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Maybe 'cause they were opportunistic phonies?
"The need for a fresh start was glaring, as was the imperative to re-establish their link to US youth culture. Vietnam went some way to providing the key: the youngest Wilson brother, Carl, refused the draft on the grounds of conscientious objection and, in 1970, the group belatedly played their first anti-war benefit. Some members of the band, however, needed persuading about the merits of such un-American activities. When approached by the organisers of the pro-peace Big Sur festival, one of whose sponsors was Joan Baez, Mike Love famously blurted out: "How can we play up there? I think she's a commie."
Love, a cousin of the Wilsons and the band's resident arch-Republican, had long been convinced that The Beach Boys could only reignite their commercial fire by reverting to the world of sun, surf and pre-'Nam Americana. He had a point: for all their new-found hippyism, The Beach Boys would always be too square for the counter-culture, and yet their lurch leftwards also alienated those dependable fans - the kind who decried the peaceniks, called for the razing of Hanoi and dutifully voted for Nixon - who saw their songs as the embodiment of age-old American certainties."
I was on the east coast at the time. We viewed the BBs as the younger version of the Four Freshman/Ray Coniff/Henry Mancini school of music. We used to mangle BBs songs ala Wierd Al. babababababaran became papapapapapapoverty, I can't remember the rest. We thought the whole blond hair, blue eyed, surfer school was an ad for being white, clean, and neat. Kinda the same reaction I get seeing the OC and Housewives (the fake real and the fake fake versions) on TV today.
The main reason was that Brian Wilson was growing at light speed as a songwriter, arranger and producer and the other band members were not. He had visions the other members of the band couldn't comprehend. He faced constant pressure from not only his band mates, but also from Capitol Records NOT to grow, which, if you knew ANYTHING about musical genius, kills their creativity. A prime example of this would be the SMiLE album. Although the other Beach Boys hated it.....and in some instances refused to sing their parts on the album which eventually led to Brian scrapping the work.....37 years later he finally got the confidence to record it and tour with it. And guess what? It's one of the highest reviewed albums in history. Brian was right all along. Money and greed killed the Beach Boys. It had NOTHING to do with Viet Nam.
You should really go and see a Brian Wilson concert. Even Paul McCartney admits Brian has the best band on earth. Certianly the best these ears have heard. By far.
...Brian Wilson and Al Jardine perform 'Pet Sounds' and about every Beach Boy hit imaginable.
It was an amazing concert.
No matter what you say, Brian Wilson is a genius on par with Lennon/McCartney.
About 25 years ago, I saw the original Beach Boys perform a few months before Dennis died. They were great.
Ten years ago I saw the Mike Love/Bruce Johnston Beach Boys and they sucked.
Mike Love is an ass.
So where does that leave you?
during warm ups for the coming Summer Of Love my best friend and I rode our Triumph TT Specials 110 miles to see the the BBs play. If you ever have rode a TT special you realize what a great sacrifice this was and the extreme danger we put our dangling parts in.
Several more times during that era I saw them. Had a friend who introduced my girlfriend and I to them at his home in Los Altos. After dinner we all rode in the limos to San Francisco and spent a very good evening with the band. A truly generous and kind bunch of folks. Brian is a true genius and like many other geniuses he walks a very thin rope between brilliance and despair and uncertainty.
My girlfriend had a certain substance in her purse that night....someone mentioned that it would be nice to partake of said substance, unknowing that she had it. I mentioned that there might be a bit in Rhonda's purse and the band broke into an accapela version of Help Me Rhonda. An amazing moment....I do not recall what happened after that.....
along with Rhonda and probably Owsley and partner who are responsible for the downfall of the Beach Boys and Brian's years in the padded sandpit?
It's all whatever you like, but personally, I like the old Beach Boys surf stuff better than the Smile kinda stuff anyway and the first couple Beatle albums are the only ones I can ever listen to.
