Music opinion/question of the week...

General music discussion.
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Re: Music opinion/question of the week...

Post by Marky Dread » 06 Aug 2019, 8:11am

101Walterton wrote:
05 Aug 2019, 7:00pm
Kory wrote:
05 Aug 2019, 1:31pm
Flex wrote:
05 Aug 2019, 1:26pm
I used to be more purist about this stuff but now I'm more like "whatever". If the new record isn't good I won't buy it, and if the post-peak lineup has a bad live rep I won't go, but I'm not gonna cut myself off from, say, a fun night out seeing the current lineup of The Specials just because it wouldn't be as theoretically pure as a version of the lineup that hasn't existed since before I was born. I find this stuff usually sorts itself out - it's not that I don't listen to the post-Morrison Doors albums specifically because I refuse to consider them The Doors - I don't listen to them because they aren't very good. Ditto post-DLR Van Halen and other such examples.

It's funny because most of the bands I'm most passionate about (The Clash, Beach Boys, etc.) I spend probably unhealthy amounts of time excavating their post-True Lineup works to understand what lies beneath the grotesqueries of, say, Summer in Paradise or Cut the Crap.
I might consider seeing the Specials live but without Roddy and Neville particularly, it's hard to justify the price and time.
The Specials without Jerry wasn’t right but it didn’t affect their live sound and as they weren’t making new records Jerry’s input was not missed. However agree with your comments about Neville and Roddy.
As much as I love Encore it is not s ‘Specials’ album.
The Specials are a band that have had a revolving door policy for many years. A great band and great characters all but having Terry singing is fine by me.
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Re: Music opinion/question of the week...

Post by WestwayKid » 06 Aug 2019, 9:29am

The thing about The Beach Boys is how despite whatever internal tension there was - they did a remarkable job of holding it together. As awful as Summer in Paradise is - it was still recorded by a solid core of the original band: Mike, Carl, and Al. I'd go as far as calling Bruce pretty original by that point, too. It was the death of Carl that was the beginning of the end. He goes and then Al goes and then even Brian moves further away. Sure - we got the anniversary album/tour - but since then it has been Mike and Bruce and a revolving cast of players.
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Re: Music opinion/question of the week...

Post by Dr. Medulla » 06 Aug 2019, 9:42am

One of the curious things about the Beach Boys is that, seemingly, even without Brian (or any Wilson) it's the Beach Boys. What is the necessary core there? It can't be fucking Mike Love, can it?
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Re: Music opinion/question of the week...

Post by WestwayKid » 06 Aug 2019, 10:01am

Dr. Medulla wrote:
06 Aug 2019, 9:42am
One of the curious things about the Beach Boys is that, seemingly, even without Brian (or any Wilson) it's the Beach Boys. What is the necessary core there? It can't be fucking Mike Love, can it?
It's a brand by this point (and it has been a brand - arguably - since Capitol released the "Endless Summer" comp in 1974). Mike is a very recognizable front man and he sang on many of their biggest hits (which is all the casual fan wants to hear). In that sense - he is a great ambassador for the brand - but he is not the core. They're far beyond the point of being a true band.
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Re: Music opinion/question of the week...

Post by Flex » 06 Aug 2019, 10:17am

Dr. Medulla wrote:
06 Aug 2019, 9:42am
One of the curious things about the Beach Boys is that, seemingly, even without Brian (or any Wilson) it's the Beach Boys. What is the necessary core there? It can't be fucking Mike Love, can it?
Legally speaking, it's Mike and I think Bruce Johnston was made a full voting member of the band. The Wilson beneficiaries actually get shares of the profits from Mike's touring even though they aren't participating. I can't remember how the voting breaks down, but a majority of the legally constuted band needs to approve the touring.
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Re: Music opinion/question of the week...

Post by Dr. Medulla » 06 Aug 2019, 10:30am

Flex wrote:
06 Aug 2019, 10:17am
Legally speaking, it's Mike and I think Bruce Johnston was made a full voting member of the band. The Wilson beneficiaries actually get shares of the profits from Mike's touring even though they aren't participating. I can't remember how the voting breaks down, but a majority of the legally constuted band needs to approve the touring.
Right. I think Lennon's and Harrison's widows are, legally, members of the Beatles, having equal say on any legacy releases, etc.
WestwayKid wrote:
06 Aug 2019, 10:01am
It's a brand by this point (and it has been a brand - arguably - since Capitol released the "Endless Summer" comp in 1974). Mike is a very recognizable front man and he sang on many of their biggest hits (which is all the casual fan wants to hear). In that sense - he is a great ambassador for the brand - but he is not the core. They're far beyond the point of being a true band.
Which is kinda interesting in its own way—a truly postmodern band that only exists as long as the fans believe it exists. Bernie had the same idea with the Clash, musing even at the end that he could replace Joe and it would still be viable.
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Re: Music opinion/question of the week...

