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priore p. 1-65

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  1. ;1961–64
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  5.  
  6.         The Beach Boys started out as a garage band
  7.  
  8.         Brian Wilson’s particular favourites, The Four Freshmen and The Hi Lo’s, were vocal groups who had copped their vocal licks from the modern-jazz progressions set forth by Lambert, Hendricks And Ross. Their sound weaved through the tapestry of primeval music that Wilson would create with The Beach Boys, a reverb-laden surf guitar band featuring vocals swelling with modern-jazz phraseology. By 1959, one of the earliest LA rock ’n’ roll stations, KRLA, had already dubbed their air space ‘Modern Radio/Los Angeles’, and the stage was duly set for the sophistication that Wilson would bring to the genre. ‘“Good Vibrations” was Modern,’ Wilson once said in a televised interview. ‘It was a very ''Modern''-sounding record.’
  9.  
  10.         Once they’d signed to Capitol Records, The Beach Boys (named after a group of Waikiki surfing teachers and tourist entertainers) became a national act. Along with New York City’s The Four Seasons, they were considered the most popular band in America.
  11.  
  12.         This was the height of Modern sound, with Phil Spector’s recording motto – ‘Tomorrow’s sound today’ – epitomising the glaze associated with his fantastic production toppings. Spector’s bells and chimes, and even the horns on the Ronettes album track ‘How Does It Feel’, seem to capture the magic of Hollywood at night time: twinkling lights of Nuetra, Shindler and Lautner homes in the Hollywood Hills offset by movie-premiere klieg lights stabbing across the sky. The buzz of these, and the aura of Hollywood Boulevard’s skyline, was synonymous with action! … and allure. Brian Wilson would do everything he could to understand how one could capture this kind of lightning in a jar.
  13.  
  14.         As all of this was going on, Brian stretched his independence by moving out of his father’s house and into an apartment with close friend Bob Norberg. Brian had formed a kind of side band with Norberg, Rich Arlarian and Dave Nowlen, who collectively called themselves The Survivors, and Brian and Bob had begun to use a Wollensack recorder to make demos in the apartment bedroom. As simple as the setup was, it is here that we observe the artist as a young man. Recorded in the apartment, The Survivors’ 45 B-side ‘After The Game’ is a melodic instrumental that betrays Brian’s flair for exotica that would turn up later in ‘Summer Means New Love’, ‘Pet Sounds’ and on the backing track of several Smile pieces, including ‘Holidays’, ‘Wind Chimes’, ‘Love To Say Dada’ and ‘Child Is Father Of The Man’. The percussion on ‘After The Game’ was provided by hitting a wood bedpost with a stick, but this echoed the more textured percussion on ‘Caroline, No’, which was actually a recording of Hal Blaine hitting a plastic water bottle, swathed in echo. Some of Brian’s early knack for percussive effect was appreciated by Andy Warhol, who, in his first feature-length film, Tarzan and Jane Regained … Sort Of (shot in LA in 1963, shortly after his debut of the Campbell’s soup-can paintings at Ferus Gallery on La Cienega), used ‘Denny’s Drums’ from Shut Down Vol II during one of the jungle scenes.
  15.  
