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Author Topic: My site updates 1967  (Read 3398 times)
Ian
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« Reply #25 on: March 06, 2021, 06:37:28 AM »

Also I think the sound is kind of thin. Itís clear (and they figured out by November that they needed extra musicians to beef up the sound.  The bbs were still in incredible vocal shape but the sound is a bit amateurish-whereas to me Live in London is perfection (though I miss Brian of course). I am not sure that desper was on the road yet either with his improved sound system. He was there by October 1967 for sure (a Chicago article on October 8 show notes that they were lugging 60,000 dollars of equipment with them) but when I interviewed him he was not able to pinpoint precisely when he went on the road with them for the first time (I kept trying to figure out the date) I am not hearing his system on the August dates
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« Reply #26 on: March 06, 2021, 07:05:04 AM »

Also I think the sound is kind of thin. Itís clear (and they figured out by November that they needed extra musicians to beef up the sound.  The bbs were still in incredible vocal shape but the sound is a bit amateurish-whereas to me Live in London is perfection (though I miss Brian of course). I am not sure that desper was on the road yet either with his improved sound system. He was there by October 1967 for sure (a Chicago article on October 8 show notes that they were lugging 60,000 dollars of equipment with them) but when I interviewed him he was not able to pinpoint precisely when he went on the road with them for the first time (I kept trying to figure out the date) I am not hearing his system on the August dates

He was not there in Hawaii and the system they did ship to Hawaii was - ironically (again) - perhaps one of the most state-of-the-art live recording rigs available at that time in 1967. There was an article prior to the Hawaii gig about how advanced this recording rig would be. It was the best Wally Heider had to offer them or anyone - A custom built Frank DeMedio console which was finished up literally the night before they shipped it to Hawaii, closed-circuit TV monitoring of the stage, and two of the better 8-track machines available.

The engineer was Jim Lockert, assisted by Bill Halverson and Dale Manquen who were part of Heider's staff and knew the equipment. Manquen helped Frank DeMedio and his dad assemble that board and went along with them for the gig (I contacted him online years ago, some of which still exists on a site somewhere lol).

That article I mentioned has Brian saying they would have - wait for it - 35 microphones on hand to record the shows. 35 microphones!!! To record a stripped-down band.

They had what was the most current, state-of-the-art mobile/live recording setup in Hawaii, at least the best on the West Coast that Wally Heider could offer, with top engineers from both the old school and the new school, and no shortage of mics. No matter what the "house" PA setup was in Hawaii, the recording element of it would be done with the best equipment. Also consider at that time, Honolulu was drawing and booking top-notch pop and rock acts specifically at that arena, so not knowing what their sound system was there, it's not like they were inexperienced hosting major acts who were coming there to perform. But that wouldn't have affected the recording anyway if the band had their own rig to capture and mix the recordings we hear today. Although the reviews mention how The Raiders' set was also marred by technical issues, we don't hear anything unusual in terms of tech failures on either of the Beach Boys' sets.

The conundrum and the fascination for me with the Hawaii shows is how so much went into prepping for them, including one of the most high-tech boards and rigs available and *35 microphones* according to Brian, and the sound is what it is. As much as I love those recordings, they're some of my favorites of all the band has done, the sound is thin, the instrumentation is sparse to a fault for a larger venue, and the band's sets are a little disjointed and way too short (another criticism leveled at them by the reviews in Hawaii).

When Bobbie Gentry is on stage doing a song and set with basically just her guitar and she steals the show, getting rave reviews, if blame is to be placed it has to be on the performance of the Beach Boys above anything else. They had all the tech in place, but the delivery just didn't resonate with the audience, again for as much as I love those tapes the performances themselves may have been too sparse and disjointed to connect with the crowds.

 
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Don Malcolm
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« Reply #27 on: March 06, 2021, 01:42:26 PM »

I think they were simply out of sorts and "betwixt and between" at that moment, don't you? They'd lived with some version of the SMILE/SMILEY SMILE music for nearly a year, an interminable amount of time in the context of record production in those days, with confusion, acrimony and manic-depression swirling through the entire process. Doing a show and a live album might have seemed like a good idea, but the touring band had worked its kinks out in the past couple year with Bruce, not Brian--and the whole Baldwin organ thing (a phase Brian was going through) wasn't likely to galvanize a live audience. And it didn't.

