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Author Topic: Dean Torrence influence on Brian Wilson  (Read 32913 times)
Howie Edelson
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« Reply #50 on: February 28, 2018, 02:21:18 PM »

That '98 clip is horrific.
LITERALLY the last thing that could/should/would be considered cool by cool people.

I'd even go so far as to say, that's EXACTLY how you ruin a brand.
I'm glad things shaped up because that could be as lame as this thing ever got.
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« Reply #51 on: February 28, 2018, 02:23:52 PM »

I dunno.. that nascar thing was pretty awful as well
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« Reply #52 on: February 28, 2018, 02:26:47 PM »

To me the weirdest thing about that clip is that Carl Wilson was still alive at the time.
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« Reply #53 on: February 28, 2018, 02:27:35 PM »

You didn't have to look at NASCAR.
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« Reply #54 on: February 28, 2018, 02:33:07 PM »

To me the weirdest thing about that clip is that Carl Wilson was still alive at the time.
Plus it was the last time BW saw Carl alive....
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« Reply #55 on: February 28, 2018, 02:38:59 PM »

To me the weirdest thing about that clip is that Carl Wilson was still alive at the time.

Al was quoted in interviews in the subsequent year or two or so that he felt Mike just refused to let up at all, to take a break whatsoever.

What other band of that stature would have a core original member get a pretty dire cancer diagnosis, only to have that member continue on tour as long as they could, but then once that member got too sick (and presumably not known to be permanently off the road at that point), just continue on, shedding additional original members in the process. No break. None. The only break Mike kinda took was when he went a few months without a license to use the BB name and could only get sporadic bookings as "California Beach Band."

But yeah, presentation wise/musically, Mike owes a ton to Scott Totten. It ain't C50, but Totten made it professional and with a baseline level of quality.
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« Reply #56 on: February 28, 2018, 02:41:16 PM »

Plus basically kicking the cancer stricken member out of the band by refusing to tour with them....
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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 #57 on: February 28, 2018, 05:01:41 PM »

It's good to use discussions like this to help correct some of the claims that have been made regarding Jan & Dean in terms of influence on Brian Wilson and/or The Beach Boys. Some of it has been overstated, and some of it just isn't 100% correct. Look at the most basic chart listings of Jan & Dean's releases on something even as simple as Wikipedia, and you'll see they did not start having big hit records until Brian Wilson got involved. Surf City was the breakthrough. The numbers do not lie. They literally 'rode the wild surf' onto the top 40 after the Beach Boys started charting hits about surf and hot rods and kicked that door open. The influence in terms of Brian liking how Jan cut records and watching some of the sessions is one thing, but the way in which some accounts have described it isn't as accurate as it could be.

So check out the timeline on this, if you believe Wikipedia and Billboard:
-early January 1963 BBs record Surfin USA
-Brian hangs out with Jan and Dean, I assume after its recorded but I guess it could be before its recorded.  He plays them Surfin USA on the piano and they want it, they later agree that J&D take Surf City cause Brian wasn't going to do anything with it.
-Sometime later Jan collaborates w/Brian to finish the song. 
-Surfin USA is released as a single on March 6th. 
-Surf City is recorded on March 20th, a few days before Surfin USA even enters the charts at number 74 on March 23rd.
-Surfin USA the album is released on March 25th.
-Surf City is released on May 17th.  Surfin USA the single was at #4, and this was the BBs first top ten record. 

They certainly benefited from the success that the BBs were having but I think to portray them as riding coattails or a door that was already kicked open goes too far in the other direction.
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« Reply #58 on: February 28, 2018, 07:10:45 PM »

It's good to use discussions like this to help correct some of the claims that have been made regarding Jan & Dean in terms of influence on Brian Wilson and/or The Beach Boys. Some of it has been overstated, and some of it just isn't 100% correct. Look at the most basic chart listings of Jan & Dean's releases on something even as simple as Wikipedia, and you'll see they did not start having big hit records until Brian Wilson got involved. Surf City was the breakthrough. The numbers do not lie. They literally 'rode the wild surf' onto the top 40 after the Beach Boys started charting hits about surf and hot rods and kicked that door open. The influence in terms of Brian liking how Jan cut records and watching some of the sessions is one thing, but the way in which some accounts have described it isn't as accurate as it could be.