  16.         In as early as 1963, Brian’s obsession with songwriting and recording kept him off the road for a Beach Boys summer tour. In the interim, he recorded The Beach Boys’ third album, Surfer Girl, the first to be augmented by studio musicians such as Hal Blaine, who provided drums for ‘Little Deuce Coupe’. But there was more, and The Survivors filled the gap. Surfer Girl was the first Beach Boys LP to bear the credit ‘produced by Brian Wilson’,1 and one of the hidden tricks of this hit-laden disc is the presence of The Survivors on many of the vocal parts that would have been sung by The Beach Boys, had they not been on the road. So complete was the absorption of the Brian Wilson harmony technique that a Survivors single titled ‘Wich Stand’, which sang the praises of the Googie architecture cruise site, was not released by Capitol because, according to execs, ‘it sounded too much like The Beach Boys’. Only ‘Pamela Jean’ was released, and that sounded like Dion And The Belmonts. It was while engaged in this interior work that Al Jardine, a friend of Brian’s from high school (and who’d played stand-up bass on The Beach Boys’ 1961 Candix Records hit ‘Surfin’’), joined with rhythm guitarist David Marks, drummer Dennis Wilson, lead guitarist Carl Wilson and vocalist/saxophonist Mike Love for shows. Meanwhile, Brian slugged away at Western Recorders on Sunset Boulevard, near Vine, releasing discs by The Beach Boys, The Honeys, The Survivors, TV star Paul Petersen, Gary Usher, Glen Campbell and a Chicano singer named Sharon Marie Esparza. Under the stage name ‘Sharon Marie’, the latter released ‘Thinkin’ ‘Bout You Baby’, a riveting girl-group disc that would later be rewritten as ‘Darlin’’ for Redwood.
  17.  
  18.         As if this wasn’t enough, Brian had also struck up a close friendship with Jan Berry of Jan And Dean, an advanced, talented young producer, but one who was a bit more willing than Phil Spector to share his studio secrets. Jan’s string of hits had started coming as early as 1958, and his collaboration with Wilson would define what would become known as the ‘California sound’ and produce five hit singles – ‘Surf City’, ‘Drag City’, ‘New Girl In School’, ‘Dead Man’s Curve’ and ‘Ride The Wild Surf’ – while Brian also supplied key background vocal parts on many Jan And Dean records.
  19.  
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  22. ;1964–65
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  26.         All Summer Long took the key elements of both LPs and combined them with some of the production techniques that Brian had learned well by now from Phil Spector, as demonstrated on The Beach Boys’ early-1964 album Shut Down Vol 2. The most obvious step in the Spector direction was ‘Don’t Worry Baby’, a splendid knock-off of The Ronettes’ ‘Be My Baby’ given the Beach Boys vocal sound and a rhythm track filled with surf reverb. All Summer Long took the feel of this song and spread it over the course of an entire album, graced with a Vine Street Mondrian cover generated by Capitol Records’ art staff. The cherry on top was an Alexander Girard-style sun logo and colour scheme, with photos of the group riding horses, tossing a football, cooking hot dogs and generally goofing around with ‘girlfriend’ models wearing California casuals by the Malibu pier – emblematic of the good time to be had by all who listened.
  27.  
  28.         In the following year, Capitol Records asked for a rerun, and got it with Summer Days (And Summer Nights!!), an album that features standards such as ‘California Girls’, ‘Let Him Run Wild’ and one of their best rock ’n’ roll numbers, ‘The Girl From New York City’. As a motif, this would be grafted with All Summer Long‘s themes and stretched into 1974’s double album, Endless Summer (which also pulled key tracks from Surfin’ USA, Surfer Girl and other early Beach Boys albums). Endless Summer took its title from a well-known Bruce Brown film of the same name, and the album’s release had been spurred on by a contest on LA’s most popular progressive-rock radio station during the 1970s: KLOS. In a surprise upset, and inspired by intelligent use of Beach Boys music (from ‘Surfin’’ to ‘Pet Sounds’ and ‘Surf’s Up’, plus ‘Feel Flows’ and ‘The Trader’) in the locally popular Greg MacGillivray/Jim Freeman surfing movie Five Summer Stories, ‘Surfin’ USA’ beat Led Zeppelin’s ‘Stairway To Heaven’ and The Beatles’ ‘A Hard Day’s Night’ in KLOS’s annual call-in poll. Endless Summer was created in the wake of that poll, in a well-thought-out Capitol re-issue package of Beach Boys oldies but goldies with a cover depicting them as hippie surfers. The release placed the then-struggling-for-acceptance group at Number One in the Billboard Hot 100, in an era dominated by Pink Floyd’s Dark Side Of The Moon, Elton John’s Goodbye Yellow Brick Road and whatever the next Led Zeppelin album would be. The follow-up double album, Spirit Of America, also hit the Number One spot. (All this, of course, had been kicked off by the George Lucas film American Graffiti, which used ‘All Summer Long’ as a poignant closing number over the final credits in much the same way that ‘Surfin’’ had been used to close Five Summer Stories the previous year.)