SONG                      7/22 7/29  8/5  8/12   8/19  8/26   9/2   9/9   9/16
Heroes & Villains                       61     33      17     12       12   21   55
Ode To Billy Joe                        71      21      7        1        1     1     1     
All You Need Is Love     71   29    3      2        1        2        2     6     8

Above are the charts from Billboard during this period. As GF notes, Bobbie Gentry was a phenomenon, knocking the Beatles out of the #1 slot and holding onto it for weeks. It was a strong, strong summer with a lot of highly varied sounds in a commercial music framework that was much more wide open and highly competitive than anything we've seen in decades. "Heroes and Villains" is a great song, but it's not a great single, and you can see its weakness in the commercial marketplace as compared to a singular commercial juggernaut (the Beatles racking up another #1 with what is for them a real piece of tripe--yes, YMMV) and Gentry--who, as all of us who are incapable of leaving our sexism at the door, was beyond drop-dead gorgeous (and that cool delivery just amped up her allure at a time when she literally owned that "market")--reconquered the top of the pops for a more traditional sound that could drop right into "legit show biz"...which was where she quickly wound up, despite trying to be all things to all people over the next several years.

As Ian noted, the BBs clearly knew they'd dropped the ball, but they didn't rise to the occasion in Hawaii and it took another month of licking their wounds to cement a new direction with a rush job to bring out "Wild Honey" as a new 45 (October) and the LP just three months after SMILEY. With all of that scrambling around to avoid a crash and burn, they weren't quite ready to totally revamp their live act (mostly technical upgrades: the real changes in the live show come after the Maharishi debacle). Hell, they were having enough trouble trying to figure out an identity amidst all the music that was being made: the mysteries in choosing what wound up on FRIENDS seem unsolvable now that we have all of that SUNSHINE TOMORROW material.

But it seems as though they kind of hit their ultimate low point right as they went to Hawaii, and (to me, at least) that is reflected in those shows.
« Last Edit: March 06, 2021, 02:20:10 PM by Don Malcolm » Logged
Ian
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« Reply #28 on: March 07, 2021, 12:34:09 PM »

I agree in a way that it was the low point but obviously for the guys at that moment they were still sort of the kings of the scene. I mean good vibrations was still a fairly recent event and certainly they couldnít predict at a time when Brian was even willing to get onstage with them-that he would go through such drastic changes in the next four years. From what Iíve read-friends and the lack of sales for it were the real moment when Brian kind of checked out of the BBs
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Ian
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« Reply #29 on: March 07, 2021, 12:39:01 PM »

I find the whole canít wait too long thing really fascinating. I mean they all must have realized that they had another potential good vibrations here and the fact that it wasnít finished has to come down to Brian. That had to be tense. I mean, come on, Carl must have confronted him and said letís finish this and he must have said no. If that didnít happen then itís just ridiculous. How could you work on a track that great and just forget it-especially when they were desperate for Brian material for 20/20? He must have refused to let them use it
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Don Malcolm
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« Reply #30 on: March 07, 2021, 10:02:29 PM »

I find the whole canít wait too long thing really fascinating. I mean they all must have realized that they had another potential good vibrations here and the fact that it wasnít finished has to come down to Brian. That had to be tense. I mean, come on, Carl must have confronted him and said letís finish this and he must have said no. If that didnít happen then itís just ridiculous. How could you work on a track that great and just forget it-especially when they were desperate for Brian material for 20/20? He must have refused to let them use it

Agreed--there certainly seems to be a major stumbling block that cropped up with respect to "Can't Wait Too Long." It appears that after the July sessions for it, Brian just disappears. My guess is that this is when the real "collapse after SMiLE" occurs, and there are several reports of Brian being hospitalized late in '68 as his withdrawal/depression deepened. The session info strongly suggests that we don't see Brian regularly in the studio again until March 1969, when he works on tracks for Marilyn and Diane, with "Break Away" coming shortly thereafter. Sessions featuring tracks where Brian had major writing participation seem to be very sparse until the fall of '69. "This Whole World" shows up in November, signaling that Brian might be coming out of his long funk. Sessions for Brian-penned tracks start to pick up in December and continue into early '70, up until the aborted Fred Vail LP.
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Ian
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« Reply #31 on: March 08, 2021, 04:15:23 AM »

Well....I donít think that hospital visit was a major turning point (and exact dates of that visit are not known). You are forgetting some things. In September Brian worked  on Weíre Together Again and took part in meet and greets at the BBs Anaheim shows. In October he was involved in the Time To Get Alone sessions and in December 1968 he produced a Honeys single. However it is fair to say that he was becoming only a sporadic contributor to the BBs sessions instead of calling the shots.
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Don Malcolm
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« Reply #32 on: March 08, 2021, 06:59:02 AM »

