Music opinion/question of the week...

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

Post by Chairman Ralph » 06 Aug 2019, 6:50pm

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.
Yes, he was creating -- just for not always with the Beach Boys in mind, first and foremost, which is why a lot of that stuff went unheard at the time, or eventually crept out, with a few tweaks, as you describe with Sail On, Sailor. Interesting info, too, about the lyrics -- I always wondered there were so many names on it, but from what you describe, I suspect it's the "change a word, get a third" phenomenon that often happens with these things

I'm also surprised you didn't mention A World Of Peace Must Come, an album recorded with poet Stephen Kalinich -- which Light In The Attic finally released in 2008. That was another project that took up a fair amount of Brian's time, to the annoyance of the BBs family and franchise, who wanted his creativity harnessed for their benefit (ka-ching, ka-ching). Or so I've read. Anyway, the '69-'73 era is probably my personal favorite one of the band, which (to my ears) resulted in some of their richest, most complex and creative music.

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

Post by WestwayKid » 06 Aug 2019, 7:04pm

Chairman Ralph wrote:
06 Aug 2019, 6:50pm
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.
Yes, he was creating -- just for not always with the Beach Boys in mind, first and foremost, which is why a lot of that stuff went unheard at the time, or eventually crept out, with a few tweaks, as you describe with Sail On, Sailor. Interesting info, too, about the lyrics -- I always wondered there were so many names on it, but from what you describe, I suspect it's the "change a word, get a third" phenomenon that often happens with these things

I'm also surprised you didn't mention A World Of Peace Must Come, an album recorded with poet Stephen Kalinich -- which Light In The Attic finally released in 2008. That was another project that took up a fair amount of Brian's time, to the annoyance of the BBs family and franchise, who wanted his creativity harnessed for their benefit (ka-ching, ka-ching). Or so I've read. Anyway, the '69-'73 era is probably my personal favorite one of the band, which (to my ears) resulted in some of their richest, most complex and creative music.
Another project that comes to mind is Brian's California Music "collective" from the mid 1970's that he put together with Bruce and Terry Melcher with the input of past collaborators like Gary Usher. It was a difficult time for Wilson - really being torn between The Beach Boys and doing this own thing. I think he felt he was done with The Beach Boys - but he also wasn't in a place to make a clean break. The rest of the band might have been content to let him continue with California Music (Bruce was also out of the band at this point) - but then "Endless Summer" came along and they "needed" Brian to focus his attention on making bucks for The Beach Boys.

We're completely on the same page regarding the '69 to '73 period - though I might back that up to include Smiley Smile. They lost their commercial relevance - but continued to forge ahead and in the process the truly did create some absolutely amazing music.

The Beach Boys have long been a near obsession for me - but I don't think it would have gotten that far had they stopped at Pet Sounds. Yes, that music is incredible - but what sucked me in was hearing Smiley Smile and Friends and Sunflower and Holland.
"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, 7:08pm

IkarisOne wrote:
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.
I think a lot has been made of Brian's rivalry with McCartney - but I don't think that had anything to do with Brian's unraveling. I feel he was on that path well before Pepper came out. It might have played a small role - the pressure of trying to keep up - but I think even that was a symptom of a bigger issue. Brian is mentally ill - like many people. I don't know if there was one cause, but it would have manifested eventually no matter what happened to him during his career.
"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 Dr. Medulla » 06 Aug 2019, 7:19pm

WestwayKid wrote:
06 Aug 2019, 7:08pm
I think a lot has been made of Brian's rivalry with McCartney - but I don't think that had anything to do with Brian's unraveling. I feel he was on that path well before Pepper came out. It might have played a small role - the pressure of trying to keep up - but I think even that was a symptom of a bigger issue. Brian is mentally ill - like many people. I don't know if there was one cause, but it would have manifested eventually no matter what happened to him during his career.
Plus a monster for a father. To me it's hard to underestimate the effect of the cruel behaviour of the person who is supposed to be your guardian (not in the legal sense).
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Re: Music opinion/question of the week...