  29.  
  30.         During the summer of 1964, Brian Wilson began to break out of the pattern of recording songs that would identify his band with the beach. It wasn’t that the ocean was all that bad; indeed, one track from this time, ‘Help Me Rhonda’, was a successful cribbing of Buster Brown’s 1960 R&B hit ‘Fanny Mae’, part of standard surf-band repertoire and recorded by Dick Dale And His Del-Tones on their definitive Surfer’s Choice LP. However, the nature of the new music that Brian began to record ranged from insecurity about age and change (‘When I Grow Up [To Be A Man]’) to a direct stab at cashing in on the go-go craze (‘Dance Dance Dance’). Another crucial go-go song was a cover of ‘Do You Wanna Dance’ by San Francisco R&B artist Bobby Freeman, who broke out of the famed topless club the Condor in North Beach, featuring Carol Doda. The track is full of sexual charge, handled admirably by The Beach Boys’ own sex symbol, Dennis Wilson, on lead vocals. Today, the most telling aspect of this record is how completely the Phil Spector Wall of Sound production technique had now become part of Brian Wilson’s standard approach to recording.
  31.  
  32.         The coolest aspect of Beach Boys recording sessions during the second half of 1964 was the freedom that Brian had over the proceedings. The Ronettes had sung a dynamic version of The Students’ 1961 hit ‘I’m So Young’ (Number 26 in the R&B charts), and Wilson went right for it, but took the Wall of Sound in a different direction. Where Phil would go for total effect by bringing the music to the edge of cacophony – and therefore rocking to the tenth power –Brian seemed to prefer audio clarity. His production method was to spread out the sound and arrangement, giving the music a more lush, comfortable feel. Indeed, Wilson wasn’t alone in this recording theory; Spector’s arranger, Jack Nitzsche, spent many of his days making records outside the Spector sessions, and he, like Brian Wilson, went for clarity of sound.
  33.  
  34.         Brian had grown to appreciate the dynamic potential of what a pop song could do. In a subtler way, Burt Bacharach’s work with Dionne Warwick –especially ‘Walk On By’ – would become just as influential to him as ‘Be My Baby’. Indeed, the dynamics of ‘Walk On By’ were something that he would strive to achieve in his future recordings, and it began to pull him away from a purely Phil Spector-esque production style.
  35.  
  36. ;1965
  37.  
  38.         By the release of Beach Boys Today! in early 1965, Brian Wilson’s modern touch had come to the fore. The cover of that album features the group looking cool in pastel sweaters and posing on the diving board of a pool, while the graphic design shows not the water but the luxuriousness of the group’s surroundings. The very title of the album – Today! – set the listener up for a new experience, and the credits pointed to an appreciation of Brian Wilson as a separate, creative entity within the group framework. The rear cover makes note of The Beach Boys’ hits from the second half of 1964 while acknowledging the emergence of the group’s main talent: ‘A PROGRAM OF BEACH-BOY FAVORITES … PLUS SOME GREAT NEW BRIAN WILSON SONGS.’ This praise primarily referred to side two of Beach Boys Today!, which features – under the guise of a ‘make-out’ platter – Brian Wilson productions that stand on par with the music on Pet Sounds, which would change the pop-music spectrum. Wilson’s deep well of creativity is particularly evident on the backing tracks for ‘In The Back Of My Mind’, ‘Please Let Me Wonder’, ‘She Knows Me Too Well’ and ‘Kiss Me Baby’, the latter of which shows that he had by this time surpassed The Four Freshman in terms of jazz vocals and compositional acumen.
  39.  
