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Author Topic: Is it fair to call for an artist to quit?  (Read 6740 times)
phirnis
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« Reply #25 on: December 03, 2021, 02:38:01 AM »

Some fans seem to have this fear of their favorite artist "losing it" or "ruining his legacy". Brian has worked on some awful material over the years, like Smart Girls or Wipe Out w/ the Fat Boys. But none of that ruined his legacy in the slightest, because the legacy of his 60s work in particular is pretty much "unruinable". If he wants to record new music and go on tour, that's perfectly fine with me, go ahead. I don't have to like everything this man does and whether he's comfortable being on the road is a thing between him and his management. Bottom line for me is, long live Brian Wilson! I will now listen to some Surfer Girl and Friends and think about the beautiful solo shows I was lucky enough to attend in the 2000s.
« Last Edit: December 03, 2021, 05:43:04 AM by phirnis » Logged
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« Reply #26 on: December 03, 2021, 04:07:34 AM »

Pretty much couldn’t agree more, phirnis.

One thing I’d like to say about “Legacy” (a word some fans seem to think of as kryptonite haha) is that I don’t see The Beach Boys or Brian Wilson’s legacy of great music ever being ruined. Whatever you want to call it, “legacy” is merely something that someone leaves behind after they are gone. Unfortunately some fans seem to think that the only thing The Beach Boys will ever leave behind is the music on a Greatest Hits compilation. Which is a slap in the face to their entire history. Like it or not, but with the great music comes arguments, a tarmac fight, drug use, Summer in Paradise, redemption, reunions, etc. And that isn’t a bad thing - of course there are some moments that we wish never took place, but that is a part of their history. The Beach Boys will mostly be remembered for their beautiful art, but, like Van Gogh will forever be tethered to a sliced off ear, or Yoko Ono will forever be tethered to the Beatles, The Beach Boys will forever be tethered to some of the not so great things they did. It’s not just music that gets passed down after The Beach Boys are gone - it is the memories too. It’s not a bad thing, it’s just the way things go.

So when Mike does a gig that supports the killing of “trophy” animals, and Brian subsequently disowns his own musical catalogue, some of us fans get annoyed because those things won’t be forgotten. It doesn’t ruin the good music, but it also tethers itself to the band/music because it directly relates to that music. The lawsuits don’t ruin the music, but they are moments that are tethered to that music. And yes, future generations may not even notice those bad moments, but if those people read a book, look at vintage articles, they’ll see these things. The Beach Boys will leave behind amazing music and amazing memories, but they will also leave behind bad music and bad memories - that is their legacy. I think it sucks that they keep doing things that keep giving them negative press, but I know those things won’t at all ruin their vintage music. But they are things that won’t be totally forgotten, either.

Also want to add that my viewpoint on this subject matter has evolved over the years. So I may be contradicting any of my opinions from years past. That’s just the way it goes.
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« Reply #27 on: December 03, 2021, 12:39:53 PM »

Some of the stuff going around on Instagram is really bizarre.

Me personally, having Brian tour during covid and with the hectic schedule he does is really unfair.

He should never stop recording but he should record what he wants

Is it unfair if that’s what he wants to do?

The following is not directed at you but now is as good of a time as any.
I was trying to avoid putting it this way but I realize this is the only way to get my point across. It’s very easy for people to play armchair quarterback when they have no idea what they’re talking about. I don’t know what it’s like having auditory hallucinations, voices telling you bad sh*t constantly. That said, I suffer from PTSD (don’t care to go into why) severe anxiety and treatment resistant depression (in addition to a myriad of health issues stemming from several strokes). I don’t have voices telling me bad things….unless you count my own. Every day is a struggle not to “opt out”. The only time in my life I feel truly content is when I’m creating music. Otherwise I’m a prisoner in my own body and indeed in my own head. When I get positive feedback from people in regards to my own music , I actually feel worthy of existing. I’m actually making very good progress with my career and it seems to be happening a lot quicker than I ever expected. Honestly it’s helping me feel validated for the first time in my life. Considering everything that Brian had been through , I imagine hearing the love from his fans is extremely therapeutic. And certain ghouls (not referring to anyone here) want to take that away from him. Trust me, sitting at home busy doing nothing but let negative thoughts wreak havoc is no way to live. Brian quitting touring isn’t going to make him drop kick his walker  and start running laps around the block with a huge sh*t eating grin on his face singing Oh Happy Day. Submission may be a gift but empathy is a blessing

Yes to all this! Beautifully said.