Post by IkarisOne » 06 Aug 2019, 10:50am

WestwayKid wrote:
06 Aug 2019, 10:01am
Dr. Medulla wrote:
06 Aug 2019, 9:42am
One of the curious things about the Beach Boys is that, seemingly, even without Brian (or any Wilson) it's the Beach Boys. What is the necessary core there? It can't be fucking Mike Love, can it?
It's a brand by this point (and it has been a brand - arguably - since Capitol released the "Endless Summer" comp in 1974). Mike is a very recognizable front man and he sang on many of their biggest hits (which is all the casual fan wants to hear). In that sense - he is a great ambassador for the brand - but he is not the core. They're far beyond the point of being a true band.
By the same token, "Sail on, Sailor" is my favorite BB song and the only original member on it is Carl. But most of the top Beach Boy classics were all entirely played by studio musicians anyway.

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Re: Music opinion/question of the week...

Post by WestwayKid » 06 Aug 2019, 11:56am

Flex wrote:
06 Aug 2019, 10:17am
Dr. Medulla wrote:
06 Aug 2019, 9:42am
One of the curious things about the Beach Boys is that, seemingly, even without Brian (or any Wilson) it's the Beach Boys. What is the necessary core there? It can't be fucking Mike Love, can it?
Legally speaking, it's Mike and I think Bruce Johnston was made a full voting member of the band. The Wilson beneficiaries actually get shares of the profits from Mike's touring even though they aren't participating. I can't remember how the voting breaks down, but a majority of the legally constuted band needs to approve the touring.
It's a complicated mess. From what I understand - the name is owned by Brother Records Incorporated (BRI) which is owned by Mike Love, Brian Wilson, Al Jardine, and the estate of Carl Wilson. Dennis cashed in his share at some point to cover debts. Mike then owns a separate company (not sure if Bruce has any stake, but I think it is just Mike) that puts on shows as The Beach Boys. Mike actually has to obtain a license from BRI to tour as The Beach Boys and there are a bunch of conditions designed to prevent damaging the financial value of the brand. Mike also has to pay a hefty fee to BRI for the license (which is interesting considering he is part owner of BRI). Brian, Al, and Carl's estate make money off of every show Mike performs as The Beach Boys. Bruce does not as he is not an owner of BRI.

This also became interesting following the 50th anniversary tour where it was reported that Mike had "fired" Brian. This is simply not possible. There was a finite end to their reunion tour (and those shows were produced by a different company - controlled by Love, Wilson and Joe Thomas). The original run of the anniversary tour was to have been 50 dates - but that was extended to include Europe and Japan.

At some point after the extension was signed - a representative from Brian's organization contacted Love and made it clear that these dates were the absolutely final dates Brian would play with the band. With that in mind - Mike licensed a new tour from BRI to pick up after the reunion tour ended. It was back to business as usual. Shows were booked and contracts were signed, but at some point Brian (and Al) decided they wanted the reunion to continue.

The license to tour as The Beach Boys is non-exclusive. BRI could license it to someone else (in theory) at the same time that Mike's company is licensed to use it. This is essentially what happened during the reunion tour.

As I said - it's a real mess - but for the most part it works.
"If they believed in a place called Kokomo, then so did I." - Michael Edward Love

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Re: Music opinion/question of the week...

Post by Flex » 06 Aug 2019, 11:58am

IkarisOne wrote:
06 Aug 2019, 10:50am
By the same token, "Sail on, Sailor" is my favorite BB song and the only original member on it is Carl. But most of the top Beach Boy classics were all entirely played by studio musicians anyway.
Fantastic song. The live version on their '73 live album slays. That live album is one of my faves of there's. Blondie and Ricky were great additions for their cup of coffee with the band. it's fun seeing Blondie play with Brian these days.
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Re: Music opinion/question of the week...