  40.         After busting out Summer Days (And Summer Nights!!) on a deadline, The Beach Boys’ final pre-Pet Sounds single from 1965, ‘The Little Girl I Once Knew’, is nothing short of thunder, with a keyboard line that would directly influence the TV theme for The Partridge Family four years later, in 1969. On this show-stopping chorale piece, Brian played with space and time by throwing huge, silent pauses within the track’s rhythm.
  41.  
  42.         At the end of 1965, Hollywood’s most glamorous 1930s venue, Earl Carroll’s Vanities (which re-opened as the Moulin Rouge in 1948), made a new debut as the Hullabaloo. Opening-night festivities featured the first rock ’n’ roll-friendly awards show in history: the KRLA Beat Awards. Conceived ten years before any similar attempt at an alternative to the staid Grammy Awards, the program of the Beat Awards was broadcast live on KCOP, LA’s Channel 13. Ultimately, the gala surpassed in quality anything that the future would have to offer; Bob Dylan, Mick Jagger, James Brown, Herb Alpert, The Byrds, The Animals, The Beach Boys, Ike And Tina Turner – seemingly the whole pop world was in attendance, with The Beatles phoning in to accept their award. The Rolling Stones’ ‘(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction’ won Best Vocal Record, The Beatles’ Help! got Best LP and Bob Dylan was voted Best Male Vocalist, while ‘A Taste Of Honey’ by Herb Alpert And The Tijuana Brass nabbed Best Instrumental 45 and The In Crowd by The Ramsey Lewis Trio won the award for Best Instrumental Album. Sonny And Cher were voted best duo and The Beau Brummels took honours as Best New Vocal Group. And, ahead of Phil Spector, George Martin and Quincy Jones, Brian Wilson was voted Best Producer.
  43.  
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  45.  
  46. ;''Pet Sounds''
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  48.  
  49.  
  50.         There would be excursions into romantica beyond Beach Boys Today!. Although lyrics were written for ‘Let’s Go Away For A While’, the title would be words enough for the music. Brian also began to expand on his natural talent for composed instrumentals on the title track of Pet Sounds. The song was originally titled ‘Run, James, Run’ and had been intended as possible James Bond movie theme music, with an implicit nod to John Barry. But there were further cinematic connections with the musicians chosen for the project, many of whom had worked with Henry Mancini as far back as 1958 on his debut album, The Versatile Henry Mancini. Indeed, Pet Sounds had that Liberty LP’s flair for exotica, a style of music that had been popularised by Martin Denny in 1958 on his Liberty single ‘Quiet Village’. That song had originally been written and performed on Capitol Records by Les Baxter, who had composed the soundtrack music for the AIP beach movies, so Brian wasn’t so far off from Henry Mancini, Martin Denny or Les Baxter as rock ’n’ roll legend had previously deemed him to be.
  51.  
  52.         Pet Sounds was a triumphant accomplishment for Brian Wilson in bringing this type of symphonic exotica to the rock ’n’ roll environment. The album featured some of his most recognisable songs: ‘Wouldn’t It Be Nice’, which would become a poignant closing number for Warren Beatty’s film-of-a-lifetime Shampoo; ‘God Only Knows’, which Paul McCartney would call ‘the greatest song ever written’; and the inimitable ‘Caroline, No’. Neil Young had already used ‘Let’s Go Away For A While’ as the closing sunset number in his first film, Journey Through The Past, but in 1976 he referenced the Pet Sounds album closer in one of his better-known songs, ‘Long May You Run’: ‘Maybe the Beach Boys have got you now/With those waves, singing, “Caroline, no”/Rolling down that empty ocean road,/Get into the surf on time.’
  53.  
  54.         Instrumentally, Pet Sounds is rich. What’s important to remember is that this ‘Beach Boys’ masterpiece barely features the group at all. Outside of its lead single, ‘Sloop John B’, on which the entire group sang vocals, Pet Sounds is virtually a Brian Wilson solo album. Only eight individual vocal parts by Carl, Mike, Al and Bruce (Dennis is inaudible, if there at all), other than those by Brian, appear on the entire album
  55.  