Post by WestwayKid » 06 Aug 2019, 7:32pm

Dr. Medulla wrote:
06 Aug 2019, 7:19pm
WestwayKid wrote:
06 Aug 2019, 7:08pm
I think a lot has been made of Brian's rivalry with McCartney - but I don't think that had anything to do with Brian's unraveling. I feel he was on that path well before Pepper came out. It might have played a small role - the pressure of trying to keep up - but I think even that was a symptom of a bigger issue. Brian is mentally ill - like many people. I don't know if there was one cause, but it would have manifested eventually no matter what happened to him during his career.
Plus a monster for a father. To me it's hard to underestimate the effect of the cruel behaviour of the person who is supposed to be your guardian (not in the legal sense).
I've gone back and forth on that. I think the relationship between Murry and his sons is very complex. I think Murry was also mentally ill - capable of both great love and great cruelty. He was both incredibly proud of Brian, yet incredibly jealous. Have you ever heard the infamous Help Me, Rhonda tape? Look it up on YouTube. It is a truly bizarre episode - a drunken Murry (along with Audree) visiting the studio while the band is trying to lay down the vocal tracks for Help Me, Rhonda (second version). It's truly insane. It's also interesting how shattered Brian was when Murry died. I think there was a connection between his death and Brian's complete slide into mental chaos. There is a part of me that does question how much of the Murry "myth" came from Landy and how much was true. I think the answer is somewhere in-between.
"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, 7:38pm



Here it is. Well worth the listen. Actually - one of the highlights is getting to hear just how damned they were as a vocal group. Al's lead is perfect and then getting to hear how Brian put together the harmony stack is amazing. That is as much a part of the Brian Wilson legend as anything: being able to hear how all of these voices fit together.
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Re: Music opinion/question of the week...

Post by Dr. Medulla » 06 Aug 2019, 7:39pm

WestwayKid wrote:
06 Aug 2019, 7:32pm
Dr. Medulla wrote:
06 Aug 2019, 7:19pm
WestwayKid wrote:
06 Aug 2019, 7:08pm
I think a lot has been made of Brian's rivalry with McCartney - but I don't think that had anything to do with Brian's unraveling. I feel he was on that path well before Pepper came out. It might have played a small role - the pressure of trying to keep up - but I think even that was a symptom of a bigger issue. Brian is mentally ill - like many people. I don't know if there was one cause, but it would have manifested eventually no matter what happened to him during his career.
Plus a monster for a father. To me it's hard to underestimate the effect of the cruel behaviour of the person who is supposed to be your guardian (not in the legal sense).
I've gone back and forth on that. I think the relationship between Murry and his sons is very complex. I think Murry was also mentally ill - capable of both great love and great cruelty. He was both incredibly proud of Brian, yet incredibly jealous. Have you ever heard the infamous Help Me, Rhonda tape? Look it up on YouTube. It is a truly bizarre episode - a drunken Murry (along with Audree) visiting the studio while the band is trying to lay down the vocal tracks for Help Me, Rhonda (second version). It's truly insane. It's also interesting how shattered Brian was when Murry died. I think there was a connection between his death and Brian's complete slide into mental chaos. There is a part of me that does question how much of the Murry "myth" came from Landy and how much was true. I think the answer is somewhere in-between.
Is that the one where he takes out his glass eye and demands they look into the socket? It's weird, tho, how often children will defend so ardently the parent who was such a bastard to them. Human beings just ain't as rational and autonomous as we'd like to think we are.
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Re: Music opinion/question of the week...

Post by WestwayKid » 06 Aug 2019, 7:42pm

...and now I'm on a Beach Boys kick!

One of the greatest musical experiences I've ever had was my nearly 5 year quest to obtain every BB LP on original vinyl. I gave myself a few rules. I could not use eBay or Amazon - everything had to be pulled from a used record shop and while I've aimed for jackets that are in good shape - I told myself that it had to play well from start to finish.

It was a lot of fun. I'd make bi-weekly circuits of the used record/book shops in the area and whenever we'd travel out of town - I'd have to find the used record shops.