So check out the timeline on this, if you believe Wikipedia and Billboard:
-early January 1963 BBs record Surfin USA
-Brian hangs out with Jan and Dean, I assume after its recorded but I guess it could be before its recorded.  He plays them Surfin USA on the piano and they want it, they later agree that J&D take Surf City cause Brian wasn't going to do anything with it.
-Sometime later Jan collaborates w/Brian to finish the song.  
-Surfin USA is released as a single on March 6th.  
-Surf City is recorded on March 20th, a few days before Surfin USA even enters the charts at number 74 on March 23rd.
-Surfin USA the album is released on March 25th.
-Surf City is released on May 17th.  Surfin USA the single was at #4, and this was the BBs first top ten record.  

They certainly benefited from the success that the BBs were having but I think to portray them as riding coattails or a door that was already kicked open goes too far in the other direction.

Look at any site that lists the Beach Boys and Jan And Dean discographies. All you need to do is look at the numbers.

To sum up, The Beach Boys from 1962 to 64 had five albums chart in the top-10 out of seven they released (Surfin Safari peaked at 32 in'62, Shut Down v2 #13 in '63). Jan and Dean released seven albums in that same time, not one of them charted top-10 or came close, and the closest to even breaking top-20 was "Drag City", peaked at 22 on Billboard.

The Beach Boys from 62-64 had seven top-10 singles chart. Two more broke the top-20.

Jan and Dean had a total of six top-20 singles starting with "Surf City" which hit #1, four out of them made it top-10.

Of Jan And Dean's six top-20 singles, Brian Wilson was involved in writing *four* of them. And the man who Brian brought into the world of songwriting via Murry calling him after hearing an on-air discussion of hot rodding, Roger Christian, was the cowriter of the other two top-20 hits for J&D.

So Jan and Dean had a dry spell of several years with no substantial chart success, albums or singles, until Brian Wilson got involved in the music, along with Roger Christian who would not have been writing songs at all if not for Brian and Murry contacting him. After Brian wasn't involved in their music, Jan and Dean failed to chart either a top 10 or top 20 album or single for the next few years up to Jan's accident. Nothing at all charted near where it had in 63-64 with BW and Roger involved in the records.

Who exactly was leading the pack, setting the pace, opening up those doors in the industry to help get record labels behind this kind of music coming out of sunny California? It wasn't Jan Berry. The numbers don't lie.

(Edited for corrections)

« Last Edit: February 28, 2018, 07:50:29 PM by guitarfool2002 » Logged

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« Reply #59 on: February 28, 2018, 07:45:55 PM »

You didn't have to look at NASCAR.

True.
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« Reply #60 on: March 01, 2018, 03:03:46 AM »

It's good to use discussions like this to help correct some of the claims that have been made regarding Jan & Dean in terms of influence on Brian Wilson and/or The Beach Boys. Some of it has been overstated, and some of it just isn't 100% correct. Look at the most basic chart listings of Jan & Dean's releases on something even as simple as Wikipedia, and you'll see they did not start having big hit records until Brian Wilson got involved. Surf City was the breakthrough. The numbers do not lie. They literally 'rode the wild surf' onto the top 40 after the Beach Boys started charting hits about surf and hot rods and kicked that door open. The influence in terms of Brian liking how Jan cut records and watching some of the sessions is one thing, but the way in which some accounts have described it isn't as accurate as it could be.

So check out the timeline on this, if you believe Wikipedia and Billboard:
-early January 1963 BBs record Surfin USA
-Brian hangs out with Jan and Dean, I assume after its recorded but I guess it could be before its recorded.  He plays them Surfin USA on the piano and they want it, they later agree that J&D take Surf City cause Brian wasn't going to do anything with it.
-Sometime later Jan collaborates w/Brian to finish the song.  
-Surfin USA is released as a single on March 6th.  
-Surf City is recorded on March 20th, a few days before Surfin USA even enters the charts at number 74 on March 23rd.
-Surfin USA the album is released on March 25th.
-Surf City is released on May 17th.  Surfin USA the single was at #4, and this was the BBs first top ten record.  

They certainly benefited from the success that the BBs were having but I think to portray them as riding coattails or a door that was already kicked open goes too far in the other direction.