  56.         The essence of understanding this is to grasp that all of the fully blocked, finely wielded, cascading background vocal parts on Pet Sounds were created by Brian before The Beach Boys got off the road. He couldn’t wait.
  57.  
  58.         The tape layout of ‘Wouldn’t It Be Nice’ illustrates a major difference between the recording processes of both Pet Sounds and Smile, and provides a clue as to why there is more clarity and range in the latter. ‘You’d walk into a room and the room would sound,‘ Van Dyke Parks pointed out. ‘It’s like this was the hallmark of good arranging, good orchestration, good musicianship – everything would sound, so that it would be unthinkable, for example, to put a mandolin solo with some very active strings and trumpets. You just wouldn’t hear it. Then, by getting close-mic techniques – which started in about ‘63, ‘64 – music started to get a different perspective. You could hear arrangements that would be successful on a record that would not have sounded.’
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  62. ;1966
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  65.  
  66.         There was a lot of melancholia on Pet Sounds, and ‘Good Vibrations’ seemed a natural reaction to having pored over such music so diligently for so long. In fact, however, Brian produced what he envisioned as an R&B tune. ‘We wanted to do something that was R&B but had a taste of Modern,’ he explained to Preiss. ‘“Good Vibrations” was advanced rhythm-and-blues music.’ In 1966, Brian’s R&B idea was indeed very advanced. By 1971, Marvin Gaye’s ‘What’s Goin’ On’ and Isaac Hayes’s ‘Theme From Shaft’ would present R&B in a similar multi-textured context, creating ethereal sonic landscapes in soul and some of the most historically important R&B music ever pressed.
  67.  
  68.         Groups like The Doors, The Buffalo Springfield and Frank Zappa’s Mothers Of Invention would soon follow in the wake of The Byrds, Love and The Seeds. And, as Brian Wilson began to conduct sonic experiments within the context of the three-minute record, he would draw inspiration from this emergent world that was blossoming on the local scene. Wilson was on top of the record business by this time, in every sense, but he joined with the kids on the street to attend shows by The Turtles at Whisky A Go Go and by The Lovin’ Spoonful at The Trip, which had previously been a bebop jazz club named the Crescendo before adopting its new acid-tinged moniker and delving into the centre of the Sunset Strip freedom movement. The Turtles and The Lovin’ Spoonful had a pop slant, but were very much a part of the whole folk-rock phenomenon, representing a meaty slice of the new sound as it was being developed.
  69.  
  70.         Something also clicked with Brian Wilson when he saw Hutton’s enthusiasm for the ‘Good Vibrations’ 45 project. Perhaps this wasn’t for someone else; this could be the song that clinched The Beach Boys’ headlong dive into the emergent psychedelic/pop/art world. ‘We fixed it up,’ said Wilson. ‘Changed it, altered it.’
  71.  
  72.         One thing that seems particularly incredible is that, by 1966, Brian Wilson was familiar with the character and pitch of such a wide range of studio room sounds. Each recording studio carries with it an individual ambience, and downtown Hollywood was the most diverse place on the planet to be working from, should one wish to use a variety of recording suites to their maximum potential.
  73.  
  74.         Brian knew the sound of each studio before he even entered the building, and he combined the sounds of each one into something resembling a sonic mosaic. ‘Good Vibrations’ is a prime example of this, an audio tapestry woven from the best studios downtown Hollywood had to offer. ‘We were well into the mid-’60s, and by that time I think it was time for somebody to do something that had a little merit, a little message to it,’ said Wilson about his dedicated, meticulous studio methodology. ‘We put together “Good Vibrations” in a very odd manner, utilising five or six studios. We recorded the “Aah, I love the colourful clothes she wears” sections at Gold Star and the “I’m picking up good vibrations” at Columbia.’ Mike Love, meanwhile, added great pop lyrics to the song and a kinetic, low, ‘50s R&B-vocal-group part for the ‘I’m picking up good vibrations, she’s giving me excitations’ chorus. ‘It had a lot of riff changes and movement,’ Wilson explained. ‘It was a pocket symphony -changes, changes, changes, building harmonies here, drop this voice out, this comes in, bring this echo in, put the theremin here, bring the cello up a little louder here … It was the biggest production of our lives!’