Yes - I've ended up with 3 copies of "Still Cruisin'" but it was well worth the effort. Even now - I find myself digging through the bins whenever I can - trying to find a better version of "Friends" or "All Summer Long" than I already have.
"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, 7:43pm

Dr. Medulla wrote:
06 Aug 2019, 7:39pm
WestwayKid wrote:
06 Aug 2019, 7:32pm
Dr. Medulla wrote:
06 Aug 2019, 7:19pm
WestwayKid wrote:
06 Aug 2019, 7:08pm
I think a lot has been made of Brian's rivalry with McCartney - but I don't think that had anything to do with Brian's unraveling. I feel he was on that path well before Pepper came out. It might have played a small role - the pressure of trying to keep up - but I think even that was a symptom of a bigger issue. Brian is mentally ill - like many people. I don't know if there was one cause, but it would have manifested eventually no matter what happened to him during his career.
Plus a monster for a father. To me it's hard to underestimate the effect of the cruel behaviour of the person who is supposed to be your guardian (not in the legal sense).
I've gone back and forth on that. I think the relationship between Murry and his sons is very complex. I think Murry was also mentally ill - capable of both great love and great cruelty. He was both incredibly proud of Brian, yet incredibly jealous. Have you ever heard the infamous Help Me, Rhonda tape? Look it up on YouTube. It is a truly bizarre episode - a drunken Murry (along with Audree) visiting the studio while the band is trying to lay down the vocal tracks for Help Me, Rhonda (second version). It's truly insane. It's also interesting how shattered Brian was when Murry died. I think there was a connection between his death and Brian's complete slide into mental chaos. There is a part of me that does question how much of the Murry "myth" came from Landy and how much was true. I think the answer is somewhere in-between.
Is that the one where he takes out his glass eye and demands they look into the socket? It's weird, tho, how often children will defend so ardently the parent who was such a bastard to them. Human beings just ain't as rational and autonomous as we'd like to think we are.
That is not the one. He's clearly drunk and rambles a lot. He accuses Brian and the band of selling out and no longer having the fire they once had. At one point - an exhausted Brian asks him if he truly wants to have the 409 sound on Help Me, Rhonda.
"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 Dr. Medulla » 06 Aug 2019, 8:03pm

WestwayKid wrote:
06 Aug 2019, 7:43pm
Dr. Medulla wrote:
06 Aug 2019, 7:39pm
WestwayKid wrote:
06 Aug 2019, 7:32pm
Dr. Medulla wrote:
06 Aug 2019, 7:19pm
WestwayKid wrote:
06 Aug 2019, 7:08pm
I think a lot has been made of Brian's rivalry with McCartney - but I don't think that had anything to do with Brian's unraveling. I feel he was on that path well before Pepper came out. It might have played a small role - the pressure of trying to keep up - but I think even that was a symptom of a bigger issue. Brian is mentally ill - like many people. I don't know if there was one cause, but it would have manifested eventually no matter what happened to him during his career.
Plus a monster for a father. To me it's hard to underestimate the effect of the cruel behaviour of the person who is supposed to be your guardian (not in the legal sense).
I've gone back and forth on that. I think the relationship between Murry and his sons is very complex. I think Murry was also mentally ill - capable of both great love and great cruelty. He was both incredibly proud of Brian, yet incredibly jealous. Have you ever heard the infamous Help Me, Rhonda tape? Look it up on YouTube. It is a truly bizarre episode - a drunken Murry (along with Audree) visiting the studio while the band is trying to lay down the vocal tracks for Help Me, Rhonda (second version). It's truly insane. It's also interesting how shattered Brian was when Murry died. I think there was a connection between his death and Brian's complete slide into mental chaos. There is a part of me that does question how much of the Murry "myth" came from Landy and how much was true. I think the answer is somewhere in-between.
Is that the one where he takes out his glass eye and demands they look into the socket? It's weird, tho, how often children will defend so ardently the parent who was such a bastard to them. Human beings just ain't as rational and autonomous as we'd like to think we are.
That is not the one. He's clearly drunk and rambles a lot. He accuses Brian and the band of selling out and no longer having the fire they once had. At one point - an exhausted Brian asks him if he truly wants to have the 409 sound on Help Me, Rhonda.
And this was a bad thing back then?