Look at any site that lists the Beach Boys and Jan And Dean discographies. All you need to do is look at the numbers.

To sum up, The Beach Boys from 1962 to 64 had five albums chart in the top-10 out of seven they released (Surfin Safari peaked at 32 in'62, Shut Down v2 #13 in '63). Jan and Dean released seven albums in that same time, not one of them charted top-10 or came close, and the closest to even breaking top-20 was "Drag City", peaked at 22 on Billboard.

The Beach Boys from 62-64 had seven top-10 singles chart. Two more broke the top-20.

Jan and Dean had a total of six top-20 singles starting with "Surf City" which hit #1, four out of them made it top-10.

Of Jan And Dean's six top-20 singles, Brian Wilson was involved in writing *four* of them. And the man who Brian brought into the world of songwriting via Murry calling him after hearing an on-air discussion of hot rodding, Roger Christian, was the cowriter of the other two top-20 hits for J&D.

So Jan and Dean had a dry spell of several years with no substantial chart success, albums or singles, until Brian Wilson got involved in the music, along with Roger Christian who would not have been writing songs at all if not for Brian and Murry contacting him. After Brian wasn't involved in their music, Jan and Dean failed to chart either a top 10 or top 20 album or single for the next few years up to Jan's accident. Nothing at all charted near where it had in 63-64 with BW and Roger involved in the records.

Who exactly was leading the pack, setting the pace, opening up those doors in the industry to help get record labels behind this kind of music coming out of sunny California? It wasn't Jan Berry. The numbers don't lie.

(Edited for corrections)



Your argument jumps around too much.  You started out talking about Surf City being the "breakthrough" and them riding Brian's surf onto the top 40 after he "kicked the door open".  I showed pretty clearly that the door wasn't "kicked open" when all those machinations went down.  Now you're talking about something totally different to make your point.

You also talk about Jan and Dean having a lack of success prior to Brian's involvement.  You need to place it historically with two important points. 
One was that between 1959 and 1962 there really weren't big rock and roll bands.  Even someone as well-known as Chuck Berry, who released singles the whole time, went from March 1958's Johnny B Goode to May 1964's No Particular Place To Go without sniffing any sort of single success.  It looks like he released like 20 singles and a bunch didn't even chart.  Others would have some success but not really sustained, and ballads dominated the charts.
Two, therefore, is that in this landscape rock bands tended to have regional success and there is nothing wrong with that.  And Jan and Dean would have counted as a strong regional band- after their initial top ten success in 1958 they got up to the mid-20s a few times (including the single right before Surf City).  Prior to Surfin USA I think you'd probably count the BBs in the "strong regional but not yet national" band category. 

I totally agree that J&D generally co-opted "surf" to facilitate bigger success, but at that time "surf" wasn't established as the "Brian trope" as how you think of it today- Brian's canon was equally occupied with the tender love songs that Jan and Dean absolutely shared in, along with the various "goofy" songs that they also had in common.  In fact, prior to "Brian's breakthrough" with Surfin' USA, "surf" music was known as Ventures/Dick Dale-style stuff - a "regional" music.  Brian's version of surf songs trended more towards "a youngster's take on the Four Freshmen singing about surfing" - Surfin', Luau, Safari sound like that to me - or album-filling instrumentals like Moon Dawg resembling the Dick Dale style of the genre.  Brian would soon better align its format to include more of the guitars and less of the Frosh, and that would help it really make its great impact.  Jan probably thought it was going to be a really good idea and made sure he got in on it too.
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« Reply #61 on: March 01, 2018, 10:09:37 AM »

It's good to use discussions like this to help correct some of the claims that have been made regarding Jan & Dean in terms of influence on Brian Wilson and/or The Beach Boys. Some of it has been overstated, and some of it just isn't 100% correct. Look at the most basic chart listings of Jan & Dean's releases on something even as simple as Wikipedia, and you'll see they did not start having big hit records until Brian Wilson got involved. Surf City was the breakthrough. The numbers do not lie. They literally 'rode the wild surf' onto the top 40 after the Beach Boys started charting hits about surf and hot rods and kicked that door open. The influence in terms of Brian liking how Jan cut records and watching some of the sessions is one thing, but the way in which some accounts have described it isn't as accurate as it could be.