  75.  
  76.         ‘He would jump from one studio to the other,’ Danny Hutton remembered, ‘and to be able to do that, in those days, and have the little pockets – all these different little parts – all fit together was just amazing. People have no idea how talented you have to be to be able to do that, to have that seamless change from one studio to another, from maybe a month apart and recorded at different sessions. That’s very, very hard to do. I mean, I cut stuff at Gold Star for other groups, and you don’t just have to choose the right studio for the right sound; you’ve got to have the talent, too. Somebody could go in right after Brian’s session and try to record, and they could never get the sound he got. There was a lot of subtle stuff he did.’
  77.  
  78.         From start to finish, it took seven months for ‘Good Vibrations’ to be recorded and released, in October 1966. It’s safe to say that this kind of attention to detail for one song was unprecedented in the realms of classical, jazz, international, soundtrack or any other kind of recording.
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  82. ;1966–67
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  86.  
  87.  
  88.         In the press, Brian Wilson was touted as boy wonder, a new element to live up to. ‘Brian Wilson is a genius, I think,’ wrote Beach Boys/Byrds/Beatles publicist Derek Taylor in the most popular music magazines of the period: the US’s Hit Parader and the UK’s NME. ‘I can’t be sure because I don’t know what the word means, but the way I see it, you have to use a very special word to capture the rare, mind-blocking, blinding talents of this 23-year-old whose grasp of popular music is iron-clad and total. He alone in the industry – at the pinnacle of the pop pyramid – is full creator of a record from the first tentative constructions of a theme to the final master disc. Brian is a writer – words and music – performer and singer, arranger, engineer, producer, with complete control even over packaging and design.’
  89.  
  90.         ‘Derek’s a very crafty man,’ observed Van Dyke Parks. ‘He’d put up billboards which said, “The Beatles Are Coming”. That was a paraphrase of RJ Reynolds’ “The Camel’s Are Coming” – the ad campaign that made that brand of cigarettes popular before World War I. When the doughboys came back from Europe, they were hooked, and it was because RJ Reynolds did this tremendous ad campaign. All you could see was camels, and people realised it was for cigarettes. Derek took that ad and made it The Beatles’ first campaign here, on billboards. I was living under one of them, and to me it was like a plague. I had no idea what it was. “What’s he mean, ‘The Beatles are coming?’“ I thought, “Wow, that’s weird.” But that’s Derek Taylor, later the first guy to call Brian Wilson a genius, much to Brian’s embarrassment.’
  91.  
  92.         The press were now beginning to make it very clear who ran the show. Crawdaddy! took note of the rare responsibility held by this media-savvy artist: ‘Brian Wilson must be the first composer to know that 20 million people are going to hear, and respond to, his new composition within a month of his completing it.’ London also made no bones about the production-whiz element of The Beach Boys. ‘Meanwhile … what’s Brian doing back at the base?’ wrote Tracy Thomas in the NME. ‘While the Beach Boys are rocking Europe, BB-mastermind Brian Wilson has not been resting on his and their laurels. This week Brian’s working on the next Beach Boys single, another adventure in pop music, called “Heroes And Villains”, which will be, as the BB boss describes it, “a three-minute musical comedy”.’ US music magazine Hit Parader summed up the phenomenon behind the British popularity of both Pet Sounds and ‘Good Vibrations’: ‘The Beach Boys are a success because they sing well, play well, live well and have a musical genius hiding in Beverly Hills writing for them – Brian Wilson!’
  93.  
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  95.  
