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Author Topic: Mike and Dennis in 80 or 81  (Read 5253 times)
Magic Transistor Radio
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« on: May 14, 2007, 09:02:05 AM »

I have read a lot about how their relationship soured over the years. I am sure many of you have seen this video before, but it seems that Mike and Dennis are enjoying each others company at the moment.

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Does anybody know when Mike and Dennis started to dislike each other? It seems in the late 60s they were still pretty tight. But I heard that the division in the band was fairly obvious when Bruce quit in 70 or 71. Of course it may have been a gradual thing.
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"Over the years, I've been accused of not supporting our new music from this era (67-73) and just wanting to play our hits. That's complete b.s......I was also, as the front man, the one promoting these songs onstage and have the scars to show for it."
Mike Love autobiography (pg 242-243)
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« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2007, 10:14:34 AM »

Serious tension between Mike and Dennis began in 1962 or 1963 as pointed out in the Dave Marks book. They had been close up to that point but competition over girls and resentments over the band hierarchy began to crop up. Then in the years ahead their lifestyle differences took hold as well. But they already were having occasional fist fights in 63, so anyone who thinks their problems started in the late 70's or 80's is fooling themselves. With that in mind there were also periods of  time where they got along and even enjoyed each others company. There were periods of mutual respect and even admiration. By '77 those occasional periods had become nearly non-existent.
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MBE
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« Reply #2 on: May 14, 2007, 01:01:57 PM »

The last thing I have where Mike and Dennis seem to get along very well is a 1976 interview they did in Chicago. Dennis even praises Everyone's In Love With You. I think that their competition until 1977 or so was, at least artistically8, semi healthy and they wrote several great songs together. Once Dennis got into drugs full time and Mike really began to go the oldies route full throttle then it became ugly on every level. I will say that Dennis defended Mike as far as the rumors about him not liking Pet Sounds or Smile to Pete Fornatelle and others.
« Last Edit: May 14, 2007, 09:14:09 PM by MBE » Logged
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« Reply #3 on: May 14, 2007, 03:07:36 PM »

I don't know, but why would there be any real "competition" between Mr. Positivity and Dennis for girls?? Or was it that  the Lovester was just paranoid because he couldn't compete with Dennis in the looks department? I can't  really imagine too many women getting too turned on to Mike in favor of Dennis.  Cheesy
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« Reply #4 on: May 14, 2007, 03:14:33 PM »

...and Mike really begain to go the oldies route full throtle then it became ugly on every leval.

The oldies route?
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« Reply #5 on: May 14, 2007, 04:03:18 PM »

Backstage at the Washington DC gig on July 4th (a couple of weeks after this Knebworth gig that the youtube clip is from), Dennis is seen walking up to Mike and shaking his hand while Mike is having a conversation with Jerry Schilling.  They had just played to the biggest crowd of their career at that point, and they had reason to be proud.
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« Reply #6 on: May 14, 2007, 05:09:30 PM »

I am sure many of you have also seen the video of Dennis singing 'You Are So Beautiful', the end of which he approaches Mike and ties a bandanna around his leg. It appears they are just having fun, but perhaps he is attempting to get on Mike's nerves.

I could search for the video, but I'm too lazy right now.
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"Over the years, I've been accused of not supporting our new music from this era (67-73) and just wanting to play our hits. That's complete b.s......I was also, as the front man, the one promoting these songs onstage and have the scars to show for it."
Mike Love autobiography (pg 242-243)
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« Reply #7 on: May 14, 2007, 09:15:11 PM »

...and Mike really begain to go the oldies route full throtle then it became ugly on every leval.

The oldies route?

Right Dennis wanted more new material in the shows as did Carl.
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« Reply #8 on: May 15, 2007, 12:55:14 AM »

I honestly think Dennis had absolutely no problem with playing the oldies live. I even think he enjoyed them more than new stuff.
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MBE
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« Reply #9 on: May 15, 2007, 05:57:04 AM »

Well Dennis once said that he liked some of the old songs, but that was in 1976 or 77 before they completely took over. I think his reaction to 15 Big Ones, Here Comes The Night, and MIU should tell you what he thought about abandoning a more progressive approach.
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« Reply #10 on: May 15, 2007, 06:13:09 AM »

I have a TV report about Dennis'death where the reporter said that Dennis left the band in 1981 because they just played the hits.
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« Reply #11 on: May 15, 2007, 06:42:13 AM »

...and Mike really begain to go the oldies route full throtle then it became ugly on every leval.

The oldies route?

Right Dennis wanted more new material in the shows as did Carl.

