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Gaines is a muckraker. If you're interested in The Beach Boys incredible musical contribution to modern pop music don't read this book. If you want to read about drugs,sex,and the general mayhem that forms the backdrop of most of the rock groups that we know and love then this is the book for you. Back in the late 1980's when Gaines was touring the country promoting this book, I was fortunate enough to get into the audience of a local talk show here in Baltimore called "People Are Talking". Gaines was one of the guests that day, and the host of the show allowed me, book in hand, to confront Gaines with a number of mistakes and inaccurate details. Gaines's reply to me was that it was no different than getting dressed in the morning and forgetting to button a button or putting on mismatched socks.After the show Gaines came up to me offering to sign my book which I let him do, I think he respected my love for The Beach Boys. Never-the-less it felt great calling him out on T.V....Read more
At long last an in-depth analysis of the music that Brian Wilson composed for The Beach Boys that changed the pop music landscape forever. Gone is the detailed emphasis of Brian's already well documented mental and drug abuse problems. That's not to say that they aren't totally missing from this documentary, but the main focus is always devoted to his creative musical genius. The producers of this film have gathered together a raft of people with intimate knowledge of Brian, some are friends and some are professionals such as engineer Steve Desper and Dr. Philip Lambert a music professor who wrote a book called "Inside The Music of Brian Wilson". His comments and demonstrations at the piano are fascinating. Also notable is commentary by Dominic Priore and Peter Ames Carlin both expert in all things Brian and Beach Boys. Included are many rare photographs and archival footage. Buy it!...Read more
The first thing I want to do is respond to an earlier reviewer's claims that The Beach Boys sing to a studio track on the song "Isn't it Time". You are dead wrong! It's done live and it's wonderful as is the rest of this oh too short concert film. Why would The Beach Boys lip-sync when they have Brian Wilson's magnificent back -up band behind them literally doubling all the vocals. Not only does this allow the boys to relax and concentrate on their own harmonies but it makes for a much richer live reading of their classic works. For hardcore Beach Boy fans like myself, this concert thankfully contains a juicy center beginning with "Heroes and Villians", "Sloop John B", "Wouldn't it be Nice", "All This is That" (Which made me cry.), "That's Why God Made the Radio", "Sail On Sailor", "Good Vibrations" and the timeless "California Girls". I, like many other fans reviewing here, hope that this isn't going to be the only visual and audio record of this historic musical event that I feel so lucky to have seen this past June in Columbia Maryland. Let's have another volume of the 50th live concert, only this time include what's already on this dvd plus the rest of their 50 song play list. I'll buy it and so will all of the other millions of Beach Boys fans, it's a no brainer and everybody wins. This was a well filmed live concert, the Blu-Ray image really put you there and the 5.1 surround, although I had to crank it up, sounded really good. They all looked relaxed and like they were having fun including our national treasure Brian Wilson who never sounded so good (No lip-syncing,THAT'S FOR SURE!) My four star rating is only because it's not the whole concert.So get this dvd and hope that one day soon, the powers that be release the definitive entire set for our enjoyment in the years to come....Read more
It's a dream come true. "That's Why God Made the Radio"caps a life long love affair with the boys who wrote the soundtrack to my life. I've been a Beach Boy fan since late 1963 and let me say this to the thankfully few people on this site that have panned this disc. You know nothing about this remarkable American band that has come so far and been through so much. You know nothing about their music, so I will just consider your uninformed opinions to be null and void. Enough said. On June 7th my wife and I listened to TWGMTR for the first time at our little condo which is 60 seconds from the beach in Ocean City MD where I worked as a beach boy during the summer of 1972. From the opening vocalise track "Think About the Days" to the final harmonies of "Summer's Gone" we were transported back in time and thrust forward into the present day by the stunning music on this disc. Brian Wilson comes to the rescue again with no less than 11 out of 12 songs on this beautiful collection of superbly crafted pieces. The last time The Beach Boys attempted to record a group effort like TWGMTR was in 1985 when they were still recovering from the drowning death of Dennis Wilson a couple of years prior. "The Beach Boys 1985" was a solid but ultimately uneven album (I still really like it though). It was another attempt to bring the troubled and reclusive brother Brian Wilson back into the fold even though the bulk of the burdon of recording this disc fell on the back of Carl Wilson, and cousin Mike Love. The next two discs "Still Crusin'" of 1987 and "Summer in Paradise" of 1992 fell flat when the band was under the control of Mike Love and rarely wind up under the blue light of the laser in my disc player. After an amazing decade on the road with his incredible back-up band and a couple of great solo albums plus a critically acclaimed resurrection of the long lost "Smile" album, Brian was recruited to provide the bulk of the music for "That's Why God Made the Radio",a 50th anniversary celebration of The Beach Boys long and winding road proving once again that he is a musical genius. Other reviewers on this site have described the tracks on this disc in detail. I won't. All I can say is that by the time the third song from the last "From There and Back Again", with a lead vocal by the mighty Al Jardine, started playing, I tilted my head back and let the tears of joy run down my cheeks. Carl and Dennis we still miss and love you. SURF'S UP!...Read more