If all them hippies really were ready to throw anything on the trash heap that didn't conform to their politics and narrow musical tastes of a given moment, they were a pretty lock-step marching crew. Can't say I see the piont of all that conformity in a supposedly counter-culture movement.
I am not so sure everyone's memory is that accurate of what they were doing in the late 60s.
As for the conformity of non-conformists, I remember a brilliant MAD magazine cartoon about the three groups... conformists, non-conformists and the MAD. The conformists carried placards reading "In sameness there is strength". Non-conformists carried placards reading "We're all different together".
In 1968 I saw Frank Zappa at The Albert Hall in London. At one point a 60 year old uniformed attendant came onto the stage for something and was greeted by a chorus of whistling and a chant of "Uniforms off the stage". Zappa walked over to a mike and after commenting of the sheepish nature of people who wear uniforms and conform to societal norms, gaining a large round of applause, asked who was wearing jeans... cheer, who was wearing a T-shirt... CHEER. A moments pause and then he asked "so who's wearing a uniform then, him or you?"
I bow to your better memory.
I had broken my leg and had to manage the stairs etc with a full length plaster.
Some of the most creative people I know are very conservative in their appearance. On the flip side, many of the wacky-looking "artsy" types seem to be trying to convince everyone else how creative they are by playing the part. Never judge a book by the cover...
I'm just blown away. Incredible insight, with totally lack of personal motive. Are rare find I tell you.
last sentence of my original post, three times as a penance.
Brian Wilson was the saddest. Phony wannabe-Beatles haircut, clean-cut frat boy clothes.
They were lite-music guys. Falsetto singing pussies.
The ONLY significant developments relative to politics or activism was Carl's draft status until WELL past the point where Brian had detached from the band following the abandonment of SMiLE.
I don't really care if you don't like the Beach Boys. However, flaunting ignorance is undignified. And you do not know what you're talking about. Framing an opinion on the music of the Beach Boys based on Mike Love being a Republican is like framing an opinion on the music of Wings based on Linda Eastman being a vegetarian. In other words, completely & utterly irrelevant to the music.
The opportunistic phony was Mike Love, who also managed to come up with 'Student Demonstration Time.'
avoid saying anything that could be used against them. NO CONTROVERSY!!! Not to mention ripping off Cell Block....
The Beach Boys blew their opportunity to be THE AMERICAN band when they dodged the issues of drugs and Viet Nam, and they deservedly went into oblivion. Their ONLY work of real note, as to being fun to listen to, is Smile.
In the late 60s?
I don't think so.
Between the live album in the early 70s and Holland, if nothing else, they were still pretty popular.
In fact I believe they probably played to more people after 1970 than before as their popularity was rekindled under the more conservative climate as the baby boomers reached...mmm... comfortable maturity, and as with American Graffiti, could openly enjoy their heritage.
On the other hand, Brian Wilson's credibility has maintained through the years and when he finally toured the re-considered Smile album it was a huge success both on disc and as a ticket seller.
Love was of course the complete toss-pot of the band, not just conservative in politics but a man fantastically obsessed with turning himself into a mindless conveyor belt of teen pap. One wonders about his tastes in women...
... as Skip Spen..., sorry, Brian Wilson wasn't playing with them.
As he was clearly lead guit... sorry, the main songwriter and an essential singer, it wasn't The BBs.
No, I agree with Dave. When you're putting out records like Wild Honey, Friends, 20/20 (in spite of the blatant #9 rip), Sunflower, et al, yeah, Surf's Up too, in 3-4 years, that's hardly oblivion. And some of those records sold respectably considering how out of vogue they became practically overnight. BW has always claimed that he likes Friends as much as any BBs album.
As a live act, that's a different story. I seem to remember reading that a 1968 show was played in front of 150 people. In Alabama or someplace like that? However, they kept at it, and since Wild Honey on the records weren't being made by outside musicians, their stage chops only got better. Within a couple of years they were once again a fairly prominent live act, playing presigious venues, if not arenas or stadiums. After American Graffiti's impact, their continuing success as a live act was virtually assured.
