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Tony Grist

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Fun, Fun, Fun [Jun. 27th, 2005|09:33 am]
Tony Grist
BBC3 has been relaying concerts from the Glastonbury festival. Last night they gave us Brian Wilson's gig. Yes, you heard right- Brian Wilson. The Beach Boys' mentally fragile, drug addled infant genius was up on stage with a great backing band belting out the classics. He's in his 60s, paunchy and had to do most of the set sitting down; his voice is weak, he can't reach the high notes but-wotthehell- this is only slightly less sensational than the raising of Lazarus.

Michael Moorcock says of the Beatles that they're "the poets of paradise"- well so they are- but so are the Beach Boys. Fun, Fun Fun, Barbara Ann, Good Vibrations- these are the happiest, most beatific songs of any generation.
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[User Picture]From: dadi
2005-06-27 02:05 am (UTC)
Ahahah you are truly awakening long lost memories with those music posts of yours :). The Beach Boys, oh my. Ba Ba Barbara Ann... soundtrack to so many silly nights!
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2005-06-27 02:37 am (UTC)
At the time I preferred the Beatles. But these songs are so well made and so individual and so timeless.
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[User Picture]From: strange_complex
2005-06-27 02:08 am (UTC)
I got exposed to the Beach Boys quite a lot as a kid through my Dad, so I've always liked them. But I saw the same footage as you did last night, and wasn't all that impressed. I didn't know about the health problems, so couldn't make allowance for that, but still - he just didn't look particularly pleased or even interested to be there, and that really took the edge off the enjoyment of the songs for me. If he'd just smiled once in a while, it would have helped.

I did love the girl who was literally surfing through the crowd on a surf-board whcih people were passing over their heads, though!
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[User Picture]From: strange_complex
2005-06-27 02:08 am (UTC)
Oops - I mean:

"I did love the girl who was literally surfing through the crowd on a surf-board whcih people were passing over their heads, though!"
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[User Picture]From: strange_complex
2005-06-27 02:10 am (UTC)
</i>Aaaarghhh! Now how did all all the above end up italicised? Is it still being affected by the unclosed tag from the previous post???

Now I shall stop filling your inbox with my frustration!
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2005-06-27 02:42 am (UTC)
And now I'm in italics... What's going on?
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[User Picture]From: strange_complex
2005-06-27 03:02 am (UTC)
Sorry! I seem to have broken your entire entry page, and I really don't understand how it happened. :-(
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2005-06-27 05:36 am (UTC)
Never mind.....

Variety is the spice of life.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2005-06-27 02:41 am (UTC)
Wilson has had severe mental health problems. His performance has to be seen in context. Yeah, he was doing the minimum and his excellent backing band were carrying him- but it's a miracle he was there at all.

And the songs are fabulous.

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[User Picture]From: cybersofa
2005-06-27 02:46 am (UTC)
Absolutely.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2005-06-27 02:52 am (UTC)
It brought tears to my eyes.
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[User Picture]From: strange_complex
2005-06-27 03:04 am (UTC)
Well, it does make a difference when you understand that, and I agree that it was great to see such sunny songs getting an outing at Glastonbury anyway. It certainly seems a very appropriate setting for hearing them.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2005-06-27 05:38 am (UTC)
Those songs are 40 years old and they still sound fresh.

The Beach Boys had a style all of their own. There is and was nobody like them.
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[User Picture]From: halfmoon_mollie
2005-06-27 06:56 am (UTC)
And his mental health problems affected everything else. HIs songs are amazing...I saw a documentary with and about him, a few years ago. He had a very sad life, even though he was famous. His father abused him (mentally). His brother Dennis drowned, and his brother Carl died recently. He talked about coming home from school and writing his songs (the man doesn't read music...) and then writing the harmony. If you listen to Beach Boys music - the REAL stuff, I mean--the harmony is what gets you. It's AMAZING.

Brian was always easily 'led', and fell in with some pretty unsavory characters. But he finally managed to shake himself off, and the music he writes and records and sings, now, is...well, it is amazing. I know, I said that already.

His two daughters are in 'the business' and I believe Carney has toured with him.

Paunchy. He at one time weighed nearly 400 pounds,

I admire Brian Wilson. I think he is a genius...and he has paid some pretty heavy dues!

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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2005-06-27 09:11 am (UTC)
I haven't heard any of Wilson's recent stuff. Do you have any recommendations?

But I do have the recently released Smile. It's wonderful that that "lost" record has finally been completed and issued.
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[User Picture]From: halfmoon_mollie
2005-06-27 11:19 am (UTC)
Smile is on my list, and Pet Sounds is great (that's an old one)

Orange Crate Art (is a collaboration between Van Dyke Parks and Brian Wilson) is gorgeous.

Brian Wilson (the remastered version, originally recorded in 1988) is dynamite. And so is "I Just Wasn't Made for these Times".

I find it hard to choose. The Beach Boys were part of my 'growing up' soundtrack, one of the very best concerts I ever attended was the Beach Boys (though without Brian, he was in the throes of his depression, then...) and I remember dancing with my friend Colleen at that concert. But without the driving force of Brian, they somehow lost a lot of their...oomph, originality, something. When you go back and listen to Brian alone, or the wonderful "Smile" you get it...it wasn't all surf and sand and sun.

The interview I mentioned earlier...they asked him about Dennis (this was before Carl died) and he got tears in his eyes. "Yeah, maybe we didn't get along, but he was my brother..."



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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2005-06-27 11:41 am (UTC)
Thanks for those suggestions.

I think Good Vibrations is the greatest single ever released.

The only possible contender is Hey Jude.
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[User Picture]From: jackiejj
2005-06-27 05:43 am (UTC)
I love those frothy songs--Fun, fun, fun...

OMG: I thought Brian Wilson was dead. How icky of me.

(I suppose you've heard about the Live 8 effort that is being promoted to raise the collective consciousness about starvation in Africa. I heard a wag on the radio yesterday, and he was saying cynically, "Oh, well, I suppose Sir Paul will drag out "Let It Be" one more time, but really, I wonder how much good that song's actually done? Since he first sang it, we've had all kinds of war and trouble--hey! Maybe that song's CAUSING it!")
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2005-06-27 05:57 am (UTC)
Dennis is the Wilson brother who died (diving off a yatch drunk in 1983)

I get them mixed up too. Dennis was the playboy and Brian is/was the genius.

Yes, Bob Geldof has been all over the schedules promoting Live8. There's been all manner of controversy. Some people say it's great and others that it's just ageing white rock stars scrabbling for a final appearance in the spotlight.

So far as I'm concerned Sir Paul can sing Let It Be as often as he likes and it'll still bring a lump to my throat.
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[User Picture]From: jackiejj
2005-06-27 06:07 am (UTC)
Sir Paul believes in his song, and you can tell when he sings it.

Have you ever seen him live in concert?

(How my little sisters loved the Beatles--Cindy loved Ringo, and Janice loved George. They were eleven and twelve when the Beatles came to the U.S.)
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[User Picture]From: halfmoon_mollie
2005-06-27 06:58 am (UTC)
So far as I'm concerned Sir Paul can sing Let It Be as often as he likes and it'll still bring a lump to my throat

Me too.
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