I think it's safe to say that Brian was depressed and withdrawn during this phase, which I may have overstated a bit to show how different his involvement pre- and post-July 1968 was. "Collapse" is too strong a word, for sure--withdrawal is likely more accurate. I think he was coaxed into some of those sessions (my sense was that "Time To Get Alone" was a co-produce with Carl, and I suspect that Marilyn and Diane had their own powers of persuasion over him!). I don't see this as a major turning point--certainly not like what happened in 1974-75--but the first manifestation of a pattern of reclusiveness, reluctance and recidivism that persisted for 4-5 years before deteriorating dramatically in the "I Brake for Brian Wilson" phase.

A lot of that behavior pattern is captured in more detail in the Don Goldberg autobio, which takes us up to the Holland trip.

"Time to Get Alone" is really the only consequential piece of work Brian is involved with across the August 1968-February 1969 time frame, and that's a song he'd written the previous year. It's a fine song, but (as you note) it doesn't have the commercial potential of "Can't Wait Too Long." I'm recalling Steve Desper writing about the band giving Brian kudos and support when he brought them "Break Away" because he'd basically had a long songwriting dry spell and they saw it as a hopeful sign of him turning a corner. There's definitely something about "Can't Wait Too Long" that tossed a wrench into things (along with the catastrophic performance of the FRIENDS LP, of course).
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« Reply #33 on: March 08, 2021, 08:23:38 AM »

Sorry for turning back to the Bobbie Gentry topic, but SmileySmiler jeremylr send me these and asked me to post them, because he couldn't upload them to the board. It gives a little background on Bobbie Gentry during this time frame.


It's from KenMansfield's 2009 memoir "Between Wyomings: My God and an iPod on the Open Road":


EDIT: Here you go!












Thanks again jeremylr!
« Last Edit: March 08, 2021, 09:13:42 AM by Rocker » Logged

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« Reply #34 on: March 08, 2021, 10:37:58 AM »

Ken Mansfield was hired in January 1965 as Capitol Records' West Coast District Promotion Manager and eventually became US manager of the Beatles' Apple label. On page 104 (the third image) he remembers going to Hawaii with Bobbie G and the Beach Boys...photos snapped on my iPhone so hopefully Mansfield's memories are legible...thank you kindly for saving the day, Rocker!
« Last Edit: March 08, 2021, 10:40:07 AM by jeremylr » Logged
Don Malcolm
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« Reply #35 on: March 08, 2021, 04:48:03 PM »

Thanks for posting that--for a lot more about Gentry and how her phenomenon developed in 1967, you are all directed to Tara Murtha's book ODE TO BILLY JOE in the 33 1/3 series. The irony is that "Ode to Billie Joe" was about a hundred and fifty degrees from the production style and musical approach that appealed to Gentry and her initial producer, Kelly Gordon, as is clear when you hear the 45's B-side, "Mississippi Delta." (Y'all can decide in which direction you want to move from "Ode" to measure that distance.)

While the Beach Boys were struggling with the transition from SMiLE to SMILEY, Capitol got a healthy cross-section of the Wrecking Crew to flesh out "Ode to Billy Joe," with Jimmie Haskell masterminding the string arrangement, signed her in early June, and put "Ode to Billy Joe" out on July 10, 1967. According to Murtha, the singular magic of that track cast its spell without the benefit of anyone initially seeing Bobbie Gentry in the flesh. While SMILEY went through a standard pre-release pace, the ODE TO BILLY JOE LP was fast-tracked in every way, and Capitol pre-ordered half a million copies, getting it out into the stores just as Bobbie Gentry was accompanying the BB's to Hawaii.

Here's a question for the scholars: Murtha suggests that the BBs recording efforts in Hawaii also captured Gentry's performances. Is there any evidence of that anywhere? I know there was a recent career box set for Gentry, but I've not checked to see what type of live material (if any) appears on it...
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guitarfool2002
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« Reply #36 on: March 08, 2021, 06:47:41 PM »

Don: That's the first I've heard that someone other than the Beach Boys was recorded during that weekend of shows. I'd say it *could* have happened,  since Capitol was involved with Bobbie and the BB's, but from all that I've been able to gather and ask through the years, that high-tech recording setup was created and in place to record the Beach Boys' sets, and that was it. The other acts sharing the bill (except fellow Capitol artist Bobbie) were on other labels, and I don't recall anyone saying that any deals were struck with those other labels to record the shows. The Beach Boys' main focus was to record the material in order to create another live album for release, as articles written in the weeks leading up to the shows had noted. Since Bobbie Gentry had literally just been signed that summer and her single was new, I don't know if Capitol would have invested in recording what were literally her first live shows, but maybe they did - stranger things have happened! I hope more info can be found on that topic.