Wenner went out of his way to file them away into oblivion, but it didn't work since they were more than he judged them to be. Same with Hendrix, who was specifically anti-Beach Boys, and the hippie movement was conditioned to reject the BBs by some of the then-newly popular California guitar-based bands.
Crosby, Stills & Nash never backed off their love of the BBs. The Beatles led off the White Album with a BBs rip/tribute. Linda Ronstadt claims that BW has no equal in pop music in the 2nd half of the 20th Century. And on and on. BW did seem to pull some bizarre shit & was probably quite difficult at times given the mental problems & the drug abuse, but I think oblivion is incorrectly used here. Those recs are quite solid, and later absorbing Blondie Chaplin & Ricky Fataar was a good move too.
Although I don't think they ever really came back on the recording side, they still did manage hits (Sail On Sailor, Chuck Berry's Rock And Roll Music, etc.) nearly up to the point where they cashed in on Sunkist using Good Vibrations circa 1978.
the smoke filled rooms of Grace Slick, Jimi, Janis, Country Joe, Morrison, Cippolini, et al.
You make another good point: they were the first corporate suck-ups.
But Brian's breakdown after Good Vibrations really hurt the group's source of quality new material, which is the primary reason for their slide. I have the later albums, and while they have moments, they often seem to almost have a demo production vibe to me and there is very little that jumps out as a potential smash single.
... being called all washed up and at a low ebb? And could have... tide... them up in all sorts of contractual problems.
Maybe it was a Mike Love "idea".
No offense, but aren't you shooting the messenger? Tinear is apparently posting an opinion in the form of a query even though it would be nice to know the source of his quote and whether he concurs with that opinion.
In many ways the Beach Boys were too square for the changing mood of the country's youth culture, not that their music was lacking. I recall not being interested in the Beach Boys style of music at all in the late 60's because my focus was on less pop-oriented music, heavy guitar and more of an anti-war flavor than what the Beach Boys were offering. Certainly Monterey, Hendrix and Wenner (Rolling Stone) played their part in making the Beach Boys seem less in tune with the times, but in a roundabout way that's what tinear's source also stated, was it not?
If you look at the rapidly evolving music scene of the mid-sixties it's clear that those pop groups and individual musicians who were capable of adjusting their styles to the volatility of the times survived and those who didn't became less relevant; it was very Darwinian. The Beatles are a perfect example of a pop group which changed with the times and expanded their audience in the process; the Beach Boys, conversely, while admired by fellow musicians seemed a little out of step with the times.
I had an opportunity to catch the Beach Boys in '74 as one of the opening acts for CSN&Y's stadium tour (Texas Stadium, Dallas; the other opener being Jesse Colin Young); I still recall how quaint and out of place their music seemed for that time. In fact, while the theme of Nixon's recent resignation was highlighted by CSN&Y, culminating in a smoldering version of Ohio, the most memorable thing about the Beach Boy's performance was a tall wicker chair and palm tree props, their legendary harmonies seeming as tinny as Nixon's tin soldiers when compared to CSN&Y's.
Pat Boone were in the late sixties, early seventies.
Surf music was cool. So was Dixieland.
The Beach Boys conservatism was only Mike Love? Gimme a break. The band went along. They played at Vet affairs and refused to participate in many larger "peace" concerts.
It's a good thing they did, too.
They'd of been laughed off the stage.
You know those guys you see around S. California with the old surf boards and the spaced out eyes? That's how relevant the BBs were.
Hell, surf music was an asterisk, anyhow.
The Beatles pulled the toilet chain on that kind of music and thank God!
Imagine listening to that and "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" and "The Duke of Earl" for the next ten years.