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« Reply #28 on: December 03, 2021, 04:40:44 PM »

I just saw a screenshot sent to me of a post elsewhere stating that Brian’s solo catalog should be deleted when he passes. That’s as good an example of any as to why I’ve distanced myself from the fan community. I’ve seen landfills with a lower amount of toxicity…

Said poster said that anything after 1968 isn’t really Brian. Hmm…I need to listen to the Mike Love masterpiece Til I Die again, along with Adrian Baker Presents SMiLE, and maybe that masterful Bruce album TLOS again and see if my opinion changed with that discovery. I mean sh*t, all this time I thought Brian wrote This Whole World. Wow is there egg on my face. Guess Feel Flows was also a “little white lie”.

Sarcasm aside …I think the gene pool could use a touch more chlorine

Edit… I said “Feel Flows” cause I was listening to the set on Spotify. I meant All I Wanna Do 😂 Guess stupidity is contagious
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« Reply #29 on: December 04, 2021, 02:16:06 AM »

Is it fair to call for an artist to quit?

- Sure it is fair. But you have to accept that the artist doesn't care about that.
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« Reply #30 on: December 04, 2021, 04:17:23 AM »

Is it fair to call for an artist to quit?

- Sure it is fair. But you have to accept that the artist doesn't care about that.

Doesn’t care about the fairness of being called to quit? Or doesn’t care about being called to quit?

Brian has stated numerous times in recent years that his goal when working on a song is to make a #1 hit. That doesn’t sound like someone who doesn’t care about validation. And being asked to quit the one occupation that gives you that validation would be decimating to that person, imo.

The following is a quote from Brian’s autobiography:

Quote
There are other voices, too, along with Chuck Berry and Phil Spector and my dad. The other voices are worse. They’re saying horrible things about my music. Your music is no damned good, Brian.

Whether or not Brian wrote/said these exact words, it absolutely is in line with what Brian has said in interviews over the years. If Brian didn’t give a damn about what people thought of his music he wouldn’t care when a voice in his head tells him his music is no damned good. But he does.

And I feel like wishing Brian would quit music (because it’s either embarrassing or not up to par with Pet Sounds), is the ultimate criticism you could lay on an artist (whether or not the person who says it has bad intentions).
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"ragegasm" - /rāj • ga-zəm/ : a logical mental response produced when your favorite band becomes remotely associated with the bro-country genre.

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« Reply #31 on: December 04, 2021, 12:32:29 PM »

It blows my mind that someone whose music has sold millions (and earned millions, too), is loved the world over, can still be so full of crippling doubts, fears, etc; so much so, that he must seek further validation from the listening/buying public. So much so, that he must stage endless tours, to be near the legions who love and adore him. And at every chance possible, remind everyone "I was the one who came up with that idea", "I was the one that wanted to push the boundaries, and not just crank out cutsie little love songs".

Of course I'm talking about Paul McCartney.

But seriously, there are many here among us who will never receive that kind of validation for our work. "But you're not a f****ing genius like Paul McCartney". True, but does that make my expressions (through music) any less valid?

I hope Brian is receiving therapy beyond just putting him in front of a few thousand people applauding him several times a year.

Assuming that is the case, then the time to retire is when people stop coming to see you. And who knows, Brian might be as happy playing a small club with a small band and 50 people there as he is playing to thousands. If it's just the need to play and sing, then any audience - if they are loving the music - is good enough. Of course that doesn't pay the bills, as I well know. Anyone care to lend me a fiver?  Wink

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« Reply #32 on: December 04, 2021, 12:59:36 PM »

Quote
It blows my mind that someone whose music has sold millions (and earned millions, too), is loved the world over, can still be so full of crippling doubts, fears, etc; so much so, that he must seek further validation from the listening/buying public.