Post by WestwayKid » 06 Aug 2019, 12:00pm

Dr. Medulla wrote:
06 Aug 2019, 10:30am
Flex wrote:
06 Aug 2019, 10:17am
Legally speaking, it's Mike and I think Bruce Johnston was made a full voting member of the band. The Wilson beneficiaries actually get shares of the profits from Mike's touring even though they aren't participating. I can't remember how the voting breaks down, but a majority of the legally constuted band needs to approve the touring.
Right. I think Lennon's and Harrison's widows are, legally, members of the Beatles, having equal say on any legacy releases, etc.
WestwayKid wrote:
06 Aug 2019, 10:01am
It's a brand by this point (and it has been a brand - arguably - since Capitol released the "Endless Summer" comp in 1974). Mike is a very recognizable front man and he sang on many of their biggest hits (which is all the casual fan wants to hear). In that sense - he is a great ambassador for the brand - but he is not the core. They're far beyond the point of being a true band.
Which is kinda interesting in its own way—a truly postmodern band that only exists as long as the fans believe it exists. Bernie had the same idea with the Clash, musing even at the end that he could replace Joe and it would still be viable.
Exactly. I've been to more than a few Mike & Bruce shows and it's a different crowd than those who attend Brian Wilson concerts. The Mike crowd is there to hear the hits. They want to have fun in the sun. They "care" that Mike is singing the songs - but only to a point. They don't care that Brian, Carl, Al, and Dennis no longer sing their parts. It's all about the songs. In my opinion - there is far more knowledge about the music at Brian's shows. Sure, Mike is not singing "Fun, Fun, Fun" but that's okay because it is being performed by Brian Wilson - the man who created the music.
"If they believed in a place called Kokomo, then so did I." - Michael Edward Love

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Re: Music opinion/question of the week...

Post by Flex » 06 Aug 2019, 12:04pm

WestwayKid wrote:
06 Aug 2019, 11:56am
It's a complicated mess. From what I understand - the name is owned by Brother Records Incorporated (BRI) which is owned by Mike Love, Brian Wilson, Al Jardine, and the estate of Carl Wilson. Dennis cashed in his share at some point to cover debts. Mike then owns a separate company (not sure if Bruce has any stake, but I think it is just Mike) that puts on shows as The Beach Boys. Mike actually has to obtain a license from BRI to tour as The Beach Boys and there are a bunch of conditions designed to prevent damaging the financial value of the brand. Mike also has to pay a hefty fee to BRI for the license (which is interesting considering he is part owner of BRI). Brian, Al, and Carl's estate make money off of every show Mike performs as The Beach Boys. Bruce does not as he is not an owner of BRI.

This also became interesting following the 50th anniversary tour where it was reported that Mike had "fired" Brian. This is simply not possible. There was a finite end to their reunion tour (and those shows were produced by a different company - controlled by Love, Wilson and Joe Thomas). The original run of the anniversary tour was to have been 50 dates - but that was extended to include Europe and Japan.

At some point after the extension was signed - a representative from Brian's organization contacted Love and made it clear that these dates were the absolutely final dates Brian would play with the band. With that in mind - Mike licensed a new tour from BRI to pick up after the reunion tour ended. It was back to business as usual. Shows were booked and contracts were signed, but at some point Brian (and Al) decided they wanted the reunion to continue.

The license to tour as The Beach Boys is non-exclusive. BRI could license it to someone else (in theory) at the same time that Mike's company is licensed to use it. This is essentially what happened during the reunion tour.

As I said - it's a real mess - but for the most part it works.
Okay yeah, this all sounds right. I could have sworn Bruce had a stake in their somewhere, but I may be dreaming that up. I remember David Marks NOT having any kind of ownership stake, which has left him relatively "vulnerable" to the whims of Mike & co. around when and how he can perform with the band.

The current touring band, basically as configured since 2000, is actually quite decent overall - and Jeff Foskett has been touring with the band since '81. They're definitely a "golden oldies" fairgrounds touring act (I'm gonna try to see them at the Colorado State Fair later this month, actually) but they punch towards the top of that weight class, imho.

Brian's touring stuff is generally much more intellectually and aesthetically satisfying (unless he's totally zonked out) and he can usually claim to have more "official" Beach Boys members on stage than the touring version of the band, but it doesn't have quite the same cheesy good time factor.
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Re: Music opinion/question of the week...

