August 19, 2013

While this kind of thing comes as no surprise, he’s been pulling this act for years and it’s getting old. Last year at this time, the Beach Boys 50th anniversary was cause for real celebration: a reunion album featuring the remaining living Beach Boys far better than even the most jaded fan could reasonably have expected (spending time in the top 10, no less!). They follow it up with a world-wide tour and public appearances that are well-received across the board, only to have it end acrimoniously in public with a war of letters between Love and Brian Wilson published in the L.A. Times, no less. Some would have let discretion be the better part of valor and let sleeping dogs lie, but that’s not Love’s style: whenever he feels the need to publicize his phony “Beach Boys” gigs (like when Brian is about to release a brand-new album), he disses on Brian but doesn’t blame Brian by name – rather, it’s “mysterious forces” or “outsiders” or “Brian’s handlers”, as if Brian is just aching to spend weeks and months writing songe with Love but can’t. He’s been doing this for years and it’s a damned shame.

Fact is, if Brian thought engaging Love to write songs together would produce a better product than he would working with others he would, but Love’s talents as a co-writer are at best minimal and mostly banal, and Brian doesn’t need the hassle anymore. So instead of another Beach Boys album – which even Brian was jazzed about doing during last year’s tour – we’ll be getting one featuring Jeff Beck, Al Jardine, David Marks and others who appreciate his time and his talents. It’s too bad, but the vast majority of Beach Boys fans have come to expect no less from Mike Love. Transcendental Meditation may help you find inner peace, but it doesn’t prevent you from being an world-class ass.


A great article about one of, if not the all-time greatest rock song ever produced. Fifty years old, and Hal Blaine’s BOOM boom boom BAM BOOM boom boom BAM opening still grabs the ears. It’s arguably Phil Spector’s greatest production, and a killer example of what Phil’s “Wall of Sound” recording style was all about. While Phil’s recording was in mono, the version I’ve linked to is great because the mix helps distinguish the various layers Phil incorporated into the song, you can really hear the saxaphones and the background vocals. Any way you play it, it’s a fabulous tune.


It can’t be August and not recall Elvis Presley’s death thirty-six years ago (has it really been that long??). While I enjoyed Elvis’ music enough while he was alive, it wasn’t until after his death that I really got into his music and came to appreciate his talents both before and after his movie years. And even then, if it’s a lazy Sunday afternoon and you don’t want to clean the house and see an Elvis movie marathon on, how can you not pop some popcorn and just enjoy them for their fun, innocence, and clean humor. You can’t beat his gospel records, and while these are fine performances, my all-time favorite of his is the very last record he ever recorded. It simply doesn’t get a whole lot better than that.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 02:22 | Comments Off on Musical Notes
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