The Beach Boys did a total of 2 surf albums, if memory serves me: Surfing Safari and Surfing USA. From the Today album, Brians songwriting grew exponentially in a VERY short time period. Pigeon hole-ing this band's dozens of albums as a "Surf Band" is not only way off base, it's untrue. Listen to the actual song "Surfs Up" from the album of the same name....it's absolutely brilliant, and has NOTHING to do with "Surfing"
That is actually a traditional South African song. The Duke Of Earl wasn't anywhere near the water and has a solid alibi.
You can actually make a good case for the guitar styles coming from (largely) California in the late 60s being a development of Dick Dale, who was a real surfer, occasionally walking straight from the ocean on to the stage to play to crowds of several thousand at free shows on the beach in LA in the early mid 60s.
He was greatly influenced by middle eastern music and combined with his electric energy, you can almost see the words psychedelic rock written round his halo...
Really, I thought Jimi was just to tight arsed for words when he did that "never hear surf music again" crap. Have you ever actually listened to his early stuff? The stuff on other people's records?
Its not that hot either.
Since you know so much about 'falsetto-singing pussies,' let me ask you a question: Ever done it?
Takes BALLS, pal. Big ones. It also requires a more finely tuned affinity for pitch control than if one is singing in a relatively comfortable lower register.
Think about that for a second.
Next, this nonsense about being 'cool.' So what? Either you like the music, or you don't. If the Beatles pulled the chain, as you say, on that kind of music, then what the hell is all that vocal harmony stuff all the hell over Abbey Road about?
Hmmm? Back In The U.S.S.R.?
Yeah, sheer brilliance like Octopus' Garden sure reduced the BBs to dust, now didn't it.
But if you knew what the hell you were talking about, you would've dropped this. Instead you insist on taking it further? Ask John Cale about the BBs' 'cool factor.' I guess you never heard 'Mr. Wilson?' That was from 1974, or around the period you're telling us how uncool the BBs were, and all. And gee, I guess Thurston Moore is just lying through his teeth when he talks about how listening to the Beach Boys was something he did at the same time he was buying the first Stooges & MC5 records. Because they were nothing but a joke on the level of the Tokens, for Pete's sakes.
Politics had nothing to do with any of this, in spite of yr attempts to revise history.
Wenner swallowed the SF jive & was impressed with hippie culture, which was down on the Beach Boys. But, hey, since hippie culture was so cool and all, I guess it's a real put-down to denounce the Beach Boys instead of actually listening to the music.
That it influenced the Beatles as much as it did apparently means nothing to you, either. Hey, there's an idea: these guys wore silly outfits & came from Ozzie & Harriet world, so who cares how much impact they had on the Beatles? That doesn't matter. They were a dusty cliche, like Sinatra, that's all that matters. Hmmm?
If that's supposed to make Friends a bad record you're going to have to do better.
It's like the logic Auph is using to put forth the idea that only the acts that 'adjusted their style to the volatility of the times' survived. He, apparently, has never heard of Elvis Presley or Bob Dylan.
> The Beach Boys conservatism was only Mike Love? Gimme a break. The band went along. They played at Vet affairs and refused to participate in many larger "peace" concerts.
What the hell does that have to do with music? Were they supposed to become activists because only the cool musicians did that? Now THAT would've been phony. Carl Wilson put his money where his mouth was, and he did it when the band's decline in popularity had not yet occurred, well prior to major peace rallies & anti-war consciousness. This you call phony.
> It's a good thing they did, too.
They'd of been laughed off the stage.
I wouldn't be surprised if the crowds at 'peace' shows would've actually done that. Nothing like laughing at a band that takes on as full-time members, touring and studio, two black guys from apartheid South Africa.
> You know those guys you see around S. California with the old surf boards and the spaced out eyes? That's how relevant the BBs were.
Yeah, that's why Pet Sounds is rated as highly as it is. I sure hope you pay a comedy writer for this stuff.
> Hell, surf music was an asterisk, anyhow.
The Beach Boys were not surf music. Didn't we go through this once before?
Do you know what surf music is?