At the same time, it wasn't an uncommon attitude that (a) rock n roll was a fad that was going to flame out sooner or later and so (b) grind out as much cash as you can from beast while you can. So abuse of musicians by managers, producers, and label bosses was seen as smart business. The idea of longevity didn't really kick in until the 70s.
Poonty, boloques, juffmunch, carpoo, snazellfonks.

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

Post by WestwayKid » 06 Aug 2019, 8:03pm

1EE7DA5E-8DEB-41E5-BA4D-554C812A9730.jpeg
The cats have no respect for the music...
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Re: Music opinion/question of the week...

Post by WestwayKid » 06 Aug 2019, 8:10pm

Dr. Medulla wrote:
06 Aug 2019, 8:03pm
WestwayKid wrote:
06 Aug 2019, 7:43pm
Dr. Medulla wrote:
06 Aug 2019, 7:39pm
WestwayKid wrote:
06 Aug 2019, 7:32pm
Dr. Medulla wrote:
06 Aug 2019, 7:19pm


Plus a monster for a father. To me it's hard to underestimate the effect of the cruel behaviour of the person who is supposed to be your guardian (not in the legal sense).
I've gone back and forth on that. I think the relationship between Murry and his sons is very complex. I think Murry was also mentally ill - capable of both great love and great cruelty. He was both incredibly proud of Brian, yet incredibly jealous. Have you ever heard the infamous Help Me, Rhonda tape? Look it up on YouTube. It is a truly bizarre episode - a drunken Murry (along with Audree) visiting the studio while the band is trying to lay down the vocal tracks for Help Me, Rhonda (second version). It's truly insane. It's also interesting how shattered Brian was when Murry died. I think there was a connection between his death and Brian's complete slide into mental chaos. There is a part of me that does question how much of the Murry "myth" came from Landy and how much was true. I think the answer is somewhere in-between.
Is that the one where he takes out his glass eye and demands they look into the socket? It's weird, tho, how often children will defend so ardently the parent who was such a bastard to them. Human beings just ain't as rational and autonomous as we'd like to think we are.
That is not the one. He's clearly drunk and rambles a lot. He accuses Brian and the band of selling out and no longer having the fire they once had. At one point - an exhausted Brian asks him if he truly wants to have the 409 sound on Help Me, Rhonda.
And this was a bad thing back then?

At the same time, it wasn't an uncommon attitude that (a) rock n roll was a fad that was going to flame out sooner or later and so (b) grind out as much cash as you can from beast while you can. So abuse of musicians by managers, producers, and label bosses was seen as smart business. The idea of longevity didn't really kick in until the 70s.
I think Murry was feeling left out. He had helped them get started - but they (Brian) quickly outgrew whatever advice he could offer. There is that classic story about how Brian arranged for Murry to be provided with a mixing console that didn't actually do anything. Murry thought that it did - but it wasn't wired to the desk.
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Re: Music opinion/question of the week...

Post by WestwayKid » 06 Aug 2019, 8:11pm

WestwayKid wrote:
06 Aug 2019, 8:03pm
1EE7DA5E-8DEB-41E5-BA4D-554C812A9730.jpeg

The cats have no respect for the music...
That's Charlie walking across "Wild Honey" and Joe (yes - named for Mr. Strummer) crouching on "Endless Summer"! :mrgreen:
"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 Dr. Medulla » 06 Aug 2019, 8:14pm

WestwayKid wrote:
06 Aug 2019, 8:10pm
Dr. Medulla wrote:
06 Aug 2019, 8:03pm
WestwayKid wrote:
06 Aug 2019, 7:43pm
Dr. Medulla wrote:
06 Aug 2019, 7:39pm
WestwayKid wrote:
06 Aug 2019, 7:32pm