He may have wanted it, but he never stuck around to play it. I saw The Beach Boys in concert a few times WITH Dennis, and whenever it came time for the group to play a NEW song, Dennis made a quick exit from the stage. That's probably because he didn't know the song, which is probably because he didn't play at the session. Which is strange for somebody who wanted new material so desperately. He did, however, perform that groundbreaking, cutting edge "You Are So Beautiful" over and over and over...
« Last Edit: May 15, 2007, 06:43:31 AM by Sheriff John Stone » Logged
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« Reply #12 on: May 15, 2007, 07:09:49 AM »

I can't imagine Mike was too pleased with Dennis in those years.  I think it was more a matter of putting up with him during the concerts.  Even looking at the footage and seeing their interaction (and factoring in the rush of playing in front of 50,000+ people), I think Mike was likely just doing his best to put aside his issues with Dennis's unprofessionalism and substance abuse problems for showtime.  Maybe for the benefit of the increasingly family-oriented audiences?  And Mike couldn't completely ignore that - as long a he wasn't completely out of it - Dennis's charisma was an enormous benefit to the live show, and was loved by the fans.


As for Dennis not playing the new material, i imagine he may not have been so pleased with the direction of the new material.  May not have had the focus to take the time to learn them, either. 
« Last Edit: May 15, 2007, 10:25:21 AM by No. Fourteen » Logged
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« Reply #13 on: May 15, 2007, 08:19:18 AM »



He may have wanted it, but he never stuck around to play it. I saw The Beach Boys in concert a few times WITH Dennis, and whenever it came time for the group to play a NEW song, Dennis made a quick exit from the stage. That's probably because he didn't know the song, which is probably because he didn't play at the session. Which is strange for somebody who wanted new material so desperately. He did, however, perform that groundbreaking, cutting edge "You Are So Beautiful" over and over and over...
[/quote]

Well you have to remember that the Beach Boys were never a true unified band after the brief 1977 bust up. I mean they did P.O.B. tracks (not counting River Song) at less then five shows. He wasn't given support so why should he have supported the others. He did perform on all of Carl and Brian's new stuff which goes to show you it wasn't about oldies with him, it was political. Are So Beautiful was his only hit song that he wrote so it must of meant a lot to him even if he didn't claim credit. Mr. Desper and several others confirm he wrote it, and it was his later day trademark. Do I like hearing him do things like Good Timin' or Angel Come Home better? Yeah, but he wasn't given the opportunity to do his own material otherwise and let's face it by 1981 he shouldn't have sang period. Dennis openly hated much of Mike, Bruce and Al's late 70's material and by KTSA was too messed up to really contribute anything. On top of that he was out of the band at the time. I make no excuses for his behavior over the last five years of his life and I completely understand why Mike and the others had to fire him at certain points. I just feel very strongly that the actions of Dennis Wilson in those last five years weren't reflective of a man with a healthy state of mind. I think he acted in ways that went against what he really felt during the increasingly rare times he was sober.
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« Reply #14 on: May 15, 2007, 11:00:57 AM »

Well Dennis once said that he liked some of the old songs, but that was in 1976 or 77 before they completely took over.

I don't think it's a matter of liking or not liking those songs. All of the Beach Boys have/had great respect for the early stuff and the hit songs. But that is no reason to reduce yourself to these songs.  Doing this, means, in a way, agreeing with people who said that the BBs were just Brian's puppets.
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« Reply #15 on: May 15, 2007, 12:59:45 PM »

Well you have to remember that the Beach Boys were never a true unified band after the brief 1977 bust up. I mean they did P.O.B. tracks (not counting River Song) at less then five shows. He wasn't given support so why should he have supported the others. He did perform on all of Carl and Brian's new stuff which goes to show you it wasn't about oldies with him, it was political. Are So Beautiful was his only hit song that he wrote so it must of meant a lot to him even if he didn't claim credit. Mr. Desper and several others confirm he wrote it, and it was his later day trademark. Do I like hearing him do things like Good Timin' or Angel Come Home better? Yeah, but he wasn't given the opportunity to do his own material otherwise and let's face it by 1981 he shouldn't have sang period. Dennis openly hated much of Mike, Bruce and Al's late 70's material and by KTSA was too messed up to really contribute anything. On top of that he was out of the band at the time. I make no excuses for his behavior over the last five years of his life and I completely understand why Mike and the others had to fire him at certain points. I just feel very strongly that the actions of Dennis Wilson in those last five years weren't reflective of a man with a healthy state of mind. I think he acted in ways that went against what he really felt during the increasingly rare times he was sober.

MBE, on an earlier post, you wrote as one of the reasons for the differences between Mike and Dennis as Mike "going the oldies route". I questioned that reason. On the above post, you wrote a few more reasons (didn't repeat the oldies thing), and I have to question them too.

You wrote "He wasn't given support so why should he have supported the others." That's a great attitude to have in a band. This question has been raised many times before. Wasn't supported by whom? ONLY Mike Love? Or was it also his brothers? Or Al? Weren't matters, such as what songs to play, taken up with a vote? Why single out Mike Love? It takes more than one for a majority.

