Plenty of Beach Boys-related news, interviews, and commentary to catch up on….
I'm not sure how many read the blog here, and I'm even more skeptical that there are many who read the blog who don't also read the Smiley Smile message board, but a quick explanation for why I end up not posting as many updates here as I'd like: Simply put, I read and discuss these things to death on the Smiley Smile board. So by the time it's time to report recent news and opinions here on the blog, I'm burned out writing about most of it! But I'll try to be better about posting here, as I do like the idea of opining here first and in most detail.
Most importantly, it appears we *may* finally have a new Brian studio album very soon. A few weeks ago, word got out that the title may be “No Pier Pressure” (a title which hasn’t been met with exactly resounding enthusiasm, but how much should we care about the title?). A November 4th date was rumored.
A quick interview blurb from Brian/Joe Thomas collaborator Jim Peterik suggested a January release.
However, Amazon and some other retailers had the album up for pre-orders with the title “No Pier Pressure” and a November 4th release date. It has since disappeared from Amazon, but is still up on some other sites. It looks like either November or January are the most likely possibilities. We shall see…..
Less musically interesting, but sadly still intriguing are not one, but three interviews that have recently been published that give us some interesting information to chew on, one each from Al Jardine, Jeff Foskett, and David Marks.
Least interesting first: Publicizing one of his gigs with Dean Torrence for 9/27, David Marks touched on mostly familiar early days stories in his interview with The Beach Reporter:
But, shockingly perhaps for the first time in two years since the end of the reunion tour, Marks commented (a bit) about its demise:
In 2012, Marks reunited with Brian Wilson, Jardine, Love and Johnston for The Beach Boys 50th anniversary tour. They also recorded “That's Why God Made the Radio,” the first album Marks had made with The Beach Boys since 1963. Following the 50-date tour, the five went on their separate tours, including Love and Johnston together. Rumors were rampant that Love had fired Wilson from the tour, but Marks said that was not true.
“Mike, at the beginning, said, 'I have other stuff booked after the tour that I have to do with The Beach Boys name,' because he has the license,” Marks said. “So there was a misunderstanding about Mike firing Brian and all that bull ... but it was the way it was all planned. He was going to leave after the tour and back to business as usual. We all understood that.”
Marks recently did some shows with Wilson and Jeff Beck and another month-long tour with Wilson and Jardine last year. He also continues to work with Love. But is there any chance the five will perform together again?
“Nothing is impossible,” Marks said. “We used to say we’d never get back for a reunion, that was totally out of the question, it would never happen. We were wrong about that, so under the right circumstances and depending on what mood everybody is in, I’m sure it's possible we would do something again before one of us dies. You know there’s not much time left.”
Marks’ words don’t offer a great deal of new information, but it does seems to more strongly support the supposition that Mike Love was always planning to go straight back to his own band after the reunion tour, going so far as booking post-reunion shows either before or during the reunion tour.
More interesting is that Dave has been doing gigs with Mike's Beach Boys lately, including an extended run of shows that will run at least through mid-late October. What this means, if anything, is anybody's guess. Billy Hinsche and Mike D'Amico from Brian's band even popped up during a recent show that Dave did with Mike's band.
Al Jardine provided an interview to publicize his gig with Brian in Paso Pobles, also on 9/27:
His interview also touched on mostly familiar topics. The reunion tour demise was brought up again, but no new information arose. Al still seems bummed Mike didn’t want to continue. But most intriguing was an odd exchange during the interview wrap-up that the interviewer chose to print, involving an exchange between the two that also involved Al’s wife. As the interviewer no doubt made sure to mention, Al appears to have wanted this all printed, but it provides a bunch of vague clues about just what might be going on:
First, a quick "C50" exchange:
JM: I saw the 50th anniversary show a couple of years ago in Santa Barbara. What are your reflections on that tour?
AJ: It was great, and unfortunately came to a close too soon. I would have loved to have seen it go into another year, which is so pragmatic, so logical. But due to certain members of the band it just wasn’t to be. We kind of were hobbled. We added dates, we added up to 74 dates – we added 24 extra dates. It was great while it lasted. We were just getting our motors going, you know, and I would have loved to have seen it continue.
JM: Do you think there’s any chance that the group of you will get back together to tour or record any more?
AJ: I don’t know. It was great working with Mike, when we were on tour. It was just great. It was complete, you know. It’s really up to him [laughs].
Then, the interview ended like this:
[JM: Thanks AJ for doing the interview]
AJ: My wife wants me to add something and I don’t know if I should.
JM: I usually listen to my wife, but it’s up to you [laughs].
AJ: What was that other question you asked me, that I didn’t really answer, did I? [about setting the record straight] It’s just not very well known by the general public. I’m not allowed to use The Beach Boys name in my own way. I’m legally – what’s the term – injuncted from using The Beach Boys name. Did you know that?
JM: I didn’t know that, no.