I've gone back and forth on that. I think the relationship between Murry and his sons is very complex. I think Murry was also mentally ill - capable of both great love and great cruelty. He was both incredibly proud of Brian, yet incredibly jealous. Have you ever heard the infamous Help Me, Rhonda tape? Look it up on YouTube. It is a truly bizarre episode - a drunken Murry (along with Audree) visiting the studio while the band is trying to lay down the vocal tracks for Help Me, Rhonda (second version). It's truly insane. It's also interesting how shattered Brian was when Murry died. I think there was a connection between his death and Brian's complete slide into mental chaos. There is a part of me that does question how much of the Murry "myth" came from Landy and how much was true. I think the answer is somewhere in-between.
Is that the one where he takes out his glass eye and demands they look into the socket? It's weird, tho, how often children will defend so ardently the parent who was such a bastard to them. Human beings just ain't as rational and autonomous as we'd like to think we are.
That is not the one. He's clearly drunk and rambles a lot. He accuses Brian and the band of selling out and no longer having the fire they once had. At one point - an exhausted Brian asks him if he truly wants to have the 409 sound on Help Me, Rhonda.
And this was a bad thing back then?

At the same time, it wasn't an uncommon attitude that (a) rock n roll was a fad that was going to flame out sooner or later and so (b) grind out as much cash as you can from beast while you can. So abuse of musicians by managers, producers, and label bosses was seen as smart business. The idea of longevity didn't really kick in until the 70s.
I think Murry was feeling left out. He had helped them get started - but they (Brian) quickly outgrew whatever advice he could offer. There is that classic story about how Brian arranged for Murry to be provided with a mixing console that didn't actually do anything. Murry thought that it did - but it wasn't wired to the desk.
Meh, boo hoo. Appreciate your early value and how it's spawned something even greater. Y'know, how parents should treat raising their kids. That said, granted, if he also suffered mental illness, that's awful. But I have a very low tolerance for how musicians were—and are—betrayed by their guardians.
Poonty, boloques, juffmunch, carpoo, snazellfonks.

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

Post by WestwayKid » 06 Aug 2019, 8:51pm

Dr. Medulla wrote:
06 Aug 2019, 8:14pm
WestwayKid wrote:
06 Aug 2019, 8:10pm
Dr. Medulla wrote:
06 Aug 2019, 8:03pm
WestwayKid wrote:
06 Aug 2019, 7:43pm
Dr. Medulla wrote:
06 Aug 2019, 7:39pm

Is that the one where he takes out his glass eye and demands they look into the socket? It's weird, tho, how often children will defend so ardently the parent who was such a bastard to them. Human beings just ain't as rational and autonomous as we'd like to think we are.
That is not the one. He's clearly drunk and rambles a lot. He accuses Brian and the band of selling out and no longer having the fire they once had. At one point - an exhausted Brian asks him if he truly wants to have the 409 sound on Help Me, Rhonda.
And this was a bad thing back then?

At the same time, it wasn't an uncommon attitude that (a) rock n roll was a fad that was going to flame out sooner or later and so (b) grind out as much cash as you can from beast while you can. So abuse of musicians by managers, producers, and label bosses was seen as smart business. The idea of longevity didn't really kick in until the 70s.
I think Murry was feeling left out. He had helped them get started - but they (Brian) quickly outgrew whatever advice he could offer. There is that classic story about how Brian arranged for Murry to be provided with a mixing console that didn't actually do anything. Murry thought that it did - but it wasn't wired to the desk.
Meh, boo hoo. Appreciate your early value and how it's spawned something even greater. Y'know, how parents should treat raising their kids. That said, granted, if he also suffered mental illness, that's awful. But I have a very low tolerance for how musicians were—and are—betrayed by their guardians.
I agree. No real tears to shed for Murry. From what I've read - Murry's dad was even more of a bastard. Murry's claim to fame is that one of his songs was played by Lawrence Welk!!
"If they believed in a place called Kokomo, then so did I." - Michael Edward Love

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