So check out the timeline on this, if you believe Wikipedia and Billboard:
-early January 1963 BBs record Surfin USA
-Brian hangs out with Jan and Dean, I assume after its recorded but I guess it could be before its recorded.  He plays them Surfin USA on the piano and they want it, they later agree that J&D take Surf City cause Brian wasn't going to do anything with it.
-Sometime later Jan collaborates w/Brian to finish the song.  
-Surfin USA is released as a single on March 6th.  
-Surf City is recorded on March 20th, a few days before Surfin USA even enters the charts at number 74 on March 23rd.
-Surfin USA the album is released on March 25th.
-Surf City is released on May 17th.  Surfin USA the single was at #4, and this was the BBs first top ten record.  

They certainly benefited from the success that the BBs were having but I think to portray them as riding coattails or a door that was already kicked open goes too far in the other direction.

Look at any site that lists the Beach Boys and Jan And Dean discographies. All you need to do is look at the numbers.

To sum up, The Beach Boys from 1962 to 64 had five albums chart in the top-10 out of seven they released (Surfin Safari peaked at 32 in'62, Shut Down v2 #13 in '63). Jan and Dean released seven albums in that same time, not one of them charted top-10 or came close, and the closest to even breaking top-20 was "Drag City", peaked at 22 on Billboard.

The Beach Boys from 62-64 had seven top-10 singles chart. Two more broke the top-20.

Jan and Dean had a total of six top-20 singles starting with "Surf City" which hit #1, four out of them made it top-10.

Of Jan And Dean's six top-20 singles, Brian Wilson was involved in writing *four* of them. And the man who Brian brought into the world of songwriting via Murry calling him after hearing an on-air discussion of hot rodding, Roger Christian, was the cowriter of the other two top-20 hits for J&D.

So Jan and Dean had a dry spell of several years with no substantial chart success, albums or singles, until Brian Wilson got involved in the music, along with Roger Christian who would not have been writing songs at all if not for Brian and Murry contacting him. After Brian wasn't involved in their music, Jan and Dean failed to chart either a top 10 or top 20 album or single for the next few years up to Jan's accident. Nothing at all charted near where it had in 63-64 with BW and Roger involved in the records.

Who exactly was leading the pack, setting the pace, opening up those doors in the industry to help get record labels behind this kind of music coming out of sunny California? It wasn't Jan Berry. The numbers don't lie.

(Edited for corrections)



Your argument jumps around too much.  You started out talking about Surf City being the "breakthrough" and them riding Brian's surf onto the top 40 after he "kicked the door open".  I showed pretty clearly that the door wasn't "kicked open" when all those machinations went down.  Now you're talking about something totally different to make your point.

You also talk about Jan and Dean having a lack of success prior to Brian's involvement.  You need to place it historically with two important points. 
One was that between 1959 and 1962 there really weren't big rock and roll bands.  Even someone as well-known as Chuck Berry, who released singles the whole time, went from March 1958's Johnny B Goode to May 1964's No Particular Place To Go without sniffing any sort of single success.  It looks like he released like 20 singles and a bunch didn't even chart.  Others would have some success but not really sustained, and ballads dominated the charts.
Two, therefore, is that in this landscape rock bands tended to have regional success and there is nothing wrong with that.  And Jan and Dean would have counted as a strong regional band- after their initial top ten success in 1958 they got up to the mid-20s a few times (including the single right before Surf City).  Prior to Surfin USA I think you'd probably count the BBs in the "strong regional but not yet national" band category. 

I totally agree that J&D generally co-opted "surf" to facilitate bigger success, but at that time "surf" wasn't established as the "Brian trope" as how you think of it today- Brian's canon was equally occupied with the tender love songs that Jan and Dean absolutely shared in, along with the various "goofy" songs that they also had in common.  In fact, prior to "Brian's breakthrough" with Surfin' USA, "surf" music was known as Ventures/Dick Dale-style stuff - a "regional" music.  Brian's version of surf songs trended more towards "a youngster's take on the Four Freshmen singing about surfing" - Surfin', Luau, Safari sound like that to me - or album-filling instrumentals like Moon Dawg resembling the Dick Dale style of the genre.  Brian would soon better align its format to include more of the guitars and less of the Frosh, and that would help it really make its great impact.  Jan probably thought it was going to be a really good idea and made sure he got in on it too.