Depression is hell...especially if you grew up in a abusive household and was constantly belittled and berated. It fucks with your head big time. You learn to believe you're worthless. Trust me. Sometimes there's a void that just can't be filled, not with food, drugs, cigarettes, sex, money, nothing. And when you find that one thing you're good at, the one thing people accept you for, well, that validation can become quite addictive too. For me personally, knowing that there are people who really dig what I do, that keeps me going, from not feeling like a useless burden on those who love me, like maybe I do serve a purpose....no amount of money or success in other fields could change that.  That's why chodes like that one fucknugget I'm referring to piss me off. It's like this guy gets his jollies off by being as cruel and insulting to Brian as possible. I fucking hate people like that. I'm a tolerant person...except when it comes to bullies (and racists, homophobes, and child abusers). People like that have a special place in hell waiting for them. Karma is a bitch.
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“My cape is at the dry cleaners,” he explained.

I’m writing a book of online BB fandom. It’s called “Never Trust Anyone Who Spends More Time Reading Signatures Than Bathing”.  It’s sure to sell a million copies in January!

How’s that view from the nosebleed seats?
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« Reply #33 on: December 04, 2021, 02:50:17 PM »

I hope Brian is receiving therapy beyond just putting him in front of a few thousand people applauding him several times a year.

I do believe he has a team of doctors from UCLA who make sure he's got the best treatment for his depression/schizoaffective disorders. I'm betting that a part of that treatment is that Brian doesn't stay shut in all the time, and perhaps for Brian being out on tour gives him distractions from his demons and happiness from the people he brings joy to at concerts.

For me personally, knowing that there are people who really dig what I do, that keeps me going, from not feeling like a useless burden on those who love me, like maybe I do serve a purpose....no amount of money or success in other fields could change that.

And I think many artists feel this way. Look how Brian spiraled out of control when his music started becoming less and less relevant to the culture...He was riding a high of success and then crashed and burned. I don't think it is mentally healthy to get your happiness from things that can fall apart, but I also understand the want to get recognition from the art that you create.

Brian has stated that he wants a number 1 hit - whether or not we feel that is a healthy or even realistic goal, that's just what he wants. And so his fanbase may just want to support this guy (who has a heart of gold and has given us SO much). I don't mean we have to fake liking all the work he puts out, but we also don't need to be dicks every time he releases an album or song. And we certainly don't need to wish the guy would quit and sit his ass in a recliner for the rest of his days in this world.
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« Reply #34 on: December 05, 2021, 01:22:00 AM »

One of the other aspects of the touring is the camaraderie.  Like Willie Nelson once said, "On the road again, making music with my friends again."
It's undoubtedly therapeutic for Brian just to be interacting with the rest of his band.  The man is 79 and isn't exactly a social butterfly at this point.  On one level, the other guys are his employees, but I have to think that most if not all of them are his friends to one degree or another.  Brian's friendship with Al, of course, pre-dates their professional life.  And Rob Bonfiglio is Brian's son-in-law.

As for the hypothesis that the touring is all about satisfying Brian's need for constant validation and approval, I'm not sure that I totally buy it.  Yes, we've all heard stories like the one about Brian almost scrapping Good Vibrations because some random visitor to the studio said he didn't like it.  But for every story like that, there's also a tale  like the one where Capitol execs all told him that Barbara Ann was a garbage but his response was basically, "I'm right, and you're wrong. Put it out anyway."

And as for the notion that the guy has been in a decades-long funk based on his inability to have another No. 1 hit, I guess it's possible.  But it's also worth remembering that there have also been periods when he really had no interest in even trying.  In his interview with Jamake Highwater from early 1968, Brian says, "I stopped trying to do such great things."  That was, what, maybe only 15-16 months after Good Vibrations and he pretty clearly sounds like a guy who's no longer trying to top himself or make No. 1 hits.  As a fan, it's one of the most heartbreaking things I've heard Brian say, but I do believe that he said it with total honesty. I don't think he was "sandbagging" Highwater.   I think he said what he meant and meant what he said.  It's like, "Sure, I can be Brian Wilson the musical genius scaring people with my musical genius, but who needs the aggravation?"

« Last Edit: December 05, 2021, 01:23:10 AM by juggler » Logged
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« Reply #35 on: December 05, 2021, 11:57:36 AM »

See? Fair and balanced discussion, unlike elsewhere like that "jds" clown (who I'm convinced doesn't actually like Brian or his music).
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“My cape is at the dry cleaners,” he explained.