  96. ;Misc
  97.  
  98.  
  99.  
  100.         [re: ''American Graffiti'' and similar films with Beach Boys music as closers] It seemed that Brian Wilson’s music – be it ‘Surfin’’, ‘All Summer Long’, ‘Wouldn’t It Be Nice’ or ‘Let’s Go Away For A While’ – was clearly something to make a point with at the end of your movie.
  101.  
  102.         Competitive by nature, Brian had already been unnerved by Bob Dylan, at first thinking that the maestro was ‘out to destroy rock ’n’ roll’, but he was interested and would reach out to be aligned with the new move in music. ‘He knew that he had to adhere to the counter-culture, and I knew that I had to,’ noted Van Dyke Parks. ‘I think that he was about as estranged from it as I was. The thing is, it was politically convenient for him to do that. I think it was probably what he really wanted. He wanted to get out of the Eisenhower mindset, and he wanted to enquire, and I think that it was a totally honest move, but a deliberate move one. ‘At the same time, he didn’t want to lose that kind of gauche sensibility that he had. He was doing stuff that nobody would dream of doing. You would never, for example, use one string on a banjo when you had five; it just wasn’t done. But when I asked him to bring a banjo in, that’s what he did. This old-style plectrum thing. One string. That’s gauche.’
  103.  
  104.         ‘For me and anybody who else who came around that scene, you’d never met anybody else like this in your life,’ Crawdaddy! editor Paul Williams explained. ‘There are only a few people like this on the planet, and we’re talking about a particular time, when he was like a chrysalis, just expanding, developing. He was brilliant from the first music that he made that we’ve heard, and there are so many ideas and so much power in all of those early Beach Boys singles. And at one point, Pet Sounds was this breatkthough in which he was self-consciously trying to make a whole album of a sound that he heard in his head, that was extraordinarily successful. Then he followed that with “Good Vibrations”, which he actually conceived as an R&B track, planning to get some girl singers to sing on, but which eventually ended up being a Beach Boys single. That, again, was one of the most revolutionary single records that anybody had made, up to that time, and it’s still recognised that way. And then the next step was, “Well, if you think that was good, we’ve got ideas you’ve never even dreamed of. There’s stuff we can do with music that’s like one of the singles, expanded to the full length of an album, and it’s as rich in ideas as a two-and-a-half-minute Beach Boys single. Now we’re going to take that and multiply it times itself.” For those of us who’d heard pieces of it as it was being done, this was the most amazing contemporary music that we’d ever heard.’
  105.  
  106.         Over the years, Brian has continually bent over backwards to praise the work of Phil Spector and has constantly cited Spector as an influence, and while a mutual respect does exist, Brian’s generosity never seems to be returned. In Spector’s mind, Wilson took his musicians and copied him much too closely, concentrating on competing with him. It’s a direct contrast to the good times and interaction that came with the Jan Berry/Brian Wilson relationship. Although he talked about them less than he did about Spector, there were other contemporaries who Wilson admired and learned from. Dionne Warwick’s record ‘Walk On By’ had a profound influence on his sound and dynamics, as did The Beatles’ Rubber Soul. ‘Burt Bacharach and Hal David are more like me,’ he told Rave magazine. ‘They’re also the best pop team – per se – today. As a producer, Bacharach has a very fresh, new approach.’
  107.  
  108.         By the time of this fateful 1966 Philles session, Brian Wilson was already taking in pacifist-culture things in a creative manner that would never be a part of the Phil Spector trip. ‘I don’t choose to emulate anybody any more,’ he told the talk-show cast of Art Fein’s Poker Party in 1988. ‘I did that. I had something to say as a musician on my own, after hearing from Phil Spector and what he had to say about rock ’n’ roll. For a couple of years there, I didn’t think I had much to say outside of what he said. As time went by, it built up into a whole Brian Wilson package kind of thing. I put my name and my music across, and there was a big buzz going on – especially from the business – about Pet Sounds.’