's songs taken as such.
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« Reply #68 on: May 19, 2012, 06:10:22 PM »

Why still no video...?  Undecided
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« Reply #69 on: May 19, 2012, 06:27:32 PM »

Was it a full hour of The Beach Boys being interviewed?

Half an hour.

Re Mike Love and Smile:  Other than "Wonderful," Mike doesn't care for VDP's lyrics and never will.   So he will never have much positive to say about Smile, except for "Wonderful" and "GV" and maybe the tracks, but not the album as a whole.  Al scored a lot of points with me too with his defense of Smile/"Surf's Up."
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« Reply #70 on: May 19, 2012, 06:53:27 PM »

If there is another thread for this or if it has been discussed elsewhere, please disregard - I just wanted to comment on how great it was to see all the guys together talking at the round table. That in itself was terrific, and made me very happy, not to mention the interview itself and more of the GV studio film from '66, Western and Columbia...

God Bless the Beach Boys and what they're doing, it just keeps rolling along and making people happy.

Charlie Rose Show on PBS, check it out unless this is old news by now... Grin

This was a FANTASTIC interview.  Lots of subjects discussed in a very relaxed format.  This is the BEST interview with the 5 BBs that we are likely to see!  A few really nice clips too!

What GF said times 10.000!
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« Reply #71 on: May 19, 2012, 06:56:44 PM »

Heysaboda,

did you find it online somewhere, or just catch it live?
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« Reply #72 on: May 19, 2012, 07:25:36 PM »

This is an anticlimatic thread. We're having a blast with the reunion. The BBs give an honest and relaxed interview and we get a thread about Smile's possible reception and Mike being an idiot!

Oh sorry, I forget, since they are having a reunion, we're not allowed to be able to voice our complaints about things. Of course!
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« Reply #73 on: May 19, 2012, 07:37:26 PM »

I don't like "Smile" that much, either.  I used to, but with the passage of time, I like it less.  Mike is entitled to his opinion.  I'd rather listen to "Pet Sounds" any day over "Smile."  Even Elvis Costello has said that "Smile" reminds him of madness. There's a darkness in it musically that isn't in "Pet Sounds" and can make for uncomfortable listening that one has to really be in the mood to hear, whereas I could play "Pet Sounds" any day of the week.  I think that's part of why Mike doesn't like it, too, the darkness of the piece (which is more present in the music than the lyrics), and he's more or less said that over the years.  He's always seemed truly pained over what happened to Brian's mental health deterioration, which started around that period.  Mike blames the lyrics and music, other people blame Mike for reacting badly to it and "discouraging" Brian, even though Brian kept fitfully pulling the plug on "Smile" for months.  Brian's main problem with "Smile" had more to do with things like the "Fire" sessions and being weirded out by his own behavior and feelings,  than whatever Mike was grumbling about.  If Brian were so persuaded that Mike was right and he was going to scrap "Smile" just to please Mike, then why did he put out "Smiley Smile," which is a far weirder record than "Smile" and also uses some of the songs?  I don't think he cared that much about what Mike thought, it was his own trepidation that the music of "Smile" represented losing his mind, so to speak.  And also why he was so paranoid about releasing it for over 40 years.  Mike is a jerk about a lot of things, and he could have been more polite to Van Dyke, but he is who he is.  If it were all about jealousy about Van Dyke getting to collaborate instead of him (Mike), then why doesn't he have as much of a problem with the Asher-written "Pet Sounds"? 
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« Reply #74 on: May 19, 2012, 08:00:10 PM »

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.
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