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Author Topic: July 4 1981 Long Beach Concert?  (Read 5805 times)
♩♬🐸 Billy C ♯♫♩🐇
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« on: April 14, 2006, 12:35:30 AM »

I have heard this was an infamously bad show.

Can anyone please give details?
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« Reply #1 on: April 14, 2006, 03:18:16 AM »

I wasn’t there, so it’s hard to tell for me what it was like to be there.
But I happen to have an audio-recording of this concert. Brian was there, but it sounds like he’s not really having fun. Mike’s nasal singing becomes irritating after a while. It’s not a soundboard mix I have, but still then I get the idea there wasn’t done a lot of tuning up. Drums often overrule the rest of the sound, as well as leadguitar. Lot of unnecessary synthesizersounds. And the harmonies are…well…not what you’d hope for…

And Carl wasn’t there that day…and that shows…Brian sings God Only Knows instead…uninspired. And his lead on Don’t Worry Baby really hurts ones ears.

And apparently it was raining that day, which doesn’t really help.

Bobby Figuora singing Sail On Sailor is a pleasant surprise though, although he did forget a few lines.

Don’t know if this is the complete setlist, but the line up of songs I have:
California Girls, Sloop John B, Do It Again, Schooldays, In My Roon, Surfin , Surfin Safari’, Catch A Wave, Surfer Girl, Long Tall Texan, Lady Lynda, God Only Knows, Don’t Worry Baby, Sail On Sailor, 409, Shut Down, Little Old Lady From Pasadena, Little Deuce Coupe, Help Me Rhonda, Be True To Your School, Wouldn’t It Be Nice, RnR Music, I Get Around, Surfin’ USA
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« Reply #2 on: April 14, 2006, 04:04:00 AM »

The Long Beach show was actually July 5th. They had played Washington DC the previous day. The Wash DC show was broadcast on the radio, while the Long Beach show was shown on TV (and simulcast on the radio).

The Long Beach show was pretty bad. Nobody was in particularly good form. Adrian Baker's singing was horrendous; shockingly sounding worse than Brian's voice, which was in pretty bad shape. Brian tried to sing "Don't Worry Baby" in falsetto in the original key.

Bobby Figueroa's lead vocal is the only decent lead vocal heard on that show. Dennis is relatively subdued (other than his usual bit on "Help Me Rhonda") and handles the drum duties without too much trouble.

There is an interview with Carl done during his solo tour that year, and he talks about going back to his hotel room and watching the BB show in Long Beach. I think his reactions were something like "it was painful" and "a little rehearsal would help a lot."

The Wash DC show from the day before is about the same quality, by the way. It wasn't like the Long Beach show was just one bad night. That was a bad year and a half until Carl returned in mid-1982.
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« Reply #3 on: April 14, 2006, 04:36:02 AM »

oops, have to correct myself then...I have the Washington DC concert from the 4th...
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Rule of thumb, think BEFORE you post. And THINK how it may affect someone else's feelings.

Check out the Beach Boys Starline website, the place for pictures of many countries Beach Boys releases on 45.

Listening to you I get the music; Gazing at you I get the heat; Following you I climb the mountain; I get excitement at your feet
Right behind you I see the millions; On you I see the glory; From you I get opinions; From you I get the story
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« Reply #4 on: April 14, 2006, 04:38:43 AM »

Brian tried to sing "Don't Worry Baby" in falsetto in the original key.
Yeah. Ouch. But oddly, still edifying.
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« Reply #5 on: April 14, 2006, 07:11:58 AM »

Brian tried to sing "Don't Worry Baby" in falsetto in the original key.
Yeah. Ouch. But oddly, still edifying.

Yes, there was something about Brian's voice during the 1981-82 period that was slightly improved over the mid-70's. It wasn't as raspy; he looked like he was trying to "sing", instead of just throwing it out there.