Post by Flex » 06 Aug 2019, 12:07pm

WestwayKid wrote:
06 Aug 2019, 12:00pm
Exactly. I've been to more than a few Mike & Bruce shows and it's a different crowd than those who attend Brian Wilson concerts. The Mike crowd is there to hear the hits. They want to have fun in the sun. They "care" that Mike is singing the songs - but only to a point. They don't care that Brian, Carl, Al, and Dennis no longer sing their parts. It's all about the songs. In my opinion - there is far more knowledge about the music at Brian's shows. Sure, Mike is not singing "Fun, Fun, Fun" but that's okay because it is being performed by Brian Wilson - the man who created the music.
Hope the last is still true when I see the Brian/Zombies tour this fall. The holiday tour Brian did was pitiful from what I saw and heard - Brian was basically catatonic and barely playing or singing. I saw youtube vids where it seemed like he didn't know what he was doing onstage. Hoping the break he took did him some good. I would have skipped this show, probably, except I've always wanted to catch The Zombies and the promise of Brian and Al playing the Friends and Surf's Up material was too drool-worthy to pass up.
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Re: Music opinion/question of the week...

Post by WestwayKid » 06 Aug 2019, 12:20pm

Flex wrote:
06 Aug 2019, 11:58am
IkarisOne wrote:
06 Aug 2019, 10:50am
By the same token, "Sail on, Sailor" is my favorite BB song and the only original member on it is Carl. But most of the top Beach Boy classics were all entirely played by studio musicians anyway.
Fantastic song. The live version on their '73 live album slays. That live album is one of my faves of there's. Blondie and Ricky were great additions for their cup of coffee with the band. it's fun seeing Blondie play with Brian these days.
That song had an interesting gestation process. I once had a discussion with Steve Desper (former BB engineer) on the Smiley Smile Board about it. He claimed Brian came up with the idea for the song several years before it was finished - working on it here and there when he felt like it.

Brian didn't want to do the lead (though apparently he could do it well). Dennis tried a few lines and gave up. Bruce tried, but it didn't suit his voice. Carl was the one who got the job, but he was never happy with his vocal - constantly re-recording it over months. The bulk of the original work taking place during the "Surf's Up" sessions.

A rough mix was completed, but never finished. It sat on the shelf until they needed another song for "Holland" at which point it was taken down and tweaked - with Blondie supplying a new vocal.

Desper also went into some great detail about the writing of the lyrics. He claims the majority were written by Brian and Parks (they sound like Van Dyke Parks lyrics). Brian then had several other people tinker with the words (Tandyn Almer, Jack Rieley, Ray Kennedy), but at most they added or word here and there. They just ended up getting a lot more credit than they probably deserved. Desper recounted a story about going to Tandyn Almer's house with Brian during this period and finding it full of junkies. He said that despite their best efforts - Brian always managed to make it back to Tandyn's house. He think's Brian gave Almer a writing credit as a drug induced gesture.

One of the most interesting things I picked up from the discussion was what Brian's involvement was from roughly 1969 through 1973. He was often out of it (mental illness and drugs) - but he was also working on a regular basis. It wasn't like he just dropped out. He worked when he wanted to work. Sure, he had a hard time finishing songs up - but he was still creating. Sail On, Sailor was one of those songs.
"If they believed in a place called Kokomo, then so did I." - Michael Edward Love

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Re: Music opinion/question of the week...

Post by WestwayKid » 06 Aug 2019, 12:24pm

Flex wrote:
06 Aug 2019, 12:04pm
WestwayKid wrote:
06 Aug 2019, 11:56am
It's a complicated mess. From what I understand - the name is owned by Brother Records Incorporated (BRI) which is owned by Mike Love, Brian Wilson, Al Jardine, and the estate of Carl Wilson. Dennis cashed in his share at some point to cover debts. Mike then owns a separate company (not sure if Bruce has any stake, but I think it is just Mike) that puts on shows as The Beach Boys. Mike actually has to obtain a license from BRI to tour as The Beach Boys and there are a bunch of conditions designed to prevent damaging the financial value of the brand. Mike also has to pay a hefty fee to BRI for the license (which is interesting considering he is part owner of BRI). Brian, Al, and Carl's estate make money off of every show Mike performs as The Beach Boys. Bruce does not as he is not an owner of BRI.