After finishing this terrible piece of speculative fiction, I wondered what the subject matter in this book would have been like in the hands of a superb writer like Kim Stanley Robinson. Instead we have Harry Turtledove (Is that his real name?)hack writer giving us a story that's ninety-five percent the story of dull truly unlikable people living in Southern California against a five percent back drop of an apocalyptic eruption of the long dormant Yellowstone caldera and it's effect on their lives. It's obvious that the writer plans a future series out of this senario but I won't be reading it. I have to at least be able in some way to relate to the main charactors in this story but I just can't. One reviewer here has stated that the publisher must be paying Turtledove by the word and I have to agree because he's in short supply of any kind of writing talent. In one chapter in the book the geologist, Kelly with a team of fellow geologists, fly over the remains of what was once Yellowstone Park to see first hand the results of the eruption, it was dull, boring and uninteresting and I found myself saying after it was finished "IS THAT IT?!!!". In another part of the book, beware this is a spoiler, Turtledove describes a nuclear conflict breaking out in the Middle East when Iran attacks Israel with nuclear weapons believing the time is right because of a U.S.A.in the middle of an economic meltdown due to the eruption,and he never returns to it in the rest of the narrative. Can you imagine what effect this kind of conflict would have on the rest of the planet? I could go on but I won't. Stay away from this book....Read more
Let me start by saying that I've been a Yes fan ever since I heard "Yours Is No Disgrace" on my portable radio one sunny afternoon in my backyard in the summer of 1971. It was love at first listen. Who in the world was playing that guitar? Listen to those harmonies, they almost sounded like The Beach Boys, and that rhythm section...WOW! Fast forward to the spring of 2008. Yes is about to start their 40th anniversary tour with Jon Anderson, Chris Squire, Steve Howe and Rick Wakeman's son Oliver on keyboards. Suddenly the tour is cancelled. Jon Anderson, who has been suffering asthma attacks on and off since the early 2000's is laid low by a near fatal attack and is hospitalized in critical condition. The doctors tell him his performance days are on hold for an indefinite period of time. The rest of the band are left spinning in space, already set to hit the road. After a couple of failed attempts to tour as the men from Yes, Chris Squire discovers a vocalist on U-Tube who is fronting a Yes cover band called "Close to the Edge". His name is Benoit David and Chris invites him to join the band with the now working name of "In The Present". They tour small venues and try him out. He's not bad, he's been singing Yes songs for years now with the cover band, and although he is not Jon Anderson, he has a working knowledge of Yes music and the legions of starved Yes fans who come to the concerts are enthusiastic enough for the rest of the band to keep him on. Can you imagine how he feels? Time passes and it's now obvious that Jon Anderson will not be re-joining the band any time soon as he nurses himself and his voice back to normal. The band is getting itchy, they want to continue to make Yes music for an audience in desperate need of something other than Beyonce, weak indie rock and hip hop. The decision is made to make David the official lead vocalist of an official Yes.
Being a hard core Jon Anderson fan I'm horrified by the prospect of a Yes without Jon. Yes tried this once back in 1980 with Buggles alumni Trevor Horn replacing Anderson and Jeff Downes replacing Rick Wakeman. The resulting album "Drama"wasn't a bad album but after a tour to support it, the band fell apart. After Yes officially announced that they would record a new album with David as lead vocalist I had could not believe that a viable Yes could come out of it. Boy was I wrong! In a brilliant move Chris Squire again enlisted the services of Trevor Horn, this time as producer and Jeff Downes as keyboardist to replace Wakeman. The resulting disc "Fly From Here" is better than I ever dreamed possible. Benoit David to his credit has a wonderful voice, in fact he has a couple of different voices and does not try to be a Jon Anderson imitator. It's an updated different vocal sound but fits right in with the tradition of the Yes vocal style. Downes is a better synth arranger than virtuoso keyboardist like Rick Wakeman and in this case his contributions were the right way to go adding atmosphere and mood. The multi-part "Fly from Here" a 20 minute plus suite resurrected from the "Drama" days is the album opener and a powerful declaration that progressive rock is not dead and is alive and well, much to the consternation of those who run The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. "The Man You Always Wanted Me To Be", "Life On A Film Set, and "Hour Of Need" contain sounds that I've yet to hear from Yes, they are modern and wonderful and still Yes. "Solitaire" is a Steve Howe acoustic guitar interlude that sets the stage for "Into The Storm" a group tour-de-force already on it's way to becoming a classic. After carefull consideration I give "Fly From Here" 5 stars, and if Jon ever rejoins the band it is my hope that Benoit David be kept on as a co-vocalist, boy what a sound that would be!