Also, his stage demeanor appeared to be more lively, although that could be attributed to substance abuse. But I saw the Beach Boys (with Brian) in both 1981 and 1982, and he appeared a little more animated, and I didn't think he sounded that bad. At least he was attempting lead vocals that he hadn't tried in years, even though he was forced into it because of Carl's absence.

Boy, little did I (or Brian) know how much things were about to change...
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« Reply #6 on: April 14, 2006, 08:52:09 AM »

I taped this off TV and watched it a couple more times.  When the Boys came on after Pablo Cruise, and they started California Girls, the singing was so bad I thought I would turn it off and go horseback riding with my wife.  Mike was way, way out of key and off the melody. Backgrounds sucked. But it was the Beach Boys with Brian Wilson so if course I didn't.  This was definitely not a hghlight of their concert career.  Al flubbed the lines on Wouldn't It Be Nice and Lady Lynda, but his voice was OK (I think).  Brian was terrible on Don't Worry Baby (although as I recall for the second verse he dropped an octave and sort of re-arranged the lead a bit so he could sing it easier and I thought  - now that's pretty slick to be able to do that right on the spot like that).  He also did Good Vibrations and it doesn't seem like it was quite as bad.  He was at the white piano and looked like he was somewhat into it. And yep, Bobby F. did a good job with Sail On Sailor. Always one of my favorites.  It was the first time I had ever heard Adrian Baker with them and it was ruinously horrific.  I read somewhere that according to Bruce or someone they were having problems with their stage monitors and couldn't hear themselves at all, and that could certainly cause a problem, but others have dismissed that as an alibi and said they were just plain bad that day.  Some if was OK, but the stuff that wasn't, man oh man.  Carl was right.

Pablo Cruise was great.  The monitors seemed to be working OK for them.  Who else was there?  Three Dog Night? And one more opening act, a single, maybe?

It was good to have Carl back the next year.

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« Reply #7 on: April 14, 2006, 09:09:05 AM »

It was good to have Carl back the next year.
Would've been nice if he'd brought BillyH's 'One More Night Alone' with him. Material like that could've made 'The Beach Boys' worth listening to.
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« Reply #8 on: April 14, 2006, 03:30:41 PM »

Rick Springfield was the solo act, followed by the other two (Pablo Cruise and Three Dog Night, not sure which order they played in).  Unfortuantely, it wasn't broadcast in my area...instead they showed the Beach Boys' 20th Anniversary syndicated show with footage from Knebworth and D.C. the year before (which made a better show, no doubt about it).   I got a videotape of the Long Beach show a year later, but unfortunately, Springfield, Cruise, and Three Dog were omitted.  If anyone has a video of the show with these acts on it, please let me know.

Oddly, Dennis was the best and most consistent Beach Boy at this show.  He was absolutely rock-solid on the drums, zero mistakes.  His only disturbing moment was when he got on the piano and tried to sing along to "Rhonda".  Other than that, he was fit and fine.  Which reminds me of something Foskett said in an interview about a Carl-less show they played in Massachucettes the following spring...Jeff said "Dennis was there and doing a damn good job that night, because nobody else was".  He said this while Dennis was still alive.  Which just goes to show that even in the last three years of his life, Dennis cared enough to put forth extra effort when others were taking a dive around him.  To be fair, at the Long Beach '81 show, Bruce was fine, and the backup from Ed Carter, Ernie Knapp, Bobby F.and Mike Meros was solid.   But Brian, Mike, Al and Adrian all "tanked" in one way or another.

BTW, it was sunny in Southern California that day, but it did rain the day before in D.C.