AJ: So Brian and I [laughs] are both under suspicion. This concert, even.
JM: I noticed how it was billed, as Brian Wilson with Al Jardine. So I guess that explains that.
AJ: Well, Mr. Love has imposed an injunction that prohibits either of us, but mostly me. We’re kind of a threat because we do look like The Beach Boys [laughs].
JM: There’s a resemblance, actually [laughs].
AJ: Yeah, there’s a resemblance [laughs]. “So watch out you guys, you’d better not call yourselves The Beach Boys.” It’s very strange. I don’t know if you want to publish that or not. But maybe it’ll bring people in?
JM: You tell me, if you don’t want me to publish that I won’t.
[Mary Ann in the background: Write that - "Don't call us The Beach Boys"]
AJ: Your article should say, “Don’t call us The Beach Boys”. You’re right, Mary Ann. It’s a strange oxymoron, is that the right term?
Mary Ann: He fired you, remember?
Mary Ann: Oh yeah…
AJ: Oh you mean the reunion? He claims he didn’t, that he fired us after the reunion…
Mary Ann: During…
AJ: Or during, whatever, but that’s not even the point. You asked me a poignant question and I evaded it. And, you know, there’s nothing wrong with the truth.
JM: Well, as far as I know I can still use The Beach Boys name. Of course, I won’t say it’s a Beach Boys concert, but obviously you and Brian are from The Beach Boys, and you’ll be singing songs from The Beach Boys.
AJ: We are the founding members, yeah.
JM: It’s too bad that you guys aren’t getting along better.
Mary Ann: He [Mike Love] loves legal tactics.
AJ: He’s a brilliant songwriter, and unfortunately he has brilliant lawyers. We wish him all the best, but doggonit, you know, we’d like to be Beach Boys, too. There you go.
JM: I feel that the natural place is for all of you to be together.
AJ: OK, well maybe we’ll get some positive results. Who knows?
JM: Well, I’m sure that this upcoming show will be wonderful. Thanks for taking the time to talk to me.
AJ: You’re very welcome. My pleasure.
This exchange is of course open to plenty of interpretation. What seems most interesting is that there seems to be an implication that something has occurred recently as far as Brian and Al being warned against how they advertise their shows together.
In advance of his October 9th show with Brian in Modesto, Al was also interviewed:
An interesting tidbit from that one:
In 2012, Wilson, Jardine, Love and David Marks (who has played with group since 1962) joined forces again for the 50th anniversary reunion tour of the Beach Boys. But after the tour ended, Love announced he would go on with the Beach Boys name without Wilson, Jardine and Marks.
Jardine said playing together with all the surviving early members was a breeze.
“It was just like riding a bike. It’s perfect and we have a ball. It’s an amazing ride, but an altogether too short ride,” he said. “But Mike Love owns the license to the Beach Boys and decided to call it quits. He wanted to go back to business as usual, which is ironic.”
Jardine said he and Wilson would love to return to the group. Their reunion was a special moment for them, he said.
“How often do you get a chance to revisit the best music ever written in terms of us and our success?” he said “I think the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. And, by golly, that whole was pretty darn full of music. It had a wonderful resonance; I think our voices are richer now. We were wonderful. And I’ve got my hopes that we can do that again sometimes.”
Still, he praised Love’s current band, which includes longtime contributing member Bruce Johnston and carries on under the Beach Boys moniker. And he said he understands Love’s reasoning, even if he doesn’t agree.
“It’s like being divorced and you have a new family. Will you go back to your old family and live with them? No. I imagine that’s what happened for (Mike),” Jardine said.
“Mike has a wonderful band and great guys. But it’s a reasonable facsimile. You want the real thing, don’t you? Why settle for anything less than the best? I think the fans deserve to have the authentic representation of the music.”
Finally, someone finally got Jeff Foskett to blab a bit about leaving Brian’s band and joining Mike’s (mostly commenting on the former):
While going to great lengths to remind that he has no ill feelings towards Brian in any way, his gripe seems to be that he was being overworked and given too much responsibility. Apparently, not only was he serving as the guitarist and vocalist in Brian’s band, but was essentially acting as his personal assistant. This was apparently too much stress and wasn’t allowing him to enjoy the elements of life on the road that he had previously enjoyed, especially when coupled with how he somehow got caught between the Wilson and Beck camps during last year’s tour. Foskett goes light on detail, but he makes it sound like he apparently knew folks in the Beck camp and may have been a part of getting Brian and Beck together, and this in turn led to Foskett getting caught in the middle when relations between the Wilson and Beck camps soured.
Foskett doesn’t discuss too much about his entry back into Mike’s band, other than to say that he was offered the gig, had to work though some things with Mike first, and then joined up.
The interview evades the issue of the obvious overt political/personal implication it has for Brian's right-hand-man of 15 years to not only leave, but specifically jump to Mike Love's band. To not even acknowledge this is not surprising, but unfortunate.