You also wrote, "He did perfprm on all of Carl and Brian's new stuff." That is not true. I saw Dennis walk off when "Keeping The Summer Alive" and "Living With A Heartache" were performed. And Al's "Lady Lynda". And "Here Come's The Night". There were others. But I rarely saw Mike, Carl, Al, or Bruce walk off, except for "You Are So Beautiful", when they were supposed to, so Dennis could soak in all the affection from the audience.

Finally, you wrote "the actions of Dennis Wilson in those last five years weren't reflective of a man with a healthy state of mind". On that quote I completely agree with you. And maybe that is the real reason(s) why Mike and Dennis had their differences.

MBE, I mean nothing personal against you or what you wrote. I just get tired of people blaming Mike Love when he doesn't deserve it. God knows there are enough times when he does. But I don't think this is one of them. Put yourself in Mike's shoes. Was he wrong for objecting to Dennis showing up at concerts drunk or stoned? Was Mike wrong for getting pissed off at Dennis for appearing on national TV (Good Morning America) and embarrassing himself and the group? Was Mike wrong for resenting Dennis for showing up at the White House with President & Mrs. Reagan, plastered? Was Mike wrong for objecting to Dennis openly criticizing the Beach Boys' new albums in the press. And finally, was Mike wrong for resenting Dennis for not contributing to the recording sessions (MIU, L.A. - other than his own songs, and  KTSA) for whatever reasons Dennis had, but showing up for concerts to collect a check - when he did show up that is.

I realize this post looks like I'm hammering Dennis which wasn't my intention. I love Dennis' music with The Beach Boys (I've stated numerous times that "Cuddle Up" is the most underrated song in the BB catalogue), and I love Pacific Ocean Blue (easily the best BB solo work). I'm just trying to be fair to Mike Love. If I was in Mike's shoes, I KNOW I would've reacted the same way. I wonder how many others would've too
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« Reply #16 on: May 15, 2007, 01:14:15 PM »

I think if I had to meet the Reagans I also would have had to be wasted!
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« Reply #17 on: May 15, 2007, 01:48:14 PM »

I have read a lot about how their relationship soured over the years. I am sure many of you have seen this video before, but it seems that Mike and Dennis are enjoying each others company at the moment.

I always thought (based on their body language and facial expressions) that it looked more like Dennis was trying to make Mike feel uncomfortable by walking over to him, putting his arm around him and looking at him like he was deeply in love, and that Mike was thinking something along the lines of "Thousands of people are watching, keep smiling Mike... And let's hope this idiot won't do anything stupid"... It's actually quite an amusing scene if you imagine that that's what's happening...  Grin
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« Reply #18 on: May 15, 2007, 03:36:15 PM »

[
You wrote "He wasn't given support so why should he have supported the others." That's a great attitude to have in a band. This question has been raised many times before. Wasn't supported by whom? ONLY Mike Love? Or was it also his brothers? Or Al? Weren't matters, such as what songs to play, taken up with a vote? Why single out Mike Love? It takes more than one for a majority.

No he wasn't supported by Al either. Yet you are right Al and Mike didn't get Dennis' respect that they deserved, it was two ways. When they all lived closer to each other and didn't speak through lawyers was when the could be a real band is something Stephen Desper told me.  In other words when the support was there despite any problems Brian and Dennis had they still functional as a group and an excellent one to boot. No one was being fair to anyone by the late 70's


You also wrote, "He did perform on all of Carl and Brian's new stuff." That is not true. I saw Dennis walk off when "Keeping The Summer Alive" and "Living With A Heartache" were performed. And Al's "Lady Lynda". And "Here Come's The Night". There were others. But I rarely saw Mike, Carl, Al, or Bruce walk off, except for "You Are So Beautiful", when they were supposed to, so Dennis could soak in all the affection from the audience.

Doesn't he play on KTSA on the 1980 concert videos? I forget and will have to check. Still your point is made and it seems that Brian and Carl did walk offs too.

MBE, I mean nothing personal against you or what you wrote. I just get tired of people blaming Mike Love when he doesn't deserve it. God knows there are enough times when he does.