Related to that question, I've also wondered for years where the photos of the other acts on that bill may be hiding, if there are any. One of the only mentions of other acts besides the Beach Boys being photographed came from Ann Moses, who was the well-known (among readers) reporter-at-large for the teen 'zines of the day, like Tiger Beat. On her blog, she describes traveling to Hawaii as a reporter for Tiger Beat and shooting photos of Dino, Desi, and Billy, and also hanging with The Raiders. According to Ann, those acts were the ones of more interest to their readers than the Beach Boys at that time. One photo she posted shows her hanging out in a hotel with Dino Martin that week, and she posted a story about taking a motorcycle ride with him too. I have not looked into when any of those photos or Ann's reporting may have been published, but time willing I'll check into that. If anyone has a collection or archive of Tiger Beat magazines from Fall '67, please check if there are photos in one of those later '67 issues!

And I'm sure Billy Hinsche may be able to add some info to this as well, I haven't watched all of his episodes but maybe he's already mentioned the Hawaii shows, and if not perhaps he might consider doing so? That would be pretty cool.

For such a big show, with big names at the time who we know were photographed, there really is a scarcity of photos from that week, minus what we've seen of the Beach Boys. Finding more might lead to more info on the whole episode overall.

 

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Ian
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« Reply #37 on: March 09, 2021, 04:23:08 AM »

Ann Moses has a book out with many photos called "Meow".  https://www.amazon.com/Meow-Groovy-Tiger-Beats-Idols-ebook/dp/B071JPPS15/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=ann+moses&qid=1615292566&sr=8-1
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« Reply #38 on: March 09, 2021, 06:40:53 AM »

 1967 is now completed and can be viewed at:  https://www.beachboysgigs.com/1967-2/
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« Reply #39 on: March 09, 2021, 06:53:34 AM »

Ann Moses called in to one of Billy's shows:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sejk3rp5q4A
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« Reply #40 on: March 09, 2021, 08:12:07 AM »

Andrew Batt compiled / produced Bobbie Gentry's Live at the BBC, The Girl from Chickasaw County Capitol masters box set, and the deluxe edition of her second studio album The Delta Sweete. I asked him this morning, and here's his reply. "No, Capitol didn't tape Bobbie in Hawaii," says Batt. "I looked into this as it seemed a real possibility, but they only taped the Beach Boys."
« Last Edit: March 09, 2021, 08:12:40 AM by jeremylr » Logged
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« Reply #41 on: March 09, 2021, 01:40:33 PM »

Andrew Batt compiled / produced Bobbie Gentry's Live at the BBC, The Girl from Chickasaw County Capitol masters box set, and the deluxe edition of her second studio album The Delta Sweete. I asked him this morning, and here's his reply. "No, Capitol didn't tape Bobbie in Hawaii," says Batt. "I looked into this as it seemed a real possibility, but they only taped the Beach Boys."

Thanks Jeremy, that's good to get a confirmation. Everything I've heard or read previously had suggested the mobile recording setup was for and only used by The Beach Boys to record a live album.
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« Reply #42 on: March 09, 2021, 01:59:34 PM »

I think one major point that hasn't been noted regarding the timeline of Brian's activity in 1968 is the success of "Do It Again". The single was worked on just over a month or so after the "Friends" single had been released, and was being readied for release as the "Friends" album was hitting the stores that summer.

That period of March to July 1968 did have a lot of activity with Brian being involved in recording and writing the music for the Beach Boys, and producing it as well. But if the lack of success for "Friends" was one of the points to consider, I'd say so is the success of "Do It Again" which sort of snuck in there in between everything else going on to give the band a charting single, depending on which chart is referenced you could say it was top-10 around the world. Not bad for a band supposed to be on their way out. And Brian did the music for it, so he was still involved.

Ultimately "Can't Wait Too Long" was one of the "old" songs being revisited, so again referring back to Brian's August '67 interview in Hawaii, his comment about running out of ideas starts to be relevant here as well if they're revisiting a piece that was left unfinished from almost a year prior, with its musical roots in the Smile era.