I’m writing a book of online BB fandom. It’s called “Never Trust Anyone Who Spends More Time Reading Signatures Than Bathing”.  It’s sure to sell a million copies in January!

How’s that view from the nosebleed seats?
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« Reply #36 on: December 05, 2021, 12:58:05 PM »

Quote
It blows my mind that someone whose music has sold millions (and earned millions, too), is loved the world over, can still be so full of crippling doubts, fears, etc; so much so, that he must seek further validation from the listening/buying public.

Depression is hell...especially if you grew up in a abusive household and was constantly belittled and berated. It fucks with your head big time. You learn to believe you're worthless. Trust me. Sometimes there's a void that just can't be filled, not with food, drugs, cigarettes, sex, money, nothing. And when you find that one thing you're good at, the one thing people accept you for, well, that validation can become quite addictive too. For me personally, knowing that there are people who really dig what I do, that keeps me going, from not feeling like a useless burden on those who love me, like maybe I do serve a purpose....no amount of money or success in other fields could change that.  That's why chodes like that one fucknugget I'm referring to piss me off. It's like this guy gets his jollies off by being as cruel and insulting to Brian as possible. I fucking hate people like that. I'm a tolerant person...except when it comes to bullies (and racists, homophobes, and child abusers). People like that have a special place in hell waiting for them. Karma is a bitch.
Yes, depression is hell. I've struggled with it most of my life.
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« Reply #37 on: December 08, 2021, 05:39:08 AM »

No, I don''t think it's fair to call for an artist to quit. Even less, to call for an artist to be "delisted and suppressed". Even less, to call for searches for Brian Wilson to be automatically redirected to the Beach Boys. Tongue
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« Reply #38 on: December 09, 2021, 06:40:34 AM »

I recently attended two small gigs headlined by a popular, contemporary musician. We talked at both shows, and it sort of took me aback when he looked to me for validation on the most recent show being the better of the two. Like, we have a grammy-award winning musician, whose every album has been critically acclaimed, and he was looking to me, some random dude to validate his performance?

(I enjoyed the first show more, but that's not a knock against the 2nd! Both were fun)

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« Reply #39 on: December 09, 2021, 08:40:01 AM »

I think that many artists have an endless need of validation for what they do, and so even a random dude's opinion can be important. It could be said that for that kind of artist validation is their fuel to go on.
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« Reply #40 on: December 09, 2021, 12:11:59 PM »

I think that many artists have an endless need of validation for what they do, and so even a random dude's opinion can be important. It could be said that for that kind of artist validation is their fuel to go on.
Yeah...I personally can attest to that
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“My cape is at the dry cleaners,” he explained.

I’m writing a book of online BB fandom. It’s called “Never Trust Anyone Who Spends More Time Reading Signatures Than Bathing”.  It’s sure to sell a million copies in January!

How’s that view from the nosebleed seats?
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« Reply #41 on: January 20, 2022, 05:52:23 PM »

I think it's up to the artist and I suppose the paying customers. For example, I finally was able to see Paul McCartney a few years ago and I thought the show was tremendous. Meanwhile, the next day in the paper they talked about his voice sounding rough and it was time for him to think about hanging it up. Nonsense, he sounded great and the place was full of people having a great time. I mean, how many times do you get to hear a concert open with the chords of "A Hard Day's Night" by the artist who wrote them? Incredible.
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« Reply #42 on: January 21, 2022, 06:20:53 AM »

I think one of the many things that complicates things is that, in the McCartney scenario above, both things can be true. Folks can have a great time, and he also doesn't have a voice anymore.

I bow to no one in my love for McCartney and his work, including even some of his most recent stuff. But his voice has been shot for years. It's a different thing than the thing with Brian's voice. But I'll absolutely not back down from the pretty-darn-close-to-objective fact at this point that McCartney's voice is shot. But I don't have any interest in saying he should quit, or that people shouldn't go see his show. And, I'm not even prepared to say how "shot" it is. It's pretty well toast at this stage, but I mean, it could be even worse. I mean, at this stage, I'd pay to *not* hear him try to sing "Maybe I'm Amazed" ever again, but his voice holds up better on some solo acoustic stuff and, ironically, some of the throat-searing things like "Helter Skelter" that don't require the pristine voice.