I think you know that I like Mike and the Beach Boys as a whole group. I defend Mike a lot. They are all to blame for the decline, Brian, Dennis and Carl too. I mean Carl never was as good after Dennis died. Except for the late 1993 shows and a few in 1988 it didn't even seem like he was trying anymore. During the 1979-82 concerts Brian was as bad, perhaps worse ,then Dennis. I don't lay the blame squarely on Mike for anything but he sure didn't make a lot creative decisions after 1975 that I agree with. Al was fairly consistent and I understand why he sided with Mike. Brian and Dennis got fired at times and totally deserved to be. I would have been completely mortified by their actions.I do think they got to the points they did because of their own bad decisions. I am not a Leaf who will blame everyone but Brian himself for his problems. Still their was a lot of hurtful things done against Brian and Dennis and that was just as wrong. I can't take sides because it was just something that was sad, but creatively I think a healthy Brian and Dennis could have taken the Beach Boys into places that would have been amazing. Even Mike has said as much.
« Last Edit: May 15, 2007, 03:38:18 PM by MBE » Logged
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« Reply #19 on: May 15, 2007, 06:04:48 PM »

Sheriff and MBE, great exchange.
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« Reply #20 on: May 15, 2007, 06:44:09 PM »

Definitely interesting...I think Al regretted and regrets not having supported Dennis and Carl more at that time. His actions from when Carl returned on definitely show that. Too bad, if he had voted with them in the late 70s, things might be different
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« Reply #21 on: May 15, 2007, 07:03:47 PM »

Al definitely regrets not supporting Dennis' gift more, he mentions it all the time now. BTW...all the talk about Dennis' walk offs etc... Al has stated that Dennis was the guy who helped him get the arrangement together on Lady Lynda when he was recording it...Dennis' help was crucial to that arrangement and the vocal harmonies is what he said. Dennis also publicly praised Mike's song Everyone's In Love With You and he collaborated with Mike multiple times on great songs. He often credited Bruce for being a great talent. We know how much Dennis praised and supported Brian and Carl's work. That needs to be said in this thread. Its all on the record should you care to question it. Dennis did his share of tearing things up...but he also was active in trying to heal. He cut both ways...like most human beings. He was just a bit more extreme than most of us. Just by being there he made the BB's so much more REAL than they could ever be without him. Even at his worst. And at his best... he was maybe the coolest rock star ever.
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« Reply #22 on: May 15, 2007, 07:37:44 PM »

I think one thing that is important to think about is that these--Mike and Dennis, but also Al, Carl, Brian and eventually Bruce--were people. And people are three dimensional. To argue about what someone's position was, or who thought what, is probably over-simplifying reality. Every one of these people was a complex person living through the absolute insanity that must come with first gaining, then to a certain extent losing and regaining, fame and money. Add to it the sorts of real-life issues that they--just as anyone else may have, even me or you--faced, such as mental illness, political problems, legal issues, marriages come and gone, substance abuse, etc. and to think anyone would take and consistently maintain any single position, or even that people's positions and actions could be easily explained or tracked, just does not seem realistic to me.

That Dennis and Mike despised each other, I have no doubt. That they loved each other, I have no doubt. And that they filled all the space in between, I have no doubt. That's just real life, especially considering their circumstances.

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« Reply #23 on: May 15, 2007, 10:05:18 PM »

Al definitely regrets not supporting Dennis' gift more, he mentions it all the time now. BTW...all the talk about Dennis' walk offs etc... Al has stated that Dennis was the guy who helped him get the arrangement together on Lady Lynda when he was recording it...Dennis' help was crucial to that arrangement and the vocal harmonies is what he said. Dennis also publicly praised Mike's song Everyone's In Love With You and he collaborated with Mike multiple times on great songs. He often credited Bruce for being a great talent. We know how much Dennis praised and supported Brian and Carl's work. That needs to be said in this thread. Its all on the record should you care to question it. Dennis did his share of tearing things up...but he also was active in trying to heal. He cut both ways...like most human beings. He was just a bit more extreme than most of us. Just by being there he made the BB's so much more REAL than they could ever be without him. Even at his worst. And at his best... he was maybe the coolest rock star ever.

You are correct about all of this, and like I mentioned earlier when Dennis was not on self destruct he was a great Beach Boy and very loyal to the group and what it meant.
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« Reply #24 on: May 15, 2007, 10:08:58 PM »

I think one thing that is important to think about is that these--Mike and Dennis, but also Al, Carl, Brian and eventually Bruce--were people. And people are three dimensional. To argue about what someone's position was, or who thought what, is probably over-simplifying reality. Every one of these people was a complex person living through the absolute insanity that must come with first gaining, then to a certain extent losing and regaining, fame and money. Add to it the sorts of real-life issues that they--just as anyone else may have, even me or you--faced, such as mental illness, political problems, legal issues, marriages come and gone, substance abuse, etc. and to think anyone would take and consistently maintain any single position, or even that people's positions and actions could be easily explained or tracked, just does not seem realistic to me.

That Dennis and Mike despised each other, I have no doubt. That they loved each other, I have no doubt. And that they filled all the space in between, I have no doubt. That's just real life, especially considering their circumstances.



That is why I try not to put down one member over another as a person. Sure Brian and Dennis had a level of talent that the others arguably didn't match, but as people they all made the Beach Boys work and they all tore it apart. That is why writers like Stebbins and Doe are so important in the face of the David Leaf mentallity.
« Last Edit: May 16, 2007, 08:49:49 PM by MBE » Logged
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