Jumps around too much? How more simple is it to look at the discography of both groups and see who was doing it first and having success - in terms of the type of music that was coming out of California from 62 onward? The fact that the Beach Boys went national and were charting both albums and singles centered around surfing, hot rods, and also the more introspective material and ballads before Jan Berry decided to do records based on surfing and hot rods says most of what needs to be said.

Jan had one hit back in the late 50's. Until he went for the surf theme with a song Brian Wilson gave him, and after the Beach Boys were getting the surf and hot rod themes to go national and garner attention in the industry as something that was commercially viable and which the kids were buying and liking, Jan had no significant success up to Surf City.

And as I said clearly, all of Jan's biggest hits had the involvement of either Brian Wilson or the guy Brian brought into the scene, Roger Christian. After Brian and Roger were out of the picture, Jan didn't have a single hit of any significance over the next 2-3 years, unlike Brian and the Beach Boys.

If you want to argue that Jan Berry was the one people in the industry were following and the one who was opening the doors for a new kind of music and sound, I'd say that's simply incorrect.

It's as factual as the movie bio of Jan and Dean where they have a completely bogus scene showing Jan getting the idea to write a song about surfing, then going into the studio with session musicians to cut the song "Surfin". Click on this link to see that revisionism for yourself: https://youtu.be/FRrwhEF1czc?t=19m33s

Revisionism is fine I guess in a TV movie bio where people watching think Jan not only wrote "Surfin" but also had the inspiration for doing so, but if you can't see that Jan and Dean didn't get any significant chart success after 1959 or whatever until they got songs from Wilson and Christian about surfing and hot rods, which the Beach Boys had already laid the groundwork for on previous albums and singles, you're not seeing the facts. And after Wilson and Christian were out, Jan didn't have a successful album or single anywhere near the period after Surf City, despite releasing a steady run of singles and albums.

Ironically the only time Jan and Dean would hit top 10 after 1964 was when Dean made a cameo appearance doubling Brian's falsetto on Barbara Ann, and it went top 5.

So who was setting the pace? Who did it first? Who was the industry looking at during these years? Again, it was not Jan Berry. Just look at the facts.
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« Reply #62 on: March 01, 2018, 02:09:09 PM »

Yes, but Jan Berry had a significant impact on Brian's development. Brian says it himself, that Jan taught him how to cut clean records, in this video --- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LTf2MehizWI&t=322s

There's a very clear difference in production quality from before and after Brian became involved with Jan. Surfin Safari sounds very dull and lacklaster compared to Surfin USA, which had cleaner vocals and tighter backing tracks. I'm not proposing the idea that Jan invented surf music, but Jan definitely helped develop the sound.

In my personal opinion, Jan Berry produced much better rock n' roll records that Brian Wilson did. Of course, Jan couldn't pull of a Good Vibrations or God Only Knows (although, he did come close with You Really Know How To Hurt A Guy and When It's Over). But his rock songs, such as Surf City, Ride The Wild Surf, Sidewalk Surfin, Anaheim, among many others all have much more intense rocking backing tracks. Brian's Catch A Wave sounds groovy, but Jan's Sidewalk Surfin is filled with pure excitement and adrenaline. And whereas Brian was always telling Denny to cool it on the drums, Jan had two drummers playing at the same time for an extra punch!!

At the end of the day, I'll always take Brian Wilson over Jan Berry. I'll take All I Wanna Do or Here Today over Bucket T or A Surfer's Dream. With that being said, Brian and Jan's stories are pretty interconnected, and they both had great influences on eachother. I don't think either of them would deny that. Of course Jan did jump on the surf craze, but so did Brian, to be fair. Brian wasn't the first person ever to write a song about surfing.

As for me thinking Jan's rock music was better, listen to "Anaheim, Azusa And Cucamonga Sewing Circle, Book Review And Timing Association" by Jan & Dean, and tell me that's not one of the most exhilarating backing tracks you've ever heard.
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« Reply #63 on: March 01, 2018, 02:18:24 PM »

I'll be the first to tell you: "Anaheim, Azusa And Cucamonga Sewing Circle, Book Review And Timing Association" by Jan & Dean is not one of the most exhilarating backing tracks I've ever heard.

