Tuesday, August 27, 2013

"The Wilson Project" Re-Issue Now Out......

This is another item I'll hopefully have a review of before too long. The new issue of ESQ (more on recent ESQ issues in another post!) tipped me off to a new reissue of Stephen J. McParland's "The Wilson Project", which details Brian's late 80's work with Gary Usher, among other things. I honestly have never had a chance to read the various printings or iterations of McParland's work (it has been published in a few different formats/configurations over multiple volumes over the years) due to the high cost of importing the book. But it's now available from Amazon.com (via a third party seller, in the case the book's actual publisher), so it's relatively affordable now, and I'm looking forward to finally reading about this era in Brian's career in detail. 

Made in California - Out Today.... Review Soon!

As fans are well aware, this uber-desired set is out today, and I'll hopefully have my copy in hand today from Amazon and will have a review up at some point. While the set didn't "leak" at any point, fans started getting their copies several days early, so a few tidbits and lots of reviews and discussion are already out there.
It's sounding promising overall. A few things may be grating; it sounds like the two 1995 group tracks may have been futzed with, and a few other things have some potentially "Beatles Anthology" style crossfading/comping of multiple takes going on. But overall, this is literally the most substantial amount of unreleased material to be released all in one shot since the 90's.
I really hope Amazon gets it to me today!

More Brian/Al/David/Jeff Beck Dates......

Oct. 1 -- Houston, Texas (Bayou Music Center)
Oct. 16 -- Montclair, NJ (Roberts Wellmont Theater)
Oct. 30 -- Milwaukee, WI (Milwaukee Riverside Theatre)
I just recently got my tickets in the last couple of weeks for the October 22nd show in Oakland!

Monday, August 19, 2013

50th Anniversary Live DVD Project Unceremoniously Cancelled

It seems the long-in-gestation live DVD/Blu-ray project that was first announced last December has been cancelled. Back in December, producers of this project solicited donations via the PledgeMusic website, donations that would presumably help fund the project. Various levels of pledges were offered, including getting your name in the credits once the project was released.

A targeted December 2013 release date seemed to give them plenty of time. The Pledge Music site was to be a hub through which the producers could offer donators exclusive sneak peeks into the making of the film. However, these "previews" and various "exclusive content" seemed to dry up only a few months into the project. Many fans were skeptical from the get-go. Additionally, the few clips and bits posted on the site weren't very promising. The whole thing had a rag-tag, somewhat unprofessional feel from the get-go.

A few days ago, donators started receiving refunds without explanation. A few fans e-mailed and got some generic responses concerning the project being cancelled. Head over the Smiley Smile board, where one fan did some impressive digging into recent stories to discover what may have been the downfall this project, a convoluted story involving a bunch of funding and business dealings totally unrelated to the Beach Boys. It seems the funding may have been what fell through on this project, and it was tainted by the point that fans' money was returned.

We are certainly glad everyone is presumably getting their money back. One fan received an e-mail response indicating Universal (who now own Capitol) may be taking this project in another direction. So we can hope something will surface of this project in the future, and hopefully it will entail above all else a full, complete presentation of a show (or shows) on the tour.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

More Mike Love Interview Whatnot......

More press stuff from Mike Love. Same story here from Mike about the end of the 50th tour (http://www.theoaklandpress.com/articles/2013/07/31/entertainment/doc51f82da0e9133216293773.txt), but with a much more direct version of how he felt about those who were "running everything":

“It was always to be (just for) the 50th anniversary,” explains Love, 72. “We started off with the agreement to do 50 shows in honor of the 50 years, but then it expanded into about 73, I believe, and I have talked to various promoters who’ve said ‘Hey, this is really great. You guys sold out, and it would be good to have you back in a couple of years.’

“The amount of production and the amount of band members on stage and everything was just not the kind of thing that can continue on ad infinitum. There are many, many venues that can’t even afford the cost of the band and the production and all that kind of stuff. So by doing that kind of tour, with that many people and that expensive, it kind of precludes you from doing a lot of these places we’ve always enjoyed doing.

“So those are a couple of the reasons why — in addition to the fact we agreed to do X amount of dates — we’re back to doing how we do things or how we’ve done things for a decade and a half.”

