Friday, November 16, 2012

Some Thoughts on the new ESQ.......



In the new issue of ESQ, they take the interesting step of printing both Mike and Brian's letter to the LA Times from a month or two back, during the media hoopla surrounding the non-firing "firing" and the at least temporary disintegration of the reunion band.

Following that, the issue gives us a thoughtful editorial on the matter. Pick up the issue to read it of course. The editorial does walk the fence in putting the blame on the media firestorm on everybody involved. I have to agree in that sense. These guys should have had it all planned out and ready to go so something like this didn't happen. I don't know if they made all the calls or they need to fire some of their PR folks.

The editorial also does take the first even remotely critical stance towards Mike touring with only Bruce under the "Beach Boys" name that I've seen in any of the issues I've ever read. This was a bit surprising. Usually, issues that integrate news and/or interviews with multiple members tend to feature a paucity of actual critical comments about any of the band members or their bands.

Occasionally, interviews with the members in past years have gotten into the acrimony, but not to any great extent. Certainly, I've never seen an editorial that even begins to call into question whether Mike should be using the "Beach Boys" name. Until now.

One of the editorial's sort of summations or takeaways from the situation is that Mike needs to realize that touring with his stripped-down version of the band is going to be frowned upon, while Brian (and presumably Al) needs to realize that the way Mike does things is just how he is; he tours the way he does because that's how he likes it.

While this point is absolutely true in a pragmatic sense, I don't think this is how it actually should be. This is false equivalancy to me. Brian and Al on the one hand wanting to keep the entire reunion together and then Mike wanting to strip it back down a cheaper 2/5 lineup again are not things that should be afforded equal understanding between these sides, and certainly not equal understanding from fans. One side wants the real deal to stay together, the other wants the cheap, stripped down version for a mixture of selfish reasons (money, control, ease) and perplexing and arguably illogical reasons (e.g. the "essential" need to tour numerous small markets that can't "afford" the full reunion band for fear that the "fan base" won't be "maintained").

After a few weeks of intense and ultimately circular and pointless debate among fans, the whole post-tour debacle has died down a bit as of late. Hopefully the result will not be these guys all sticking to their individual camps, but perhaps coming back together for more recording and touring.

1 comment:

  1. An excellent and appreciated summary: I too hope that the BB will now see the great truth of their need to be together and that they will soon announce their plans to work on the new album and some selected major shows next year. As a chilly winter night comes to LA, we need the warmth of the sun even more.