As for being 'corporate suck-ups,' it shouldn't surprise anyone that you don't know squat about the band's management, either. Good grief. I guess you'd have preferred it if Murray Wilson hadn't sold the songs for peanuts, or if huge fees weren't commanded by the guy who saved Brian Wilson's life.
You take this much too seriously.
Beach Boys are minor musical figures.
Woulda coulda shoulda.
Keith Richards did ten times the dope Brian did and put out 10 albums in the space of time Brian was drooling over himself.
I'd love to compare the sales of Sgt. Peppers to Pet Sounds. Or Magical Mystery Tour. Or. Or. Or.
"In My Room."
Where do we get these guys like you from? The Beach Boy's weren't cool? Thats your opinion and your certianly entitled to it. Many artists that you would probably think were "cool" are enamoured with Brian Wilson's talent. Some of those would include Sir Paul McCartney, Sir George Martin (who is stunned by the body and quality of Brians work considering that Brian wrote, arranged, produced and sang on most of the bands work, the equivalent of all four Beatle PLUS George Martin), Sir Elton John, Pete Townsend and Roger Daltry of the Who, Eric Clapton, Paul Steel, Sheryl Crow, etc. The list is exhaustive of musicians that don't agree with you. But then, you know more about this than us musicians, right?
Belittle the Beach Boys if you must, but with each & every post you continue to flaunt ignorance, and it's simply unbecoming.
Sales figures? You sure you want to go there?
The Beach Boys have sold more records than the Who, more than Johnny Cash, R.E.M., Stevie Wonder, KISS, Neil Young, the Grateful Dead, Bob Marley...I'd go on, but this is meaningless & you know it. The BBs have been outsold by the Beastie Boys, Rush, REO Speedwagon, Vince Gill, Jay-Z, the Carpenters, Boyz II Men, and Barry f*cking Manilow, among others. So what?
It's only out of desperation that you went there in the first place, because you know damn well you've been nailed. You want to post BS? Don't be surprised if someone calls you on it.
> You take this much too seriously.
...but J-bird, you're apparently a bull$#!+ shoveler to boot. It's like you compare apples to oranges and then switch in mid stream to waxing poetic about the health benefits of dingleberries because you're determined to convert folks to the kind of fruit you're most knowedgable about.
Early Elvis had great potential and certainly the savvy Colonel found every angle to milk profit from his discovery as effectively as Terry Knight did for GFR. However, in later years Elvis became a campy joke, a revered icon to some who worshiped the legend, regrettably, but to many little more than a reinstone covered shill who went Hollywood and then sold out in Vegas so that middle aged housewives could get giggly over his safe sexual teasing. IMHO, Elvis wasn't even the king of rock 'n' roll even though he managed to acquire the label over time. From that same era Little Richard, Chuck Berry and Jerry Lee Lewis have better claim to the title KING of R'n'R.
And if you're saying that Dylan didn't change and was never an anti-war folk artist, ...well, that's just crazy. Dylan adjusted his style constantly, and my point here is that adjusting isn't necessarily trend following, but rather trend setting, whether one is into the trend or not. Dylan constantly adjusted to the volatility of the times, because in times of volatility music lovers often seek experimentation, change and confrontation that results in controversy.
Let me clue you in here dude: next time you say something out your arse about someone's knowledge of music you'd better have something more astute to back it up with besides rhetorical smoke. Your uninformed opinions are getting rather tedious and you still haven't provided the "musical manifesto" you promised but are apparently 'too busy' to edit and post. The world awaits your genius! Don't leave folks hanging; tell us how the music industry REALLY works! ;^)
> If you look at the rapidly evolving music scene of the mid-sixties it's clear that those pop groups and individual musicians who were capable of adjusting their styles to the volatility of the times survived and those who didn't became less relevant; it was very Darwinian.
Those are yr words, not mine. If Elvis didn't survive, then what of his comeback? Are you going to seriously tell us that a record like Nashville Skyline is an example of how the guy who wrote songs like Masters Of War adapted to the times? Self-Portrait?