Love helped to curate the upcoming Beach Boys box set “Made in California 1962-2012, which comes out on Aug. 27. And he sounds potentially amenable to another reunion tour, although after last year’s go-round he says there will be some conditions before he gets involved again.

“Only if I can do it with people who I trust and like and are honorable,” Love says. “It was great to be in the studio again and listen to those harmonies coming back, but I had serious issues with the people who were running everything. I have no problem with just Brian and I in a room together with a piano, writing music, but unfortunately it’s not that uncomplicated, so I can’t promise anything right now other than doing this show that we know people love and come out to see every summer.”

It is interesting to see the return of the claim of unnamed "promoters" telling Love that the reunion should stop and build up demand and come back in a couple years. This is interesting because it seems highly unlikley at this stage that we'll see a reunion in 2014. Mike's reasoning about the size and cost of the reunion band also rings hollow, as it presupposes that the band has to play a lot of small markets every year, and also presupposes that there's no way at all to even slightly cut costs on the reunion band. The 50th tour was highly successful financially, so this business that the show is too expensive is ridiculous. Perhaps Love is simply unwilling to say that the reunion format is simply too expensive for his liking, and that he may simply make a bit less money. I'm particularly annoyed by the straw man argument about playing smaller markets. Not only is it simply not true; even if it was true, it insults the quality of the 50th tour to suggest playing smaller markets is more important keeping the entire band together. The 50th tour played 73 shows, they did not simply play huge metropolitan areas. If the reunion tour had done five shows in the US in 2012 in simply New York and Los Angeles or something, this argument would hold more water.

Love’s reference to people “running everything” still seems a bit ambiguous, but most fans have deduced that the reference is either to Joe Thomas or various persons or person in the Brian Wilson camp. The reference to Thomas seems a bit less likely. While Love previously referenced someone who presumably had to be Thomas when citing the lack of ability to write from scratch with Brian, these newer comments don’t seem to be specifically about the album only. But was Thomas “running everything”? Thomas was heavily involved in the album, and Thomas did form the “50 Big Ones” production company with Brian and Mike to run the 50th tour. But was Thomas “running” this? It seems Brian and Mike’s respective camps were running things as much as anybody. Obviously, Mike is not likely referring to his “camp.” Love was also heard to praise Joe Thomas during the tour, pointing out how nobody else could have put the whole thing together and made it work.

Did something sour during this tour? Was something more than the expected awkwardness and power struggles between Brian and Mike’s camps going on?

Ultimately, Love’s comments about having issues with those “running everything” also ring somewhat hollow. Love was an “Executive Producer” on the album, and was a full partner in the production company running the tour, not to mention of course an equal shareholder in BRI. He maintained control of the tour’s setlist. This doesn’t seem like a guy who is subservient to anybody running things. It sounds less like he has an issue with people “running everything”, and more of an issue with compromise or having to do anything by committee.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Brian, Al, David Fall Tour Dates

Sept. 27 -- Hollywood, FL (Hard Rock)
Sept. 28 -- Clearwater, FL (Eckerd Hall)
Oct. 3 -- St. Augustine, FL (Amphitheatre)
Oct. 4 -- Atlanta, GA (Chastain Park)
Oct. 5 -- Washington, DC (Warner Theater)
Oct. 6  -- Bethlehem, PA (Sands Event Center)
Oct. 8 -- Albany, NY (Palace Theatre)
Oct. 9 -- Boston, MA (Wang Theater)
Oct. 11 -- Wallingford, CT (Oakdale Theatre)
Oct. 12 -- Westbury, CT (Theater at Westbury)
Oct. 13 -- Philadelphia, PA (Tower Theater)
Oct. 15 -- New York, NY (Beacon Theatre)
Oct. 18 -- Las Vegas, NV (Pearl Theater)
Oct. 20 -- Los Angeles, CA (Greek Theatre)
Oct. 22 -- Oakland, CA (Paramount Theatre)
Oct. 25 -- Detroit, MI (Fox Theatre)
Oct. 26 -- Toronto, ON (Massey Hall)
Oct. 27 -- Akron, OH (Thomas Performance)