Lousy, dork, conservative, '60s variety TV music.
I'm amazed (every time) that this dung is even mentioned in the same breath as The Beach Boys & Wilson-Love music.
« Last Edit: March 01, 2018, 02:19:26 PM by Howie Edelson » Logged
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« Reply #64 on: March 01, 2018, 03:24:52 PM »

Never heard it but that title doesn’t make me want to hurry up and check it out
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« Reply #65 on: March 01, 2018, 03:27:28 PM »

I also want to add this in response to Jan Berry's work and career. Jan Berry was a dude who was able to work the system and charm his way into deals -- because as spelled out so succinctly by Guitarfool -- the non-Wilson product was in no way enough to land him much of anything -- but his charisma was. A great looking rich kid who got into the system before everybody figured out what the f uck was going on. The old guard probably thought he was the epitome of hip. I think his accident and brain damage enabled him in some ways to save face, because in light of all the massive musical events and shifts of 1967, his career would've ended up EXACTLY as it did. This way the fact that NOBODY was thinking of Jan & Dean as anything other than a punchline, could be blamed on his maladies rather than his (and Dean's) lack of talent. Sure, this guy could (supposedly) notate on a page, but the music was devoid of magic or commercial appeal (and not because he was so ahead of his time -- it always sounded physically "written" rather than felt, composed, and then transposed.)


This guy belonged in the black and white '50s. There was no place for Jan Berry in color.


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« Reply #66 on: March 01, 2018, 04:05:09 PM »

I'd also counter that the Beach Boys and Brian cut much better "Rock and Roll" records than Jan whose records IMO never seem to find a comfortable groove. I just listened to Dead Man's Curve and besides the lazy and flat lead vocal which really distracts from the underlying track, if you can get past that and listen to what's happening, it isn't very rock and roll. It sounds like two confused drummers stumbling through a soulless arrangement, and competing with a high-school marching band for artistic space. The theme of DMC is GREAT. A throwback to '50's tragedy songs, which is a nostalgic vibe that Jan perfectly understood. BUT...Rock and Roll IS exactly what Brian, Dennis, Carl and David played on Surfin Safari and 409, that is the garage ROCK with a dirty, slinky, surging, grungy vibe. It's not bombastic like Jan's attempts to load the baked potato with too much chili and cheese, it's stripped down, primitive and cool. I think if we asked Chuck Berry which is closer to rock and roll, the blazing, thrilling, electric simplicity of Fun Fun Fun, or the audio traffic jam of Jan's version of "rock", It's an obvious choice. Does anyone here prefer the typically clunky J&D version (I'm talking studio as the live ones are too embarrassing and unfair) of Little Old Lady From Pasadena to the Beach Boys punk rock BB's Concert version? It's a good comparison of simple and fun teenage rock and roll (BB's) vs. something with the dork dial cranked up that parents would think is "cute". 
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♩♬🐸 Billy C ♯♫♩🐇
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« Reply #67 on: March 01, 2018, 05:18:59 PM »

I love how lots of BB fans love getting the opportunity to throw shade at J&D.  To make a pro wrestling analogy it reminds me of how Andre the Giant used to bully Big John Studd and other big men backstage in the WWF.  

I just never cared for their stuff overall. Keep in mind too that I’m more of a fan of the 66-72 time period of the BB than I am of anything before(or after but that’s beside the point). In fact, and I may have shared this story here, with a few exceptions, growing up I thought The Beach Boys were lame and compared them to “groups like the Four Seasons and Jan and Dean”. I actually became a fan of Brian as a person before his music (of course I’m a diehard). So this is nothing new at all for me.



By the way, this doesn’t mean I’m not a fan of the earlier BB hits now! Just took me a while
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« Reply #68 on: March 01, 2018, 05:22:02 PM »

Yep.

Put the "Wrecking Crew" in Brian Wilson's hands and you get majesty.
With Jock Jan they never didn't sound like 51-year-olds playing in a gym, dressed like bio teachers with horned-rims, slacks, and a mortgage in North Hollywood.