And then calling for an artist to quit is complicated as well by live shows versus studio work. I think both McCartney and Brian Wilson can muster at least slightly better vocal performances in the studio, and also with or without the aid of studio techniques or tricks, some of the issues can be smoothed out. Not completely. But I dunno, I think Brian's "Right Where I Belong" is worth having. And some of the stuff off "McCartney III" is worth it. He may be croaking through "The Kiss of Venus", but it's still good, and your brain can almost kinda just fill in imagining like 1968 (or hell, even 1982) McCartney singing it.

Also complicating things is the status of their non-vocal work. McCartney is still an excellent musician; there's some great instrumental work from him on recent albums, including the most recent "McCartney III."

Brian can still lay out stuff on the piano.

So I guess the idea is that I think it's fair to raise the issue of retirement or semi-retirement from some aspects of their careers, and it's obviously true more than anything that we just make our own decisions as fans/scholars/consumers of the artist. I'm mostly done seeing McCartney. I saw him a bunch of times in 2002, 2004, and 2005. His voice was stunningly quite good in 2002, and held together somewhat through the end of that decade. But in recent years his voice has vastly deteriorated, and that coupled with high ticket prices and *larger* venues (I have no desire to pay for a stadium show where I'm just watching the video screen the whole time) has dictated that I haven't sought his show out in a number of years.

And I'm in a similar spot with Brian shows, although it's more difficult with Brian because his ticket prices are more reasonable, he has Al and Blondie and Matt still singing great at his shows, and Brian's decline in live shows has kind of been more sporadic and more difficult to discern because his voice has been challenged for so many years.
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« Reply #43 on: January 21, 2022, 07:12:21 AM »

Yeah it's been a little hard to listen to McCartney's more recent stuff with his voice having aged so considerably.  And hearing him live in the past few years has been rough with him sounding so wobbly.  A few years ago he actually still sounded pretty good.  I have a nice boot of one of his shows in Japan from about 8-10 years ago and he sounded mostly great.  And I'd argue he sounds okay for a near 80-year-old and still delivers a lot of energy in his performances.

Compare that to Brian where in recent shows he just looks completely checked out. Check out this recent performance of him and Al doing "Help Me Rhonda" (https://youtu.be/i_zTAvpFVdg).  He just randomly steals the verses from Al as if he were confused and then near the end of the song looks like he's asleep.  You have to wonder if he even wants to be there especially if you're just a casual fan that isn't fully aware of all his mental health issues. 
 
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« Reply #44 on: January 22, 2022, 07:21:22 PM »

1. No it isn’t fair.

2. Any artist (you, me, Brian, etc) releasing art to the public should expect unfair and terrible statements to be made about their art. I would say, “this artist should throw in the towel if they’re going to make records like this” would almost be a typical line from a negative record review.
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« Reply #45 on: January 23, 2022, 03:21:33 AM »

As some sage said once, reviews usually don't say anything about the reviewed work, but say much about the reviewer.
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« Reply #46 on: January 23, 2022, 10:14:41 PM »

I wish Carl had been around long enough for people to say he should retire.
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« Reply #47 on: January 24, 2022, 06:37:48 AM »

As some sage said once, reviews usually don't say anything about the reviewed work, but say much about the reviewer.

I dunno, that sounds much more like what uber-defensive artists say when critics don't like their stuff.

Reviewers are much like artists; there are good and bad.

A good reviewer can turn reviewing into an entertaining art, and can appropriately convey things about what they're reviewing. There are also awful critics with an agenda, or that don't know what they're talking about, etc.
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« Reply #48 on: January 25, 2022, 11:20:46 AM »

That is the reason I said "usually". Some critics awesome: the best of them can let me enjoy works of art better than I could have done by myself. On the other hand, the worst of them seem on a crusade to sabotage people from enjoying anything. Particularly on the Internet.
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« Reply #49 on: January 28, 2022, 08:54:41 AM »

Is it fair to call for an artist to quit?

- Sure it is fair. But you have to accept that the artist doesn't care about that.

well put rocker. totally agree. it’s not other people’s right to tell you when to quit.
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