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« Reply #9 on: April 14, 2006, 06:41:01 PM »


Oddly, Dennis was the best and most consistent Beach Boy at this show.  He was absolutely rock-solid on the drums, zero mistakes.  His only disturbing moment was when he got on the piano and tried to sing along to "Rhonda".  Other than that, he was fit and fine.  Which reminds me of something Foskett said in an interview about a Carl-less show they played in Massachucettes the following spring...Jeff said "Dennis was there and doing a damn good job that night, because nobody else was".  He said this while Dennis was still alive.  Which just goes to show that even in the last three years of his life, Dennis cared enough to put forth extra effort when others were taking a dive around him.  To be fair, at the Long Beach '81 show, Bruce was fine, and the backup from Ed Carter, Ernie Knapp, Bobby F.and Mike Meros was solid.   But Brian, Mike, Al and Adrian all "tanked" in one way or another.


I agree with this assessment, except for Ernie Knapp. His bass sounded horrible. It wasn't that his playing was bad, it was just that the sound he was getting with the bass was horrible. That sort of "boing-boing" sound where you can't even really hear the notes. When Bruce played the same bass during the show, it sounded the same.

It's hard to rate Bruce's performance, because neither his voice or keyboard was particularly prevalent during the show, and he didn't take any leads. Al was okay, below average for him, but still good enough that the show would have come off okay if everybody else even met that basic level of proficiency. Mike really didn't sound a whole lot different than he usually did, at least on leads. His and everybody's group vocals/harmonies were below par for sure, though. I'd say Adrian Baker was the worst of all of them on that show, followed closely by Brian. Brian actually sounded passable on stuff like "Sloop John B" and "Good Vibrations." But "Don't Worry Baby" alone brought the entire show down.

The backing band, minus Baker, did their best to hold it together. I wonder if it sounded as bad on stage as it did on TV.

Dennis was probably the best, but only by default. There wasn't anything that stood out about his drumming, it was just solid overall like his drumming was as late as 1980 and 1981. Dennis actually seemed quite subdued during that show. You can see it during the preshow interview. During that interview, Brian calls it "the longest day ever" in a not particularly effective joking fashion.

Some often lump the late 70's and early 80's together in terms of the quality of the BB's shows, but I actually saw a very marked drop in quality between 1980 and 1981. It can be partly ascribed to Carl's departure, but just about everybody seemed to be less polished for whatever reason, likely to do partly with lack of rehearsals.
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« Reply #10 on: April 14, 2006, 06:53:06 PM »

That's right - Rick Springfield.  No wonder i didn't remember.  I think my video of it - with all the acts and the Wolfman- disappeared in one move or another from California to the Caroline Islands to Guam to California to Texas or I'd send it off to you.  Yes, the rest of the band was generally OK other than what has been discussed  - unfortunately that was the focal point. I'd forgotten about the bass sound. It was weird. I remember Surfer Girl, and Brian didn't do so bad on his bridge. In the second line of the bridge, he started it "hey, in my woody . . ." and I've always used that added "hey" when I do it.  It caught my ear and made me think he was actually thinking about the song while singing it.  I just thought it was kind of a nice cool little "thing" to drop in. On the set list, they closed as usual - GV (Brian), BA, FFF.  As I recall, FFF was a long sing-along jam with the other acts and the broadcast closed out over it with the Wolfman doing his thing and a few credits, etc.   It was pretty weird seeing them play without Carl.  I doubt he would have stood for the sloppy performance, but then again isn't that one reason he bailed in the first place?
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« Reply #11 on: April 14, 2006, 07:08:46 PM »

You are right about the sound of the bass, and the sound of the 12-string guitar is also bad at that show, but in a different (out-of-tune) way.  But I think they were played well.  The mix in general stunk.

Regarding Dennis, he played exactly what he was supposed to play.  And he looked damn good doing it...not smashed at all.  Brian, Mike and Al all look like old men at that show, but Dennis looked in top physical shape, and just POUNDED the drums with true rock 'n' roll energy.  To me, the only enjoyable aspect of that show is watching Dennis play.  And I'm straight!

C-Man
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« Reply #12 on: April 14, 2006, 11:17:03 PM »

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And I'm straight!

And you want...to...take his place?
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