...obviously he doesn't give a $#!+ now, no more than he did back then (pun intended), and his so-called comeback was arguably marginal from a 'happening' POV (except for those giggly housewives and the mainstream media), and certainly not as vital as other music in the late 60's & early 70's.
Furthermore (just to cut the slats out from under your rather trivial argument), one exception, even if it can be adequately defended, doesn't rewrite the rule. In other words, I stand by what I said (quote): "...those pop groups and individual musicians who were capable of adjusting their styles to the volatility of the times survived and those who didn't became less relevant; it was very Darwinian."
of the Band is they never opened after they made it big. "We don't headline, we don't play" was his quote.
... presumed themselves to be co-headliners (sort of like the guy who holds up a sign behind a news anchor claiming to have made a statement on the evening news). At any rate, even the suggestion that the Beach Boys co-headlined that 70,000+ Texas Stadium concert in '74 would've been a real stretch, whether stated by a press agent or member of the group, because by that time Mike Love & Co's drawing power had declined measurably. Just about EVERYONE in attendance was there to see CSN&Y (who, in the last days of the Vietnam War were at their apex as America's premiere anti-war rock group).
Member of the BB has dinner with yours truly. He mentions they have just signed to play with Chicago, who was HOT. I say "Wow, you guys opening for Chicago, that's great!!". He says, "No Chicago opens for us". I said that is impossible, I believe "Hard to Say You're Sorry" was the on the raio, or might have been "Wishing you where Here", and Beach Boys had no hits for at least five years. We bet $100(?). Newspaper comes out on Sunday, Chicago opening for the Beach Boys. I pay up, and ask "How did you know, how could that happen?"
... to be the top of the bill despite not playing last if you stick yer neck out and say it was because of allowing people to get home for work the next day/public transport/etc.
Its a dirty trick.
The other thing is just to say you played in front of 70,000 without mentioning the crowd had come for another act.
That's an excellent point; besides, there would've been an almost empty stadium in '74 if the Beach Boys had been the headliner; it was NOT their time, it was CSN&Y's. BTW, the Beach Boy's played less than an hour; CSN&Y did a variety of configurations (4 piece, duo & solo) and played for over two friggin' hours. The crowd was their's that summer.
If the Beach Boys were 'opportunistic phonies,' as Mike Love actually was, then BW would've taken his famous advice: "Don't f*ck with the formula, Brian!"
That was his response to Pet Sounds.
But BW didn't listen to him, did he? Perhaps Tin can explain how releasing a relatively non-commercial album like Pet Sounds, then working with an extremely abstract lyricist like Van Dyke Parks, then canceling the Monterey Pop Festival appearance, then sabotaging their next album release by suing their record label, somehow constitutes being 'opportunistic phonies.'
Tin is trolling, and this started Outside. I haven't had time for these boards lately, and I haven't forgotten about replying to you. But I will tell you that since SMiLE was never released, perceptions about the Beach Boys' music and where it was going are significantly impaired by a lack of familiarity with the music. To those who have heard it, it is widely considered to be at least as creative & innovative, if not downright superior to, Sgt. Pepper.
I never stated that the Beach Boys or Brian Wilson were opportunistic phonies and was unaware of your differences with tinear, but I agree with the general statement which he posted. BTW, I could not care less whether Mike Love was or wasn't a phony. My point was that tinear's post made sense based on my own informed opinion and in essence concurs with the points you made about the group's failure to play Monterey, the ascension of Jimi Hendrix's harder edged rock, etc.; you can take that and do whatever you want with it.
I've heard plenty of Beach Boys music and while I'll grant that much of it is innovative, hardly any of the drug induced, paranoia inspired Brian Wilson compositions of that era hold up well in comparison with Sgt. Pepper or any of the later Beatles music (even Rubber Soul, which preceded Sgt. Pepper). Of course you attach a condescending caveat regarding those who have heard their music; well, I've heard most of it at least once, but to my ears it doesn't improve with repeated listenings. Of course, YMMV.