I would think if the band had just scored a top-10 hit single in July/August '68, and scoring another hit was a goal, they would look more toward another "Do It Again" - Or maybe they thought it was a fluke retro/nostalgia hit, even thought the nostalgia was only going back a few years at that point.

I have to think as well there may have been a feeling in Brian of "You guys didn't want this material when I originally wrote and recorded it (i.e. the Smile tracks and other ideas from that era), what is different now that you want to finish and release it?" And the answer is again a lack of songwriting effort coming from the other band members with the exception of Dennis who was still honing his skills.

I do think the success  of "Do It Again" has to be included in the discussion of this era, because as much of a failure as Friends may have been considered, hot on its heels was a very successful single.
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Ian
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« Reply #43 on: March 09, 2021, 02:32:13 PM »

Right but Bluebirds as a single was a major mistake -that should have been Canít Wait Too Long.
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« Reply #44 on: March 09, 2021, 02:52:17 PM »

Right but Bluebirds as a single was a major mistake -that should have been Canít Wait Too Long.

I agree Bluebirds was a mistake, it's just not that strong of a song overall - And that's what a Beach Boys single minus Brian sounded like at that time, Bruce and Carl at the helm! lol

I'm assuming there was a notion of "nostalgia sold with Do It Again, let's do nostalgia again and it will sell" regarding covering a 50's track. Unfortunately it was not an original, it was not a catchy-as-hell groove and production, and the original song wasn't that good to begin with.

As much as I also agree on "Can't Wait Too Long", maybe they thought releasing it would go against this nostalgia vibe that got them a hit single, or that it wasn't finished and they couldn't finish it as it needed to be done to make a strong chart single.

« Last Edit: March 09, 2021, 02:53:08 PM by guitarfool2002 » Logged

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« Reply #45 on: March 09, 2021, 03:14:37 PM »

Well....I donít think that hospital visit was a major turning point (and exact dates of that visit are not known). You are forgetting some things. In September Brian worked  on Weíre Together Again and took part in meet and greets at the BBs Anaheim shows. In October he was involved in the Time To Get Alone sessions and in December 1968 he produced a Honeys single. However it is fair to say that he was becoming only a sporadic contributor to the BBs sessions instead of calling the shots.

I had no idea there were BBs meet and greets as far back as then. Was that some sort of extra bonus for VIP ticket holders or something? Was that even a thing back in the 1960s?
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Ian
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« Reply #46 on: March 09, 2021, 04:30:49 PM »

As I explained in the book-the melodyland theater in Anaheim was a round theater with numerous entrances and the BBs agreed to be at each entrance to greet the fans who came to the show (not sure if this was a regular thing at melodyland or just a special treat for local fans). A fan I talked to noted that Brian was at one of the entrances to greet fans. The lucky fan then took their seat and much to his surprise Brian was seated next to him for the show. This fan went to Hawthorne High and when Brian found out, he spent much of the show peppering him with questions about whether various teachers and coaches were still there. I also interviewed Alex del Zappo of the band sweetwater, who opened the shows.
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« Reply #47 on: March 09, 2021, 04:35:37 PM »

Yeah I think bluebird killed the momentum after do it again. It didnít get much airplay so the BBs were off the top 40 radio for six months-which in those days was a career stalling length of time.  The next two singles were stronger but two straight singles of covers (I can hear music was next) was also probably a mistake-suggested that they had nothing new to say.
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« Reply #48 on: March 09, 2021, 06:43:06 PM »

Plus the fact that Bluebirds sounded nothing like The Beach Boys! Especially for a single, nothing in the groove, texture, or overall production of that record sounded like the band. I Can Hear Music was also a cover, but especially with Carl's sweet vocals it had that Beach Boy sound.
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« Reply #49 on: March 09, 2021, 09:01:51 PM »

As I explained in the book-the melodyland theater in Anaheim was a round theater with numerous entrances and the BBs agreed to be at each entrance to greet the fans who came to the show (not sure if this was a regular thing at melodyland or just a special treat for local fans). A fan I talked to noted that Brian was at one of the entrances to greet fans. The lucky fan then took their seat and much to his surprise Brian was seated next to him for the show. This fan went to Hawthorne High and when Brian found out, he spent much of the show peppering him with questions about whether various teachers and coaches were still there. I also interviewed Alex del Zappo of the band sweetwater, who opened the shows.

Thanks Ian! I do own the book, and I have read it, but it's been a while and I should go re-read it more thoroughly Smiley
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