This is a true story: YEARS ago somebody played me that "You Really Know How To Hurt A Guy" tune. It was so bad that I immediately thought it was done POST-accident. I said, "Wow, for someone who was in a coma for, like two months, this is pretty good!" Then the guy had to explain it was from BEFORE the accident -- (y'know, the same period as all those brilliant competitive singles PACKED with love from John Sebastian, The Rascals, Simon & Garfunkel, Mamas & The Papas, The Association, etc.)
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« Reply #69 on: March 01, 2018, 05:34:08 PM »

Wow, a "traffic jam" is the last way I'd describe Jan's arrangements. Especially Deadman's Curve. I think his arrangements were absolutely brilliant. They had a great feel and punch. As for Jan being a charmer, I'd 100% give him that, and I would agree that's what got his foot in the door. I can't believe that someone could listen to Ride The Wild Surf and not have their breath taken away. That song has an incredible arrangement. And it's not a myth that Jan could notate. Take a look at Mark Moore's book and you'll see plenty of Jan's hand written arrangements.

As for not liking Jan & Dean, everyone has their own taste. I actually like Jan & Dean's music more than the Beach Boys until BW did Today! and that's when he surpassed Jan. There are obvious gems from the 61-64 period that I couldn't go without- In My Room, Warmth Of The Sun, All Summer Long, come to mind right now- but I love the fun of Jan's music. Jennie Lee, Baby Talk, White Tennis Sneakers, Linda, Surf City, Drag City, Shlock Rod, Surfin Hearse, Drag Strip Girl, etc... all just bring a smile to my face. There's something about their music just captured some sort of magic. Maybe just my opinion. I also love Dean's humbleness. He's very similar to Al Jardine in that way.

I'm not surprised by the lack of enthusiasm for J&D, their singing and songs could be very clunky. In my opinion, they're an acquired taste. I think that Jan & Dean could both sing very well when they wanted to, and I'll post examples if anyone wants to hear, but in my mind, their music was more about the emotion than perfection. Another track that comes to mind is When It's Over. This is my alltime favorite J&D record. Sure, the singing isn't perfect, but like Bob Dylan or David Bowie for example, Jan perfectly captured the feeling of the song, and delivered it with his voice.

I could go and on forever about Jan & Dean... They're my second favorite group to The Beach Boys. I think citing Jan's accident as the reason for their current status is a little inappropriate, considering it was a life threatening accident. I would say the same about talking about Brian or Dennis that way, with all of their issues.

Anyway, listen to "It's A Shame To Say Goodbye" from Jan's Pop Symphony album. He did this, as a full time medical student, with assistance from George Tipton, but with his leadership. It's a really impressive piece of work.

It's funny, I used to not like J&D. Mostly because of their vocals, and because I thought they were Beach Boys copy cats. But once I dug in, and learned about their history, and heard some deep cuts I began to love them. I recommend everyone here to do the same.
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« Reply #70 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.
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« Reply #71 on: March 01, 2018, 05:40:06 PM »

Falsetto, probably not.

Jan Berry, absolutely (as has been said, by Brian himself).

I do enjoy Jan & Dean's music but it's definitely not lost on me that most of their best songs were cowritten with Brian. Also, Save For a Rainy Day is my favourite of their albums and that has no Jan at all.

I  also agree that Jan's music can be more academic than Brian's (see Pop Symphony No. 1), and it mostly lacks the energy of The Beach Boys'. That said, check out something like Quasimoto, or even the aforementioned Ride the Wild Surf.

Next, I was one of the people positing that "Meet Batman" was a precursor to Smile (as a concept), but not in a meaningful way, just that there are parallels.

Lastly, who wore the horizontal-striped t-shirts first? (I've seen photos of Dean wearing the same ones that Brian sports in some of the Smile-era studio shots)
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« Reply #72 on: March 01, 2018, 05:45:01 PM »

Save For A Rainy day is a fantastic record! Dean really came into his own with that. Very similar to what Dennis and Carl would do a few years later.
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« Reply #73 on: March 01, 2018, 06:07:39 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.
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« Reply #74 on: March 01, 2018, 06:16:19 PM »

Jan & Dean was a NOVELTY act.
Bad shtick.

Amateur hour on every level.

Look at this.
If this gets you guys off, and doesn't embarrass you, nothing I can say is gonna sway you.
Where I come from we call this lame.

This is dummy pop and a rip-off of like 9 songs and getting it ALL wrong.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hl4TAwggSKU

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