This also became interesting following the 50th anniversary tour where it was reported that Mike had "fired" Brian. This is simply not possible. There was a finite end to their reunion tour (and those shows were produced by a different company - controlled by Love, Wilson and Joe Thomas). The original run of the anniversary tour was to have been 50 dates - but that was extended to include Europe and Japan.

At some point after the extension was signed - a representative from Brian's organization contacted Love and made it clear that these dates were the absolutely final dates Brian would play with the band. With that in mind - Mike licensed a new tour from BRI to pick up after the reunion tour ended. It was back to business as usual. Shows were booked and contracts were signed, but at some point Brian (and Al) decided they wanted the reunion to continue.

The license to tour as The Beach Boys is non-exclusive. BRI could license it to someone else (in theory) at the same time that Mike's company is licensed to use it. This is essentially what happened during the reunion tour.

As I said - it's a real mess - but for the most part it works.
Okay yeah, this all sounds right. I could have sworn Bruce had a stake in their somewhere, but I may be dreaming that up. I remember David Marks NOT having any kind of ownership stake, which has left him relatively "vulnerable" to the whims of Mike & co. around when and how he can perform with the band.

The current touring band, basically as configured since 2000, is actually quite decent overall - and Jeff Foskett has been touring with the band since '81. They're definitely a "golden oldies" fairgrounds touring act (I'm gonna try to see them at the Colorado State Fair later this month, actually) but they punch towards the top of that weight class, imho.

Brian's touring stuff is generally much more intellectually and aesthetically satisfying (unless he's totally zonked out) and he can usually claim to have more "official" Beach Boys members on stage than the touring version of the band, but it doesn't have quite the same cheesy good time factor.
I've read that the legal arrangement during the reunion shows didn't end up sitting well with Mike as Joe Thomas was/is clearly a Brian guy.
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Re: Music opinion/question of the week...

Post by IkarisOne » 06 Aug 2019, 3:42pm

WestwayKid wrote:
06 Aug 2019, 12:20pm
Flex wrote:
06 Aug 2019, 11:58am
IkarisOne wrote:
06 Aug 2019, 10:50am
By the same token, "Sail on, Sailor" is my favorite BB song and the only original member on it is Carl. But most of the top Beach Boy classics were all entirely played by studio musicians anyway.
Fantastic song. The live version on their '73 live album slays. That live album is one of my faves of there's. Blondie and Ricky were great additions for their cup of coffee with the band. it's fun seeing Blondie play with Brian these days.
That song had an interesting gestation process. I once had a discussion with Steve Desper (former BB engineer) on the Smiley Smile Board about it. He claimed Brian came up with the idea for the song several years before it was finished - working on it here and there when he felt like it.

Brian didn't want to do the lead (though apparently he could do it well). Dennis tried a few lines and gave up. Bruce tried, but it didn't suit his voice. Carl was the one who got the job, but he was never happy with his vocal - constantly re-recording it over months. The bulk of the original work taking place during the "Surf's Up" sessions.

A rough mix was completed, but never finished. It sat on the shelf until they needed another song for "Holland" at which point it was taken down and tweaked - with Blondie supplying a new vocal.

Desper also went into some great detail about the writing of the lyrics. He claims the majority were written by Brian and Parks (they sound like Van Dyke Parks lyrics). Brian then had several other people tinker with the words (Tandyn Almer, Jack Rieley, Ray Kennedy), but at most they added or word here and there. They just ended up getting a lot more credit than they probably deserved. Desper recounted a story about going to Tandyn Almer's house with Brian during this period and finding it full of junkies. He said that despite their best efforts - Brian always managed to make it back to Tandyn's house. He think's Brian gave Almer a writing credit as a drug induced gesture.

One of the most interesting things I picked up from the discussion was what Brian's involvement was from roughly 1969 through 1973. He was often out of it (mental illness and drugs) - but he was also working on a regular basis. It wasn't like he just dropped out. He worked when he wanted to work. Sure, he had a hard time finishing songs up - but he was still creating. Sail On, Sailor was one of those songs.
Fascinating information. I don't think the situation with Brian and the rest of the band was unusual for groups that reach a certain level. Eventually the business and the bad habits take over and kill the vibe.


I don't have a lot of exposure to BB fandom so i dont know what the prevailing theory is but I wonder if Brian's rivalry with McCartney had some effect on his state of mind seeing how the Beatles really hit a peak just as the BB were fading.

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