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Beach Boys : Wilson V Love (which to see)?


AnPeter90
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Hi guys -

The Beach Boys are a band I love. Both current incarnations of the group are soon coming to a venue near me, and I am torn as to which concert to go to. 

I have read about Brian Wilson and how he is not in the best of health, and so am unsure if I really want to see him in that state or leave my happy memories intact. I know he was/is the creative driving force behind the songs, so it would be swell to see him in person. The show is billed as "Brian Wilson presents Pet Sounds".

On the other hand, Mike Love and Bruce Johnston are coming too, along with other musicians to make up the numbers, and they are touring under the official Beach Boys name. I imagine they will do the full catalog of hits, and Mike is the one who wrote the Good Vibrations lyrics, and as an original Beach Boy has a fair claim on the name of the group.

Logistics make it possible for me to only see one of the dates, and I am having trouble deciding which I want to see.

Any advice or experiences of your own to share?

Many thanks.

 

Edited by AnPeter90
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I'm planning going to both but if I had to pick one I'd pick Brian and Al Jardine all day long. Mike Love's version I hear are fantastic live but as the only original member he's got a bit of a cheek using the Beach Boys name and singing Brian's songs. Brian is a wreck now and he can't sing but still.... He's Brian Wilson. 

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I saw Brian Wilson in 2007 or 2008 and he was great. I was fully expecting to feel really sad because his voice obviously isn't what it used to be and he seemed quite fragile, but it was so much fun. He's a little awkward, but the songs are still a joy to hear and his band is usually really tight. The Wilsons aren't on good terms with Mike Love, which would make me feel hesitant to go and see that iteration and would take Brian Wilson over him any day.

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I read a really good book about the history of the Beach Boys last year ("Catch A Wave", check it out if you haven't already). It's very pro-Wilson and anti-Love but there's a whole lot in there about the trouble Mike caused when Brian wanted to diversify the Beach Boys sound, apparently he hated Pet Sounds, Smile etc and wanted to keep doing songs about surfing and cars because that's what sells records. Hated Brian's new sound, hated all the lyrics about spirituality etc. Dunno how much of it is true, but anyway, he also effectively fired everyone a couple of years ago so fuck him. 

I'm a big fan too, last year I listened to every Beach Boys album, most of the stuff post Brian's meltdown is pretty poor. A few gems but mostly shite. 

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I saw Brian Wilson last year at the Usher Hall. He can barely walk these days, let alone sing. Al Jardine has still got it and his son is in the band too - he takes most of the high parts.

I also saw him around 2007/2008 and that show was a hell of a lot better than last year's show.

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19 hours ago, Lemonade said:

I read a really good book about the history of the Beach Boys last year ("Catch A Wave", check it out if you haven't already). It's very pro-Wilson and anti-Love but there's a whole lot in there about the trouble Mike caused when Brian wanted to diversify the Beach Boys sound, apparently he hated Pet Sounds, Smile etc and wanted to keep doing songs about surfing and cars because that's what sells records. Hated Brian's new sound, hated all the lyrics about spirituality etc. Dunno how much of it is true, but anyway, he also effectively fired everyone a couple of years ago so fuck him. 

I'm a big fan too, last year I listened to every Beach Boys album, most of the stuff post Brian's meltdown is pretty poor. A few gems but mostly shite. 

If everything post-meltdown is poor doesn't that mean that Mike Love had a point?

I don't know much about The Beach Boys, but this seems reasonably valid: http://observer.com/2016/06/for-the-love-of-mike-love-its-time-to-destroy-the-legend-of-brian-wilson/

 

Edited by colb
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11 hours ago, colb said:

If everything post-meltdown is poor doesn't that mean that Mike Love had a point?

I don't know much about The Beach Boys, but this seems reasonably valid: http://observer.com/2016/06/for-the-love-of-mike-love-its-time-to-destroy-the-legend-of-brian-wilson/

 

Yes and no. The stuff between Pet Sounds and Surfs Up in 1971 is probably the pick of it, when Brian was still the main songwriter, although it became more of a collaborative process by that point. After Surfs Up Brian wasn't really around, Carl, Dennis, Al Jardine and Mike Love did most of the writing and Brian would pop up with a couple of songs here and there that he'd written on his own. That's when they really went downhill. Not that Brian is blameless, even the stuff that he did contribute during that period is pretty awful. Try to get through the whole of "Mount Vernon and Fairway (A Fairy Tale)". You won't manage. Their infamous flirtation with disco is a horror also. I don't know if this link will work but I can't find it on YouTube. Listen at your peril. 

https://open.spotify.com/track/05MqSN5l0fpj4dIiab3uLn?context=spotify%3Asearch%3Abeach%20boys%20here%20comes%20the%20night

 

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