> > > "I haven't forgotten about replying to you." < < <
That's okay, I haven't checked that thread in over a week; it has probably scrolled on to page 2 by now. I doubt that your "musical manifesto" would have much more to add to that conversation anyway. :o)
> I agree with the general statement which he posted.
> My point was that tinear's post made sense based on my own informed opinion
And you base this on what? No condescension, seriously. If yr opinion is in fact informed, then you should be able to make a better case than tinear has to advance this point of view.
> I've heard plenty of Beach Boys music and while I'll grant that much of it is innovative, hardly any of the drug induced, paranoia inspired Brian Wilson compositions of that era hold up well in comparison with Sgt. Pepper or any of the later Beatles music
Well, labeling Pet Sounds as overhyped is not a difficult exercise. Backing it up by at least telling us why you feel that way shouldn't be too much trouble. I take polls with a grain of salt and take them far less personally than you generally do in my opinion, but while I get tired of seeing Sgt. Pepper & Never Mind The Bollocks at the top of typical RS-style best album lists, I do understand why they're there. Same goes for Pet Sounds. You want to knock it down a peg? Have at it--but in doing so it is at least necessary to give some background on why you feel this way when so many feel differently.
> Of course you attach a condescending caveat regarding those who have heard their music; well, I've heard most of it at least once, but to my ears it doesn't improve with repeated listenings.
Whoa. I SPECIFICALLY was referring to BOOTLEGS of an album that was never finished, let alone released. That caveat is valid. If you've heard the SMiLE boots, it'd be interesting to know when. They remain relatively obscure & fragmented. If you wish to deny that this music, Pet Sounds as well, was not a significant influence on Sgt. Pepper, you'll have to be a bit more specific. And keep in mind that there are decades of Paul McCartney quotes to the contrary. And George Martin. Sean Lennon's musings on SMiLE are particularly noteworthy.
You can like whatever you like, but when it's quite obvious that the Beach Boys were a significant influence on the most popular rock band of all time, I'll at least listen with an admitted preconceived notion. Because I WANT to know what influenced the Beatles, and I want to hear it, too. And when you get past Chuck Berry, Larry Williams, Little Richard, and a few others, there isn't a lot in that realm that jumps out at you...except the Beach Boys.
If you're not interested in what influenced the Beatles, good for you, but that speaks to conflicts in personal taste that make for problematic discussion...especially with people who denigrate this band while apparently not being aware of exactly what their influence was, how it manifested itself, or, worse, as tinear did, putting Brian Wilson down on grounds that are easily disproved as a matter of fact, not taste (i.e. his accomplishments are not only well documented, but universally affirmed by credible participants and bystanders--and if you are able to find a credible source that is willing to dismiss what he did in the studio, let us know what they have to say about it. I need a good laugh).
Although amongst other things VDP had been working as a copy writer, he was seeped in music and I suspect his influence on Smile is more than the words to a few songs.
If you remember, after Good Vibrations, Warners gave VDP a contract expecting hits and got Song Cycle one of the most convoluted and confusing psychedelic records, featuring not a guitar solo or wah wah (I think) but a kaleidoscope of orchestral visions of a country torn apart and in thrall to film and TV.
I also remember it was Warners' lowest selling album of all time(?).
Even today it seems to arrive from a parallel universe.
I think that Pet Sounds and perhaps Smile are at least as fresh as Sgt. Pepper, an album shot through with too much cutesy pie novelty for many. Its relative low rating as 3rd or 4th favourite amongst many Beatles fans would seem to attest to that.
Now if anyone has that legendary 17 minute version of Heroes And Villains...
Biff Rose had to sell a few records...between the Bowie & Paul Williams connections, and managing to get himself on the Tonight Show...
... the knowing talk!
I love VDP for his take(s) on Americana and America.
I have all his records apart from JUMP! which I seem to have misplaced, including the Fisherman's Wife children's album with Jodie Foster.
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